Sofia, Bulgaria the Top Bargain City in Europe for American Travelers - Bangkok Best Bang For Buck Worldwide

Las Vegas the Top Domestic Deal According to TripAdvisor's TripIndex

Inaugural Cost Comparison Index Reveals Popular World Cities Where Travelers' Dollars Go the Distance

Jul 21, 2011, 12:55 ET from TripAdvisor

Inaugural Cost Comparison Index Reveals Popular World Cities Where Travelers' Dollars Go the Distance

NEWTON, Mass., July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today launched its inaugural TripIndex – a cost comparison of 50 key tourist cities around the world and 15 hotspots in the U.S., tracked against the U.S. dollar.

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TripAdvisor's TripIndex is based on the combined cost of one night's accommodation (four star hotel), a core food item (pizza), an alcoholic drink (dry martini) and a taxi journey in each destination.  

Domestic Deals and Global Steals

  • Las Vegas is the least expensive city in the U.S. for domestic travelers, with a total TripIndex cost of $164.
  • Beating 49 rival cities, Bangkok is the best-value global city for U.S. travelers, with its total TripIndex tally of $112.
  • Sofia, Bulgaria is the most affordable European city for Americans, at $136 and ranking at number five overall on the TripIndex list.  
  • Asia emerged as the most affordable continent, claiming four of the top ten cheapest cities for American travelers.


  • New York City is the most expensive domestic destination for U.S. travelers, with a total TripIndex cost of $367.
  • Paris' TripIndex price tag of $429 makes it the costliest city in the world for Americans.
  • Europe was revealed as the most expensive continent for U.S. travelers, with six of the world's top 10 high-priced cities.

European Steals

While Paris, Zurich, and London rank in the global TripIndex as the costliest spots for U.S. travelers, the city of Sofia, Bulgaria proves Americans can enjoy a European retreat without breaking the bank. Sofia weighed in as the best value European city for U.S. travelers, with its total TripIndex cost of $136 – a third of the price of Paris, the most expensive city on the list. Budapest, Hungary ($143) is a close second to Sofia in terms of affordability in Europe.  

Southern Comfort

For U.S. travelers seeking a domestic deal, TripIndex reveals that the south is a steal. While the east-coast hotspots of New York City, Boston, and Washington D.C. carry the highest U.S. TripIndex figures, the southern cities of Dallas, New Orleans, and Atlanta rank among the five least expensive domestic destinations. According to TripIndex, travelers in these three southern cities can experience some southern hospitality on a budget, with TripIndex costs ranging from $210 - $215.

Hotels & Taxis Set Destinations Apart

Affordability in the ten cheapest destinations is most evident in hotel and taxi costs:

  • One night in a four-star hotel in Bangkok is just $86 – compared to over $300 in six of the ten most expensive world destinations.
  • While a five mile taxi journey costs under $5 in six of the ten cheapest destinations, the same journey costs around $40 in the likes of Zurich and Tokyo.

TripIndex is based on the current exchange rate and applies to travel between June and August 2011 with hotel prices based on the average cost of a four star hotel found on TripAdvisor, via multiple partner booking sites.

"Value against the dollar is one of the most important considerations for American travelers planning international trips," said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. "TripIndex offers a useful means of setting realistic budget expectations and reveals some outstanding destination deals."

Best Value International Cities


Hotel ($)

Taxi ($)

Pizza ($)

Dry Martini ($)

Total ($)

1. Bangkok






2. Beijing






3. Sharm El Sheikh






4. Kuala Lumpur






5. Sofia






6. Budapest






7. Auckland






8. Marrakech






9. Warsaw






10. Dubai






Most Expensive International Cities


Hotel ($)

Taxi ($)

Pizza ($)

Dry Martini ($)

Total ($)

1. Paris






2. Zurich






3. London






4. Tokyo






5. New York City






6. Rio de Janeiro






7. Moscow






8. Kiev






9. Amsterdam






10. Stockholm






U.S. Cities


Hotel ($)

Taxi ($)

Pizza ($)

Dry Martini ($)

Total ($)

1. Las Vegas






2. Dallas






3. New Orleans






4. Atlanta






5. Minneapolis






6. Orlando






7. Denver






8. Los Angeles






9. Seattle






10. Honolulu






11. San Francisco






12. Chicago






13. Washington, DC






14. Boston






15. New York City






Notes to Editors

The U.S. TripIndex list comprises 15 popular U.S. cities. The international TripIndex destination list comprises key cities from each of the 50 countries which received the largest number of international tourist arrivals in 2010 (data compiled by the UNWTO – United Nations World Tourism Organization).

TripIndex prices out the following items in each destination:

  • Per night cost of a four-star hotel (between June and August 2011)
  • Cost of five mile taxi
  • Cost of an alcoholic cocktail (dry martini)
  • Cost of a meal (large cheese pizza)

Prices were collected through a variety of research methods as outlined below.  Prices were taken in local currencies between May and July 2011 and converted into USD on July 14 2011. The 'basket' of items – one night's accommodation, a five-mile taxi journey, a large cheese pizza and a dry martini – are representative of the common items many travelers will purchase while on holiday.  To achieve the highest possible level of accuracy, prices were individually researched in local currency and converted into dollars (where applicable).

Hotels: Hotel prices shown specify the average cost of a four-star hotel found on TripAdvisor (via partner booking sites such as online travel agencies and direct hotel suppliers) in each destination for the summer travel period (June-August 2011).  On average, 45 hotels were price-checked to identify the average cost of one night's accommodation in each city

Dry Martini: Dry Martini prices shown specify the cost of a traditional dry martini in the main/largest bar in a top-rated five-star hotel on TripAdvisor in each destination. In the two U.S. destinations (New Orleans and Minneapolis) where a five-star hotel was not listed on TripAdvisor, a top-rated four-star hotel was chosen.

Pizza: Pizza prices shown specify the cost of a large cheese pizza from a globally-recognised chain in each destination.  In destinations where globally-recognised pizza chains do not operate or are uncommon, an average cost was taken from three local pizzerias.

Taxi: Taxi prices shown specify the cost of a five-mile taxi journey (8km) in each destination.  In most cases, data was obtained from the local government or large taxi company operating in the area.  In the approximately 30% of destinations where such information was not available, data was obtained from destination specialists.  Please note taxi prices will vary according to a number of factors, including number of passengers, pick-up/drop-off points, traffic, time of day, method of booking, luggage, etc.

All prices shown are as quoted by source.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and Instant Personalization) with seamless links to booking tools.

TripAdvisor® Media Group, operated by TripAdvisor LLC, attracts more than 50 million unique monthly visitors* across 19 popular travel brands**. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 40 million unique monthly visitors***, 20 million members, and over 50 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide****, including China under TripAdvisor also operates TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor's millions of monthly visitors. The division includes Business Listings, which allows hoteliers to connect directly to millions of researching travelers, and Vacation Rentals, which helps property managers and individual home owners list their properties and showcase hotel alternatives.

TripAdvisor Media Group websites have been recognized as top travel resources in 2010 by Conde Nast Traveller, Good Housekeeping, TIME magazine and Travel + Leisure.

TripAdvisor Media Group generated $486 million in revenue in 2010. TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Group are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).

TripAdvisor and the TripAdvisor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TripAdvisor LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

©2011 TripAdvisor LLC. All rights reserved.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Media Group Sites, Worldwide, May 2011

** In addition to TripAdvisor, The TripAdvisor Media Group of websites includes:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, , and

***Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, May 2011

**** TripAdvisor sites operate in 30 countries worldwide:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

SOURCE TripAdvisor