Krakow has been jointly named the UK’s favourite European city break
Consumer champion Which? has asked more than 1,600 of their members to rate their experiences of cities across Europe to determine the UK’s favourite destination for a city break.
Locations populating the list of ‘best destinations’ were rated on seven criteria: food and drink, accommodation, cultural sights and attractions, shopping, ease of getting around, lack of crowds and value for money.
From the specific criteria, an overall customer score was calculated based on likeliness to recommend the destination to others, as well as overall satisfaction with the trip.
It is the fourth time that Krakow has been crowned the top destination in the survey, while Valencia came out on top as the UK’s favourite European coastal destination in previous Which? survey earlier this year.
The Wieliczka salt mine is one of Krakow’s top attractions
Krakow scored a full five stars in the cultural sites and attractions category, thanks in large part to the city’s many historic gems – including the famous Wawel Royal Castle and its imperious town hall tower.
The Polish city is also home to the largest medieval square in Europe, a prime location for visitors to soak up Krakow’s atmosphere with a drink in hand.
Located just a few miles outside of the city is the popular Wieliczka salt mine, a staggering underground attraction, with one survey respondent saying they were ‘amazed’ by the scale of the mine.
Food and drink are a huge draw for Krakow, with it scoring five stars in this category, and it was also among the three highest scoring destinations for value for money, receiving four stars.
Valencia is tied with Krakow as the UK’s favourite European city break destination
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Krakow has the cheapest average hotel room rate of any destination in the survey, with data from Kayak revealing that on average a room costs just £65 per night – £143 less than the destination with the most expensive average room rates, Paris.
While visitors to Valencia, the joint-favourite city of survey respondents, awarded the Spanish city five stars for its attractions – praising the city’s blend of old and new, with its charming old town sharply contrasted by the ‘spectacular’ and ‘futuristic’ City of Arts and Sciences.
The latter is home to popular attractions such as the open air oceanographic park, opera house, museum of science and planetarium.
One traveller claimed Valencia to be a “foodie’s paradise”, with the city scoring five stars in the food and drink category.
Valencia has been described as a ‘foodie’s paradise’
It also scored four stars for ease of getting around, with respondents praising it as a “compact, walkable city”, with the city centre and beach easily accessible.
Valencia scored four stars for accommodation and value for money, with a hotel room costing £113 a night on average.
Sweden’s capital city Stockholm follows closely behind with a destination score of 91 percent, scoring five stars for ease of getting around, and four stars in the food and drink, cultural sites and attractions, and accommodation categories.
Visitors were particularly fond of the ABBA museum, praising it as “great fun”, while the Vasa museum was described as “unmissable”.
Stockholm is the UK’s second favourite European city break according to Which?
However, Stockholm didn’t score favourably on value for money, receiving just two stars in this category.
There was a three way tie for third place, with Berlin, Funchal and Seville all receiving a score of 89 percent.
Berlin scored five stars for ease of getting around with one visitor saying that there is ‘so much to see and visit and all within a relatively compact area’.
Germany’s capital city also received five stars for its cultural sites and attractions, which include the iconic Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall Memorial and Pergamonmuseum.
Berlin is tied with Funchal and Seville as the UK’s third favourite European city break
It also scored well in the accommodation and food and drink categories, receiving four stars for both.
Funchal scored highly for ease of getting around, as well as being one of just three destinations in the survey to score four stars for value for money, with a hotel room costing £108 a night on average.
Seville, the third city tied for third place, scored five stars for food and drink and for its cultural sites and attractions.
Visitors remarked on the capital of Spain’s Andalusia region’s tapas bars and many spectacular sights, including the ‘infinite beauty’ of the famous Plaza de Espana and Royal Alcazar.
The city also received four stars for accommodation and ease of getting around, but scored less well in the value for money and lack of crowds categories, receiving three and two stars respectively.
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel said: “The weak pound has made holidays to most European countries more expensive for British holidaymakers, but our survey shows that looking beyond the most famous destinations for your next city break pays off.
“Whether you’re after a getaway packed with cultural sights or a foodie escape, the top-rated destinations in our survey this year all have something unique to offer, from the medieval charm of Krakow, to the sun-soaked beaches of Valencia.”
The full list of the UK’s favourite European city breaks:
- Krakow, Valencia – customer score: 92
- Stockholm – customer score: 91
- Berlin, Funchal, Seville – customer score: 89
- Barcelona, Bordeaux – customer score: 87
- Bruges – customer score: 86
- Nice, Prague – customer score: 85
- Malaga, Porto – customer score: 84
- Madrid, Venice – customer score: 83
- Amsterdam, Budapest – customer score: 82
- Munich, Rome, Vienna – customer score: 81
- Copenhagen, Florence, Lisbon, Valletta – customer score: 80
- Athens, Paris – customer score: 79
- Dubrovnik – customer score: 77
- Dublin – customer score: 76
- Brussels, Milan – customer score: 73
- Split – customer score: 72