19 Luxurious Hobbies Only The Rich Can Afford

While those of us with average incomes might take the canoe out on the weekends, rich people leave port on luxury yachts. And while some of us spend time snuggling our Labrador retrievers, others collect more exotic pets like lions and tigers—oh, my!

The wealthy tend to lead different lives from the rest of us. From scaling Mt. Everest to hunting games in Africa, here are some of the many exciting activities the rich enjoy.


You don’t need to take a cruise with people you don’t know if you can afford to sail on a yacht. And because most of the larger boats come equipped with a captain and crew, you do not need to know how to sail to hit the open water.

Unfortunately, you do need to have a large bank account to enjoy this activity. Renting one can run you $5,000 a day, according to The Richest.

And according to Forbes, a 170-foot yacht can cost as much as $50 million to buy outright. But believe it or not, some luxury yachts cost much more.


Polo, a team sport played on horseback, is favored by the royals. So it’s no surprise that it’s also an expensive hobby. For example, full membership in the Detroit Polo Club costs $3,000 annually. A

And that doesn’t include the price to surprise, given that competitive-level dance lessons cost $50 to $200 per couple to buy a horse, which can be as high as $250,000 for a polo pony.

Race Car Driving

If you have an adventurous side and a love of cars, high-performance race car driving can offer extreme fun as you speed around a track. But don’t get too excited. It can cost up to $950 for three eight-minute driving sessions, according to the Nascar Racing Experience.

Big-Game Hunting

Hunting isn’t necessarily an expensive hobby. But if you want to hunt big game, be prepared to empty your wallet. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars for the thrill of hunting lions, elephants, and other big-game animals. And some hunting expeditions can cost up to $70,000.

Ballroom Dancing

Taking a ballroom dancing class here and there probably isn’t going to break the bank. But if you turn ballroom dancing into a serious hobby and start competing, the cost of competition fees, lessons, transportation, and other expenses can reach $10,000 per year, according to CostHelper.

That’s not surprising, given that competitive-level dance lessons cost $50 to $200 per couple per session.

Collecting Exotic Animals

For some millionaires, it isn’t enough to own a domestic dog or cat. They would instead collect exotic and expensive animals. Unfortunately, this hobby comes with a hefty price tag.

On average, buying a cheetah cub can cost between $15,000 and $25,000, A tiger cub can cost $3,200, while a grown tiger can cost $50,000. And a lion cub can cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000. For people who want to own big cats like these, it can cost over $94,000 to set up a facility in the first year, with annual care costing over $8,000, according to Big Cat Rescue.

Collecting Antiques

You don’t have to be rich to collect antiques, and you might discover high-value finds at estate sales or garage sales. But antique collecting can be an expensive hobby for rich people with plenty of money to blow.

For example, someone who collects handmade rugs might pay as much as $257,000 for a 150-year-old Persian silk rug.

Horse Racing

Going to a horse racing track and placing a bet doesn’t have to be a budget-buster. But if you want to breed, train, and race your horses in competitions, that can cost a lot of money.

The average cost of a racehorse in 2015 exceeded $65,000, according to The Jockey Club, an organization for horse racing and breeding. The expense of this hobby increases once you add in the price of food, grooming, and housing.

Further, according to NBC New York, training bills at a mid- to high-level racetrack can cost between $30,000 and $50,000 a year. The entry fee for the Kentucky Derby in 2017 was $25,000;

Mountain Climbing

Anyone can hike a mountain to get some exercise or appreciate the view. However, you’ll need to open your wallet to reach the top of the world’s most famous summits.

Hiking one of these majestic peaks can mean shelling out for a guide, food, a base camp, and oxygen. Prices vary, but it can cost a single climber $11,000 in license fees alone to reach the top of Mount Everest. And even a low-budget expedition can cost $25,000 in total, according to MountEverest.net.

Hot air ballooning

A hot-air balloon ride offers a fantastic glimpse of the landscape below. And at $250 per person, a 90-minute weekend ride isn’t too extravagant. However, if you want to make air ballooning a hobby, it can cost you some serious cash.

You’ll have to spend about $2,750 on flight school to learn how to operate the balloon and another $20,000 or more for the actual balloon.


Anyone can swing a club in their backyard, but the most affluent golfers in the world seek out the best courses, and some don’t mind spending serious dough for the privilege of playing. Membership in some of the most exclusive clubs in the world will cost you a pretty penny. For example, the joining fee for Trump National in Westchester is $30,000 to $50,000.

Joining the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey, which has views of the New York City skyline, costs about $300,000, with annual dues running $29,000 per family.


The average person might be able to afford to jump out of a plane with a parachute and try skydiving once in a while.A single tandem dive can cost about $250.

However, making skydiving a regular hobby is a significant investment. Skydiving gear alone costs $4,000 to $9,000 to buy, according to CostHelper.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is another expensive hobby that only the rich can afford regularly. The price of a scuba diving certification and equipment is about $500, which isn’t too extreme.

However, underwater diving becomes expensive once you add in transportation and lodging at the best scuba locations in the world, such as the Great Barrier Reef, Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea, and Ras Mohammed National Park in Egypt.

Art Collecting

The collection of high-end art is among the most expensive hobbies. Some of the more costly works in the world include Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece, “Les Femmes d’Alger,” which sold for $179 million to an anonymous bidder in 2015, and “When Will You Marry?” by Paul Gauguin, which sold to Qatar Museums for $300 million the same year.

According to Money Inc., Sean Combs, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Madonna are just a few stars who boast stellar art collections.

High-Stakes Poker

A poker game is about the stakes for wealthy people with millions to blow. Some of the wealthiest people in the world participate in high-stakes poker games, with some games requiring a $1 million buy-in.

World Travel

Most people can afford a short vacation or getaway. But not everyone can afford to travel and explore the world in style. Add in the cost of high-end accommodations, first-class travel, excursions, and food, and a round-trip excursion around the world might cost as much as $1 million.


Winemaking is another expensive hobby of the rich, according to Jim Wang, founder of the personal finance website Wallet Hacks. “I have a business acquaintance who is very wealthy, and one of his hobbies is winemaking,” he said.

“We’re not talking about going to a winery, mixing their vintages, and calling it your blend with your label. That’s quite fun and affordable. My friend bought land, hired staff, and it was a couple of years before he could bottle anything.”

Many hobbyists make wine on a more affordable scale. According to Forbes, if you want to start a winery in Napa, it can cost you about $100,000 per acre.

Collecting vintage cars

Members of the super-rich are known to collect rare and vintage cars. Jay Leno, for instance, is known for his expensive collection, which he drives around the streets of Los Angeles. The price of a vintage collectible varies. For example, a 1954 Mercedes Formula One race car can cost about $29.6 million.

Flying Planes

If you have dreams of piloting your own plane, you’ll need the resources to pursue them. Securing a private pilot license can cost $12,000, and a used six-seat Cessna Citation CJ3 can cost as much as $2.5 million. Then, it can cost $100 to $200, on the low end, per flight hour to operate the plane.

Instead of flying a plane, you might consider renting a private jet now and then. Keep in mind, however, that the most luxurious jets in the world cost a fortune.

Cigarette Boat Racing

People with a competitive side and a need for speed might enjoy racing cigarette boats. Unfortunately, this isn’t a cheap hobby to participate in. Cigarette boats currently on sale at Yachts.com cost $18,000 to $679,000.

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