Sterling deals: Top 10 cheapest European holiday destinations

As the Easter break arrives, Brits will be heading abroad for affordable holidays, as the exchange rate between the pound and the euro spells some sterling deals. According to research from Post Office Travel Money, prices have fallen in three-quarters of cities surveyed, as the strong pound boosts spending power across the continent.

Spending power has risen 22 per cent compared to a year ago, to be exact, the equivalent of £90 extra per £500, prompting a surge in demand for city breaks over beach holidays. Where can you find the best bargain for a weekend away? We round up the cheapest European getaways.


1. Vilnius, Lithuania

Cost of typical city break: £100.04

Photo: Mantas Volungevicius

Lithuanian capital Vilnius, the newest eurozone member, tops the Post Office chart, after registering a fall of over 15 per cent year-on-year in the overall cost of the barometer basket.

A three-course evening meal for two with wine, drinks, two nights’ accommodation, airport transfers, sightseeing attractions and city transport can be yours for just £100.04. This makes Vilnius under half the price of traditional favourites, such as Paris (£261.39), Rome (£276.83) and Amsterdam (£288.66).


2. Budapest, Hungary

Cost of typical city break: £119.77

Photo: Frank Schmidt

Hungarian capital Budapest is a budget favourite, with a typical getaway for two days costs just under £120. Accommodation is especially affordable, costing just £51 for two nights, ahead of Athens and Dubrovnik.


3. Riga, Latvia

Cost of typical city break: £120.39

Photo: Liber

Looking for the cheapest place to stay? Riga has seen prices fall 18.8 per cent, the biggest drop in the top 10. As a result, a two night stay in a three-star hotel in April will cost just £36, under half the cost in 20 other cities and a quarter of th ecost in Rome (£155).


4. Tallinn, Estonia

Cost of typical city break: £131.28

Photo: Dennis Jarvis

Hot in the heels of its Baltic counterpart is Estonian capital Tallinn, where costs have fallen 11.5 per cent year-on-year. Travel is particularly cheap here, with 48-hour travel cards costing under £4. By comparison, a Venice travel card costs over £22.


5. Athens, Greece

Cost of typical city break: £131.35

Photo: Dorena-wm

Greece’s economy may be struggling, with reforms and further bailouts still under negotiation, but the country’has never been more affordable for overseas visitors: eating out costs just £29.15 for two in the capital. With prices overall in Athens over half the price of Amsterdam, it is the cheapest city in Western Europe, beating Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.


6. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Cost of typical city break: £139.83

Photo: Trishhartmann

Dubrovnik is another eastern European city that has moved up the best value ratings on the back of low meal costs. At £32.52 for two, these are down 30 per cent and, together with the strong pound, have led to a 13.4 per cent barometer price fall. This takes the Croatian city to sixth place from eighth a year ago – good news for Game of Thrones fans hoping to see where the series was shot.


7. Prague, Czech Republic

Cost of typical city break: £141.24

Photo: Nitin29

Prague has dropped down the table, mostly thanks to housing and sightseeing costs, but remains more popular than ever as a budget holiday option. Despite being located outside of the euro, the country is the cheapest for food and drinks, with Czech koruna down in value over 20 per cent against sterling. Eating out now costs just £23.94 for two, while a bottle of beer is £1.13 and a coffee or Coca-Cola are £1.08 each.


8. Lisbon, Portugal

Cost of typical city break: £141.37

Photo: Pedrosimoes7

Portugal’s capital was once the cheapest city in Western Europe. Even with the euro’s plunging value, though, it has been overtaken by Athens in the cheap stakes. Nonetheless, it is still a competitive place to consider, with the average getaway costing £141.37, almost half the price of a trip to Rome (£276.83).


9. Krakow, Poland

Cost of typical city break: £144.96

Photo: Atheist_Lenses

Krakow (£144.96) was surveyed by the Post Office for the first time this year and proved itself more than just a popular stag do and hen night destination. Airport-city centre transfers are £2 or less in Krakow, while entry to three cultural attractions costs just £8.54, compared to £33.63 in Amsterdam.


10. Strasbourg, France

Cost of typical city break: £169.60

Photo: Fr Antunes

France may not sound like a budget holiday destination, but it depends where you decide to visit. The favourable exchange rate with the pound has seen a growing number of Brits return to the country for property, particularly in Paris and the Riviera. For tourists, though, the French capital will set them back £261.39. Strasbourg, on the other hand, costs just £169,60, more than a third cheaper.


Where not to visit?

Where should Brits avoid booking? New York costs £370,56, with the pound worth 9.4 per cent less against the dollar year-on-year, while Stockholm (£311.01) is Europe’s most expensive city for the third year running. Even Scandinavia, though, is now 25 per cent weaker than against the strong pound, with prices for visitors down over 14 per cent.

Even in the more expensive locations, argus Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, it’s a win/win situation: “Prices are down in the majority of cities we surveyed, thanks to the soaring value of sterling. However, prices continue to vary significantly in different cities so it makes sense to do some holiday homework before taking the plunge.

“Remember that the cost of meals and drinks will need to be added into the spending budget as city breaks are never All Inclusive holidays. Over the course of a two or three-night break, these can make a big difference to the cost of a city break.”