With summer peeking over the horizon, many Brits will be turning their eyes to Europe and checking their bank accounts, ready to book that long-awaited city break.
Everyone needs to be well-fuelled for a long day of sightseeing and, as we all know, breakfast most important meal of the day.
International Currency Exchange compared the cost of a cooked breakfast, a continental breakfast and two coffees, in several European cities, to see which of the UK’s favourite breaks offers the best brunch for your buck.
Hungarian capital Budapest has emerged as the best budget option, while the biggest bank-breaker turned out to Copenhagen, where an average brunch for two comes in at £31.53.
1. Budapest, Hungary – £14.10
Long a backpacker’s darling, Budapest stands out from the crowd by offering quality meals for rock-bottom prices. A carnivore’s paradise, to step into a Hungarian restaurant is to immerse yourself in a world of spiced cuts, cold hams and sizzling sausages. Traditionally the first meal of the day is quite filling and consists of bread, sausages, cold cuts, pate, cheese and eggs in various forms.
2. Madrid, Spain – £17.70
Madrid may be one of Europe’s biggest cities, home to Plaza Mayor and the famous Prado Museum, but you can pick up a cooked or continental breakfast for around half what you’d pay in the cafes of Copenhagen or Stockholm. Visitors to the Spanish capital can enjoy a classic Mediterranean mixture of cured meats, breakfast sweet breads, cafetieres bubbling with piping hot coffee, and even seafood. Look out for torrijas, a variation of bread pudding served with sugar and cinnamon, and the famous melón con jamlón, Spanish melon skewered with Serrano ham.
3. Athens, Greece – £18.33
A melting pot of European and Middle Eastern influences, one of Europe’s oldest culinary traditions boasts an inexhaustible supply of iconic dishes – moussaka, tzatziki, halloumi – all on proud display in Athens’ wide assortment of competitively-priced eateries. For a classic Greek brunch seek out olives, breads, thick yoghurt, cheese or spinach pies, and roasted meat dishes turned on a spit. To satisfy your sweet tooth try baklava – syrupy pastries packed with nuts, eaten anytime, anywhere. Athens is a relatively affordable city for tourists across the board, and the brunch is no exception.
4. Prague, Czech Republic – £18.60
In the centre of central Europe, Czech cuisine has amalgamated aspects from across the continent – from roast duck to schnitzel and goulash. Sourdough, dumplings, smoked meats and eggs will cross every self-respecting Prague brunch table, with coffee, tea and hot chocolate to wash them down. It may be one to save for later in the day, but Czech beer is also famous for a reason.
5. Rome, Italy – £18.70
One of the most popular and reproduced cuisines anywhere in the world, we can count our blessings that the land of pizza, pasta and pesto offers its services for a very reasonable price. Roman brunch-goers can feast on parma ham, ricotta cheese and a range of Italian breads supplemented with lashings of olive oil. Coffee is ubiquitous and taken extremely seriously, and fresh fruit abounds. The Italians know how to relax over their food, and it’s not unknown to complement a mid-morning meal with a splash of vino. At just £5.39, a continental breakfast won’t set you back too far.