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

Should you visit Shanghai or Amsterdam?

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 Shanghai and Amsterdam. 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.

Shanghai

Shanghai is a trendy, modern, and cosmopolitan port city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a laid-back, scenic, and historic city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the nightlife, live music, and shopping.

How is Shanghai different from Amsterdam?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Shanghai or Amsterdam better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Shanghai and Amsterdam.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Shanghai are among the most recognizable in the world. 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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Amsterdam can be an interesting and educational experience. The city has a number of sights and museums including the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Royal Palace.


Is Shanghai or Amsterdam better for Food?

Most foodies will appreciate the options in Shanghai a bit more than Amsterdam.

Eat your way through Shanghai, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. 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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Amsterdam. Food is expensive in this city, particularly in the touristy areas. There are some markets that sell great local items and the dessert cafes are awesome!

Is Shanghai or Amsterdam better for Nightlife?

With more options to choose from, you'll find a more vibrant nightlife in Amsterdam.

People head to Amsterdam just to party. The city has some of the best nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of bars, dance clubs, and other activities that you can enjoy throughout the night.

Shanghai has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. 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 Shanghai or Amsterdam better for Shopping?

Both Shanghai and Amsterdam are good shopping destinations.

The abundance of shops in Shanghai make it a world-class shopping destination. 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.

Amsterdam is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. For the best shopping in town, head to the Nine Streets area in the historic district and the two main shopping streets of The Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat.

Is Shanghai or Amsterdam better for Families?

Families may find more to do in Shanghai than Amsterdam.

Shanghai is a very kid-friendly port city. 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.

Amsterdam doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. The city does it's share of partying, and there are some areas, like the red light district, that aren't exactly kid-friendly, but there are some nice parks, playgrounds, and the impressive NEMO Science Museum that you can explore.


Is Shanghai or Amsterdam better for Couples?

Shanghai and Amsterdam both fun destinations for a couple.

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.

Couples visit Amsterdam frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. For many, a visit to this city is all about the party, but for couples who enjoy history, architecture, or boat rides along the scenic canals, the city also makes a great getaway. It's also fun to stay in a houseboat and have a unique experience.

Is Shanghai or Amsterdam better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Shanghai and Amsterdam are popular destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers 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.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Amsterdam. With it's party-hard personality and countless low price hostels, this city attracts its share of backpackers. Do note that many of the hostels aren't focused on quality, so make sure you understand what you're paying for. It may be worth booking a slightly more expensive room in a hotel.

Is Shanghai or Amsterdam better for Public Transit?

Both Shanghai and Amsterdam offer public transit options.

Shanghai has some very good public transit options. There is a metro system as well as buses and taxis which are relatively affordable.

Visitors in Amsterdam can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The city has metros, trams, buses, and ferries that help you get around. Since this is the Netherlands, getting around by bike is very popular.

Is Shanghai or Amsterdam a more walkable city?

Shanghai and Amsterdam both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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

Getting around Amsterdam on foot is easy. The historic parts of the city are very walkable and much of the city is best explored on foot.


Shanghai and Amsterdam: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in Amsterdam or Shanghai?

How long in Shanghai or Amsterdam?

Both Shanghai and Amsterdam have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Amsterdam than Shanghai.

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


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

One day in Shanghai or Amsterdam?

People visit Shanghai because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The beautiful city of Amsterdam offers live music and shopping. 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.

A weekend in Shanghai or Amsterdam?

People visit Shanghai because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this port city has to offer. This port city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Amsterdam is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Amsterdam, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Five days in Shanghai or Amsterdam?

People visit Shanghai because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this port city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this port city has to offer.

Amsterdam is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Amsterdam, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

A week in Shanghai or Amsterdam?

Shanghai is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Amsterdam 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 Amsterdam has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Amsterdam or Shanghai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Shanghai is $99, while the average daily cost in Amsterdam is $145. 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 Shanghai and Amsterdam in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Shanghai $70
    Amsterdam $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Shanghai $140
    Amsterdam $168

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Shanghai $3.34
    Amsterdam $17
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:

  • 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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Amsterdam

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


  • Ride on Tram
    $3.37
  • Renting a Bike
    $16
  • One Hour Canal Cruise
    $11
  • Single Day Transit Pass
    $2.73
  • Transit Pass to Amsterdam Airport
    $3.58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Amsterdam

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Amsterdam:

  • Ultra - Amsterdam Private Transfer from Cruise Port to Amsterdam City Centre: $9.55
  • Private Transfer from Cruise Port to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: $9.55
  • Ultra - Amsterdam Private Transfer from City Centre to Amsterdam Cruise Port: $9.55
  • Private Departure Transfer from Amsterdam City Center to Airport Schiphol (AMS): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer from Amsterdam to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS): $32
  • Private Transfer from PTA Cruise Terminal to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS): $32
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Amsterdam City to Airport: $34
  • Premium Private Transfer from Amsterdam Hotels to Airport: $35
  • Private Amsterdam Airport departure Transfer: $38
  • Private Departure Transfer from Amsterdam City to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport: $39
  • Private Transfer from Amsterdam City Center to Zaanse Schans: $40
  • Amsterdam local transfers: $42

Is it cheaper to fly into Shanghai or Amsterdam?

Prices for flights to both Amsterdam and Shanghai 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
    Shanghai $18
    Amsterdam $37
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

Typical Food prices in Amsterdam

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


  • Afternoon Tea
    $6.31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Amsterdam

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

  • Live online cooking class from Classic European 2-course meal: $23
  • Amsterdam Evening Pizza Cruise: $40
  • Three course lunch/dinner voucher: $42
  • Walking Food Tour: $43
  • 3 Course Dinner in the Dark: $48
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Amsterdam's Favourite Private Food Tour with a Local: $50
  • Private Pizza Canal Cruise Amsterdam: $62
  • Dinner with an Amsterdam artist on the river: $62
  • Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket & VIP Dinner at Hard Rock Café: $63
  • Amsterdam Small Group Food Tour: $69
  • Food Tour in the Albert Cuyp Market Amsterdam: $73
  • Delicious Dutch Dinner in an Amsterdam Canalhouse: $75

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Shanghai $7.28
    Amsterdam $32
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:

  • half day tour of shanghai: $5.34
  • Shanghai Yu Garden Ticket Booking: $10
  • Shanghai Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Admission Ticket: $11
  • Shanghai Maglev Train Ticket and Metro Pass(Pick Up in Shanghai): $12
  • Day Tour of Zhujiajiao and Huangpu River with Night Cruise: $16
  • Shanghai Jinmao Tower Observation Desk Admission Ticket: $18
  • Buddhist Art Tour at LWH Gallery in Shanghai: $23
  • Shanghai Bus Tour Hop-on Hop-off Premium Ticket including City Top Attraction Admissions: $30
  • Like a Local Customized Guided Tour: $30
  • Shanghai Tower Observation Deck Admission Ticket: $31
  • Shanghai Downtown Hotel to Baoshan Cruise Port:Private with Meet & Greet service: $38
  • Shanghai Hotels to Wusongkou Cruise Port:Private with Meet & Great service: $38

Typical Entertainment prices in Amsterdam

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


  • Two tickets to the Houseboat Museum
    $6.31
  • Entry for two to the Anne Frank House
    $18

Tours and Activities in Amsterdam

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

  • A tasty stroll through Pijp: An audio tour of some of Amsterdam great food spots: $5.00
  • An Amsterdam introduction: Explore the origins of Amsterdam on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Amsterdam Red Light District Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.41
  • Amsterdam West Specialty Coffee Spots Cycling Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.41
  • Vondelpark and Old West Neighbourhood Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.48
  • Amsterdam Private Tour: Red Light District Exploration Game: $5.65
  • Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • The Red Light District self-guided Virtual Experience: The Highlights: $7.45
  • Absolutely Tip-Based Walking Tour With Super Local Guide (2,5 Hours): $8.09
  • Red Light District 1-hour Smartphone Audio Tour: $9.06
  • Amsterdam Red Light District: A Walking Audio Tour on your Phone (1hour): $9.94
  • Silent Disco Club Experience: $9.95

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Shanghai $6.35
    Amsterdam $20

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Amsterdam

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

  • Distillery Tour & Tasting: $22
  • Amsterdam Bar Crawl: $27
  • Amsterdam Shared Bar Crawl: $31
  • Private Amsterdam Red Light District and pub tour: $61
  • Guided Craft Beer Brewery Bus Tour with Tastings: $67
  • 4 hour Amsterdam Brewery Tour: $81
  • High Class Culinary Lunch in Amsterdam - Self-Guided Food & Wine Tour: $102
  • Drew's 3-Hour Amsterdam Brewery and Bar Tour to Top Rated Bars: $106
  • Discover 3 gastronomic restaurants in Amsterdam - self-guided food & wine tour: $129
  • Experience 4 Culinary Restaurants in Amsterdam Self-Guided Food & Wine Tour: $152
  • Amsterdam Bachelor Party Bar Crawl: $488


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Shanghai and Amsterdam, we can see that Amsterdam is more expensive. And not only is Shanghai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Shanghai is in Asia and Amsterdam is in Europe, 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 Shanghai would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Shanghai 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 Amsterdam would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Amsterdam than you might in Shanghai.

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Shanghai vs. Amsterdam Travel Comparison

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