As the cost of living continues to rise, the most expensive cities continue to vary as the post COVID-19 market sees economic shifts never predicted. Some of the biggest factors influencing cost of living changes since the global health pandemic began include government actions, a fall in disposable income, changes in lifestyle, local currency exchange rate movement and supply chain problems.
Nevertheless, there always seems to appear the same few cities on these lists which will forever remain luxurious destinations we can only dream of living in, or holidaying at. While you may not be able to afford it, even if you could it’s hard to substantiate the cost of some of these hefty locations, when your comparing three nights in Taipei for the same price as two weeks in Hawaii.
At the end of the day, if you want to make it happen, you can. Anything is possible right?
The average cost of living may be high but, doesn’t mean you have to spend as much as everyone else does. There’s always going to be options. Most people fall in love with cities based on culture, atmosphere, lifestyle, pace and the people – all of which cost zero dollars and are sustainable regardless of income or budgets. At the end of the day, anywhere you choose to live or travel to is always going to be worth every cent as the experience remains priceless and unforgettable, allowing you to drop all chances of regret.
Most Expensive Cities
China is forecast to become the world’s biggest economy by 2028, so it’s no surprise the commercial capital of the country is already there. Led by the amount of private wealth in Shanghai, degustation dinners, lawyers and business class have become the norm among everyday living in the city.
Rent is definitely on the high end of the scale, especially if you are near the city or other populated areas. From a tourism perspective, Shanghai is worth it with plenty of charms and attractions for any traveller. Iconic landmarks, floating towns and museums are all part of the culture and history of the city, laid amidst lush green spaces and other local hangouts.
Home of the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, Tokyo has renown history for being on the high side when it comes to costs. It’s unique atmosphere and experiences make it all worth it as the city continues to dominate in tourism and expat living.
There’s nowhere else you can watch live baseball at 4am in the morning or sleep in a capsule. When experiences are everything, it appears money needs to take a backseat. Tokyo is always going to be worth it for the passionate traveller.
3. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an impressive and busy city, with a sustainably high standard of living. Property prices are a large factor, remaining high along with energy costs. For tourists, there’s no such thing as a budget hotel while keeping up with other expenses such as alcohol and transport can make it a pricey vacation.
On the positive side? The glamorous city is the perfect location for luxurious shopping, assuming you’ve got the money to spend if you’ve made it there. It’s also steeped in culture and history, with delicious cuisine and the ever-impressive skyline. You’ll find something new and unique around every corner from an ancient temple to the latest electronic gadget. And from a nature perspective, discover forest-covered mountains, hiking trails, islands and traditional fishing villages.
This small city in the south of France has always had big ambitions, extending all the way through to expense. Monaco gets away with it, as a go to destination for many reasons including nature, climate, architecture, culture, nightlife, day bustle and stunning terraces. Wealthy and influential people are often sighted here, if they’re not already living in the city in a prestigious estate.
If you’ve been to Monaco, it almost impossible not to want to return one day despite the pricey elements. Topping the list is real estate, followed closely by services and utilities. Then there’s the boutique shopping and night life, with the famous casino an optional, yet almost essential, extra.
The capital city of Taiwan has not always been among the highest, and only recently emerged as one of Asia’s best-loved destinations dominated by Japanese colonial lanes, busy shopping streets and contemporary buildings. It’s rapidly developing, more than ever now as it slides into the most expensive category with the costly array of restaurants and hotels emerging.
Cultural heritage comes with everything in Taipei with places like Snake Alley and Lonshan Temple. Other places for the consumer dollar include the fashionable Ximending district and impressive electronics at Guang Hua Digital Plaza.
Perhaps happiness comes with a price as the Zurich continues to top worldwide city rankings when it comes to both cost of living and quality of life. The largest swiss city by the water combines creative urban living with nature, all in the heart of Europe. There are countless events, diverse museums food festivals and vibrant nightlife which remain drawcards among both locals and tourists all year round.
Less than an hour away, the Swiss mountains are accessible for rest and relaxation when it’s needed most. Zurich is also the global centre for banking and finance, not surprising when factoring in the high cost of living.
Undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in the world, there are a thousand things to see and do in the very expensive capital of France. The city of art and fashion guarantees enduring memories from romantic adventures and experiencing the Parisian way of life.
While it’s expensive, it does come with world-renown heritage such as the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees and Louvre, which are so good you can’t really put a price on them. No wonder real estate prices are through the roof, it’s probably worth it if you want to spend your days wandering along the banks of Seine and reading French in the Tuileries garden.
It’s one of the world’s most visited cities, and an expensive place for both visitors and residents with housing costs the main factor. A worthy trip, this UK hot spot has something for everyone from history and culture to fine food and good times.
It’s definitely a case of getting what you paid for with London, forever bursting with eye-opening antiquity with unique and beguiling stories behind every recognisable landmark including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Not to mention the thriving art and culture community forever developing within the modern age through theatrical innovation, contemporary art, pioneering music, writing, poetry, architecture and design.
A city always appearing on high cost of living lists, Singapore is forever maintaining its expensive status with no signs of dropping anytime soon. The world’s only island nation is highly developed and has one of the strongest economies around. It’s estimated one in every six households in Singapore has at least one million dollars in disposable wealth, excluding property.
The city’s sights, culture and history combined with the fast-paced lifestyle and superb transport system make it one of Asia’s most visited destinations. Top sights include Orchard Road, Chinatown, Little India, Sentosa Island, Singapore Zoo and Marina Bay Sands. Be prepared to spend big however as most destinations come with pricey eats and elegant stores.
It seems Asia and Europe have taken the reigns with this list, as the most expensive cities post-COVID-19. These destinations have in common, their popularity worldwide with both expatriates and tourists. They’re forever hustling and bustling business hubs and with prices only going up, it’s hard to imagine life in these cities any other way than extremely expensive…..for now at least.