Revealed: the top 10 cheapest city breaks in Europe

Updated on 11 March 2019 | 0 Comments

The Post Office’s annual report has put 48 European cities under the money microscope to reveal the best value – and most expensive – urban escapes for 2019. 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. 

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 the cheapest cities for a weekend away largely remain in Eastern Europe.

READ MORE: 50 of the world's most beautiful cities

Vilnius, Lithuania, was named the best bargain overall, with the average cost of a 48-hour break for two notching up just £147.35. At the other end of the scale, Reykjavík, Iceland, averaged £462.61 – that's 214% more expensive than Vilnius.

Out of the top 10 cheapest cities, eight are in Eastern Europe, with Porto, Portugal, the only one to make the cut from Western Europe, ranking at number six.

Porto, PortugalMikhail Gnatkovskiy/Shutterstock

Here’s the top 10:



Total average cost of a weekend for two


Vilnius, Lithuania



Belgrade, Serbia



Warsaw, Poland



Istanbul, Turkey



Bucharest, Romania



Porto, Portugal



Riga, Latvia



Bratislava, Slovakia



Moscow, Russia



Prague, Czech Republic


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, for the second year, been named the cheapest city. The average cost of dinner with wine here is just £36.65.

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

For the third year running, Riga claimed the crown for the cheapest accommodation, at £67 for two adults spending two nights at a 3-star hotel. The same booking in Amsterdam costs four times as much at £270.

Other cities offering cheap stays include Istanbul (£70 per night), Dubrovnik (£76), Vilnius (£77), Moscow (£77) and Porto (£77).

READ MORE: European cities that have it all

Big cities, big price cuts

There is good news for those travelling to more well-trodden destinations on the map too.

Some of Europe’s most popular cities, including Venice and Madrid, have seen prices fall by more than 10% for UK visitors.

The drop can be attributed to both the stronger pound and falling costs locally.

Destinations with the top price plunges include:
















Best value in the UK

Meanwhile, those looking to travel inside the UK should place the Welsh capital of Cardiff – famous for its Norman castle – at the top of their list.

Cardiff CastleBilly Stock/Shutterstock

It was the cheapest of the four capitals with total costs running to £293, closely followed by Edinburgh at £295.

As you’d expect, London was the most expensive at £364. Here prices have risen by 3.7% compared to last year.

Main image of Vilnius: Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock


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