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

Should you visit Shanghai or Chongqing?

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 Chongqing. 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.

Where Should I go: Shanghai or Chongqing?

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".

Chongqing

Chongqing, China is a large city in central China and one of only four cities in the country that are not part of a province. While Chongqing is famous for being an economically important city, brush away its industrial surface and you'll find a naturally beautiful city with plenty of hidden wonders. Although you'll find many expats in the city, English is rarely spoken, meaning knowing some basic Mandarin will come in handy.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Beijing, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to China, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in China, and The Best Historical Tours in China.


Which place is cheaper, Chongqing or Shanghai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Shanghai is $115, while the average daily cost in Chongqing is $86. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Shanghai and Chongqing in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Shanghai $81
    Chongqing $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Shanghai $162
    Chongqing $98
Compare Hotels in Shanghai and Chongqing

Looking for a hotel in Shanghai or Chongqing? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Shanghai


Hotels in Chongqing


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Shanghai $3.88
    Chongqing $19
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Shanghai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.60
  • Two Subway Tickets
    $0.83

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shanghai

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shanghai:

  • Mount Mogan Self-Guided Tour from Shanghai by Private Transfer: $108
  • Private Transfer between Shanghai Pudong Int'l Airport & Hongqiao Airport : $45
  • Private Transfer from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Pudong Airport : $43
  • Tongli and Xitang Self-Guided Tour from Shanghai by Private Transfer: $114
  • 1 Day-Pass for Disneyland Shanghai and Private Transfer Package: $245
  • 3-hour Private Transfer to Shanghai ERA Acrobatic Show from City Center: $53
  • Arrival Private Transfer Pudong Airport PVG to Shanghai City by Standard Sedan: $74
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Pudong Airport PVG to Shanghai in Business Car : $113
  • Arrival Transfer by High-Speed Maglev Train: Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Hotel: $79
  • Departure Private Transfer: Shanghai to Pudong Airport PVG in Business Car: $113
  • Departure Transfer by High-Speed Maglev Train: Hotel to Shanghai Pudong International Airport: $79
  • Flexible Hours of Private Shanghai Layover or Transfer Tour: $129

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chongqing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chongqing:

  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chongqing Jiangbei Airport (CKG) to Hotel: $22
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chongqing Jiangbei Airport (CKG): $22
  • [Airport Transfer] Chongqing Airport ⇔ Chongqing City Transfer ☆ High reputation for service! <Charter charter>: $23
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Any Railway Station in Chongqing: $24
  • Private Arrival Transfer:Any Chongqing Railway Station to Hotel: $24
  • Chongqing Jiangbei Airport (CKG) private round-trip transfer: $25
  • Private Departure Transfer:Hotel to Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport CKG: $25
  • Private Transfer from Chongqing hotel to Chongqing Train Station : $27
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chongqing Chaotianmen Cruise Pier to Hotel: $39
  • Chongqing Jiangbei Airport Chauffeur Service, Chongqing Airport Transfer, Pickup: $60
  • Chongqing Private Round Trip Transfer to Dazu Rock Carvings: $128
  • Chongqing Private Round Trip Transfer to Wulong National Park: $168

Is it cheaper to fly into Shanghai or Chongqing?

Prices for flights to both Chongqing 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 $21
    Chongqing $25
Typical Food Prices in Shanghai

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


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    $1.38
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    $20
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    $7.19
  • Cantelope
    $1.66
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.07
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.15
  • Pastries
    $2.90
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $8.85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Shanghai

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

  • Online Cooking Class Fried Rice by Sunflower Li : $20
  • Online Cooking Class General Tso's Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Handmade Noodles by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Sesame Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • 3-Hour Biking and Local Food Tour: $71
  • Authentic Local Food Tour in Central Shanghai: $79
  • Late night food tour in Shanghai's French Concession: $88
  • Late Night Food Tour in the Shanghai's French Concession: $89
  • Eat Like A Local: Shanghai Night Food Tour: $90
  • Shanghai's Koreatown Food Tour: $91
  • 2.5hrs Chinese Kitchen Cooking Class: Xiaolongbao Soup Dumplings: $99
  • 3-Hour Flexible Private Shanghai Night Tour with Local Dinner Option: $100

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chongqing

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

  • Chongqing Liangjiang Night Cruise Including Authentic Hot Pot Dinner: $115
  • CHONGQING:Strolling through the city(Include dinner): $127
  • Chongqing City Private Night Tour with Hot Pot Dinner: $158
  • Chongqing Port Transfer Service with Half-Day Tour and Hot Pot Dinner: $193
  • Private Chongqing Night View Tour with Hot Pot or Local Dinner: $199

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Shanghai $8.44
    Chongqing $13
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
    $28
  • Zoo for Two
    $14

Tours and Activities in Shanghai

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

  • The History of the French Concession: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Shanghai Yu Garden Ticket Booking: $14
  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Ticket and Optional Attractions: $14
  • Shanghai Yu Garden Tour:Harmony & Spirituality in Garden Art: $20
  • Shanghai French Concession Walking Tour: $29
  • Shanghai Highlights Walking Tour: $29
  • Like a Local Customized Guided Tour: $35
  • Shanghai Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $35
  • 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
  • Fudan University Student Guide Tour: $38
  • Fudan University Student Guide Tour: $42

Tours and Activities in Chongqing

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

  • 3-Hour Walking Tour of Chongqing Shancheng (Mountain City) Lane: $65
  • Private Chongqing Day Tour: Panda, E'ling Park, Three Gorges Museum: $99
  • city tour of Chongqing : $130
  • Chongqing Half Day Morning Private Tour including Eling Park & Chongqing Museum: $135
  • Private Chongqing Illuminated Night Tour : $138
  • Private Amazing Chongqing City Day Tour in Your Way: $139
  • 1-Day Chongqing Dazu Rock Carvings Private Tour With the Lunch: $143
  • From Full-Day Private Tour Dazu Rock Carvings: $146
  • 1-Day Chongqing City Private Tour with the Hot pot Lunch: $157
  • Best of Chongqing One Day Tour: Stilwell Museum, Arhat Temple, Eling Park, Panda: $157
  • Chongqing Yangtze River Cruise and Illuminated Night Tour: $158
  • City Night Cruise and Local Snacks Tour: $174

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Shanghai $7.36
    Chongqing $6.92

Sample the Local Flavors in Shanghai

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

  • Shanghai Pub Crawl - Bar-hopping/Night life tour: $28
  • Shanghai Luxury Bar Crawl in 5-star Hotel or Boutique Hotel: $255


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Shanghai and Chongqing, we can see that Shanghai is more expensive. And not only is Chongqing much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chongqing would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chongqing 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 Chongqing.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Shanghai Expensive? and Is Chongqing Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Shanghai or Chongqing?

Shanghai has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Chongqing. When comparing the sizes of Shanghai and Chongqing, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.