cheapest European cities

Taking a short city break? Then a new guide from the Post Office to the cheapest European cities will help you choose the best value.

Paphos, 2017’s joint European City of Culture, is the cheapest of 36 European cities surveyed for the annual City Costs Barometer. Lisbon retains its position as Western Europe’s cheapest capital city.

As for prices for UK visitors, year-on-year rises are held to 10 per cent or less in a third of cities. And in Palma, above, prices are around five per cent lower.

After eight years in which Eastern European cities have rated as the cheapest places to take a bargain break, their stranglehold has been broken by Paphos in Cyprus. 2017’s joint Capital of Culture has narrowly beaten the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, to take top spot in the ninth annual Post Office Travel Money City Costs Barometer of 36 European cities.

At £138 for 12 typical city break costs – including an evening meal for two with wine, drinks, two nights’ weekend accommodation, sightseeing and city transport – Paphos is one of four ‘sunshine’ cities in Western Europe to rival Eastern capitals as the best choices for bargain hunters.

Lower accommodation costs have helped Palma (£196) leap to 10th from 18th place a year ago and make it the only city of the 36 surveyed to show a price fall (five per cent). Lisbon (£162, 7th), Western Europe’s cheapest capital city, and Athens (£191, 9th) have both retained their top 10 places for the third year running.

Andrew Brown. of Post Office Travel Money, said: “This is the first time since we started surveying tourist costs in European cities eight years ago that we have seen so many Western capitals provide the low prices usually associated with Prague, Budapest and other Eastern European cities.

“City breaks have emerged as the most popular type of holiday for UK tourists in the past three years and, with ongoing uncertainty about sterling, there is good reason for people planning trips to do their homework carefully and check where the pound will give them more for their money. This year the sunshine cities that have made it into our top 10 look great value, with the promise of a sunny climate as well as low prices.”

Close on the heels of Paphos at just under £140 for the 12 city break staples, runner-up Vilnius is the cheapest of the six Eastern European cities with places in the best value top 10.

By comparison, prices in the third Baltic capital, Tallinn (£209), have risen 27 per cent year-on-year, making the overall cost for UK visitors 50 per cent higher than in Vilnius.

But, while the survey found price rises in 33 of the 34 cities also surveyed last year, these have been contained to 10 per cent or less in over a third of those cities (excluding accommodation, which has risen more sharply). This is mainly because of the fall in sterling.

For full results see postoffice.co.uk/citycosts