Travel Budget for Dali Visit Dali on a Budget or Travel in Style

Dali, Yunnan, China

How much does it cost to travel to Dali?

You should plan to spend around $48 (¥348) per day on your vacation in Dali. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $18 (¥130) on meals
  • $9.21 (¥67) on local transportation
  • $34 (¥245) on hotels

A one week trip to Dali for two people costs, on average, $674 (¥4,876). 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 Dali cost?

A one week trip to Dali usually costs around $337 (¥2,438) for one person and $674 (¥4,876) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Dali on average costs around $674 (¥4,876) for one person and $1,348 (¥9,753) 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 Dali will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Dali on average costs around $1,445 (¥10,449) for one person and $2,889 (¥20,898) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently to Dali 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 Dali expensive to visit?

Dali is a reasonably affordable place to visit. Located in China, which is a reasonably affordable country, visitors will appreciate the relatively low cost of this destination. It is in the top 10% of cities in the country for its affordability. If you're traveling on a budget, then this is a good destination with affordable accommodation, food, and transportation.

Within Asia, Dali is a reasonably affordable destination compared to other places. It is in the top 25% of cities in Asia for its affordability. You can find more affordable cities such as Luang Prabang, but there are also more expensive cities, such as Taipei.

For more details, and to find out if it's within your travel budget, see Is Dali Expensive?

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

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

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) ¥245 ($34)
Local Transportation 1 ¥67 ($9)
Food 2 ¥130 ($18)
Entertainment 1 ¥127 ($18)
Alcohol 2 ¥40 - 120 ($6 - 17)
Accommodation Budget in Dali
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Dali is $17 (¥122). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Dali is $34 (¥245). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

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

Hotel Prices in Dali

Looking for a hotel in Dali? 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.

Recommended Properties

Transportation Budget in Dali
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Dali is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $9.21 (¥67) per person, per day, on local transportation in Dali.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

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

Rental Cars in Dali
The price of renting a car in Dali will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.

What did other people spend on Transportation in Dali?

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

  • Local Bus

Food Budget in Dali
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Dali can vary, the average cost of food in Dali is $18 (¥130) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Dali should cost around $7.19 (¥52) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Dali is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day

What did other people spend on Food in Dali?

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

  • Lunch
  • Breakfast

Entertainment Budget in Dali
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Dali typically cost an average of $18 (¥127) 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

Alcohol Budget in Dali
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $11 (¥80) on alcoholic beverages in Dali per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day

Water Budget in Dali
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $3.84 (¥28) on bottled water in Dali per day. The public water in Dali is considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

Dali On a Budget
Dali Dali, Yunnan, China
Dali is a city in southern China with a long and glorious history dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Xiaguan neighborhood of the city is the modern industrial center where most public transportation arrives; however, the Old Town of Dali is the place that draws the most visitors. Being one of China's ancient cities, Dali is said to have been a gateway to the Silk Road, and still attracts attention with its traditional architecture, beautiful scenery, ethnic cultures, and nightlife.
Two of the most enchanting sights of the city exist in the surrounding scenery of the Cangshan Mountains and Erhai Lake. The mountain range is composed of nineteen snow-covered peaks running north to south. A system of streams runs between the peaks, down the valley, and into Erhai Lake at the foot of the mountains. With silver gray peaks looming above the jade waters of the lake, it has become a first choice destination for visitors.

The Dali ancient city is, of course, another sight in itself with examples of traditional architecture and cultural lifestyle. But it is just the beginning of manmade wonders in the region. Temples, folk houses, and workshops pay homage to the simple life of native culture, while a sight like the Three Pagodas stands to symbolize something much larger. The three towering structures stand in a symmetrical triangle just one kilometer northwest of the ancient city. Many sculptures of Buddha made of gold, silver, wood or crystal, Buddhist readings, and more than 600 various medicinal ingredients were found in one pagoda, playing a large role in explaining the ancient history of Dali. Dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Three Pagodas have stood the test of time and many earthquakes throughout the ages.
The Dali Ancient City, or Old Town, is the most popular hub of activity for visitors. Dating back to the early Ming Dynasty is has been ranked as one of the most noted historical and cultural cities in China. Huoguo Road, or Foreigner Street, is the central thoroughfare which is most frequented by tourists. From here the opportunity to explore is abundant with traditional architecture, heritage sites, local food and handicrafts, as well as plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants. The streets are paved with cobble and lined with traditional folk houses, temples, and workshops of the Bai ethnic minority. Much of the architecture is decorated with grey-green roof tiles, woodcarvings, colored patterns, as well as marble and wash drawings.

More examples of the Bai lifestyle and architecture can be seen at Yan's Compound in Xizhou. It is located about 13 kilometers from Dali City and exists as a beautiful example of the Bai architectural talents. Adorned with elaborate calligraphy and paintings, Yan's Compound is a unique example of how every detail plays a deeper role of symbolism and meaning in the daily life of the Bai people.

The beautiful scenery and cultural heritage of the region is enough to occupy days of exploring whether it be by a casual walk, hiking, biking, or a scenic drive. In addition to the Cangshan Mountains and Erhai Lake, a place called Butterfly Spring exists as another natural gem of Dali. About 25 miles north of the city, it is an area with a pool, dense foliage, and an ancient tree whose floral scent attracts thousands of butterflies as spring turns to summer. The phenomenon has even given rise to a local festival of the Bai people, held annually beneath the tree on April 15th.

If you prefer to learn more about the culture and history of the area, Dali also has a few museums that never fail to impress. The Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum, for example, works to display Dali's over 4,000-year history by conducting cultural relic research, excavations, collecting, and exhibiting. The museum itself is an impressive architectural example of traditional rooms and courtyards. The Dali Municipal Museum is another historic highlight, existing within the renovated mansion of Du Wenxiu who led an ethnic minority revolt against the Qing dynasty in 1856. The museum exhibits the mansion itself (restored to its former glory) in addition to relics of local culture.
Food and Dining
The city of Dali, though inhabited by the Bai culture, is a melting pot for cultural cuisine in the Yunnan province. A few of the main local dishes include things like Stewed Carp Casserole and Steamed Chicken, both made with a variety of Chinese herbs and seasonings. Dairy fans are a popular pancake-like snack made with milk and yogurt, Ba Ba is a savory snack made from wheat flour, onions, and ham, while Er Kuai exists as one of the more conventional rice-based dishes. The rice is first washed, soaked, stewed and then mashed into a paste, before being molded into various lumps, slices and shreds. It is usually grilled over burning charcoals with a sugar, walnut, or sesame filling. Tea is another staple, often served ceremoniously in three courses-one bitter, one sweet, and one fragrant.

Most of Dali's highly-recommended restaurants are located on Foreigner Street of Dali Ancient City. Some of the local hot spots include A Da Yin Restaurant or Xinghua Village Restaurant, while more western dining options can be found in various cafes, pizzerias, and fast food chains around the city.

Dali (Huangcaoba) Airport is located on the southeast bank of Erhai Lake. Flights from here connect the city with many destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guiyang and Guangzhou.

By train, Dali Railway Station is about 12 miles (19 km) from Dali Ancient City. Trains run to Kunming, Lijiang, and some other nearby places.

By long distance bus, the Dali Bus Station is the largest and operates bus lines to Kunming and Lijiang, as well as cities in other provinces, such as Panzhihua in Sichuan and Putian in Fujian.

By local bus, there are many stops on nearly every corner of the city. Most scenic spots and tourist destinations can be reached by bus. Taxis and bicycle rentals are also available.


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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.