It’s official; city breaks have replaced beach vacations as the undisputed king of holidays, thanks to their convenience, affordability and diversity.
London Luton Airport has crunched the numbers and found out the least expensive European cities for travellers. Which is good news as city breaks are an increasingly popular form of travel for British travellers. According to the Office for National Statistics, Brits’ trips are becoming shorter. The number of one to four-night breaks rose by 170% between 1996 and 2016, while 14-night holidays fell by 29%.
Though, this is hardly surprising when you consider the advantages to these short city trips – they use less precious annual leave (which means you get to visit more places!), and they provide the opportunity to soak up a country’s culture and history far more effectively than a resort holiday. What’s more, they may work out much cheaper – provided you know where to go…
For those travelling from further afield, they let you transform a few days in a city into an exotic escape and give you a change of scenery without breaking the bank. Not to mention that they're packed with cultural landmarks, vibrant nightlife and a plethora of attractions that make for quite the action-packed trip; Europe is an incredibly diverse continent full of bucket-list, postcard locations. Even though we all love lying pool side or on the beach with our feet buried in the sand, there is nothing quite like the rush of navigating a new city. Unlike beach holidays, you don't need to rely on the weather either, as you can improvise on rainy days by heading to the beautiful museums or checking out new foodie hotspots.
The airport broke down the top 10 cities where travellers can spend less using a range of factors to find Europe's most affordable destinations. They took the following six factors into account (because finding an affordable holiday location is about more than just the price of a bed and beer):
- Average price of a 3* hotel room
- Average price for a three-course meal for two people
- Average price of a pint of beer
- Average price of a cappuccino
- Price of a one-way public transport ticket
- Price of the top-rated attraction on TripAdvisor
This gave a total, which was used to rank the top 10 most affordable city break locations.
The most affordable city to visit in Europe is Budapest, where travellers will spend a total of £71.91 on all of the items. That includes a three-course meal for two for £24.28 and a pint of beer for £1.29. Beyond its reasonable prices, the Hungarian capital is also attractive for its lively ruin bars, beautifully preserved parliament and plenty of cafes and restaurants.
After Budapest, travellers should consider the second most-affordable destination of Warsaw, where everything on the list will cost a total of £78.11. There, an average 3* hotel room for two people for two nights is only £51.11. The Polish city has a wealth of history and visitors can check out the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, or explore the incredible Palace of Culture and Science. In third place is the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, where a hotel room is £55.56 on average and a pint of beer costs about £1.34. The number one recommended TripAdvisor is pretty cheap here too; a free walking tour!
Next up is the Greek capital, Athens. While a pint of beer here will cost you a lofty £3.57, a three-course meal for two is only £31.23! Which by the way (according to the infographic) you should have at Trifylli (Oinomageirio), a top traditional restaurant. The fifth cheapest city to visit in Europe is the Latvian capital, Riga. A three course meal here will also cost you £31.23 and a one way travel ticket is only £1.03!
The rest of the top 10 cheapest cities in Europe are: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Prague, Czech Republic; Lisbon, Portugal; Palma, Spain; and Valetta, Malta.
The infographic also gives titbits of insider info on each city which would be invaluable to any first time visitors. For example, if you’re visiting Valetta, make sure grab a gelato in Upper Barrakka Gardens, and when in Riga, you have to sample traditional Latvia at Folkklubs ALA pagrabs. Oh, and a trip to Budapest wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a shot of Pálinka at Szimpla Kert!
Don’t forget to give the infographic a read before you book your next European trip – it couldn’t be any easier to budget for your weekend city escape. And luckily for you, every one of these ten destinations are the very best of what Europe has to offer, so even though you are saving some of those precious pennies, you still get to experience these beautiful and wanderlust worthy cities to the max.
You’ll thank us when you’re enjoying an amazing holiday on a shoestring budget!