A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Athens vs. Shanghai for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit Athens or Shanghai?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Athens and Shanghai. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Athens

Athens is a historic, ancient, and vibrant city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Shanghai

Shanghai is a modern, cosmopolitan, and professional port city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Athens and Shanghai: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife


How is Athens different from Shanghai?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Shanghai and Athens. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Athens
Shanghai

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Shanghai and Athens.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Athens has many famous sights for visitors. As a historical capital of the world, this city has countless museums and archeological sites including the famous Acropolis, the National Archaeology Museum, and the Ancient Agora.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Shanghai that are not to be missed. The city's sights mix culture with modern innovation. From the futuristic skyline and the iconic waterfront area known as the Bund, to the classic Yu Garden, there are a diversity of sights around the city. There are also museums like the Shanghai Museum, which educate visitors on Chinese culture.


Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Food?

Athens
Shanghai

Dining out at restaurants in both Athens and Shanghai can be an enjoyable experience.

Eat your way through Athens, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Make sure you try the souvlaki, moussaka, and dolmades at any of the many local restaurants throughout the city.

For foodies, Shanghai is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city's cuisine has a long history with many distinct traditional dishes. The foods incorporate a lot of soy sauce and sugar and you'll find most dishes are rice based as opposed to using wheat products. Popular local dishes include the famous Shanghai soup dumplings, steamed crab, and braised pork. The city is also famous for its snacks, which can be purchased at one of the many snack houses or street stalls.

Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Nightlife?

Athens
Shanghai

Most visitors prefer the nightlife in Athens.

The nightlife in Athens is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. There are all-night dance clubs as well as local bars and chill live music venues.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Shanghai. A night out can quickly become very expensive. Many of the venues are spread out so you'll likely spend at least some of the time in a taxi. The Bund is one of the most popular areas for nightlife, but this area also has the most expensive bars and clubs. They often offer impressive views of Pudong and the Huangpu River though.

Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Shopping?

Athens
Shanghai

Shanghai is generally considered to be a more popular shopping destination.

Many people travel to Shanghai specifically to go shopping. The city has many large shopping malls with department stores, name brand fashion, and trendy shops. It is also known for its cheap electronics and tailor-made clothes.

Athens is a great destination for shopping. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Families?

Athens
Shanghai

Both Athens and Shanghai are family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Athens. With its rich history, beautiful outdoor activities, and kid-friendly food, Athens is a fun place to explore with the whole family.

Shanghai is a very family-friendly place to visit. Of course there's Disneyland, but kids will also enjoy soaking up the city's culture, trying fun new snacks, and exploring the many science and kid-friendly museums. There are also parks and outdoor spaces as well as skyscrapers and towers that offer incredible views of the city.


Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Couples?

Athens
Shanghai

Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Shanghai than Athens.

Shanghai is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. With its east meets west personality, couples will be able to enjoy an amazing culinary experience, beautiful gardens, and luxury hotels and spas. There are many romantic areas around this bustling city, making it the perfect place for a romantic city getaway.

Athens is a nice destination for couples. The city is historical, fascinating, and romantic, making it a beautiful place to explore as a couple.

Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Athens
Shanghai

For backpackers, both Athens and Shanghai are fairly comparable places to visit.

A large number of backpackers visit Athens, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. The city has long been established as a backpackers destination with budget friendly food and plenty of hostels around town.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Shanghai. The city is expensive, but there are hostels and cheap eateries that make it accessible even for the budget conscious. Business travelers and local workers give the city a more professional vibe during the day, but if you find the right place to stay you'll quickly be able to meet likeminded travelers.

Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Students?

Athens
Shanghai

For students, both Athens and Shanghai are fairly comparable places to visit.

Many students visit Athens. International students will appreciate the rich history, archaeological ruins, and unique opportunities that are available here.

Shanghai is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. The city attracts international and study abroad students who enjoy its long history and fascinating culture. It's a world financial capital with many businesses headquartered here, so employment opportunities are abundant.

Is Athens or Shanghai Better for Public Transit?

Athens
Shanghai

Athens and Shanghai both offer public transit to get you around.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Athens. The city's metro system has 3 lines that connect to bus, tram and commuter rail lines.

Public transit in Shanghai is fairly effecient and thorough. There is a metro system as well as buses and taxis which are relatively affordable.


Is Athens or Shanghai a more walkable city?

Athens
Shanghai

Athens and Shanghai are similar when it comes to walkability.

Athens is a very walkable destination. You'll find the city's most walkable area's in the historical heart, where there are many pedestrian only streets and shopping areas.

Shanghai is very walkable. It's possible to explore the major tourist areas on foot but it can be very hot and humid during the summer months.

Should I spend more time in Shanghai or Athens?

How long in Athens or Shanghai?

In either Athens or Shanghai, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Athens than Shanghai because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Athens is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Shanghai is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Athens or Shanghai? Ideal Length of Stay
    Athens 3-7 
    Shanghai 2-5

One day in Athens or Shanghai?

Athens is a big city with plenty to do. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the big city destination of Shanghai. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Athens or Shanghai?

Athens is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Shanghai is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Athens or Shanghai?

Athens is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Athens, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Shanghai. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Athens or Shanghai?

Athens is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Athens has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the modern big city of Shanghai. This port city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Shanghai or Athens?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Athens is €103, while the average daily cost in Shanghai is €90. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Athens and Shanghai in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 51
    Shanghai 63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 102
    Shanghai 126
Compare Hotels in Athens and Shanghai

Looking for a hotel in Athens or Shanghai? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Athens


Hotels in Shanghai


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Athens Hotel Prices and Shanghai Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 22
    Shanghai 3.03
Typical Local Transportation prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Athens:


  • Airport Bus for Two
    6.40
  • Metro
    1.50
  • Metro
    2.00
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

Also for Athens, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ultra - Private Transfer from Athens City Centre to Piraeus Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Athens Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Athens Airport ATH: $9.41
  • Mercedes Luxury Private Transfer Athens - Piraeus: $16
  • Athens Port Private Transfer: $16
  • Private Luxury Transfer from Athens - Piraeus: $17
  • Athens Private Transfer Service: Athens Hotel to Piraeus Port: $19
  • Athens Airport Shuttle Bus Transfer: $21
  • Athens Private Transfer: Piraeus Cruise Port to Central Athens: $22
  • Athens Private Transfer: Central Athens to Piraeus Cruise Port: $22
  • Athens hotels to Piraeus port Private departure transfer: $22
  • Piraeus port to Athens hotels Private arrival transfer: $22
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Athens Airport: $24

Typical Local Transportation prices in Shanghai

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Shanghai:


  • Taxi Ride
    3.51
  • Two Subway Tickets
    0.81

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shanghai

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shanghai:

  • Private Day tour of Xi'an From Shanghai Including Transfer Service: $1,100
  • Private Mutianyu Great Wall Tour From Shanghai's Hotel Including Transfer: $1,100
  • Private Beijing One Day Tour From Shanghai 's Hotel Including Transfer Service: $1,036
  • Private Day Trip Of Xi'an From Your Shanghai's hotel Including Transfer Service: $1,000
  • Private Day Tour Of Beijing From Shanghai's Hotel Including Flight And Transfer: $1,000
  • 2-Day Huangshan Tour by Cable Car with Private Transfer and Lunch from Shanghai: $653
  • 3 Days Shanghai Suzhou Tour Package with Airport Transfer: $555
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Yiwu Per Vehicle Price: $388
  • Shanghai Luxury Airport Transfer: $332
  • Transfer from Shanghai Pudong Airport to Nantong Downtown Per Vehicle Price: $265
  • Shanghai Disneyland with Transfers Plus 2-Night Accommodation in 4-Star Hotels: $264
  • Super High-End Luxury Private Transfers Between City and Shanghai Airports: $240

Is it cheaper to fly into Athens or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Athens change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Athens 30
    Shanghai 17
Typical Food prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Athens:


  • Ice cream
    3.00
  • Souvlaki
    2.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens

For Athens, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Street Culture & Food Tour: $56
  • Afternoon Food Tour: $56
  • Athens walking and tasting food tour.: $60
  • 4-Hour Cooking Class with Market Visit: $69
  • Homemade Gyros cooking class and dinner in Athens for private groups: $75
  • The Classic Food Tour: $76
  • Taste of Half-Day Small Group Food Tour: $77
  • Greek Phyllo and Pie Cooking Class in Athens: $77

Typical Food prices in Shanghai

Some typical examples of dining costs in Shanghai are as follows:


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    1.35
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    20
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    7.03
  • Cantelope
    1.62
  • Dumplings and Soup
    2.03
  • Duck Dinner
    4.05
  • Pastries
    2.84
  • Barbeque Dinner
    8.65

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Shanghai

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Shanghai.

  • Online Chinese Cooking Class: $22
  • Old Shanghai Breakfast Food Tour: $52
  • 3-Hour Shanghai Summer Night Local Dinner and Shopping Private Tour: $65
  • Private Chinese Cooking Class in Shanghai with Vegetarian Option: $69
  • Private Authentic Chinese Cooking Class in Shanghai with a Lovely Local: $70
  • 3-Hour Shanghai City Walking Tour with Dinner: $74
  • Shanghai yummy food tour: $75
  • A Bite of Shanghai Small-Group Food Tour: $80
  • Shanghai Hairy Crab Dinner: $85
  • Shanghai Evening Food Tour/Shanghai tour gastronomico nocturno: $85
  • Night Market & Street Food Tour in Shanghai: $95
  • 3-Hour Flexible Private Shanghai Night Tour with Local Dinner Option: $100

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Athens 28
    Shanghai 6.60

Tours and Activities in Athens

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Athens.

  • Athens virtual History, Philosophy and Democracy Tour: $6.22
  • Skip the Line: Frissiras Museum Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: War Museum of Athens Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: Temple of Olympian Zeus Entrance Ticket: $8.09
  • Skip the Line: Roman Agora of Athens Entrance Ticket: $8.71
  • Athens Museum of Cycladic Art Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Skip the Line: Admission Ticket for Acropolis Museum: $9.33
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus: Self-Guided Audio Tour on your Phone (without ticket): $9.94
  • Skip the Line: Ancient Agora of Athens and Temple of Hephaestus Entrance Ticket: $11
  • Benaki Museum of Islamic Art Entrance Ticket: $11
  • Athens Museum of Illusions Ticket: $11
  • Self-Guided City Experience: $12

Typical Entertainment prices in Shanghai

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Shanghai are as follows:


  • 30 Minute River Cruise for Two
    27
  • Zoo for Two
    14

Tours and Activities in Shanghai

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Shanghai are as follows:

  • 1 Day Bus Tour in Amazing Shanghai Highlights: $113
  • 1 Day Hangzhou Private Tour: $312
  • 1 Day Shanghai Airport Layover Private Tour for City Highlights: $202
  • 1 Day Shanghai Highlight Small Group Tour: $124
  • 1 Day of Shanghai Premiere Experience: $730
  • 1 day Nanjing tour from Shanghai by train: $400
  • 1 day Shanghai City Mini Group tour: $92
  • 1-Day Authentic Shanghai Tour by Walking & Metro: $193
  • 1-Day Private Shanghai City Tour to See Its Past, Present and Future: $204
  • 1-Day Private Shanghai to Wuzhen Tour to Admire the Classical Water Town: $271
  • 1-Day Private Tour to Hangzhou by car from Shanghai: $305
  • 1-Day Private Tour to Shanghai Museum,Yu Garden, the Bund and Nanjing Road: $178

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 18
    Shanghai 5.75

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Athens:

  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • Virtual Greek Wine Tasting: $87
  • Athens Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • Wine tasting tour: $131
  • Wine Tasting and Athens Trikke Combo Tour: $133
  • The Best Winery & Tasting Tour in Nemea.Enjoy a unique all day wine tasting tour: $140
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience of Greek Awarded Wines in Athens: $148
  • Premium Wine Tour in Peloponnese -Ancient Corinthos, Nemea - the Land of Myth: $148
  • Athens Private Wine Tasting Tour - Dionysian Grapes: $149
  • Ancient Corinth & Nemea Wine Tasting (up to 15 in a Luxurious Mercedes Minibus): $151
  • Greek Private Wine Tasting: $166
  • Mercedes Private Full-Day Tour, Nafplio, Corinth Canal and Wine Tasting: $168

Sample the Local Flavors in Shanghai

Also in Shanghai, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Shanghai Luxury Bar Crawl in 5-star Hotel or Boutique Hotel: $255
  • 3 Hour Local Craft Beer Crawl with Brewery Tour: $350


When comparing the travel costs between Athens and Shanghai, we can see that Athens is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Even though Athens is in Europe and Shanghai is in Asia, both of these destinations have relatively similar prices of travel. Generally, the levels of luxury and expenses are the same for these cities even though they are geographically far apart.


When is the best time to visit Athens or Shanghai?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Athens or Shanghai in the Summer?

Both Shanghai and Athens during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Athens because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Shanghai this time of year.

In July, Athens is generally around the same temperature as Shanghai. Temperatures in Athens average around 27°C (81°F), and Shanghai stays around 28°C (83°F).

In Shanghai, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Athens. In the summer, Athens often gets more sunshine than Shanghai. Athens gets 357 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Shanghai receives 232 hours of full sun.

Shanghai gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Athens usually gets less rain in July than Shanghai. Athens gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Shanghai receives 128 mm (5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Athens 27°C (81°F) 
    Shanghai 28°C (83°F)

Should I visit Athens or Shanghai in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Athens and Shanghai. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Athens this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Shanghai for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Athens is around the same temperature as Shanghai in the autumn. The temperature in Athens is usually 19°C (67°F) in October, and Shanghai stays around 19°C (65°F).

In Athens, it's very sunny this time of the year. Athens usually receives more sunshine than Shanghai during autumn. Athens gets 206 hours of sunny skies, while Shanghai receives 162 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Athens usually receives less rain than Shanghai. Athens gets 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Shanghai receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Athens 19°C (67°F) 
    Shanghai 19°C (65°F)

Should I visit Athens or Shanghai in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Athens as well as Shanghai. Many travelers come to Athens for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Shanghai in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Shanghai can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Athens is much warmer than Shanghai. Typically, the winter temperatures in Athens in January are around 10°C (51°F), and Shanghai is about 4°C (39°F).

In the winter, Athens often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Shanghai. Athens gets 143 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Shanghai receives 135 hours of full sun.

Athens usually gets more rain in January than Shanghai. Athens gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Shanghai receives 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Athens 10°C (51°F) 
    Shanghai 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Athens or Shanghai in the Spring?

Both Shanghai and Athens are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Athens in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Shanghai for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Athens is generally around the same temperature as Shanghai. Temperatures in Athens average around 16°C (60°F), and Shanghai stays around 15°C (58°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Athens. Athens usually receives more sunshine than Shanghai during spring. Athens gets 226 hours of sunny skies, while Shanghai receives 153 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Shanghai. In April, Athens usually receives less rain than Shanghai. Athens gets 25 mm (1 in) of rain, while Shanghai receives 102 mm (4 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Athens 16°C (60°F) 
    Shanghai 15°C (58°F)

Typical Weather for Shanghai and Athens

Athens Shanghai
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 10°C (51°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 4°C (39°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Feb 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 5°C (41°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 12°C (54°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 9°C (48°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Apr 16°C (60°F) 25 mm (1 in) 15°C (58°F) 102 mm (4 in)
May 20°C (68°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 20°C (67°F) 113 mm (4.5 in)
Jun 24°C (76°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 24°C (75°F) 152 mm (6 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 28°C (83°F) 128 mm (5 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 133 mm (5.2 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 156 mm (6.1 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 19°C (65°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Nov 16°C (60°F) 51 mm (2 in) 13°C (55°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Dec 12°C (54°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 7°C (44°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)


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Athens vs. Shanghai Travel Comparison

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