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

Should you visit Taipei or Shanghai?

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

Taipei

Few cities in the world are full of more diverse opportunities than the cultural crosshairs city of Taipei. As the capital of Taiwan, this 300-year-old city is the financial, cultural and governmental center of Taiwan. Located in the northern part of the island between the Yangming Mountains and Central Mountains, this city of 2.6 million people is always ready to welcome more visitors.

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".

Which city is cheaper, Shanghai or Taipei?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taipei is $169, while the average daily cost in Shanghai is $104. 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 Taipei and Shanghai in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Taipei, $268 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Taipei, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $134, such as in a hostel.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $146 for a double occupancy room in Shanghai.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taipei $134
    Shanghai $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taipei $268
    Shanghai $146

Food

Taipei food costs typically run travelers around $15 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

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 Meals for one day
    Taipei $15
    Shanghai $19
Typical Food prices in Taipei

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


  • EasyCard
    $18
  • Lunch at The Can
    $7.90
  • EasyCard
    $36
  • Lunch
    $3.41
  • Lunch
    $2.15
  • Dinner
    $7.18
  • Lunch
    $4.13
  • Lunch
    $5.39
  • Louisa coffee
    $3.41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Taipei

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

  • Pizza La Bocca at Zhongshan Station: $7.75
  • Maryjane Pizza in Taipei: $9.39
  • Keelung Night Market Food Tour from Taipei: $32
  • Nighttime Shrimp Picking with Dinner Experience in Hualien: $36
  • Taiwanese Aboriginal Cooking Class in Hualien: $47
  • Taipei at Night with Dinner at Din Tai Fung, Longshan Temple, and Snake Alley with Chinese, English, and Japanese Guide: $48
  • Mountain Village Cooking Class in Tainan: $50
  • Cooking Class with Chinese Sturgeon Fish Farm Day Tour in Taipei: $58
  • Taipei Night Market Michelin Food Tour in Ningxia Night Market: $60
  • Traditional Chinese Cuisine Cooking Class in Datong: $69
  • Authentic Taiwanese Cooking Class in Taipei: $72
  • Pizza Pub in Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel: $76

Typical Food prices in Shanghai

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


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    $1.57
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    $23
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    $8.14
  • Cantelope
    $1.88
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.35
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.70
  • Pastries
    $3.29
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $10

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

Local Transportation

Taipei'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 $8.76 per person, per day on transportation in Taipei.

The average price of local transportation around Shanghai is $3.51 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Taipei $8.76
    Shanghai $3.51
Typical Local Transportation prices in Taipei

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


  • Easycard
    $2.33
  • Easycard
    $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Taipei

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

  • Shared City Transfers Between Taipei and Yilan by Kamalan: $4.05
  • Shared City Transfers Between Luodong and Hualien By Kamalan Bus: $5.79
  • Shared City Transfers Between Hualien and Luodong by Kamalan : $5.79
  • Express Line Shared Round Trip Bus Transfers between Zuoying High Speed Rail Station to Donggang Harbor / Dapeng Bay: $9.05
  • 【Limited Offer 5% off】Yilan Scooter Rental - Yilan Transfer Station Pickup: $14
  • Shared Transfers between Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and Downtown Taipei: $14
  • Shared Transfers between Taichung and Sun Moon Lake: $16
  • Private Transfers between Tainan Station and Tainan City: $16
  • Shared Transfers between Sun Moon Lake and Cingjing: $16
  • Shared Transfers between Taichung and Cingjing: $17
  • Kenting Express Line Shared Round Trip Bus Transfers between Kenting and Kaohsiung Airport or Zuoying High Speed Rail Station: $22
  • Private Intercity Transfer between Downtown Kaohsiung and Zuoying THSR Station : $25

Typical Local Transportation prices in Shanghai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.07
  • Two Subway Tickets
    $0.94

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Taipei or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Taipei 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Taipei can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $16 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Shanghai's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.65 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taipei $16
    Shanghai $7.65

Tours and Activities in Taipei

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

  • Taiwan Warship Museum Admission Ticket: $0.99
  • Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Discounted Ticket from Taipei: $1.15
  • Port Retro Train Ticket in Kaohsiung: $1.29
  • Neidong Forest Recreation Area Ticket in New Taipei City: $1.45
  • Anping Tree House Admission Ticket: $1.65
  • Chihkan Tower Admission Ticket in Tainan: $1.65
  • Eternal Golden Castle Admission Ticket in Tainan: $1.65
  • Anping Old Fort Admission Ticket : $1.65
  • Ecological Experience of Puli Paper Dome: $1.80
  • Er-Jie Barn Cultural Pavilion Ticket: $1.80
  • Chimei Happiness Factory Admission & DIY Ticket in Tainan: $1.80
  • E-Da Outlet Mall Gigantic Slide Ticket in Kaohsiung: $1.80

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

Alcohol

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

The average person spends about $6.67 on alcoholic beverages in Shanghai per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taipei $17
    Shanghai $6.67

Sample the Local Flavors in Taipei

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

  • Zhangmen Brewery at Breeze Songgao: $19
  • Zhangmen Brewery in Neihu: $19
  • Taipei Pub Crawl: $25

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


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

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Taipei vs. Shanghai Travel Comparison

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