Vienna Among Europe's Most Expensive Cities

Lifestyle & TravelLuxury Goods ♦ Published: October 18, 2022; 11:51 ♦ (Vindobona)

Living in cities is expensive. A study by management consultants Mercer ranks the most expensive cities in the world. Vienna is ranked high as one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Read on if you want to know where life is most expensive.

Compared to other European cities, Vienna is one of the more expensive ones. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons, Dimitry Anikin, CC0

Every year, the management consultant Mercer publishes a ranking of which cities are the most expensive to live in. This year, Vienna is among the top 10 most expensive cities in Europe, making a significant leap upwards.

How expensive is it to live in a city and where is the cost of living the highest? The company Mercer has been investigating this question for several years and publishes an annual report on which cities are the most expensive.

This year, Vienna made a significant leap forward. Austria's capital, which was still ranked 37th in 2021, finds itself in 21st place worldwide this year.

This year, as last year, the most expensive city is in Asia. The metropolis of Hong Kong displaced Ashgabat in Turkmenistan to become the most expensive city in the world for international employees this year.

The next four places are all taken by Swiss cities: Zurich (2), Geneva (3), Basel (4) and Bern (5). Only then do Tel Aviv (6) and New York City (7) follow. With Singapore (8), Tokyo (9) and Beijing (10), three more Asian cities join Hong Kong in the top 10.

In this context, the question of the cheapest cities is also interesting.

According to the Mercer survey, Dushanbe (225), Bishkek (26) and Ankara (227) were the cheapest cities for international employees. Europe gets off fairly lightly in this year's ranking, if you exclude Switzerland. The four cities in the top 10 are all in Switzerland, which is known for its high cost of living.

Zurich stands out in second place, directly behind Hong Kong. However, right behind the top ten representatives are cities from other European countries. Other cities in Europe with a high cost of living include Copenhagen, Denmark (11th), London, United Kingdom (15th) and Vienna in 21st place.

The most expensive city in Eastern Europe is Prague (Czech Republic) in 60th place out of 227 cities. It is followed by Riga, Latvia (79), Bratislava, Slovakia (105) and Tallinn, Estonia (140). The cheapest city in Eastern Europe is Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 209th place.

The cost-of-living ranking is one of the world's most comprehensive surveys and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation strategies for their expatriate employees. New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons and currency fluctuations are measured against the US dollar.

The survey covers more than 400 cities around the world; this year's ranking includes 227 cities on five continents and measures the comparable cost of an international basket of goods and services with more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

This basket was updated for the 2022 study. The data collected provides all the key information employers need to design efficient and transparent compensation packages for international employees.