Krakow steals Amsterdam’s crown as top city break destination

Amsterdam has been overtaken by Krakow in Poland to become the favourite short-haul city break destination for British travellers for first time.

And the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius is ranked as the best value autumn/winter city break from the UK while interest in more expensive Prague and Budapest has slumped.

Data compiled by TravelSupermarket released today reveals that the average price of city breaks departing between September and March has fallen by as much as 35% year-on-year.

Vilnius’s two-night median package price of 80.76 per person for flights and accommodation, totals £99.09 when a three course meal at a medium-level restaurant at £15.65pp and £2.68 for a local beer are added.

This compares with the total cost of £292.66pp for an equivalent trip to Dubrovnik, ranked as the most expensive city break.

The Lithuanian capital’s tourism organisation gained world-wide attention earlier this month with an international marketing campaign, which describes the city as the “G-spot of Europe” “Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it—it’s amazing.”

Searches for Krakow (£146.37pp) have seen risen by 222% year-on-year, pushing Amsterdam (207.29pp) into second place ahead of Rome (£185.85pp) in the top three most popular city break destinations.

They are followed by Venice (£204.13pp), Berlin (£149.73pp), Dublin (£162.36pp), Barcelona (£176.69), Paris (£199.84), Prague (£183.80), Budapest (£204.69) and Reykjavik (£261.83).

The TravelSupermarket Best Value Index ranks the price of a package, eating out and drinks in 60 short-haul cities from the UK. The top ten are evenly split between eastern and western Europe with Vilnius top, followed by Bratislava, Turin, Lyon, Krakow, Porto, Riga, Berlin, Sofia and Cologne.

Both Vilnius and Bratislava have a median two-night package price of less than £100pp.

At the other end of the list of the cities, ranked from cheapest to most expensive, is Dubrovnik (£292.66pp) at 60th place, Helsinki (£289.72) at 59th and, at 58th, Bruges (£265.80).

The median two-night autumn/winter package price to Dubrovnik and Helsinki has risen by 28% year-on-year and to Bruges by 33%.
High package prices for short breaks see Malaga at 56th and Ljubljana at 54th, despite food and drinks costs in both cities being less than in the UK.

Incredibly high food and drink costs see Reykjavik take the 55th spot. A three course meal in a medium-level restaurant in the Icelandic capital can cost 776% more than in Istanbul and 340% more than in Krakow.

Istanbul (£5.21pp) and Krakow (10.38pp) are the cheapest places for restaurant prices while Reykjavik (£45.65pp), Zurich (£39.38pp) and Oslo (£37.11pp) are the most expensive cities for eating out.

The cheapest place on the Index to have a pint of beer is Sofia (£1.14), less than £1.50 in Prague (£1.22), Budapest (£1.25), Bucharest (£1.34) and Porto (£1.34). The most expensive places for a pint are Reykjavik (£8.77) and Oslo (£7.52).

Emma Coulthurst, travel expert for TravelSupermarket, said: “The price of your city break can differ tremendously, depending on where you opt to go. A break to Dubrovnik can cost you 195% more than to Vilnius, yet both offer lots to see and do.

“The index shows you how important it is, if you want to ensure great value, to look at the package price (combined flights and hotel costs) as well as how much things are going to cost you when you get there.

“Consumer prices in cities like Zurich (+85.32% vs UK) and Reykjavik (+59.81% vs UK) can be a real shock.

“Eastern European cities, where the cost of eating out is anything from 35% to as much as 62% less than in the UK, are also great places to treat yourself and splash out at, say, a higher end restaurant than you might normally go to.

“Picking a less popular destination can save your wallet and you will also have the city more to yourself.

“Hardly anyone searches prices on our site for the likes of Bratislava, Vilnius, Turin and Lyon – the top four on the index – but they’re really missing out.

“As well as offering low-priced package to entice Brits to visit this autumn/winter, these cities also have a lot less visitors.”

She added that 1.07 million people visited Vilnius last year – 44,562 from the UK – compared with Amsterdam’s 18 million.

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