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

Should you visit Shanghai or Edinburgh?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Shanghai and Edinburgh. 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".

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the moderately sized capital of Scotland. It is a medieval city that has managed to perfect the combination of Georgian architecture and medieval relics with a cosmopolitan population and avant-garde atmosphere. The city's population is quite young, in large part because of the University of Edinburgh. This youthful vibe gives this city a lot of vitality. There's a thriving nightlife, many restaurants, theatres, galleries and museums.

Which city is cheaper, Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh is $159. 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 Edinburgh 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.

Travelers usually pay around $166 for a double occupancy room in Edinburgh If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Shanghai $73
    Edinburgh $83
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Shanghai $146
    Edinburgh $166

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.

Food in Edinburgh costs travelers about $43 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Shanghai $19
    Edinburgh $43
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 Edinburgh

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


  • Breakfast
    $12
  • Dinner at Filling Station
    $14
  • Lunch for Two
    $21
  • Sandwich
    $2.56
  • Cheese & bread
    $10
  • Thai Restaurant Dinner (for 2)
    $35
  • 2 Coffees and Scones
    $8.02
  • Turkish Delight
    $1.94
  • Soup at the Pub
    $8.16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Edinburgh

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

  • Scottish Classic Desserts private cooking class with professional chef: $66
  • Discover Royal Mile-Old Town & ENJOY Indian Dinner ~ Walking Tour!: $79
  • 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour: $82
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Cooking Class – pure comfort food for the soul!: $97
  • Curry Around The World Cooking Class: $97
  • Scottish Storytelling 3 Course Dinner and Whisky: $104
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Edinburgh: $106
  • Relaxing Handmade Pasta with meal and wine - Safe Cooking Class: $110
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • "Curry Around The World" Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • Private Food Tour with a Local Expert including 10 Tastings in Edinburgh: $136
  • Handmade Pasta Cooking Class & Dinner with professional chef for private groups: $137

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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Edinburgh than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $19 on transportation in Edinburgh on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Shanghai $3.48
    Edinburgh $19
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:

  • [Up to 20% Off] Private City Transfers for Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing : $23
  • [Up to 15% Off for Round Trip Transfers] Private Beijing Capital Airport Transfers (PEK) for Beijing : $37
  • 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
  • Yangshuo and Li River Highlights Day Tour with Transfers: $111
  • 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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Edinburgh

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


  • Local Bus
    $4.98

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Edinburgh

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

  • Edinburgh Airport City Airlink Bus Transfer: $6.22
  • Edinburgh Airport: Private Arrival or Departure Transfers: $13
  • Private luxury transfer from Edinburgh to Edinburgh Airport: $28
  • Private luxury transfer from Edinburgh Airport to Edinburgh: $28
  • Private Edinburgh Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to Airport: $29
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Edinburgh to Edinburgh Airport (EDI): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Edinburgh Airport (EDI) to Edinburgh: $32
  • Private Edinburgh city to Edinburgh Airport transfer - Or airport to city: $45
  • Private Edinburgh Arrival Transfer - Airport to Hotel / Accommodation: $47
  • Royal Highland Braemar Gathering, transfer from Edinburgh: $50
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Edinburgh Airport to City Hotel: $52
  • Departure Transfer - Edinburgh City to Edinburgh Airport: $52

Is it cheaper to fly into Shanghai or Edinburgh?

Prices for flights to both Edinburgh 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.

Sightseeing expenses in Edinburgh, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $22 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Shanghai $7.58
    Edinburgh $22
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:

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 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

Typical Entertainment prices in Edinburgh

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Edinburgh's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Show Tickets
    $44
  • Movie Tickets for Two
    $17
  • Donation for Storytellers
    $8.30

Tours and Activities in Edinburgh

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

  • Harry Potter’s Explore the magic of the city on an audio walking tour: $5.99
  • John Knox House Museum Ticket: $6.91
  • Edinburgh Audio Tour: Discover its History and Secrets: $8.26
  • Edinburgh Royal Mile (New Self Guided Tour): $8.26
  • Edinburgh Queen's Gallery Holyroodhouse Entrance Ticket: $9.95
  • Gilmerton Cove Guided Tour: $10
  • Early Evening Underground Ghost Tour: $12
  • Afternoon Underground Ghost Tour: $12
  • Self-Guided City Experience: $12
  • Edinburgh Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour: $13
  • Murder and Mystery Walking Tour of Edinburgh: $14
  • Ghost and Gore Walking Tour of Edinburgh: $14

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.

Typically, people visiting Edinburgh spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Shanghai $6.61
    Edinburgh $17

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Edinburgh

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Edinburgh from other travelers:


  • Beer & Wine
    $20
  • Half Pint at Tollbooth Tavern
    $2.28
  • Pint of Beer
    $4.84

Sample the Local Flavors in Edinburgh

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

  • 4-Hour Pub Crawl with Free Shots & Discounts: $9.68
  • 3-Hour Alternative Pub Crawl: $11
  • 4-Hour Pub Crawl with Free Drinks & Specials: $17
  • The Orange Pub Crawl - Edinburgh: $18
  • Edinburgh Brewery Tour: $22
  • Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour: $24
  • Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish Borders & Glenkinchie Distillery: $51
  • Loch Lomond, Stirling, and Glengoyne Distillery Tour from Edinburgh: $52
  • Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish Borders & Glenkinchie Distillery from Edinburgh: $54
  • Stirling, Distillery, St.Andrews & Italian Tour Guide: $62
  • Loch Ness, Highlands & Whisky Distillery Tour from Edinburgh: $63
  • Loch Ness, Highlands and Whisky Distillery Day Tour from Edinburgh: $66


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

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Shanghai vs. Edinburgh Travel Comparison

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