Booking a city break has suddenly got much more expensive. The weakness of the pound against the euro means that anyone planning to hop across the channel or jump on a plane for a break, may be questioning whether they can really afford it. Fortunately, you don't have to cancel your plans in favour of yet another staycation - because a new study has revealed the best cities for an affordable break.
Foreign currency specialists Caxton FX compared the cost of five holiday essentials in popular city break destinations - a daily travel card, a half hour taxi ride, a glass of wine, entry to a top-end cultural attraction and a McDonalds Big Mac.
Rupert Lee-Browne, founder of Caxton FX points out that in recent weeks the pound has weakened against the Euro and so popular Eurozone destinations such as Paris and Rome are not as affordable as they were last Easter. This means that the real bargains tend to be within Europe but outside the Eurozone.
This year, the top three best value city break destinations are all outside the Eurozone: Budapest, Marrakesh and Prague. Budapest was cheapest overall - costing just £22.05. This constitutes a significant rise since last year (of £6.06), but still makes it cheaper than its nearest rivals.
Budapest scored particularly well when it came to comparing the cost of a glass of wine. The Hungarian capital charges £1.75 a glass. Other affordable places to drink emerged as Barcelona, where a tipple will cost you £2.37 and Vienna where it's £3.15 a glass. The most expensive place to have a drink is Stockholm, where it will set you back £6.74 a glass.
Marrakesh came in at a total of £24.27 - which is actually 30p cheaper than this time last year. It's the only destination in the top ten that has seen prices fall in the past 12 months, so is definitely one to watch for next year. The McDonalds Big Mac is a good indicator of local prices, and Marrakesh also emerged as the best place for a bargain burger. Here a Big Mac costs just £1.58, compared to £4.93 in Oslo.
Prague, meanwhile, came in at £24.58 for all five items. It performed well across the board - although prices are up £4.59.
Dublin makes it to fourth place at £31.51 - despite the rise in the euro that has seen prices rise £6.85 over the past year. Its position in the table is due to a large extent to the fact that Dublin is one of only two destinations in the top 10 with free museum entry - the other being London.
When you compare that to the £15.77 cost of a visit the Smithsonian in New York or a ticket to the Louvre Museum in Paris for £12.62, you can see what a head start this gives Dublin. For avid museum-goers, this makes Dublin a bargain destination. For everyone else, it's worth bearing in mind that other prices are relatively high - especially the cost of getting around.
Zurich is the most expensive destination for Brits, costing over four times (410%) as much as the cheapest destination. This is mainly due to the high cost of travelling around the city, where a one day travelcard will set you back almost £17, compared to just £5 in Paris. A half hour taxi ride could also cost you as much as £63, more than double what it would cost in Barcelona (£28).
The next priciest cities for Brits are Oslo, Venice, Madrid, Stockholm and New York.
Of course, as Lee-Browne highlights, the exchange rate you get will depend to a large extent on where you buy your currency, so as well as picking a destination with a favourable exchange rate, it's also important to shop around for the best rate possible - wherever you're heading off to this Easter.