The popular Greek island of Santorini is one of the four new cities added to the European Backpacker Index For 2014 due to high demand. The index was recently released by Price of Travel, a website that helps travelers compare expenses in major cities around the world.
The European Backpacker Index for 2014 rates 51 major European cities by price and is considered highly useful to budget-minded consumers.
Now in its fourth full year, the Europe Backpacker Index has been totally updated for 2014. Four new cities have been added this year due to popular demand: Valletta (Malta), Vilnius (Lithuania), Santorini (Greece), and Interlaken (Switzerland).
Roger Wade, founder of Price of Travel, told Forbes that Santorini was added in part “because many people are skipping Athens lately.”
Santorini vs. Athens
The Daily Backpacker Index daily rate for Santorini is currently 40.60 euros a day ($55.62/day); for Athens it’s 45.50 euros a day ($62.33/day).
The index is based on the price of a hostel bed (one night in the cheapest bunk at the least expensive hostel in a good location with good reviews),two public transportation rides, three budget meals, the average cost of one cultural attraction and three inexpensive beers (or wine) for each day in each city.
Out of the 52 cities on the European Backpacker Index for 2014, Santorini came in 18th: “Arguably Greece’s most popular holiday island, Santorini is here mainly as a placeholder for all of them. There are a few sights and cultural attractions but most people (Europeans) come to just relax in the sun during the day and drink into the night. If you stay in hostels or basic hotels and eat in places without sea views, these Greek islands all tend to be quite affordable.”
On the other hand, Athens is in the 22nd place: “The Greek capital was once one of Europe’s great bargain cities, and it may be again depending on the currency situation. The infrastructure created for the Olympics has actually turned Athens into a modern and easy-to-visit place, and the Acropolis and other attractions continue to amaze, so it still seems like a reasonable deal for the moment and may get even cheaper. Political instability has kept some people away, which has helped keep hotel and hostel prices affordable.”
2014 European Backpacker Index – Top 10
The list of the 10 cheapest European destinations and the daily expenses of a tourist are:
1. Bucharest, Romania: 18.6 euros
2. Kiev, Ukraine: 18.84 euros
3. Sofia, Bulgaria: 19.36 euros
4. Belgrade, Serbia: 20.64 euros
5. Krakow, Poland: 21.24 euros
6. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: 21.36 euros
7. Budapest, Hungary: 24.36 euros
8. Riga, Latvia: 24.24 euros
9. Istanbul, Turkey: 26.40 euros
10. Warsaw, Poland: 27.42 euros
On Turkey, it was noted that the decline of the Turkish Lira “has been dramatic” to the point that Istanbul is back into the bargain category again, and everywhere else in that country is even cheaper.
Zurich, Switzerland, is the most expensive city on this year’s European Backpacker Index (daily rate: $123.60).