And Here Are Your Most Expensive Cities in the World, 2018 Edition

$16 for a loaf of bread? Guess we're not moving to Seoul.

March 23, 2018 9:00 am

Trip-planners beware: city prices are not created equally.

I had a friend return from a trip to Switzerland and confess that despite Interlaken’s stunning lakes and mountains, she couldn’t quite come to grips with the $25 plate of pancakes she noshed the first morning in town.

The credo applies to aspiring transplants, as well: know before you go. And thanks to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual “Worldwide Cost of Living Report”, you can do exactly that.

Topping the list for the fifth year in a row is Singapore, the most expensive city to buy and operate a car and the third most expensive city to buy clothes. It’s followed by Paris, Zurich, Hong Kong and Oslo. According to the report, the U.S. failed to land a single city in the top 10 due to a weakened dollar. (NY and LA sit at 13 and 14, respectively.)

The report also points out highly specific commodities to buttress its rankings. For instance: Tel Aviv (9th place) sells bottles of wine at an average of $29, a loaf of bread costs $16 in Seoul, and a pack of cigarettes will run you $28 in Sydney (though legislation plays a role there).

Other stats of note? Damascus, unsurprisingly, is now the cheapest city in the world, while Mexico City, Saint Petersburg and Santiago lead the way for biggest leaps in cost increase.

Lists like these aren’t exact, of course, but they’re a damn spot more useful than those “best state” rankings, and just might help you out next time you need a plate of flapjacks.

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