Prague revealed as best value city break for culture vultures
- Lower ticket prices have made Prague Europe’s cheapest city for culture this autumn
- Survey of 16 cultural capitals reveals wide price variations as two-in-five cite culture and heritage as the reason for their choice of city
- Berlin is cheapest in the eurozone: a third the price of Spain’s cultural capitals
- New York is most expensive but prices are down 30 per cent on two years ago
Prague has come up trumps as the place where culture vultures planning a city break can save money this autumn, according to the 2017 Post Office Travel Money Cost of Culture Report. The Czech capital emerges as cheapest in a survey of opera, dance, music concert, gallery and museum prices in 16 cultural cities, with runners-up Warsaw, Budapest and Moscow making it a clean sweep for Eastern Europe1.
The research found that the cost of six world-class cultural highlights in Prague has fallen almost 26 per cent since last year to £93.58 - less than the cost of one ticket to see the English National Opera’s The Barber of Seville at the London Coliseum (£96.50) or the Royal Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at the Royal Opera House (£119). London was placed 12th in the survey at a total of £282.30 – a rise of 10.5 per cent on a year ago.
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one-in-four of all UK currency transactions, said: “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 visit2.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.”
Compared with the cost of the six cultural highlights in Prague, for example, culture vultures can expect to pay over three times as much in four of the leading eurozone cultural capitals: Vienna (£281.91), Paris (£287.34), Madrid (£300.23) and Barcelona (£313.12).
Berlin emerges as best value in the eurozone.The low cost of tickets to see the Berlin State Ballet dance The Sleeping Beauty (£56) and The Magic Flute performed by Deutsche Oper Berlin (£70) mean the overall cultural cost of £204.46 is just three per cent higher than a year ago.In Rome, the Post Office has charted a year-on-year fall of six per cent to £223, boosted by a drop of 26 per cent in the cost of a ballet ticket (Giselle £39 Teatrodell’Opera Ballet).
Moscow is another city to see a sizeable fall in its cultural costs.Despite a nine per cent slide in sterling’s value3 against the ruble, prices have fallen 19 per cent to £125.38 in the Russian capital since last year.Tickets for the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera are lower than a year ago – with good stalls tickets available for the opera Don Pascquale at just £19.39.
By contrast, previous best value Cost of Culture cities Warsaw and Budapest remain good value but prices are much higher than a year ago.Costs have risen almost 46 per cent to £93.97 in second-placed Warsaw although this still means a ticket for the Polish National Opera or Ballet costs just £31.Similarly, while there has been a 43 per cent rise overall in Budapest’s cultural costs (3rd, £111.58), visitors will pay less than £10 to see Ballet Pécs in The Taming of the Shrew. This year’s higher price tag for a classical concert (Vienna Philharmonic at Béla Bartók Concert Hall, £70) accounts for the increased costs in the Hungarian capital.
While New York is again the most expensive city of those surveyed at £342.26 for the six cultural highlights, £156.46 of this is for a ticket to see La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera.Despite this, the New York total is over 30 per cent lower than in 2015.
The research found that the cheapest cities can cost a fraction of more expensive ones4.A ticket for the Czech National Ballet (Valmont, £24.21) is less than a quarter the cost of the Vienna State Opera Ballet (Giselle, £107.15).While culture vultures will pay £18.60 to see the Hungarian State Opera’s production of La Traviata, Carmen (£169.04) at the Madrid Opera will cost over eight times as much. In Moscow a Beethoven concert by the National Philharmonic Orchestra costs £24.82, but in Madrid a programme featuring Beethoven performed by the Madrid Symphony Orchestra (£73.90) costs almost three times as much.
Andew Brown said: “There are ways to keep the cost of culture down.Buy tickets direct from a theatre or opera house rather than via a ticket agency to avoid commission, seek advice on cheaper seats that still offer good views and check for free entry days to museums or gallery or times when prices are reduced.Make sure you get the best rate for your holiday cash by ordering in advance rather than using an airport bureau or an ATM abroad and never agree to pay in sterling when paying on plastic as you will be charged extra.”
All currencies for cities featured in the Cost of Culture report are available at the Post Office. Over 10,000 branches offer euro over the counter and more than 4,000 stock US dollars Both currencies can also be ordered online at postoffice.co.uk for same day ‘click and collect’ at almost 3,000 branches or for home delivery/next day collection at any Post Office branch. The other European currencies are among 30 available on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches while up to 80 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk/travel for next day branch or home delivery.
For more information, please contact:
Joanne Leahy Post Office
Christine Ball CBPR
01798 874177 / 07976 285997
Notes to Editors:
1 The Post Office Cost of Culture Report lists six cultural highlights in each featured city, providing prices researched on official websites. For music, opera and ballet performances, prices relate to category 2 seats available for performances taking place between 16 September and 28 October 2017.In the case of Barcelona, where no ballet performances are scheduled within that timeframe, the closest possible performance has been used instead. A table showing the full breakdown of cultural attractions is provided on a separate sheet.
POST OFFICE COST OF CULTURE CITY PRICE GUIDE
² Omnibus research for Post Office Travel Money by Populus (April 2017) among 2,081 UK adults, found that almost half (1,009) are regular city break holidaymakers.Of these, 39 per cent said the key reason for visiting a city was for a cultural break.43 per cent said that good museums and galleries were a destination decider.
3 Post Office exchange rates for Cost of Culture currencies, August 2017 compared with August 2016:
|Currency||August 2017||August 2016||%- 2017 vs. 2016|
BEST VALUE IN CULTURAL CAPITALS
|2||Warsaw||Warsaw Uprising Museum||£4.52|
|3||Budapest||Hungarian National Museum||£5.12|
|3||Budapest||Hungarian National Gallery||£3.20|
|3||Copenhagen||The Little Mermaid Statue||Free|
|1||Budapest||Ballet Pécs (The Taming of the Shrew)||£9.91|
|2||Madrid||Ballet Flamenco de Madrid (Carmen de Bizet)||£23.02|
|3||Prague||Czech National Ballet (Valmont)||£24.14|
|1||Budapest||Hungarian State Opera (La Traviata)||£18.54|
|2||Moscow||Bolshoi Opera (Don Pasquale)||£19.39|
|3||Prague||Brno National Theatre Opera (Le Comte Ory)||£25.62|
|1||Warsaw||Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (Chopin, Beethoven)||£16.94|
|2||Prague||Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Dvorak)||£21.91|
|3||Moscow||National Philharmonic (Shostakovich, Beethoven)||£24.94|
|1||New York||American Museum of Natural History||£17.21|
|2||Amsterdam||Van Gogh Museum||£15.66|
|1||New York||Metropolitan Museum of Art||£19.56|
|3||Copenhagen||National Gallery of Denmark||£14.09|
|1||London||Tower of London||£24.80|
|2||New York||Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island||£19.95|
|3||Amsterdam||Amsterdam Canal Cruise||£16.58|
|1||London||The Royal Ballet (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)||£119.00|
|2||Vienna||Vienna State Opera Ballet (Giselle)||£106.83|
|3||Barcelona||Geneva Ballet (Romeo and Juliet)||£101.31|
|1||Madrid||Madrid Opera (Carmen)||£168.54|
|2||New York||Metropolitan Opera (La Bohème)||£156.46|
|3||Barcelona||Liceu Opera Barcelona (Un Ballo in Maschera)||£145.51|
|1||Madrid||Madrid Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven, Mendelssohn)||£73.68|
|2||Budapest||Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Haydn)||£70.01|
|3||Vienna||Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev, Sibelius)||£63.55|
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