A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Hanoi vs. Shanghai for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Hanoi or Shanghai?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Hanoi and Shanghai can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Hanoi

Hanoi is the chaotic capital of Vietnam, and it serves as a great introduction to the country for many travelers. It's the second largest city in the country after Saigon and is an interesting combination of East meets West. There's traditional Vietnamese culture with subtle influences brought by the French. The city continues to grow and change rapidly and it's easy to get lost amidst the chaos.

Shanghai

Shanghai is the largest and most modern city in China. With a population of over 23 million, it is the economic and financial hub of the country. It also continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in China with regular changes to the city's layout and skyline. It is not uncommon for buildings to be torn down, rebuilt and then torn down and rebuilt again. The city also has skyscrapers that rank among the tallest in the world. It has an ever changing downtown and street scape. In Shanghai, the general mantra remains "out with the old, in with the new".

Which city is cheaper, Shanghai or Hanoi?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hanoi is $41, while the average daily cost in Shanghai is $103. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Hanoi and Shanghai in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Hanoi is $44. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $146 for a double occupancy room in Shanghai.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hanoi $22
    Shanghai $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hanoi $44
    Shanghai $146

Food

The price of a meal in Hanoi can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $11 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $4.40 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The average traveler spends about $19 per day in Shanghai for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Hanoi $11
    Shanghai $19
Typical Food prices in Hanoi

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Hanoi:


  • High End Dinner (for Two)
    $13
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $4.83
  • Bowl of Pho
    $0.88
  • Italian Dinner (for Food)
    $6.81

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hanoi

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

  • Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Street Food Tour - Small Group: $5.00
  • (Private) Hanoi Street Food Tour By Volunteer Guide: $5.13
  • Hanoi Street Food Tours with Volunteer Guide ($5 / Group): $5.13
  • (Small Group) Hanoi Street Food Tours with Volunteer Guide: $5.13
  • Dinner with a Local Family in Hanoi: $13
  • Seafood Dinner in Altitude Rooftop Bar at Sheraton Nha Trang : $15
  • Street Food Tour + Old City sightseeing Ticket: $15
  • 3-Hours Hanoi Street Food Tour with Guide and Meal: $16
  • The Home Pizza Phu Quoc Cash Voucher 500.000VND : $19
  • Lunchtime Street Food Tour of Hanoi: $21
  • Hanoi Walking Street Food Tour: $21
  • Small Group: Ha Noi Walking Street Food Tour With Professional Tour Guide: $22

Typical Food prices in Shanghai

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


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    $1.55
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    $23
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    $8.07
  • Cantelope
    $1.86
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.33
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.66
  • Pastries
    $3.26
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $9.93

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
  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Old Shanghai Breakfast Food Tour: $52
  • Cooking Class of Dumplings and Chinese Buns: $56
  • 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
  • Chinese Cooking Class in a Family Home: $75
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Hanoi is $5.99 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

The average price of local transportation around Shanghai is $3.48 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hanoi $5.99
    Shanghai $3.48
Typical Local Transportation prices in Hanoi

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


  • Taxi to Bus Station
    $1.32
  • Shuttle Bus From Airport (for Two)
    $3.52
  • Local Bus Ride (for Two)
    $0.44
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.49
  • Short Motorbike Ride (10 Minutes)
    $0.88

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hanoi

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hanoi:

  • Shared City Transfer between Hanoi and Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu, Tam Coc and more by Limousine: $6.39
  • Shared Bus Transfers between Hoi An and Ba Na Hills: $6.50
  • Shared City Transfers between Da Lat and Mui Ne via Shuttle Bus: $6.50
  • Private Phu Quoc International Airport Transfers (PQC) for Phu Quoc: $7.00
  • Hanoi City Center to Noi Bai Airport - Private Transfer: $7.90
  • Hanoi city center to Noi Bai airport - Private transfer: $7.90
  • Noi Bai Airport transfer to Hanoi Center and more: $8.00
  • Private Da Nang International Airport Transfers (DAD) for Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An, & Select Areas: $8.79
  • Private Noi Bai Airport Transfers (HAN) for Hanoi City or Halong Bay: $9.00
  • Private Night Transfers between Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) and Phu Quoc: $9.25
  • Private Noi Bai Airport (HAN) Transfers for Hanoi City: $9.45
  • Private Da Nang International Airport (DAD) Transfers for Da Nang, Ba Na Hills, and More: $9.59

Typical Local Transportation prices in Shanghai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.03
  • Two Subway Tickets
    $0.93

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shanghai

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shanghai:

  • 1 Day-Pass for Disneyland Shanghai and Transfer service Mini Group package: $146
  • 1-way Private Transfer From Shanghai Pudong Airport to Hangzhou: $123
  • 1-way Private Transfer From Shanghai Pudong Airport to Suzhou New District-SND: $117
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and Kunshan Per Vehicle Price: $74
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Jiaxing: $153
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Kunshan Per Vehicle Price: $95
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Yiwu Per Vehicle Price: $388
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai and Nanxun Water Town Per Vehicle Price: $164
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai and Wuzhen Water Town Per Vehicle Price: $159
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai and Zhouzhuang Water Town Per Vehicle Price: $93
  • 1-way Transfer between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Changshu Per Vehicle Price: $135
  • 1way Transfer from Shanghai Pudong Airport to Suzhou Downtown: $48

Is it cheaper to fly into Hanoi or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Hanoi 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.





Entertainment

Hanoi's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.49 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Shanghai's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.58 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hanoi $7.49
    Shanghai $7.58
Typical Entertainment prices in Hanoi

Here are a few typical costs in Hanoi for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Puppet Theater
    $1.76
  • The Hanoi Hilton Entrance
    $1.76
  • National History Museum
    $1.76
  • Puppet Theater Ticket
    $3.08

Tours and Activities in Hanoi

Here are a few actual costs in Hanoi for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Do Quyen Spa Private Experience in Sapa: $1.75
  • Hi Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh City : $1.99
  • L'Belle Beauty Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh: $1.99
  • Lasenta Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $2.39
  • World Coffee Museum Ticket in Central Highland: $2.65
  • [SALE 50%] Art in Paradise 3D Museum Ticket in Da Nang: $3.09
  • LVES Spa in Saigon - VND88.000 for 60-minute Experience: $3.89
  • Upside Down World Ticket in Da Nang: $4.05
  • Traditional Singing Performance on Huong River Ticket in Hue: $4.19
  • Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs Ticket in Hue City: $4.19
  • Ngo Spa & Massage Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $4.39
  • SUP Experience in Perfume River (Huong River - Hue): $4.39

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
    $31
  • Zoo for Two
    $16

Tours and Activities in Shanghai

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

  • Hupao Park Ticket in Hangzhou (For Mainland China ID Holders): $2.35
  • China Red Sandalwood Museum Ticket in Beijing : $2.79
  • Simatai Great Wall Admission with Cable Car Ticket in Beijing: $3.09
  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Ticket Chengdu - ID Card Direct Entry: $4.19
  • half day tour of shanghai: $5.34
  • Evergreen Resort Ticket in Shenzhen: $6.19
  • Jinxi Ancient Town Attractions Combo Ticket: $6.99
  • Gulangyu Seashell Museum Ticket: $7.45
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Sanqiutian Pier: $8.55
  • Wuyishan Xiamei Ancient Village Admission Ticket: $8.55
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Neicuoao Pier: $8.55
  • Shanghai Joy City Rooftop Ferris Wheel - Sky Ring Ticket: $9.29

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Hanoi may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.77 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $6.61 on alcoholic beverages in Shanghai per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hanoi $6.77
    Shanghai $6.61

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Hanoi and Shanghai, we can see that Shanghai is more expensive. And not only is Hanoi much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hanoi would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hanoi and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Shanghai would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Shanghai than you might in Hanoi.

Budget Your Trip

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Hanoi vs. Shanghai Travel Comparison

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