The Price of Everything

It’s interesting to see the comparative prices of goods in different countries. Overall, Poland is cheap, and Sweden is expensive, but you might be surprised by which things deviate from that rule of thumb.

Italy Poland Sweden Denmark Ireland
Groceries Produce is quite cheap. I bought almost two pounds of heirloom tomatoes for $3; they’re usually $6/lb. at home for the non-organic version. Relatively cheap, but not as low as you might think for fresh produce. Some things are decent ($2.25/lb. of nectarines or $1.35/lb. of broccoli), while others aren’t (5 bananas for $2.25, fish so expensive I bought the low-quality frozen kind). And produce quality was awful. Produce quality was also bad here. I couldn’t even find a grocery store near us, and the convenience store pricing was ridiculous: $10 for a pint of ice cream! Not that I would ever pay that, of course. Similar prices to California; maybe a bit higher.
Clothing The month of sales (August) helps lower prices, but it’s very much a you-get-what-you-pay-for trade-off. Because the European chains (e.g. Zara, H&M) are now here, prices are high relative to what everything else costs in Poland. I assumed that things were so prohibitively expensive that I didn’t even look. Ditto Sweden. This was our first country, so I had no need for clothes.
Public Transit $1.50-$2.50 per ride. $1-$1.50 per ride. Expensive, but we didn’t have much of a choice. $40 each for a 3-day pass! Expensive, but we didn’t have much of a choice. We mostly walked, in part because it was fairly expensive.
Trains, Buses, Cars
A 1-hour train ride was about $20 for both of us, so not bad. Car rental was $34/day. A 5-hour bus ride was $50 for both of us, so I’d say cheap. A 6-hour train ride was $75 for both of us, so pretty inexpensive – especially relative to everything else in Sweden. We only went to Malmo, which is close enough that I think they consider it commuting distance. Car rentals here are more expensive than almost anywhere else in the world because Visa doesn’t provide accident insurance. We passed on everything but the required insurance, so we got it down to $14/day!

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