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Europe's cost-of-living has wide range

Gorgeous groceries...but can you afford them?    Photo: Lyzadanger / Wikimedia


Travelers planning vacations in Europe quickly become aware that some countries are more expensive than others; plenty of us have suffered sticker shock in Scandinavia, but felt like kings in Portugal.


Now Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union has given us some official insight into price trends across EU. The report also shows that even as part of a broader European economy, what's most expensive in a country varies. For instance, Switzerland, at 153% of the European average for food is only at 94% of the average for electronics, while Malta at 118% is the most expensive for electronics and average for food.


Overall, the least expensive countries were Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Hungary, all under 60% of the European average, while the most expensive were Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, all over 125%. The extremes were Bulgaria at 48% and Switzerland at 154%.


For restaurants and hotels, the area of most interest to travelers, the rankings will be no surprise, based on the above. Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria are cheapest, and the north end of the list is Denmark, Sweden and Finland.



The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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