Singapore – World’s Most Expensive City

[Travel News ★★★]


(P1) Singapore is the world’s most expensive city – for the second time in a row. The British magazine The Economist compared over 130 of the world’s major cities. Paris, Oslo, and Zurich follow the Southeast Asian metropolis as the most expensive cities in the world.

(P2) The study uses New York as the basis for calculating and comparing the cost of living. It shows that Singapore is more expensive than any other major world cities when it comes to shopping, transportation, and food. The report states that owning a car in Singapore is nearly unaffordable. Clothes cost twice as much as in New York. The city is experiencing rising housing costs as more and more foreigners choose to live there.

(P3) Singapore is also a financial and banking center and is becoming the Asian headquarters of many global companies. Despite such high prices, Singapore is still a major travel destination. In addition, the city-state celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

(P4) Well-known cities have disappeared from the exclusive list, including Tokyo, partly because of the declining value of the yen. Paris remains the most expensive European city, despite the weak euro.

(P5) At the end of the list Karachi, Pakistan is currently the world’s cheapest city. Among the least expensive cities are three from India: Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai.

WORDS: 215


VOCABULARY: metropolis, basis, unaffordable, city-state, well-known, exclusive, despite


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have you ever visited Singapore? If yes, describe your visit. If no, would you like to visit Singapore?
  3. Singapore celebrated its 50th birthday. How old is your country?
  4. What is the cost of living like in your city?
  5. Is your country a major travel destination? Why or why not?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES: What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • In a row (P1)
  • Cost of living (P2)
  • Housing costs (P2)
  • Declining value (P4)

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Image source: by Calvin Teo

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