Tel-Aviv is the largest city of Israel and is the economic center of the country. It has a reputation for being the party capital of the Middle East and for being LBGT friendly (LBGT tourists have reported that Tel Aviv is one of the best places for tourism).

The city boasts a lively nightlife - but apparently not one a nightlife that one should plan on going out on if one is on a tight budget. But if one can afford it, Israel boasts an incredibly ancient history and even though Israel is a tiny country, its diversity continues to impress everyone.


Tel Aviv And Its High Expense

Tel Aviv is certainly a great place to visit, but according to the EIU's World Cost of Living index for 2021, it is now the most expensive city in the world to live in. The EIU compares 173 goods and services in 173 cities in the world in US Dollars.

Noting limitations of any global survey, Tel Aviv is the second most expensive city in the world for transport and alcohol. Tel Aviv reflects what is happening in the country as a whole, everything there is just becoming more expensive.

Tip: Tel Aviv Is Not A Good Choice Of Place To Get Indulge On A Budget

It moved up from 5th place last year and overtook Paris and Singapore.

The BBC reports that one problem for Israelis is that Tel Aviv is the small country's only true metropolitan center. In the UK if one thinks London is too expensive, one can move to Manchester or Glasglow, in the USA if NYC was too expensive, move to Philadelphia. But in Israel, other cities like Jerusalem and Haifa don't offer what Tel Aviv does.

  • Center Population: 460,000 (City Proper)
  • Greater Population: 3,854,000 (Metropolitan Area)

According to, the average cost of living for a family of four in Tel Aviv is around $4,325 (excluding rent), while the average estimated monthly cost for a single person is $1,218 per month (excluding rent).

  • Meal: $20.70 (Average At An Inexpensive Restaurant)
  • Meal For 2: $95.50 (For A Mid Range Restaurant)
  • McMeal At McDonald's: $17.52
  • Domestic Beer: $9.56 (0.5 liter Draught)
  • Imported Beer: $9.56 (0.33 Liter Bottle)
  • Water: $2.43 (0.33 Liter Bottle)
  • Milk: $1.96 (One Liter)
  • Local Transport: $1.91 (One Way Ticket)
  • Monthly Pass: $70.08
  • Gasoline: $2.04 (Per Liter) - $7.50 Per Gallon

When it comes to accommodation, the city is also on the pricy side. The monthly average rental prices are:

  • 1 Bedroom Apartment: $1,725 (In City Center)
  • 3 Bedroom Apartment: $2,977


Related: Mark Hotel Penthouse Is The Most Expensive Hotel Suite In NYC (But Only For $75,000 A Night)

Limitations Of Global Cost of Living Indexes

It is important to keep in mind that the real world is often different from what is suggested in surveys like the EIU's World Cost of Living Index. Keep in mind that currency changes may affect the prices.

One city may be zoned as a larger area of an urban area - bringing in the cheaper suburbs while another city may be just the (more expensive) city center. The way of life may also differ from city to city - like it is not necessary to own a car in Singapore but it is (more or less) in Los Angeles.

  • Currency Movements: Temporary Currency Movements Can Have a Big Effect On A Country's Expense In USD

This has been true of Tel Aviv's climb to the #1 spot. Its expenses have been largely lifted by the soaring value of Isreal's currency (the shekel) against the dollar. So its rise reflects more how much more expensive it is for people going there with US Dollars, than people there already with Israeli Shekels.

This has been driven by soaring inflation, a strong local currency, and the supply-chain problems that are pushing up global prices.

Related: These Are Officially The World’s Most Expensive Countries To Liv

The Five Most and Least Expensive Cities In The World

The five most expensive cities:
  • Tel Aviv
  • Paris and Singapore (Tied in 2nd Place)
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Hong Kong
The five cheapest cities (from the most expensive):
  • Damascus, Syria
  • Tripoli, Libya
  • Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Tunis, Tunisia
  • Almaty, Kazakhstan

Tel Aviv's Bonus For Vegans

Tel Aviv can also be considered the vegan capital of the world. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs states :" As the world's vegetarian food capital, Tel Aviv restaurants and food stands provide numerous options for veggie lovers... [Israel has] the highest per capita vegan population in the world, where vegan foods are no longer looked upon as such a fringe element... "

According to the Independent, Tel Aviv boasts some 400 vegan and vegan-friendly kitchens. The vegan food that they serve is considered some of the best food in town and Tel Aviv is a place that puts real emphasis on the freshness of the produce.

It is a city that pulls culinary traditions from all over - Japan, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, the Middle East, and much more.

  • Israeli Staples: Hummus and Falafel