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

Should you visit Taiyuan or Shanghai?

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 Taiyuan 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Taiyuan or Shanghai?

Taiyuan

With sleek architectural designs and blossoming businesses, this metropolis is simply brimming with invigorating excitement and once-in-a-lifetime entertainment. Despite its glimmering skyscrapers and gorgeous fountains, Taiyuan, China has an extensive history of nearly 2,500 years. During ancient China, Taiyuan, or the "Dragon City," was a major military town. Presently, this city is now one of China's most important industrial cities, producing more than half of the national coal mining output. Taiyuan is both the capital and largest city of the Shanxi province of North China. It is bounded by mountains on three of its sides, allowing this great city to be surrounded by fantastic views of its landscape. Besides its economic significance, Taiyuan also achieves tourist significance due to its plethora of landmarks and sights. Some of these attractions include Jinci Temple, Forest Park, Mengshan Giant Buddha, and Shanxi Museum. Taiyuan is also celebrated internationally for holding their annual Shanxi Taiyuan International Folk Arts Festival, a celebration held in September that hosts exhibition of fine arts, painting, paper-cutting, sculpture, drama, acrobatic and the culture of costume. With such a great deal to do in such a limited window of time, it is best to make the most Taiyuan while you visit!

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".

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to China, The Best Tours for Seniors to China, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Beijing, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Lhasa.


Which place is cheaper, Shanghai or Taiyuan?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taiyuan is $90, while the average daily cost in Shanghai is $115. 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 Taiyuan and Shanghai in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taiyuan $42
    Shanghai $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taiyuan $84
    Shanghai $162
Compare Hotels in Taiyuan and Shanghai

Looking for a hotel in Taiyuan or Shanghai? 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 Taiyuan


Hotels in Shanghai


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.
    Taiyuan $47
    Shanghai $3.87

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Shanghai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.59
  • 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: $516
  • Shanghai to Xi’an Bullet Train Ticket with Local Hotel Private Transfers : $245
  • Shanghai private higlights city tour with guide and transfer: $220
  • 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 Zhouzhuang Self-Guide Trip with Private Transfer: $171
  • Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) Departure Transfer (central Shanghai to Airport): $168
  • 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
  • Shanghai to Beijing Bullet Train Ticket with Hongqiao Station Transfer: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Taiyuan or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Taiyuan 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
    Taiyuan $20
    Shanghai $21

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
    $7.17
  • Cantelope
    $1.66
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.07
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.14
  • Pastries
    $2.90
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $8.83

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Shanghai

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

  • Online Cooking Class Dim Sum by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Sesame Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Fried Rice by Sunflower Li : $20
  • Private Cooking Class: Make Your Own Dim Sum In Shanghai: $67
  • Evening Walking Food Tour: $69
  • 3-Hour Biking and Local Food Tour: $70
  • 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
  • 4-Hour Food Tour in Qibao Water Town from Shanghai by Subway: $95
  • 2.5hrs Chinese Kitchen Cooking Class: Xiaolongbao Soup Dumplings: $99

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taiyuan $15
    Shanghai $8.42

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 Airport Layover Private Tour for City Highlights: $202
  • 1 Day Shanghai Highlight Small Group Tour: $124
  • 1 Day Shanghai Private Tour: $180
  • 1 Days Shanghai Quality Group Tour: $110

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taiyuan $6.31
    Shanghai $7.34

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: $19


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Taiyuan and Shanghai, we can see that Shanghai is more expensive. And not only is Taiyuan much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Taiyuan would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Taiyuan 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 Taiyuan.

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


Which is Bigger, Taiyuan or Shanghai?

Shanghai has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Taiyuan. When comparing the sizes of Taiyuan and Shanghai, 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.