Athens and Lisbon proved the best-value cities in Europe for tourists this summer but higher costs of accommodation mean prices have risen almost everywhere.
That is according to the annual Post Office Travel Money City Costs Barometer.
It found Paris was UK holidaymakers’ top choice for a city break this year despite a trip costing twice as much as to Athens or Lisbon.
The City Costs Barometer compares tourist prices in the top-20 cities favoured by UK holidaymakers planning city breaks.
Athens emerged as the cheapest city in the survey of prices for 12 tourist services with a bill of £207 for an evening meal for two with wine, drinks, two nights’ three-star accommodation, sightseeing and city transport.
A similar bill in Paris came to £423, leaving the French capital in 16th place in the top-20 although it was the preferred choice of destination for 26% of those planning a city break.
Research for the barometer found prices in the French capital were 25% higher year on year.
Lisbon was not much more costly than Athens with a bill for the same services coming to £218 despite a 21% increase in prices year on year.
Kracow was in third place with a bill of £219, Riga in fourth (£220) and Budapest fifth (£221).
Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Britons need to be aware the rising prices in Lisbon are typical of what we found across Europe, fuelled by big increases in accommodation charges.”
He noted: “Over two-in-five of those planning trips abroad will be taking a city break.
“Paris, Amsterdam and Venice may be top choices but they are also expensive to visit. People prepared to swap to a city with a lower cost of living can make their pounds stretch further.”
Boden advised holidaymakers “to do their homework and check prices before booking”.
The barometer also rated Prague (£249), Madrid (£299), Berlin (£317), Dubrovnik (£318) and Rome (£347) as good value, with Madrid, Berlin and Rome appearing in the top-10 for the first time.
The most-expensive cities were found to be Amsterdam and Venice due to steep rises in accommodation costs.
Post Office Travel Money reported the cost of meals, drinks sightseeing and transport in Amsterdam had risen just 4% year on year but the cost of three-star accommodation had doubled taking the bill for a short break to £593.
Venice was the second most-expensive city at £457, with accommodation costs rising by one third year on year.
Accommodation prices had risen by more than 20% on 2021 in 15 of the 20 cities surveyed – with the biggest increases in Amsterdam (104%), Barcelona (67%) and Paris (62%).
Boden said: “City breaks are generally DIY holidays so budgeting is all important.”