No place like home for British.
Sunday, 14th September 2008
Source : PriceRunner.
London is the most popular European city amongst British travellers - despite the fact that the capital is ranked as the second most expensive city in the world, it attracts three times the number of visitors to its Northern counterpart, Manchester.

Other popular cities in the UK include Edinburgh, Glasgow and even Birmingham, which appeals to Brits more than the French capital, Paris. According to research from PriceRunner.co.uk, the impartial price comparison service, a quarter of the top 20 most popular cities in Europe are in the UK, proving that there really is no place like home. And, with the poor exchange rate on the Euro (currently €1.26 to the British Pound***), almost half of Brits are choosing to avoid the Eurozone altogether and heading instead for Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

The research analyses travel behaviour in 100 European cities and what can be purchased for £100, or the local currency equivalent, in some of the most popular destinations. For example, in London, £100 pays for tea for two at the Ritz and two one-day London Underground travel cards (all zones).

Escaping the Eurozone

Cities such as Stockholm in Sweden, Copenhagen in Denmark or Dalaman in Turkey are the most popular destinations outside the Eurozone and are all listed within the top 20 European cities league table. In Dalaman, for example, the equivalent of only £10 (24.47 Turkish Lira) will buy two adult tickets to visit the famous mud baths of Dalyan by boat.

Scandinavia is a fashionable choice of travel destination, particularly Sweden and Denmark. But, it's not surprising that Norway, ranked as the most expensive city in the world**, does not get a mention in the PriceRunner league table.

With little reliance on the Euro, Eastern Europe is also a must for budget travellers, with the most popular cities including Sofia and Burgas in Bulgaria or Prague in the Czech Republic. In Sofia, entry to the local zoo for two adults costs the equivalent of only 81 pence (2 Lev), while two visitors to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will pay almost £16 (€20). Dublin is the sixth most expensive city** with two pints of Guinness costing visitors a dizzying £8 (€10).

Poland is in vogue with both Warsaw and Krakow making it into the top 100 most popular cities. At 23 percent cheaper than the international average**, Poland is perfect for budget travellers.

Viva La Spania

Travel outside the Eurozone is popular but there are also bargains to be found closer to home. Steeped in history and boasting prices that meet the international average**, the Italian capital of Rome is the most popular city in continental Europe. But, enjoying more than just sporting prowess with recent Euro 2008 and Wimbledon wins under its belt, the real winner is Spain where prices are three percent lower than the international average**. According to the PriceRunner research, Spanish cities account for 40 percent of the top 20 European destinations.

Malaga is a real hit amongst Brits and ranks as the second most popular city in continental Europe. Other Spanish favourites include Tenerife, Alicante and Barcelona. Proving that you don't need to go far to get value for money, hiring a Renault Clio for a week in Malaga costs the equivalent of two one-week tickets on the London Underground (zones one to six).

Portugal is another popular travel destination with favourite cities including Faro and Lisbon. While France also ranks high on the league table, Nice is favoured over Paris. Germany is less well-liked amongst Brits, with the capital Berlin coming in at a lowly number 89 in the league table of most popular European cities. Munich is the most popular German city, ranked at number 62.

Commenting on the research findings, Mattias Berg, managing director of PriceRunner.co.uk, said: "With the poor exchange rate on the Euro we're seeing an increase in the popularity of travel within the UK or least outside of the Eurozone. It's encouraging to see that we're taking the time to enjoy our own country and not being put off by European travel altogether. By doing your research before travelling you'll discover which currencies offer the best exchange rates if appropriate and, more importantly, which countries and cities offer the best value for money. Heading to Eastern Europe may seem like the obvious answer when it comes to budget travel but let's not forget that there are cities within the Eurozone that offer good value for money too – you just need to shop around".

Further afield

With the Pound faring better against the US Dollar than the Euro (currently $1.99USD to the British Pound***) travel to North America, where the favoured cities are New York, LA and Miami, is a popular option. Thailand, China and Australia are also destinations of choice outside of Europe.

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