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Published on Saturday, March 9, 2019

Post Office names cheapest city break destinations

Vilnius and Belgrade are by far the cheapest destinations in Europe for a city break, while Porto is the cheapest in western Europe, according to the latest Post Office Travel Money report.

However, it found that prices in two-thirds of the 48 cities it surveyed were down year-on-year, with the biggest drop in Venice.

Its City Costs Barometer compared the cost of typical items such as an evening meal for two with wine, accommodation, sightseeing and city transport.

In Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania (above) a two-night mini-break at the end of March would typically cost £147.35, according to the Post Office, 11% less than last year. In Belgrade, the cost would be £151.57, a rise of 1.9%.

Of the 10 most affordable cities, five were new to the list this year. In addition to Belgrade, these werePorto in Portugal, Bratislava in Slovakia, Bucharest and Istanbul. Turkey's largest city came in fourth, largely due to the weakness of the lira, which is worth 31%less than a year ago.

Post Office Travel Money found prices had fallen in 29 of the cities it surveyed, including in Venice where they were down 23%. In Amsterdam, they were down 17%, Nice and Madrid 14% and Oslo 13%.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: "Sterling is currently stronger than a year ago against every European currency but that could change so holidaymakers would be wise to consider both exchange rates and the underlying costs they will incur on a city break before booking.

"Canny travellers can save hundreds of pounds by comparing the cost of accommodation and picking a city where hotel prices are low and where meals, drinks and sightseeing prices are also cheap. This applies to most cities in Eastern Europe but also to Porto, Athens and Lisbon."

Prices have risen in 15 cities although the increases were below 4% in 10 of these. The biggest price rise of 21.2% was in Krakow, last year's best value city, while higher-priced accommodation in Lille has resulted in a 18.8% overall increase.

The five Nordic capitals (Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik and Stockholm) were again among the priciest cities in the Post Office report. Stockholm was cheapest of these at £395, while Reykjavik was the most expensive city overall. However, the £463 cost of a mini break in the Icelandic capital was almost 10% less than last year.


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