Tel Aviv named world’s 10th most expensive city

Coastal city moves up from 28th place five years ago, partly due to transportation, which costs 64% more than in New York

Diners sit at Rothschild 12 restaurant on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, on June 22, 2017 (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Diners sit at Rothschild 12 restaurant on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, on June 22, 2017 (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Hot on the heels of its high ranking in a recent list of the “best cities,” Tel Aviv was named Tuesday the tenth most expensive city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

The Israeli coastal city ties with Los Angeles on the list, moving up from 28th position on the list only five years ago. It is the only city in the Middle East to be ranked on the survey.

According to the report, the high costs of buying, insuring and maintaining a car helped drive the city up the list, and in general, transportation costs in Israel’s financial center are 64 percent above New York prices. Currency appreciation also played a role in the city’s high ranking.

Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong tied for the top spot in the survey, which examines the cost of more than 150 items in 133 cities across the globe.

Tel Aviv skyline, September 10, 2018 (Matanya Tausig/FLASH90)

The rankings:

1. Singapore

1. Paris

1. Hong Kong

4. Zurich

5. Geneva

5. Osaka

7. Seoul

7. Copenhagen

7. New York

10. Tel Aviv

10. Los Angeles

According to the survey, the average cost for a 1-kilogram loaf of bread in Tel Aviv is $5.09, compared to $3.40 in Singapore, $5.66 in Paris and $3.91 in Hong Kong.

The average cost of a 330-milliliter bottle of beer in Tel Aviv is $2.94, compared to $2.37 in Singapore, $2.10 in Paris and $1.77 in Hong Kong.

Last week it was revealed Tel Aviv was ranked the 21st out of the 48 “best cities” around the world, and the first among Middle East countries, according to a survey released by London-based Time Out magazine.

Sarona market at night, with Tel Aviv’s ultra-modern Azraeli tower in the background. (Shmuel Bar-Am)

The global culture and events publication sought out the opinions of almost 34,000 respondents on “food, drink, culture, nightlife, community, neighborhoods, overall happiness and other factors, such as their city’s beauty, affordability and convenience,” it said.

Coastal Tel Aviv, nicknamed the “White City” for its thousands of Bauhaus-style buildings, “has a notorious reputation as a wild non-stop city with a great nightlife and music scene,” according to Nadav Neuman, deputy editor of Time Out’s Tel Aviv edition.

“Almost 40 percent of Tel Avivians admit to having taken drugs in the past week, more than anywhere else,” he noted “Our hard-partying ways mean we’re also the most likely city-dwellers to have had a one-night stand (and also to have cheated on a partner, though we’re not proud of that).”

Partying on Purim 2016 at a Tel Aviv bar (Miriam Alster/Flash 90)

The “best cities” ranking, conducted with Tapestry Research and published last week, was put together based on feedback from cities’ residents, input of local Time Out editors, and a vague process that “crunched the numbers.”

New York took top spot, followed by Melbourne and then Chicago. Istanbul closed the list in 48th place.

Israelis enjoy the hot weather on the beach in Tel Aviv, August 27, 2018. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

In a September 2018, a Time Out survey ranked Tel Aviv’s Shuk Hapishpeshim (flea market) area as the 16th-coolest neighborhood in the world.

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909, nearly 40 years before the establishment of the State of Israel, by a few dozen families who divided up the available land using a lottery drawn with sea shells. Today it has a population of over 440,000 people.

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