The cheapest city breaks

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If you're planning a city break this summer, check out these cheap destinations.

Budapest is the cheapest European city for a last-minute holiday, research from the Post Office has revealed.

The total price of a basket of goods including; meals, drinks, accommodation and sightseeing, came to £138.16 for a two-night stay in the Hungarian city.

Vilnius in Lithuania was second-cheapest, at a cost of £141.37, followed by Warsaw in Poland at £150.72.

Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe offers the best value on shoestring city breaks and eight of the top ten places of 2013 were located there.

Prices in Budapest are less than a third of those in Europe's most expensive cities such as Stockholm and Copenhagen where the same items would cost £414 and £442 respectively.

The remaining two of the top five in the cost barometer were Riga in Latvia, with a price tag of £155.34, and Lisbon in Portugal at £167.23.

The most expensive European destination was Copenhagen in Denmark where the same items would cost £441.43.

Basket of goods
The report was compiled by creating a 'basket' of 11 typical holiday costs.

This included; drinks, meals, transport, sightseeing, tourist attractions and accommodation for two nights in a three-star city centre hotel.

Here's the full rundown of the total basket price in all cities surveyed:

Currency wars
The Post Office report also showed that there were large price variations across Europe and prices had risen in 22 of the 25 cities surveyed.

A weekend in Rome, for example, could set you back almost £352 whereas the same weekend in Vilnius would only be £141.

Add to this the fact the value of sterling has fallen this year and it's even more important to research costs before you set off.

What about flights?
One of the flaws in this survey is that travel is not included. This means if you're picking a destination which is further away, or one which isn't a regular tourist spot, you may end up paying more.

If you can be flexible on dates and times then it's easier to grab a bargain ticket.

Prices are most expensive during the summer months and if you were looking to go away in August, return flights over a weekend from London to Budapest with budget-airline Ryan Air would set you back around £200. If you move the travel dates back a month to mid-September the price drops down to around £70 return.

Another area where prices will change is accommodation. Hotels also make money on last-minute travellers and it's best to try and book at least two months before you travel, and to avoid school and bank holidays if you can.

You can find out more in our article - The best websites for bargain holidays.

What are your favourite shoestring city break destinations? How do you cut costs when on holiday? Let us know in the comment box below.

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