Almost half of those visiting cities across Europe are now there to celebrate an anniversary or big event – ranging from birthdays, retirement and forthcoming weddings to marriage proposals.  This trend has helped to make city breaks the UK’s top holiday choice² according to research for the Celebration Breaks Drinks Barometer from Post Office Travel Money.  The research reveals that people planning celebration trips rate “a good range of bars and restaurants” as their top priority  – with Prague offering the lowest prices for drinks.

Although London, Barcelona and Paris top the consumer research poll of cities most popular for a celebration break, Post Office Travel Money’s cost comparison of 12 drinks in 16 European celebration capitals found Prague (only 9th in the poll), to be unbeatable value .

The Czech capital’s tally of £28.74 for the average price of drinks, ranging from beer and wine to cocktails and spirits, toppled Budapest (£30.20) from last year’s top spot to second place. Prague’s prices, down eight per cent year-on-year, are also less than half of those in 10 of the 16 cities surveyed, including London (£60.70), Barcelona (£60.56) and Paris (£63.26). 

The Post Office research found that bargain-hunters should head to cities in Eastern Europe.  Aside from Prague and Budapest, three others – Krakow (£33.82), Riga (£49.95) and Tallinn (£53.11) – made it a clean sweep for Eastern European cities at the top of the table.

Majorca’s capital, Palma (£56.72), emerged as cheapest in Western Europe.  Its barometer cost for the 12 drinks is also lower than in two other Spanish seaside celebration cities.  At £65.79, Ibiza Town was 16 per cent more expensive, largely because of the high price of more than £8 for cocktails, brandy and Southern Comfort.  However, Marbella in the Costa del Sol was most expensive of the 16 cities at £71.93 – and 27 per cent more than in Palma.

Drinks prices in Berlin (£57.54) were the lowest of the capital cities surveyed in Western Europe with Amsterdam (£58.14) just a few pence behind.  The Dutch capital also emerged from the consumer research as the most popular city choice for groups of hens and stags.  

As part of its research, Post Office Travel Money compiled a Bubbly Barometer, based on the lowest cost it found for a bottle of champagne in popular tourist areas. This was cheapest in Tallinn at £20.18 but Barcelona (£24.22) and London (£28.95) were, unexpectedly, the next best value of the 16 cities surveyed.  In sharp contrast, a bottle of bubbly cost over £55 in Prague.