The Top 10 Most Expensive Cities To Live In

Traveling to certain countries can put a nice dent in your wallet, but how about living in them? Imagine paying $7,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, or $42 for a movie? These are the world's 10 priciest cities to live in.

1. Tokyo, Japan


Thanks to inflation, high transportation costs, high utility costs, and an excess of luxury retailers. Tokyo remains the priciest location for everyday food items, while European cities tend to be priciest for recreation and entertainment.

2. Sydney, Australia

Sydney is a vibrant, bustling metropolis with tons to see and do, and a highly sought-after immigration destination. That said, paying $3 for an avocado, $18 for a movie ticket, and up to $24 for a pack of cigarettes (high taxes) can feel like slashing a vein. However, basic retail jobs average about $19 an hour, and a typical annual income is around $45,000.

3. Oslo, Norway

Sergey Dushkin

When a Big Mac combo meal costs $16 and two tickets to the movies is $37, you might think Oslo is the most expensive place to live on Earth...and you'd be right. However, a McDonald's employee makes between $16-24 an hour, and salaried workers make an average monthly wage of $4,800. Also, Norwegians pay one of the highest income taxes in the world, but any tax-paying resident (citizen or not) has access to free healthcare and university education. Not a bad deal, even if gas is $13 a gallon.

4. Geneve, Switzerland

Ilker Ozmen

A tube of toothpaste in Geneva will run you $7 (no news on whether that's Colgate or a fancy organic brand), and buying a small house could easily cost you over a million dollars. While all the countries around it adopted the Euro, Switzerland bowed out, making its currency (the Swiss franc) very strong compared to members of the EU. While dinner for two might run you $70, the ingredients are high quality and well regulated.

5. Singapore

William Cho

As a country that is basically just one giant city. If you're visiting and not living there, though, Singapore can be pretty inexpensive (although not as cheap as its neighbouring countries): A hostel dorm should run you about $16-24, street food costs $3-5, and even a beer is pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things, running $8 in a pub or $3.83 in a supermarket.

6. Zurich, Switzerland

It seems almost impossible in the world of cheap Chinese elctronics, but a brand name microwave in Zurich will cost you about $329. A beer in a pub costs about $7, while a mixed drink cocktail runs $19. If alcohol isn't your style, a cappuccino costs $6 (no report on whether that's a large or a small). With take-home pay of almost $5,600 per month for a salaried worker, though, it turns out Switzerland is mostly just bad to visit—budget travelers can expect to drop a minimum of $90-115 a day, and that's camping/hosteling, self-catering, and hitchhiking instead of taking the train or taxis.

7. Paris, France

Jon Reid

Everyday expenses (groceries, utilities, and rent) are very high in cost, although vices like alcohol and tobacco are pretty cheap compared to other European cities. So don't try to rent an apartment, but feel free to get drunk and smoke a pack a day.

8. Melbourne, Australia

Sydney and Melbourne are still among the top 10 most expensive cities in the world, according to a global cost-of-living study, despite Australia falling down the costliness rankings.

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

Lucy Cheung 

A meal for two in a nice restaurant with coffee and dessert might cost $135, but the Danish capital is most famous for Smørrebrøds, or open-faced sandwiches (mostly herring), which can cost as little as $10 for giant portions. Similarly to other Scandinavian countries, the high cost of living is made up for by high wages, excellent social services (free healthcare!), and cherubically beaming happy Danes everywhere you look.

10. Caracas, Venezuela

Caracas, Venezuela, is the only city in the Americas to feature in the top 10, but the EIU explained that its position is largely due to the imposition of an artificially high official exchange rate.