Budapest for a short break?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions


If you fancy a short break then either Budapest in Hungary or Vilnius in Lithuania could be your answer.

According to the annual Post Office Travel Money survey of prices across 25 leading cities, Budapest is the cheapest  at £117 closely followed by Vilnius where it is £118. Why? Because the pound has strengthened over the last year and because the prices of accommodation have dropped in those cities.

Even in those countries that have the euro there are differences to be seen. Lisbon in Portugal is rated the best bet with meals, hotels and sightseeing all reduced compared to last year. But the Post Office estimates that there is still almost a £30 difference between Budapest and Lisbon for that short break. Nonetheless, Lisbon will still seem terrific value when you consider that a short break in Rome Amsterdam or Paris will set you back twice as much and Boston in the US, over three times.

But how does the Post Office calculate these costs? They compare the costs of twelve items that the average person would spend money on during a short break. That includes an evening meal for two with wine, drinks, two nights’ weekend accommodation, sightseeing and city transport. The prices were compared between March this year and March in 2013. Travel costs are not included.

There are some places that have got more expensive but amongst those countries using the euro, only two countries appear. In Paris, prices have risen by 6% and in Vienna by 3%.

Stockholm (£363) is Europe’s most expensive city with prices over three times as high as in Budapest.  New York (£366) is marginally higher-priced than the Swedish capital but a fall in meal and accommodation charges has made it cheaper than Boston (£413).

At home, London will set you back £291 and Dublin, £259 whereas Edinburgh will just be £215.

But don’t rely on these costs to decide where to take a short break. Since these currency prices were calculated 10 days ago the pound has strengthened slightly against the euro and the US dollar. And the guide only looks at 25 cities.

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