World Facts

The 10 Most Expensive European Capital Cities

Paris is ranked as the most expensive capital city in Europe.

Europe is home to some of the most famous and beautiful cities in the world. Every year millions of tourists flock to the cities to experience European culture in various countries and to sample world-class amenities available in the continent. Unsurprisingly, some of the most popular tourist destinations on the continent, such as Paris, are also the most expensive. A report published on Statista.com ranked the most expensive cities in Europe based on the cost of renting a newly-built apartment found that Paris had the highest rents at 2,535 Euros. Other cities on the list include London, Luxembourg, Dublin, Helsinki, and Oslo.

Europe's 10 Most Expensive Capitals

1. Paris

Paris is ranked as the most expensive capital city in Europe. The city is a popular destination for many travelers and celebrities due to its numerous architectural landmarks and historic sites. Apart from having the highest rent in Europe, one also has to incur high costs for recreation, personal care, and entertainment. Paris, however, offers value for money on things such as alcohol, tobacco, and transport.

2. London

The average monthly rent for an apartment in London in 2018 was 2,263 Euros, making it the second most expensive capital city in Europe. The city is a favorite destination for many due to its vibrant fashion and art scene, diverse entertainment options, and world-class healthcare. The city has people from various cultures and is also home to four world heritage sites and other attractions that draw many people each day. The collapse in the value of the British pound following the Brexit vote has made renting an apartment relatively cheaper now for foreigners. Despite the fluctuation in the value of the currency, London remains one of the most expensive cities in the world. Consumer prices for groceries in the city is 31.7% higher compared to the city of Prague. Housing costs are also 53.78% higher than in Prague. Fortunately, the purchasing power in London is also high due to the better circulation of money in the economy. 

3. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is ranked as the third most expensive capital city in Europe. The city is home to the European Union Court of Justice and people from various countries and cultures that go there in search of greener pastures. The average monthly cost of renting an apartment in the city is 2,203 Euros. The cost of living in the country is higher compared to many of its neighbors. It is not uncommon to find locals heading across the borders to Belgium, Germany, and France to buy electrical equipment and luxury goods.

4. Dublin

The monthly rent in Dublin is about 2,059 Euros. The city serves as the capital city of Ireland and has grown to become one of the most expensive capital cities on the continent. The city is famous for its writers, the craic, Guinness, and friendly residents. Tours of the city and its popular attractions are considered expensive. The cost of food and drinks is also high, which makes life for students living on a budget very challenging. Most apartments and rooms in the city are fully furnished.

5. Helsinki

The cost of living in Helsinki is high compared to other cities in central Europe. The average amount of rent paid for an apartment, 1,821 Euros, is the primary contributor to the high cost of living in the city. Entertainment and groceries are also quite expensive. There are many supermarkets in the city where one can choose to shop. The most popular “budget” supermarkets are Lidl, K-Market, and Alepa.

6. Oslo

Oslo is one of the most densely populated cities in Norway. It serves as both the administrative and economic capital of the country. It is also a major banking and transport hub. The city attracts many professionals seeking jobs and investors looking to increase their wealth. The city is known for its maritime trade and maritime industries. Various companies in the maritime sector, including some of the largest shipping companies and maritime insurance brokers, are based in the city. Oslo is also ranked as having the best quality of life among European cities. But that does not mean that living there is cheap. The city has a price index of 224, which is 124 points above that of the world’s reference city. The cost of renting an apartment in the city is 1,812 Euros. 

7. Copenhagen

The city of Copenhagen serves as the capital city of Denmark. It developed from a Viking village in the 10th century and has since grown to become a beautiful and densely populated city. The city has a rich history and has gone through several eras or ruin and development. After facing the plague and fires in the 18th century, the city underwent redevelopment, which included the establishment of the Royal Theater, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and the construction of Frederiksstaden, a popular tourist attraction. The city is currently one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe. As a result, a large number of people are flocking to the city. The economic growth has also led to a rise in the cost of living. A regular cup of cappuccino goes for 34 Euros, while the average rent for an apartment goes for 1,658 Euros. The cost of entertainment, however, is 28% cheaper compared to New York. 

8. Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the financial and commercial center of the Netherlands. The city has a high price index of 182, which means that residents have to spend 82% more compared to those living in the world’s reference city. The cost of food and clothing is also considered quite high compared to other European cities. In 2018, the cost of renting an apartment in the city was 1,531 euros, making it the eighth-most expensive city in Europe.

9. Stockholm

Stockholm serves as the seat of the Swedish government and is home to most government agencies. It has a high GDP and attracts numerous professionals, diplomats, and investors. The city also has some of the highest living costs on the continent. Residents typically spend 29% more on clothing and 1% more on transportation compared to New Yorkers. A meal for two people costs about 262 Euros while renting an apartment costs about 1,480 Euros.

10. Moscow

Moscow is ranked as the tenth most expensive capital city in Europe. The cost of renting an apartment in 2018 was 1,380 Euros. The cost of living in Moscow is considerably higher than in other Russian cities, including Saint Petersburg. Depending on how deep one’s pockets go, one can choose between luxury apartments that are far more expensive or modest apartments that are more affordable. The most significant variations in pricing are observed in food and drinks. There are restaurants where food is overpriced and others, especially chain restaurants where one can get a decent meal at a relatively low price.

Living Costs In Europe Compared To America

Overall, living costs in Europe are lower compared to the United States. The financial benefits and costs should, however, be measured carefully against factors such as destination, economic conditions, Income level, and monetary conditions. Where one chooses to live in the US and Europe affects the costs incurred significantly as residential expenses are an important consideration. For example, New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco have rental rates that are above the national average while European cities such as Paris have rates that are well above those of other European cities. Other essential factors that should be considered include currency values, taxes, product costs, and healthcare.

The 10 Most Expensive European Capital Cities

RankEuropean cityAverage monthly rent for an apartment (2018) in €
1Paris2,535
2London2,263
3Luxembourg2,203
4Dublin2,059
5Helsinki1,821
6Oslo1,812
7Copenhagen1,658
8Amsterdam1,531
9Stockholm1,480
10Moscow1,380

About the Author

  • Benjamin Elisha Sawe
  • Writer

Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor. 

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