If a high-end adventure is what you’re seeking when it's safe to travel again, perhaps consider a trip to one of the most expensive cities in the world.
A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that three cities share the title — Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong. The two European cities replaced Singapore and Osaka, who topped the ranking last year, alongside Hong Kong again, due to the increasing power of the euro and Swiss franc currencies.
The report ranks the cities based on factors like the cost of food, transport, clothes and more. Changes are driven by cost of living, but also of currency fluctuations in places around the world.
Singapore is now in fourth place, while Osaka dropped to fifth. Overall, the top 10 on the list is split between Europe, Asia, the United States and the Middle East. Tel Aviv shares its ranking with Osaka, while Geneva and New York City are tied in seventh place. Los Angeles and Copenhagen share joint ninth, thus filling out the top 10.
Different factors cause cities to end up on the list - Paris remains one of the most expensive places to live, as only alcohol, transport and tobacco are cheaper than its European counterparts. Copenhagen is expensive due to factors like the high cost of transport, recreation and personal care. Asian cities tend to be more expensive for buying groceries, according to the report, while Tel Aviv is expensive due to the price of buying and maintaining a car.
The pandemic affected certain categories. For example, the cost of high-demand products such as computers has risen in some countries, while the cost of low-demand products such as clothes has caused prices to fall sharply. The EIU expects those trends to continue into 2021.
"Many price-conscious consumers will prioritize spending on staples, home entertainment and faster internet access," said Upasana Dutt, head of Worldwide Cost of Living at The EIU. "Big-ticket items, as well as clothing and out-of-home recreation, will continue to struggle."
This article was first published on March 20, 2019 and updated on November 19, 2020.