Sterling's strength boosts UK travellers' Christmas markets spending power

Sterling's strength boosts UK travellers' Christmas markets spending power

The increased purchasing power of the pound against the euro and other European currencies is giving British travellers up to 13% more spending power this winter over last year.

The calculation comes from the latest analysis by Post Office Travel Money which identified Budapest as the best value for a Christmas markets break.

At £405 for a weekend break for two – comprising return flights, B&B accommodation, airport-city centre transfers, two evening meals for two with wine, coffee, festive drinks and snacks at the Christmas Markets – Budapest has overtaken its eastern European rivals to become this year’s bargain choice.

This makes the Hungarian capital over a third cheaper than Vienna (£653), the highest-priced city surveyed.

However, Prague remains cheapest of 12 Christmas Market favourites when it comes to meals, snacks and drinks for a two-day break, as well as travel to and from the airport.

At under £72 for these items, Prague is 11.7% cheaper than Budapest and prices are almost two-thirds lower than in Stockholm (£207).

When accommodation and flights are added to the barometer, Prague come second to Budapest with a total cost of £458.

Last year’s most expensive city, Brussels, has emerged as the eurozone’s lowest-priced Christmas Market break, beating Riga.

Although meals and drinks cost a quarter more in the Belgian capital (£160) than in Riga (£128), the low cost of a two-night package including Eurostar travel make the overall cost of a two-night break more than 6% cheaper in Brussels (£495) than in Riga (£528).

The good value available to UK visitors has been boosted by sterling starting to rise in value against European currencies in the past two weeks.

The strong pound means visitors to all 12 of the cities surveyed will have greater spending power than last year - almost 12% more in eurozone destinations, rising to 13.7% extra in Budapest.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Sterling’s strength brings glad festive tidings for shoppers visiting Europe.

“Not only will they have up to £60 more in their pockets when they change pounds into European currency, but they will also benefit from the low prices in many cities.

“However, it is still important to do some homework before travelling because our research showed that prices are not universally lower than in London.”

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