Krakow has topped consumer watchdog Which?’s poll of top European city break destinations for the third year in succession.
Poland’s second city has once again bested the likes of Amsterdam, Rome and Paris, based on the strength of its cultural offering, quality of accommodation, shopping and good and value for money.
The city, near Poland’s southern border with the Czech Republic, topped Which?’s list of more than 40 destinations with a total score of 93% across various criteria.
It was also the only city inspected as part of the survey to achieve a full five stars for value for money, with round meals available from less than £7 and beers from less than £2.
Krakow was also awarded five stars for its cultural offering, with respondents recommending its traditional markets and salt mines – complete with underground cathedral.
Seville ranked second with 90%, lauded for its flamenco dancing, landmarks and food and drink, closely followed by Valencia, where highlights include its aquarium.
Berlin ranked fourth with 88% and Amsterdam joint-fifth alongside Budapest.
Further down the list, despite boasting the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum, Italian capital Rome bagged only a mid-table spot with 81%, its score weighed down by overcrowding at the city’s famous landmarks. It was a similar fate for Paris with 80%.
Lowest ranked was newcomer Alicante, gateway to Brit holiday hotspot Benidorn. Respondents though were impressed by the city’s Santa Barbara castle, old town and sea views.
Which? travel editor Rory Boland said: “With a palace on every corner and a plate of pierogi and a pint of pilsner costing under £10, it’s no wonder Krakow continues to top our survey.
“To those holidaymakers still stuck on Amsterdam, Paris and other classic European destinations, try Poland for your next trip to find food, hotels and sightseeing that’s just as good but at half the price.”
The Which? survey was based on more than 4,700 member experiences over the past year.