Shanghai is a global financial center as well as the largest Chinese city by population. Located on the East China coast, Shanghai gradually received recognition due to its favorable port location and economic potential. Shanghai is also known for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and Yu Garden. People come to Shanghai to experience a sense of history and to be immersed in the Shanghai-style culture.

Intro to living in Shanghai:

Shanghai is mostly dominated by apartment-style housing, but there are also numerous villa compounds. Of course, you can also find a combination of the two in the form of a penthouse. It is convenient that many landlords offer fully furnished accommodations, and most compounds will have some sort of clubhouse or small store nearby.

From art shows to music festivals, there will always be an event happening in Shanghai. You can always explore the city for yourself by taking a stroll down Nanjing Pedestrian Street or making your way around the French Concession. You can also experience the exciting and bustling nightlife. Visit the Bund to get a beautiful view of the Huangpu River or dine at a high-class restaurant. It is extremely simple to get around the city. From over 13 subway lines, numerous never-ending stream of taxis, you shouldn’t have a problem getting from one place to the next.  For people who work here, they can enjoy both Western and Chinese holidays. The local product could be a bargain but imported goods is expensive here.

Cost of living in Shanghai, China

Lunchtime menu in the business district 元65
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) 元30
1/2 Kg (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast 元18
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk 元19
12 eggs, large 元21
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes 元10
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese 元74
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 元18
2 kg (4,5 lb.) of potatoes 元12
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket 元5.65
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 元144
2 liters of Coca-Cola 元7
Bread for 2 people for 1 day 元16
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area 元13,159
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 2 people in 85m2 flat 元448
Internet 8MB (1 month) 元124
40” flat screen TV 元3,469
Microwave, known brand, 800/900 Watt 元915
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) 元67
Hourly rate for cleaning help 元33
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 元741
1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M, …) 元312
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or similar) 元810
1 pair of leather business shoes 元1,033
Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 140 CV 6 vel. (or equivalent), with no extras, new 元183,460
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas 元8
Monthly ticket public transport 元208
Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 Km. (5 miles) 元43
Personal Care
Medicine against cold for 6 days (Frenadol, Coldrex, …) 元26
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, …) 元54
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) 元42
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) 元43
4 rolls of toilet paper 元13
Tube of toothpaste 元20
Standard men’s haircut in expat area of the city 元157
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub 元257
2 tickets to the movies 元176
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) 元1,137
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant including wine and dessert 元462
1 cocktail drink in downtown club 元79
Cappuccino in expat area of the city 元33
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) 元34
iPod nano 16GB 元943
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) 元0.21
1 month of gym membership in business district 元388
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes 元16

These prices are based on abundant and consistent data. They are very reliable. They are based on 4,678 prices entered by 512 different people.

Latest price update: July 21, 2015.

Shanghai position in our World Ranking

the world 74th out of 198
Asia 5th out of 17


Resources:  Expat Arrivals  InterNations Expat Arrivals  Shanghai City Guides  Shanghai Living