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Budapest is cheapest European city break for British holidaymakers, says

Theodore Koumelis - 24 October 2013, 10:30

New infographic from global holiday rentals website details its top ten cheapest European city breaks as well as the costliest expenses to avoid.

Holidaymakers can pay as little as £139 per person for a two-night European getaway if they head to Budapest, according to research released today by - one of the world's largest holiday rental websites. Budapest tops the list of cheap city break destinations taking into account average flight prices from London, a string of traditional holiday expenses and the cost of a centrally-located, one-bedroom apartment.

Despite its reputation as a low-cost sunshine spot, Croatia comes out as one of the most expensive places to holiday, with a city break to Split or Dubrovnik costing on average £286 and £327 respectively.

To compile the research, HouseTrip examined all European destinations ex-UK and broke down costs into typical spend items a traveller would need when planning a weekend getaway, such as accommodation, return flights out of the UK, popular museum tickets, grocery shopping, travel on public transport and restaurant meals. Unsurprisingly, the cheapest accommodation can be found in Budapest at an average of just £28 per night. Flights are cheapest to Brussels and Amsterdam, at just £69 each for a return from London. For internal transport on metros and trams, Istanbul, leads the way, where a one-way ticket costs just 63p!

Specific highlights in the research include:

  • For less than half the cost of a break to Dubrovnik, British travellers could take advantage of beach destinations closer to home, such as Barcelona (£150) or Nice (£162). Even a trip to Paris - traditionally perceived as being pricey - can cost, on average, just £165 per person.
  • Budapest is the cheapest overall holiday getaway, including over Valentine's Day, but loses its charm at New Year's when flight prices creep up. Berlin and Barcelona come out tops at this time of year instead.
  • Bagging a cheap flight doesn't translate into savings. Brussels and Amsterdam are the cheapest destinations to fly to from the UK, yet are the most expensive Valentine's Day getaway as Brits flock to the destination unaware that accommodation, meal and shopping prices soar at this time of year.
  • Istanbul offers cheap accommodation, but is a pricy getaway due to high prices on alcohol and flights. Lisbon is also highly affected by flight costs. The Portuguese capital offers cheap accommodation, dining and supermarket shopping, but loses out once travellers need to pay for flights.
  • Istanbul's Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art charges the least of Europe's most popular museums for entry at £3.29 for an adult ticket. While holidaymakers can get stung in Italy, as tickets to The Doge's Palace in Venice and The Vatican Museums in Rome weigh in at £13.64 each.
  • Budapest is cheapest once again for grocery shopping with an average basket of five items adding up to £5.63. However, in Istanbul you will pay almost double for those same items (£10.36).
  • Take advantage of eating out in Prague, where a meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs as little as £3.27pp. However, eating in a similar quality establishment in Rome, Venice or Amsterdam will set you back £12.62 each.
  • Avoid bringing in the New Year 2014 in Venice - it will set you back £255pp for a two-night trip. Equally, a break over Valentine's Day next year in Brussels costs more than average at that time of year (£191pp).
Arnaud Bertrand, Founder and CEO of says: "Holidaymakers sometimes don't take into account all the expenses involved when choosing a holiday destination, instead they tend to focus on one particular element that they perceive to be a bargain, such as the low cost of living in a location, or the currency exchange and they base their holiday around that. You may think that flight bargain is too good to be true - and it just might be once you land and find yourself facing massive costs.

"At HouseTrip, we understand that one of the major benefits of renting a holiday home is cost savings. From the per night rental rate, to the fact that you can cook meals at home, holiday rentals offer incredible value, meaning that British travellers have more opportunities to get away and explore - even if budgets are tight."

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