The price of love: what does a typical date night cost?

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 Kiwi date night totals up to an average of $132.

Calculating the cost of a date night

Winter is the perfect time of year for a cosy date night, so we decided it was time to delve into the cost of love and to discover how much New Zealanders can expect to spend on a typical date night.

Defining a ‘typical date night’ as one that includes a mid-range dinner for two, a shared bottle of wine, two movie tickets, and an 8km taxi ride home, we looked at the average prices for each item to determine that a typical date night in NZ will set you back an average of $132.1

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 10 of NZ’s most well-known cities – and (somewhat surprisingly), the most expensive city is not Auckland!

How much does it cost to date in New Zealand?

In fact, New Zealand’s priciest big city for romance is….Queenstown!

A typical date in Queenstown costs $158, making a date night in the city $26 more expensive than the average. It’s not the only big city to break the $130 mark either: the aforementioned date will set you back $140 in Hamilton, and $142 in Auckland.

At the other end of the scale sit Rotorua and Palmerston North. For those looking to save a few bucks, these cities might be the dating destinations of choice: an average date night in either city will only cost you $119. That means those dating in Rotorua or Palmy are spending around $40 less than those in Queenstown – that’s enough left over for a coffee date the next day!

Other wallet-friendly cities that cost slightly less than the average include Wellington, where a date night is $127, Tauranga, where it’s $128, Dunedin, which comes in at $129, and Christchurch and New Plymouth, which both total up to $130.

Cost of a date in 10 Kiwi cities

  1. Queenstown: $158
  2. Auckland: $142
  3. Hamilton: $140
  4. Christchurch: $130/
  5. New Plymouth: $130
  6. Dunedin: $129
  7. Tauranga: $128
  8. Wellington: $127
  9. Palmerston North: $119/
  10. Rotorua: $119

The cost of a date night around the world

As well as analysing Kiwi dating costs, we decided to make a global comparison, and so we examined the average cost of a date night in 25 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, converting global prices into NZD, we discovered that the average cost of a date worldwide is $118 (making a NZ night out pricer than the global average!).

The world’s most expensive city for dating

However, while the overall averages put NZ singles out in front, when it comes to a city-by-city analysis, it seems Kiwi wallets are getting off (relatively) lightly.

Indeed, even at $142, an average date in a big city like Auckland is cheaper than the same date in many other major global cities, including Hong Kong, London, Stockholm, Amsterdam, New York, Tokyo, and Oslo.

Oslo is in fact the world’s most expensive city for a romantic date night. A typical date in the Norwegian capital costs an eye-watering $186 NZD, making it $10 more expensive than the runner up, Tokyo, where a date night costs $176. Coming in third place is New York, where a date will cost you $167.

There are some other interesting comparisons – for instance, a date night in Stockholm is $158, making a night out in the Swedish capital the exact same price as a night out in Queenstown.

And, of course, there are also global cities where dating is cheaper than New Zealand. The cheapest city is Bogotá, where the typical date night is only $60. Second-cheapest is Cape Town, where the cost is $63, and third place goes to Mexico City, where a night out is $70.

Cost of a date (in NZD) in 25 major global cities

  1. Oslo, Norway: $186
  2. Tokyo, Japan: $176
  3. New York, USA: $167
  4. Stockholm, Sweden: $158
  5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: $157
  6. London, UK: $153
  7. Hong Kong: $147
  8. Auckland, New Zealand: $142
  9. Paris, France: $138
  10. Sydney, Australia: $134
  11. Toronto, Canada: $128
  12. Singapore: $121
  13. Shanghai, China (PRC): $118
  14. Berlin, Germany: $109
  15. Barcelona, Spain: $106/
  16. Seoul, South Korea: $106
  17. Rio di Janerio, Brazil: $99
  18. Moscow, Russia: $92/
  19. Taipei, Taiwan (ROC): $92
  20. Nairobi, Kenya: $91
  21. Mumbai, India: $76
  22. Istanbul, Turkey: $74
  23. Mexico City, Mexico: $70
  24. Cape Town, South Africa: $63
  25. Bogotá, Columbia: $60

EliteSingles editorial, July 2017

If you’d like to know more about this analysis, don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can comment below or email us at [email protected]


1 Analysis of costs and currency conversions based off data collected from and on 28th June and 10th July 2017.

About the author: Sophie Watson

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