Belfast Telegraph

Belfast one of the best value cities in Europe: survey

Belfast has some of the best value three-star hotels in Europe and the cheapest cultural attractions on the continent, according to a new survey.

And improved currency rates are making European cities more affordable for British tourists, a survey by Post Office Travel Money showed.

The pound is now stronger than it was a year ago against the euro and also non-euro currencies — such as the Hungarian forint, the Turkish lira and the Polish zloty — according to the latest figures.

Of 23 city-break destinations across Europe and the USA, the Latvian capital of Riga offers the best value in terms of travel, one-night accommodation, meals, drinks and sightseeing.

Holiday costs in Riga total £121.47. This compares with the most expensive European city surveyed, Stockholm (£298.27) and with the the highest-priced destination, New York (£331.33).

The second-best value European city is Budapest (£129.72) where the pound is 19.5% higher against the forint than a year ago.

The next best value city is Tallinn in Estonia (£134.83). Costs in Belfast are £172.80, while Dublin is £174.15.

Budapest is the cheapest city to eat out, while Lisbon has the best-value light refreshments. Riga, Tallinn and Belfast have the cheapest three-star hotels — Boston and New York have the most-expensive. Cultural sightseeing is cheapest in Belfast and Dublin, but similar trips in Barcelona cost five times as much.

Post Office Travel Money head Andrew Brown said: “Our figures clearly show how the prices tourists pay on a city break are linked to the value of sterling against individual currencies.

“In Budapest local prices are level with those a year ago but costs for UK tourists have fallen.”

Alison Couper of Hotels.com said: “While room rates are moving up in eastern Europe, some of the lowest increases, even decreases, have been in the eurozone.

“Prices are down in Berlin and almost static in Lisbon, helping keep both cities competitive. Price rises have been minimal too in Paris and Rome, helped by the stronger pound. Closer to home, tourist hotels are very reasonably-priced in both Dublin and Belfast.”

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