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

Should you visit Shanghai or Mexico City?

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

Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the largest and most populated cities in the world. There are an estimated 26 million people living in the greater Mexico City metropolitan area. The area is about 60 kilometers by 40 kilometers and is surrounded by tall mountains and volcanoes on three sides. Mexico City proper has about 8.8 million people and is the capital of the country. More than a third of the country's economy is based here, making it the wealthiest city in all of Latin America.

Which city is cheaper, Mexico City 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 Mexico City is $138. 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 Mexico City 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.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $44 in Mexico City For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Shanghai $73
    Mexico City $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Shanghai $146
    Mexico City $44

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.

While meal prices in Mexico City can vary, the average travelers spends about $18 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Mexico City should cost around $7.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Mexico City is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Shanghai $19
    Mexico City $18
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 Mexico City

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $11
  • Coffee and Snacks
    $3.92

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mexico City

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

  • Traveling Spoon Mexican Tacos and Tortillas Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Mexico City Private Food Tour: $60
  • Private Contemporary Mexican Cooking Class Inspired by Family Recipes: $68
  • Mexico City Private Traditional Pre-Hispanic Cooking Class: $83
  • Private Mexican Cooking Lesson in a Coyoacan Apartment: $86
  • Wrestling show and a Mexican dinner: $101
  • Private Market Tour and Authentic Mexican Cooking Class with a Local in Coyoacan: $105
  • Mexican Cooking Lesson in a Local Home: $106
  • Authentic Mexican Cooking Lesson With a Gastronomic Historian in Mexico City: $109
  • Taco Night Private Food Tour in Mexico City: $112
  • Traditional Mexican Cooking Class in a Beautiful Home: $119
  • Private Market Tour and Hands-On Home Cooking With a Local in Mexico City: $123

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.

Mexico City's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $8.84 per person, per day on transportation in Mexico City.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Shanghai $3.48
    Mexico City $8.84
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 Mexico City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Mexico City:


  • Metro
    $1.01
  • Uber Ride
    $3.52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mexico City

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

  • Shared Transfer Mexico city Airport - Mexico city Downtown hotels: $16
  • Private Departure transfer from Mexico City Center to Mexico City Airport (MEX): $21
  • Transfer in private vehicle from México City to México Airport: $24
  • Transfer AICM Airport - any Hotel in CD Mexico: $24
  • Private Airport Transfer: B. Juarez International Airport (MEX) to Mexico City: $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: Mexico City to B. Juarez International Airport (MEX): $27
  • Departure Shared Transfer to Mexico City Airport: $28
  • Private Departure Transfer from Mexico City Center to Mexico Airport: $29
  • Shared Arrival Transfer from Mexico City Airport: $38
  • Private Transfer From Mexico City Airport to Downtown: $42
  • Mexico City - Mexico City International Airport(MEX) -Private Departure Transfer: $44
  • Round Trip Mexico City Airport (MEX) Transfer to Mexico City Center: $45

Is it cheaper to fly into Shanghai or Mexico City?

Prices for flights to both Mexico City 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, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Mexico City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $10 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Shanghai $7.58
    Mexico City $10
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

Tours and Activities in Mexico City

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

  • Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal Tour and Tasting: $20
  • Customizable Tour with a Private Guide: $25
  • Tickets to Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Museum Skip The Line FREE CANCELATION: $25
  • Full-Day City Tour with Anthropology Museum: $27
  • Mexico City Tour with Anthropology Museum entrance fee included: $27
  • Tickets & Transport to Frida Kahlo's Museum & Diego Rivera's Studio: $28
  • Private tour to Anthropology Museum: $29
  • Xochimilco & Coyoacan Full-Day Tour with Frida Kahlo Museum: $32
  • Teotihuacan + Basilica de Guadalupe + Tlatelolco Tour!: $34
  • Teotihuacan, Shrine of Guadalupe & Tlatelolco All-Inclusive Tour: $35
  • Full City Tour/español-ingles: $36
  • From Teotihuacan and Guadalupe Shrine Day Tour: $36

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 Mexico City spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Shanghai $6.61
    Mexico City $14

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 Mexico City

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Mexico City:

  • Full-Day Peña de Bernal Wine Tours: $220


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

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Shanghai vs. Mexico City Travel Comparison

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