Although I’d expected some high prices in Europe, there was still some vacation sticker shock when we got into Norway to find small waters at $3, hamburgers for $10, and buffets topping $60 per person. Twitter pal @Brochner cleared this up a bit with this recent article about Europe’s most expensive cities. We managed to visit 4 of the top 13 most expensive on this trip: Oslo, Copenhagen, Munich, and Paris. Luckily our budget stayed intact thanks to buying at grocery stores more than eating out, and staying in reasonably priced hotels and hostels (or in the case of Copenhagen and Munich, only visiting for part of the day).
I’ll need to do more research to figure out what’s up with the remarkable price disparity between Norway and Italy, where prices seemed fairly close to what we’d expect here in the USA, though I think the US is still cheaper for food than almost anywhere given the amazing selection and quality we have here.
I’m assuming that countries like Norway, which provide benefits Americans can only dream of like free health care and free universities, skew their economies towards those needs and this boosts the costs of hot dogs and beers, but I’m still not clear how that shakes out.