5 European Countries Where Prices Have Decreased the Most

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#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
The average hotel room in Ireland is now $35 a night cheaper than in 2007.
This year the Irish government cut the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate on many tourism-related items from 13.5 to 9 percent.
#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
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
#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
The Greek government bumped up the VAT to 23 percent, the highest of any Mediterranean country.
The average Greek hotel room ($162) is $4 cheaper than in 2007 and meals increased only 8 percent.
#4 Austria: With prices only 5 percent higher than they were in 2007, Austria is a relative bargain.
A one-day metro card for the Vienna subway is now $8.20.
The average hotel room costs $151 per night in Austria.
#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
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
In Spain, the VAT takes an even bigger bite; it jumped two points in July 2010.
Whitney Tressel
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.
Netherlands: Prices jumped 12 percent in the Netherlands since 2007, thanks mostly to hotel costs. The average room goes for $185 per night.
Italy: A nice Roman lunch for two now costs $150, 42 percent more than in 2007. Strangely, a beer is now 9¢ cheaper.
France: Overall, prices in France jumped 20 percent since 2007. Beer costs went up 52 percent, and the average room goes for $207.
Switzerland: Prices in Switzerland are higher than the Matterhorn. On our index, they’ve jumped more than 36 percent since 2007.

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.

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