Cost of European city breaks is falling – where to bag a cheap holiday deal

Published by Adam Williams on 26 September 2017.
Last updated on 26 September 2017

Despite sterling’s continued weakness against the euro, the cost of an autumn city break in many European cities is falling.

Research published by TravelSupermarket shows a two-night break – including return flights and accommodation - in Sofia, Bulgaria can be found for an average price of £70 per person.

This is 30% cheaper than a year ago and is one of many cities to have seen prices fall since 2016.

An autumn getaway in Cologne, Germany will cost £96 - a fall of 35% compared to last year - while the biggest price change comes in Naples, Italy. Prices here have fallen 39% year-on-year with an average break now costing £98 per person.

In 2016, the cheapest city break destination was Brussels, with deals averaging £90 per person. This year the Belgian capital is the fourth cheapest after the average price nudged up to £93.

TravelSupermarket’s research does not take into account the cost of your spending money, although the pound’s exchange rate against the euro is similar to a year ago. One pound buys €1.14 today compared to €1.15 on 26 September 2016, although the rate has fluctuated in the last 12 months.

Sterling’s value against the Bulgarian lev is also similar as one pound buys 2.22 lev today compared to 2.25 lev a year ago.

Emma Coulthurst of TravelSupermarket says: “Following the Brexit vote last year, there are continuing concerns that the household budget is being squeezed and that the price of holidays may go up in future.

“But, our data, which compares the price of holidays across the travel market, shows that the price of going on a city break has actually gone down, for many destinations, quite significantly this autumn. Last year, the best-priced city break holiday from the UK was to Brussels at around £90 per person.

“This year, Sofia has undercut that by £20. With destinations and airlines competing with each other, it means ever lowering prices for consumers. If flight prices go down, so do holiday package prices. Hotel price competition is also bringing prices down.”

However, it is not all good news for holidaymakers. In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser has warned that the cost of an average summer holiday to Spain will rise between 5% and 10% in 2018.

He said this was due to the continued performance of the pound against the euro, and also increased interest in Spain because of safety issues surrounding other destinations.

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