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From Riga with love: The best locations for a money-saving long weekend away

Rebecca Goodman
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Rebecca Goodman

Cities in Eastern Europe are becoming more popular for romantic weekends away as UK couples look to cut costs, according to new data.

Traditional romantic destinations including Paris, Rome, and Venice are falling out of favour while Riga in Latvia, Belgrade in Serbia, and Sofia in Bulgaria make their way to the top of the list for weekend getaways.

Almost nine in 10 (87%) couples have said they are interested in visiting new countries if they will save money by doing so, according to the survey from Sainsbury’s Bank.

Countries in Eastern Europe are becoming more popular primarily because they are cheaper, both in terms of travel and spending money.

Cost is a priority for 17% of couples when choosing a destination for a long weekend. One in five also said they aimed to save more than £1,000 by staying away from traditional romantic decisions including France or Italy.

While 56% of the 4,000 people asked by the bank said they have used social media platforms for holiday inspiration.

It comes as Lisbon has been picked by the Post Office as one of the most budget-friendly destinations in Europe to go on holiday.

The cheapest romantic destinations

The bank compiled the following top 10 romantic getaway destinations:

  1. Victoria, Seychelles
  2. Riga, Latvia
  3. Belgrade, Serbia
  4. Cape Town, South Africa
  5. Sofia, Bulgaria
  6. Malė, Maldives
  7. Cancun, Mexico
  8. Split, Croatia
  9. The Caribbean
  10. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Jason King, chief customer officer at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “We’re seeing more couples choosing affordable cities to travel to, whilst not sacrificing romance.

“There are lots of options out there to give customers the romantic holiday of their dreams, without blowing their budget – unless of course they’re planning to treat themselves to a big holiday. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever that travellers pre-plan their holiday finances and take out money at great exchange rates before heading off on holiday.”