The bi-annual report ranks 131 global cities, credits currency appreciation, solid price inflation and the cost of living.
The Worldwide Cost of Living survey is released twice a year by the EIU. It compares more than 400 prices across 160 products and services in 131 cities, including food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs. In total, more than 50,000 individual prices are collected in each survey.
“The cost-of-living index uses an identical set of weights that is internationally based and not geared toward the spending pattern of any specific nationality,” says the EIU. “Items are individually weighted across a range of categories and a comparative index is produced using the relative difference by weighted item.”
Along with Bucharest, cities like Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Panama City (Panama), Algiers (Algeria), Damascus (Syria), Kathmandu (Nepal), New Delhi, Karachi (Pakistan) and Mumbai (India) are on the list for the lowest prices.
Why is Bucharest one of the cheapest cities
I have been living in Bucharest for the past 7 years. Maybe it is not one of the most amazing european capitals in matter of architecture, history or luxury but it most certainly is one of the european cities that can offer you a full experience. And all at a really low price. The clash between communism and democracy that happened in 1989 was, in fact, the main reason this city is so eclectic. The city of Bucharest basically represents a mix between old and new, poor and rich and you can choose your extreme.
For an european or north-american tourist, this city and country could seem insanely cheap. One might wonder why some people here have a hard life. Well, that is because the salaries are exactly like the prices: very very low. If you travel here you will have the surprise of seeing barefoot gypsy children running around expensive cars. There is a great discrepancy between the rich and the poor with a very thin middle class segment. However, this situation might be an advantage for the traveler. So, for example, in Bucharest, you can have an awesome night out in the most luxurious clubs and bars around the capital, but you can also drink till you pass out in a student club for only 10 euros.
Also, the visiting fees in Bucharest are low – 2-3 euros for a ticket. The public transportation is the cheapest – 0.3 euros for a bus or subway ticket. A taxi ride from North to South of Bucharest is about 7-8 euros. However, the hotels in Bucharest choose to keep standard european prices. The price of food and gas is good and the market has a wide range of products, mostly import, so you will find here all the products and brands you are familiarized with.
All you have to remember so that you can enjoy Bucharest, one of the cheapest cities in Europe, is to change your money into lei. Read here all about it.
Bucharest may be one of the cheapest but let’s see what cities are the most expensive
World’s 10 most expensive cities to live in 2014 according to the survey:
3. Oslo, Norway
4. Zurich, Switzerland
6. Caracas, Venezuela
6. Geneva, Switzerland
7. Copenhagen, Denmark