Revealed: the top 10 cheapest city breaks in Europe

Updated on 16 September 2022 | 1 Comment

The Post Office’s annual report has put 20 popular European cities under the money microscope to reveal the best value – and most expensive – urban escapes for 2022. The results might surprise you.

When you think about taking a city break in Europe, Paris, Rome and London no doubt spring to mind. But casting your eye beyond the continent's big hitters will mean you get more bang for your buck. And with many of us feeling the squeeze under the current cost of living crisis, that could make the difference between a relaxing break and a stressful trip. 

The latest Post Office City Costs Barometer report, which examines everything from the price of a cup of coffee to how much a three-course dinner with a bottle of house wine will set you back, shows that for the first time in 15 years, Western European city breaks were cheaper than their Eastern European counterparts. 

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Athens, Greece, was named the best bargain overall, with the average cost of a 48-hour break for two notching up just £207.18. Meanwhile, Portugal's capital was in second place at £218.03 and Krakow, Poland came third at £218.55. At the other end of the scale, Rome, Italy, averaged £347.17 – that's almost £140 more expensive than Athens. 

Prices for Athens' barometer fell by 15% year-on-year while those of Paris were 25% more expensive, yet the French capital remains one of the most popular destinations for Brits taking a city break. 

Lisbon, PortugalMartin Krzyzak/Shutterstock

Here’s the top 10:



Total average cost of a weekend for two


Athens, Greece



Lisbon, Portugal



Krakow, Poland



Riga, Latvia



Budapest, Hungary



Prague, Czech Republic



Madrid, Spain



Berlin, Germany



Dubrovnik, Croatia



Rome, Italy


Hotels and eating out

While the average cost of weekend offers you an idea of your overall bill, there is of course a huge variation in the price for individual elements. If eating out is your thing, Athens has been named the cheapest city. The average cost of dinner for two with wine here is just £38.96.

The Plaka district in Athens is a great place to eat outNejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

Athens also claimed the crown for the cheapest accommodation, at £89 for two adults spending two nights at a 3-star hotel, while Riga, Latvia was in close second with a hotel stay costing £90. The same booking in Amsterdam costs a whopping £403.

Other cities offering cheap stays include Krakow (£98 per night), Budapest (£102) and Prague (£106).

READ MORE: The cheapest and most expensive destinations in 2022

Cheapest culture

There is huge variations in price when it comes to visiting museums, galleries and other cultural sites, with some cities offering these attractions for free while others put a premium on culture.

So if that's an important part of your holiday, check out the chart below where you'll find the cities offering lowest-priced cultural attractions:
















With many of us feeling the price squeeze more than ever, planning a trip right now might feel like a minefield. Check out our handy top 30 tips to budget-friendly travel for more ideas on how to slash the price of your city break. 

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Main image of Athens: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock


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