Revealed: Hidden costs of European city breaks

Travellers booking a European city break will diligently scour price comparison sites for the best value flights and accommodation, but pay scant attention to airport transfers, which can be as little as 50 cents and as much as 100 euros each way, making an enormous difference to the overall cost.  

Paris, France
Paris, France

A new survey from 101 Holidays compares the cost of taxis, trains, metros and buses in 36 European capitals and highlights why transfer costs should play a key factor in choosing a city break destination.

The newly released research shows that the cheapest transfers are all in Eastern or Central Europe. A metro or bus to the centre of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, for example, costs just €0.50. Other cities that can be reached on public transport for less than one euro are Vilnius in Lithuania, Bucharest in Romania, Prague and Bratislava.

The cheapest capital to reach by taxi from the airport is Sofia at around €7.67 on the meter. At the other end of the scale, four of the five most expensive taxi journeys were from London airports to the city centre, with Stansted being the most expensive at £116 (€128.85) using the airport’s recommended taxi provider.  Oslo’s Rygge airport topped the list at around €129.30. Both of the main airports in Paris are expensive by taxi: up to €70 from Charles de Gaulle and up to €55 from Orly, both on the meter.

The cheapest European capital offering a shared taxi or minibus is Vilnius, at just €3 per person. The survey also lists airports that are closest to the city centre, which usually means faster transfer times, enabling travellers to make the most of their time away.  Eastern Europe scores highly again here, with Tallinn (4km), Vilnius (7km) and Sofia (10km) amongst a top ten that also features Luxembourg (6km), Copenhagen (8km) and Dublin (10 km).

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