Universities in Riga - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities


By Chloe Lane

Updated January 15, 2021 Updated January 15, 2021

Riga for students

Riga, the capital city of Latvia, is situated on the Gulf of Riga and occupies both banks of the Duagava River. Riga is new to the QS Best Student Cities ranking this year, placing 110th.  

It boasts three leading universities, all of which are ranked in the QS World University Rankings®: Riga Technical UniversityRiga Stradins University, and the University of Latvia.

Riga Technical University is the highest ranked of these, achieving a position of 701-750. It offers an innovative approach to learning, new technologies and advanced teaching methods, which gives the university a reputation for research excellence.

Is Riga your favorite student city? Let us know why. 

Best universities in Riga - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 110th

World Ranking



Riga Technical University


Riga Stradins University


University of Latvia 

More about Riga

In the Best Student Cities ranking this year, Riga gains its highest score on the ‘student mix’ indicator – a credit to the diversity of the city’s students and its inclusivity. It also performs well for student view, ranking 84th, which is based on the responses of 85,000 students around the world.

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Riga Technical University (ranked 701-750)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Riga?

Excellent education standards

Riga is home to three universities featured in the QS World University Rankings. The best of these is Riga Technical University, which ranks 701-750 in the world. 

A rich history

Riga is a preserved medieval city showing signs of its religious and Romanesque past. It was even named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its Old Town in 2014.

The impressive architecture

A mix of old Gothic churches, Art Nouveau architecture and medieval buildings, Riga’s architecture is sure to impress.

It’s a city of beauty and wellness

Known for its spas, beauty treatments and traditional Latvian baths, there’s plenty to do to de-stress yourself after a busy day of lectures.

Cost of studying in Riga

Riga ranks 92nd in the world for affordability. Its tuition fees are very reasonable, costing an average of US$3,600 for international students.

The cost of living in Riga is also fairly affordable, with an apartment in the city center costing around US$512 per month (78 percent lower than London). Numbeo also estimates that a single person living in Riga will need around $759 per month for additional living expenses.

Life and culture in Riga  

If you’re looking for a student city with a blend of modern and medieval, then Riga is the perfect city for you.

This picturesque city is more than 800 years old and is split into the Old Town, which can be explored on foot, and the New Town, which can be easily reached via bus or tram.

The city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 due to the many medieval buildings within its Old Town. These include the 13th century Riga Dom cathedral, the 14th century Riga Castle and the merchant’s homes and warehouses. The Old Town even has a canal surrounding it which used to be the fortress moat. These are definitely worth a look when you have some free time to explore the city.

In the winter Riga’s Christmas markets won’t fail to get you in the festive spirit, with mulled wine, roasted almonds, gingerbread and Christmas gift stalls on offer.

In the summer these markets sell unique Latvian food products, with a variety of fresh and natural products from Latvian farms as well as clothes and jewelry.

Whichever time of year you decide to take a visit to these markets, you will not be disappointed. In the evening, you can enjoy one of Riga’s numerous bars, cafes and restaurants, many of them with outdoor seating areas in the summer - in fact many consider Riga’s nightlife to be among the best in Eastern Europe!

Careers in Riga

Riga ranks 100th in the world for employer reputation, a reflection of the strong employability of the city’s graduates. In recent years, Riga has emerged as a regional financial and commercial hub, providing jobs for graduates living in the city. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that for many jobs in Riga you will need to speak at least a basic level of Latvian. If you’re working in the services industry, you may also need an understanding of Russian.

Members of the EU and EEA will not need a visa to work in Riga. However, students coming from outside these areas will require a working visa.

This article was originally published in July 2019 . It was last updated in January 2021

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Written by

A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. She enjoys writing articles about a wide range of topics for a student audience. 

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