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

Should you visit Saint Petersburg or Shanghai?

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

Should I visit Saint Petersburg 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.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city that sits on the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Its historical city center is threaded with canals and architecturally impressive buildings, leaving little doubt as to why this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second largest city in Russia, but perhaps a favorite among travelers. The metropolitan area has a population of over 5 million as well as an impressive culture with fascinating museums, restaurants, and architecture. The city has no shortage of sights and attractions, and many days can be passed while you wander its intricate streets.

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 Saint Petersburg?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Petersburg is $76, 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 Saint Petersburg and Shanghai in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint Petersburg $43
    Shanghai $70
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint Petersburg $86
    Shanghai $140

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $8.74
    Shanghai $3.33
Typical Local Transportation prices in Saint Petersburg

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


  • Metro Passes
    $2.01

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Saint Petersburg

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: from St Petersburg to Pulkovo Airport (LED): $28
  • St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED) to hotel - Arrival Private Transfer: $36
  • St. Petersburg to St.Petersburg Pulkovo Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $36
  • Private Transfer from Peterhof Palace to St. Petersburg City Center: $36
  • Private Transfer from St. Petersburg City Center to Peterhof Palace: $37
  • Departure Private Transfer St Petersburg City to Pulkovo Airport LED - LuxuryVan: $39
  • Departure Private Transfer St. Petersburg to Pulkovo Airport LED by Business Car: $61
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED by Business Car: $63
  • St Petersburg Transfer from city hotels or Cruise port to Pulkovo Airport (LED): $68
  • Departure Private Transfer St Petersburg City to Pulkovo Airport LED - LuxuryCar: $80
  • St Petersburg Departure Private Transfers from St Petersburg City to Airport LED: $84
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED in Luxury Van: $89

Typical Local Transportation prices in Shanghai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.86
  • 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 Saint Petersburg or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Saint Petersburg 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
    Saint Petersburg $22
    Shanghai $18
Typical Food prices in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $6.91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Saint Petersburg

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

  • Enjoy Russian Delicacies in St Petersburg: Cooking Demo and Meal with a Local: $80
  • Private Dining: Russian dinner in a traditional St. Petersburg apartment: $91
  • Cooking Class and a Dinner with a Local Family (8 people max): $92
  • Off-the-tourist Path Food Tour: $103
  • Local Market Tour and Cooking Demo with a Homemade Russian Meal in St Petersburg: $107
  • Borscht and cabbage pie cooking class and dinner for small private groups: $109
  • FOOD TOUR. St.Petersburg: $150
  • Private Cooking Class: Learn the secrets of Borsch and Beef Stroganoff: $166
  • Private Cooking Class: Russian Blini with Red Caviar and Shchi soup: $179
  • Private Cooking Class: Russian Shchi soup and Blini with Red Caviar: $187
  • Private Cooking Class: Hands-on Siberian Pelmeni Making Workshop: $188
  • Private Cooking Class: Siberian Pelmeni, Stolichny salad and Borsch: $212

Typical Food prices in Shanghai

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


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    $1.48
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    $22
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    $7.71
  • Cantelope
    $1.78
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.22
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.45
  • Pastries
    $3.11
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $9.49

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.
    Saint Petersburg $22
    Shanghai $7.24

Tours and Activities in Saint Petersburg

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

  • 2-Day Small-Group Visa-Free Tour - Top Highlights of St Petersburg: $20
  • 1.5-Hours Saint Petersburg's Metro Tour Hidden Treasures: $25
  • Mini-Group 2-Day Shore Excursion of St Petersburg Must-Sees and Boat Cruise: $25
  • Saint Petersburg Drawbridges Tour: $41
  • Half Day Walking Tour Well Courtyards Tour in Saint Petersburg: $44
  • Guided Tour Peter and Paul Fortress, Cathedral and Prison: $56
  • Private Tours: $64
  • Half Day Bike City Tour in Saint Petersburg: $75
  • Private Tour of "Erarta" Galleries: $76
  • St Petersburg Communist walking tour + Museum of Russian political history: $77
  • Evening River and Canal Cruise Visas Included: $86
  • Revolutionary Petersburg City Tour: $86

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
    Saint Petersburg $12
    Shanghai $6.31

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 Saint Petersburg and Shanghai, we can see that Shanghai is more expensive. And not only is Saint Petersburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Saint Petersburg is in Europe and Shanghai is in Asia, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Saint Petersburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Saint Petersburg 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 Saint Petersburg.

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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Saint Petersburg vs. Shanghai Travel Comparison

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