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The highest prices in Europe. Which country has the most expensive food, alcoholic beverages and clothing

Switzerland is the European country with the highest food prices, while Norway has the most expensive alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. Clothes and shoes are most expensive in Sweden, according to data from the statistical office of the European Union – Eurostat.

With prices up to 79% higher than the EU average, Switzerland is the European country with the highest prices on food products, followed by Norway and Ireland. At the bottom of the ranking are Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.

Great Britain came 20th, with prices under the EU average. Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Lithuania also have prices under the EU average.


When it comes to alcoholic beverages and tobacco, the highest prices are found in Norway (+123% above the EU average), Iceland (+96,5%) and Ireland (+75,3%).

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
Source: Eurostat

Above the EU average are also the prices in Great Britain, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, France and Belgium.

The Polish (-31,8% compared to the EU average), Hungarians (-32,9%) and Bulgarians (-43,6%) pay the least for alcoholic beverages.

Residents in Malta, Italy, Germany, Greece, Austria, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Portugal, Estonia, Spain, Latvia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Romania also enjoy alcoholic beverages at prices under the EU average.

Clothing and footwear are most expensive in Iceland, Switzerland and Sweden while being cheapest in Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria. Great Britain is also under the EU average (-8,7%).

Clothing and footwear
Source: Eurostat

Great Britain is the EU country with the highest costs concerning housing (rents, electricity, running water),  59,7% over the EU average. Still, Switzerland (a country outside the EU) is even more expensive (86,5%).

Luxembourg, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, The Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, France, Belgium and Germany are also above the EU average. In this category, the lowest prices are found in Romania, Poland and Bulgaria.


Furniture for homes is most expensive in Iceland, Luxembourg and The Netherlands while being the cheapest in Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria. Great Britain is above the EU average, with prices that are higher by up to 15%.

The prices of transport services (cars, bicycles, motorcycles) are the highest in Denmark – 46% above the EU average. The other countries in the top 5 are Norway, Iceland, The Netherlands and Finland.

Transport services
Source: Eurostat

On the other hand, the ranking with the lowest prices is led by the Czech Republic: -21,7% compared to the EU average. The country is followed by Slovakia (-19,6%), Poland (-17,4%), Lithuania (-16,6%) and Romania (-16,3%).

On the other hand, the most expensive public transport services in the EU are found in Great Britain, 38% above the EU average. By contrast, Bulgaria is once again at the bottom of the ranking, with prices that are 50% lower than the EU average, closely followed by Romania and Slovakia.

Greece is the front-runner among European countries with the highest prices on communication (mail services, the Internet, phone services), almost 40% above EU average. The following positions are occupied by Switzerland and Ireland. At the opposite end are Romania, Poland and Lithuania.

Within the ”recreation and culture” sector, the highest costs are found in Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden, while the lowest ones are registered in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. Great Britain is above the EU average, with almost 6%.

Recreation and culture
Source: Eurostat

The last segment included in the Eurostat data is the one regarding restaurants and hotels (including cafes, bars, hostels etc). In this aspect, the highest prices are found in Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.

Great Britain comes tenth, with prices that are 11% higher than the EU average.

On the other hand, the last positions in this ranking are taken by the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria.

Diane Stinsow