Thursday 22 February 2018

Dear ol' Dublin no more as city joins cheapest holiday hotspots

Aideen Sheehan, Consumer Correspondent

DUBLIN is now one of the cheapest capital cities in western Europe to visit, with prices significantly lower than others such as London, Rome and Paris.

Reduced hotel prices mean the capital is also significantly cheaper than New York and many major cities in Europe, a new City Costs Barometer has shown.

The survey is a dramatic turnaround on previous years when Irish prices were known internationally for being extremely high.

This international survey by the UK Post Office reveals Czech capital Prague is the cheapest place for a city break, taking costs such as accommodation, food, drink, museum entrance and local transport into account. Lisbon, Budapest, Istanbul and Warsaw are the next best value.

Despite being traditionally one of Europe's most expensive destinations, Dublin now comes in substantially cheaper than major cities including Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Bruges, Paris, Copenhagen, Rome and New York.

On the full basket of prices surveyed, Dublin came in at €198 -- whereas a visitor to Paris would pay €285 for similar expenses, and €296 in Rome. London prices were 25pc dearer than Dublin at €248.

New York prices are the highest of all those surveyed, coming in at €350, or a massive 77pc higher than Dublin.

The price of a three-star hotel is nearly €100 more expensive per night in the Big Apple than in Dublin, which may have contributed to the collapse in Irish transatlantic travel in recent months. A basic hotel room in Dublin now costs an average of €73, as hoteliers cut prices and offer special deals to weather the downturn.

Cultural, which supplied the hotel prices, said Dublin hotel prices had fallen by 23pc in the past year, making it a good time to visit the city.

While Dublin prices are quite high for things such as beer, soft drinks, meals out and airport transfers, the capital does offer visitors a good deal on visiting some of its popular cultural attractions.

For example, entrance is free to the National Gallery and the National Museum whereas similar attractions in other cities can cost more than €10 -- although economist Colm McCarthy recommended in his Bord Snip report that this policy of free admission should be ended.

Dublin Tourism chief executive Frank Magee said he was delighted with the results of the survey as tourism officials had been trying to get the message across to the British market that Dublin was a good value destination.

"It has been a battle to get across the value message since sterling got so weak against the euro, but I hope this shows there really is great value on offer here," he said.

"We hope that the Irish will also take note and consider holidaying in Dublin this year."

Free admission to many museums and galleries also helped as cultural attractions were high on tourists' agendas, he noted, and charging for special exhibitions was a way of raising revenue without introducing across-the-board charges.

Irish Independent

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