A Travel Price Comparison for China Beijing vs. Harbin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Beijing or Harbin?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Beijing and Harbin can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Beijing

Beijing is the capital of China and, with 21.5 million people, it is the second most populated city in the world after Shanghai. It is a city that keeps pockets of its history hidden in old neighborhoods or back alleys, despite the constant change and modernization that goes on around it. As the capital city of China, there is plenty of history and culture. You can still get yourself lost in one of the last remaining hutongs, which are old neighborhoods that remain untouched by the city's modernization. The alleys that weave between the old homes are lined with drying clothes, corner markets, and people going about their daily lives the way they have for centuries. Surrounding these hutongs you'll find modern buildings and a booming economy, all threatening to destroying these last bits of Beijing's history. Beijing offers a glimpse into a microcosm that represents the entire country of China. Make sure you give yourself enough time in China to truly experience Beijing. You can pass a lot of time soaking up life in the city, which remains as diverse as the country it resides within.

Harbin

Harbin, China is the northernmost major city in the country, with a population of over 10 million. Harbin was founded in 1897 by Russia, which has resulted in a lot of Russian influence throughout the city and many Russian citizens. The city is most famous for their annual International Snow and Ice Festival, a two-month-long festival running from January through February of each year.

Which city is cheaper, Harbin or Beijing?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Beijing is $69, while the average daily cost in Harbin is $49. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Beijing and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Beijing is $70. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $38 in Harbin For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $35
    Harbin $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $70
    Harbin $38

Food

In Beijing travelers spend around $19 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

On average, meal and food prices in Harbin cost around $12 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $4.80.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Beijing $19
    Harbin $12
Typical Food prices in Beijing

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


  • Popcorn
    $0.93
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $7.76
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $3.10
  • Watermelon
    $2.17
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $18
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.93

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
  • Path Hutong Food Tour: $30
  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Kung fu Show and Peking Roasted Duck Dinner: $58
  • Private Temple of Heaven Walking Tour with Peking Duck Dinner or Kung Fu Show: $62
  • Acrobatic Show w/ Peking Duck Dinner Private: $68
  • Beijing Historical Center with Peking Opera and Duck Dinner: $69
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $69
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • 3-hour Private Food Tour in Harbin: $100
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137
  • Half-Day Private Harbin Beer Museum and Food Tour Including Harbin Beer1900: $150
  • Harbin Dumpling Cooking Class: $150
  • Hot Spring Experience with Hot Pot Dinner in Harbin: $160
  • 4-Hour Private Night Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World with Dinner Options: $250
  • Private Full Day Tour to Harbin Beifang Forest Zoo and Optional Seafood Dinner: $250

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.87 per day to get around in Beijing.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Harbin than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $1.34 on transportation in Harbin on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $6.87
    Harbin $1.34
Typical Local Transportation prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $5.30
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $7.76
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $9.31
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.48
  • Metro
    $0.62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • [Up to 20% Off] Private City Transfers for Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing : $23
  • [Up to 15% Off for Round Trip Transfers] Private Beijing Capital Airport Transfers (PEK) for Beijing : $37
  • Zhoukoudian Peking Man and Marco Polo Bridge Private Transfer from Beijing: $88
  • Yangshuo and Li River Highlights Day Tour with Transfers: $111
  • 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 of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater with Transfer: $59
  • Tour Combo Package: 4-Day Beijing with 2-way airport to hotel transfer: $441

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • 5-Hour Private Transfer to Harbin Ice and Snow World: $99
  • 6-Hour Private Transfer to Sun Island Snow Sculptures and Siberia Tiger Park: $110
  • Airport Transfers (SHA/PVG) for Shanghai (Multiple Car Models): $38
  • Badaling Great Wall in Beijing Private Transfer: $43
  • Full-DayPrivateTransfer to Harbin Volga Manor&Harbin City from Yabuli Ski Resort: $270
  • Full-DayPrivateTransfer to Harbin Volga Manor&Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin City: $300
  • Group Transfer to Harbin Ice and Snow World plus Sun Island Snow Sculpture Festival: $88
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $27
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $40
  • Harbin Catholic Church Car Transfer Service: $200
  • Harbin City Car Transfer Service with Driver: $120
  • Harbin Private Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $89

Is it cheaper to fly into Beijing or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin 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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Beijing. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing expenses in Harbin, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $47 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $21
    Harbin $47
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
    $9.31
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $66
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $11
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
    $19
  • Forbidden City Tickets
    $19
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
    $12

Tours and Activities in Beijing

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 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

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • Hupao Park Ticket in Hangzhou (For Mainland China ID Holders): $2.35
  • China Red Sandalwood Museum Ticket in Beijing : $2.79
  • Simatai Great Wall Admission with Cable Car Ticket in Beijing: $3.09
  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Ticket Chengdu - ID Card Direct Entry: $4.19
  • Evergreen Resort Ticket in Shenzhen: $6.19
  • Jinxi Ancient Town Attractions Combo Ticket: $6.99
  • Gulangyu Seashell Museum Ticket: $7.45
  • Wuyishan Xiamei Ancient Village Admission Ticket: $8.55
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Neicuoao Pier: $8.55
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Sanqiutian Pier: $8.55
  • Shanghai Joy City Rooftop Ferris Wheel - Sky Ring Ticket: $9.29
  • Guangdong First Peak Ticket: $9.29

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Beijing may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Harbin spend on average $7.04 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $11
    Harbin $7.04

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Beijing and Harbin, we can see that Beijing is more expensive. And not only is Harbin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Harbin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Harbin 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 Beijing would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Beijing than you might in Harbin.

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Beijing vs. Harbin Travel Comparison

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