The Top 5 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Asia: Can You Afford Them?

Looking for a new place to call home in Asia? Brace yourself because living in some of the continent's most vibrant cities comes with a hefty price tag. Let's dive into the top 5 most expensive cities to live in Asia and see just how much you need to live comfortably in each.

5. Shanghai, China - $1,301 per Month

Shanghai kicks off our list as the fifth most expensive city in Asia. To afford a comfortable lifestyle here, you'll need around $1,301 per month. That's the cost for a single person living in a small apartment. While Shanghai offers incredible opportunities, it's essential to budget wisely to make ends meet.

Here are some interesting facts about the city:

  • Did you know that Shanghai is home to the world’s fastest commercial train, the Maglev? It reaches speeds of up to 431 km/h (268 mph) and connects Pudong International Airport to the city center.
  • The Bund, a historic waterfront area, offers stunning views of Shanghai’s futuristic skyline juxtaposed with colonial-era architecture.

4. Tokyo, Japan - $1,673 per Month

Next up is Tokyo, Japan, taking the fourth spot. Living in this bustling metropolis will set you back approximately $1,673 per month. That amount covers rent for a tiny apartment and basic living expenses. Tokyo's charm is undeniable, but it's crucial to be financially prepared before making the move.

Here are some interesting facts about the city:

  • Tokyo Disneyland, opened in 1983, was the first Disney theme park outside the United States. It’s a magical blend of Japanese culture and Disney magic.
  • The Shibuya Crossing, where thousands of pedestrians cross simultaneously, is one of the busiest intersections globally and a must-see for visitors.

3. Seoul, South Korea - $2,640 per Month

Seoul, South Korea, clinches the third position on our list. With a monthly requirement of $2,640, living comfortably in Seoul doesn't come cheap. This amount covers rent, utilities, food, transportation, and other essentials. Seoul's dynamic culture may be alluring, but it's essential to assess your budget carefully.

Here are some interesting facts about the city:

  • Seoul’s street food scene is legendary. Try tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), odeng (fish cake skewers), and hotteok (sweet pancakes) from local vendors.
  • The N Seoul Tower atop Namsan Mountain offers panoramic views of the city, especially breathtaking at sunset.

2. Hong Kong - $3,135 per Month

Hong Kong takes the second spot, known for its sky-high rents and vibrant lifestyle. To live comfortably in this bustling city, you'll need approximately $3,135 per month. From iconic skyline views to diverse culinary experiences, Hong Kong offers plenty, but financial planning is key to thriving here.

Here are some interesting facts about the city:

  • Hong Kong’s skyline boasts more skyscrapers than any other city. The Symphony of Lights show illuminates these buildings nightly.
  • Dim sum, a Cantonese culinary tradition, originated in Hong Kong. Don’t miss out on the delicious dumplings and buns!

1. Singapore - $4,137 per Month

Topping our list is Singapore, the epitome of luxury living in Asia. With a monthly budget of $4,137, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in this cosmopolitan city-state. Singapore's modern amenities and efficient infrastructure make it a desirable destination, but it's essential to manage expenses wisely.

Here are some interesting facts about the city:

  • Singapore’s Changi Airport consistently wins awards for being the world’s best airport. It features a butterfly garden, rooftop pool, and free movie theaters.
  • The iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel has an infinity pool on its rooftop, offering jaw-dropping views of the city and the South China Sea.


While these top 5 cities in Asia offer unique opportunities and experiences, they also come with significant financial commitments. Before embarking on your relocation journey, it's crucial to assess your budget and ensure you can afford the cost of living comfortably in your chosen city. Whether it's Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, or Singapore, careful financial planning is the key to thriving in these dynamic urban centers.

Ready to take the next step towards your dream lifestyle in Asia's most exciting cities? Join our Telegram group for exclusive tips and insights on navigating the high cost of living and thriving in these dynamic urban centers. 

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