European Union

Live in one of these European cities? You'll be paying more than anyone else

These are some of Europe's most costly cities to live in.

These are some of Europe's most costly cities to live in. Image: REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Lianna Brinded
Markets Editor, Business Insider
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how European Union is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

European Union

Europe is home to a number of countries and cities which have the highest incomes and standards of living in the world.

But it also can come at a cost.

According to Glassdoor's report entitled "Which Countries in Europe Offer The Best Standard of Living?,” Britain's capital London has the highest rent in the whole of Europe, meaning that people spend a high percentage of their wages on keeping a roof over their head.

Glassdoor's cost of living index takes into account is income versus "how much money is needed to buy a standard basket of goods and services in different countries, including groceries, restaurants, transportation, utilities, and rent."

Of course, London trails near the top but there are other cities that rank higher.

Business Insider took a look at the 11 most expensive cities to live in Europe:

11. Amsterdam — The capital of the Netherlands is one of the most sought after places in Holland to live, thanks to being a cultural, financial and educational hub for the country. However, popularity is pushing local costs higher and therefore making it more expensive to live in.

10. Helsinki — Helsinki has one of the highest costs for living across all categories but is balanced by high wages on average.

9. Stockholm — Sweden ranks as having one of the highest standards of living in Europe, thanks to the cost of local goods and services (including food, transportation, and rent) being relatively modest when you compare it to pay.

8. Dublin — The capital of the Republic of Ireland has some of the highest average wages in Europe. However rising costs for housing, transportation and groceries is making it more expensive to live in this year.

7. Paris — Annual wages are relatively modest and are ranked sixth from the bottom of the average nominal annual wages index provided by Glassdoor when looking at France overall. However, property costs are exceptionally high in the capital, causing Paris to be one of the most expensive places to live in Europe.

6. Copenhagen — Being the cultural, economic and governmental centre of Denmark, the city has some of the highest costs for living in the country.

5. Bergen — The Norwegian coastal city is surrounded by mountains and fjords but the cost of living is higher than people living in Los Angeles in the US.

4. Oslo — The Norwegian capital has some of the highest wages in the whole of Europe but everything from groceries to utility bills is costly. Even transportation will take a bite out of monthly salaries.

3. London — Britain's capital has the highest rents in Europe and considering average income is lacklustre, it costs Londoners a huge proportion of their wages each month.

2. Zurich — The city is one of Switzerland's financial hubs but it also boasts one of the highest costs for transportation, accommodation, and utilities.

1. Geneva — The Swiss city is 3% more expensive to live in than New York City even though income is some of the highest in the whole of Europe.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
European UnionEconomic Progress
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

A $6 billion investment in Africa’s future and other key outcomes from the Italy-Africa summit

Simon Torkington

February 8, 2024


About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum