The cheapest and most expensive cities in Europe to visit this year

It may seem paradoxical, but a trip to Europe could be one way to save money on travel this year.

Amid a global push to find ways to save money while traveling, hotel rates fell in many European cities. Average airfares originating in the United States are also down, according to travel experts.

Another benefit for Americans? This month, the US dollar reached parity with the euro for the first time in 20 years.

To put that in perspective, a three-night stay in a Paris hotel paying €250 a night would cost about $767 today, compared to $841 in July 2019.

Cheaper flights

The average lowest airfare to Europe fell 15.1% from last year. according to a year-over-year study by online travel booking site CheapAir.com.

Based on a review of more than 24 million airline tickets this spring, flights to Europe from cities across the United States averaged $908 this year, up from an average of $1,070 in 2021, according to the study.

Travelers looking to find the cheapest flights to Italy can fly to Milan, where airfares fell by more than 20%, according to the study. Flights to Venice (-17%) and Rome (-14%) also fell, he said.

Flights to Europe’s most visited cities, such as London (-10%) and Paris (-9%), also fell, albeit to a lesser extent, while airfares to Dublin (-0.02%) remained largely unchanged unchanged, according to CheapAir.com.

According to the analysis, price drops have also occurred on flights originating from almost every major American city. One exception was Boston, where airfares rose 1.8% to $685 a ticket. However, this makes Boston the second cheapest US city to fly to Europe from. Only New York is less expensive, with average airfare to Europe this year costing $636 per ticket.

The drop in airfares to Europe seemed to catch the people behind the study off guard. They said they were “pleasantly surprised” by the results, which showed more cheap flights to Europe than they expected.

Travelers looking for low airfares to Europe can access CheapAir.com’s “2022 Europe Summer Flight Calendar,” which estimates the deep discounts will resume on September 4.

Cheaper hotels

Many hotels are more expensive now than they were before the pandemic, especially in places like the Hamptons in New York; Maui, Hawaii; and Telluride, Colorado, according to the reservations website Hotels.com.

But that is not the case in parts of Western Europe, the company said.

“Hotels typically raise their rates when demand is high during the busy summer travel season,” said Melissa Dohmen, a spokeswoman for Hotels.com. “But this year … it’s raising competition for rooms and rates in top destinations.”

In April, the company highlighted Madrid ($135 per night) and Copenhagen ($210 per night) as places with attractive hotel prices for the August holidays.

Travel company Expedia said hotel rates in many European cities will be cheaper this August than before the pandemic.

Apart from Nice, cities in Italy and France are missing from this list. Prices in both locations rose 25% this summer, according to Hotels.com, which singled out Saint-Tropez along the French Riviera as one of the most expensive seasonal getaway destinations in Europe.

Cheaper destinations

Conventional wisdom says that domestic travel is more economical than international travel. But that hasn’t happened for two years running, according to travel insurance comparison engine Squaremouth.

As of mid-July, the average cost of a domestic trip was about $500 more than an international trip, according to company data.

But this does not apply to all points. Of the most popular travel destinations this year, travelers are spending the most to go to Greece, followed by Italy and France, according to the company.

The average cost to go to Greece this year is about $7,600, according to Squaremouth’s review of thousands of travel insurance policies purchased between January and mid-June.

Francesco Riccardo Iacomino | Moment | Getty Images

Average hotel prices per night in Greece are $610 in Mykonos and $434 in Santorini, but they are so low that $204 in the Ionian Islands and $162 in Crete, according to travel booking website Holidu.

Athens is likely even cheaper. In April, Greece’s capital was named one of the world’s best-rated family city breaks by travel site The Family Vacation Guide, based on hotel rates, food and a visit to the Acropolis.

According to the website’s analysis, the average daily cost for a family to visit Amsterdam ($244) is double that of Istanbul ($122), while Stockholm was found to average less than $150 per day.

Conversely, Las Vegas was ranked the world’s most expensive city for family vacations, largely due to hotel room rates, which averaged $399 per night, according to the website.

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