Top 10 Most Expensive Places to Travel

By on April 9, 2018

Last year’s Hoppa study of the most expensive places to visit left some surprises, with cities like London and Paris just falling shy of the top 10 most expensive places to travel. Instead, it’s time to make way for the Scandinavians with the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish capitals ranking in the top five, while destinations across the Atlantic like New York and Caracas came out high as well. These 10 cities are cool and culturally rich but that all comes with a catch: they’re also the most expensive places to travel in the world.

Note that all prices are averages calculated in pounds and then based on an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 16,46 ZAR.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich’s modern reputation as a city of bankers doesn’t tell the full story: the Swiss city has plenty of old-town charm with cobbled streets and history stretching beyond the Reformation. But if you want to visit Lake Zurich and the city’s old churches, you may find there’s one aspect of truth in the stereotype: the world’s most expensive destination, Zurich is definitely for the wealthy.

With the average cost of a double room coming in at R2708, there’s a clue as to why the city ranks as the most expensive.

  • R1310 is what you should be prepared to pay for a dinner for two.
  • A bottle of wine will set you back a further R272.
  • R266 is what a three-kilometer taxi journey around town will cost you.
  • Cup of coffee? First fork out R77.

New York City, United States

Does the Big Apple call you? The grandeur of sites like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building is well-worth the visit but with the city ranking as the world’s second most expensive place, it seems a trip to New York really is the American Dream.

  • A double room in a hotel will cost couples an average of R3074 per night.
  • Unless you’re crunching bagels in your hotel room, dinner for two will come to R1069.
  • R214 is reasonable for a bottle of wine.
  • Compared to Zurich’s rates, a ride in the iconic yellow taxis is very affordable at R99.
  • Starbucks on the run? Have your R61 at the ready.

Copenhagen, Denmark

All the coolness, creativity and confidence that Copenhagen exudes means it’s always popular and traveling to the Danish capital is costly. The Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park over a century old, and the Rosenborg Palace, home to the dazzling crown jewels, are some of the sights this stylish metropolis offers.

  • R2549 will buy a hotel night for two.
  • The price tag of a meal for two people is R1132.
  • Still reasonable at R148, a bottle of wine is a great way to end the day.
  • You might find yourself choosing to walk those three kilometers with taxi fare at R217.
  • Grab a cup of coffee in trendy Christiana for around R83.

Oslo, Norway

The Norwegian capital is home to some of the best-preserved Viking ships, as well as the Vigeland Sculpture Park. It’s also one of the priciest destinations to visit but there’s whopping list of things to do in Oslo.

  • R2228 is the average cost per night for two sharing a hotel room in Oslo.
  • Two people will generally find dinner adding up to R1233.
  • A wine bottle averages R281 in this Norwegian city.
  • At R188 for a three-kilometer taxi ride, it’s perfectly acceptable to hail a taxi cab.
  • It’ll be R69 for a cup of coffee.

Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedes call their capital “beauty on water” and they’re not wrong. Stockholm is dynamic and glamorous and at night, the harbor glows in the light of the grand old buildings and modern skyscrapers. There’s plenty to keep you busy in the city with an impressive library, spectacular museums and an intriguing old quarter. Just keep the price tags in mind; this is the world’s 5th most expensive city.

  • One night for two people in the serene city will set you back R2115.
  • Expect to pay R1018 for a dinner for two.
  • That extra bottle of wine will cost R148.
  • Three-kilometer taxi journeys come to R198.
  • A cup of coffee in the Swedish capital has a R57 price tag.

Venice, Italy

It’s not surprising to find Venice on the list of the world’s most expensive places to travel to. The Floating City has stunning views, elegant architecture and some of the world’s most iconic art. Start your Venetian itinerary with St Mark’s Basilica and then tour the Doge’s Palace.

  • Stay in one of the old palaces for around R1997 for two.
  • Make sure you eat your fill of the delicious Italian food at dinner for two is an expensive R1263.
  • Add a bottle of wine for R97.
  • That three-kilometer journey costs R207 but it’s a special experience: Venice is car-free and you’ll be transported on a boat.
  • R20 for a cup of coffee? More, more, more!

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Europe’s other canal city is aptly called the Venice of the North. With a notorious Red Light District and legal marijuana cafes, tourist attractions here are on the wild side but prepare to loosen your purse strings, too: Amsterdam is expensive.

  • R2375 is for a hotel night for two.
  • R842 should show on your receipt after a hearty Dutch dinner.
  • A taxi ride through Amsterdam costs R187.
  • Grab a bottle of wine for R99.
  • Coffee’s about R42 per cup.

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

It may be an island capital but Honolulu’s prices are anything but laid back. Staying in the city to visit the Ala Moana Beach Park or the ‘Iolani Palace, you’ll find a destination that’s both busy and tropical.

  • A one night stay in a Honolulu hotel will come to R2110 for two.
  • Dinner for two costs R870.
  • Take an extra bottle of wine for R275.
  • R158 for a taxi ride is reasonable in Honolulu.
  • A cup of a coffee is R67.

Rome, Italy

With the Colosseum, the Rome Forum and the Catholic hub of the Vatican City, Rome sure is the Eternal City. But there’s something else from your trip you’ll remember and that’s the jaw-dropping price tags in the 9th most expensive place to travel to.

  • One night’s stay will come to R2611 for two people.
  • Yummy Italian cuisine has a cost and that’s R702 for two people.
  • At just R86 for a bottle of some of the world’s best, drink up.
  • Taxi rides come to R128.
  • An unbelievably cheap R19, coffee should be your go-to fuel.

Caracas, Venezuela

Venezuela’s capital is hectic but there’s a host of things to do here: pay homage to nation-builder Simon Bolivar and ride up the cable car of Mt Avila for stunning views of this mighty modern metropolis. If that sounds attractive to you, prepare to shell out in this 10th most expensive city.

  • Sleepover in a double room in Caracas for R2599.
  • Compared to the other expensive places on the list, Caracas is cheap on the food scene. Dinners for two cost around R576.
  • At R313 per bottle, this is the most expensive city for wine. Did sobriety just start sounding cool?
  • Caracas is not pedestrian-friendly but luckily the taxi rides come in at an attractive R21.
  • Forget wine and turn to coffee. It’s R54 for a cup of world famous Venezuelan coffee.

The most expensive destinations list is dominated by European and American cities. Asia’s most expensive city is glittering Dubai, in at number 13 on the list. On the African continent, mighty Lagos is followed by chilled Cape Town, holding the 54th and 55th places respectively. Sydney cruises in at a still pricey number 22.

Swanky and dynamic, with well-curated histories and a smorgasbord of delectable culinary offerings, there’s a reason these are the world’s most expensive places to travel to.

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