A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Beijing vs. Edinburgh for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Beijing or Edinburgh?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Beijing and Edinburgh can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.


Beijing is a historic, massive, and jam-packed city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.


Edinburgh is a character-filled, vibrant, and ancient city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. Other popular activities here include nightlife, live music, and shopping.

How is Beijing different from Edinburgh?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Museums and Historical Sights?

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Beijing or Edinburgh.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Beijing on the map. The city is filled with iconic landmarks including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and The Temple of Heaven. It's also essential that you plan a trip outside of town to the world renowned Great Wall of China. The trip takes about an hour and you can organize a tour through almost any hotel or tour company.

The museums and tourist attractions in Edinburgh are world-renowned. The most famous sights include the Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the National Museum of Scotland.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Food?

Beijing has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Edinburgh.

Many restaurants in Beijing have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The city has a number of iconic dishes that have put it on the culinary map. The most notable dish is Peking Duck, which is a delectable crispy roast duck that is usually served with cucumber, scallions, sweet bean sauce and pancakes or other steamed buns. Hot pots are another must-try experience in the city, and, of course, you have to experience the dumplings. A huge part of a visit to Beijing is experiencing its long running culinary history.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Edinburgh. The city has some unique but famous dishes to try including haggis and black pudding. For slightly less intimidating options, check out the cullen skink, porridge, or smoked salmon.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Nightlife?

It's hard to distinguish whether Beijing or Edinburgh has a better nightlife scene.

The people in Beijing know how to have a good time. Live performances are popular in the city, and range from concerts to magic shows and acrobatics. There is also an active bar scene around town. Some of the most popular nightlife areas include Sanlitun and Houhai.

Edinburgh has a large number of nightlife venues. With so many students, the nightlife stays very active. There are a wide range of bars, clubs and pubs to choose from.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both Edinburgh and Beijing.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Beijing. There are many unique handicrafts that you can purchase around town. Popular souvenirs include silk, pearls, and snuff bottles with pictures inside. The city has many shopping streets as well as markets and shopping malls that are worth visiting.

Edinburgh is well-known for its shopping. Head to Princes Street in the New Town to visit department stores and other name brand shops. Nearby George Street has more boutique style shops and less crowds.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Families?

Both Beijing and Edinburgh are fun to visit with kids.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Beijing. The city offers a unique cultural immersion that kids and adults can enjoy. Wander through the Forbidden City or watch your kids be mesmerized by a Chinese acrobatics show. It's also fun to get lost in the Hutongs or test their culinary palates by visiting a snack street.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Edinburgh is very family-friendly. There are a variety of unique activities for families in town including exploring Edinburgh Castle, a visit to the Edinburgh Dungeon, and of course, following the Harry Potter Trail.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Couples?

Both Beijing and Edinburgh are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Beijing is a good city for couples to visit. The culture, history, and food all make this a stunning place to visit. While romance doesn't immediately spring to mind when you think of Beijing, there are shows and fine dining restaurants that couples will enjoy. There are also many luxury hotels with spas and other amenities.

Edinburgh makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With its castle and the Royal Mile, there are many romantic places to explore as a couple. There are also good restaurants and some nice hotels.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Beijing and Edinburgh are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Beijing. The city has many hostels and budget-friendly options. There isn't the backpacker community vibe that you may get in other Asian cities, but if you organize an excursion through your hostel, you're sure to make a few friends along the way.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Edinburgh. The city has some good hostels and an active nightlife, so it's not hard to find other travelers to hang out with.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Students?

Beijing and Edinburgh are comparable places to visit for students.

Students come from all over to stay in Beijing. Students will enjoy the culture, food, and academic opportunities that the universities offer. There is also a decent nightlife scene and affordable places where students can live.

Students come from all over to stay in Edinburgh. This multicultural city is popular with international students because of its excellent research and academic centers as well as its unique history.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Beijing and Edinburgh.

Beijing offers a very effecient public transportation network. The system can be crowded and confusing at first, but it's one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around town. There's a subway system as well as buses, trolleybuses, and suburban rail.

Edinburgh has some public transit options. Buses are the best way to get into town from the outer edges if you don't have a car.

Is Beijing or Edinburgh a more walkable city?

Edinburgh is more walkable than Beijing.

Getting around Edinburgh on foot is easy. The Old Town in particular is fun to walk around

Beijing is generally not a very walkable city. While parts of the city are fun to explore on foot, the city itself is very large with long blocks that aren't pedestrian-friendly.

Beijing and Edinburgh: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Less walkable
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
  • Less popular for food

Should I spend more time in Edinburgh or Beijing?

How long in Beijing or Edinburgh?

In either Beijing or Edinburgh, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Beijing than Edinburgh because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Beijing is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Edinburgh is 1-5 days.

  • How many days in Beijing or Edinburgh? Ideal Length of Stay
    Beijing 3-7 
    Edinburgh 1-5

One day in Beijing or Edinburgh?

People visit Beijing because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Edinburgh, you'll find museums and theater. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A weekend in Beijing or Edinburgh?

People visit Beijing because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

In Edinburgh, you'll find theater and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Edinburgh has to offer.

Five days in Beijing or Edinburgh?

People visit Beijing because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

Edinburgh is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Edinburgh has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Beijing or Edinburgh?

Beijing is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Beijing, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Edinburgh. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Which city is cheaper, Edinburgh or Beijing?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Beijing is $67, while the average daily cost in Edinburgh is $143. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Beijing and Edinburgh in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $34
    Edinburgh $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $68
    Edinburgh $152

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $6.60
    Edinburgh $17
Typical Local Transportation prices in Beijing

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Beijing:

  • Taxi
  • Train from Airport for Two
  • Taxi to Hotel
  • 2 Metro Passes
  • Metro

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Zhoukoudian Peking Man and Marco Polo Bridge Private Transfer from Beijing: $88
  • Ultimate Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall Discovery with Airport Transfer: $186
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Pekin-Beijing City to Airport: $29
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Pekin-Beijing Airport to Pekin-Beijing City: $29
  • Transfer from Beijing hotel downtown to Beijing International Airport: $21
  • Transfer from Beijing Capital (PEK) - Beijing: $50
  • Tradtional Chinese Massage with Transfer in Beijing: $68
  • Tour Combo Package: 4-Day Beijing with 2-way airport to hotel transfer: $441
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port to Beijing Capital Airport by private transfer: $148
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port Transfer from Beijing: $130
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port Pick up or Drop off with Private Transfer: $130
  • Tianjin Cruise Port To Beijing Capital Airport One Way Private Transfer: $139

Typical Local Transportation prices in Edinburgh

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Edinburgh:

  • Local Bus

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Edinburgh

Also for Edinburgh, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport Transfer: $70
  • Airport Transfers: $75
  • Airport Transfers , Edinburgh to Aberdeen , or Aberdeen to Edinburgh: $538
  • Arrival Private Transfer Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh City by Luxury Car: $84
  • Arrival Private Transfer Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh by Business Car: $77
  • Arrival Private Transfer Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh by Luxury Van: $84
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh City: $80
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh City: $93
  • Central Edinburgh Hotels to Edinburgh Airport Transfers 1-3 pax: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer Edinburg City to Glasgow GLA Airport by Business Car: $154
  • Departure Private Transfer Edinburgh City to Edinburgh Airport EDI by Luxury Van: $84
  • Departure Private Transfer Edinburgh City to Glasgow GLA Airport by Luxury Car: $196

Is it cheaper to fly into Beijing or Edinburgh?

Prices for flights to both Edinburgh and Beijing change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Beijing $18
    Edinburgh $39
Typical Food prices in Beijing

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Beijing:

  • Popcorn
  • Hot Pot Dinner
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
  • Watermelon
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
  • Two Popsicles

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Beijing

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Beijing.

  • Online Cooking Class: $25
  • Private Temple of Heaven Walking Tour with Peking Duck Dinner or Kung Fu Show: $62
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $69
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80
  • Authentic Local Food Tour in Center Beijing: $90
  • Vegetarian / Peking Duck / Hotpot Dinner with Kungfu Show Private Tour: $90
  • Private Evening Hutong Walking Tour with Mongolia Hotpot Dinner: $96
  • Private Nightlife Trip to See Wonderful Acrobatic Show Enjoy Delicious Barbecue Buffet Dinner: $96
  • Peking Duck Dinner with Face Changing show plus Full Body Massage: $98
  • Private Tour: Beijing by Night including Imperial Performance and Dinner: $98
  • Half Day Food Tour with Public Transit of Breakfast or Local Street Snacks: $99

Typical Food prices in Edinburgh

For Edinburgh, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner at Filling Station
  • Lunch for Two
  • Sandwich
  • Cheese & bread
  • Thai Restaurant Dinner (for 2)
  • 2 Coffees and Scones
  • Turkish Delight
  • Soup at the Pub

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Edinburgh

For Edinburgh, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Scottish Classic Desserts private cooking class with professional chef: $66
  • Discover Royal Mile-Old Town & ENJOY Indian Dinner ~ Walking Tour!: $79
  • 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour: $94
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Cooking Class – pure comfort food for the soul!: $97
  • Curry Around The World Cooking Class: $97
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Edinburgh: $106
  • Relaxing Handmade Pasta with meal and wine - Safe Cooking Class: $110
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • "Curry Around The World" Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • Private Food Tour with a Local Expert including 10 Tastings in Edinburgh: $136
  • Handmade Pasta Cooking Class & Dinner with professional chef for private groups: $137
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Edinburgh w/ Private Tour Option: $228

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $21
    Edinburgh $20
Typical Entertainment prices in Beijing

Here are a few typical costs in Beijing for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Entry to Summer Palace for Two
  • Two Opera Tickets
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
  • Forbidden City Tickets
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City

Tours and Activities in Beijing

Here are a few actual costs in Beijing for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1 Day Beijing Badaling Great Wall with 30-Minute Helicopter Tour: $614
  • 1 Day Beijing No Shopping Tour with Peking Roast Duck: $226
  • 1 Day Mutianyu Great Wall Bus Tour: $29
  • 1 Day Old Beijing City Tour .Forbidden City,Hutong,Temple of Heaven: $163
  • 1 Day Romantic Tour in Oriental Provence Lavender Manor and Mutianyu Great Wall: $208
  • 1 Day Tour : Simatai Great Wall and Gubei Water Town: $239
  • 1 Day Tour Badaling Great Wall and Badaling Ski Resort: $249
  • 1 Day Tour Mutianyu Great Wall & Chunhuiyuan Hot Springs: $224
  • 1 Day Tour: Badaling Great Wall and Jiuhua Hot Spring: $167
  • 1 day Mutianyu Great Wall Nonshopping bus tour: $51
  • 1-Day Badaling Great Wall Helicopter Tour with Sacred Way & Bird's Nest: $714
  • 1-Day Badaling Great Wall and Ming Tombs Tour with Sacred Way from Beijing: $212

Typical Entertainment prices in Edinburgh

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Edinburgh's activities, tours, and tickets:

  • Show Tickets
  • Movie Tickets for Two
  • Donation for Storytellers

Tours and Activities in Edinburgh

For Edinburgh, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • City Highlights Self-Guided Smartphone Tour: $5.66
  • Harry Potter’s Explore the magic of the city on an audio walking tour: $5.99
  • The Witches Tour: $6.80
  • Edinburgh Audio Tour: Discover its History and Secrets: $8.26
  • Edinburgh Royal Mile (New Self Guided Tour): $8.26
  • Late Night Haunted Underground Vaults Tour: $12
  • Historic Underground Vaults Daytime Tour: $12
  • Old Town Historical Walking Tour: $12
  • Self-Guided City Experience: $12
  • Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt: $14
  • Ghost and Gore Walking Tour of Edinburgh: $14
  • Murder and Mystery Walking Tour of Edinburgh: $14

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $10
    Edinburgh $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Beijing:

  • Evening Food Private Tour with Brewery Taproom Hopping at Slow Boat in Beijing: $138
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Wonderful Beijing Bar Crawl Tour: $195
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $228

Typical Alcohol prices in Edinburgh

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Edinburgh from other travelers:

  • Beer & Wine
  • Half Pint at Tollbooth Tavern
  • Pint of Beer

Sample the Local Flavors in Edinburgh

Also in Edinburgh, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • The Orange Pub Crawl - Edinburgh: $18
  • Edinburgh Brewery Tour: $22
  • Holyrood Distillery Gin and Whisky Guided Tour: $24
  • Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour: $24
  • Guided Gin Tasting at 56 North Distillery: $34
  • Pickering's Gin Distillery Tour with Gin Tastings: $34
  • Loch Lomond, Stirling, and Glengoyne Distillery Tour from Edinburgh: $52
  • Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish Borders & Glenkinchie Distillery from Edinburgh: $54
  • Loch Ness, Highlands and Whisky Distillery Day Tour from Edinburgh: $66
  • Bike, beers and brewery tour: $90
  • Edinburgh and Golf and Distillery Tour with Private Driver: $259
  • Whisky Distillery Tour from Edinburgh by Private Vehicle: $284

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Beijing and Edinburgh, we can see that Edinburgh is more expensive. And not only is Beijing much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Beijing is in Asia and Edinburgh is in Europe, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Beijing would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Beijing and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Edinburgh would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Edinburgh than you might in Beijing.

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Beijing vs. Edinburgh Travel Comparison

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