Oslo no longer the world's most expensive city

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It may still be a bit hard to see when the bills roll in, but Oslo’s notoriously high prices apparently have fallen a bit in comparison to other major cities worldwide. A new international ranking indicates that the Norwegian capital is now only the world’s fifth-most-expensive city, instead of being the most expensive of all.

Tokyo, Osaka, Paris and Copenhagen now rank ahead of Oslo in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s list of the world’s most expensive cities.

After Oslo come Zurich, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Genva and Singapore.

“The reason is simple,” the list’s editor Jon Copestake told newspaper Aften . “Exchange rates play a big role in this, and the Norwegian krone has fallen considerably. The Japanese yen has strengthened. So Tokyo has taken over again at the top.”

It still costs much less to eat a simple meal in Tokyo, though, than it does in Oslo. And Oslo continued to top the rankings when it comes to the cost of fast food. A hamburger, french fries and soft drink, for example, cost four times as much in Oslo as they do in Hong Kong.

Enjoying a glass of wine in Oslo also remains an expensive affair, with the price of a bottle of table wine topped only by Singapore.

Hotels continued to be considerably cheaper in Oslo than in many other cities, even though room rates have increased the past two years. A visit to the cinema or the average cost of a pair of shoes was also well below the cost in cities like Tokyo, Paris, Frankfurt and Helsinki.

Some random tourists interviewed by Aften outside the Munch Museum in Oslo all felt the city was still very expensive.

“I travel all over the world, and Oslo is the most expensive place I’ve been,” said Jens Olesen, a retiree who now lives in Brazil and Denmark. “A sandwich here costs twice what it does in Copenhagen, and a taxi from the airport was almost a thousand kroner (USD 158). My wife and I will be here about three days, and I figure we’ll need to spend around NOK 10,000.”