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At last ... cheaper Dublin loses its tag as rip off capital

DUBLIN'S is no longer one of Europe’s most expensive capital cities.

It is now one of the cheapest major cities in Western Europe, with prices in places like Barcelona, Rome and London significantly higher, a new survey shows.

The City Costs Barometer sampled costs in 15 city break destinations, revealing that Prague has the lowest prices.

However, Dublin came out cheapest for cultural activities, along with Bruges, Lisbon, Copenhagen and Berlin.

Lower hotel prices mean our capital is also significantly better value than New York.

Lisbon, Budapest, Istanbul and Warsaw were the next best value after Prague.

This survey by the UK Post Office took into account costs like accommodation, food, drink and local transport.

A basket of goods, which includes a cup of coffee, a lager, a three course meal and a 48-hour travel card, costs €199 in Dublin.

However, a visitor to Paris would pay €286.83 for a similar basket and €297.98 in Rome.

The price in London was £218.20 (€249.15). Prague came in at £106.17 (€121.25).

The price of a three-star hotel is nearly €100 more expensive per night in New York than in Dublin, with a room here costing €73 for two people sharing.

"The report examined the price of typical tourist items like drinks and meals out, together with three-star city centre hotel accommodation, airport transfers, city travel and cultural sightseeing costs," it stated.

It added: "The Post Office also surveyed the costs of visits to art galleries, museums and top heritage attractions, finding that culture comes cheapest in Dublin, Berlin, Bruges, Lisbon and Copenhagen -- but costs most in Barcelona."

Hotel room rates in Dublin have fallen by 23pc in the past year, according to Hotels.com.

Alison Couper, communications director with the website, said tourists should take advantage while they can.

She said it is "a great time" to visit Dublin "as hotels there have not been so affordable for years". Ms Couper added that Dublin hoteliers have been offering "great rates and promotions" to attract customers during the recession.

Sarah Munro, head of travel money at the UK Post Office, said: "We found big price differences between cities and in cash-strapped times tourists can make their pounds stretch further by picking one of Europe's cheaper capitals, like Prague or Lisbon."