MONEY SAVER

5 European Countries Where Prices Have Decreased the Most

Greece is in rough shape. Ireland isn’t much better. Europe's economic downturn means it’s bargain-hunting time across the Atlantic. Looking at the 10 destinations that draw the most American travelers, we took common tourism expenses and calculated how much they’d changed from pre-recession 2007 to 2011. The results may alter your plans on where to travel next.

  1. #1 Ireland: The Celtic Tiger has become a pussycat. There are deals to be had almost everywhere in Ireland, especially if you need a hotel.

    (Chris Hill / National Geographic Stock)
  2. The average hotel room in Ireland is now $35 a night cheaper than in 2007.

    (Courtesy Andrew Parnell/Wikimedia Commons)
  3. This year the Irish government cut the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate on many tourism-related items from 13.5 to 9 percent.

    (Courtesy infomatique/Flickr)
  4. #2 United Kingdom: Here’s a bloody shocker: Prices in the U.K. have gone up only 0.2 percent in the past four years—at least for Americans.

    (Ira Block / National Geographic Stock)
  5. The major reason Britain is such a bargain is that the dollar has increased in value by about 22 percent versus the British pound.

    (Anna Watson)
  6. A beer in the U.K. is 10¢ cheaper now than in 2007, while a one-day, center-city tube pass is down 9¢, to $12.98.

    (Courtesy harshilshah/Flickr)
  7. #3 Greece: We’ve heard more bad news about Greece lately than anywhere else, so why isn’t it our No. 1 bargain?

    (Jose Fuste / Age Fotostock)
  8. The Greek government bumped up the VAT to 23 percent, the highest of any Mediterranean country.

    (Courtesy Stefan h/Wikimedia Commons)
  9. The average Greek hotel room ($162) is $4 cheaper than in 2007 and meals increased only 8 percent.

    (Courtesy MU/Wikimedia Commons)
  10. #4 Austria: With prices only 5 percent higher than they were in 2007, Austria is a relative bargain.

    (Courtesy Peter Giger/Wikimedia Commons)
  11. A one-day metro card for the Vienna subway is now $8.20.

    (Courtesy Tupungato/Wikimedia Commons)
  12. The average hotel room costs $151 per night in Austria.

    (Courtesy Gryffindor/Wikimedia Commons)
  13. #5 Spain: In Spain, the cost of food and a room has held steady, only to be offset because the government has jacked up its fees.

    (Whitney Tressel)
  14. Spanish hotel prices have gone up by only 1 percent (the average: $157 per night), but a 10-trip pass on the Barcelona subway is up 33 percent, to nearly $12.

    (Whitney Tressel)
  15. In Spain, the VAT takes an even bigger bite; it jumped two points in July 2010.

    (Whitney Tressel)
  16. Germany: Overall prices in Germany are up 11 percent, but the average hotel room, at $136, is still a steal. Only Ireland has cheaper rooms.

    (Courtesy Foundert/Wikimedia Commons)
  17. Netherlands: Prices jumped 12 percent in the Netherlands since 2007, thanks mostly to hotel costs. The average room goes for $185 per night.

    (Courtesy FlickrLickr/Wikimedia Commons)
  18. Italy: A nice Roman lunch for two now costs $150, 42 percent more than in 2007. Strangely, a beer is now 9¢ cheaper.

    (Courtesy Diliff/Wikimedia Commons)
  19. France: Overall, prices in France jumped 20 percent since 2007. Beer costs went up 52 percent, and the average room goes for $207.

    (Courtesy Benh/Wikimedia Commons)
  20. Switzerland: Prices in Switzerland are higher than the Matterhorn. On our index, they’ve jumped more than 36 percent since 2007.

    (Courtesy Biovit/Wikimedia Commons)

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