A Travel Price Comparison for China Lhasa vs. Shanghai for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Lhasa or Shanghai?

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

Should I visit Lhasa or Shanghai? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Lhasa

Lhasa is the famed capital of Tibet, and is one of the most fascinating cities in the world to visit. It's name means "Land of the Gods" and the city dates back more than 1,300 years. It's elevation is 3,650 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest cities in the world. It sits on the northern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains by the Lhasa River and is the second largest city on the Tibetan Plateau after Xining.

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 Lhasa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lhasa is $61, while the average daily cost in Shanghai is $99. 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 Lhasa and Shanghai in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lhasa $34
    Shanghai $70
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lhasa $68
    Shanghai $140

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lhasa $2.21
    Shanghai $3.34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lhasa

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

  • Lhasa Private Arrival Transfer: Railway Station to Hotel: $89
  • Lhasa Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Railway Station: $89
  • Lhasa Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $89
  • Lhasa Kongga Airport Chauffeur Service, Lhasa Airport Transfer, Pickup: $260

Typical Local Transportation prices in Shanghai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.88
  • Two Subway Tickets
    $0.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shanghai

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shanghai:

  • Zhujiajiao Water Town and Shanghai City Self-Guide 10-Hour Private Transfer Tour: $129
  • Zhujiajiao Water Town Self-Guided Tour with Private Transfer from Shanghai: $64
  • Zhouzhuang and Tongli Water Town Private Transfer Service from Shanghai: $93
  • Xitang Water Town Self-Guided Tour from Shanghai with Private Transfer: $88
  • Wuzhen and Xitang Water Town Private Transfer from Shanghai: $132
  • Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal-Pudong Airport One Way Private Transfer: $34
  • Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal-Downtown Hotel Private One Way Transfer: $32
  • Wusongkou Cruise Terminal to Hongqiao Airport Chauffeur Service, Port Transfer: $87
  • Wusongkou Cruise Terminal Share Transfer Service, Baoshan Port Pick up Service: $29
  • Transfer in private minivan from Shanghai City to Hongqiao Airport: $57
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Shanghai City to Hongqiao Airport: $33
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Shanghai City to Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG): $57

Is it cheaper to fly into Lhasa or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Lhasa 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
    Lhasa $23
    Shanghai $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lhasa

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

  • 4-Day Lhasa City Essential Group Tour including Hotel and Welcome Dinner: $592

Typical Food prices in Shanghai

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


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    $1.49
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    $22
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    $7.75
  • Cantelope
    $1.79
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.24
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.47
  • Pastries
    $3.13
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $9.54

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.
    Lhasa $15
    Shanghai $7.28

Tours and Activities in Lhasa

For Lhasa, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 4 Days Top Lhasa Group Tour: $53
  • Highlight Tibet Potala Palace Tour with Tibet Travel Expert Guide: $95
  • Day Tour: Tibet Ganden Monastery: $178
  • Day Tour: Tibet Drepung and Sera Monasteries: $180
  • Day Tour: Tibet Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple: $237
  • Tibet Entry Permit Plus Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Streets and Sera Monastery Tour: $263
  • Half- Day Potala Palace Tour from Lhasa: $278
  • 2-Day Lake Namtso Experience Small-Group Tour from Lhasa: $353
  • 2-Day Gyantse and Shigatse Tour from Lhasa: $359
  • Lhasa overview tour - 2 days: $360
  • The Best Bet 4 Days Lhasa Tour with Local Tibet Travel Expert: $421
  • 3-Night Essential Lhasa Tour: $474

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
    $30
  • Zoo for Two
    $15

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
    Lhasa $5.96
    Shanghai $6.35

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 Lhasa and Shanghai, we can see that Shanghai is more expensive. And not only is Lhasa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lhasa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lhasa 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 Lhasa.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Lhasa vs. Shanghai Travel Comparison

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