The Most Expensive Cities in Europe 2024


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Europe is a continent of diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, as well as, some of the priciest cities to live in. If you've ever wondered why your vacation or relocation budget doesn't stretch as far as you hoped, this rundown of the most expensive cities in Europe for 2024 might shed some light.


At the top of the list, Monaco gleams with an unmatched sparkle. With a Cost-of-Living Index (COLI) of 138, where New York is the baseline at 100, it's not just Europe's most expensive city but the world's. The reason? Given that housing eats up to 30% of an international professional's living costs, the limited space, wealthy residents, and luxurious living, prices are sky-high. In fact, Monaco is 21.6 points pricier than the second-most expensive city globally, Hong Kong.


Switzerland secures the next two spots with Zurich and Geneva. Zurich, with a COLI of 114.6, and Geneva, at 106.6, showcase the high cost of living, especially noticeable in housing, healthcare, and dining. Yet, the silver lining is their high salaries, allowing international professionals to maintain their standard of living.

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Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe tells a different story. Cities in Russia, Albania, Poland, Moldova, and Estonia are climbing the cost-of-living ladder in USD terms, thanks to ongoing inflation challenges and rising food and energy prices. Despite their rise, they remain about 40% cheaper than New York.

The Top Ten Priciest European Cities in 2024

Here's a quick glance at where your wallet might feel the tightest in Europe this year:

  1. Monaco: Luxury living comes at a cost.
  2. Zurich: High prices, but high salaries too.
  3. Geneva: Expensive, yet manageable with Swiss wages.
  4. Copenhagen: Danish charm with a hefty price tag.
  5. Vaduz: Little city, big prices.
  6. London: A global hub that's costly to call home.
  7. Oslo: Nature and expenses are abundant.
  8. Saint Helier: Small island, high costs.
  9. Paris: The city of love and lofty prices.
  10. Nuuk: A surprising entry, proving expensive tastes reach cold climates too.

Why the High Prices?

The cities topping this list share a few common traits. Limited housing availability, limited space, high-quality living standards, and robust economies keep them expensive. For places like Monaco, it's also about the prestige and tax advantages attracting high-net-worth individuals.

In Switzerland, the high cost of living is somewhat offset by equally high salaries, making it expensive but manageable for those earning locally. Meanwhile, Eastern Europe's rising costs reflect broader economic shifts, highlighting inflation's impact.

Living in or visiting these cities means navigating some of Europe's steepest prices. Whether it's Monaco's luxury, Switzerland's high wages compensating for high costs, or the inflation-driven price hikes in Eastern Europe, knowing what to expect can help you plan better. So, while the allure of these destinations is undeniable, it's wise to prepare for the financial reality that accompanies their charm.

Use Xpatulator’s Cost of Living Calculators and Tools for informed decision-making about the cost of living and the salary / allowance / assignment package required to maintain the current standard of living.