What are the 50 Most Expensive Cities in the World in 2012?

When you work in the travel industry, you receive all kinds of surveys, estimates, reviews and reports, and while many of them can (and should) be taken with a pinch of salt, some are really interesting and useful.

Today I came across one such report by US Company Mercer, stating their list of the World’s Most Expensive Cities in 2012.  The results are pretty much, what we expected, but with the current economic “crisis” in Europe, there has been a significant shift around in the last 12 months.

If you are travelling on a budget this year, avoid Japan at all costs!  Tokyo managed to claim the number 1 spot on the world’s most expensive city list, Osaka came in third place, and Nagoya came in 10th – so you can say Sayonara to “shoestring” options in Japan this year!

Switzerland remains stable and the cities of Geneva and Zurich managed to keep their places in the top 10, taking spots 5 and 6 respectively, while Bern climbed two places from last year to a respectable 14.

Australia is climbing up the ranks, with Sydney being the 11th most expensive city in the world.  Melbourne comes in at number 15, Perth  at 19, Canberra at 23, and Brisbane at 24, so if you are heading off to the wonderful world of Oz anytime soon, you might need to save a little bit harder!

Our beloved capital of London slipped seven places from last year, and it now listed as the 25th most expensive city in the world – good news for travellers heading over for the Olympics next month!

Surprisingly, no member states of the European Union or the United States made the top 25 on this list, so if you want a budget holiday – you know where to go!

For those who are interested… Here is the list of the World’s 50 Most Expensive Cities in 2012:

  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. Luanda, Angola
  3. Osaka, Japan
  4. Moscow, Russia
  5. Geneva, Switzerland
  6. Zurich, Switzerland
  7. Singapore, Singapore
  8. N’Djamena, Chad
  9. Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  10. Nagoya, Japan
  11. Sydney, Australia
  12. Sao Paulo, Brazil
  13. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  14. Bern, Switzerland
  15. Melbourne, Australia
  16. Shanghai, China
  17. Beijing, China
  18. Oslo, Norway
  19. Perth, Australia
  20. Libreville, Gabon
  21. Copenhagen, Denmark
  22. Seoul, South Korea
  23. Canberra, Australia
  24. Brisbane, Australia
  25. London, United Kingdom
  26. Khartoum, Sudan
  27. Adelaide, Australia
  28. St. Petersburg, Russia
  29. Caracas, Venezuela
  30. Shenzhen, China
  31. Tel Aviv, Israel
  32. Guangzhou, China
  33. New York City, NY, United States
  34. Niamey, Niger
  35. Yangon, Myanmar
  36. Kinshasa, Dem. Rep. of the Congo
  37. Paris, France
  38. Milan, Italy
  39. Lagos, Nigeria
  40. Bamako, Mali
  41. Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire
  42. Rome, Italy
  43. Brazzaville, Congo
  44. Djibouti, Djibouti
  45. Brasilia, Brazil
  46. Stockholm, Sweden
  47. Noumea, New Caledonia
  48. Vienna, Austria
  49. Baku, Azerbaijan
  50. Victoria, Seychelles & Dakar, Senegal

How many of these cities have you been to – do you think the list is accurate and fair?


9 Comments Add yours

  1. We don’t do that much travelling to cities but it doesn’t surprise us that Switzerland has three cities high in the ranking.

    1. We enjoy cities for short breaks, but don’t think we will be heading to Tokyo any time soon!

  2. xtopher says:

    I’m a Nigerian and have lived in Lagos and Abuja for many years. Abuja is the most expensive city in Nigeria and should nearly rank as the most expensive in Africa. Abuja is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and was built to decongest Lagos. The preference to live in Abuja is because of its beauty and better infrastructure, which has made it a centre of attraction while Lagos remains second because of its vehicular traffic jams and lack of adequate infrastructure and amenities. You can confirm this.

    1. Thank you for visiting and for your comment – its always good to hear the opinions of locals! 🙂

  3. frenchfry36 says:

    I’m surprised that Australian cities are more expensive than the major European destinations… is this ranking purely from a travelling perspective? Or perhaps it’s more a reflection of the strength of the Australia dollar? (Let’s hope it lasts!)

    1. Thank you for visiting! We visited Australia last year and found everything to be very expensive (especially in Perth and Sydney), but it certainly wouldn’t put us off returning – we loved it!

  4. Oops, Paris is my favorite city and I am heading to Rome in the fall. I am usually really careful of my budget and at least they are not in the top 10. This is good information to know for future travel.

    1. Thank you for visiting! The information is good to know, but its surprising how much fun you can have in a city without spending anything! Enjoy Rome (especially the delicious food!) 🙂

      1. I agree. I always manage to have a great trip and still manage my spending. Actually I am lodging on the outskirts of Trastevere so being in that area will help also.

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