With the dollar at new highs against the euro and other currencies, nearly everyone is pondering a trip across the pond this summer.
Leisure travelers are ready to see the sightss at a discount, of course. But business travelers are headed over, too, trying to keep European customers happy now that they are paying a lot more for American goods and services.
This week TripAdvisor produced a helpful list (TripIndex) of popular European cities and says that overall, Europe is about 11% cheaper this year than last, but it depends on which city you are in.
As usual, the cheapest cities in Europe lean toward the east. Istanbul (down 25%) is a darling when it comes to low prices, but I bet proximity to the conflict in Syria is likely taking a toll on bookings, and resulting in lower prices.
But a nice surprise this year is that Scandinavia is much cheaper than last year due to fare wars (thanks Norwegian Air) and the declining value of their currencies. For example, Oslo has long been forbiddingly expensive for Americans, but TripAdvisor says it’s now 20% less expensive than last year.
Here are the top ten least expensive cities along with how much cheaper they are this year than last year:
1) Istanbul -25%
2) Bucharest -16%
3) Krakow -5%
4) Budapest -6%
5) Prague -11%
7) Brussels -14%
8) Berlin -9%
9) Lisbon -1%
10) Stockholm -23%
Even if you don’t want to stay in Istanbul, TripAdvisor’s Wendy Perrin says travelers should consider connecting there: “The average airfare to Istanbul is only $1,197, and that’s because Turkish Airlines has been rapidly expanding its fleet (with new planes with comfy seats and great food) and offering low fares from its U.S. gateways. If you’re willing to connect in Istanbul en route to your final European destination, you might have an overnight, but they’ll give you either a free hotel at the airport or a free tour of Istanbul.”
Here are the top 10 cities with the largest drop in prices compared to last year:
1) Istanbul -25%
2) Stockholm -23%
3) Copenhagen -21%
4) Oslo -20%
5) Paris -17%
5) Edinburgh -17%
6) Bucharest -16%
7) Athens -15%
8) Helsinki -14%
8) Brussels -14%
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Some other findings in the TripAdvisor’s TripIndex:
- At $3,236 per week, Zurich is the most expensive destination; however, it still offers a relative value as prices have fallen 9% since last summer.
- The average nightly rate for a European hotel booked on TripAdvisor for this summer is $133, compared to $164 in 2014.
- The least expensive hotel rooms this summer can be found in Bucharest for $67 per night, while Reykjavik is the costliest at $258.
- Hotel rates in Moscow have seen the biggest year-over-year price decline—from $146 to $84—representing a 43% savings.
- Roundtrip flights from the U.S. to the European destinations on the index cost $1,448 on average between June and August, compared to $1,579 in summer 2014.
- While Reykjavik has the most expensive hotels, it boasts the most affordable airfare at $1,086; London is the most expensive destination to fly to at $1,763.
- Although hotel prices in Moscow fell the most year-over-year, it was the only city to see a substantial increase in airfares (+56%).
Did you miss our TravelSkills Weekend Edition? Not a problem! Here are the links:
In Case You Missed It…
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