Travel Money

City costs barometer: the best value city breaks 2020

Post Office's city cost barometer comes out in the midst of a global pandemic. So this year’s results are a little different from the others. There are great savings to be made on European travel, but be sure to follow government advice at every turn.

Riga, Latvia’s capital Riga, Latvia’s capital Riga, Latvia’s capital
  • Hotel costs have dipped significantly since pre-lockdown prices
  • Countries not subject to the UK government’s quarantine regulations offer great savings
  • Overall costs are lower than last year in many locations.

The coronavirus pandemic and international lockdowns have shaken the tourism industry. With popular destinations imposing their own restrictions and the UK government advising against all but essential travel to others, there may be confusing surrounding where holidaymakers can and can’t go.

But the 2020 City Costs barometer reveals that tourists can make some spectacular savings while travelling responsibly. Our report shows that travellers can make savings of up to 26 percent on pre-lockdown levels in March.


Key findings:

Eastern Europe remains the area for great-value travel, with cities in the bloc dominating. Of these, Vilnius (Lithuania) and Warsaw (Poland) offered the best value, at £166.36 and £167.43 respectively. Other eastern European cities in the top 10 include Krakow and Katowice (Poland), Zagreb (Croatia), Bratislava (Slovakia), Prague (Czech Republic) and Tallinn (Estonia).


Increased availability in hotels in many cities helped account for drops in prices. In Dublin, Belfast and Rome, among 9 others, the cost of rooms dipped by over 20 percent. 


More than half of the cities surveyed (52 percent) have seen a drop in prices since last year, with the largest overall falls of almost 26 percent in Reykjavik (Iceland) and Oslo (Norway). 92 percent of destinations have seen a plunge in many of the prices measured by our report since March 2020.


Despite an increase in the cost of hotels, Athens (Greece) has seen all-round falls in price. Waiting for a favourable pound to euro exchange rate using our currency converter can help make your money go further.


Cities in the UK and Ireland have all seen a fall in prices. Belfast has seen a drop of 25 percent since March, while Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London have all become better value.


Wherever you're travelling, get your travel money with Post Office.  In-branch, online or using a Travel Money Card, your options have never been quicker or simpler for getting your holiday money. Check the exchange rate of your destination to get the most out of your travel money.


The table below shows all 50 cities we surveyed however many of them are subject to UK travel restrictions. Remember that you may be subject to quarantine upon arrival, return or both by travelling to restricted destinations, and that your travel insurance can be invalidated by visiting destinations that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and this list is subject to short-notice change.

Read the Post Office Travel Money City cost report 2020

Remember that travel exclusions aren’t included in these tables, and you will need to check the latest government advice before booking your travel.

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