JLo once sang about how her love don’t cost a thing, and the Beatles famously declared that money can’t buy them love. However, for most people in the dating game, it turns out that romance does, in fact, come at a price. Our latest data analysis has shown that a typical UK date night date night in 2019 will set you back an average of £89.
Calculating the cost of a date night
In 2017 and 2018, EliteSingles dove into the cost of love and discovered how much Brits could expect to spend on a typical date night.
Now, the 2019 figures are in – and that means we know how much dating currently will cost you in the UK and around the world.
Defining a ‘typical date night’ as one that includes a mid-range dinner for two, a shared bottle of wine, two cinema tickets, and a 5-mile taxi ride home, we looked at the average prices for each item and determined that a date night in the UK in 2019 will set you back £89.1 That’s a £2 decrease on our findings from 2018.
Of course, there are places in this country where dating is a bit more costly. We applied the method above to find out the average cost for a date in 15 major UK cities.
How much does it cost to date in the UK?
And the UK’s priciest big city for romance is (once again)….London! Who’d have thought it?
Holding the ‘most expensive’ title for a third year running, London is the only UK city where the cost of a date night tops £100. A date in the capital will set you back £117 – £28 more than the average UK date night.
Of course, it’s not the only city sitting above the middle line. Dates in Edinburgh, Brighton, Glasgow, Plymouth, Bristol, Birmingham, and Cardiff all cost more then the average.
At the other end of the scale is Belfast, which has replaced Cardiff as the chepeast date night city on the list. Indeed, for those looking to save a few quid, the NI capital might be the dating destination of choice: an average date night in the city is £69. Not only is that £20 less than the average, It also means those dating in Belfast are spending around £48 less than those in London – that’s enough left over for a lunch date the next day!
Other cities that cost less than the average include Machester (£88), Liverpool (£85), Newcastle (£82), Leeds and Sunderand (both £81), and York (£80).
The cost of a date in 15 British cities:
- London: £117
- Brighton: £99
- Edinburgh: £99
- Glasgow: £95
- Plymouth: £94
- Bristol: £93
- Birmingham: £90
- Cardiff: £90
- Manchester: £88
- Liverpool: £85
- Newcastle: £82
- Sunderland: £81
- Leeds: £81
- York: £80
- Belfast: £69
Figures are rounded: a date in Brighton is £0.06 more than one in Edinburgh, a Birmingham date night is £0.23 more than Cardiff, and Sunderland is £0.12 more than Leeds.
The cost of a date night around the world
As well as analysing British dating costs, we decided to make a global comparison. For 2019, we’ve examined the average cost of a date night in 30 capital cities from around the world.
To make the comparison a fair one, we used the same criteria to describe a ‘typical date night’ (the meal, the wine, the movie, the taxi) and converted global prices into GBP. Doing so we discovered that the average cost of a date worldwide in 2019 is £70. That’s £19 less than the UK average of £89 – but still a little more expensive than a date night in Belfast!
The world’s most expensive city for dating
It seems that, Belfast aside, Brits are paying a hefty price for dating, with the average cost of a date night in most UK cities well above the international average. However, British romantics can still be glad of one thing – at least they’re not trying to pay for a date in Norway!
Those who are dating in Norway will soon discover that the capital city, Oslo, is the world’s most expensive capital city for a romantic date night. In fact, a typical date in Oslo costs an eye-watering £131, making it more expensive than any city in the study – capital or not!
Of course, for Londoners, there’s still reason to grumble: for the second year in a row, London is the second most expensive city on the list. Washington DC takes third place, with a night out in the US capital setting you back £111. This just edges out Tokyo, Japan, where a date comes to a rounded £111 (the actual figure is just £0.40 less than in DC!). Stockholm, Sweden, rounds out the top 5 with a £105 date night.
The least expensive capital city to date in is Ankara, Turkey. A romantic night in Ankara is just £30 – less than the price that Brits typically pay for dinner alone. Other wallet-friendly capital cities include Hanoi, Vietnam and New Delhi, India (both £31), and Manila, The Philippines and Cairo, Egypt (both £34).
The cost of a date (in GBP) in 30 capital cities
- Oslo, Norway: £131
- London, UK: £117
- Washington DC, USA: £111
- Tokyo, Japan: £111
- Stockholm, Sweden: £105
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands: £104
- Dublin, Ireland: £102
- Canberra, Australia: £96
- Paris, France: £92
- Ottawa, Canada: £86
- Rome, Italy: £84
- Wellington, New Zealand: £80
- Berlin, Germany: £78
- Madrid, Spain: £69
- Singapore: £68
- Seoul, South Korea: £66
- Nairobi, Kenya: £60
- Taipei, Taiwan (ROC): £56
- Lima, Peru: £54
- Beijing, China (PRC): £53
- Moscow, Russia: £50
- Brasilia, Brazil: £49
- Cape Town, South Africa: £45*
- Bogotá, Colombia: £40
- Mexico City, Mexico: £36
- Cairo, Egypt: £34
- Manila, The Philippines: £34
- New Delhi, India: £31
- Hanoi, Vietnam: £31
- Ankara, Turkey: £30
* Cape Town is South Africa’s legislative capital.
Figures are rounded: a date in Washington DC is £0.40 more than one in Tokyo, a date in Cairo is £0.32 more than one in Manila, and a New Delhi date night is £0.67 more than one in Hanoi.
This piece was originally published in August 2017, and updated in October 2018. Most recent update: August 2019.