A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Shanghai vs. Singapore for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Shanghai or Singapore?

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 Singapore. 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.

Shanghai

Shanghai is a diverse, bustling, and trendy port city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Singapore

Singapore is a diverse, colorful, and glitzy city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Shanghai and Singapore: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


How is Shanghai different from Singapore?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Singapore and Shanghai. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Shanghai and Singapore.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Shanghai are among the most recognizable in the world. The city's sights mix culture with modern innovation. From the futuristic skyline and the iconic waterfront area known as the Bund, to the classic Yu Garden, there are a diversity of sights around the city. There are also museums like the Shanghai Museum, which educate visitors on Chinese culture.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Singapore has many famous sights for visitors. Check out Merlion Park, the Asian Civilizations Museum, or Fort Canning Park.

Shanghai
Singapore


Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Food?

Foodies will find both Shanghai and Singapore both to be unique destinations.

Eat your way through Shanghai, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city's cuisine has a long history with many distinct traditional dishes. The foods incorporate a lot of soy sauce and sugar and you'll find most dishes are rice based as opposed to using wheat products. Popular local dishes include the famous Shanghai soup dumplings, steamed crab, and braised pork. The city is also famous for its snacks, which can be purchased at one of the many snack houses or street stalls.

For foodies, Singapore is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. From local dives to five star restaurants, the city's food scene is all about diversity. Make sure you try Hainanese chicken rice, chili crab, and Hokkien prawn mee.

Shanghai
Singapore

Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Nightlife?

With more options to choose from, you'll find a more vibrant nightlife in Singapore.

People head to Singapore just to party. It's all about the glitzy nightclubs and exclusive cocktail bars. Head to Clarke Quay, Marina Bay Sands, or one of the many rooftop bars to experience the best of Singapore's nightlife.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Shanghai. A night out can quickly become very expensive. Many of the venues are spread out so you'll likely spend at least some of the time in a taxi. The Bund is one of the most popular areas for nightlife, but this area also has the most expensive bars and clubs. They often offer impressive views of Pudong and the Huangpu River though.

Shanghai
Singapore

Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Shopping?

Both Shanghai and Singapore are good shopping destinations.

The abundance of shops in Shanghai make it a world-class shopping destination. The city has many large shopping malls with department stores, name brand fashion, and trendy shops. It is also known for its cheap electronics and tailor-made clothes.

Many people travel to Singapore specifically to go shopping. You'll find tons of malls along Orchard Road, but for a more eclectic shopping experience head to the Chinatown Street Market.

Shanghai
Singapore

Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Families?

Both Shanghai and Singapore are family-friendly destinations.

Shanghai is a very kid-friendly port city. Of course there's Disneyland, but kids will also enjoy soaking up the city's culture, trying fun new snacks, and exploring the many science and kid-friendly museums. There are also parks and outdoor spaces as well as skyscrapers and towers that offer incredible views of the city.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Singapore is a very family-friendly destination. With places like Sentosa and Universal Studios, there really is no shortage of activities for kids. There's also a zoo, an aquarium, and bird park, and many kid-friendly museums.

Shanghai
Singapore


Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Couples?

Shanghai and Singapore both fun destinations for a couple.

Shanghai is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. With its east meets west personality, couples will be able to enjoy an amazing culinary experience, beautiful gardens, and luxury hotels and spas. There are many romantic areas around this bustling city, making it the perfect place for a romantic city getaway.

Singapore makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. The city has stunning hotels, amazing restaurants, and plenty of fun activities that are perfect for couples.

Shanghai
Singapore

Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Shanghai and Singapore are popular destinations for backpackers.

Shanghai is a great port city to visit for backpackers. The city is expensive, but there are hostels and cheap eateries that make it accessible even for the budget conscious. Business travelers and local workers give the city a more professional vibe during the day, but if you find the right place to stay you'll quickly be able to meet likeminded travelers.

A large number of backpackers visit Singapore, as it is a very popular port city for budget travelers. Many backpackers use this city as a starting or ending point for their Southeast Asian backpacking trip. It's modern and glamourous, but still has plenty of backpacker-friendly and budget-friendly options.

Shanghai
Singapore

Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Students?

Shanghai and Singapore are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

Many students visit Shanghai. The city attracts international and study abroad students who enjoy its long history and fascinating culture. It's a world financial capital with many businesses headquartered here, so employment opportunities are abundant.

Many students frequent Singapore. As such a diverse city, you'll find plenty of international students as well as expats to hang out with.

Shanghai
Singapore

Is Shanghai or Singapore better for Public Transit?

Both Shanghai and Singapore offer public transit options.

Shanghai has some very good public transit options. There is a metro system as well as buses and taxis which are relatively affordable.

Visitors in Singapore can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. There is the MRT subway system as well as buses that travel all over the city.

Shanghai
Singapore


Is Shanghai or Singapore a more walkable city?

Shanghai and Singapore both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Shanghai is a very walkable port city. It's possible to explore the major tourist areas on foot but it can be very hot and humid during the summer months.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Singapore. It's possible to walk in most areas in the city center. There are also park connectors that are nice for taking a stroll or going for a run.

Shanghai
Singapore

Should I spend more time in Singapore or Shanghai?

How long in Shanghai or Singapore?

Both Shanghai and Singapore have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Singapore than Shanghai.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Shanghai is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Singapore is 2-7 days.


  • How many days in Shanghai or Singapore? Ideal Length of Stay
    Shanghai 2-5 
    Singapore 2-7

One day in Shanghai or Singapore?

People visit Shanghai because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The beautiful city of Singapore offers museums and nightlife. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Shanghai or Singapore?

People visit Shanghai because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this port city has to offer. This port city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Singapore is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Singapore, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Five days in Shanghai or Singapore?

People visit Shanghai because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this port city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this port city has to offer.

Singapore is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Singapore, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.


A week in Shanghai or Singapore?

Shanghai is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Singapore is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Singapore has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Singapore or Shanghai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Shanghai is $93, while the average daily cost in Singapore is $112. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Shanghai and Singapore in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Shanghai $66
    Singapore $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Shanghai $132
    Singapore $142
Compare Hotels in Shanghai and Singapore

Looking for a hotel in Shanghai or Singapore? 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 Singapore


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 $3.15
    Singapore $7.78
Typical Local Transportation prices in Shanghai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.65
  • Two Subway Tickets
    $0.84

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shanghai

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shanghai:

  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station: $20
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (SHA): $20
  • Private Transfer: Hotel to Shanghai Stadium (Football Match, League of Legends): $20
  • Hongqiao Airport(SHA)-Hotel Downtown One way Private Transfer: $21
  • Private Transfer to Shanghai Railway Station from City Hotels or Outskirts: $21
  • Panda Transfer: Private Shanghai Airport/Hotel Transfer: $22
  • Private Transfer to Huangpu River Cruise Terminal: $22
  • Private Transfer to ERA Acrobats Show at Shanghai Circus World: $22
  • Private Transfer between Qibao Ancient Water Town and Shanghai City Area: $24
  • Private Transfer from Shanghai Maglev Train Station to City Area: $24
  • Private Transfer between Shanghai Pudong New Int’l Expo Centre and City Area: $24
  • Shanghai Maglev Train Station Private Transfer from City Area: $24

Typical Local Transportation prices in Singapore

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


  • Taxi to Airport
    $22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Singapore

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Singapore:

  • Singapore City Tour with Sharing Transfers: $15
  • Singapore Changi Intl Airport Private Airport Ground Transfer Max 6 person: $17
  • Singapore Changi Airport: Private Arrival Transfer with Meet & Greet Service: $19
  • Singapore Cruise Centre: Private Arrival Transfer with Meet & Greet Service: $19
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Singapore to Changi International Airport (SIN): $19
  • Singapore Changi Intl Airport Private Airport Ground Transfer Max 5 person: $20
  • Singapore Hotel: Private Departure Transfer to Airport Service: $21
  • Private Airport Transfer in Singapore: $22
  • Singapore Wildlife Reserve: Private Transfer from Hotel to Safari & Zoo: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Changi International Airport (SIN) to Singapore: $23
  • Shared Transfer - Airport to Hotel: $24
  • Shared Transfer - Hotel to Airport: $24

Is it cheaper to fly into Shanghai or Singapore?

Prices for flights to both Singapore 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 $17
    Singapore $21
Typical Food prices in Shanghai

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


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    $1.40
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    $20
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    $7.29
  • Cantelope
    $1.68
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.10
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.21
  • Pastries
    $2.95
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $8.98

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
  • Old Shanghai Breakfast Food Tour: $52
  • 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
  • A Bite of Shanghai Small-Group Food Tour: $80
  • Shanghai Hairy Crab Dinner: $85
  • Shanghai Evening Food Tour/Shanghai tour gastronomico nocturno: $85
  • Night Market & Street Food Tour in Shanghai: $95
  • 3-Hour Flexible Private Shanghai Night Tour with Local Dinner Option: $100

Typical Food prices in Singapore

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


  • Breakfast
    $4.26
  • Sugarcane Juice
    $1.40

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Singapore

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

  • Half-Day Walking and Food Tour in Singapur: $28
  • Dinner Only at Singapore Flyer: $28
  • Israeli Breakfast Virtual Cooking Class Live from Singapore: $35
  • Authentic Chinese Dim Sum Virtual Cooking Class Live from Singapore: $35
  • Lonely Planet Experience: Hawker Centre Food Tour: $46
  • Cooking Class & Culinary Exchange Singapore: $51
  • Singapore Flyer Ticket + Dinner: $53
  • Chinatown Food Tour in Singapore: $66
  • Private South Indian Cooking Class in Singapore: $71
  • (Semi-Private) Everyday Street Art and Street Food Tour: $74
  • Fun Singaporean Cooking Class with Local Chef: $76
  • Experience Cultural Cooking Class: $77

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Shanghai $6.85
    Singapore $24
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 tour of shanghai: $5.34
  • Shanghai Yu Garden Ticket Booking: $10
  • Shanghai Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Admission Ticket: $11
  • Shanghai Maglev Train Ticket and Metro Pass(Pick Up in Shanghai): $12
  • Day Tour of Zhujiajiao and Huangpu River with Night Cruise: $16
  • Shanghai Jinmao Tower Observation Desk Admission Ticket: $18
  • Buddhist Art Tour at LWH Gallery in Shanghai: $23
  • Shanghai Bus Tour Hop-on Hop-off Premium Ticket including City Top Attraction Admissions: $30
  • Like a Local Customized Guided Tour: $30
  • Shanghai Tower Observation Deck Admission Ticket: $31
  • 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

Tours and Activities in Singapore

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

  • Follow the Money: An audio tour of Singapore's Financial District: $5.00
  • The History of Trade in An audio tour from Chinatown to Boat Quay: $5.00
  • Kampong Glam audio tour: Wander through the heart of Malay culture in Singapore: $5.00
  • The Civic District: Hear stories about Singapore's past on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Big Little India Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.20
  • Singapore Street Art Hunting in Kampong Glam Self-guided Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.20
  • Stories and histories beneath the surface walking audio tour: $5.20
  • Audio Tour of the Civic District with Singapore Boy Hossan Leong by VoiceMap: $5.20
  • Artoholic The Bras Basah Bugis arts and cultural precinct audio tour: $5.20
  • Singapore Private City Center Exploration Game and Self-Guided Tour: $5.59
  • Singapore's Little India Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.00
  • Admission Ticket with Food and Shop Voucher: $7.74

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Shanghai $5.97
    Singapore $20

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 Singapore

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

  • Tour of Tiger Brewery in Singapore: $14
  • Tiger Brewery Tour: $14
  • Singapore Pub Crawl: $24
  • ★The Singapore Halloween Pub Crawl 2019★: $40
  • Private Tour - Singapore Tiger Brewery Tour: $83
  • Singapore's First Distillery & Brewery Tour: $123


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Shanghai and Singapore, we can see that Singapore is more expensive. And not only is Shanghai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. 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 Singapore would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Singapore than you might in Shanghai.

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Shanghai vs. Singapore Travel Comparison

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