Sophie Watson, 18.09.2019

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 Australian date night in 2019 will set you back an average of $154.

Calculating the cost of a date night

In 2017 and 2018, EliteSingles dove into the cost of love and discovered how much Australians 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 Australia 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 8km taxi ride home, we looked at the standard prices for each item to determine that an average date night in Australia will set you back $1541.

We then applied the method above to find out the average cost for a date in 15 leading Australian cities...

How much does it cost to date in Australia?

And Australia’s priciest city for romance is….Canberra!

That's right, Canberra has knocked Sydney off the #1 position that it held in 2018 - but only just.  A 2019 date night in Canberra will set you back $172. The cost of the same date night in Sydney is $169 - a difference of only three bucks.

That means a date in Canberra costs $18 more than an average date in Australia, while Sydney is $15 more expensive. And they're not the only cities sitting above the middle line. Dates in Perth, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Wollongong, and Hobart all cost more then the average.

At the other end of the scale is Adelaide. For those looking to save a few notes, the South Australian capital might be the dating destination of choice: a date night in the city is only $129. Not only is that $25 less than the average, it also means those dating in Adelaide are spending around $43 less than those in Canberra – that’s enough left over for a coffee date the next day!

While Adelaide was the only sub-$130 city, other Australian cities below the average include Darwin, Cairns, Towoomba, Newcastle, Geelong, Brisbane and Townsville.

Cost of a Date in 15 Cities Across Australia

  1. Canberra, ACT: $172
  2. Sydney, NSW: $169
  3. Perth, WA: $165
  4. Melbourne, VIC: $164
  5. Gold Coast, QLD: $162
  6. Wollongong, NSW: $159
  7. Hobart, TAS: $156
  8. Darwin, NT: $150
  9. Cairns, QLD: $150
  10. Toowoomba, QLD: $148
  11. Newcastle, NSW: $146
  12. Geelong, VIC: $145
  13. Brisbane, QLD: $145
  14. Townsville, QLD: $144
  15. Adelaide, SA: $129

​Figures are rounded: a date in Darwin is $0.22 more than one in Cairns, and a Geelong date night is $0.39 more than Brisbane.

The Cost of a Date Night Around the World

As well as analysing Australian 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 AUD. Doing so we discovered that the average cost of a date worldwide in 2019 is $125. That’s $29 less than the Australian average of $154 - but a similar price to a date night in Adelaide!

The World's Most Expensive City for Dating

It may seem that, Adelaide aside, Aussies are paying a hefty price for dating, with the average cost of a date night in most cities well above the international average. However, Australian 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 $235, making it more expensive than any city in the study - capital or not!

In second place is London, UK, where a date night costs $210. Washington DC is the world's third most expensive capital city to date in, with a night out in the US capital setting you back $199. Tokyo, Japan takes 4th place with $198, and Stockholm, Sweden, rounds out the top 5 with a $187 date night.

At $172, a Canberra date night might sounds steep, but in fact Australia's capital is only #8 on the list. Capital cities where you'll pay more for a date include the five above, as well as Amsterdam and Dublin. 

Of course, there are also global cities where dating is cheaper than Australia. The least expensive capital city to date in is Ankara, Turkey. A romantic night in Ankara is just $53 - less than the price that Aussies typically pay for dinner alone. Other wallet-friendly capital cities include Hanoi, Vietnam ($55), New Delhi, India ($56), and Manila, The Philippines and Cairo, Egypt (both $61). 

Cost of a Date (in AUD) in 30 Major Global Cities

  1. Oslo, Norway:  $235
  2. London, UK: $210
  3. Washington DC, USA: $199
  4. Tokyo, Japan: $198
  5. Stockholm, Sweden: $187
  6. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: $186
  7. Dublin, Ireland: $183
  8. Canberra, Australia: $172
  9. Paris, France: $164
  10. Ottawa, Canada: $154
  11. Rome, Italy: $151
  12. Wellington, New Zealand: $142
  13. Berlin, Germany: $139
  14. Madrid, Spain: $124
  15. Singapore: $121
  16. Seoul, South Korea: $118
  17. Nairobi, Kenya: $108
  18. Taipei, Taiwan (ROC): $100
  19. Lima, Peru: $96
  20. Beijing, China (PRC): $94
  21. Moscow, Russia: $90
  22. Brasilia, Brazil: $87
  23. Cape Town, South Africa: $80*
  24. Bogotá, Colombia: $71
  25. Mexico City, Mexico: $65
  26. Cairo, Egypt: $61
  27. Manila, The Philippines: $61
  28. New Delhi, India: $56
  29. Hanoi, Vietnam: $55
  30. Ankara, Turkey: $53

* Cape Town is South Africa's legislative capital.
​Figures are rounded: a date in Cairo is $0.57 more than one in Manila.

This piece was originally published in August 2017, and updated in October 2018. Most recent update: August 2019.