Eastern Europe dominates Post Office city costs barometer

Eastern Europe dominates Post Office city costs barometer

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British travellers taking short breaks will get the best value for money when heading to eastern European cities this spring, new data reveals.

Eight of the top 10 places where the pound will buy more are filled by cities in the region at a time when sterling has fallen in value against virtually every European currency.

Warsaw emerged as the cheapest at £113 for 12 typical city break items, including meals, drinks, two nights’ three-star weekend accommodation, sightseeing and transport costs.

Prices in the Polish capital are almost a third of those in Europe’s most expensive city, Stockholm at £325, according to the eighth annual Post Office Travel Money City Costs Barometer.

Vilnius in Lithuania, at £115 and last year’s top city, is a close runner-up despite registering a 15% rise in costs, ahead of third-placed Budapest (£123).

Latvian capital Riga (£132) is in fourth place while Krakow in Poland (£133) has moved up to fifth position, due to an 8.5% price fall.

A drop in the cost of hotel accommodation has helped Lisbon (£135) move two places up the barometer table into sixth position and makes the Portuguese capital the cheapest city in western Europe – overtaking Athens (£149), which falls to 10th place.

Dubrovnik (£137), where the low cost of hotel accommodation - £41 for two nights in a three-star hotel for two people – has taken the Croatian city to seventh place on the back of a 2.3% year-on-year price fall.

Eighth-placed Prague remains best value for meals and drinks. At just under £32 for a three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of wine plus individual drinks including coffee, beer, Coca-Cola and a glass of wine, the Czech capital rates as cheapest for these staples.

By comparison, the Nordic cities of Reykjavik (£114) and Oslo (£118), will set visitors back almost four times as much.

Rising hotel prices account for a 28% rise for Dublin (£306), making this the most expensive of 21 eurozone cities surveyed with a barometer total more than double the Lisbon cost.

Sterling’s slide in value is partly blamed on rising costs elsewhere. Prices have risen 15.2% in Barcelona (£280), 17.2% in Vienna (£217) and 17.5% in Venice (£283) – as well as by 21.6% Tallinn (£160), the largest increase in eastern Europe.

Belfast again rates as cheapest of three UK cities surveyed, with a barometer total of £220 - £10 less than Edinburgh.

London prices are significantly higher at £300, but Post Office Travel Money recorded hefty year-on-year price rises for all three cities, primarily because of increased room rates in hotels.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “This year’s higher prices make it doubly important for holidaymakers to do their homework and check costs for meals, drinks and sightseeing before booking, as these are items that most city break tourists will be paying for.

“Our research found wide variations in costs between cities and those people who are prepared to swap can make their pounds stretch further by choosing a cheaper capital like Warsaw in the east or Lisbon in the west.”


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