15 Most Expensive Places to Visit

By Miriam B. Weiner, Staff WriterDec. 29, 2011
By Miriam B. Weiner, Staff WriterDec. 29, 2011, at 9:01 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report

15 Most Expensive Places to Visit

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The city of London at sunset.
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15. London, England

Average Hotel Price: $177 per night
Visitors often bemoan London as expensive. Bad news: Despite Europe's trying economic times, UBS' Prices and Earnings report shows that, between 2009 and 2011, London has managed to climb from No. 21 to No. 15 on the list of the world's most expensive places to visit. Sure, there are ways to save in England's capital, but bargain travelers are often limited to greasy pub food and not-so-classy hotels.
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London Hotels
The Best Things to Do in London
Times Square in New York.
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14. New York City

Average Hotel Price: $251 per night
New York City is known for its ritzy brownstones, swanky restaurants, high-end shops and refined nightlife venues. However, the economic crisis and the decreased worth of the U.S. dollar have dropped the Big Apple's standing in the Prices and Earnings report, from sixth place to 14th place in a matter of two years. Yet even though price tags have shrunk, don't assume that you'll be able to stretch your budget too far.
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The Best Hotels in New York City
The Best Things to Do in New York City
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15. London, England

Average Hotel Price: $177 per night
Visitors often bemoan London as expensive. Bad news: Despite Europe's trying economic times, UBS' Prices and Earnings report shows that, between 2009 and 2011, London has managed to climb from No. 21 to No. 15 on the list of the world's most expensive places to visit. Sure, there are ways to save in England's capital, but bargain travelers are often limited to greasy pub food and not-so-classy hotels.
Find out more about:
London Hotels
The Best Things to Do in London

14. New York City

Average Hotel Price: $251 per night
New York City is known for its ritzy brownstones, swanky restaurants, high-end shops and refined nightlife venues. However, the economic crisis and the decreased worth of the U.S. dollar have dropped the Big Apple's standing in the Prices and Earnings report, from sixth place to 14th place in a matter of two years. Yet even though price tags have shrunk, don't assume that you'll be able to stretch your budget too far.
Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in New York City
The Best Things to Do in New York City

13. Luxembourg

Average Hotel Price: $250 per night
Luxembourg is a small country with big price tags. Sitting between France, Belgium and Germany, Luxembourg's roughly 1,607 square miles are peppered with romantic castles and verdant vineyards. However, the country's No. 13 spot on the Prices and Earnings list of expensive places means that a getaway here is going to cost you. Bed and breakfasts may offer some savings, but be prepared to shell out for food and souvenirs.

12. Paris, France

Average Hotel Price: $190
Like New York, the City of Lights has experienced a dramatic price drop in the past two years. The 2009 Prices and Earnings report places Paris in ninth place, while this year's summary shows the city in the No. 12 slot. But before you start planning to take advantage of these price plunges, remember that you still have to contend with the exchange rate. Europe may be facing hard times, but the Euro still has roughly 30 cents on the U.S. dollar.
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Paris Hotels
The Best Things to Do in Paris

11. Vienna, Austria

Average Hotel Price: $122 per night
Unlike its control over much of central Europe, Vienna's ability to extract money from its visitors wasn't lost with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although the Prices and Earnings report shows that the Austrian capital is more affordable now than it was in 2009, budget travelers will struggle to find bargain prices, especially on hotel rooms. In fact, many previous visitors recommend skipping the hotel altogether and opting for an apartment rental instead.
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Vienna Hotels
The Best Things to Do in Vienna

10. Singapore

Average Hotel Price: $204 per night
While the U.S. and Europe are battling an economic crisis, Singapore is flying high. According to UBS' Prices and Earnings report, this destination in southern Asia -- which was ranked No. 24 back in 2009 -- snags 10th place on the current list of most expensive places. This steep price climb correlates with the increasing strength of the Singapore dollar. Although you can still find cheap eats and the occasional bargain hotel, don't expect that to last.

9. Toronto, Canada

Average Hotel Price: $133 per night
It used to be the case that Americans living near the northern border would hightail to Canada to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate, but over the past few years, the tables have turned. Now that the Canadian dollar is roughly on par with our greenback, Canada's price tags have become increasingly cringe-worthy. Toronto is an excellent example: Since 2009, the metropolis has climbed from No. 31 to No. 9 on the Prices and Earnings report's list of the most expensive cities.
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Toronto Hotels
The Best Things to Do in Toronto

8. Helsinki, Finland

Average Hotel Price: $163 per night
So far, Helsinki has remained relatively untouched by Europe's economic crisis, clocking in at No. 8 on the Prices and Earnings report's list of pricey places. However, Bloomberg reports that the recession may have finally caught up to Finland, with the country's Finance Ministry shrinking its original gross domestic product expansion forecast from 1.8 percent to 0.4 percent. This means that budget travelers may soon be able to knock this dynamic city off their bucket lists.

7. Sydney, Australia

Average Hotel Price: $172 per night
In 2009, Sydney was ranked 38th on UBS' Prices and Earnings report. Since then, the city has skyrocketed to seventh place, and that's due in part to the Australian dollar's steady rise in worth. Although the Aussie dollar is relatively on par with our own, Sydney's currency has strengthened while the greenback has struggled. That contrast is made apparent through the city's room rates and menu prices.

6. Tokyo, Japan

Average Hotel Price: $163 per night
The bright lights of Tokyo come with shiny price tags. Like Singapore, Japan has weathered the global economic crisis fairly well -- in two years, it's fallen only one spot on the Prices and Earnings report. Although visitors can find plenty of ways to fill their bellies with affordable local cuisine, a convenient hotel will consume a good chunk of money. Yet 2011's earthquake and tsunami will no doubt affect prices in 2012 and 2013. Keep an eye on this one, bargain hunters.

5. Stockholm, Sweden

Average Hotel Price: $190 per night
Unlike its neighbor, Finland, Sweden has trumped Europe's recession. Stockholm's strong economy has not only allowed the country to weather the storm, but also to rise from the No. 16 spot in 2009 to fifth place on Prices and Earnings report's list of expensive cities. Bargain travelers beware: Sticker-shock is a common side effect of a Stockholm vacation, while the unfavorable exchange rate only fuels the fire.
Find out more about:
Stockholm Hotels
The Best Things to Do in Stockholm

4. Copenhagen, Denmark

Average Hotel Price: $174 per night
Like Helsinki, Copenhagen's price levels haven't been affected by the European recession. Prices and Earnings most recent report shows that Denmark's capital dropped only one place. So while you may find this city's antique shops, intimate restaurants and cozy coffee bars comforting, your wallet sure won't. Travelers will find rates at their highest during the summer months when the weather is ideal for sightseeing. Discounts can be had in winter, but make sure to bundle up.
Find out more about:
Copenhagen Hotels
The Best Things to Do in Copenhagen

3. Geneva, Switzerland

Average Hotel Price: $268 per night
Switzerland seems to be vanquishing the Eurozone crisis, with Geneva bumping Copenhagen from the No. 3 spot in the past two years. Unlike the Euro, the Swiss Franc has remained a strong currency throughout the recession, and the city's residents benefit from their country's high wages. In fact, according to the Prices and Earnings report, Switzerland doles out the bulkiest paychecks in the world; Geneva's price tags reflect the residents' hefty buying power.
Find out more about:
Geneva Hotels
The Best Things to Do in Geneva

2. Zurich, Switzerland

Average Hotel Price: $224 per night
Zürich's residents also welcome Switzerland's generous salaries, surpassing Geneva by a few points on the expensive meter. Unfortunately for travelers, Zürich doesn't offer as many opportunities to nab deals. Prices jump during the summer as people pour in to savor the comfortable temperatures and enjoyable activities on Lake Zürich. During the winter, there's not much of a price break, as snowy weather draws skiers to the nearby Alps. Rates slump briefly in spring and fall, but not by much.
Find out more about:
Zürich Hotels
The Best Things to Do in Zürich

1. Oslo, Norway

Average Hotel Price: $169 per night
Oslo's prices may be staggeringly high, but at least they're consistent. Norway's capital has held on to the No. 1 spot on the UBS Prices and Earnings report's most expensive list since 2006. And it's not just hotels that will gouge travelers' pockets: In 2009, the New York Times noted that a bottle of water costs roughly $6 USD. Money-saving tactics -- like visiting in July or August when most residents are on vacation -- do little to curb the expense of an Oslo trip.
Find out more about:
Olso Hotels
The Best Things to Do in Oslo
Also check out:
World's Most Expensive Hotel Rooms
Honeymoons of the Rich and Famous
Best U.S. Luxury Destinations
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