According to a recent study by CEOWorld, the most expensive country in the world is Switzerland. Following the Swedes are Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Ireland among others. Taking 8th place in Europe is Finland, which makes the country seem like a relative bargain compared to its neighbors.
But Finland is far from cheap. If you fancy getting a buzz, expect to pay 177% more than the European average for your alcohol. A meal at a mid-range restaurant will set you back around 60 Euros. Compared to the rest of the EU, Finland’s consumer prices have risen at a far more rapid pace. But why is this so?
Captain Cooks Finland special on what makes this country so expensive that gives the impression that only millionaires can fully enjoy a European tour in Finland.
There’s no single reason for Finland’s high cost of living, but we can point out some of the main causes. This includes the country’s exorbitant VAT standard of 24%, which adds a hefty amount to the price tags of everyday consumer products, especially those that are already high.
Another reason for elevated price levels is the monopolization of Finland’s closed-sector industries, which leads to low competition. This is most evident in the alcohol and pharmaceutical sectors. Captain Cooks also identified a lack of competition in Finland’s energy and healthcare industries.
Finns pay a much higher price for alcohol, tobacco and soft drinks as well. Some sources point to inflated margins in the food industry, which is why restaurants tend to be so expensive.
Living in Finland
So, how expensive is Finland, exactly? According to SkillScanner, the average cost of a one bedroom apartment in the main city (Helsinki) is 700 Euros per month. You can expect to pay around 200 Euros less outside of town. That’s not even mentioning the fact that most apartments are unfurnished.
What about public transport? A monthly card to get around is 55 Euros, while the average ticket costs 3 Euros. A taxi from the airport into Helsinki, which is around 15 miles, will cost 50 Euros. It’s no wonder so many people ride bicycles there! Heading out for a beer or coffee will cost you up to 10 Euros and 4 Euros respectively.
So, maybe you’re not looking to live a millionaire lifestyle in Finland; you just want to pay the country a visit. Here’s what that will cost.
Traveling to Finland
European Tours of Finland cost an average of 121 Euros per day, according to Budget Your Trip. The average hotel will take 114 Euros out of your travel budget. In total, a two-week vacation will cost approximately 1,690 Euros per person. If you plan on staying there for a month, expect to shell out 7,244 Euros. Not exactly a budget-friendly getaway.
Finland is clearly one of the more expensive countries in Europe, both for travelers and locals. At the same time, it’s a clean, safe, beautiful, well-run country with great people, so you have to give credit where it’s due.