Travel Budget for Dali

Yunnan, China

How much does it cost to travel to Dali?

How much money will you need for your trip to Dali? You should plan to spend around ¥124 ($18) per day on your vacation in Dali, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, ¥48 ($6.79) on meals for one day and ¥4.21 ($0.60) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Dali for a couple is ¥85 ($12). So, a trip to Dali for two people for one week costs on average ¥1,743 ($248). 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.
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A vacation to Dali for one week usually costs around ¥871 for one person. So, a trip to Dali for two people costs around ¥1,743 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs ¥3,485 in Dali. 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 Dali can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is Dali?

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

While meal prices in Dali can vary, the average cost of food in Dali is ¥48 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Dali should cost around ¥19 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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Dali is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent ¥4 per person, per day, on local transportation in Dali.

  • 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.
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
Flights to Dali

How much does it cost to go to Dali? 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 Dali?

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

  • Local Bus
  • Lunch
  • Breakfast

Typical tour prices for Dali

How much do tours to Dali 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 Dali

Related Articles
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 cafés, 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 cafés, pizzerias, and fast food chains around the city.

China Bus and Train Prices
The best prices for buses and trains in China can be found on 12Go. They let you search across all bus, train, and airline routes throughout Asia.

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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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.

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Dali Travel Cost - Average Price of a Vacation to Dali: Food & Meal Budget, Daily & Weekly Expenses |
Travel Tips

The Mountains by Dali

By backpackguru in Entertainment
While you're in Dali, it's a great idea to head into the mountains for a day or two. There are some guesthouses you could stay at near the Zhonghe Temple. After being in so many Chinese cities, it's nice to get away from the crowds and enjoy a little peace and quiet. In the mountains there are plenty of trekking options, and you can see flowers, birds, and other wildlife. Consider taking a chairlift to the top of the mountain and hiking down. Your legs will thank you.

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