The World’s Most Expensive Destinations (Slideshow)

Looking for a luxurious trip or hoping to avoid an unexpectedly expensive vacation? This list can help with both

Botswana

Botswana

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Surprised to see an African country on this list? (Especially one not named “South Africa”?) A lot of people can relate once they see the price tags associated with a trip to this exotic destination. Yet it all makes a lot of sense when broken down. Safari trips are all the rage right now, and this alone raises the prices in Botswana. On top of that, there’s an awful lot of overhead when it comes to African accommodations. There are no high-rise buildings or motels in which to stay, and safe and secure lodging can cost an awful lot to build and maintain — especially when hosting people used to luxury living. Travelers should thus expect to pay almost $300 per night for lodging, not to mention an expensive flight to get there in the first place. However, upon arrival, guests will thankfully find food, alcohol, and coffee to be a lot more reasonably priced.

Click here to read about our impressions of Botswana’s Courtyard Restaurant.

Dubai

Dubai is hit or miss when it comes to expenses. You might be shocked upon booking your hotel, for instance, to find that the average cost is a whopping $306.39 per night — by far the highest cost in the world. But once you check in and go to dinner, you’ll find the food prices are considerably lower than in places like New York, Paris, London, and Dublin.

Click here to explore our five favorite bites in Dubai.

Then you order a beer (average: $8.56) and once again things are pricey. Drinking a few can really add up, but you’ll save money on your cab ride back to hotel, as fares in the city are quite low. Overall, tourists can absolutely expect to shell out a lot of money — but not necessarily in all the places they expect.

Click here for five additional bites worth trying in Dubai.

London

London

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The hotel cost alone might not get you (average: $181.15/night), but a trip to England’s capital city could still easily break the bank. WorldAtlast.com recently estimated the total cost of a day and night in London — including a hotel, all meals, drinks, transportation around the city, and other tourism costs — at $519.86, just a bit higher than places like Paris, New York, and Oslo, the capital of Norway. Not only is the cost of living generally excessive in London, but it is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination each year, leading to a rise in prices across the board.

Willing and able to live luxuriously in London? Try Moët’s new one-hour Champagne delivery service.

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco

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Last year, TripAdvisor named Marrakech the world’s best travel destination. This year, Hoppa named it the fourth most expensive. How can this be, since many backpackers will tell you that there are plenty of cheap hostels, lots of local joints for food and drink, and a relatively low overall cost of living? While this is all true, Marrakech has been making a continued effort to be one of the most popular African tourist destinations, and the increasing number of luxury hotels and restaurants has seriously raised the average. The city now boasts the fifth-highest mean hotel rate, even though the cost of food and transportation has remained low. As one example, a night at the Royal Mansour starts at about $1,000 for the cheapest accommodations, and goes all the way up to $40,000 for the 20,000-square-foot palace-for-rent. Hotels are also spending more to keep their guests safe, as an underlying terror threat still remains in Morocco.

Food in Morocco can cost a bit more when it’s filled with hash, as was the case in this story.

Musha Cay, Bahamas

With almost all of the destinations on this list, you could make the argument that more reasonable prices can be found if you know the right places to look. In fact, it’s probably true of every entry except this one. The cost to stay for a night on Musha Cay in the Bahamas starts at $39,000. You read that right: $39,000 per night, and that’s the starting rate! Of course, you can bring up to 12 people and you get an entire island to yourselves, but the Cay also requires a minimum stay of four nights. Even if you have 11 rich friends or family members willing to split the cost, you’re still looking at $13,000 each! Thankfully, your stay includes all meals and beverages, gym and pool use, and tennis and volleyball courts, but you’ll still have to shell out extra for the plane fare, spa treatments, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing trips, and even something as minor as international phone calls — which you’ll need for phoning your bank when you run out of money.

Looking for some must-do idea in (other parts of) the Bahamas? Click here.

New York City

New York City

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Coming as news to absolutely nobody (especially those of us who live there), New York City is still one of the most expensive travel destinations in the world. The Hoppa study placed NYC at the absolute top for average food and drink prices and the third most expensive for hotels (averaging $283.53 per night). TripAdvisor claims an entire trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, can be booked for the same price as just the on-the-ground cost of visiting New York. One of the only categories where New York didn’t fall in the top 10? Taxi costs. Although, if you’re looking to save a bit more on transportation, it’s probably worth noting that the subway still costs less than $3 and can get you anywhere in Manhattan and most places in the other boroughs. Take the train, stay in a hostel, and eat nothing but $1 pizza slices, and this could even start resembling an affordable trip.

Oslo

Oslo

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If you’re looking for a travel destination that’s scenic, safe, sanitary, and full of English-speakers, Oslo might be the absolute best place to pick.

Click here for 10 countries where you didn’t know most people spoke English.

Norwegians are notorious for their higher standard of living and high wages, but this, of course, means things are also pricier, making Oslo one of the most expensive cities in the world. In fact, service sectors and tourists companies charge about 20 percent more than the average in the rest of Western Europe, and about 70 percent more than the world average. The good news is that there are plenty of website and articles devoted to traveling to Oslo on the cheap, and tourists should use the lack of language barrier to their advantage by asking around for inexpensive or even free local activities.

Paris

Paris

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Not only does Paris (and Europe in general) have a cautionary travel alert issued by the U.S. Department of State that extends until Aug. 26, but the city is still one of the most expensive places to visit in the world. Although an average hotel cost of $200.27 pushes Paris out of the top five in the world for most expensive accommodations, this is still a wildly high price to pay. Do you dream of sipping coffee at a French café and nibbling on crêpes and croissants? So do a lot of people, which has driven the cost of coffee and food up to the fourth and seventh most expensive amounts in the world in those categories, respectively. Thankfully, drowning your sorrows won’t be too costly. Paris might have the second-most expensive price for a pint of pilsner, but the abundance of wine makes for some very reasonable bottles of house vino.

Have you heard about the meat-dispensing vending machines in France? You have now.

Sydney

As if it doesn’t take enough time and money to fly all the way to Australia, the hotels are quite expensive at an average of $242.39 per night. Meals ($56.16), beers ($5.13), and coffee ($2.80) are on par with most other major metropolitan cities, but getting around in a cab can be comparably pricy. Make friends with Sydney’s metro instead. The culprits for the high prices are the usual suspects, labor costs and high taxes, but you can also blame the current strength of the Australian dollar, which could soon drift above $0.80 USD.

Sydney certainly is expensive, but perhaps this bacon cheeseburger with a shot of bourbon will change your mind about passing on a trip.