It has been moving up the ranks over the past number of years and now Singapore has been named as one of 2014's most expensive cities in the world! Toby IIes of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has pointed out the numerous factors which contribute Singapore's expensive cost of living. Firstly, there are structural factors pushing up prices in the city-state which result in extremely high prices of cars. Then there's the cost of water and energy supplies which are also quite high. Singapore's utility costs rank third most expensive in the world! The strength of the currency in Singapore is another contributing factor to the high cost of living, a reflection of the city's success.
So what makes Singapore so great? Well, in a city that strives to deliver none other than 'world-class' entertainment, the list is pretty extensive. Whether you're looking for the ultimate fine-dining experience or fancy sipping cocktails while enjoying a panoramic view of the city in Southeast Asia's tallest bar, Singapore has what you're looking for. For those looking for a more active getaway break, your inner adrenaline junkie will not be let down. Singapore has a whole host of adventure parks which cater for everything from skiing to zip-lining to extreme skate boarding. Also if you like wildlife, a visit to the Singapore Zoo is a must!
The Singapore shopping experience is pretty impressive as well. The city-state's malls are connected by an intricate network of underground passages and tunnels. The Mass Rapid Transit train line connecting different shopping outlets means shoppers don't have to venture into the outside world while mulling over those all important purchases. It doesn't sound like the worst way to while away the afternoon!
10 Visit Sentosa Island: $100
A trip to Sentosa Island is one of the most fun ways to relax and cool down during your stay in tropical Singapore. Situated just 15 minutes away from the city centre, this idyllic resort island is surrounded by pristine beaches and world-class attractions. Part go-kart and part toboggan, the Sentosa Luge is a huge hit among adrenaline junkies. Sentosa Island has something to offer for everyone, including plenty of walking trails and a butterfly park for the nature lovers out there.
9 Dine Aboard the Singapore Flyer: $213
For those of you who wish to enjoy a fine dining experience while soaking up panoramic views of the city, the Singapore Flyer is worth checking out. At 165 meters, the Flyer is the world's largest observation wheel, towering above some of Singapore's iconic landmarks including Marina Bay, Singapore River, Raffles Place financial district and more. The Singaporeans do not do things by halves; the Flyer features the world's first full butler dinner service in the sky. Diners receive a four course meal and enjoy two rotations over the course of an hour.
8 Visit the Marina Bay Sands: $300
Singapore’s enormous Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort featuring a shopping mall as well as the city's biggest casino. This unique resort is comprised of three 55 story towers, on top of which sits the Sands Sky Park which offers a 360 degree view of Singapore's skyline. The Sky Park contains a 150 meter vanishing edge pool. The shopping mall attached to the marina bay boasts its own canal, offering customers gondola rides. This is undoubtedly on the more extravagant scale of things to do in Singapore.
7 VIP Tour of Universal Studios: $360
If you've ever wanted a taste of the superstar treatment, here's your chance. Upon arrival via private transportation, a personal guide will escort you through the theme park providing an extensive guided tour of Universal Studios. You will receive a full-day admission pass which entitles you to skip all queues to the park's various attractions. The tour takes you to seven different entertainment zones including Hollywood, New York, Sci-fi City, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar. Light refreshments are provided throughout the day, along with a $25 lunch voucher. VIP customers also receive a 10% discount on selected merchandise.
6 Dine at Waku Ghin: $500
Food is a subject dear to the hearts of Singaporeans and my, do they know their stuff! If you’re looking for an exclusive dining experience, then look no further than Waku Ghin, the pinnacle of exclusive dining. The first-class restaurant is owned by acclaimed chef Tetsuya Wakuda and only 25 people are admitted per seating. Each party has their food cooked in front of their very eyes by a personal chef. The 10 course degustation menu comes with a very hefty price tag of $500+ per person but their attention to detail is impeccable.
5 Sentosa Golf Club: $450
Sentosa Golf Club is Singapore's most exclusive golf club, boasting two of the most scenic rounds of golf in the city-state. The Serapong and the Tanjong courses both offer 18-hole rounds that have been molded out of the surrounding lush tropical flora and swamps. Players get to take in views of the Singapore Harbour or South China Sea while playing. The club states "This exclusive club with its private setting and verdant fairways is an oasis from the rigors of city living", so if you fancy a break from the city centre, this is the perfect getaway. Once you've finished your round, you can relax and unwind over drinks in the Golfer's Terrace or the Member's Bar before dining in either of the golf clubs two restaurants.
4 Luxury Spa: $808
Revel in picturesque surroundings as you enjoy the ultimate Spa experience during your time in Singapore. Lifestyle Retreats are personally tailored for the individual, ensuring that you have the most relaxing experience possible as well as helping you to achieve your desired health and wellness goals. Clients have unlimited access to the Sleep Zone, Tea Lounge and Relaxation Lounge during their time at the retreat. This is the ideal way to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life while you relax both mind and body through therapeutic treatments, nourishing food and soothing meditation techniques. Prices start from $808.
3 Singapore Grand Prix: $7,216
The Singapore Grand Prix is now in its fifth year and holds the honour of being the world’s only night-time Formula 1 race. Its sensational racetrack is centred around an illuminated backdrop of Singapore's iconic modern architecture and colonial heritage buildings. Once the racing has finished, the after-show kicks off and party goers will not be disappointed. Headlining this years race after-party is Asia's biggest rock band, Mayday. The party will see hundreds of other acts of various genres performing around the park throughout the night. Scheduled to take place in September 2014, this is definitely worth a visit.
2 Singapore Lyric Opera: $9,000
For the opera lovers among you, a trip to the Singapore Lyric Opera is an ideal way to retreat from the bright lights of this bustling city for a few hours and indulge your passion for opera. The Singapore Lyric Opera has an outstanding repertoire, showcasing a diverse range of opera productions from classical favourites to less frequently performed works. Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte was their most recent production, performed in March 2014. Ticket prices range from $28 - $130. A stall ranges from $350 to $600 and a VIP box costs between $5,000 and $9,000.
1 Shopping on Orchard Road: $Unlimited
Be prepared to shell out big bucks if you fancy a shopping spree on Singapore's iconic Orchard Street. The street spans nearly 2.2 km and is described as 'a shopper's haven and cosmopolitan playground set among a lush, tropical landscape that is ubiquitous in this Garden City' by DailyFT. Here, shoppers will find top luxury brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Louis Vuitton and Dior to name but a few. While this shopping mecca mainly caters for those with a bulging wallet, there are plenty of high street shops to be found in the area for those on a budget.