OVERNIGHT city breaks in Scotland’s capital are the most expensive in Britain during August and cost at least £100 more than a similar stay in Glasgow, according to a new survey.
TripAdvisor found that Edinburgh topped the charts out of 20 cities for a two-person break during the month of the International Festival and the Fringe, at a cost of £298.46 for one night.
Nottingham proved least expensive for an overnight break including a hotel, pre-dinner drinks, evening meal out and taxi trips, at £164.73. Cardiff was second cheapest at £167.51.
Aberdeen was the seventh most expensive at £222.72 and Glasgow among the cheaper options, costing just £194.74.
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, also compared four-star hotel prices during the holiday season.
It found Nottingham hotels averaged £73.21 per night compared with £207.51 in Edinburgh. Apart from Edinburgh, the most expensive cities are Cambridge at £275.32, London at £264.41 and Brighton at £261.41.
London, however, did provide the least expensive evening meal for two – averaging £54.47, which is likely due to substantial competition. The most expensive meals are to be had in Cambridge, at £69.92.
Edinburgh tourism chiefs, however, said the travel firm had failed to account for the impact of the Festival, and said the city offered good value for money.
Chris Wayne-Wills, chairman of the Edinburgh Hotels Association and general manager at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, said: “The time of year this poll has been carried out is not an accurate reflection of the cost of a stay all year round.
“Firstly, August is a quiet time in London and in Edinburgh you are less likely to see hotel discounts during the Festival. If you took this poll over 12 months, Edinburgh would not be more than London and would no doubt represent good value.
“The other point here is the survey has looked at four-star hotels and is very much at the upper end of the scale.”
He added: “Booking early and staying a little longer would be the key, I’d suggest. Most hotels would be open to discounts for those wishing to stay for a few days rather than a single night.”
Andy Neal, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, which represents 600 city centre traders, said: “What TripAdvisor hasn’t accounted for is the fact hotel rates are so high in August because the whole world wants to visit Edinburgh.”
“There are simply more people who want to visit than there are hotel rooms, and that drives up prices.”
He added: “We would also suggest that Edinburgh is very good value for money. The Portrait Gallery and National Museum are both world-class destinations and free, as are many other attractions across the city.”
The poll also showed prices had risen in a number of cities in the last 12 months. Last year’s best-value city was Birmingham, where the total-stay package was £139.54 – more than £25 cheaper than this year’s lowest-priced city, Nottingham.
A stay in Birmingham was estimated at £183.82 this year, sixth-cheapest among the 20 cities surveyed.
TripAdvisor spokesman James Kay said: “With the great summer we’ve been enjoying, staycations are sure to be a popular choice for UK travellers over the August bank holiday, but where you go will have a big impact on how much you’re likely to spend.
“Generally, the further north you go, the less you’ll need to fork out for hotels and dinner.”
Newcastle Upon Tyne£191.84