These are the 10 most expensive cities in the world

A new study has ranked the 10 most expensive cities in the world. And some come rather as a surprise…

The survey, conducted by consulting firm Mercer measures the cost of more than 200 items in over 400 cities globally, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

The top 10 most expensive cities in the world :

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
  3. Tokyo, Japan
  4. Zurich, Switzerland
  5. Singapore
  6. New York City, USA
  7. Shanghai, China
  8. Bern, Switzerland
  9. Geneva, Switzerland
  10. Beijing, China

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Expensive surprises

For me the biggest surprise has to be Santiago, Chile ranking at 134th. Somehow the city we are leaving due to its terrible cost of living is a much cheaper place than Cairo, Egypt (126th) and Oslo, Norway (76th). Say what?! I guess it’s all relative, and all very personal.

I’m also surprised to see Luanda, Angola at 115th. When I lived there we could easily burn a few hundred US dollars for a meal out in a decent restaurant. Luanda has shot down from 26th place last year though, so perhaps the drop in oil price forced a drop in restaurant prices too. Who knows? I just remember choking when being quoted $20 USD for a bag of apples (I got a $7 pineapple instead).

It’s also depressing to see the dazzlingly expensive Silicon Valley ranking cheaper than one of the poorest countries in the world. Ndjamena, Chad rests at 15th place (down from 11th place last year), while San Francisco follows behind at 16th place.

Fancy pants, fancy prices

The cities are ranked against the US dollar and in comparison to New York. Products like jeans, burgers and US branded beer are used as a calculator, so while a Heineken might cost a fortune in Chad, chances are you could find a local equivalent for much less.

Apart from Ashgabat and Singapore I’ve visited all these 10 most expensive cities in the world. And I loved every one of them. Surprisingly, I didn’t find them too expensive. But then I don’t drink American beer and I don’t eat burgers.

As an expat, I reckon cost of living depends on lot on your salary and how well you can settle in. Dining on local street food, shopping at local markets, negotiating a cut on your apartment’s rental contract… it all makes such a difference.

I wouldn’t be put off living in any of these 10 most expensive cities in the world. Would you?

The 10 most expensive cities in the world

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