Riga rated as cheapest European Christmas shopping break destination

Riga rated as cheapest European Christmas shopping break destination

The Latvian capital of Riga is rated as the cheapest city for a European Christmas shopping break.

Riga emerged as 41% cheaper for a two night break than Stockholm, the most expensive of ten cities surveyed by Post Office Travel Money.

At £504 for a weekend break for two – comprising two evening meals with wine, coffee, festive drinks and snacks, B&B accommodation, flights and airport-city centre transfers – Riga has beaten last winter’s cheapest city Tallinn.

The result comes on the back of a 7.8% fall in total costs against Tallinn at £563 following a 4.8% rise in prices.

Riga is just one of five cities surveyed where prices are down this autumn.

Sterling is now stronger against most European currencies than last autumn and, along with package prices falls and local price cuts for meals and drinks, this accounts for the drop in prices in half the cities surveyed.

The biggest falls have been in Munich, down 14% to £525, and Lille, where prices have dropped 15.4% to £532.

The other cities where prices have dropped since last autumn are Vienna at £721, a year-on-year fall of 4%, and Copenhagen at £693, representing a fall of 5.4%.

This has made the Danish capital almost 19% cheaper than neighbouring Stockholm, where a 6.6% price rise means visitors will pay around £854.

The biggest rise in costs of cities surveyed has been in Prague. Although the cost of meals, drinks and airport-city transfers remains by far the cheapest of the ten cities at £108, limited availability for flights and accommodation has made the price of a two-night package in the Czech capital more expensive than in any of the other cities surveyed at £566. The overall cost has risen 16% to £674 as a result.

Prices have also risen in Budapest, albeit at a lower level than in Prague. An 8.3% rise to almost £687 means the gap between the two eastern European favourites has narrowed to £12.26 – making Prague just 1.8% cheaper.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “The difference in prices show just how important it is for people planning trips to check prices and factor in all the costs they will incur on a Christmas markets trip.

“Holiday homework before booking will show that short breaks to long-established favourites like Munich and Lille rate alongside Riga as best value for a bargain break.”

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