The Most Expensive Cities in the World

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Here in the UK, we’re big fans of having a good moan about how expensive everything is in London. It’s almost part of the experience when visiting to be outraged by everything from the cost of flat to the price of a pint.

There’s no doubt London is one of the pricier places to be on earth, however, there are some cities that make our capital seem like a budget weekend away in comparison.

So, where are the most expensive places to rent a place, visit or just exist in the entire world?

The Usual Suspects

When it comes to the cost of living, there are some usual suspects alongside some areas you will definitely not have considered.

The unsurprising ones:

Hong Kong: With land in short supply, high property prices and premiums on everyday items, the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong gets it the number one spot in the Mercer survey.

Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Aerial View
Aerial View Of Hong Kong Cityscape By Leungchopan/Shutterstock

Anywhere in Switzerland: Bern, Basel, Geneva and Zurich. All four of the banking capital of the world’s top cities rank in the top 20.

Zurich Switzerland Aerial View
Aerial View of Historic Zurich City Center By Aldorado/Shutterstock

Far East powerhouses: Alongside Hong Kong, Mercer lists Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing in its top ten.

Singapore Cityscape At Sunset
Beautiful Landscape of Singapore at Dusk By MOLPIX/Shutterstock

Scandinavian beasts: A wonderful region to visit but expect to pay good money. Copenhagen in Denmark and Stavanger and Oslo in Norway all rank highly.

View Of Downtown Oslo Norway
Aerial View of Downtown Oslo, Norway By Morten Normann Almeland/Shutterstock

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The Not-so Usual Suspects

And some you didn’t see coming:

Luanda, Angola: Thanks to 30 years of civil war and a booming oil economy, ex-pats will be looking at around $6,600 to rent a safe two bed apartment. In a country where over 40% of the population are below the poverty line and the average labourer earns $50 a month, a hamburger meal will cost you around $12.50.

Skyline Of Capital City Luanda Of Angola
Skyline of Capital City Luanda, Angola By Fabian Plock/Shutterstock

N’Djamena, Chad: One of the poorest countries in the world, with 55% under the poverty line, N’Djamena is similar to Luanda and another oil hub. The absurd cost of a safe place to live and day-to-day necessities rank it 8th in the Mercer ranks.

Beautiful View Of N’Djamena Chad

Caracas, Venezuela: Finally, with the recent economic and political troubles in Venezuela, the annual inflation rate up to November 2018 was an unthinkable 1,300,000%, sitting it atop some rankings with economic troubles set to continue.

Aerial View Of Downtown Caracas Venezuela
Aerial View of Buildings in Caracas – Venezuela By Ulrich Mueller/Shutterstock

So, What About London?

So, where does much-maligned London sit in all of this?

According to the Mercer survey, London jumped from 29th to 19th to just scrape inside the top 20 most expensive cities this year.
Aerial View Of Thames London
Aerial View On Thames And London City By S.Borisov/Shutterstock

However, by ECA International’s cost of living survey for the year, London placed a remarkable 109th in the world, so maybe things aren’t so bad after all?

It’s remarkable, and a little confusing, to discover that some of the most expensive places in the world are in fact some of the poorest. Regardless, none of the locations mentioned are likely to appeal to those looking to correctly manage their finances.

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And in case you were wondering about where the cheapest city is, try Tashkent in Uzbekistan. As well as being very cheap, it’s apparently well worth a visit.

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