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UK cities cheapest in decades for visitors as pound slides

UK cities cheapest in decades for visitors as pound slides

The sharp decline in the value of the British pound thanks to uncertainty surrounding the Brexit referendum means that UK cities are at their cheapest level internationally in decades.

That is according to the latest findings of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

The survey, which assesses the cost of a basket of over 150 goods across 133 cities around the world, found that London fell 18 places to 24th compared with 6th place last year.

In the rest of Europe, Zurich was the most expensive European city and ranked in third place overall, behind Singapore and Hong Kong.
Geneva was ranked 7th.

Paris, ranked in 7th alongside Geneva, is the only euro zone city among the ten most expensive.


The Danish capital, Copenhagen, which pegs its currency to the euro, also features in the ten priciest, largely owing to relatively high transport and personal care costs.

“With UK cities slipping down the ranking and Asian cities rising we now see only four European cities among the ten most expensive,” comments Jon Copestake, editor of the survey.

“This is a significant change from ten years ago when European cities made up eight of the top ten most expensive.”

The Greek capital Athens, ranked 92nd, was the cheapest city in Western Europe, on a par with the cost of living in the Philippines capital Manila.

Meanwhile in Eastern Europe the cost of living largely sites below that of Western European counterparts.

The region features three cities among the ten cheapest: Ukrainian capital Kiev, Romanian capital Bucharest (both in joint 124th) and Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business centre.

In fact Almaty has fallen by six places in the last 12 months to earn the title of least expensive city.

Yet, Almaty’s citizens may not feel that the city is getting cheaper.

Despite measures to control prices, Almaty has seen inflation approaching 20 per cent during 2016.

However, local price rises have not completely offset a 50 per cent devaluation in the Kazakh tenge, since the currency was allowed to float in August 2015.

Elsewhere in the ranking, Singapore remains top with Asian cities now accounting for five of the six most expensive cities in the world.

New York was the sole North American representative among the ten most expensive.

A free version of the report can be downloaded here.