Survey puts Birmingham second in visitor value table

TripIndex highlights north-south cost divide.

Birmingham offers the second best value city break in the UK, according to an annual cost comparison study released today by TripAdvisor ahead of the August bank holiday.

An evening out and overnight stay in a four star hotel in Birmingham will set you back £166.06, almost half the price of a break in the UK’s most expensive city, Edinburgh, which costs £331.28.

The results were taken from this year’s TripIndex UK Cities, which compares the cost of an evening out in each of the UK’s twenty most popular cities, taking into account typical costs for two people to enjoy a pre-meal cocktail at a four star hotel, a meal out, taxis, and an overnight stay for two in a four star hotel during the month of August.

Emma Gray, director of marketing services at Visit Birmingham, the city’s official leisure tourism programme, said, “For anyone planning a UK break over the bank holiday weekend, Birmingham offers visitors great value for money and a wide range of choice to suit all pockets – from culture to cuisine, shopping to sport.

“Birmingham is also one of the top visitor cities in the UK, attracting a record 34 million visitors in 2013 – a 12% rise since 2006 – making it a must-visit destination for all.”

This year’s results reveal a clear north/south divide when it comes to cost – Sheffield, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester all feature in the top ten best value cities. By contrast, six of the ten most expensive cities are situated in the South of England – Cambridge, London, Oxford, Bath, Brighton and Southampton – with only Edinburgh offering less value for money.

Looking at the basket items separately, Brighton offers the best value for dinner, with a meal for two costing an average of just £54.09. At the other end of the scale is Belfast – at £73.01 the city comes out as most expensive for a bite to eat.

When it comes to hotel prices across the 20 cities, Edinburgh has the most expensive average rate for a four-star hotel room, coming in at £233.47. For the price of one night in a hotel in Edinburgh, travellers can have three nights in a Sheffield hotel. However, while the price of a hotel room in Edinburgh during the month of August is far beyond that of any of the other 19 cities, this is likely to be largely due to hotels in the Scottish capital increasing their August prices for the annual Edinburgh Festival.

For your evening’s transport, Sheffield offers the best value with the average two-mile return journey costing just £7.64 – less than half the price of the same journey in London, which averages at £18.06. The UK’s capital is also an expensive option for drinks as cocktails for two in a four star hotel will knock you back an eye-watering £22.60. Sheffield by comparison, shines again as the best value option, with a tipple for two costing just £13.22.

The title of best value city last year went to Nottingham, which this year falls a sharp seven places to eighth position, while the top three most expensive cities, Edinburgh, Cambridge and London have remained as such for two consecutive years.

“For travellers planning a UK break over the upcoming bank holiday weekend, heading north will generally offer the best value for an evening out and overnight stay, although this is not always the case so be sure to plan ahead to get the best deals,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, James Kay.

“If you’re thinking of heading to one of the more expensive cities, take a look at its TripAdvisor destination page to search for hotels and restaurants more in-line with your budget,” James continued.