The world’s most expensive cities
Though it can be pricey, affordable options are available. Save on lodgings with budget hotels, abundant in Tokyo’s Taito area. Shop at 100-yen shops (the Japanese equivalent of dollar stores) and dine at one of the city’s many noodle bars.
2009 rank: 1
Moscow is the financial and political hub of Russia. In the heart of the city is Vladimir Lenin’s Mausoleum and Red Square -- a landmark known for military parades and protests during the Soviet era.
Popular attractions in the city include the Bolshoi Theatre, St. Basil Cathedral and the Kremlin.
2009 rank: 3 (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
Geneva is a global center for international diplomacy and peace, serving as the headquarters of many
An international city, Geneva is very tourist friendly. ATMs are easy to find and public transportation is readily available and efficient. The city abounds with restaurants, hotels and shops, though lodging and shopping options can be pricey.
2009 rank: 4 (Salvatore di Nolfi / EPA)
Osaka, the second-largest city in Japan and historically its commercial center, is known for its contrast with Tokyo. For instance, Osaka residents ride escalators standing on the right instead of Tokyo’s practice of standing on the left. Foodies would fit in well in Osaka. A popular Osakan maxim is kuidaore, meaning “eat yourself into ruin.”
Although some major companies have moved their offices to Tokyo, many (including Panasonic, Sanyo and Sharp) still have their headquarters in Osaka, contributing to its important metropolitan economy status.
2009 rank: 2 (Tomofumi Nakano / EPA)
9. Hong Kong
In Cantonese, Hong Kong means “fragrant harbor.” This territory of the People’s Republic of China is one of the world’s leading financial centers and trading entities and has remained largely independent from the mainland, with its own currency and legal and political systems.
2009 rank: 5 (Daniel Sorabji / AFP / Getty Images)
Denmark’s capital, known for its Little Mermaid statue and bike-friendly culture, is a major regional center of business, shipping, information technology and life science research, all of which contribute significantly to the city’s economy. Forbes magazine says the city’s international schools and private medical facilities make it one of the 10 best places to live in Europe.
2009 rank: 7
No matter where you travel, you can find savings. To get tips on how you can make the most of your dollars, consult our budget tips page. For a list of the least expensive cities in the world in 2010, . (Susan Spano / For The Times)