Surprise! - Top 10 Most Expensive Cities Are Outside US

Surprisingly, the most expensive cities to live in are not New York or London.  As you will see, all of them are outside the US. The cost of living can vary to extremes depending on what part of the world you’re visiting. A bottle of red wine, for instance costs as little as $9 in Monaco but as much as $21 in Dubai.

Whether you are a tourist or an expatriate who plan to live in a foreign city, the cost of everyday items would definitely impact your lifestyle. We have taken a list from Wikipedia that is based on Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living ranking and show you some example of everyday necessities cost in those cities. Here are some of the most expensive cities to live in throughout the world.

But first, a few quick facts about cities:

  • The majority of these expensive cities are found in Europe
  • The city-state of the Vatican is not on this list
  • A city with over ten million inhabitants is called a megacity
  • Qiando Lake in China covers a vast ancient city that was flooded to create a hydroelectric dam
  • Until 2000, the world’s least populated city was Maza which had 5 residents

1. Singapore, Singapore


Named after the country in which it is found, Singapore is a capital with an interesting history. The country engaged in aggressive economic planning to successfully manage its meager natural resources and became a major world power in a few short decades. It’s wealth may be little comfort to less affluent Singaporeans who pay the equivalent of $10 for a packet of cigarettes.

2. Paris, France


No other city is as associated with love and romance than Paris. With booming tourism and a high demand for luxury, it’s unsurprising that Paris ranks so highly on this list. Parisians pay $50 for an affordable dinner for two, more than twice what they would pay in Bangalore.

3. Oslo, Norway


Norway’s capital city since 1814, Oslo features a mild climate and large green spaces, both forests and parks. This feature, combined with its rapidly changing skyline, sporting attractions and monuments makes Oslo a popular destination for tourists. A quart of milk in Oslo, however, costs $2.50 while the worldwide average is closer to $1.

4. Zurich, Switzerland


Zurich is the first of two Swiss cities to make this list. It has been in use for over 6000 years and is home to one of Europe’s biggest clocks. Resident of Zurich pay close to $20 for a week’s worth of cold medicine.

5. Sydney, Australia


The first of two cities on our list from the land down under, Sydney boasts iconic architecture, thriving surf culture and unique wildlife. One of the reasons for its high costs is the inflation caused by its expensive housing market. The average fast food meal for one in Sydney costs over $14.

6. Caracas, Venezuela


With weather characteristic of it’s Caribbean neighbors and a deeply entrenched, Latin American culture, Caracas would be an ideal tourist destination. Unfortunately, it also features a history of political instability and crime. These have led to increases in the prices of many basic imports. A dozen eggs costs $10 in Caracas. The same item costs less than $2 in La Paz, Bolivia.

7. Geneva, Switzerland


As the seat of power to the UN, Geneva sees high levels of affluent and influential individuals on a daily basis. Providing for them at the required level causes costs to rise throughout the city. As a result of this, a simple dinner for two costs $72 in Geneva while the same meal can be had for $26 in Budapest.

8. Melbourne, Australia


Joining Sydney, Melbourne is our second Australian city to earn a place on the list. It may be slightly less expensive due to its smaller size and more affordable housing market. Nonetheless, a decent pair of jeans which can be had for $35 on average worldwide costs a whopping $91 if purchased in Melbourne.

9. Tokyo, Japan


As one of the most densely populated cities in Japan, it’s not surprising that Tokyo is one of the costliest to live in as well. An apartment in a nice area of 900sq feet can be had for $1550 in California whereas in Tokyo it can cost up to $3000 per month. This does not include other hidden costs like “key money” not often charged in other parts of the world.

10. Copenhagen, Denmark


Featuring landmarks that have inspired both William Shakespeare and Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen is quite a classy city. In Copenhagen, it’s not uncommon to pay $12 for a fast-food meal that costs $6 or less throughout most of the rest of the world world.

These cities are generally a joy to behold but fairly difficult to navigate as a budgeting traveler. If frugality is your intention, cast your gaze elsewhere but if money is no object, check any of the locations on this list for a wonderful experience.

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