Vilnius, Lithuania, Is Named The Cheapest City Break In Europe
Paris is charming and London is fun but when it comes to city breaks: give the Eiffel tower, Nelson's Column and your wallet a rest by going somewhere that won't punch you in the throat financially.
According to new research Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is the cheapest European city break destination.
The lesser-known capital came top in the Post Office's 2019 City Costs Barometer report, which estimates the cost of a weekend away in 48 European cities.
It includes the price of two nights in a three-star hotel and living costs including the price of a glass of wine, three-course dinner and entry to an art gallery (so basically the essentials apart from the inevitable blister plasters and Alka seltzer).
Vilnius's total came to a modest £147.35, which is down 11 per cent since last year's results.
So what can you do while you're there?
Try Vilnius' local, carb-heavy delicacies. Cepelinai are grated potato dumplings stuffed with mince or cheese curd and slathered in sour cream. Kibinai are traditional pastries (a bit like Cornish pasties) filled with lamb and onion and sold in every Vilnius bakery.
The city has plenty of fine art galleries - but you have to step outside to see how local artists express themselves (and it will cost even less). There are quirky al fresco works of art across the city including a bronze bust of Frank Zappa, a street lined with hundreds of tiny paintings, prints and ceramics and a colourful mural of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin locking lips.
Vilnius has also embraced the craft beer boom. Popular brewpubs include Alaus Namai (alausnamai.lt), home of Širvenos ale, which is brewed using peas and Šnekutis (facebook.com/BaraiSnekutis), known for its cloudy amber, Jovaru Alus.
Vilnius was followed by second-cheapest city, the Serbian capital, Belgrade (£151.57), Polish capital, Warsaw (£160.35) Istanbul, Turkey (£166.83), the Romanian capital, Bucharest (£167.74).
London came in at a pricey £364.07, ranking 40th, narrowly followed by Dublin at number 41 with a cost of £385.07.
But the most expensive city included was Icelandic capital, Reykjavik (£462.61), which beat both Amsterdam (£444.29), Oslo (£444.10) and Helsinki (£439.95).
A spokesperson for The Post Office said: "There is good news for bargain hunters because prices have fallen since last spring in two-thirds of the cities surveyed, with the biggest fall of over 23 per cent in Venice.
"The Post Office found big price variations across the 48 cities included in this year's report, so it will pay to compare costs before booking."
The cheapest European cities
- Vilnius, Lithuania
- Belgrade, Serbia
- Warsaw, Poland
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Bucharest, Romania
- Porto, Portugal
- Riga, Latvia
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Moscow, Russia
- Prague, Czech Republic
The most expensive European cities
- Reykjavik, Iceland
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands
- Oslo, Norway
- Helsinki, Finland
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Dublin, Ireland
- London, UK
- Bruges, Belgium
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash