30 of the Most Expensive Cites in the World to Live In

Want to travel the world or maybe more to a more desirable destination? If so, you will find great value in our article today, on the top places to live or visit in the world, while also being some of the most expensive placed as well.

Mercer’s 25th International Cost of Living Survey revealed the 30 most expensive cities in the world. The factors determining the world’s most expensive cities are food, housing, personal care, alcohol, utilities, transportation, recreation and entertainment.

30/30. HONG KONG, CHINA

Practically, there is no ranking of the most expensive cities in the world where Hong Kong is not listed. The cost of living in this Chinese city is so expensive. To give you an idea, you should plan to spend about HK$1,085 ($139) per day for your Hong Kong vacation.

This is the average daily price based on visitor spending. Tourists should spend an average of HK$205 ($26) for one day’s meals and HK$55 ($7) for local transportation.

29/30. TOKYO, JAPAN

The budget for a lunch in Tokyo is about 1,000 yen. Some restaurants and stores also offer “one-room lunches” for 500 yen. The price of dinner, on the other hand, varies considerably depending on the restaurant.

Other expenses to give you an idea of the cost of living in Tokyo: accommodation ($125 per day), local transportation $140, food ($40 per day).

28/30. SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE

For many Singaporeans, the label of the most expensive city in the world is hardly a surprise.

For a tourist, you should plan to spend about SG$159 ($117) per day for your Singapore vacation, which is the average daily price based on visitor spending. Tourists are expected to spend an average of SG$30 ($22) for a day’s meals and SG$11 ($8.21) for local transportation.

27/30. SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

You should plan to spend about $141 per day for your vacation in Seoul. This is the average daily price based on visitor spending.

Travellers spent an average of $27 on meals for a day and $8.31 on local transportation. While the cost of living in Seoul is far from cheap, your trip doesn’t have to be exorbitant.

26/30. ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

Switzerland is known to be one of the most expensive countries in the world and it is true. Prices are significantly higher than in neighboring states – in particular, transportation and accommodation costs.

For example, just a one-way streetcar ride to Zurich will cost you about 6 CHF (5 EUR / 6 USD).

25/30. SHANGHAI, CHINA

How much money will you need for your trip to Shanghai? You should plan to spend about ¥662 ($94) per day while on vacation in Shanghai, which is the average daily price based on the spending of other visitors.

Visitors spend an average of ¥116 ($17) on a day’s meals and ¥22 ($3.20) on local transportation. In addition, the average price of a hotel in Shanghai for a couple is ¥937 ($134). Thus, a one-week trip to Shanghai for two people costs an average of ¥9,269 ($1,323).

24/30. ACHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN

Ashgabat is one of the most expensive cities in Central Asia for travelers.

It is the capital and largest city of Turkmenistan. It is located between the Karakum Desert and the Kopek Dag mountain range in Central Asia. The city was founded in 1881.

23/30. BEIJING, CHINA

Beijing is one of the most expensive cities in China, but it is still a good destination for most western tourists.

Hotels are generally of high quality, and prices can be very attractive, especially for those traveling on a package tour.

22/30 NEW YORK, USA

The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New York City is $3,500, more than twice the national median of $1,480.

The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the United States is $1,480. New York City is the third most expensive city in the world to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

21/30 SHENZHEN, CHINA

The monthly cost for a single person is $551.58 (¥3,861.20) excluding rent.

The cost of living index in Shenzhen is 56.08% lower than in New York. The cost of living ranks 267th out of 433 cities in the world. Shenzhen has a cost of living index of 43.92.

20/30. NDJAMENA, CHAD

A fast food meal costs more than $25 in N’Djamena, according to the Mercer report.

And because the survey links the results to the lifestyle of expatriates and because expatriates tend to live differently from locals, this is partly why these cities seem so expensive.

19/30. BERNE, SWITZERLAND

The cost of living in Bern is in the top 10% of the 500 cities surveyed in the Mercer survey.

It is therefore one of the most expensive cities in Switzerland. Moving to Bern will most likely increase your daily living costs. Imagine a kilo of apples at $4.10.

18/30 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

The cost of living in Switzerland is notoriously high. Switzerland’s idyllic alpine lifestyle, its political and economic stability, its high-quality health care and quality of life come at a price.

Indeed, three of the country’s most important cities – Zurich (5th), Bern (12th) and Geneva (13th) – are among the most expensive cities in the world in 2019.

17/30. VICTORIA, SEYCHELLES

Thinking of Victoria, Seychelles, you probably have in mind white sandy beaches, palm trees and turquoise waters.

You’re right, you’re right. This destination is synonymous with the tropical paradise on earth! However, this island nation is widely regarded as one of the most expensive destinations in the world.

16/30. TEL-AVIV, ISRAEL

Tel Aviv has the reputation of being the most expensive city in Israel. Once again this year, Tel Aviv measures up with the cities of Florence (Italy) and San Jose (USA) in terms of the cost of living.

Besides, the cost of your hotel accommodation will be one of the most expensive things once in Tel Aviv.

15/30. SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES

San Francisco is also the most expensive city in the United States to rent a two-bedroom apartment ($4,500).

Even the living spaces, created at an affordable price, cost $1,900 per month for a room with a bunk bed. San Francisco’s high cost of living is due to its booming technology industry and its proximity to Silicon Valley.

14/30. GUANGZHOU, CHINA

Guangzhou is a sub-provincial city and the capital of Guangdong Province in the southern part of the People’s Republic of China.

Guangzhou is the main manufacturing center of the Pearl River Delta, one of the main trading and manufacturing regions of mainland China. The economic output of Guangzhou is ranked third among Chinese cities after Beijing and Shanghai and the cost of living is high.

13/30. LOS ANGELES, USA

As of October 2018, based on Numbeo.com figures, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Los Angeles is approximately $2,100 per month.

If you are looking to find roommates, a three-bedroom apartment costs an average of just over $3,930.

12/30. OSAKA, JAPAN

A one-week vacation in Osaka usually costs about ¥64,376 for one person. Thus, a trip to Osaka for two people costs about ¥128,753 for one week.

A two-week trip for two people costs ¥257,505 in Osaka. Did you know that Osaka has the first 1 km of the most expensive (standard fare) cab in the world (out of 334 cities)?

11/30. COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

People always say that Copenhagen is expensive, and like many Scandinavian countries, it is.

When it comes to city getaways, Copenhagen is expensive compared to neighboring cities and accommodation will be your biggest expense when visiting Copenhagen.

10/30. DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

You will find some of the world’s most expensive hotels in Dubai.

The cheapest room for 2 people at Burj Al Arab will cost you almost 2,000 EUR per night, but you can also stay for a week for the same price in “regular” hotels.

9/30. KINSHASA, DRC

The Gombe district of Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, is home to wealthy residents and expatriates.

Apartment rents range from $1,200 to $5,000 per month, while rent for a villa can cost between $2,500 and $10,000. To buy an apartment, you will need between $200,000 and $450,000, depending on the size of the unit.

8/30. LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

London is the most expensive city in the United Kingdom. This is particularly true for housing, where two-bedroom apartments in the city center cost an average of $2,529 per month.

Things get cheaper as you move away from the financial district, with prices as low as $1400 per month.

7/30. LIBREVILLE, GABON

Libreville is a small town in Gabon, with about 100,000 or 200,000 people.

The cost of living is very expensive, so it is better to have a very good job if you want to move there. How much does it cost to rent a car for a week in Libreville? On average, a rental car in Libreville costs $771 per week ($110 per day).

6/30. LAGOS, NIGERIA

Living in Lagos can sometimes be expensive. Lagos being the heart of Africa gives you the opportunity to live the kind of life you want, whether it is rich or average or vice versa as long as your wallet is strong.

For example, a three-bedroom apartment in Ikeda will cost you about 3.5 million naira ($9800).

5/30. LUANDA, ANGOLA

Luanda, the Angolan capital, has several times dominated the list of the most expensive cities in the world in the past years.

In fact, Luanda is expensive because of daily consumer goods and expatriate housing requiring high protection. For example, the cost of renting an unfurnished three-bedroom house that meets “international standards in a suitable neighbourhood” is estimated at $13,000 per month.

4/30. MOSCOW, RUSSIA

The high cost of living in Moscow was a common complaint among expatriates in the 2000s. Why is everything in Moscow so expensive? Russia’s booming economy meant that rents were skyrocketing, taking with them the cost of services.

This year, Moscow ranks 27th in the Mercer Report.

3/30. NANJING, CHINA

Nanjing as the capital of Jiangsu province, which is one of the richest provinces in China, is becoming more and more expensive to live in, of course not as expensive as Shanghai or Beijing but it is following closely.

At the very least, Nanjing costs $1080 per month to live.

2/30. NOUMÉA, NEW CALEDONIA

Noumea is about 2 hours flight from Brisbane. The land is unsuitable for cultivation, so food and products are all imported.

This means that not only is it really expensive, but there doesn’t seem to be a good availability of fruits or vegetables.

1/30. ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST

Abidjan costs $2123 per month to live and work remotely with an Internet speed of 2 Mbps, is a good place to live digital nomads.

In Abidjan, food is very expensive. If you want to eat well, you have to spend more.

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