These Are the Cheapest Cities to Buy Beer, Office Space, an iPhone and Other Essentials

If you want to live cheap, move to India. 

According to research by Deutsche Bank, the price of a date, five-star hotel room, pair of Levi’s, public transportation, new VW Golf, taxi, trip to the movies, haircut, and weekend getaway is less in Mumbai and New Delhi than any other city in countries considered a “major economy.”

Across most metrics, the numbers aren’t even close.

A haircut in India costs three times less than the next cheapest city, Johannesburg; taxi prices are half those in Beijing; and a weekend getaway (two nights in a standard 5 star hotel room, four meals, two snacks, car rentals for two days, two pints of beer, four litres of soft drinks/water, and a bit of shopping) will only set you back around $530 USD – compared to almost $1800 USD in London. 

But that’s not to say other cities don’t offer their share of value. 

Berlin, for example, is by far the cheapest city to rent office space in the CBD – $33.80 per square metre versus $70 in San Francisco, the next cheapest city.

Smokers will love Rio, where a pack of Marlboros goes for just $2.15 (compared to $13 in New York, for example).

Johannesburg is by far the city for beer drinkers, a 500-ml pint just $1.82 at the neighbourhood pub. That indulgence in Singapore comes at a hefty price of over $7. 

Unsurprisingly, San Francisco and New York are the cheapest cities in the world to buy an iPhone. At $650, they’re almost twice as cheap as in Rio ($1,254).

New York’s also a great city to fill up, where the price of petrol is just 75 cents a litre. 

Berlin and Johannesburg, meanwhile, are ideal for gym memberships. 

You can find a full breakdown of the price of items (in U.S. dollars) across world cities here.


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Photo by Leeroy