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The Tel Aviv coastline
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Revealed: the most expensive cities in the world right now

A new ranking has compared the cost of living in 170 cities – and there’s a surprising entry at number one

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

The world has been turned upside over the past two years. And so it’s no wonder an annual ranking of the most expensive cities across the globe has produced very different results in 2021.

According to the study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the spenniest place to live in the whole world is ... Tel Aviv! Following the Israeli city in joint second place were Paris (last year’s most expensive city) and Singapore, then Zurich in fourth and Hong Kong fifth. Other famously pricey cities like New YorkCopenhagen and Geneva also made the top ten.

London is at number 17, which is three spots higher than last year. Australian cities Sydney and Melbourne have also got more expensive, ranking at 14 and 16 respectively.

The EIU looked at 173 cities across five continents, comparing the cost of things like housing, transportation and food. In the case of Tel Aviv, the study pointed to the strength of the shekel (Israel’s currency) against the dollar. As for specifics, it’s the second-most expensive city for alcohol and transport, fifth for ‘personal care’ and sixth for ‘recreation’.

Here’s the full top ten:

1. Tel Aviv 
2. = Paris
2. = Singapore
4. Zurich
5. Hong Kong
6. New York
7. Geneva
8. Copenhagen
9. Los Angeles
10. Osaka

You can see the EIC’s complete ranking here. And if you’re looking for the least expensive cities in the world? According to the EIC, those would be Damascus in Syria, Tripoli in Libya and Tashkent in Uzbekistan

Now check out our very own ranking of the world’s best cities, the world’s coolest neighbourhoods and the best city breaks in Europe for 2022

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