Some cities have it better than others when it comes to the cost of household staples, transport, utilities, rent, fuel, the strength of their currency, and the cost of living in general.
Everyone all over the world is paying for almost the exact same things, especially when it comes to housing, food, education, and basic human needs. However, the cost of all these things all over the world differs significantly.
If you have ever wondered which cities in the world are the most expensive, purely because you want to increase your general knowledge (or want to know which cities to avoid living in), then the Genie has the answers just for you!
The Top 12 Most Expensive Cities
The cities on this list cost the most to live in. However, just because these cities cost a lot to live in, it does not mean they are unaffordable.
They all make fantastic holiday destinations, and if you can afford to live there, you will indeed have an incredible way of life. So, what are the most expensive cities in the world?
This list is in no particular order, but the following are some of the most expensive cities in the world:
1. New York, United States of America
Currency: US Dollar
The general cost of living: About $1,814 per month without rent
Surprisingly, New York is the only North American city on this list.
Living in the Big Apple is fast-paced and exciting but also very expensive. The concrete jungle is seen as the city of opportunity, and people from other parts of the states and all over the world make their way there to make a life for themselves.
The main factors contributing to how expensive the lifestyle there is are the large job market across various industries and the booming economy. New York is expensive no matter what - whether you want to live, work, or visit there.
The lifestyle in New York is convenient, from getting around to shopping and finding food. This convenience contributes to how expensive it is. They also have almost any industry you can think of, but supply in the city is limited.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
Currency: Swiss Franc
The general cost of living: Around $1,595 per month without rent.
Zurich is the first of two cities in Switzerland to make it onto the list of most expensive cities in the world. So, Switzerland is clearly a place for the rich. The city has a classy vibe, which tends to attract some of the wealthiest people.
The salaries in this city are also some of the highest. Various big banks have their headquarters in Switzerland. Not everything is so expensive, though. The main expenses costing more than in other cities include rent, education, and health insurance.
The cost of imports greatly affects prices, and services cost more because wages are so much higher, and politics make a big impact. Although the costs can be high, the city is lavish, and the lifestyle is fantastic.
3. Geneva, Switzerland
Currency: Swiss Franc
The general cost of living: Around $1,400 per month without rent
Geneva has always been a place of luxury, class, and all of the finer things in life, and it has long been known for its state-of-the-art homes, lavish lifestyles, fine dining, and the best social scene.
Geneva, the second city in Switzerland on this list, is so expensive purely because the wages are a lot higher, and so is the standard of living. So, in essence, people are getting paid a lot more, which means that they are also able to spend a lot more and at much higher prices.
The taxes are also much higher in certain states of the country. But Switzerland is a magical place, and the lifestyle is a dream, so you really get what you pay for there!
4. Tel Aviv, Israel
Currency: The Shekel
The general cost of living: About $1,152 without rent
Tel Aviv is the epicentre of royalty and luxury, making it the most expensive city in the middle east. Their appreciating local currency against the US dollar has also contributed to a lot of their costs becoming more expensive.
Tel Aviv quickly made its way up this list, and it came as quite a surprise. But the general cost of living there has gone up exponentially, from gas prices to the cost of hamburgers or cocktails.
Supply chain upheavals have played a major role in the increase of various goods and services in Israel. But, Israel's currency is jumping its way up to the top.
5. London, United Kingdom
Currency: The Pound Sterling
The general cost of living: About $1,113 per month without rent.
London Town! There's no doubt that the home to the Queen would be on this list. London is a popular destination, and people from all across the world make their way there to live in the city of dreams. Londoners make the lifestyle look so good; who wouldn't want it?
The prices for local transportation and rent in London are possibly some of the highest in the world, so a decent amount of money is needed if you want to stay there and live a comfortable life. But surely anything is possible in the city of dreams!
London is also such an expensive city as it is the financial centre of Europe. The city faces both a domestic and an international demand curve. A number of huge businesses also have their headquarters in the city, and all of this contributes to the higher rates
6. Seoul, Korea
Currency: The South Korean Won
The general cost of living: About $1,081 a month - without rent
The capital city of South Korea is among some of the most expensive cities, and this is mainly due to the big security deposits and high housing costs. Their currency also grows well and is very stable in the Republic of Korea, which affects prices.
Some other significant influences on the high costs include the many shipbuilders, large construction companies, and automobile producers that lie in Seoul, and these tend to bring in tons of money.
7. Hong Kong
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar
The general cost of living: Around $1,042 per month without rent.
Asia is undoubtedly the most expensive continent you could live on. Six of its major cities have marked their spot on the top 12 list. Hong Kong is possibly the most expensive city to live in, and it attracts the wealthiest and most successful business people.
It is also a very popular tourist destination. One of the main reasons why it is so expensive to live there is because of how strong the Hong Kong dollar is. It has maintained its great position while many other currencies have weakened.
The reason why housing is so expensive is due to supply and demand. Hong Kong is densely populated and has a population of more than seven million.
But still, it remains a popular destination for people to live and invest in due to the favourable tax structure and the incredible geographical location.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
Currency: Danish krone
The general cost of living: About $1,033 per month without rent
Copenhagen is colourful and beautiful, but all of this does come at a price. Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities, mainly due to the high prices and higher tax rates. Monthly expenses are sky-high for locals, and tourists will need to spend a lot to get by.
The salaries in this city are also relatively high, which tends to increase the price of everything else as people can afford it. The country is also stable and runs really well, making it a desirable place. The standard of living is excellent, which makes the high costs worth it.
9. Tokyo, Japan
Currency: Japanese Yen
The general cost of living: Around $1,025 without rent
Japan has extremely high living costs, and of course, the costs are skyrocketing in its capital city, Tokyo. The highest expense in this bustling city is the rent, car ownership, and general transport. All of those snazzy little bullet trains come at quite a price!
It is also such an expensive city because big businesses and the government are based there. The government and economy are both very strong and stable in Japan. They also keep their focus on high-quality commodities and goods.
The average price of just about anything is much higher than in any other city: transport, food, travel, hotels, and more. But it is also a very interesting and incredible city with many wonders to explore!
10. Beijing, China
Currency: The renminbi (RMB) or the Yuan
The general cost of living: Around $703 per month, without rent.
Beijing is one of the more affordable cities on this list, but still, the costs are high. Beijing is China's political and social centre, so people try their best to get in and live there. The population is massive and plays a huge role in the price increase there.
The housing market in Beijing has become more expensive, people are also paid a lot more, so they are also willing to spend more.
11. Shanghai, China
Currency: Chinese Yuan
The general cost of living: About $696 per month without rent.
Shanghai is both pricey and densely populated. The high inflation rates are the number one reason this is one of the most expensive cities.
The Chinese Yuan also continues to get stronger compared to other currencies, which significantly impacts the price of goods and services.
There are also loads of rich people living in the city, and Shanghai ranked sixth when it comes to the largest concentration of billionaires. This city is expensive for foreign workers and locals alike, but it is only as expensive as you make it!
Although rent, food, and fuel are high, you can go just about anywhere on a solid budget.
12. Guangzhou, China
Currency: Renminbi (RMB) or the Yuan
The general cost of living: About $546 a month without rent.
Guangzhou also has a huge population. The inflation rates are high, and the currency is strong. Since the city is so highly populated, it is also not affordable. It is not the world's priciest city, but it will undoubtedly put quite a dent in your wallet, especially as an ex-pat.
However, the city is wonderful, and there is much to see and experience. The lifestyle is also great, and this tends to make up for the higher cost of living.
What Makes a City So Expensive?
Political factors play a huge role. For example, a huge number of European countries have dropped off of the list, and this is because the Euro has not performed well for the past few months. This is mainly due to international conflicts and politics.
A number of external factors affect the cost of living in certain cities in the world. The Coronavirus, for example, had a major impact on economic factors and global supply chains, which in turn affects the strength of a country's currency.
How We Judged the Most Expensive Cities in the World
All of the cities were judged according to the price of fuel, transportation, general living costs, rent, and of course, the currency. All of these factors significantly affect how much living in a particular city will cost.
So we balanced up all of the costs to find the cities that cost the most in almost every aspect of life. Although these cities are pretty pricey, it does not mean that they are completely unaffordable.
So, Which of the 12 Most Expensive Cities in the World Takes Your Fancy?
Although the cost of living may be seriously high in many of these cities, you can still get by on a reasonable amount of money. These numbers and statistics should never put you off, and it is quite easy to enjoy a holiday or make a life for yourself in any of these major cities.
Each city is unique in its own way and offers something completely different from the next. Prices may be high, but the costs are usually worth it, especially when living the high life and indulging in the finer things in life.
Now that you have a better idea of what life may be like in other parts of the world, you can start saving up to make your dream holiday of yours a reality!
Visit One of the Most Expensive Cities in the World With Help From Spin Genie
Try your luck playing with Spin Genie and you could see yourself visiting or even living in one of the most expensive cities in the world!
Each city has something completely different on offer, so which one would you choose?