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What is Numbeo?

Those of you who have been reading my travel site reviews and travel blog for a while now are already probably aware of the fact that I live the lifestyle of a digital nomad. To both my longtime readers and my new readers alike, allow me to start off by saying thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on travel sites – without you, I would not be able to live my dream of traveling the world and working remotely no matter where I go. You are my heroes, for real!

If you are reading this, however, and asking yourself ‘what the heck is a digital nomad, and why is being one so desirable?’ allow me to explain … A digital nomad is somebody who, firstly, rejects the typical 9-5 grind. You know what I mean: the traditional office job that requires you to live in a single place for years on end, going into work every day of the business week, and so on.

Partially as a means of avoiding this (and partially, of course, born of an insatiable wanderlust), the digital nomad rejects this societal expectation and finds ways to make a living online, through remote jobs; hence, the “digital” part of the title. The nomadic aspect has to do with the freedom that such a job enables; you can live wherever you want (for however long you want) and travel as you see fit. As a digital nomad, I make my own rules and I go wherever my heart desires!

Don’t worry, I’m not just telling you all of this as a way to brag or show off (although … pretty cool stuff, am I right?). Instead, I am telling you this because I encourage everybody who has been bit with the travel bug or who can’t seem to stay in one place for too long to consider a similar lifestyle. Never before has it been easier to travel, stay, and even live in all of the places you’ve always dreamed of.

And TravelSites.com is the perfect place to get started. Not only do I offer user-friendly lists and in-depth reviews of the best travel sites for hotels, booking flights, and renting cars, but I also have a whole section useful sites for anybody who is interested in becoming a digital nomad. If you are interested in learning more and finding some of the best resources, feel free to check out my list of Work and Travel sites.

Figuring out how you are going to make money while you travel is far from the only concern to take into account, though, when planning a prolonged trip or a wayward lifestyle. You are also going to have to figure out other practical, finer-detail things, such as whether you are going to be able to realistically afford to live or stay at your dream destination. Luckily, though, thanks to the internet, this is a million times easier than it used to be. All you need to do is navigate your browser to cost of living sites like Numbeo and you can get a glimpse of how affordable (or unaffordable) a given city may be.

Cost of living sites, although more commonly used for people who are considering a relocation or a more of a permanent stay somewhere, are also surprisingly useful for more temporary travel, too. Even if you are only staying somewhere for a few days, it can be a good idea to consult one of the best cost of living sites (like Numbeo) before departing because it can paint a vivid picture of how much money you can expect to spend in general on your trip. Cost of living is usually a determinant of every other cost associated with travel – food, lodging, activities, entertainment, etc.

Numbeo makes it absurdly simple, easy, and fast to access statistics regarding how expensive a city or country is. Plus, Numbeo is one of the best cost of living sites on the web today because it doesn’t rely on official data or published statistics, as many other sites do, which can sometimes be years old. Instead, Numbeo, like Wikipedia, relies on “the wisdom of the crowd,” as they put it, providing their users with a constantly updated, edited, and expanding range of useful and unique statistics about the cost of living in cities all around the world.

For example, there are countless cost of living sites that give you the average rent or price of a home in a given city … Numbeo, however, takes this to the extreme, allowing users to add things like the cost of gasoline, a cappuccino, a McDonald’s meal, or even a pint of beer. Numbeo is an impressively ambitious project that is constantly ongoing, to provide the most detailed and dynamic demographic information, city by city, in the world.

Some people may not be wild about the crowd sourced nature of Numbeo. Not everybody trusts democratized information fully. If so, perhaps Numbeo is not the best cost of living site for you. But, then again, no site that provides “official” cost of living numbers is going to be anywhere near as detailed as this one, nor as up to date.

Maybe you have heard the idiom “what’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?” Well, thanks to Numbeo, in a matter of seconds you can actually learn how much a cup of tea costs in Wuhan. Toss that out at a party if you want to look clever.

Numbeo, though, offers so many metrics that I don’t want to waste anymore time not getting into the finer details of this site and everything that it has to offer. So, without further ado, let us take a look at Numbeo and see if it is, in fact, the best cost of living site on the web.

What is Numbeo Website?

I am going to be frank: my least favorite aspect of this site is the way in which it is designed. I don’t know how to put this delicately … it just doesn’t look good. Numbeo looks antiquated. It is certainly not up to par with the current design standards of 2021. You know what it looks like? It kind of reminds me of Map Quest in the early 2000s. There is a clunky map which doesn’t offer a smooth browsing experience whatsoever, and then a lot of text surrounding it.

The map is certainly the main event on the homepage, but you cannot simply click and drag the world map or zoom in by double-clicking. Clicking on the map automatically redirects you to another page, just to access and explore the map. This is the opposite of smooth web design. The alternative to this is typing in a city or choosing a country from a dropdown menu. The site is very manual, very old-fashioned, not anything like the dynamic and responsive sites that we are accustomed to these days.

How accurate is Numbeo’s cost of living?

Where Numbeo stands out, though, is in the unique features it offers. Like I said before, how many cost of living sites have you seen that are A.) crowd sourced and constantly edited/updated, and B.) offer such detailed impressions of how much it will cost to visit or live somewhere? Numbeo starts out each city’s cost of living analysis by comparing and contrasting data with your hometown (or wherever you happen to be located). The summary begins by not only telling you how much it costs to live in your target city, but also how it compares to where you live now; is it more or less expensive, overall?

Next, you’ll find all data on available on the cost of various items. These are separated by categories: restaurants, markets, transportation, utilities, leisure, childcare, clothing, rent, mortgage price, and average salaries. It doesn’t get any more in-depth than Numbeo when it comes to information provided by cost of living sites. This is why, for many, Numbeo is the best cost of living site – especially for you type-A people out there who thrive by knowing every minute detail about something before you encounter it – it pays to be prepared!

It is always nice, of course, to pay it forward on a site like Numbeo. If you find that you benefit from this one-of-a-kind cost of living site, why not contribute your own information. Community based sites like this are only made possible when the community is active and people are contributing. Why not take 5 minutes to weigh in on how much a can of coke costs where you live?

There are dozens and dozens of other statistics, data points, and analyses to be explored on this site, too. Honestly, I don’t have the room to list all of them here. It is definitely worth checking out Numbeo for yourself, though, to see just how vast and informative this site truly is.

Does Numbeo have an App?

Sadly, there is not a Numbeo app. Based on the design of the browser site, though, this does not come as a surprise to me. I do not get the impression that Numbeo is particularly well funded or rolling in the dough. That being said, the site does work on mobile devices. Once again, it doesn’t provide the best mobile design you’ve ever seen (you may have to do a lot of screen pinching to read things), but it is accessible at the very least.

What I Like about Numbeo

 -TONS of demographic and cost of living data available

-Unique, useful, and uncommon information

-Crowd sourced, constantly updated

What I Dislike about Numbeo

 -Subpar site design

-No mobile app

-No user accounts to track changes and receive updates

Pros
  • TONS of demographic and cost of living data available
  • Unique, useful, and uncommon information
  • Crowd sourced, constantly updated
Cons
  • Subpar site design
  • No mobile app
  • No user accounts to track changes and receive updates