07:06 | 13/11/2021 Print
|Most Expensive Cities For Eating Out In Europe|
The cost of a meal for two all depends on where in the world you’re dining, especially in the European break cities. In this day and age where technology is everything, and everywhere, one can easily access anything, be it infrastructure, communication, or transport. At the same time, standards of living are also going high with some of the essential commodities available at high prices.
This change has affected a lot of parts of the world. We have covered some of the most expensive cities in Europe to eat out in this article which we think are still worth visiting.
1. Oslo, Norway
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Bergen, Norway
4. Helsinki, Finland
5. London, England
6. Milan, Italy
7. Stockholm, Sweden
8. Paris, France
9. Edinburgh, Scotland
10. Brussels, Belgium
Oslo is the gateway to Norway’s famous fjords and other natural attractions, so it’s a good thing that it’s usually not necessary to spend more than a day or two in the capital. Charming as it may be, Oslo is very expensive by nearly anyone’s standards, on a level near Stockholm, but without some of the obvious tourist attractions.
Food is quite expensive as well, and even fast-food options can cost more than a proper meal in southern European cities. Drinks are typically outrageous for Scandinavia, so consider the duty-free shops on the way in.
While meal prices in Oslo can vary, the average cost of food in Oslo is kr261 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Oslo should cost around kr104 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Oslo is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Social eating and concepts like food stalls with shared tables are found at Mathallen, Oslo Street Food, and Vippa by the Oslofjord. There is also a growing culture of food trucks in Oslo. And why not combine eating and shopping at markets like Mat & Mer, Maschmanns, Mathallen, Fiskeriet, and Fisketorget, or go for the many independent cafés and bakeries? Oslo also has its own, urban cheese factory, Winter Aker Brygge, which is also a proper local food mecca.
While Copenhagen certainly is nowhere among the most affordable cities to visit in Europe, it isn’t actually horrendously expensive. If you plan in advance, are aware of average prices, and spend your money in a smart and calculated way, then Denmark’s vibrant capital doesn’t have to be the expensive destination its reputation would have you believe.
Nevertheless, unless you’re coming from nearby countries like Sweden or Norway you’ll probably find Copenhagen more expensive than most destinations. On average you can expect to spend €90-170 per person per day (~$108 to $205 USD) on a trip to the Danish capital if you are a budget or mid-range traveller. However, it is also possible to spend more or less depending on your travel preferences.
Copenhagen is a beautiful city and a notoriously good-looking population, but unless you are coming from Sweden, it’s also very expensive. Hotels are pricey even during the off-season and are worse during the peak summer months. There are a few hostels, including four runs by the government’s Danhostel program, and they can give your budget a break as long as you don’t expect much fun at the same time.
Most of the attractions are also shockingly expensive, so it’s good that strolling around the beautiful neighborhoods and the long Stroget shopping street is free. There are other free things to do, thankfully.
Food and drinks are also quite expensive, with a cheap meal in a restaurant nearly impossible to find. Self-catering by going to a supermarket can help keep costs down if that’s important. Beer in Copenhagen is quite expensive as well, and wine and spirits are even worse. Again, self-catering for the early part of the evening can really help.
In between the fjords on Norway’s stunning west coast, Bergen is the country’s top draw for tourists. If you are only going to make one stop in Norway, this should be it, although Oslo and Trondheim are both worth a look if you have more time.
Unfortunately, food and drinks in Bergen are shockingly expensive, to the point that backpacker-types will find the place to be very frustrating. Everything, even in supermarkets, costs double what it does in most expensive European cities. The hostel beds are expensive, and there are almost no budget hotels at all.
Average prices in Bergen are higher than in the United States. If you do your shopping in Bergen you have to pay 1.50 times more for it than in the United States.
On the plus side, the 3-star and 4-star hotels in Bergen are surprisingly good value, so mid-range travelers are well looked after at decent room rates. Also, most attractions are free or reasonably priced here, so it’s really just the food and drink that can be problematic.
Helsinki is a fascinating combination of influences that aren’t found elsewhere and it’s clean and well organized, but it’s notoriously expensive as well.
While meal prices in Helsinki can vary, the average cost of food in Helsinki is €27 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Helsinki should cost around €11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Helsinki is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Food and drinks will, unfortunately, eat into your budget, so those on a backpacker fund will want to seek out casual places rather than the sit-down restaurants in the tourist area. You’ll find many affordable kebab shops in the city center, and if you head out to the somewhat bohemian suburb of Kallio you’ll find better deals on food and even beer.
If you visit Finland on a budget, you might want to opt for an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet (lounasbuffet) that many good restaurants serve on weekdays, between 11 and 14.30, at a very reasonable price of US$11.6 - 15.1 | €10 - 13 per person, so after having the largest meal at lunch, you will be able to skip dinner or eat a light meal.
Food prices in Finland will begin increasing at a rapid pace in 2022, forecasts Pellervo Economic Research (PTT).
| Top 10 Cheapest Cities For Eating Out In Europe |
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London is one of the most popular cities in the world. It’s home to charming pubs, world-class (and often free) museums, tons of history, some of the best theaters in the world, a diverse population, incredible food, and wild nightlife.
While British cuisine has evolved in leaps and bounds due to immigration (and colonialism), it’s still very much a meat and potatoes country. Fish and chips remain a popular staple for both lunch and dinner while roasted and stewed meats, sausages, meat pies, and the quintessential Yorkshire pudding are all common options as well. Curry (and other Indian dishes, such as tikka masala), are super popular too.
Food and drinks can also be frustratingly expensive, especially if you stay in the main tourist areas. Finding your way to other residential neighborhoods is a money-saving key, and it’ll give you a better feel for the city at the same time. If you are trying to keep costs low while having a great time anyway be sure to check out our London budget travel tips. Most people stay in London, but there are many great and cheap day trips out of London to consider as well.
You can eat cheap in London if you stick to street eats and food vendors (plus many of the hostels have free breakfast). You can find fish and chips or a kebab for about 7 GBP each. Indian food can be purchased for between 8-10 GBP for lunch entrees. You can buy pizza, burritos, and sandwiches for 5-9 GBP. Fast food (think McDonald’s) is around 6 GBP for a combo meal.
For a mid-range meal of traditional British cuisine at a pub or restaurant, expect to pay 14-16 GBP. A pint of beer can cost up to 6 GBP while a glass of wine costs around 7 GBP.
You can find tons of high-end dining in London, but be prepared to spend a lot. Expect to pay at least 70 GBP for a three-course menu with a drink.
If you plan on cooking for yourself, a week’s worth of groceries costs around 50-60 GBP. This gets you basic staples like rice, pasta, veggies, and some meat. The best places to buy cheap groceries are Lidl, Aldi, and Sainsbury’s.
A great way to save money is to get a Taste Card. This diner’s club card offers 50% discounts on tons of restaurants as well as two-for-one specials. It can really pay off, especially on those nice meals you’ll want to have. You can only live on fish and chips for so long!
Milan is internationally recognized as one of the world’s most important fashion capitals, but it also has a wealth of interesting museums and things to see and do. Hotels and even hostels in Milan can be extremely expensive, depending on the time of year you travel. This is a business city so at times every room can be jammed with well-heeled business people, but a week or a month later there might be great discounts at some of the same hotels.
The main attractions are quite reasonably priced, and there’s plenty of free things to see, but be aware that if you want to see the Last Supper you need to reserve well in advance because access is very limited.
Although the prices are not excessive, one cannot deny that the prices in Milan are high. And products like beverages, not necessarily alcoholic, will increase the visitor’s expenses. Food and drinks run the gamut, with some excellent northern Italian cuisine being very pricey while pizza and other casual options remain affordable to budget travelers.
Stockholm is known as one of the most inclusive and welcoming cities in the world. Its contemporary, urban appeal is balanced with centuries-old history and closeness to nature.
Food, of course, is also quite pricey, with even simple meals or fast food costing more than far nicer fare in southern or central Europe. Hot dog carts are easy to find, and with these, you can at least get an okay meal at an affordable price. Drinking is also quite expensive, with Sweden taxing alcohol heavily as a way to try to get the locals to lay off a bit, and it’s hard to know how well that policy has worked.
Prices start at around 150–200 SEK for the main course at a restaurant in Stockholm, but the sky is really the limit – at swanky New Nordic places, you could be looking at 1000 SEK for a set meal (and that’s excluding drinks).
If you’re keen to save cash there are plenty of cheap eats in Stockholm, from food halls and food trucks to snack bars and decent budget restaurants.
Keep yourself to these kinds of places and there’s no need to spend more than 250–300 SEK per day on food. You can find good hearty lunches and dinners for around 100 SEK per person, and there’s a massive variety of different cuisines to try.
Supermarkets in Stockholm tend to have higher prices than those in other parts of Sweden, and the most central branches charge way over the odds for everyday groceries.
Even so, you can grab spaghetti, noodles, and other basics here for very little money at all, and you should be able to put together a decent picnic lunch (bread, cheese, olives, fruit, etc) for less than 150 SEK.
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Paris is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. It offers so many things — food, fashion, culture, nature, etc. It is also a city that can break the bank very quickly. Paris is world-renowned for its cuisine… but it comes at a cost. Luckily, even cash-strapped travelers can still eat well on a budget. However, it’s important to do your research because there are a ton of subpar restaurants in Paris. If you’re not careful, you’ll spend a lot of money on a lot of bad meals.
At lunchtime in Paris, you’ll find some of the city’s best deals in the form of the formule, a fixed-price meal with one, two or three courses. Served strictly between 12 p. m and 3 p. m, the formule will usually be written on a chalkboard, changed daily, and cost under €25 for three courses. If you simply want the plat du jour, or dish of the day, it will cost around €15.
Dinner can be more expensive, with the majority of restaurants serving a cheaper plat du jour only at lunch. Main courses will start around €20, and that’s not including a drink.
If you’re on a budget, dinner is the best moment to check out Paris’ best street food. Alternatively, grab a baguette, some cheese, and a bottle, head down to the banks of the Seine, and join the local crowds enjoying a picturesque picnic on the riverside.
The cheapest alcoholic beverage in France is—you guessed it—wine. You can get a cheap bottle in the supermarket for around €3 if you’re on a budget, and if you’re not, well…there’s really no upper limit!
Generally, a bottle of wine in a bar or restaurant will start at €20–25. Beer is expensive—usually around €7 a pint—but happy hours exist all over the city from 6–8 p. m. Spirits are rarely drunk by the locals and are very expensive. Cocktails usually start around €12.
Edinburgh will be a welcome relief to anyone coming from London, as it’s noticeably cheaper. As long as you aren’t visiting during the August festival season you should be able to get a reasonable deal on either a well-located hotel or hostel, at least compared to London.
The analysis found that an average meal out in Edinburgh costs £42.80 for two people. This price is significantly more expensive than going for a dinner out in Cardiff, where the average meal for two costs only £29.80.
Dinner at an inexpensive restaurant in Edinburgh was found to be less dear – costing an average of £30 for two people, however, this price is still notably more pricey than a cheap meal in Peterborough, which had the lowest average cost of £18 for two.
Edinburgh and London both had the joint highest price - £37 – for an average pub dinner for two.
However, if you fancy Italian food, you’re much better off going out in Edinburgh than in London. The average cost for a three-course meal at an Italian restaurant for two in Edinburgh is only £59, which is a bargain compared to the £74 you might pay in London.
Brussels gets ignored by most of those who tour Europe, and it deserves its reputation for being a city of international bureaucrats, but it also has a charm that is undeniable. Compared to most European cities it’s a bit on the expensive end of things, with relatively few options for those on tight budgets.
The main attractions, except for the Grand Place and the nearby Mannekin Pis statue, are relatively expensive as well. This is a tough city for a backpacker, which is one reason why most of them stay only a day or two if they stop here at all. Food and drinks are also quite pricey by local standards, especially if you’d like to sit down in a proper restaurant near the city center.
There is plenty of good eating to be had in Brussels. Most people concentrate on the three classics: mussels (moules in French and mosselen in Flemish), fries (frites in French and frieten in Flemish) and chocolate. A few more adventurous Bruxellois/Brusselse dishes include anguilles au vert/paling in 't groen (river eels in green sauce), meat balls in tomato sauce, stoemp (mashed vegetables and potatoes) and turbot waterzooi (turbot fish in cream and egg sauce). For dessert, try a Belgian waffle (wafel in Flemish and gauffre in French), also available in a square Brussels version dusted with powdered sugar, and choices of bananas, whipped cream and many other toppings. Although many prefer the round, caramelized version from Liège.
Brussels' tourist restaurant gauntlet can be found in Rue des Bouchers-Beenhouwerstraat, just to the north of Grand Place. The place has a very bad reputation for waiters imposing themselves on passers-by, luring customers into their restaurant and then cheating them. The authorities are aware of this, and are trying to take measures. Some restaurants may also tempt you with cheap prices for the menus, but when seated, the item on the menu happens to be unavailable, and you're forced to accept another, noticeably more expensive dish. Often, the exaggerated price of the wines will also compensate for the attractive menu. Knowing this however, you may be able to negotiate a better deal before entering. However, while you may feel that you have struck a clear deal, be extremely wary: the waiters have a wide range of tricks that will inflate the price. If you pay what you think you owe and then leave, a waiter will run after you. The best thing is to avoid the Rue des Bouchers; Brussels has many very good restaurants, with passable to good service, so there is no reason to visit this street.
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