The finding is part of the new Mapping the World’s Prices 2019 report from Deutsche Bank Research which looks at 56 cities in 42 countries. Zurich was the only Swiss city included.
The study shows that a “cheap date” including taxi rides, dinner or lunch for two at a pub or restaurant, soft drinks, two movie tickets and a couple of beers costs $202.70 (around 240 Swiss francs) in Zurich.
That is five times the price of a similar date in Cairo and 142 percent more expensive than New York, which was used to benchmark global prices in the study.
Zurich is “the place to find a long-term partner early in life and persuade them to stay at home at night, eat in, watch the telly and save your high disposable income or risk seeing it erode away on your partner,” said Deutsche Bank of the result.
Zurich no longer has world’s highest disposable incomes
The Mapping the World’s Prices survey also reveals that Zurich has been knocked off its perch as the home of the globe’s highest salaries and disposable incomes.
In both of these categories, San Francisco is now in top spot with the Swiss city second – in large part because of the strength of the US economy and the US dollar in recent years.
Read also: Salaries in Zurich hit record high
For average net monthly incomes, the San Francisco figure is now $6,526 while in Zurich it is $5,896. Rounding out the global top five are New York ($4,612), Boston ($4,288) and Chicago ($4,062).
When it comes to disposable incomes after rent – a figure based on an individual renter sharing a two-bedroom apartment – San Francisco’s result is $4,710. This is just ahead of Zurich at $4,626. Chicago, Boston and New York make up the rest of the top five in this category.
Zurich top for quality of life
While Zurich may no longer boast the world’s highest salaries and disposable incomes, it has leapfrogged Wellington to top the Deutsche Bank table for quality of life. The Swiss city scored particularly well for factors including purchasing power (2nd overall), safety (3rd) and pollution (5th).
Other cities in the top ten for quality of life were (in the following order): Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Vienna, Helsinki, Melbourne, Boston, San Francisco and Sydney.
Zurich fourth for rental costs
The Mapping the World’s Prices survey shows that Zurich continues to come near the top of the price rankings for a range of goods and services.
Rents in Zurich are the fourth most expensive among the cities in the study with a mid-range two-bedroom apartment setting you back an average $2,538 a month. Only Hong Kong ($3,685), San Francisco ($3,631) and New York ($2,909) are pricier. Paris comes fifth for rents ($2,455).
Zurich top of the tables for jeans, taxi rides and cinema tickets
For weekend getaways, Zurich comes third overall at $2,104 for two nights in a five-star hotel, two pub meals, two restaurant dinners and two days car rental, as well as beer and soft drinks and a bit of shopping including jeans and sports shoes. Milan comes top here ($2,706) and Copenhagen is second ($2,120).
Meanwhile, Zurich is the study’s most expensive city for a pair of brand name sport shoes ($150.90) against second-placed Copenhagen $132.90). It’s also the priciest place to buy Levi jeans ($119.60) – just ahead of Copenhagen and Oslo.
And if you are trying to save money, taking a taxi in Zurich is not a good idea: an eight-kilometre day-time trip during the week will cost use $38.20 – just over twice what it would cost you in New York and well ahead of second-place getter Amsterdam, where the same cab ride will set you back $27.80.
Read also: So what is actually cheap in Switzerland?
Zurich also tops the tables for cinema tickets with a price tag of $19.10. The runner up is London at $16.80 followed by New York at $16.50.
In addition, the Swiss city is priciest for a basic dinner for two at a neighbourhood pub – $71.50 ahead of Oslo, Hong Kong, New York and Copenhagen. When it comes to a more upmarket meal for two at an Italian restaurant, however, Zurich ($109.80) comes second to New York ($118).
Bad habits 'pay off'
One of the few areas where Zurich comes out relatively cheap in the Deutsche Bank study is in its 'Bad Habits Index'. The price for a bad habits package comprising five beers and two packets of cigarettes in Zurich is $51. This is 19th overall and some way behind top-placed Melbourne ($77.80). Olso is second ($77.20) and Sydney is third ($76.40).