The pound rallied against the majority of its peers at the end of last week’s session as UK retail sales surged in January.
As you might expect, there’s quite a bit of divergence between the top and the bottom – let’s take a peek …
The five cheapest places:
Looking at some of the absolute most affordable places to live, you’ll likely notice something: they’re all in Eastern Europe and Russia. You might not have heard of them all, but here they are!
5. Cluj Napoca, Romania. The fourth largest city in Romania, Cluj Napoca is a city filled with stately architecture and Romania’s largest university. Here, in the 2018 European City of Sport, a month’s rent in a furnished apartment costs £333.
4. Skopje, Macedonia. The capital of Macedonia is a cultural centre that has been inhabited since at least 4,000BC. With half a million residents, marble-clad museums and statues galore, a litre of petrol in Skopje costs 87p.
3. Chişinău, Moldova. A commercial hub as well as the capital, Chişinău is a city of high rise blocks, elegant cathedrals and Soviet era architecture surrounded by forests and not too far from the Black Sea coast. If you decide to move there, an average restaurant meal will set you back £4.05.
2. Novosibirsk, Russia. Situated in southern Siberia, the industrial city of Novosibirsk is nicknamed ‘Russia’s Chicago. If you don’t mind the cold in winter, a standard apartment costs £219 a month to rent.
1. Kharkiv, Ukraine. The absolute cheapest place in all of Europe, Kharkiv is a largish city of 1.5 million people in NE Ukraine. Something of a cultural hub, Kharkiv has 6 museums and 80 libraries, and its industry is famed for producing battle tanks and turbines for nuclear power stations. A beer here costs 45p.
The five most expensive places
As you may have guessed, the most expensive places are all in Western Europe. Of the Top 10, five are in Switzerland. Here are some of the close competitors:
5. Copenhagen, Denmark. Compact, flat and packed with bicycles, Copenhagen is famed for its Little Mermaid statue. But there’s nothing little about prices here, with average rent for a normal apartment costing £1,330 a month and an average bottle of wine costing £9.24.
4. Paris, France. The city by the Seine needs no introduction, but if you want to live here you’ll need to part with £62.63 on average every time you want to go out for dinner.
3. London, UK. Yes, London comes in pretty close to the top of the list in terms of expense, and who could argue with that when it costs an average of £2,375 to rent a flat in the inner city?
2. Reykjavik, Iceland. The small city in the land of the midnight sun might be famed for its unusual seafood dishes and proximity to live volcanoes, but a basic lunchtime snack will set you back £19.36 here.
1. Geneva, Switzerland. Topping the list as the most expensive place to live in Europe is the Alpine city of Geneva. With its pleasant situation beside Lake Leman, Geneva doesn’t come cheap. Renting an apartment here is even more expensive than London, coming in at £2,542 a month.
Of course, there’s a whole continent of variety between the prices found in Geneva and those at the other end of the scale in Cluj Napoca. If you want to find out more and see the full list the expatistan.com survey can be found here.
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