How much does a trip to China Cost?

The Cost of a Trip to China

For a trip to China, you should plan for daily costs anywhere between $32 to $200. If there's two of you traveling, your daily expenses could range from $63 to $400. These price ranges are based on the average daily spending of $80 (¥574) per person which comes from the travel expenses of other visitors. These costs include food, accommodation, sightseeing activities, and getting around locally. Keep in mind, though, these figures can vary somewhat based on your individual travel style, level of luxury, and chosen activities. Destinations across the country, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu, might might vary somewhat from the overall average price, but they usually stick close to this range. Read on for a breakdown of travel typical expenses as well as a comparison of tour prices versus Independent travel.

How much money should you budget for your trip to China?

If you're planning an Independent trip to China, budget travelers should plan to spend around $32 (¥228) per day for their trip. This average includes hostels and budget hotels, affordable meal options, local transportation, and activities. If you're on a mid-range budget, plan for around $80 (¥574) a day which covers the cost of typical hotels, normal restaurants, and a variety of popular attractions. Luxury travelers should allow for $200 (¥1,438) a day, which would cover higher-end hotels, nicer restaurants, and more private tour options. All of these price ranges are based on our extensive travel cost data for China from other travelers, along with hotel and tour data from travel companies.

3 Days 7 Days 14 Days
Accommodation1 $103 $241 $482
Intercity Transportation1 $143 $333 $666
Local Transportation1 $48 $112 $224
Food2 $69 $161 $321
Water2 $3 $7 $14
Entertainment1 $50 $118 $236
Souvenirs1 $86 $200 $399
Communication2 $14 $34 $67
Living Expenses2 $101 $236 $472
Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1 $44 $104 $207
Alcohol2 $34 $79 $158
Tips and Handouts1 $20 $46 $92

How much does a one week trip to China cost?

On average, visitors to China spend between $222 and $1,399 for their week-long adventure, with the average being $559. This covers sightseeing, local transportation, food, and accommodations. With a duration of one week, you'll have the opportunity to explore one, two, or even three locations within China, depending on the level of depth you desire for your visit. Some of the most popular places to consider exploring are Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. It's important to note that these figures are averages and can vary based on personal preferences and choices. Ultimately, the goal is to create a memorable and enjoyable experience tailored to your specific interests.

Beijing, China

How much does a two week trip to China cost?

With two weeks, you should budget between $443 and $2,797 for your trip to China. The average price for a two week trip is $1,117. Two weeks will allow you enough time to visit between three and five places. If you're on a budget, you might want to consider some of the more affordable places such as Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and Shangri-La.

How much does a one month trip to China cost?

When embarking on a month-long trip to China, expenses can range from $950 to $5,994, with an average cost falling around $2,394. For those fortunate enough to have a full month, considering a vacation rental with a kitchen for at least a portion of your stay can help save money with meals. Backpackers often opt for hostels due to their affordability and the added benefit of a social vibe.

Hostel Prices in China

With more than 120 hostels in China, the average price is $11 per night for a dorm bed. Hostels are a terrific option for younger independent travelers looking to save money while staying social during their trip. With many types of hostels, it can be overwhelming to sort out the best places, though. Our analysis of the hostels in China not only found the average price, but also uncovered some surprises about the overall quality, amenities, and atmosphere of hostels in the region. You can see more details from our analysis about typical hostel prices in China here.

Number of Hostels Average Price
Chengdu 15 $8
Shanghai 9 $20
Guangzhou 9 $11
Hangzhou 8 $12
Shenzhen 8 $11
Yangshuo 7 $11
Beijing 6 $24
Chongqing 6 $8
Dalian 4 $11
Lijiang 4 $8
Guilin 4 $5
Shangri-La 4 $7
Harbin 3 $8
Sanya 3 $9
Kunming 3 $8

Here are a few sample prices from popular hostels in China.

  • $7 for a dorm bed at POSHPACKER | Chengdu Flipflop Hostel in Chengdu
  • $61 for a dorm bed at Dayin International Youth Hostel in Shanghai

Anhui village, China

Should you do an organized tour or travel independently in China?

Organized tours and independent travel are essentially the two main ways to plan a trip to China. Organized tours offer a convenient and hassle-free experience, with travel experts handling all the logistical details and the added benefit of an expert guide imparting valuable insights. This option is favored by those who appreciate the convenience and ease provided by tours that often include transportation and expert guides.

On the other hand, independent travel provides a different set of advantages, allowing for greater freedom and flexibility in customizing itineraries and exploring at one's own pace. This option appeals to individuals who value spontaneity and control, enabling them to immerse themselves in local culture on a deeper level.

Ultimately, the choice between organized tours and independent travel depends on personal preferences and travel style, considering factors such as convenience, guidance, and flexibility.

Comparing Trip Costs in China

When we compare the prices of organized tours to the average costs of independent travelers, we can see that sometimes the prices are fairly even.

Organized Package Tours Independent Travel
3-Day Trip Cost $479 - $1,999 $95 - $599
7-Day Trip Cost $408 - $3,000 $222 - $1,399
10-Day Trip Cost $855 - $7,596 $317 - $1,998
14-Day Trip Cost $1,700 - $9,525 $443 - $2,797

Tours vs. independent Travel: Pros & Cons

Organized Tours
  • An expert guide familiar with the culture
  • Convenient transportation
  • Fellow travelers to socialize with
  • Well researched activities
  • Efficient and thought out itinerary
  • The security of have a trip leader if something goes wrong
  • Limited options
  • Usually not customizable
  • The fast pace often means you can’t visit one place in depth
  • Usually more expensive than independent travel
  • There may be limited time to interact with the local culture and community
Independent Travel
  • Completely customizable
  • Opportunity to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations
  • Can fully immerse yourself in the local culture
  • Freedom to move at your own pace
  • Flexibility to change your itinerary at any time
  • More affordable
  • Challenging to plan an efficient itinerary
  • Transportation may be challenging or inefficient
  • Booking and trip planning can be a hassle
  • Popular sights may sell out well in advance
  • If something goes wrong, you're on your own

Are organized tours more expensive than independent travel in China?

Organized tours typically average around $259 per day and provide the convenience of an all-inclusive package with one comprehensive payment. On the other hand, independent trips usually average around $80 (¥574) per day and involve individual payments for accommodations, local transportation, meals, and sightseeing. Both organized tours and independent trips have their own unique challenges and benefits, so it's crucial to thoroughly understand the aspects of each to make a fair comparison. For a detailed analysis of tour prices in China, check out our comprehensive guide on tour prices in China here.

Here are a few sample tours in China:

  • China Minorities Adventure ($3,113)
    18 days, 12 destinations
  • Customized Adventure to Ethnic Villages in China with Daily Departure ($2,279)
    8 days, 7 destinations
  • 14-Day Cycle & Hike Panda Kingdom and Kham Tibet, Sichuan Province, China ($3,980)
    14 days, 7 destinations
  • Majestic China with Yangtze River Cruise ($4,428)
    9 days, 6 destinations
  • Shanghai & Yangtze Cruise - 16 days ($19,310)
    16 days, 10 destinations
More for China

If you're planning a trip to China, check out these other informative travel guides.

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.

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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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