Living on a Shoestring: 20 Cities with the Highest Expenses in 2023

By Krystal Brown

In 2023, several cities have solidified their positions as the most expensive places to live. These cities, known for their high costs of housing, transportation, and everyday expenses, offer a glimpse into the privileged lifestyles they provide. Let’s explore the top 20 most expensive cities in the world in 2023.


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Singapore’s high cost of living can be attributed to several factors, including its limited land area, strong economy, high demand for housing, and strict government policies that drive up prices, such as steep fees for car ownership.

New York

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New York City’s high cost of living is primarily due to its status as a global financial and cultural hub. Factors such as high demand for housing, limited space, a thriving job market, and the presence of prestigious institutions contribute to the city’s expensive lifestyle.

Tel Aviv

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Tel Aviv’s expensive housing market and transportation costs stem from its popularity as Israel’s economic center and vibrant cultural hub. The limited availability of housing, coupled with high demand and limited supply, drives up prices. Additionally, transportation expenses can be high due to a lack of extensive public transportation infrastructure.

Hong Kong

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Hong Kong’s real estate market is notorious for its sky-high prices. The city’s limited land area, strong economy, high population density, and presence as a global financial hub all contribute to the expensive cost of living in this bustling metropolis.

Los Angeles

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Los Angeles is known for its high living and housing costs, primarily driven by its status as a major entertainment industry hub and desirable coastal location. High demand for housing, limited space, and a competitive job market contribute to the city’s expensive lifestyle.


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Zurich’s high cost of living can be attributed to several factors, including Switzerland’s strong economy, high wages, and high standards of living. The city’s strict regulations, high taxes, and high-quality services also contribute to its expensive reputation.


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Geneva shares many similarities with Zurich in terms of high living expenses. The city is known for its high taxes, expensive housing, and high cost of goods and services. Its international organizations and reputation as a diplomatic center further contribute to its high cost of living.

San Francisco

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San Francisco’s exorbitant housing and transportation costs are primarily driven by its booming tech industry and limited housing supply. The high demand for housing, coupled with limited space and strict building regulations, has resulted in sky-high rental and housing prices. Transportation costs are also elevated due to congestion and limited public transportation options.


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Paris, known for its rich history, culture, and tourism, has a high cost of living primarily driven by the demand for housing in the city center. Limited space, high demand from both locals and international buyers, and stringent building regulations contribute to the city’s expensive real estate market.


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Copenhagen’s high cost of living is influenced by Denmark’s strong economy, high wages, and high standard of living. The city’s quality infrastructure, efficient public transportation, and well-preserved historic areas contribute to its expensive lifestyle. Additionally, high taxes and a high level of social welfare services play a role in the overall cost of living in the city.


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Tokyo’s high cost of living can be attributed to several factors. It is a densely populated metropolis with limited space, resulting in high demand for housing and driving up real estate prices. The city’s strong economy, advanced technology, and global financial status contribute to the high living expenses. Additionally, Tokyo offers a wide range of amenities, excellent infrastructure, and a vibrant cultural scene, which add to its overall costliness.


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Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is known for its high cost of living. The city’s booming economy, high wages, and vibrant urban lifestyle contribute to its expensive nature. The demand for housing is significant, resulting in high real estate prices. The high-quality education, advanced technology, and a wide range of entertainment options further add to the overall costliness of living in Seoul.


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 The city offers a diverse range of job opportunities, world-class education, and a bustling social scene, attracting people from around the globe. Limited space and high demand for housing result in steep real estate prices. London’s excellent infrastructure, extensive public transportation system, and rich history also contribute to its high living expenses.


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The city’s economy heavily depends on tourism, leading to inflated prices for accommodations, dining, and entertainment. The allure of beachfront properties and exclusive amenities further contributes to the exorbitant real estate prices and overall expenses associated with living in Nassau.


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The city’s tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture attract residents and tourists alike. Limited land availability and high demand for housing, coupled with the costs of importing goods to the island, result in high living expenses in Honolulu.


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The city offers a high standard of living, excellent healthcare, and efficient public services. Vienna’s rich cultural heritage, architectural beauty, and world-class education contribute to its desirability and higher cost of living. Additionally, high taxes and strict regulations also contribute to the overall expense of living in the city.


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Amsterdam’s real estate prices are driven up by the scarcity of housing, especially in the city center. The city’s lively cultural scene, well-maintained historical architecture, and efficient transportation system make it an appealing choice for residents. However, the combination of high demand and limited space results in an overall expensive lifestyle.


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Oslo, the capital of Norway, has a high cost of living due to its strong economy, high wages, and generous social welfare system. Limited housing availability, strict building regulations, and high demand drive up housing costs. High taxes, quality infrastructure, and access to nature further contribute to Oslo’s overall expense.


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Washington is renowned for its high cost of living, largely influenced by its status as the hub of political power and government activities. The city provides ample job opportunities, renowned universities, and a thriving cultural scene. However, the combination of high housing demand, limited space, and the presence of affluent neighborhoods contributes to soaring real estate prices and overall living expenses.


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Boston’s high cost of living is driven by its reputation as a prominent educational and medical hub. The city houses prestigious universities and world-renowned hospitals, which attract a large number of highly skilled professionals. The substantial demand for housing exacerbates the situation, resulting in increased real estate prices and living expenses.

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