There are places for budget backpacking travelers, then there are places like the ones on this list that are ready to burn a hole in your pocket and drain your bank account. We’re talking expensive hotel stays, exorbitant taxi rates, and pricey fine-dining to spoil your palate. If money is no object and you’re looking for a place to travel and spend serious amounts of cash, here are the countries that are mainstays in many most expensive lists based on studies like the ones published by Hoppa and others like the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report.
With beautiful crystal clear lakes, sprawling flower fields, and snow-capped Alpine mountains, Switzerland should be in any traveler’s bucket list. This small landlocked country has plenty of nature to keep your mouth open in awe throughout your trip. It’s like living inside a painting only this one will bore a hole in your pocket.
CEO World Magazine calls it the most expensive country in the world to live in, and Zurich, it’s business hub is home to Bahnhoffstrausse, the most expensive shopping strip in the world. This avenue is home to brands like Rolex, Gucci, and Prada but what makes shopping here extra expensive is the high cost of living in the country.
Between airfares, hotel rates, and taxi fares, Switzerland tops many lists of expensive countries to visit. It ranks third in Hoppa’s 2020 List of Most Expensive Holiday Destinations in the World. In another list, Zurich ranked first in the most expensive fine dining options for tourists category and third in terms of expenses you’ll spend to travel around the country.
11. Cayman Islands
This picturesque island located in the Caribbean is home to pristine white sand beaches, beautiful coral reserves, turquoise-green waters, and a promise of untouched peaceful seclusion. It’s a slice of paradise for many tourists looking for a reprieve from their busy lifestyles.
The place has become synonymous with luxurious-living, affluence, and millionaire lifestyle in recent years so much so that Hoppa has ranked it number one in the list of most expensive holiday destinations.
Frolicking in Cayman’s talcum-soft sands and coconut lined beaches come with a price and a hefty one at that. A holiday in this island will cost you around $590 a day. It has the most expensive hotel rooms in the world at a whopping $360 per person per night on average.
Many flock this Scandinavian country each year for its rich culture rooted in its Viking heritage, astonishing natural sceneries, and charming little lakeside towns. It is home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, and to beautiful Norwegian flords or narrow lake drains. Oslo, its capital city is among the cleanest and safest in the world but it’s also notoriously expensive.
Norway is one of Northern Europe’s most expensive countries and is often on the list of most expensive places to visit. Be ready to spend around $258 per day in the capital and even more if you plan to buy goods as goods and services cost around 50% higher than those in the US.
It’s easy to see why Denmark is one of the most favorite places for short-term visits for tourists around the globe. They have a medieval Viking charm, lots of activities to do, and locals who are often always happy and welcoming. They are famous for their colorful architecture that lines their waterways, and a myriad of castles to visit. Many tourists enjoy the sights and sound of the capital city Copenhagen until they start noticing the dent the prices are making on their bank accounts.
Average spending in the city would be around $316 per day. And while it's relatively cheap to get there by plane, what will set you back are the prices of goods and services which are 40% more expensive than those in the US.
Tagged the Venice of the North because of its numerous canals that traverse parts of its cities, Sweden is one of the most beautiful Scandinavian countries to visit. Stockholm, its capital city is chic and charming with plenty of activities to do for tourists. You can walk around and admire the architecture or visit one of the many museums to learn about Viking culture.
While not as expensive as say New York or Switzerland, Sweden still commands quite a hefty price tag for tourists. On average one will have to spend around $316 per day to enjoy this Scandinavian country. While getting there won’t be as pricey (they have one of the cheapest airfares) staying there is a different story. The price of goods in Sweden is 30% more expensive than in the US.
7. Ice Land
One of, if not the, most beautiful Nordic Countries, Iceland has been a destination of choice of those with a little more money to spend. Often called the land of ice and fire, Iceland boasts of picturesque mountains, glacial lagoons, geothermal lakes, rock and ice formations, and their famed-geysers.
But this much beauty comes with a price tag too! Ranked fifth in the world's most expensive destinations, Ice land can cost you $447 per day. While flights to Iceland can be among the cheapest, prices of other goods are 10% more expensive there than in the US.
Already in many people’s travel bucket lists the world over, Japan is home to exquisite foodie fares, unadulterated culture, and plenty of interesting sights and sounds to experience. While there are many scrumptious foods to fit your budget in their convenience stores, still, compared to other countries Japan is one of the most expensive places to visit as a tourist.
Tokyo, its capital city, is home to the famous Ginza street where glitzy flagship designer stores have set-up shop and are ready to max out your credit cards. A hotel in the city will cost you around $300 a night and that’s just for four-star accommodation. Taxi fare here is among the most expensive in the world. It ranks fourth in the 2020 world’s most expensive places to live in.
With tourist hot spots like New York City and San Francisco, the US still tops many lists of expensive places to travel. Although toppled by the Cayman Islands in Hoppa’s list, New York, home to the world’s most expensive zip codes, still ranks fourth in terms of demanding a hefty price tag. New York is notoriously expensive and will set you back $464 per day followed closely by Las Vegas which will cost a tourist around $392 per day.
The city that never sleeps, still commands one of the priciest hotel price tags at around $250-$300 a night and that doesn’t even include the price for cab rides, dinners, and excursions.
4. United Arab Emirates
Many cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi in recent years have become home to favorite travel destinations of those with a little more money to spend. Fueled by oil wealth, these places have become glamorous playgrounds for the rich. Its unique architecture, flashy shopping centers, and a man-made island shaped like a palm tree are a testament to their opulence and love of luxury. With exquisite excursions such as helicopter trips and yacht cruises, Dubai is one of the most expensive holiday destinations ranking second in Hoppa’s list.
A five-star hotel will cost you around $300 per night on average and the much-talked-about Royal Caribbean shore-cruise, the most expensive in the world, costs around $33,000, and no that’s not a typo.
Go to England, they say, go to England to visit the queen, but what they didn’t tell you is how much it will cost you. A visit to one of Europe’s main business hub and center of everything hip and happening in Europe will cost you around $382 per day. Of course there are always more affordable options like sleeping at a friend’s house but on average a tourist would have to spend up to $217 for a night in a hotel in London. The UK also has one of the most expensive train ticket prices in Europe. England and other areas in the UK have a lot to offer and a wide array of places for all types of tourists but it’s one of the most expensive places to visit so be prepared and purchase tickets in advance.
When it comes to European adventures, France still tops the list of places to visit to get an understanding of European culture. Famous for its rich culture, history, and culinary offerings, France is still one of the most interesting places for tourists the world over. The famous French city Paris is has earned the reputation as the city of romance, as well as opulence and luxury.
While there are now many budget options that will let you visit the city, on average a trip to France will still set you back quite more compared to other countries. A day in Paris will cost you around $352. Many historical palaces have been converted to hotels, one of which charges $26,000 a night.
A favorite destination for nature and wildlife lovers as well as adventure seekers, Australia is home to The Great Barrier Reef and the famed Sydney Opera House. Its for travelers who enjoy the great outdoors, sun sand and wild animals.
But the land down under has become not just an expensive place to live but also to visit. Aside from the exorbitant price of plane tickets to reach this seemingly isolated island South of the globe, goods and services are also around 10% more expensive than those in the US. On average a tourist in Sydney would have to shell out around $295 per day according to Hoppa’s study.