Europe’s ‘most affordable city’ has £1.37 beers and hotels from £89

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    Athens, the capital city of Greece, has been named the top spot in Europe for tourists to visit in 2023 thanks to its affordable prices. The historic city is filled with incredible sights to see and food and drink to indulge in – but it seems it’s also pretty cheap!

    A study by Holiday Cars looked at the average price of a number of commonly purchased holiday items. These included a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer at a bar, a soft drink, a glass of wine, a three course meal for two and a return airport bus.

    The research also calculated the cost of a 48-hour travel card, a sightseeing bus tour, the top heritage attraction, top museum, top art gallery and the cost of two nights in a three-star hotel across a weekend. They then determined which cities were the best value – and added that to the things to do, culture, history and food on offer.

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    All of this allowed them to find out the top spot for holidaymakers to visit in Europe – and Athens came out on top. The city is bursting at the seams with historical monuments from Temple of Olympian Zeus to the Ancient Agora of Athens, and the Acropolis. Entrance to the Acropolis – perhaps the city’s most famous attraction – is a fairly pricy £17. But, you can spend hours exploring the ancient ruins and taking in the city views.

    Plus, while some of the historical sights may be costly this is balanced out by the most affordable food and accommodation. It ranked the cheapest for a three-course evening meal for two – including house wine (£38.96), a sightseeing city bus tour (£17.32), and a weekend stay for two at a 3-star hotel (£89).

    The total cost of a weekend in Athens was £207.18. This included the cost of a top museum at an average of £8.66 while an art gallery was priced at £6.93. A return airport transfer was just £9.52 while a soft drink cost £2.16 and coffee was priced at £2.60.

    According to Price of Travel, a beer at a local shop will set you back around £1.37 while it’s a little more expensive at a bar between £3.68 and £5.26. But, Athens is interesting enough that you can visit for a weekend and want to go back pretty much straight away.

    On top of the historic sights there are a number of fantastic museums from the National Archaeological Museum to the Museum of Ancient Greece and the Museum of Cycladic Art. Those looking for something a bit more quirky to do can head to the Roman tomb in Zara – an ancient Roman burial site hidden in the basement of the clothing store. Alternatively, there’s an incredible statue called the Fallen Aviators’ Monument which features a likeness of Icarus and honours the country’s fallen pilots.

    The Gennadium Library contains a sprawling collection of books and manuscripts about Ancient Greece while the Numismatic Museum contains one of the greatest collections of coins in the world. Or you can walk through the panathenaic stadium passing where ancient gladiators once walked underground.

    Those looking for a great night out can try Bar 42 in Syntagma – a gorgeous bar where the cocktails are all inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy including syrups, flavoured ices and unusual ingredients.

    You can also try Bios in Kerameikos which combines a rooftop bar with a cinema, exhibition area and underground club. You’ll sit on beach chairs, metal barrels and benches while you sip your drinks.

    Meanwhile Speakeasy also in Syntagma is hidden away underground just like the secret bars of the prohibition era. It’s a 1930s style and there are plenty of delicious cocktails and jazz and swing music.

    Top five best value European cities:

    1. Athens, Greece
    2. Lisbon, Portugal
    3. Kraków, Poland
    4. Riga, Latvia
    5. Budapest, Hungary

    You can find out more on

    • Greece holidays

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