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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Best value city break in Europe? Old world Lithuania

AFP   March 07, 2013
First Published: 15:53 IST(7/3/2013) | Last Updated: 16:41 IST(7/3/2013)

The capital of Lithuania and largest Baroque town in Eastern and Central Europe, whose old world charm and picturesque streetscapes earned it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been named the best value European city break destination.



According to online reservation site Hotels.com’s annual Hotel Price Index report, budget travelers looking for a weekend or short getaway within Europe should consider the city of Vilnius, where the average hotel room comes in at £53 (€61).

While predominantly Baroque, the city is described as a “textbook of architectural styles” for also reflecting late Gothic and Classic domes, towers and castles that line the city’s crooked, narrow medieval streets.

Popular attractions in the city include a KGB museum inside a former Soviet prison, the Vilnius Cathedral, one of the most important historical landmarks for the country, and The Gates of Dawn, home to an enigmatic painting of a childless Virgin Mary that’s been copied in the Church of Saint-Séverin in Paris and others in Poland.

Moreover, the Gates of Dawn is also fabled for its miraculous ability to heal the sick.

In the summer, the city is abuzz with music festivals that span genres like jazz, classical, modern and folk.

The common denominators that threads Hotels.com’s list of best value European city breaks, meanwhile, is that all but one -- Athens -- are either in the Baltic States or in Eastern Europe.

The Hotel Price Index looked at more than 155,000 properties around the world from 2012.

Here are the top 10 Best Value European City Break Destinations, with average 2012 hotel price:

1.      Vilnius, Lithuania (£53)
2.      Riga, Latvia (£54)
3.      Krakow, Poland (£61)
4.      Bratislava (£62)
5.      Budapest, Hungary (£64)
6.      Tallinn, Estonia, (£68)
7.      Prague, Czech Republic (£71)
8.      Warsaw, Poland (£71)
9.      Athens, Greece (£72)
10.    Bucharest, Romania (£73)


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