This list ranks the total cost of a grocery shop in each city, with the items bought being 500g of fresh white bread, 1L of regular milk, a dozen eggs, 1kg of local cheese, a mid-range bottle of wine, and a kilogram of potatoes.

The cheapest city in the OECD, according to CIA Landlords’ ranking, is Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. The total cost of the theoretical shopping spree would end up at £14.69, with the cheapest dairy among every city on this list, milk being just £0.79 overall and cheese an impressive £3.81 for the kilo.

In second place comes the Turkish capital of Ankara. The food haul here is only £15.60, featuring plentiful carbohydrates such as potatoes, which only cost £0.46 by the kilo, and bread, which ends up being £0.39 for every half a kilogram.

Lisbon appears on the list in 3rd place, with a total shopping bill of £17.08. Lisbon is home to incredibly cheap wine, with the mid-range bottle costing a measly £3.47. The list also includes a separate indicator, the average price of an Airbnb for 1 week, and here Lisbon ends up being much more expensive than the other cities around this region of the ranking. A week in an Airbnb in Bogotá will, on average, cost £203.05, while in Lisbon that value is £682.46, the second highest in the list.

In fourth place came Warsaw, the capital of Poland, whose shopping totalled to £17.75. To compare, that’s more expensive than Leicester, but cheaper than Birmingham. Meanwhile, in fifth place in Madrid, with a cost of £18.42 for that specific list of groceries. Madrid hosts the most expensive Airbnb stays out of these top 10 cheapest capitals, with them being on average £733.22 a week.

The rest of the 10 are filled by Riga, in Latvia (£19.72), Estonia’s capital of Tallinn (£19.75), the Slovenian city of Ljubljana (£20.54), Bratislava in Slovakia (£20.62), and Budapest, capital of Hungary (£20.70).

Most expensive

On the other hand, the list of top 10 most expensive OECD capital cities is dominated by Bern, de-facto capital of Switzerland, where the cost of making that same shopping run is an extraordinary £41.88.

Reykjavik in Iceland comes in a lonely 2nd place, being £4 cheaper than Bern, but also over £4 more expensive than the third placed city, Washington, located in the USA’s District of Columbia. The home of the White House requires £32.01 to complete the shopping list.

The fourth most expensive capital in the OECD is Seoul, of South Korea, where you need £31.88 to get all the ingredients. However, the city’s average weekly cost of an Airbnb is only £428.65, way cheaper than any other city on this top 10 for most expensive cities and is in fact the exact same amount you’d pay on average for a week’s stay in an Airbnb in Tallinn, the OECD’s 7th cheapest city.

5th place is Paris, coming out at £30.63 for the whole food shop, and the home of the 3rd most expensive Airbnb’s on the list, at £970.11, behind Washington and Reykjavik, at £1049.07 and £1168, respectively.

The top 10 most expensive capital cities in the OECD are completed by, Luxembourg, capital of Luxembourg (£29.20), in 6th, followed by Oslo in Norway (£29.04), Canberra, of Australia (£28.44), Ottawa, capital of Canada (£28.25), and the one and only Brussels (£25.89).

Surprisingly enough, the British capital of London, at a shopping bill of £22.50 for the items used in CIA Landlords’ study, doesn’t even sneak into the bottom of the top 10.


Star in the 2015 music video for the hit single “Headlights” by German musician, DJ and record producer Robin Schulz featuring American singer-songwriter Ilsey. Also a journalist.

Jay Bodsworth