The city costs just £499 for a two-night break for two people this Christmas, almost half the price of the same holiday to Copenhagen – the most expensive out of the 10 in the survey at £884.
The Eastern European city has been dubbed “the Baltic Berlin” for its booming art and music scene.
The annual Post Office Travel Money Christmas Markets Barometer, which comes out as Christmas markets begin all over Europe, surveyed holiday prices to 10 European cities with popular Christmas markets. It calculated the price based on return flights, B&B accommodation, transfers, evening meals with wine and festive snacks for two people.
The Post Office calculations of course are from Mainland UK with most of the top ten destinations not available on direct flights from Belfast. However, there is a direct Ryanair service from Dublin to Riga, the cheapest city in the Post Office survey.
After Riga, Prague came in second place, (available direct from Belfast) with a two-night break costing £592 for two, representing a 12.2 per cent drop on last year. Tallinn in Estonia was third, with a break to the Christmas markets costing £606 – an almost six per cent increase from 2017.
In Western Europe, Berlin was the best value at £631, followed by Lille, just 90 minutes by train from London, at £690.
“Our advice to people planning visits to a Christmas market city is to do their homework carefully before booking,” says Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money.
“It’s well known that tourist staples are cheap in Eastern European cities, but Berlin also looks great value for a Christmas markets break this year and Lille is also a good option.”
The best-value Christmas market cities in Europe
1 Riga, Latvia: November 30 to January 6, Dome Square
2 Prague, Czech Republic: December 1 to January 6, Old Town Square
3 Tallinn, Estonia: November 24 to January 5, Town Hall Square
4 Berlin, Germany: November 26 to December 31, Gendarmenmarkt
5 Lille, France: November 18 to December 30, Place Rihour
6 Munich, Germany: November 27 to December 24, Marienplatz
7 Budapest, Hungary: November 23 to January 1, Vörösmarty Square
8 Stockholm, Sweden: November 24 to December 23, Old Town
9 Vienna, Austria: November 17 to December 26, City Hall
10 Copenhagen, Denmark: November 16 to December 31, Tivoli Gardens