Prices In Latvia (Updated in 2023)

It used to be that whenever a “Western” friend would visit Latvia, they’d mutter the words “oh my gosh this is so cheap” at some point. Not so much anymore though… Now, people are actually surprised that prices for many items seem to be on a par with major European cities. Here are some insights into prices in Latvia:

A single public transport ticket: 1.50 euro

A 0.5 litre glass of beer in a decent Old Town pub: 4-5 euro

Set lunch or lunch of the day at a decent central location: 5-10 euro

Weekend brunch at a mid-range cafe or restaurant: 15-30 euro

Regular takeaway coffee: 2,50-3,50 euro

Loaf of white bread at Riga Central Market : 0.55-1,15 euro

A litre of milk at Riga Central Market: ~ 1.30 euro

A weekday evening cinema ticket at Splendid Palace cinema: 6.50-7.30 euro

A litre of petrol: ~around 1.70 euro

(Prices last checked in early 2023)

Moving here means learning to adjust your budget according to local standards, budgeting for things like whopping central heating bills in winter and steep petrol prices.

Take into account that the minimum monthly gross salary in Latvia is 620 euro in 2023.

(Note, this is an official figure that for obvious reasons disregards the “ēnu ekonomika” or shadow economy which sees a fair amount of people receiving all or part of their salary in an envelope thus avoiding taxes.)

As an expat you may be fortunate enough to be working for an international company or institution, earning a respectively “international” salary, or you may just be an average citizen working 9–6 and receiving sub-European average remuneration.

If the former applies, I’d advise caution when discussing prices. What may seem cheap to you may not be affordable to friends and family. Those on a lower salary may therefore take offence.

If the latter applies, it won’t take long for you yourself to realise that Latvia just ain’t that cheap if you’re used to living comfortably – not knowing how much you have left in your bank account at any one time, eating out more than once a week, buying drink after drink on a night out etc.

While the average salary continues to grow year on year, prices aren’t exactly staying the same, let alone decreasing.

Found this post on prices in Latvia insightful? Continue with a real life account of life in Riga by Rick from the Netherlands!

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