5 Most Expensive Cities for American Expats


Every day people move around the world for one reason or another. A different cultural experience, to be closer to family, and career opportunities all drive people to new cities.

But if your company asks you to relocate, or you decide to move on your own, how much will the new city cost you?

Living in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. can be expensive. However, moving outside of the United States might also cause a financial strain.

According to expatistan.com, seven of the ten most expensive cities to live in in the world are outside of the U.S. Four of those seven cities – Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Lausanne – are in Switzerland.

Which cities top the list? Here are the five most expensive cities to live in outside of the United States and what makes them so expensive.

Zurich, Switzerland

While the expense of living in Zurich, Switzerland runs deep, the cost of food stands out as extraordinary. A basic lunch costs about $27 and a basic dinner around $41. Even if you decided to prepare your own meals, chicken costs $12 per pound.

Strange price hike: Expect a men’s haircut to run you north of $60! However, the long-haired, man bun is becoming more and more trendy.

George Town, Cayman Islands

Like in Zurich, the food in George Town, Cayman Islands is expensive. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and a pound of apples a day will cost you about $7. If you enjoy living a more lavish lifestyle, a fancy Italian dinner for two costs around $160.

Strange price hike: Expect the monthly utilities bill in your two-room apartment to cost near $400! In the United States, the city with the highest average utilities bill is Boston at $200.

Geneva, Switzerland

Instead of sitting down for a fancy dinner, you might grab a quick bite and enjoy a drive-in in Geneva, Switzerland. The fast food combo could run you $15 while a standard movie ticket costs about $20.

Strange price hike: Expect a tube of toothpaste to cost near $5! This price isn’t out of this world, but compared to other cities, this is outrageous.

Hong Kong

Housing is where you might get the biggest sticker shock in Hong Kong. The cost of renting a 900 square foot apartment in the city is anywhere from $3,170 to $4,860. That’s almost double the price of renting in Washington, D.C. Even renting a studio apartment in Hong Kong could run you $2,820.

Strange price hike: Expect a gallon of gas to cost over $7! And people complain about $2.12 stateside.

Reykjavik, Iceland

When you think fashion, Reykjavik, Iceland is probably on the top of your mind. If it isn’t, it probably should be. A pair of Levi’s jeans costs more than $150, a pair of Nike trainers is around $200, and a pair of leather dress shoes costs about $220.

Strange price hike: Expect a bottle of shampoo to cost near $8! If you’re going to pay to dress well, you should make sure your hair looks good, too.

Global moving, like domestic moving, can be stressful and costly. So if you do decide to relocate globally, hire a trusted mover, know these 7 terms and plan ahead.

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