Worried about spending too much on vacation? Then you might want to think twice before visiting these five cities that will have you digging deep into your wallet, according to a report from UBS Wealth Management Research.
Oslo, Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen and Stockholm have for years consistently ranked among the world's most expensive cities.
While the hefty price of traveling these cities may make you want to avoid these places, there are ways to cut costs while checking out the sites. To save money when confronted with steep restaurant prices, try thinking outside the box when deciding where to eat, for example. Instead of seeking restaurant recommendations from your hotel concierge, Bill Miller, senior executive of CheapOair.com recommends talking with locals to find the best bargains. Similarly, he advises frugal travelers to purchase food from the local grocery store, instead of eating breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
Though mass transit may still be somewhat pricey in some of these cities, they often remain much cheaper than taxi fares. Try getting to know the local transit system before you arrive - it will make planning your next move much easier.
You may even experience more of a local flavor, in the end.
For the sixth year in a row, Oslo has been named the world's most expensive city, with consistently high prices across the board. Consumer products, restaurants, hotels and various other expenses all remain remarkably costly in Norway's capital, even during the quiet off-season. According to UBS, the cost of living (excluding rent) in Oslo is, on average, almost 40 percent higher than in New York City.
With Zurich's denizens enjoying one of the highest average salary rates in the world, it is little wonder that prices are inflated to match. Unfortunately, for travelers from less affluent areas, keeping up with Zurich's exorbitant cost of living can be a strain.
According to Victor Owens, vice president for North America at Hotels.com, there is also an element of business travel boosting prices in Zurich. These travelers tend to stay in higher quality, higher value accommodations.
All in all, the notoriously pricey restaurants and accommodation in Switzerland's largest city, coupled with expenses like $4 for a one-way ticket on local transportation, make for an extremely pricey trip.
With prices in Switzerland being bolstered by the Swiss Franc's strong performance in the face of a Eurozone crisis, it's unsurprising that the country's second most populous city would rank alongside its larger counterpart. In addition, the country's famously high wages have pushed prices up significantly, making the city a painfully expensive holiday location.
Although it held the top spot in 2009, Copenhagen has still weathered the recession better than most European cities and, unfortunately for travelers on a budget, prices in the capital reflect this. According to a survey conducted by Numbero.com, the average pint of beer will cost upward of $7, while the average local train ticket costs nearly $4.
Dining out ranks among Copenhagen's most inflated expenses, according to Owens. "When it comes to food, the price of a club sandwich in Copenhagen is $19, putting it in ninth place for the most expensive club sandwiches as part of the Hotels.com Club Sandwich Index released last month."
In just two years, the Swedish capital of Stockholm has climbed 11 places on the USB list to rank the fifth most expensive city. Sweden's strong economy, coupled with unfavorable exchange rates for travelers, means that holidaymakers will likely shell out absorbent amounts of cash on a visit to Stockholm.