Recently, I blogged about a controversial topic on Why You Should Avoid Traveling to Western European Countries. Now it’s ironic that I’m currently on a trip to Helsinki, Geneva, Nice, and Monaco which is definitely the four most expensive cities in Western Europe. The point of this trip was to visit new countries and to re-qualify for American Airlines Executive Platinum status for around 5cpm or lower.
Two days ago, I was in Helsinki and found myself shocked to see a 6” regular sandwich at Subway for 3.90 Euros ~ $5.27 USD and doesn’t even include a drink.
A footlong sandwich at Subway would cost you upwards of almost $11 USD! I’ve been spoiled with the $4 lunch special (sub & sandwich) in the United States.
To offset the high prices of food in Helsinki, I found myself buying a chicken sandwich and a drink at a local grocery store for about 3 euros.
The one thing I looked forward the most in Helsinki airport was the vast array of lounges. I put my euros away and helped myself to free food and drink. I had pastries, beer, eggs, beans, meats, cheeses, coffee, and donuts for free.
I definitely appreciate airport lounge access more now since all the food I ate would’ve cost almost 30 euros in a restaurant in Helsinki.
Yesterday, I spent a day in Geneva and found myself at a nearby Starbucks. I ordered a venti iced mocha and that cost 8.20 CHF ~ $9.00 USD.
I normally pay less than $4 for the same exact drink at my local Starbucks in the United States. I decided to purchase the coffee because it would lead me to free Wi-Fi access which I needed at that time to find my local apartment hotel.
I was sick of paying these expensive prices, so I opted to take advantage of my stove at my apartment hotel. I bought groceries at the local organic market (Everything is organic in Switzerland).
The total damage for an apple juice (2.40 Fr), Beef tortellini (5.10 Fr), Pasta sauce (2.90 Fr), and a loaf of bread (1.55 Fr) was 11.95 Francs ~ $13.15 USD.
Now, it was quite expensive, but local Italian dinners cost upwards of 25 CHF minimum in Geneva just for the dish. I had bread and a drink, so the restaurant price would’ve been 30 CHF or more. I definitely saved a lot of money by cooking my own meal, but this shows you how expensive Geneva can be.
I’m currently writing this from the Dnata Skyview Lounge in Geneva airport and appreciate the availability of free food and drinks, not to mention the free speedy Wi-Fi.
I’ve taken lounge access for granted over the past few years, but this time, I really appreciate it even more now.