The Portuguese capital wins top spot ahead of budget-friendly eastern European destinations, according to an annual report into prices in popular holiday destinations.
With summer coming round the corner, many of us will be weighing up the best options for a trip away. However, with the cost of living crisis persisting, many of us will be looking for the best value possible.
Thankfully, a new survey conducted by the UK Post Office breaks down the cheapest cities for a trip away.
The survey looks at the price of standard items you might purchase on a short trip away, such as food, drink, transport, entertainment and accommodation in 35 popular destinations. Be mindful these calculations do not include flights.
The survey was conducted using British pounds so all prices have been converted into euro at today's exchange rate of around €0.87.
Lisbon has taken the top spot as the best value city destination in Europe, according to the survey. The Portuguese capital beat last year's winner, Athens, as well as many traditionally cheaper Eastern European destinations.
Comparing the cost
Prices for food, drink, travel and accommodation are low in the City of the Seven Hills. For example, the average price for a cup of coffee is €1.56 (£1.35), for a bottle of beer the average price is €2.61 (£2.26) and a three-course meal for two with a bottle of wine is only €44.97 (£39.01) on average.
These prices compare favourably to Dublin, where the average price for these travel staples are €3.23 (£2.80), €6.46 (£5.60) and €91.78 (£79.61) respectively.
In terms of the total cost for a weekend away, Dublin will set the average traveller back €692.86 (£600.99) compared to just €259.12 (£224.76) for a trip to Lisbon.
However it should be pointed out that average minimum wage in Portugal is around €700 a month. That compares to over €1,800 in Dublin - so no wonder it's cheap.
While Dublin is over twice as expensive as the best value European cities, the Irish capital does lead in some areas for affordability.
Attractions such as museums and art galleries are generally free in the city, making culture accessible to all.
In comparison, the average museum admission fee in Lisbon is €10.41 (£9.03). The most expensive city surveyed for cultural attractions was Dubrovnik, where visits to heritage sites, museums and galleries could set you back €72.88 (£63.22).
What other cities are good value?
In terms of the top ten best value cities, Eastern Europe still dominates, with six cities making the cut.
Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, offers similar value to Lisbon, clocking in at only €259.41 (£225.01) in total, almost exactly the same as the Portuguese capital.
Athens, the city that ranked best last year, will set you back €302.30 (£262.22). The city fares well in terms of transport costs and cultural attractions, although accommodation is slightly more expensive than Lisbon, Vilnius and Krakow.
All of the top-five cheapest cities are less than half the price of an equivalent trip to Dublin!
Here's a list of the top ten cheapest cities in full:
- Lisbon (£224.76 or around €259)
- Lille (£332.11 or around €383)
In more detail
If you’re going to be eating out, the cheapest cities for a three-course meal for two and a bottle of wine are:
- Lisbon: €44.97
- Athens: €46.85
- Porto: €60.39
- Vilnius: €60.94
- Zagreb: €65.70
The cities to avoid for a cheap meal out are:
- Copenhagen: €173.56
- Helsinki: €138.47
- Vienna: €136.19
- Geneva: €133.75
- Nice: €114.53
For those interested in cultural attractions, including museums, galleries and heritage sites, the best value cities are:
- Dublin: €8.32
- Zagreb: €13.53
- Lille: €16.66
- Cardiff: €16.72
- Vilnius: €18.22
If you don’t want to shell out to experience cultural attractions, it would be best to avoid these cities:
- Dubrovnik: €72.88
- Vienna: €66.53
- Amsterdam: €60.91
- Florence: €57.27
- Barcelona: €55.18
The most expensive cities for accommodation, based on a two-night stay at a three-star hotel, are Amsterdam, Venice, and Dublin.
In Dublin, the average price of accommodation is €514 (£448). That’s almost four times more expensive than Lisbon.
The price for a room in Dublin is influenced by multiple factors. Firstly, there’s the obvious lack of supply in the capital, linked to wider issues with housing and construction. 15% of rooms are also contracted out to the Government, to help house those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
There are then additional pressures, such as the relatively expensive cost of energy and labour. All of these factors amount to a very expensive stay in Dublin.
In summary, the location you decide to visit on holiday could make drastic differences to the weight of your wallet, so picking wisely is advised.
Thinking of travelling abroad this summer?
Now you know where the best value in Europe is, and you’re considering travelling abroad, consider checking out our travel-tip guides.
- Read our top 20 best tips for lowering the cost of travelling abroad
- Leaving the Eurozone? Make sure to read our guide on how to avoid foreign exchange fees when travelling abroad
- Worried your flights may be cancelled? Make sure to check out our article on your consumer rights in the event of a flight cancellation.
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