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€2.11 for a cup of coffee – Europe’s cheapest city break revealed as Dublin hotel prices rise

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Belfast overtakes Dublin as the most expensive city break on the island for the first time

The average price of tourist staples cited in the Lithuanian capital include a cup of coffee at a cafe or bar for €2.11, a bottle of local beer for €3.22 and a three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of house wine for €69.43.

By contrast, an average cup of coffee in a Dublin was reported at €3.18, a bottle of beer at €5.66 and a three-course evening meal for two with house wine at €96.64.

Seven Eastern European cities feature in the top 10 cheapest breaks recorded by the UK’s Post Office Travel Money survey of 37 cities.

Its annual City Costs Barometer aims to “help you see upfront which European cities offer the best value” and is calculated based on a basket of 12 typical items, including a range of drinks, an evening meal, accommodation, sightseeing and city transport.

10 cheapest city breaks in Europe 2024

  1. Vilnius, Lithuania (€275.05)*
  2. Lisbon, Portugal (€306.73)
  3. Lille, France (€323.63)
  4. Krakow, Poland (€324.31)
  5. Athens, Greece (€336.56)
  6. Riga, Latvia (€345.63)
  7. Budapest, Hungary (€361.53)
  8. Bratislava, Slovakia (€367.00)
  9. Prague, Czech Republic (€370.32)
  10. Warsaw, Poland (€371.48)

* Total cost of a basket of 12 goods

Lisbon is among Europe’s cheapest city breaks. Photo: Getty

Last year, Lisbon ranked as Europe’s cheapest city break. Vilnius pips it to the post in 2024, aided by cheaper accommodation and city bus tours.

However, Lisbon “is still the best-value Western European city”, Post Office Travel Money says. “Despite a 26pc rise in the average cost of three-star accommodation, prices remain good for meals, drinks and other tourist commodities.”

The survey lists a cup of coffee in a cafe or bar in Lisbon as costing €1.22, for example, and a 330ml bottle of beer at €2.16.

Today’s News in 90 seconds – 14th May 2024

Amsterdam is the most expensive in the survey at €778 for its basket of 12 goods.

“That’s despite the Dutch city recording an 8.3pc fall in prices, the ninth-largest drop of all those we surveyed,” the survey says.

Belfast ranks as Europe’s second priciest city break, with costs rising 12pc year-on-year in the survey.

Sample costs include of a cup of coffee at £3.90/€4.53, a 330ml bottle of beer at £5.25/€6.10 and a three-course meal at £109.45/€127.28.

Europe’s 10 most expensive cities 2024

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands (€778.49)
  2. Belfast, Northern Ireland (€731.11)
  3. Edinburgh, Scotland (€700.52)
  4. Helsinki, Finland (682.53)
  5. Venice, Italy (€677.21)
  6. Dublin, Republic of Ireland (€673.10)
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark (€669.92)
  8. Oslo, Norway (€656.61)
  9. Geneva, Switzerland (€647.78)
  10. Vienna, Austria (€640.20)

Tourists in Belfast. Photo: Chris Hill / Tourism Ireland

The survey places Belfast and Dublin in the top three cities for high-priced accommodation, along with Amsterdam (its accommodation prices are sourced from Hotels.com, based on an average of the 10 cheapest available three-star city centre accommodations for two adults sharing a room between June 7 and 9).

It follows a separate Deloitte report showing the average daily rate (ADR) charged by Dublin hotels was €204 last year, the highest since records began.

However, a report commissioned by Fáilte Ireland last month found that price surges in Dublin hotels during major gigs are in line with other European cities.

Dublin and Belfast do offer value in terms of cultural attractions for visitors, the survey says – with top museums and galleries charging no entry fees.

They also rank as cheaper cities in which to eat out compared to pricier alternatives like Oslo, where a three-course meal for two with house wine is priced at €174.18, Copenhagen (€170.56) and Vienna (€151.97).

A separate Post Office Travel Money survey ranked Vietnam as the world’s best value holiday destination, with the Algarve coming out top for affordability in Europe.

NB: Prices converted from sterling.

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