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How to save on a trip to Europe this summer

University Library in Bucharest, Romania
Priceoftravel.com has released its annual list of what it costs to spend a day in a whack of European cities. There’s a real science to it, as they look for cheap three-star hotels that have mostly positive online reviews and tally up the cost of one night’s stay (based on double occupancy). They also add in two short cab rides, one cultural attraction, three higher-end restaurants that are still ranked as “budget” and three drinks.

Based on those factors it’s amazing how much the cost of a day in Europe can vary. In Bucharest, arguably not a chart topper on most people’s list, it costs $43.80 (all figures U.S.) for a full day. In Sofia, which I’ve read has some pretty cool architecture, it’s $44.21. Kiev, which I don’t think many tourists are heading to these days, costs $46.35 per day.

I found a couple surprises in the chart, mostly that St. Petersburg, Russia, would be only $50.49 per day and that the Greek islands were listed at just $69.49 per day. No doubt the falling value of the Russian ruble and the economic issues in Greece have something to do with those numbers.

London is a great city, but a trip there will cost you a lot more than visiting, say, Budapest.

London is a great city, but a trip there will cost you a lot more than visiting, say, Budapest.


It’s not surprising to see cities in Scandinavia and Switzerland topping the expensive side of the chart. According to Priceoftravel.com, a full day in Zurich will cost you $216.59. That’s more than four times the cost of a day in Bucharest and more than double the price of a day in Lisbon, Berlin, Madrid, Istanbul or Ljubljana. (More on Ljubljana below.)

For those of you keeping score at home, here’s the full chart on what it costs for a day in 56 European cities, according to Priceoftravel.com, with the cheapest cities at the top of the list.

1. Bucharest, $43.80
2. Sofia, Bulgaria, $44.71
3. Kiev, $46.35
4. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic, $49.10
5. Sarajevo, $50
6. St. Petersburg, $50.48
7. Budapest, $51.06
8. Krakow, $52.36
9. Belgrade $53.52
10. Split, Croatia $62.08
11. Zagreb, Croatia, $64.92
12. Vilnius, Lithuania, $65.88
13. Bratislava, Slovakia, $68.39
14. Santorini and the Greek Islands, $69.49
15. Riga, Latvia, $69.94
16. Tenerife, Canary Islands, $70.05
17. Prague, $74.67
18. Istanbul, $77.07
19. Warsaw, $77.66
20. Moscow, $77.71
21. Ljubljana, $81.28
22. Naples, $88.60
23. Athens, $88.75
24. Tallinn, Estonia, $89.61
25. Madrid, $90.63
26. Ibiza, Spain, $92.95
27. Dubrovnik, $94.87
28. Lisbon, $96.10
29. Berlin, $105.27
30. Valletta, Malta, $106.78
31. Milan, $108.56
32. Bruges, $115.63
33. Salzburg, $117.08
34. Dublin, $118.15
35. Barcelona, $120.14
36. Hamburg, $120.86
37. Brussels, $124.02
38. Nice $124.23
39. Edinburgh, $125.76
40. Vienna, $128.65
41. Reykjavik, $128.72
42. Florence, $133.94
43. Rome, $134.51
44. Munich, $134.81
45. Amsterdam $135.14
46. Luxembourg City, $141.68
47. Oslo, $145.02
48. Helsinki, $150
49. Copenhagen, $153.56
50. Paris, $165.44
51. Venice,, $173.80
52. Interlaken, Switzerland, $176.27
53. London, $179.58
54. Stockholm, $183.27
55. Bergen, Norway, $211.45
56. Zurich, $216.59

JIM’S DESTINATION OF THE DAY

The Slovenian city of Ljubljana is a sheer delight. And relatively affordable, too.

The Slovenian city of Ljubljana is a sheer delight. And relatively affordable, too.

The Slovenian capital of Ljubljana is one of my favourite spots in Europe. You’ll find friendly locals in a town that feels a bit like Salzburg, thankfully minus the Mozart kitsch. Ljubljana has fine public squares, cozy cafes, a pretty river in the centre of town and creamy, pastel-coloured buildings. Not to mention beautiful lakes and mountains – and the Adriatic Sea – not far away.

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