China Travel Budget - Visit China on a Budget or Travel in Style

How much does it cost to travel to China?

You should plan to spend around $202 (¥1,438) per day on your vacation in China. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $54 (¥388) on meals
  • $45 (¥324) on local transportation
  • $174 (¥1,241) on hotels

A one week trip to China for two people costs, on average, $2,821 (¥20,134). This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to China cost?

A one week trip to China usually costs around $1,411 (¥10,067) for one person and $2,821 (¥20,134) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to China on average costs around $2,821 (¥20,134) for one person and $5,643 (¥40,268) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in China will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to China on average costs around $6,046 (¥43,144) for one person and $12,092 (¥86,288) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

How much do package tours cost in China?

Organized tours are usually more expensive than independent travel, but offer convenience and peace of mind that your trip has been planned by a travel expert.

The average price for an organized tour package in China is $254 per day. While every tour varies by total price, length, number of destinations, and quality, this is the daily average price based on our analysis of available guided tours.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is China expensive to visit?

China is a reasonably affordable destination to visit. It is in the top 25% of countries in the world for its affordability. If you're traveling on a budget, then this is a good destination with affordable accommodation, food, and transportation.

Within Asia, China is moderately priced compared to the other countries. The overall cost of travel here is comparable to the Philippines or Malaysia.

For more details, see Is China Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to China?

The average China trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these China travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) ¥1,241 ($174)
Local Transportation 1 ¥324 ($45)
Food 2 ¥388 ($54)
Entertainment 1 ¥289 ($41)
Tips and Handouts 1 ¥63 - 189 ($9 - 26)
Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps 1 ¥149 - 447 ($21 - 63)
Alcohol 2 ¥104 - 311 ($15 - 44)
Accommodation Budget in China
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in China is $87 (¥620). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in China is $174 (¥1,241). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

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Hotel Prices in China

Looking for a hotel in China? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Local Transportation Budget in China
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in China is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $45 (¥324) per person, per day, on local transportation in China.

  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

What did other people spend on Local Transportation?

Typical prices for Local Transportation in China are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Local Transportation prices in China, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Metro
  • Local Bus
  • 2 Metro Passes
  • Bus to Border (for 2)
  • Short Taxi Ride
  • Taxi to Train Station
  • Jeep Across Border (for 2)
  • Two Subway Tickets

Food Budget in China
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in China can vary, the average cost of food in China is $54 (¥388) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in China should cost around $22 (¥155) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in China is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day


What did other people spend on Food?

Typical prices for Food in China are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Food prices in China, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Two Popsicles
  • Watermelon
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
  • Restaurant Dinner (for 2)
  • Mango Juice
  • Casual Lunch (for 2)
  • Pastries
  • Barbeque Dinner

Entertainment Budget in China
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in China typically cost an average of $41 (¥289) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Recommended Activities

What did other people spend on Entertainment?

Typical prices for Entertainment in China are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Entertainment prices in China, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
  • Forbidden City Tickets
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
  • Bike Parking Fee (for 2)
  • All Day Bike Rental (for 2)
  • Temple Entrance Fee (for 2)
  • Zoo for Two

Tips and Handouts Budget in China
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in China is $18 (¥126) per day. The usual amount for a tip in China is 5% - 15%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps Budget in China
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Unfortunately, bad things can happen on a trip. Well, you've just got to deal with it! The average price for a scam, robbery, or mishap in China is $42 (¥298), as reported by travelers.

  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1

Alcohol Budget in China
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $29 (¥208) on alcoholic beverages in China per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day


What did other people spend on Alcohol?

Typical prices for Alcohol in China are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Alcohol prices in China, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Beer

Water Budget in China
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $2.62 (¥19) on bottled water in China per day. The public water in China is considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

China On a Budget
China Hongcun, China
China is as diverse as it is crowded. It's a large and rapidly changing country. It has countryside that is filled with rural agriculture and village communities that follow the same traditions their ancestors followed. It also has some of the world's most rapidly evolving and cosmopolitan cities. Explore vibrant Shanghai and feast on the city's famous dumplings. See the city lit up at night and shop in stores that clearly highlight this city as a fashion capital of the world. Head to Beijing, where old and new sit next to each other. Wander through the meandering hutongs that date back centuries or visit some of the new and modern shopping centers. Head south to the the stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge or north the the open and empty Inner Mongolia. China has so much to offer visitors that many spend weeks, if not months, trying to see it all.

The people of this country are eager to chat, even if you don't understand their language. It's a welcoming country and, while it may feel overwhelming at first, you'll quickly make yourself right at home.

Prices are on the rise here and this trend is likely to continue. Visit now, as it will only become more expensive in coming years. It is possible to save some money if you plan ahead. If you're hoping to stay in hostels, it is worth it to get a hosteling international card. Many hostels in the larger cities are members of the organization and offer discounts to those guests with membership cards. Also, instead of eating all of your meals in restaurants, take advantage of the street food available in cities. It's more affordable than sit down restaurants and it gives you the chance to try some uniquely authentic Chinese food that you'll never find at the takeaway restaurant back home. Whether you're traveling on trains or buses, make reservations as soon as possible as the more affordable seats tend to fill up quickly. If you're traveling all over the country, it's worth taking a few flights as plane tickets are reasonably priced and the time you save will be invaluable.
At A Glance
  • Many people head to China and do a highlights tour. They visit the major cities and head to very specific destinations that are well marketed to visitors. If time allows, try to step outside of the tourist destinations and visit some areas that are authentically Chinese. They do still exist, whether you're in a rural community in the southern part of the country, or wandering through a local neighborhood on the outskirts of Shanghai.

  • There are plenty of restaurants around China that are targeted at foreign tourists. They offer menus in English and can help you select a dish. If you're looking for a different type of experience, find a more local restaurant. Choose one that's crowded and as you walk in look around and see what everyone is eating. Point it out to the waiter so you know you're getting something delicious. It's okay that you don't speak the language. It's even part of the fun.

  • It can be difficult to get bus or train tickets when you don't speak Chinese. Carry a guidebook with you that has the names of cities in Chinese characters. Circle your destination with a pen and show it to the ticket vendor. This strategy also works with hotel addresses and taxi drivers. It'll give you peace of mind to know you have a basic means of communicating with people.

  • China is crowded and the people that live there are accustomed to this. Sometimes you have to assert yourself more than you would in other countries. If you're in line to buy tickets, don't be surprised if people don't always respect the queue. This isn't uncommon. Stand your ground and don't back down when someone tries to push their way through.

  • If you find yourself in a bind and need someone who speaks English you'll have more luck approaching the younger people. Even children as young as ten are more likely to be able to help you out than an older adult. English is taught in many schools and students will be thrilled with the opportunity to practice on a native English speaker.


Looking for a hostel in China?
Traveling alone to Beijing or Hong Kong or want to party in Shanghai?
Top Tourist Attractions
The Great Wall: Right outside of Beijing you'll find the Great Wall. It can be visited either on a tour or by public transit and you can find crowded sections, and those that are essentially deserted. Take your pick. If you decide to arrange a tour, make sure it leaves early in the morning so you reach the Great Wall at an early hour. Also make sure you know which section you're going to each has something unique to offer.

The Forbidden City: The Forbidden City is just north of Tiananmen Square and served as the imperial seat for Ming and Qing dynasty emperors between 1420 and 1912. It's a must see for any visitor to Beijing, but it's recommended that you get their early in the morning before the crowds gather.

The Terracotta Warriors: The Terracotta Warriors protected the tomb of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty, who was buried in 210 BC. They were discovered by a farmer in 1974. They are an impressive sight that is a highlight of a visit to the city of Xi'an.

Popular Foods
You can find Chinese food almost anywhere in the world, but these knockoff versions often pale in comparison to the food you get in China. The cuisine is as diverse as the people, and you'll have local specialties to try whatever city you find yourself in.

Hot Pot: The Chinese Hot Pot starts as a pot of boiling water that sits on a burner in the middle of your table. The water is usually seasoned with herbs and vegetables. You prepare the soup yourself, and it typically includes thinly sliced lamb or beef, several types of noodles and vegetables and flavors such as ginger or garlic. The soup is served with a side of peanut dipping sauce which you add after the meats are cooked.

Shanghai Soup Dumplings: This Shanghai specialty is a unique twist on dumplings. They're steamed with a broth inside, that explodes with flavor in your mouth on first bite. They're delicious, but watch out, they're hot! They're most often prepared as a breakfast dish, but they're so good you'll likely want to have them several times while you're in the city.

Peking Duck: This Beijing specialty is a crispy duck, served with a special sauce and flat pancakes. There are restaurants throughout the city that offer this specialty, but ask around as some are better than others. The bones of the duck are often boiled into a soup or broth which is then served to you at the end of the meal.

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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