China Travel Budget

How much does it cost to travel to China?

How much money will you need for your trip to China? You should plan to spend around ¥465 ($66) per day on your vacation in China, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, ¥129 ($18) on meals for one day and ¥105 ($15) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in China for a couple is ¥419 ($59). So, a trip to China for two people for one week costs on average ¥6,505 ($919). 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 - Learn more about these numbers.
Put these numbers on your website.

A vacation to China for one week usually costs around ¥3,252 for one person. So, a trip to China for two people costs around ¥6,505 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs ¥13,010 in China. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price 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 can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is China?

How much does a trip to China cost? Is China expensive? The average China trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these China prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

While meal prices in China can vary, the average cost of food in China is ¥129 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in China should cost around ¥51 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.

The cost of a taxi ride in China is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent ¥105 per person, per day, on local transportation in China.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
  • Food2 Meals for one day
  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers
  • Intercity Transportation1 Travel between cities
  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
Last Updated: Feb 4, 2020

Flights to China

How much does it cost to go to China? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend SkyScanner because they can find the best deals across all of the airlines.

How much money do I need for China?

Typical travel prices in China are listed below. These actual costs can give you an idea of the price of travel in China. Please keep in mind that the cost of travel in China can vary depending on your specific style of travel.

  • Metro
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
  • Forbidden City Tickets
  • Toilet Paper
  • Local Bus
  • Fanta
  • Beer
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
  • Traditional Chinese Candy
  • 2 Metro Passes
  • Bus to Border (for 2)
  • Two Popsicles
Typical tour prices for China

How much do tours to China cost? Multi-day tours can often be an effecient way to see the highlights of a country or region.

  • Intrepid Small group tours for everyone
    12 days
    $ 1315
  • Contiki Tours for 18-35 year olds
    14 days
    $ 1150
  • G Adventures Adventure and cultural tours
    14 days
    $ 1200
  • Trafalgar Award-winning tours
    10 days
    $ 2400
Find a hostel, guesthouse, or B&B in China

Related Articles
China On a Budget
China Pingyao, 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.

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.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Search for Travel Costs

Share This Page
Pin This Page
China Travel Cost - Average Price of a Vacation to China: Food & Meal Budget, Daily & Weekly Expenses |
Travel Tips


By wanderinggurl
Before you go to China, confirm that your guide book has the cities and sites spelled in Chinese characters. Carry your book with you and you can use it when you're asking for directions. You'll appreciate having something to point to when you can't pronounce the word yourself.

Packaged Noodles

By backpackguru in Food
Most hotels and hostels in China come equipped with a means to boil water. Even in the most obscure places, a hot pot or tea kettle is almost always available. If you're looking for a cheap and reliable meal and you're away from many restaurants (or you're concerned about the conditions) just pick yourself up a package of seasoned Chinese noodles. They're decent in taste, very, very cheap, and will fill you up. Don't do it too often, as they will get old quickly, but if you're in a crunch, it's a reliable means to create a decent, although not formal, meal.

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.