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Cost of Living - Europe July 2013

The most expensive countries in Europe for expatriates to live in are  Switzerland Norway Liechtenstein Denmark;  and Jersey. The most expensive cities in Europe for expatriates to live in: Zurich (most expensive in the world);Geneva; Monaco; Oslo; and Moscow. The cheapest city in Europe for expatriates to live in is Sofia in Bulgaria (12th cheapest in the world). The biggest mover down the rankings is Budapest in Hungary, which has dropped from 507th in April to become the 642nd most expensive location in the world. The biggest mover up the rankings is Minsk in Belarus, which has risen from 222nd in April to become the 191st most expensive location in the world.


Xpatulator’s Cost of Living rankings are released every quarter and measure the comparative cost of living for expatriates in 780 cities, covering every country worldwide.  The cost of 13 basket groups with over 140 items are compared in each location, these include alcohol and tobacco, clothing, communication, education, furniture and appliances, groceries, healthcare, housing, personal care, recreation and culture, restaurants-meals-out and hotels, and transport.


Zurich is the most expensive city mainly because the Eurozone crisis has created a flight to safety in Swiss Francs, which are generally considered safer. The inflows have resulted in the Swiss Franc appreciating, and as a consequence prices have gone up on what was already a high cost base compared to the Euro and the US Dollar. Particularly expensive in Zurich is groceries, healthcare, restaurants meals out, hotels, and transport.

To provide an assignee, sent from a low cost of living country to a more expensive country, with a similar purchasing power to what they have in their home country, requires an adjustment to their assignment salary.  The amount of adjustment depends on which country they come from. The larger the difference in cost of living, the larger the adjustment required to ensure a similar level of purchasing power in the host country.

The below ranking shows the overall Cost of Living Rankings in Europe by city:

  1. Switzerland, Zurich
  2. Switzerland, Geneva
  3. Monaco, Monaco
  4. Norway, Oslo
  5. Russia, Moscow
  6. United Kingdom, London
  7. Liechtenstein, Vaduz
  8. Denmark, Copenhagen
  9. Sweden, Stockholm
  10. France, Paris
  11. Jersey, Saint Helier
  12. Russia, Vladivostok
  13. Italy, Rome
  14. Finland, Helsinki
  15. Greenland, Nuuk
  16. Russia, St. Petersburg
  17. Austria, Vienna
  18. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  19. San Marino, San Marino
  20. United Kingdom, Bristol
  21. United Kingdom, Manchester
  22. Iceland, Reykjavik
  23. United Kingdom, Glasgow
  24. Netherlands, Amsterdam
  25. Germany, Munich
  26. Isle of Man, Douglas
  27. United Kingdom, Edinburgh
  28. Belgium, Brussels
  29. United Kingdom, Aberdeen
  30. Russia, Novosibirsk
  31. United Kingdom, Luton
  32. Guernsey, St Peter Port
  33. Germany, Frankfurt
  34. Turkey, Mersin
  35. Ireland, Dublin
  36. Russia, Nizhny Novgorod
  37. United Kingdom, Guildford
  38. Turkey, Konya
  39. Gibraltar, Gibraltar
  40. United Kingdom, Stoke-on-Trent
  41. United Kingdom, Southampton
  42. United Kingdom, Milton Keynes
  43. United Kingdom, Sheffield
  44. United Kingdom, Liverpool
  45. United Kingdom, Isle of Wight
  46. United Kingdom, Reading
  47. Azerbaijan, Baku
  48. United Kingdom, Coventry
  49. Germany, Hamburg
  50. Belarus, Minsk
  51. Italy, Milan
  52. Germany, Stuttgart
  53. United Kingdom, Northampton
  54. Italy, Genoa
  55. United Kingdom, Newcastle upon Tyne
  56. United Kingdom, Portsmouth
  57. France, Nice
  58. United Kingdom, Derby
  59. Russia, Samara
  60. United Kingdom, Preston
  61. United Kingdom, Leeds
  62. United Kingdom, Bradford
  63. United Kingdom, Kingston upon Hull
  64. United Kingdom, Belfast
  65. Russia, Kaliningrad
  66. United Kingdom, Birmingham
  67. Germany, Cologne
  68. United Kingdom, Cardiff
  69. Russia, Yekaterinburg
  70. Malta, Valletta
  71. United Kingdom, Wolverhampton
  72. United Kingdom, Plymouth
  73. France, Marseille
  74. Italy, Turin
  75. United Kingdom, Leicester
  76. United Kingdom, Nottingham
  77. Netherlands, Rotterdam
  78. Russia, Kazan
  79. France, Toulouse
  80. Germany, Bonn
  81. Germany, Berlin
  82. Italy, Naples
  83. Russia, Omsk
  84. Italy, Palermo
  85. France, Lyon
  86. Turkey, Izmir
  87. Turkey, Istanbul
  88. France, Bordeaux
  89. Spain, Madrid
  90. Estonia, Tallinn
  91. Cyprus, Nicosia
  92. Turkey, Adana
  93. Spain, Barcelona
  94. Turkey, Bursa
  95. France, Nantes
  96. Portugal, Lisbon
  97. Ukraine, Kiev
  98. Turkey, Ankara
  99. Croatia, Zagreb
  100. Spain, Valencia
  101. Czech Republic, Prague
  102. France, Lille
  103. Greece, Thessaloniki
  104. Serbia, Belgrade
  105. Andorra, Andorra la Vella
  106. Georgia Republic of, Tbilisi
  107. Greece, Athens
  108. Slovakia, Bratislava
  109. Vatican City, Vatican City
  110. Slovenia, Ljubljana
  111. Kosovo, Pristina
  112. Lithuania, Vilnius
  113. Armenia, Yerevan
  114. Moldova, Chisinau
  115. Montenegro, Podgorica
  116. Poland, Warsaw
  117. Latvia, Riga
  118. Hungary, Budapest
  119. Albania, Tirana
  120. Poland, Krakow
  121. Macedonia, Skopje
  122. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo
  123. Poland, Lodz
  124. Romania, Bucharest
  125. Bulgaria, Sofia


The below ranking shows the Cost of Living Rankings in Europe by city excluding housing, education, healthcare and transport basket groups: 

  1. Switzerland, Zurich
  2. Switzerland, Geneva
  3. Russia, Moscow
  4. Norway, Oslo
  5. Liechtenstein, Vaduz
  6. Russia, Vladivostok
  7. Denmark, Copenhagen
  8. Monaco, Monaco
  9. Sweden, Stockholm
  10. Russia, St. Petersburg
  11. Russia, Nizhny Novgorod
  12. France, Paris
  13. Russia, Kaliningrad
  14. Russia, Novosibirsk
  15. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  16. Russia, Samara
  17. San Marino, San Marino
  18. Azerbaijan, Baku
  19. Greenland, Nuuk
  20. United Kingdom, London
  21. Austria, Vienna
  22. Finland, Helsinki
  23. Iceland, Reykjavik
  24. Italy, Rome
  25. Belgium, Brussels
  26. Turkey, Mersin
  27. Russia, Yekaterinburg
  28. Gibraltar, Gibraltar
  29. Jersey, Saint Helier
  30. Estonia, Tallinn
  31. Russia, Kazan
  32. Germany, Munich
  33. Russia, Omsk
  34. Germany, Frankfurt
  35. Belarus, Minsk
  36. France, Nice
  37. Germany, Stuttgart
  38. Turkey, Konya
  39. Netherlands, Amsterdam
  40. France, Marseille
  41. Italy, Genoa
  42. United Kingdom, Bristol
  43. Germany, Hamburg
  44. Germany, Bonn
  45. France, Toulouse
  46. United Kingdom, Edinburgh
  47. Ireland, Dublin
  48. Isle of Man, Douglas
  49. Cyprus, Nicosia
  50. United Kingdom, Glasgow
  51. Guernsey, St Peter Port
  52. Italy, Turin
  53. United Kingdom, Aberdeen
  54. Germany, Cologne
  55. United Kingdom, Manchester
  56. Germany, Berlin
  57. Spain, Madrid
  58. United Kingdom, Guildford
  59. United Kingdom, Liverpool
  60. Spain, Barcelona
  61. United Kingdom, Newcastle upon Tyne
  62. France, Lyon
  63. United Kingdom, Luton
  64. Italy, Palermo
  65. Italy, Milan
  66. Netherlands, Rotterdam
  67. Italy, Naples
  68. France, Bordeaux
  69. Greece, Thessaloniki
  70. Malta, Valletta
  71. Turkey, Istanbul
  72. France, Nantes
  73. United Kingdom, Stoke-on-Trent
  74. United Kingdom, Sheffield
  75. United Kingdom, Milton Keynes
  76. United Kingdom, Reading
  77. United Kingdom, Coventry
  78. Turkey, Izmir
  79. Slovenia, Ljubljana
  80. United Kingdom, Southampton
  81. United Kingdom, Belfast
  82. United Kingdom, Isle of Wight
  83. United Kingdom, Cardiff
  84. Greece, Athens
  85. United Kingdom, Portsmouth
  86. Latvia, Riga
  87. United Kingdom, Preston
  88. United Kingdom, Northampton
  89. Turkey, Adana
  90. United Kingdom, Derby
  91. United Kingdom, Leeds
  92. United Kingdom, Birmingham
  93. Spain, Valencia
  94. Turkey, Bursa
  95. United Kingdom, Bradford
  96. United Kingdom, Kingston upon Hull
  97. Andorra, Andorra la Vella
  98. Lithuania, Vilnius
  99. Slovakia, Bratislava
  100. United Kingdom, Leicester
  101. United Kingdom, Wolverhampton
  102. United Kingdom, Plymouth
  103. Czech Republic, Prague
  104. Turkey, Ankara
  105. Georgia Republic of, Tbilisi
  106. Portugal, Lisbon
  107. Vatican City, Vatican City
  108. France, Lille
  109. United Kingdom, Nottingham
  110. Serbia, Belgrade
  111. Ukraine, Kiev
  112. Moldova, Chisinau
  113. Armenia, Yerevan
  114. Kosovo, Pristina
  115. Croatia, Zagreb
  116. Poland, Warsaw
  117. Montenegro, Podgorica
  118. Hungary, Budapest
  119. Poland, Krakow
  120. Poland, Lodz
  121. Bulgaria, Sofia
  122. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo
  123. Albania, Tirana
  124. Romania, Bucharest
  125. Macedonia, Skopje


The cost of living ranking information contained in this article is updated quarterly using data collected by Xpatulator.com over the past 12 months. The international cost of living indexes, on which the rankings are based, is only available using Xpatulator.com's online expatriate calculators that enable users to create personalized cost of living comparison reports which include:

Published by Xpatulator.com on 1 July 2013.

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