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Hungary for romance? Budapest cheapest destination for a romantic getaway

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Budapest tops European league for cheapest date for UK adults, costing £390 for two including flights. For UK adults, it is cheaper to fly to Budapest and back for a romantic getaway (£390) than to travel to London for a date (£547).

Hungarian capital Budapest is the cheapest destination for UK couples to have a romantic getaway, according to a new study.

Experts at relationship site eHarmony.co.uk and travel search engine Skyscanner analysed the typical costs involved with a date across the 20 most populous European cities, including a meal, flowers, chocolates and hotel room, with average flights prices to these destinations from UK airports. The results reveal that Budapest offers the best value ‘datecation’ in Europe.

On average, a two night Budapest break will set you back £390, with a three star hotel room costing just £36 and a quality three course meal for two with a bottle of house white coming to £31. Twelve red roses and a box of chocolates come to £38 and travel around the city for two totals £8. Finally, return flights for two add on £277.

In fact, according to Skyscanner flight price data, it is cheaper to fly from a UK airport to Budapest and have a date there (£390 for all elements above with flights included) than it would be for people within the UK to travel to London for a romantic rendezvous (£547).

Following Budapest is Warsaw, with a weekend in the Polish capital coming to £394 overall. Belgian capital Brussels rounds out the top three cheapest cities, with it costing £413 in total to take a partner abroad. The average cost across the continent for an evening out as a couple is £500.

Table one: Top 10 cheapest destinations for a romantic getaway, across the top 20 most populated European cities 

Rank

City

Price for date (without flights)

Average return flight for two from UK airports

Overall total for break

1st

Budapest

£113

£277

£390

2nd

Warsaw

£135

£259

£394

3rd

Brussels

£203

£210

£413

4th

Birmingham

£175

£253

£428

5th

Berlin

£206

£248

£454

6th

Prague

£191

£276

£467

7th

Madrid

£198

£281

£479

8th

Bucharest

£181

£309

£490

9th

Hamburg

£213

£278

£491

10th

Rome

£209

£292

£501


At the other end of the scale, a romantic weekend in Bulgarian capital Sofia ends up the most expensive, with flights to the city making up over three quarters of the £584 total cost for a date there. Vienna (£572) and Munich (£555) round out the top three priciest locations to holiday as a couple.

Without travel, London is the most expensive city in Europe for a romantic evening.  A ‘London love-in’, including hotel room, meal for two, roses, chocolates and travel around the city, sets you back £349 on average, meaning lovers in the capital can feel somewhat hard done by compared to their continental counterparts.

Table two: Top 5 most expensive destinations for a romantic getaway, across the top 20 most populated European cities

Rank

City

Price for date (without flights)

Average return flight for two from UK airports

Overall total for break

1st

Sofia

£124

£460

£584

2nd

Vienna

£171

£401

£572

3rd

Munich

£193

£362

£555

4th

Milan

£282

£272

£554

5th

Naples

£172

£381

£553

7th

London

£349

£198*

£547

*Based on an average cost of flights to London from UK airports outside the capital

Price tag aside, London is still the most popular destination among UK adults for a romantic mini-break, with 15 per cent choosing to take a partner away there over any other city in the world. City of love Paris is placed second (9%) with Barcelona (4%) the third most popular destination for vacationing as a couple.

The true value in holidaying as a couple can be found beyond your wallet though, with a quarter (24%) of respondents saying a trip away helped them realise whether their partner was right for them. This will certainly be familiar to the five per cent of people who admitted they have broken up with a partner as a direct result of a holiday together. For many though, holidays don’t just serve as a way to test the strength of a relationship – one in eight (12%) state that a vacation has positively affected their sex life.

As well as a plethora of low-cost options, the increasingly accessible nature of international travel contributes to the fact that couples are going on holiday together earlier than ever. While over-55s in a relationship had waited an average of 13 months to vacation as a couple, 18-34 year olds tend to head away together inside of three months together. The average length of time to wait before going away is just shy of one year (50 weeks) overall.

Jemima Wade, spokesperson for eHarmony.co.uk, comments: "It's interesting to see more couples taking their first mini-break earlier on in their relationship, potentially seeing this as a 'make or break' milestone.”

“Spending quality time together is a great way to see if you're truly compatible. After all, compatibility sits at the core of long-term relationships and goes beyond having similar interests; it's about having similar values, beliefs and characteristics. eHarmony built it's better matches philosophy on 29 dimensions of compatibility, with number 13 being 'curiosity' for the world around you, and travel is a great way to delve into this."

Skyscanner’s Hayley Smith advises “As the guide shows, a cheap flight does not necessarily guarantee a great value romantic city break – two return flights can be under 50% of the total cost, as is the case with Milan. It’s therefore important to consider all your date-cation costs and we hope that this guide provides clarity for couples so that planning and budgeting for a date abroad is as easy as possible”.

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