Belfast is becoming a dear aul hole for visitors…

From Vicky Shaw in the Beltel:

Belfast is the second most expensive destination in Europe for a city break, according to a new report.
It costs an average of £629 for a weekend away, the Post Office, which compiles the city costs barometer, found.

Only Amsterdam is more expensive, its research suggests.

For the first time, the study said Belfast was more expensive than Dublin for a two-night weekend break.

By contrast, holidaymakers looking for a bargain city break may want to consider heading to Vilnius.

The Lithuanian capital overtook last year’s winner, Lisbon, in terms of offering best value.

The cost of a Belfast break (£629) made it more expensive than Dublin (£579) for the first time in the Post Office’s 17th annual cost comparison.

The price of a getaway in Edinburgh was calculated to be £602.

In London, the price of a break was put at £524, with competitive accommodation charges helping to keep the price down, according to the Post Office.

Here are the five cheapest cities, with the typical cost, according to the Post Office research:

1. Vilnius, £237

2. Lisbon, £264

3. Lille, £278

4. Krakow, £279

5. Athens, £289

And here are the five most expensive cities:

1. Amsterdam, £669

2. Belfast, £629

3. Edinburgh, £602

4. Helsinki, £587

5. Venice, £582

I can believe these figures. I quickly checked for next weekend; most places are around £200 a night. A pint is on average £6 in the town now, rising to £7 plus for ‘premium’ beers.

I was in the City Centre yesterday for a Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival Event and the city centre is looking pretty glum these days. Lots of addicts roaming around and begging. Lots of abandoned shops. Look at the state of this:

There are nice parts of the City Centre. Willie Jack of Duke of York fame has done a great job of making Commerical Court the most Instagrammed street in Belfast. But other parts of the city centre definitely need a bit of TLC.

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