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

Should you visit Shanghai or Barcelona?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Shanghai and Barcelona. 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. So, let's dig into it.

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".

Barcelona

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain with a population of over 1.5 million people. It's also the capital of Catalonia and is located on the northeastern part of the Mediterranean coast. Barcelona is one of the country's most popular travel destinations because of its rich history, interesting architecture, and vibrant culture. Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympic games and that had a strong influence over tourism in the area. Many different neighborhoods were renovated and rebuilt. Modern design became the norm in many parts of the city, although there is still an old city feel and many efforts at preservation.

Which city is cheaper, Barcelona or Shanghai?

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

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



Accommodation

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

The average price for accommodation for two people in Barcelona is $176. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Shanghai $73
    Barcelona $88
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Shanghai $146
    Barcelona $176

Food

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.

The price of a meal in Barcelona can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $32 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $13 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Shanghai $19
    Barcelona $32
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

Typical Food prices in Barcelona

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


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    $4.90
  • Sandwich
    $2.01
  • Baguette & Horchata
    $4.49
  • Tapas on the beach
    $9.79
  • Gelatto
    $2.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Barcelona

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

  • Live from Barcelona to China: Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Live from Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Barcelona organic dinner in a beautiful rooftop garden: $35
  • Interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona: $49
  • Hands-on Brunch Cooking Class with Bottomless Mimosas!: $50
  • Born district food tour and tasting in Barcelona: $51
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour: Local Market & Gothic Quarter with Expert Guide: $52
  • Street Food Tour & Gothic Quater Sightseeing with Local Expert: $52
  • Bus and Walking Tour with Dinner: $58
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit: $59
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show and Dinner Ticket: $62
  • Traveling Spoon Seafood Paella and Sangria Private Online Cooking Class: $66

Local 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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Barcelona is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $18 per person, per day, on local transportation in Barcelona.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Shanghai $3.48
    Barcelona $18
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:

  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shenzhen Bay Port and Hong Kong (Trans-island): $6.45
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Panyu and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $11
  • Private Transfer To/From Pudong Airport - Shanghai Hotels: $12
  • Shared Shenzhen Airport (SZX) Coach Transfers for Hong Kong (Trans-Island): $12
  • Shared Coach Transfers Between Hong Kong and Zhaoqing by EE Bus: $12
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Hong Kong and Huadu by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers Between Guangzhou and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shunde and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers Between Heyuan and Hong Kong by EE Bus: $15
  • Shared Hong Kong International Airport Transfers (HKG) for Shenzhen: $15

Typical Local Transportation prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    $9.22
  • Airport Bus
    $5.91
  • Metro
    $2.48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from Barcelona Cruise Port to City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Barcelona Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Airport Transfer city centre to El Prat Airport BCN: $9.41
  • Airport Transfers: $20
  • From Luxury Transfers to La Roca Village: $24
  • Private Departure Transfer from Barcelona City Center to El-Prat Airport (BCN): $24
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona City to Barcelona Airport: $27
  • Barcelona Airport Transfers: $27
  • Barcelona Airport Transfer: $28
  • Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Barcelona Departure Private Transfers from Barcelona City to Barcelona Airport: $29

Is it cheaper to fly into Shanghai or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona 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.





Entertainment

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 and activities in Barcelona typically cost an average of $31 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Shanghai $7.58
    Barcelona $31
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

Typical Entertainment prices in Barcelona

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


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    $49
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    $10
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    $7.09

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

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

  • A Culinary Audio Tour of El Born by VoiceMap: $5.50
  • Museu de la Xocolata Tickets: $7.16
  • Private Barcelona Ghost Tour: Gothic Quarter Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Museu de la Xocolata Admission Ticket: $7.46
  • Gaudi House Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket: $8.95
  • Barcelona Port Traditional Boat Tour: $9.16
  • Guided Tour of Requesens Palace: $9.54
  • Guided Tour of Barcelona's Royal Academy of Sciences & Arts: $9.54
  • Skip the Line: History Museum of Catalonia & Rooftop Access Ticket: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Human Bodies - Entrance to the exhibition Ticket: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Erotic Museum of Barcelona Admission Ticket with free souvenir: $9.95
  • Guided Tour at Barcelona's Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts: $10

Alcohol

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.

The average person spends about $16 on alcoholic beverages in Barcelona per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Shanghai $6.61
    Barcelona $16

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 Barcelona

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Barcelona:

  • Columbus Monument with Optional Wine Tasting: $7.16
  • Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $9.54
  • Backpacker Pub Crawl: $18
  • The Original Barcelona Pub Crawl: $18
  • Barcelona Halloween Pub Crawl: $18
  • Generation Pub Crawl in Barcelona: $19
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl: $20
  • Barcelona Wine Tasting: Catalan and Spanish Wines: $21
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Barcelona: $22
  • Opera Samfaina: Food and Wine Tasting Interactive Experience in Barcelona: $26
  • Wine tasting & tapas: $39
  • Barcelona Guided Local Wine Tasting Tour: $44


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Shanghai and Barcelona, we can see that Barcelona 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 Barcelona 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 Barcelona would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Barcelona than you might in Shanghai.

Budget Your Trip

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Shanghai vs. Barcelona Travel Comparison

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