Travel Budget for Shangri-La Visit Shangri-La on a Budget or Travel in Style

Shangri-La, Yunnan, China

How much does it cost to travel to Shangri-La?

You should plan to spend around $46 (¥336) per day on your vacation in Shangri-La. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $19 (¥135) on meals
  • $10 (¥75) on local transportation
  • $37 (¥269) on hotels

A one week trip to Shangri-La for two people costs, on average, $650 (¥4,700). 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 Shangri-La cost?

A one week trip to Shangri-La usually costs around $325 (¥2,350) for one person and $650 (¥4,700) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Shangri-La on average costs around $650 (¥4,700) for one person and $1,300 (¥9,400) 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 Shangri-La will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Shangri-La on average costs around $1,393 (¥10,072) for one person and $2,786 (¥20,143) 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 Shangri-La 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 Shangri-La expensive to visit?

Shangri-La 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, Shangri-La 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 Shangri-La Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Shangri-La?

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

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) ¥269 ($37)
Local Transportation 1 ¥75 ($10)
Food 2 ¥135 ($19)
Entertainment 1 ¥116 ($16)
Alcohol 2 ¥46 - 137 ($6 - 19)
Accommodation Budget in Shangri-La
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Shangri-La is $19 (¥134). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Shangri-La is $37 (¥269). 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 Shangri-La

Looking for a hotel in Shangri-La? 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 Shangri-La
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Shangri-La is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $10 (¥75) per person, per day, on local transportation in Shangri-La.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

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

Rental Cars in Shangri-La
The price of renting a car in Shangri-La 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.

Food Budget in Shangri-La
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Shangri-La can vary, the average cost of food in Shangri-La is $19 (¥135) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Shangri-La should cost around $7.46 (¥54) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Shangri-La is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day

Entertainment Budget in Shangri-La
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Shangri-La typically cost an average of $16 (¥116) 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 Shangri-La
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $13 (¥91) on alcoholic beverages in Shangri-La per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day

Shangri-La on a Budget
Shangri-La The road to Shangri-La, China
The original Shangri-La existed in the fictional world of James Hilton's novel "The Lost Horizon." It was a hidden paradise, a place so beautiful that it couldn't possibly exist on earth. The Shangri-La that exists in Yunnan, China today was renamed from its former title Zhongdian in 2001 in order to associate the place with the mystical allure created in Hilton's novel. Visitors come to admire the traditional monasteries and temples set against a backdrop of mountain preserves and pristine lakes.
Songzanlin Monastery, located at the top of a hill surrounded by Shangri-La, is one of the most impressive in the city. It has undergone many restorations with multiple temples, traditional artwork, prayers wheels, and beautiful scenic views of the city and surrounding mountains. Baiji Temple, also known as the 100 Chicken Temple, is another quaint spot located on a hill behind the old town. And then there is the Golden Temple at the center of Old Town, made up of three temple buildings and famous for housing the world's largest prayer drum.

The Pudacuo or Potatso National Park is another great place to see if you are looking to experience the natural wonders of Shangri-La. The first national park in mainland China, Padacuo mainly comprises of the Bitahai and the Shuduhu Lakes as well as the Militang Pastures. Being a part of an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the environment of the park is very well-preserved with mountains, marshes, lakes, forests, brooks, springs, and rare fauna and flora. All popular spots are connected by planked walkways, boats, and buses for the convenience of visitors.
Shangri-La has both a modern city-like area as well as an old historic district, with Tuanjie Street as the border between the two. Though much of Old Town was destroyed by fire in 2014, there are still plenty of charming streets to explore. With a history dating back over a millennium, most of the buildings here exhibit Tibetan architecture with bold white, dazzling gold, and striking reds. There are a number of temples and monasteries to explore as well as dancing performances in the main square every evening. If you are interested in getting a closer look at the traditional life of the region, there are a number of small Tibetan villages on the outskirts of Shangri-La definitely worth a visit. Nixi Tibetan Village, for example, carries on the Tibetan tradition of crafting pottery. Located just 30 kilometers north of the city, the village offers opportunities to visit the master potters and learn the craft yourself, enjoy lunch in a traditional home, and enjoy the scenery surrounding the village.

Within the city of Shangri-La most visitors spend their days sight-seeing, frequenting the cobbled streets of Old Town, and exploring important temples and monasteries. However, there are many activities surrounding the city as well with a countryside perfect for ventures in hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and horseback riding. Napa Lake, in the grasslands to the west of Old Town, is a popular place for some of these activities, as are the surrounding mountains and the National Park mentioned above. Tours of the city, as well as outdoor adventure kind (via hiking and backpacking trips) are also available for those visitors seeking a more guided experience.
Food and Dining
Shangri-La's population is composed largely of Tibetans together with many ethnic minorities of the region. This makes for a mix of traditional foods available throughout the city. Some of the local specialties include a kind of dough staple called Zanba, a preserved pork called Pipa Meat, Saimi Lamb, and Guoben Hot Pot which consists of ingredients like guoben, potatoes, cooked pork tripe, tofu, water-swollen rice sticks, cooked ham, black fungus, and Pipa pork. Yogurt is also common to the region as is yak butter tea, which can be served both sweet and salted. Zanba is usually eaten with the butter tea. Suolima is another local drink, a kind of Tibetan Liquor brewed with the highland barley. There are many options for dining near the Old Town plaza.

The city is served by Diqing Shangri-La Airport with daily flights from from Kunming, Lhasa and Chongqing, as well as further connections to Chengdu and Guangzhou.

By bus, there are routes to Shangri-La from Daocheng, Lijiang, Dali, Kunming, Panzhihua, Deqin, as well as Lhasa, Chamdo, and Xiancheng.

By train, the nearest station is located in Lijiang. Most people fly into Kunming, then travel to Lijiang, and finally reach Shangri-La by long distance bus.

Once inside the city, the most popular way to navigate is by renting a mountain bike. Motorcycle rentals and public buses are also common.


Looking for a hostel in China?
Traveling alone to Beijing or Hong Kong or want to party in Shanghai?

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.