Cost of living in Riga, Latvia: let’s analyze costs of food, real estate, entertainment and transport in this Baltic capital
Looking to relocate to the Baltics? We will provide you with all the information you need in on the cost of living in Riga, one of the biggest cities in the Baltic States.
Cost of Living in Riga, Latvia
Riga is the capital of Latvia, a country in Northeastern Europe. It is also its largest city in the country, however not a very big one compared with other European capitals, at around 600.000 inhabitants. It is the heart of Latvia, geographically, socially, economically and culturally.
Riga is a vibrant city with a lot of history etched into it. You will find a picturesque old town, dating back to the medieval ages. But the large collections of Art Nouveau buildings is what it’s best known for. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Riga experienced an economical and then cultural surge. Thus, during the natural expansion of the city, it was adorned with buildings bearing the distinctive look of this type of architecture.
Despite not growing in terms of population, the city improved its economic conditions sharply in the past 20 years. Currently it is a full EU member and also part of the Schengen Area.
Let’s check some data for the cost of living in Riga, Latvia below:
The currency in Latvia is the Euro. The conversion rate to the USD is 1 dollar to 0.88 EUR as of July 14, 2020.
If you want to suggest your own values based on your experiences in this city, click on edit and insert the values. Upon moderation they will be calculated to make part of the average prices displayed below.
|1 liter of milk||0.70 USD|
|1 loaf of bread||0.85 USD|
|1 kg of tomatoes||2.02 USD|
|1 kg of chicken||4.86 USD|
|1 single meal cheap restaurant||5.60 USD|
|1 single meal high-end restaurant||23.50 USD|
|1 cappuccino or latte||2.60 USD|
|1 big pizza delivery||10.50 USD|
|Real Estate||Price [EDIT]|
|1 bedroom flat (40 m2) rent per month||455.00 USD|
|1 bedroom flat (40 m2) utilities per month||115.00 USD|
|2 bedroom flat (80 m2) rent per month||675.00 USD|
|2 bedroom flat (80 m2) utilities per month||195.00 USD|
|Price per square meter (city center)||1,758.00 USD|
|1 single ride public transport||1.45 USD|
|Monthly public transport ticket||58.00 USD|
|1 km taxi or similar transport app||0.55 USD|
|1 liter of gasoline (1/4 gallon)||1.39 USD|
|Toyota Corolla (new) basic version||19,850.00 USD|
|Minimum Salary||455.00 USD|
|Average Salary (net)||775.00 USD|
|1 ticket to the movies (adult price)||8.50 USD|
|High speed internet per month||11.50 USD|
|1 month gym subscription||43.00 USD|
Cost of Living for Students in Riga, Latvia
While Riga is not a common destination for academics, Riga does offer courses to foreign students. The universities are classified very favorably in European rankings.
Being a student in Riga is a very good chance to experience something very different. Considered as one of Europe’s best kept secrets, Riga will offer a little bit of everything to everyone. All you need to do is go out and explore one of the greenest cities on the continent.
The good news is that tuition fees are generally lower than in more established countries, but without lowering the quality of the education process. Generally, non-EU students will have to pay around 3000-4000 EUR per year. If you are looking to get a PhD in medicine, expect these fees to be much higher.
Latvian is the usual language spoken in the classrooms. However, English is gaining popularity within the collegiate system. Lately, there are more and more options for English speaking students.
Here are some of the best higher education institutions in Riga:
Getting a Job in Riga
Riga is the motor of the Latvian economy, with more than 50% of the jobs located there. Also, the city produces more than half of the country’s GDP.
Riga is developing at a very high rate and as such, there are a lot of opportunities on the job market. There are companies ranging from wood products, food and beverage manufacturers to IT and pharma. The IT industry is in general bringing in the most money, with salaries usually starting from 1000 EUR.
Compared to the rest of the country, Riga is in a different league. Salaries are much higher here than in the rest of the country and in general will provide a higher quality of life. As a general rule anything over 1000 EUR net is considered good and one can even put some money aside.
You can find a job very easily in Riga by going here:
Quality of Life in Riga
Riga is one of the safest cities in Northern Europe. Crime is low, the most common type being domestic violence and pick-pocketing. Thus, you are unlikely to encounter any issues in the city.
In general, expats earn more than Latvians. The social situation is a bit tense due to constant Russian muscle-flexing, however, beyond that, the political environment is stable. There are multiple flights coming in and out of Riga, connecting to different countries.
A thing to note is that winters can get pretty cold. In general, you should expect chilly weather from October to April. During this time, also expect an increase in the monthly utility bill as you’ll be using heat more intensely.
As a final note, English will get you pretty far within Riga. Around 50% of the people speak the language. Increase the likelihood of being understood by knowing Russian. Around 40% of inhabitants reported that it’s their first or second language.
If you are visiting Riga soon you may want to check some of our other Baltic guides. Check the best places to places to stay in Riga and our article on the average and minimum salary in Riga. If you are traveling inside, check how to travel from Tallinn to Riga. You can also look at the cost of living in Tallinn here.
Other Resources for Expats and Travelers
Salaries Worldwide: check our articles on wages worldwide and understand better the economics of the countries you may be considering to move or invest.
Retire Abroad: check our retirement guides and maximize your retirement income and quality of life.
Jetradar: compare and find the cheapest air fares worldwide.