Head to southern Europe for a budget-friendly summer break, new data shows

Porto, Portugal, is one of the top five most budget-friendly places to travel this summer.
Porto, Portugal, is one of the top five most budget-friendly places to travel this summer. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Angela Symons
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Flights and hotels are most affordable in these European destinations, new data reveals.


Looking for summer holiday ideas that won’t break the bank? Southern Europe is where it’s at, according to a new report by travel search engine Kayak.

Delving into average flight and hotel prices, it lists the 10 cheapest holiday destinations in Europe for Brits this year, with Spanish and Italian cities topping the list.

It also reveals which flights have dropped in price the most versus last year, with travel to Türkiye down by as much as 16 per cent.

Here’s everything you need to know about planning an affordable European break.

Where are the cheapest destinations in Europe this summer?

To reveal where your money will go the furthest in Europe this summer, Kayak added up the average costs of return flights from the UK and a seven-night hotel stay in countries across the continent.

Madrid comes in first place, with an average trip cost of £859 (€999). The Spanish capital is known for its aristocratic architecture, late-night bars, world-class art galleries and thriving food scene, making it the perfect destination for a longer break.

In close second is Milan at £881 (€1,024). Italy's fashion capital is famed for its gargoyle-lined cathedral, which looms impressively over Piazza del Duomo. The northern city is also a jumping off point for Lake Como and Garda.

Madrid was revealed as the most affordable holiday destination this summer.
Madrid was revealed as the most affordable holiday destination this summer.Canva

Spain makes another appearance, with Valencia in third place. A trip to this coastal city will set you back £951 (€1,105). Hire a bike to explore its winding rivers and golden beaches.

Porto in Portugal takes fourth place, with an average week-long trip price of £989 (€1,150). This foodie paradise is known for its mouthwatering pastel de nata and - of course - port. It’s also surrounded by rolling vineyards that offer a relaxing escape from the colourful city.

Istanbul in Türkiye closes the top five with trips averaging at £1,073 (€1,247). Famed as the crossroads between Europe and Asia, this fascinating city is home to architectural and historical wonders like the Hagia Sophia and the Archaeological Museums.

Rounding out the top 10 are Budapest in Hungary at £1,106 (€1,286), Luqa in Malta at £1,114 (€1,295), Florence in Italy at £1,151 (€1,338), Barcelona in Spain at £1,173 (€1,364) and Zakynthos in Greece at £1,181 (€1,373).

What are the cheapest flights in Europe this summer?

Northern European cities dominate Kayak’s analysis of the cheapest flights this summer. Dublin in Ireland comes out on top with an average flight price of £107 (€124) from the UK.

Copenhagen in Denmark comes in third place at £120 (€139), Paris and Amsterdam in fifth at £141 (€164), Brussels in Belgium in ninth place at £148 (€172) and Geneva in Switzerland in tenth at £151 (€176).

When it comes to the biggest price drops since 2023 though, destinations in Türkiye win out. Flights to Bodrum have dropped by 16 per cent since last year and now average £310 (€360), while flights to Istanbul and Antalya have both dropped by 14 per cent to £262 (€304) and £290 (€337) respectively.

Dubrovnik in Croatia is also more affordable this year, with an 11 per cent price drop bringing flights to an average £223 (€259), while flights to Copenhagen in Denmark have dropped 10 per cent to £120 (€139).

Outside of Europe, China is notably cheaper to fly to this year, with prices dropping by as much as 45 per cent, while Morocco offers one of the cheapest escapes with flights to Marrakech averaging £224 (€260).

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