Prague revealed as the best value European city break for culture, history and sightseeing

Culture vultures may want to consider adding Prague to their bucket lists!

The Czech capital has been revealed as the cheapest European city break for holidaymakers looking for history, sightseeing and lots more cultural offerings.

In fact, according to the Post Office’s annual Cost of Culture report, prices for six of the city’s biggest highlights have fallen by nearly 26% compared to last year – and now comes in at a total cost of £93.58.

To work out the total basket price, researchers looked at the costs for UK tourists of visiting museums, galleries, heritage sites and performances, adding up the cost of the entrance tickets, as well as prices for the opera, ballet and classical concerts.

“More UK holidaymakers are taking city breaks than any other type of overseas trip and our latest consumer research confirms that a city’s cultural attractions are the most important consideration when deciding where to visit,” said Andrew Brown, head of travel money at the Post Office.

“However, this year’s Cost of Culture report found that performance and entry prices vary dramatically between cities.

“Culture vultures looking for good value can save hundreds of pounds by doing their homework before booking and swapping expensive cities for cheaper ones.”

We take a look at the top 15 cities that made the list, including the cultural highlights you definitely won’t want to miss if you visit…

Europe City Guides

  • Amsterdam, Holidays
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Lisbon (Pic:SM)
    Lisbon, Portugal
  • Tallin, Estonia
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Motlawa river in Gdansk
    Gdansk, Poland
  • Soak up the atmosphere of Spain's capital
    Madrid, Spain
  • Edinburgh, Scotland

1. Prague

(Image: Gallo Images)

It’s no surprise that this city has topped the list for a cultural city break. Prague boasts a whole host of brilliant things to see and do that offer a glimpse into its history.

For example, take a stroll along the Charles Bridge to take in the breathtaking skyline views, or while away an afternoon checking out Prague Castle and the surrounding neighbourhoods.

And of course, no trip to Prague is complete without stopping off to see the spectacular St. Vitus Cathedral .

How much? £93.58 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: easyJet offers cheap flights to Prague from £24.49 with UK departures including Bristol, Edinburgh, London Gatwick, London Stansted and Manchester.

2. Warsaw

(Image: Moment RF)

History fans will want to head to the Royal Castle , one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks.

Located at the entrance of the Old Town, this impressive building was destroyed by Nazis in 1939 as well as the failed Warsaw Uprising, and has since been reconstructed – plus tickets start from just £6 per person.

Meanwhile, if it’s spectacular views of the city you’re after, the Palace of Culture and Science is the tallest building in Poland AND has a brilliant viewing terrace on the 30th floor.

Sticking to a budget? Take a stroll to the Old Town Market Square , which is surrounded by colourful buildings and offers a glimpse into local culture.

How much? £93.97 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: You can find flights on Skyscanner from as little as £20 each way , from airports including London , Liverpool , Manchester and Birmingham .

3. Budapest

(Image: Moment RF)

The Hungarian capital boasts buildings with beautiful and intricate architecture, so even just a stroll through the city streets leaves you soaking up the culture.

However, make sure you don’t miss the iconic Parliament Building – you can even take tours from as little as £22 including a hotel pick-up – or the stunning St Stephen’s Basilica where you can take in amazing views of Budapest from the top.

Oh, and another must is the beautiful Fisherman’s Bastion , a terrace that offers both Gothic and Romanesque styles, right on the bank of the Danube.

How much? £111.58 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: Expedia has a whole host of cheap returns starting from £64.98, which includes direct flights each way.

4. Moscow

(Image: Getty Images Europe)

If you only do one thing in Moscow, make it a visit to the breathtaking Red Square . It’s home to a series of magnificent buildings which are also steeped in Russian history – and leave time to check out the jaw-dropping St Basil’s Cathedral with its one-of-a-kind colourful rooftops.

Looking for something to do in the evening? Why not catch an opera or ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre , where the opulent interiors and dazzling performances will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into a film.

How much? £125.38 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: British Airways offers return direct flights from £309.

5. Stockholm

(Image: Robert Harding World Imagery)

There’s so much to see and do in the Swedish capital, whether you’re looking to discover mankind’s best achievements in the Nobel Museum , or take a leisurely stroll through the Old Town ‘s cobblestone streets and ochre-coloured buildings.

Then of course there are stunning palace from Stockholm Palace, the Swedish royal family’s official residence, to Drottningholm Palace which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And for something a little bit different, check out The Vasa – a maritime museum home to the world’s only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has been salvaged.

You can’t miss it: after all, the ship’s three masts tower over the building exterior.

How much? £166.90 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: Kayak.co.uk has flights on offer direct to Stockholm from as little as £31 each way.

6. Berlin

(Image: Photographer’s Choice)

If sightseeing is top of your itinerary, then you’ll want to make sure to leave time to visit some of Berlin’s biggest highlights including the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag Building .

Then of course, there’s plenty on offer for a glimpse into Berlin’s turbulent history – and no more so than the remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall.

Start off at Checkpoint Charlie , the famous border control during the Cold War, and then take a walk along the Wall bu the Spree – make sure to check out the one-mile stretch known as the East Side Gallery covered in artwork and tributes for a memorable afternoon.

How much? £204.46 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: Cheapflights.co.uk offers flights direct to Berlin from the UK for as little as £33.

7. Brussels

(Image: Moment RF)

If you’re looking to immerse yourself into the city’s hustle and bustle, there’s no better than the Grand Place .

By day it’s filled with foodies and tourists making the most of the cafe terraces and picturesque surroundings, while at night it becomes a hub of nightlife in the centre of the capital.

Art lovers will no doubt want to head to the Royal Museums of Fine Art where you’ll find over 20,000 pieces from a wide array of historical periods.

Another interesting way to while away an afternoon is with a trip to the Atomium , an impressive molecule-shaped structure that’s home to a series of exhibitions.

Need a touch of extra inspiration? Check out our guide to the Belgian capital here .

How much? £211.83 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: One of the easiest ways to get to Brussels is on the Eurostar via London, where you can find seats from just £29 during their sales . You can also find cheap flights on Skyscanner with prices from £26 with UK airports including Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester.

8. Rome

(Image: AWL Images RM)

Rome is world-famous for its breathtaking sights and being steeped in Italian history – not to mention it also surrounds Vatican City .

There’s so much to see and do in this beautiful city, but there are some attractions which have stood the test of time as firm tourist favourites.

For example, there’s the jaw-dropping Colosseum , a former amphitheatre where gladiators and performers reigned during the Roman Empire.

Then of course there’s the Trevi Fountain , the largest Baroque fountain in the world, where legend has it that throwing coins in can grant you everything from returning to Rome to new romances or even marriage.

If you are feeling tempted with a trip to Rome, make sure to check our city guide including where to stay , the best restaurants and more great travel tips .

How much? £222.87 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: Lastminute.com has return flights to Rome from London airports going from just £82.

9. Amsterdam

Amsterdam (Image: Getty Images)

The capital of the Netherlands is ideal for a cultural city break, and its picture-perfect canals make for a seriously beautiful backdrop too.

Meanwhile, the city itself is filled with plenty of brilliant museums and galleries whether you’re looking for art at the iconic Rijksmuseum , or taking a step back into history at the Anne Frank House .

The best part is that as well as its best attractions, the city offers some pretty budget-friendly accommodation too: check out our round-up of the best cheap hotels in Amsterdam here.

How much? £256.05 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: easyJet has flights with prices from £22.49 each way, with departures from a host of UK airports including Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, London and Edinburgh.10. Copenhagen

(Image: Moment RF)

Home to The Little Mermaid (well, the statue), Copenhagen has plenty of quirky and one-of-a-kind attractions that make for an unforgettable city break.

For example, there’s Nyhavn , the colourful buildings that line the waterfront, with plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can stop and replenish while taking in all of the views.

Meanwhile museum fans should check out the striking Rosenborg Castle , home to plenty of dazzling artefacts, most notably the Crown Jewels.

And for unrivalled views of Copenhagen, the Church Of Our Saviour is an ideal spot – it’s a bit of a climb but well worth it.

How much? £259.32 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: Cheapflights.co.uk has direct flights from the UK with prices from as little as £39 each way.

11. Vienna

City skyline, Vienna, Austria
City skyline, Vienna, Austria (Image: Getty)

No trip to Vienna would be complete without going to see one of its iconic musical performances.

Whether you’re looking to take in classical musical from the Philharmonic Orchestra, or check out an opera for the first time – and no place is better than the State Opera House .

Meanwhile, history fans may also want to add the Schonbrunn Palace to their itinerary, a beautiful building with picturesque gardens and a fascinating history.

As for art-lovers, you’re sure to be floored by the Kunsthistorisches Museum , home to artwork from around the world including paintings and sculptures.

How much? £281.91 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: British Airways offers flights to Vienna from just £42 each way.

12. London

City of London skyline
City of London skyline (Image: Getty)

Buckingham Palace , the Tower of London , the Shard , the London Eye , the Houses of Parliament … the list of London attractions goes on and on, each one offering a glimpse into England’s rich history.

Despite its reputation for having sky high prices, it’s surprisingly easy to have a cheap day out in London , not to mention there are also some brilliant cheap hotels on offer in the capital .

How much? £282.30 for the best cultural highlights.

13. Paris

(Image: RooM RF)

It’s no surprise that the Eiffel Tower is top of the list for visitors heading to the French capital, thanks to the impressive structure’s incredible views of the city (after all, it does tower high above the skyline).

Back on the ground, there’s the Arc de Triomphe which also offers some beautiful views of the city – and it’s just a short walk to shopping haven the Champs-Élysées .

Artists and writers may get a dose of inspiration from a visit to La Rive Gauche where iconic authors including Ernest Hemingway spent time coming up with their novels – and it’s still a cultural hub today.

How much? £287.34 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: easyJet offers flights to Paris from as little as £22.49 each way.

14. Madrid

(Image: Getty)

As well as boasting an impressive foodie scene, Madrid is perfect for art and culture lovers, notably because of its many museums and galleries.

For example, the Prado National Museum is home to one of the largest art collections in the world, while the Museo Cerralbo is packed with antiques and historical artefacts from throughout the ages.

It’s not just the museums that make this a brilliant city break though – there are some amazing sights too, such as the beautiful Royal Palace of Madrid .

Looking for a bit more inspiration? Check out our city guide to Madrid that’s packed with top tips for making the most of the city.

How much? £300.23 for the best cultural highlights.

How to get there: Kayak.co.uk offers direct flights from the UK with prices from £37.

15. Barcelona

Barcelona
View of Barcelona from park Guell by Gaudi (Image: Jean Pierre Lescourret)

Barcelona offers up some attractions unlike any other, such as Park Guell , colourful mosaic gardens with incredible views of the city, or Gaudi’s Casa Batllo .

Then of course there’s the imposing Sagrada Familia which towers above the skyline, and boasts seriously interiors just as dazzling as its exterior.

To you an extra helping hand we’ve also put together a guide to the city including cheap stays, bargain tips and insider’s tricks .