The World’s Most Expensive Cities for Expats


Remember when TPOL was supposed to move to Albania (see Vote Where TPOL Moves in December (For Real This Time)), and then I used COVID as an excuse not to go (see Canceled! TPOL’s Move to Albania)? I don’t regret that decision, but I have learned that living in Puerto Rico is no bargain. 11.5% sales tax, an electric bill that cost more than my former Acura Integra car payment, and a water bill that is as erratic as the rainforest weather in Rio Mar are reasons why I am looking forward to splitting my time abroad. That’s why I will not be living in these places, which made the Top Ten List for most expensive cities for ex-pats in 2021.

10. Bern, Switzerland: I know nothing about this city except for the daily weather which is reported on BBC International.

9. Beijing, China: The Great Wall is great. Other than that, I do not like Beijing. In fact, it’s my least favorite city in China.

8. Geneva, Switzerland: I haven’t been but Vlad and Uncle Joe were there. “I don’t see any reason why it would be?”

7. Singapore: Great food but boring, no thanks (see “You can get anything you want here.”).

6. Shanghai, China: My favorite city in the world (see TPOL’s Travels: The Best Big Cities in the World) is no longer up and coming. It’s there and it’s expensive.

5. Zurich, Switzerland: I went to Zurich expecting it to be Geneva. I found fancy and filth (see Glamour And Grime: My Time in Zurich).

4. Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo has always been expensive and continues to be. I prefer Osaka.

3. Beirut, Lebanon: Tragically Beirut is on this list not because it’s a thriving metropolitan but because of economic instability (see Guns & Butter: (Overrated) Beirut Travel Guide).

2. Hong Kong: Hong Kong is a value buy at #2. Hong Kong was consistently ranked #1 but now there’s a mass exodus from the island.

1.  Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: “Turkmenistan’s ongoing financial crisis, which has led to food shortages and hyperinflation, is cited by Mercer as the reason why Ashgabat’s cost of living has risen over the past couple of years.” Add this one to the list of places I need to go for my Country Count List when I leave my basement.

Maybe Albania is a good idea after all.


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