Budapest 'cheapest European city for Christmas market break'


Budapest has overtaken its eastern European rivals to become this year's bargain choice for a Christmas market break, according to new research.

The Hungarian capital was found to be the cheapest destination for a two-night break with food and drink.

A study by Post Office Travel Money showed two people can get return flights, city centre transfers, B&B accommodation, two evening meals with wine, coffee, festive drinks and snacks for £405.

The same items would cost over 60% more on a trip to the Austrian capital Vienna, which was the most expensive of the 12 cities surveyed at £653.

Last year's cheapest location, Prague, fell one place to number two at £458.

The price of Eurostar tickets rather than flights were used to calculate the cost of Christmas market trips to Lille and Brussels.

This contributed to the latter's position as the third cheapest destination at £495, because the ability to travel by train rather than air reduces the impact of the Belgian capital's relatively high food and drink prices.

The strong pound means British visitors to Europe will enjoy greater spending power than last year.

Exchanging £500 will give people 11.7% more euros and 13.7% more Hungarian forints than last year.

Swedish capital Stockholm was found to be the second most expensive at £608, followed by German city Munich (£570).

High flight prices to Tallinn, Estonia, negate the savings made on cheaper food and drink to put it as the fourth most expensive city at £560.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: "Sterling's strength brings glad festive tidings for shoppers visiting Europe.

"Not only will they have the equivalent of up to £60 more European currency in their pockets this year when they change £500, but they will also benefit from the low prices in many cities.

"However, it is still important to do some homework before travelling because our research showed that prices are not universally lower than in London."

Here is a full list of the survey's results:

:: Budapest, Hungary £405

:: Prague, Czech Republic £458

:: Brussels, Belgium £495

:: Copenhagen, Denmark £510

:: Riga, Latvia £528

:: Berlin, Germany £536

:: Lille, France £548

:: Strasbourg, France £558

:: Tallinn, Estonia £560

:: Munich, Germany £570

:: Stockholm, Sweden £608

:: Vienna, Austria £653