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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Expensive cities by Ellerd on 7 March 2007 8:17am

Planning a European summer vacation? Save your money.

Eight of the ten costliest cities worldwide are located in Europe, according to a recent survey from The Economist Group.

Oslo, Norway topped the list of the most expensive, followed by Paris, Copenhagen, Denmark and London. Two Japanese cities broke into the top ten: Tokyo - which claimed the top spot in 2005 and came in second last year - at fifth and Osaka Kobe at sixth.

Reykjavik, Iceland; Zurich, Switzerland; Frankfurt, Germany and Helsinki, Finland rounded out the ten.

"The strength of European currencies plays a large part," in unseating Tokyo from the top five, said Jon Copestake, the survey's editor. "But prices in Europe are also rising whereas those in Japan have been almost static."

Still dreaming of that trip to Europe? Consider the cheaper European capitals of Greece (Athens tied at No. 55), the Czech Republic (Prague tied at No. 55), Portugal (Lisbon at No. 59), and Poland (Warsaw at No. 63).

It may be an even better idea to stay close to home. The falling dollar and declining inflation made the United States affordable, even for a penny-pincher. New York, the most expensive U.S. city, didn't show up on the list until No. 28. Chicago followed at No. 36 and Los Angeles at No. 41.

Atlanta claimed the title of cheapest U.S. city at No. 84.

Moscow - tied for No.26 with Amsterdam, Netherlands - edged out New York, while two cities in Canada - Vancouver and Montreal - gave the Big Apple a run for its money at Nos. 36 and 39, respectively.

The region of the world that offers the most bang for a dollar is Latin America, which accounts for a quarter of the cheapest 30 cities.

Africa and the Middle East also were home to inexpensive destinations. Except for Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire and Tel Aviv, Israel, cities in these regions were absent from the costliest 50.

What was the best bargain on the list, and perhaps the least hospitable city for American tourists? Tehran, Iran at No. 132, the least expensive city on the list.

The Economist Intelligence Unit survey compared prices and products in more than 130 cities worldwide and used New York as a base index of 100 for comparisons.

Re: Expensive cities by tucsonmike on 8 March 2007 1:59am
Luckily Latin America is next door for me to travel to. Especially since my soon to be ex boss is helping her brother start a company in Mexico. Travel to Cabo San Lucas? Oh what a hardship LOL!
Re: Expensive cities by kazzzz on 11 March 2007 2:27pm
Ellerd a few years ago I went to London via Tokyo and yes I was flat broke afterwards!
Re: Expensive cities by geordiegirl on 19 March 2007 3:45pm
I'm sure you're right about the strong European economies not being favourable to other currencies, but a little pre-planning by looking at the ROUGH GUIDES (available in public libraries) will give a traveller lots of money-saving ideas - we've found this in lots of European cities (and also in New York). I will put in a plug for my favourite city, Budapest: using public transport & shopping in their wonderful markets costs next to nothing.

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