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WillTravel Mar 5th, 2007 10:37 PM

Another "most expensive" cities list

Supposedly Oslo is #1 (no surprise there), but Paris at #2 certainly is a surprise. Copenhagen is #3, and London is #4.

Having been to all four cities, I would order them as Oslo, Copenhagen, London, Paris (and Paris would not be #4 either). Of course it really depends on what items are being sampled for price - this index can easily be distorted that way.

Even with Tehran being ranked as the cheapest city, I don't plan to visit anytime soon!

flanneruk Mar 5th, 2007 11:23 PM

Cost of living indices vary according to what question's being asked.

This article refers to the database a sister company of The Economist runs to advise expatriates and relocators. Its weightings are geared to what an Anglo-Saxon family would be spending money on if they lived there to work in a conventional organisation - including,if I remember rightly, property tax and the like.

That doesn't reflect the relative costs of being a visitor, which is why Paris comes out pricier than London - accurately if you're an expatriate at Morgan Stanley, but clearly not the case if you're sightseeing for three days.

gard Mar 5th, 2007 11:40 PM


Not sure why you think Paris is a surprise. It is pretty expensive to get a hotel, going out to eat is not that cheap etc. I went to Paris last year and I went to a place where I had to pay 10 € for a glass of beer. I think most capitals and big cities are expensive.

Gard - trip reports and pictures

kerouac Mar 6th, 2007 12:19 AM

These lists are always comparing incomparable things and assuming that one wants exactly the same products and lifestyle in each city.

Gard, you can pay 10€ for a beer in Paris or buy one for 0.30€ at the supermarket. It's your choice.

walkinaround Mar 6th, 2007 01:21 AM

Its weightings are geared to what an Anglo-Saxon family would be spending money on if they lived there to work in a conventional organisation

no, this is all about someone earning and spending in US dollar. notice nyc is the base city....meaning that all city costs are relative to nyc costs (which are in USD, of course). the exchange rate has a big part in what costs are RELATIVE to nyc. it has nothing to do with someone earning in £ and working in paris. it is a useless measure unless your personal base currency is USD and you are travelling to these cities.

Josser Mar 6th, 2007 01:37 AM

Actually, Tehran might be worth a visit.
It is a modern city with gardens, museums, libraries etc.
Remember that Persia was a cradle of civilisation.
Perhaps we should all go while all that beauty remains.

Brazilnut Mar 6th, 2007 02:23 AM

For me, London tops them all, but I also found Rome to be quite expensive!

car Mar 6th, 2007 03:17 AM

Whatever the article says in my gut feeling London is number one.
Or at least the one I think I get less for my money.

sansman Mar 6th, 2007 03:35 AM

I would love to go to Tehran.

ira Mar 6th, 2007 07:08 AM

Hey Gard,

>I went to Paris last year and I went to a place where I had to pay 10 € for a glass of beer. <

You shouldn't have gone there. :)


Sue_xx_yy Mar 6th, 2007 07:23 AM

Willtravel, thanks for the link, it was interesting.

You are right, the basket of goods used might not reflect the basket of goods used by the typical tourist.

Also, I wonder if the survey compared 'list' or 'rack rate' prices, as opposed to costs actually realized in the field. (My guess is the former, since it would be a more definitive index.) In other words, if the pricing and marketing techniques commonly used by vendors in various cities varies considerably, then the comparison is less valid.

Example: some cities might have hotels that market extensively through third parties at lower prices, but the third parties weren't surveyed. Or, the average cost of 100 ml of toothpaste in my local drugstore might be $1.00, but there's always one brand or size on sale for less than a penny a ml, so what one would actually spend, is not reflected in the average price of toothpaste.

PalenQ Mar 6th, 2007 07:37 AM

I base my list on the cost of booze - mainly wine, beer and cider:

Oslo (about ten times as dear as any of the other three)

wanderful Mar 6th, 2007 07:47 AM

I saw that list of the ďmost expensive cities.Ē

I donít buy it, particularly the ĒfindingĒ that Paris is more expensive than New York City.

Iíve been to Paris (and am going again in May) and I can get a decent hotel room much easier, for less (and without the bedbugs) in Paris than I can in New York City. (When Iím referring to New York City, Iím referring to Manhattan. Who wants to stay in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, or Staten Island? Yet Iím wondering if this so-called study factored those boroughs into the costs, thereby lowering the average expense of touring ĒNew York City.Ē)

If Paris and other European cities have become more expensive for Americans in the past few years, itís because the dollar sucks against the euro. And for that, and many other things, you can blame that idiot in the White House.

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