With the pound on the rise, city breaks are cheaper than ever, especially in Eastern Europe. The prices of 11 items in 23 cities have been compared, showing us just how cheap some cities really are. Here they are, the five cheapest city breaks for this summer.
The Post Office has released its annual City Costs Barometer, a study which compares the price of accommodations, using public transit, restaurant meals, cultural activities and other common costs to tourists abroad in over twenty cities around the world. Who came out on top?
Cheap European City Breaks
Riga – Latvia
For the second year in a row, Riga is the cheapest city break for Brits abroad this summer. They’ve got the rest of Europe beat for cheap dinners and drinks out on the town, value accommodation and budget sightseeing tours. What more could you ask for from this stunning Baltic city? How about cheap flights to Riga? Fly London to Stansted with Ryanair, from London Gatwick with airBaltic or from London Luton with Wizz Air.
Beautiful Budapest… straddling the Danube, Budapest is a hot spot come summer. Ruined yet oh-so-trendy garden bars open up in vacant lots in the city’s Jewish District, the perfect place to cool off with a tall glass of beer or soda wine. Budapest takes second place this year thanks to its budget restaurant eats and the forint falling in value against the pound Sterling.
Tallinn – Estonia
Tallinn makes a notable third for 2012 city breaks thanks to its budget accommodation. Tallinn offers the cheapest 3-star hotels in Europe, right alongside Riga and Belfast. Just 43km south of pricey Helsinki, it’s not unheard of to stay overnight in Tallinn and explore the Finnish capital by day. Don’t miss out on the medieval charm Tallinn has to offer though, enjoying a local beer in Raekoja Plats is also a must-do.
Warsaw – Poland
The best time to visit Warsaw is when a festival is in town, Warsaw Summer Jazz Days or the Warsaw Film Festival are good excuses to pair cultural programs with the usual sightseeing. Most tourists don’t leave the city’s Centrum area, or Śródmieście for that matter, the inner city. Why would you? You’ve got Łazienki Park, the National Museum, Palace of Culture and Science and the Royal Castle.
Prague – Czech Republic
It’s no surprise that Prague wins as one of the cheapest European cities to enjoy a good beer. You are certainly spoiled for choice anywhere in the Czech Republic. While it may cost a not-so-friendly £13.50 to see the Prague Castle, it’s worth every penny. There are also a ton of cheap flights to Prague from the UK, Wizz Air and EasyJet from London, Jet2.com from Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh and BMIbaby from a dozen regional airports.
Good to keep in mind that Brits find these cities a deal mostly because the pound is strong right now against the local currencies. The Post Office does the same study every year and found that most local prices have stayed the same, but for British holidaymakers travelling with pound Sterlings in their pockets, they’ll find their money stretches that much further while enjoying a city break abroad this summer. Pair that with some cheap flights from London and you’re golden.
Check out the full report: City Cost Barometer 2012.
Where are you going this summer? City break, beach holiday or elsewhere?