Athens beats eastern European favourites in budget city break rankings

·2-min read
Athens has beaten traditional budget-friendly eastern European destinations to be ranked the cheapest location for a city break on the Continent (Vita/Alamy/PA)
Athens has beaten traditional budget-friendly eastern European destinations to be ranked the cheapest location for a city break on the Continent (Vita/Alamy/PA)

Athens has beaten traditional budget-friendly eastern European destinations to be ranked the cheapest location for a city break on the Continent.

Analysis of a dozen typical tourist costs for UK visitors in 20 popular cities by Post Office Travel Money found prices in the Greek capital have fallen by 15% since last year.

The total bill for expenses such as meals, hotel accommodation, attraction tickets and local transport fares was £207, compared with £218 in runner-up Lisbon, Portugal.

Poland’s Krakow was ranked behind Athens and Lisbon in the ranking (Tetyana Kochneva/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)
Poland’s Krakow was ranked behind Athens and Lisbon in the ranking (Tetyana Kochneva/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)

Both cities were ahead of destinations renowned for low prices such as Krakow in Poland (£219), Riga in Latvia (£220) and Budapest in Hungary (£221).

Low prices in Athens include £38.96 for an evening meal for two with wine, £89 for two nights’ accommodation in a three-star hotel and £7.79 for a 48-hour public transport pass.

Six of the cities analysed are more than twice as expensive as Athens.

They are Stockholm, Sweden (£421); Paris, France (£423); Dublin, Ireland (£436); Copenhagen, Denmark (£456); Venice, Italy (£457); and Amsterdam, the Netherlands (£593).

Lisbon’s ranking comes despite a 21% increase in prices since last year.

Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “According to our latest research, over two in five of those planning trips abroad will be taking a city break, making this the most popular type of overseas holiday for the fifth consecutive year.

Our advice to holidaymakers is to do their homework and check prices before booking

Nick Boden, Post Office Travel Money

“However, Britons need to be aware that the rising prices in Lisbon are typical of what we found across Europe, fuelled by big increases in accommodation charges.

“Established favourites like Paris, Amsterdam and Venice may be top choices among the holidaymakers we surveyed but they are also expensive places to visit, and people who are prepared to swap to a city with a lower cost of living can make their pounds stretch much further.

“Athens and Lisbon are half the price and offer a sunny autumn climate as well as low prices.

“Our advice to holidaymakers is to do their homework and check prices before booking.”