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Higher prices and over-tourism in European capitals may be leading growing numbers of UK holidaymakers to swap established favourites like Paris and Amsterdam for a new generation of little-known cities – according to a new city breaks review by Post Office Travel Money.
The survey was conducted in association with Airbnb.
The report is based on the ten cities identified by the bookings engine as showing the highest growth in bookings over the past 12 months.
Little-known Lviv in western Ukraine heads a list of largely unfamiliar cities, which include Tirana (Albania), Katowice (Poland), Kosice (Slovakia), Kaunas (Lithuania), Antalya (Turkey), Bari (Italy) and Alkmaar (Netherlands).
Moscow and Lisbon complete the top ten and are the only well-known city destinations to make the list.
When Post Office Travel Money researched the prices that visitors will pay in the ten cities, it found that Lviv was also cheapest by far.
At £137 for a basket of ten items, the cost in Lviv was over ten per cent lower than in runner-up Tirana (£153) and a third of the total charged for the same items in Alkmaar (£410), the most expensive of the ten growth cities but one that offers the benefit of its close proximity to Amsterdam.
In common with past Post Office city break surveys, the new report found that the five best value cities were Eastern European ones.
Katowice (third, £192), Kosice (fourth, £196) and Kaunas (fifth, £237) joined Lviv and Tirana in a clean sweep for Eastern cities, while the port city of Antalya in the Eastern Med took sixth place (£246).
Bari, another port city in the increasingly popular Puglia region of Italy, rated best value of three Western European cities (seventh, £294).
Chris Dewe, Post Office Travel Money spokesperson, said: “City breaks are continuing to grow in popularity and outstrip demand for more traditional beach holidays.
“As that demand grows, it is inevitable that holidaymakers will look beyond the best-known cities to find new alternatives.
“The fact that the ten cities that have seen the biggest growth in the past year can all be reached by low-cost, direct flights from the UK is a definite factor in their success.
“However, our barometer research reveals that prices vary just as much in the new generation of short break cities as they do in more established destinations so we advise people to do their homework and check local prices before booking to get a more accurate idea of their holiday cost.”