Britain may have Brexited, but it seems London is still one of the most expensive cities in Europe, and for the first time, now the world. In a recent study conducted by Hoppa, London jumped from the 13th most expensive destination in 2019 up to 8th. And is the 3rd most expensive city in Europe after Zurich and Reykjavik.
As a must visit destination for tourists from around the globe, London has a wealth of attractions on offer – with the likes of the British Museum, National History Museum and Science Museum offering free entry, as well as the vast free parks and gardens that can be found across the city. But it’s the cost of accommodation and dining out that bumps London up the list.
Where to stay
If you’re looking for a cheap European city break, it might be worth considering Minsk in Belarus, with the average cost of a hotel for the night only £47, compared with the whopping £181 a night for a hotel in London. With a vibe similar to Dalston thanks to its independent cafes and cool art culture, it provides a stark contrast to the towering 1950s towering Soviet-bloc buildings that dominate the utilitarian looking city.
If you’re looking for a romantic city break, you might want to give Paris a miss with hotel prices averaging £177 a night. Instead stay in Prague for £81 and explore one of the world’s most beautiful destinations.
Of course, it goes without saying, that here in London we have some of the finest (and expensive) hotels in the world. But, if you are on a budget, there are plenty of boutique boudoirs to rest your head – at a fraction of the price.
Where to eat
If you’re looking for a Michelin star restaurant, London has plenty to choose from – 67 to be exact, but that comes at a price. A meal for two in the capital will set you back on average £181, the seventh most expensive in Europe, with Scandinavian and Nordic countries topping the list.
If fine French cuisine is more your thing, you might be pleasantly surprised when you dine out in Nice, and pay only £42 for your meal, and less than £2 for your coffee. You might want to avoid McDonalds on the Promenade des Anglais however, and save yourself £7. Money that could go towards a bottle of wine (£4.65) and a pint of beer (£5.14).
For fast-food lovers, or if you’re simply too busy sight-seeing to stop and eat, a Big Mac Meal can be enjoyed in Krakow for under £4, the same meal will set you back only a couple of pounds more in London at £5.99. You’ll want to avoid McDonalds all together in Reykjavik, however, and save yourself £12 – nearly half the price of a pint of beer at £7.
Where to drink
A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a drink or two, whether you’re enjoying a nightcap in Soho’s Swift, feeling fancy in Fitz’s Bar in Bloomsbury, or heading to the King’s Road for a pint – you won’t be surprised to hear that the capital is one of the most expensive cities in Europe for a drink. You’ll find a cocktail, bottle of wine, and pint of beer will set you back over £25, not to mention the taxi fare for a 5 mile journey averaging £18.
Once again, it’s Eastern European countries popular with stag and hen parties that are the cheapest places to drink, with Bucharest, Krakow, and Sofia topping the list. Surprisingly, Venice is one of the cheaper cities to enjoy a night out, with cocktails, wine, and beer all averaging £6 each. Taxis on the other hand are £22 per 5 mile journey – although that could be because of the canals!
Whilst without a shadow of a doubt London is one of the best, and most diverse cities in the world, it’s perhaps not the kindest on the pockets. But what it costs in hard-earned cash, it more than makes up for with experiences, heritage, and culture. And of course, it has a whole host of European cities on its doorstep that are well worth visiting.