A survey of living costs across the world has revealed that London has become more affordable and is no longer one of the top ten most expensive cities.
In 2008 the capital was ranked the third most expensive city in the world but this year it dropped to 16th place. The decline in rental prices coupled with the fall in value of the pound were blamed.
The tenth most expensive city was Singapore, according to consulting firm Mercer.
The annual survery compared costs in 143 cities and is one of the world's most comprehensive cost of living surveys.
For local flavour at affordable prices, try one of the open-air hawker stalls or street cafés.
Beijing was held to be China's most expensive city and was ninth in the rankings.
The superpower has one other city in the top 20 this year - Shanghai at number 12.
On Sunday afternoons the landscaped grounds of the city’s Temple of Heaven are packed with couples dancing, people playing chess, extraordinary musical ensembles, calligraphers, people flying kites and all sorts of wackiness. Brilliant entertainment and cost free
8. New York
The strengthening of the dollar allowed New York to creep into the top ten. The big apple ranked only 22nd last year.
The city is used as the base for Mercer's index with all currency fluctuations measured against the dollar.
Consider taking accommodation in less fashionable New Jersey. It is cheaper, just a short train journey from central New York – and you can get fantastic views across the Hudson River towards Manhattan.
Copenhagen was placed seventh for two years running, with the Danes paying more for goods, such as an daily newspaper and a serving of pasta, than residents in Amsterdam (29th), Athens (28th), Madrid (37th) and Rome (18th).
Buy a Copenhagen Card, which entitles the bearer to free entry to about 60 museums and attractions as well as free Metro, train and bus transport. A three-day card costs €60.
Switzerland's reputation for being hard on the wallet lives on with Zürich in sixth place.
Entry into a number of attractions is free, including most of the city's medieval churches, while admission to the Kunsthaus Museum of Fine Arts is free on Sundays. Entry into most other museums is reasonable, ranging from between £2-£6.
Anyone planning on visiting much of Switzerland may benefit from a Swiss Travel Pass, which offers discounts of upto 50 per cent on train and bus journeys across the country.
5. Hong Kong
Asian cities dominated the most expensive list once again, with Hong Kong coming fifth.
Get the best views of the futuristic skyline from these publicly-accessible buildings: Take the lift to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Information Centre, on the 55th floor at the Two International Finance Centre or admire the panorama from the 43rd floor of the Bank of China Tower.
European cities were also well-represented at the pricey end of the survey. Geneva was fourth this year and judged to be the most expensive western European city.
Eating out in Switzerland's is particularly costly. Stick to picnic lunches and avoid alcohol with dinner. For accommodation, opt for a hostel. The City Hostel (www.cityhostel.ch) has domitory beds from around £18, but you will need to book ahead.
Moscow's inhabitants no longer need the world's deepest pockets as the city dropped from last year's top spot to third place.
Prices are still not to be sniffed at though, with a cup of coffee plus service costing £4.85 in a medium-priced establishment.
Buy your theatre/ ballet/ classical music tickets from a theatre kiosk dotted around the city. Hotels often offer the service, but for a significant mark-up. Note that tickets for the renowned Bolshoi Theatre need to be booked over the phone, online or directly at the theatre's box office.
Osaka, in Japan, came second when the cost of items such as housing, transport, fuel, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment were compared.
Dine like a local. A dish of sushi (two pieces) at a conveyor-belt restaurant costs from 105 yen (70p). Dinner and drinks at an izakaya (Japanese pub) costs about £22 a head (includes sushi, yakitori, salads, tempura, dessert and unlimited drinks for two hours).
Finally, the most expensive city for expatriates was revealed to be another Japanese city, Tokyo.
Cities in Japan, the US, China, and the Middle East all surged towards the expensive end of this year's rankings.
Amuse yourself for hours for free with the high-tech gizmos (including the latest PlayStation software) at Tokyo’s vast Sony showroom.
World's ten most expensive cities - Telegraph