For the majority of us, hotel rooms costing $300-a-night served with $25 cocktails means that travelling to some of the most expensive cities in the world, sadly, isn’t a viable option. 

While we might not be travelling to these exorbitant destinations any time soon, it’s still nice to see how the other half lives from time to time – provided you aren’t the jealous type of course!

The Economist Intelligence Unit published its data on the world’s most expensive cities recently, revealing the least budget-friendly places to visit. The list features the usual suspects, but for those unfamiliar with the information, here’s a breakdown of the places you should avoid if it’s value you seek!

10) Los Angeles

Los Angeles city scape

Few will be surprised to see L.A. on the list. The mighty Los Angeles is where Hollywood is located after all. With several hundred celebrities, movie stars and public figures calling this city their home, it is no wonder it has become one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Often, the cost of living in any given area is a direct result of its popularity among tourists, and so as Los Angeles welcomed around 50 million tourists in 2018, it is clear that the steep prices aren’t putting people off.

Although the restaurants, bars and nightclubs are some of the most expensive in the world, they are also some of the best, making L.A worth the splurge… if you can afford it, that is!

9) Tel Aviv

tel aviv beach club

With a growing reputation as one of Europes best places to experience nightlife, Tel Aviv has become one of the ‘in’ places for clubbers in search of a great night out.

More people than ever before are heading to this Israeli metropolis with the hopes of enjoying a good old fashioned knee-up. As a result, prices have predictably shot up and Tel Aviv has found itself once again in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world…for the second year running.

High wages, combined with an increase in the number of tourists visiting Israel have lead to the sky-rocketing costs of travel in this Middle Eastern city. Consequently, if you are looking to visit Tel Aviv,  it is best to make sure you budget accordingly, it’s pretty expensive.

8) New York

most expensive cities in the world new york city

New York City has been a mainstay on the list of the world’s most expensive cities for decades. As arguably the most iconic city in the world, it comes as little surprise to see the Big Apple included.

New York City has a reputation so prominent that whenever its name is uttered, regardless of who and where a person is from, a pretty accurate mental picture of the city can be produced. Such is the notoriety of old New York, New York.

That fame, however, comes with a cost and unfortunately for tourists it’s a pretty hefty one. Seeing the attractions, eating out and watching a show on NYC’s famous Broadway strip can set you back hundreds – and that’s before you’ve hit the bars and clubs. During a night out, you can expect to pay around $20 for a single cocktail.

Although New York can be pricey, there are always ways in which you can cut the costs…all you need is the know how.  New York Weekend Breaks gives some great tips and information on how to slash the cost of attractions, dining, and everything in between. If you’re looking for some helpful tips then head over to their website to learn more.

7) Copenhagen

Copenhagen luxury city

Next up, Copenhagen, the capital of the Scandinavian country Denmark.  

Although there is no official national minimum wage in Denmark, even the lowest-paid jobs fetch above $15 per hour. With such high wages, things like the cost of living also become inflated, as do travel costs. Couple that with a 25% VAT, as well as sky-high taxes on select items such as strong alcohol and luxury items, and a visit to Copenhagen will have your wallet feeling lighter in no time.

Continually named as one of the happiest countries in the world, it’s clear the high living costs aren’t putting a dampener on the mood of the residents of Denmark’s capital.

6) Seoul

seoul from the sky

Seoul is the capital of South Korea,  it is one of the most developed cities in the world, and is therefore one of the most expensive. I mean, all of that development does not come without a cost.

One of the priciest parts of a trip to Seoul are the accommodations. A traveller can expect to pay up to $80 per night for the most basic of rooms. Along with the high costs of accommodation, transportation is also eye-wateringly expensive. A quick ride on the KTX high-speed train costs, what feels like, a small fortune. 

Food can also put a pretty severe dent in your budget if you’re not careful, although meals are disparately priced. If you shop around, you should be able to find some cheaper options. 

With such high costs for the most basic of necessities, you may be wondering why anyone bothers to visit Seoul at all. Well, aside from having the world’s best internet connection and airport, the Korean capital also has great nightlife…and South Koreans really know how to party. If your budget permits, this is one place you should definitely visit.

5) Osaka

streets of osaka

Whenever Japan is mentioned, the destination that usually springs to mind is Tokyo. However, there is a new kid in town and he’s taking all of your lunch money. His name is Osaka.

Okay, so depicting this Japanese city as a high school bully dead set on stealing your hard-earned cash is a little dramatic, but Osaka is expensive and at first glance, it’s not always easy to see why.

With polluted air and worn down architecture that’s far from the prettiest you’ll see in Japan, you’d be forgiven for thinking anyone willing to pay through the nose to visit Osaka is insane. But peer behind the cloud of smog and you’ll find a city that’s buzzing with activity. With fabulous shopping, dining, and unreal nightlife, Osaka should be on your watch list.

Nicknamed “Tenka no Daidokoro” (the nation’s kitchen), Osaka is also the go-to city for foodies visiting Japan as you’re sure to find a delicious fare on practically every corner, for a cost that is. Kobe beef never comes cheap.

4) Geneva

a boat on lake geneva switzerland

As Geneva’s main industry is banking, this rich kid’s playground is another unsurprising inclusion on the  most expensive cities in the world list.

For locals accustomed to the sky-high wages, the living costs are relative and so the purchasing power is still great. But for visitors, especially those from countries with still developing economies, the costs can be simply too much to justify. A standard three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant can easily set you back over $50, while a round of drinks in one of the city’s busy clubs can surpass that with ease.

Surrounded by mountains with a beautiful lake, the largest in Europe, Geneva is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Despite its aesthetic beauty and cleanliness however, only head here if you can truly afford it!

3) Hong Kong 

city scape of hong kong

Despite its recent political troubles, the autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong has made the top 3 most expensive places in the world list once more.

As one of the most populous cities on Earth, rent and property prices in Hong Kong are the world’s most expensive, which makes the cost of accommodation for visitors inevitably steep.

If you are willing to stump up the readies for overpriced hotels, food, and beverages however, then you are in for a real treat.  There’s a reason Hong Kong is often lauded as the greatest city in the world.

If theme parks are your thing, two of the world’s best are crammed into this relatively small city. Perhaps surprisingly to the uninitiated, Hong Kong is also surrounded by beaches and greenery; a 20-minute drive from anywhere in the city will take you to one of these idyllic spots. Couple that with fantastic food, albeit expensive, and great nightlife, and suddenly the hefty price tags don’t seem so hard to swallow.

2) Paris

paris france and the eiffel tower

For anyone who’s been to the French capital, it will come as no surprise to see Paris’ inclusion as one of the world’s most expensive cities to visit.

Home to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph, and a host of other things to see and do, Paris is understandably one of the most visited cities in the world. With over 20 million tourists flocking there each year, its price tag reflects its popularity. 

With an abundance of exciting attractions, world-class eateries and cutting edge nightclubs, Paris represents a great destination for anyone in search of a memorable holiday. Just make sure you budget appropriately, as a weekend trip to the European city can quickly run into the thousands if you’re not careful. 

1) Singapore

singapore docks

You might look at this list and question: why is Singapore so expensive? While it is a legitimate question, those who ask have probably never visited the city-state. However, despite the inevitable high costs of a trip to Singapore, this is one place that you have to see before you die.

Constantly praised for its technological advancement, low crime rates and high standard of living, Singapore is a hub of innovation which stands at the forefront of transformation. From the use of vertical farming, an idea that aims to grow produce while simultaneously tackling the very real threat of climate change, to its world-leading development of artificial intelligence, this is one of the most forward-thinking places of our times.

All of the above, combined with beautiful scenery, world-class dining and thumping nightlife, Singapore is deserving of its position atop the world’s most expensive cities in the world list.

*Disclaimer: The post was written and sponsored by Anna Mumford*