6. Zurich, Switzerland (Tied)
Zurich, home to a number of banking giants such as UBS and Credit Suisse, moved one spot higher this year from 7th in 2011 and 9th in 2010.
Zurich is an attractive location for international firms looking to take advantage of Switzerland's low tax rates. Expatriates are also drawn to Zurich's high quality of life. The city ranks third in the world when it comes to education, tax, and security as motives for purchasers to buy luxury property, according to Knight Frank.
While most European cities have dropped in the rankings, the strength of the local currency, the Swiss franc, has boosted the cost of living in Zurich. While Mercer ranks Zurich as the sixth most expensive city, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranks it as number one. EIU's survey covers 130 cities and takes into account 160 products and services.
Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $3,614
Cup of Coffee: $6.02
One of Gallon Gasoline: $7.38
Daily International Newspaper: $4.38
Fast-Food Meal: $12.59