Athens ranked cheapest location in Europe for city break

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The Guardian

Athens has been ranked the cheapest location for a city break on the continent, ahead of traditional budget-friendly eastern European destinations.

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 2021.

The bill for expenses including two nights’ hotel accommodation for a couple, meals, attraction tickets and local transport fares, came to £207, compared with £218 in the runner-up, Lisbon.

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

It marks the first time in 15 years of the Post Office running its analysis that a city in western Europe has been found to be the cheapest.

Nick Boden, the head of Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for a quarter of UK foreign exchange transactions, said: “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.”

Standout 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.

More than two in five of those planning trips abroad will be taking a city break, according to Post Office Travel Money, making it the most popular type of overseas holiday for the fifth consecutive year,

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

Boden said: “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.”

Accommodation costs surged across Europe earlier this year as demand surpassed pre-pandemic levels following the relaxation of travel restrictions.

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

They are Stockholm (£421), Paris (£423), Dublin (£436), Copenhagen (£456), Venice (£457) and Amsterdam (£593).

Separate research by Post Office Travel Money published in July found that Sunny Beach in Bulgaria and Marmaris in Turkey are the joint cheapest of 16 popular European resorts for a summer holiday.

September 3, 2022 at 11:57AM Euan O’Byrne Mulligan

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