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

Should you visit Shanghai or Datong?

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 Datong. 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 Datong?

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".

Datong

If you're looking for an old world city, with a renovated feel, you might want to spend some time in Datong, China. This city was once walled-in and the newest initiative is to rebuild their great wall to maintain their old world charm. Datong is definitely done a lot to make itself a contender in the world of vacation destinations.

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, Datong 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 Datong is $56. 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 Datong in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Shanghai $81
    Datong $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Shanghai $162
    Datong $46
Compare Hotels in Shanghai and Datong

Looking for a hotel in Shanghai or Datong? 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 Datong


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
    Datong $12
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:

  • Private Layover Transfer with Attractions Tickets: $527
  • 1 Day-Pass for Disneyland Shanghai and Private Transfer Package: $245
  • Shanghai to Xi’an Bullet Train Ticket with Local Hotel Private Transfers : $245
  • Shanghai To Beijing Bullet Train Ticket with Local Private Transfer : $211
  • Shanghai-Suzhou private day tour with private transfer and Lunch: $204
  • Shanghai to Xi'an Bullet Train Ticket with Hongqiao Station Transfer: $177
  • Shanghai to Suzhou and Tongli Water Town Self-Guide Tour Private Round Transfer: $171
  • Shanghai to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Self-Guide Trip with Private Transfer: $171
  • Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) Departure Transfer (central Shanghai to Airport): $169
  • Shanghai to Hangzhou Private Transfer with Stop at Wuzhen : $166
  • Shanghai to Hangzhou Private Transfer with Stop at Xitang Water Town: $157
  • Shanghai Pudong Airport To Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport one way private transfer: $155

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Datong

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

  • Datong Yungang Airport Chauffeur Service , to Datong Transfer: $12
  • Private Transfer Service from Yungang Airport to Datong Hotel: $29
  • Transfer from Datong Railway Stations to Hotels in City Center: $35
  • Datong Hanging Temple Private Transfer from Hotel or Station: $69
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer to Hanging Temple: $98
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer Service to Hanging Temple and Hengshan from Datong: $118
  • Chengdu: Private Round-Trip Transfer to Leshan Budda: $128
  • Private One Way Transfer from Datong to Beijing : $211
  • Flexible Private Transfer Service from Datong to Pingyao with Sightseeing Stops: $225

Is it cheaper to fly into Shanghai or Datong?

Prices for flights to both Datong 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
    Datong $20
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Shanghai $8.44
    Datong $25
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:

  • Half-Day Private Tour of Shanghai Bund with River Cruise or Tower View: $90
  • Private Shanghai Flexible City Highlight Tour with Night Cruise: $221
  • Private Shanghai Full Day City Tour with Old and New Highlights: $108
  • Shanghai Layover Tour to Xinchang Water Town with City Highlights Option : $135
  • Yiwu International Trade City Private Day Tour from Shanghai by Bullet Train: $183
  • Yuyuan Garden and Shanghai Museum Private Shanghai Day Tour: $175
  • Zhouzhuang Water Town Self-Guided Day Tour from Shanghai: $88
  • water village of shagnhai tour: $248
  • 1 Day Shanghai Private Tour: $180
  • 1 Days Shanghai Quality Group Tour: $110
  • 1 day Shanghai City Mini Group tour: $92
  • 1 day Shanghai to Hangzhou Mini Group Tour: $131

Tours and Activities in Datong

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Datong.

  • Yungang Grottoes Entrance Ticket with Optional Guided Service: $22
  • Datong Private Self-guided Tour with Chartered Car: $26
  • YungangGrottoe HangingTemple Private Self-guided Tour by Car: $79
  • Datong Hanging Temple Wooden Pagoda Self-guided Tour by Car: $95
  • 4-8 hours Private Datong Great Wall Tour: $99
  • Private Datong Day Tour Arranged by Local Tour Guide Nancy: $129
  • Datong Classic Day Tour: $135
  • Private city tour Datong Yungang grottoes and Huayan Monastery: $160
  • Private day tour to Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple& lunch: $180
  • Private Tour: Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Monastery From Datong: $186
  • Datong Private Day Tour to Deshengbu and Zhenchuankou Great Wall with Lunch: $190
  • Temples and Grottoes Private Full–Day Tour: $195

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Shanghai $7.36
    Datong $12

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

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


Which is Bigger, Shanghai or Datong?

Shanghai has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Datong. When comparing the sizes of Shanghai and Datong, 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.