Lifestyle in Singapore

It’s certainly possible to live a luxurious lifestyle in Singapore, especially for those lured in by a lucrative expat package, but many foreigners do not. The day-to-day cost of living in the Little Red Dot can get expensive, but expats withouot a top-tier salary will still find they can enjoy themselves and attain a high quality of life in Singapore. 

There's something for everyone (and every budget) when it comes to having a good time, and expats moving to the city-state should have no problem filling their schedules with things to do in their spare time.

Conspicuous consumption in the form of shopping and eating is a Singapore norm, and firmly features in both local and expat lifestyles – so prepare to engage in both popular pastimes. With plenty of places to partake in either activity, new arrivals won’t fret for lack of choice. 

Otherwise, much time is devoted to the pursuit of life outdoors, despite the heat; parks and trails are packed on weekends and afternoons with people riding bikes, jogging and enjoying the weather.  

Keep in mind though that Singapore has a 'work hard, play hard' culture, in every sense of the expression. So while the lifestyle can feel indulgent at times, it’s likely to be well-earned.

Shopping in Singapore

From luxury boutiques and modern malls to streetside flea markets, expats will find that the options for shopping in Singapore are almost endless – whatever their budget.

Both locals and expats in Singapore love to shop, and there is no shortage of aisles to cruise in the city-state. Orchard Road and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands are known for having high-end designer stores, like Chanel and Prada.

Nightlife in Singapore

Even with the high price of alcohol in Singapore, the bar and club scene is impressive and is often a standard part of the expat lifestyle. People sometimes start their night as early as directly after work, a prime time to take advantage of happy-hour prices. Watering holes along Clarke Quay are often loud and are popular with tourists, while bars in the city centre cater to the after-work crowd. Some of these bars have live music for entertainment. For a more scenic night out, head to one of the rooftop bars or any of the bars sprinkled around the Marina. 

Eating out in Singapore

Food is a big part of Singaporean culture, and there are numerous restaurants and food stalls to choose from. From a bowl of noodles at a hawker centre to the tasting menu at a celebrity restaurant, diners can find just about every type of cuisine and eatery in Singapore.

Restaurant reviews and recommendations are easy to come by and magazines are good places to start when looking for the latest hotspots and trends in the culinary scene. Local food bloggers can be helpful resources too.  

Regional travel from Singapore 

Escaping Singapore for some rest can be a quick and affordable lifestyle feature that most expats aren’t used to integrating into their schedule so easily.  

Opportunities to visit other destinations can become especially important in light of Singapore's high population density – escaping the day-to-day crush of people for a while can be extremely refreshing.

One way to find out about last-minute travel deals is by subscribing to local discount-deal sites. Singapore also hosts a few travel fairs each year which provide ideas for planning a trip. However, planning a weekend getaway based only on recommendations from fellow expats and locals is easy too.  

Family life in Singapore

Expat families living in Singapore will likely have a different lifestyle to carefree singles or career-driven couples in the city-state. That said, there is no shortage of family-friendly activities in Singapore to keep everyone occupied, and the overwhelming amount of greenery, such as playgrounds and parks, makes for affordable entertainment.

There's the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park for starters. Universal Studios Singapore is another great place to take the kids for the day, and the Singapore Botanic Gardens is perfect for a picnic. For some social interaction, sign the kids up with a playgroup or a sports team, or check the neighbourhood's community centre for activities in the local area.

FMFM Our Expat Expert

Flora is a freelance writer living in Singapore with her husband and two dogs. She blogs about her experience living abroad, her travels, and things to see and do in Singapore at Originally from the Silicon Valley, Flora misses Mexican food, ice hockey, and finding shoes in her size.

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