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

Should you visit Beijing or Harbin?

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 Harbin 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.

Where Should I go: Beijing or Harbin?


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, 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 $66, while the average daily cost in Harbin is $46. 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 Harbin in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $34
    Harbin $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $68
    Harbin $36
Compare Hotels in Beijing and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Beijing or Harbin? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Beijing

Hotels in Harbin

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Beijing Hotel Prices and Harbin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $6.52
    Harbin $1.28
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

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
  • 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
  • Harbin Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $89
  • Harbin Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Railway Station: $56

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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Beijing $18
    Harbin $12
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • 3-hour Private Food Tour in Harbin: $100
  • 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

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $20
    Harbin $45
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

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • Hagia Sophia TOURS /Skip The Lines: $12
  • 2-Hour Harbin City Tour: $50
  • 1-Day Harbin Private Tour: $70
  • Half-Day Private Harbin City Walking Tour to Zhongyang Street and Sophia Church: $80
  • Private Half Day City Tour including Russian Town and Harbin Ropeway Ride: $90
  • Private Customized Harbin City Day Tour by Public Transportation: $96
  • Private Harbin Ice Lantern Show at Zhaolin Park Night Tour with Zhongyang Pedestrian Street: $100
  • Guided Tour to Sun Island: $100
  • Private Harbin Local Experience Evening Tour:Square Dance and Night Food Market: $100
  • Half Day Tour for Harbin Guandong Ancient Lane and Wood Sculpture Museum: $100
  • 4-Hour Tour to Harbin Church,Gogol Street,Hongbo Square and Heilongjiang Museum: $100
  • Private 2-hour Winter Local Culture Experience Tour with Ice Swimming Show, Songhua River Ropeway and Walking on Songhua River: $100

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $9.98
    Harbin $6.69

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.

When is the best time to visit Beijing or Harbin?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Beijing or Harbin in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Beijing as well as Harbin. Many visitors come to Beijing in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Beijing is generally a little warmer than Harbin. Temperatures in Beijing average around 27°C (80°F), and Harbin stays around 24°C (75°F).

It's quite rainy in Harbin. Beijing receives a lot of rain in the summer. Beijing usually gets more rain in July than Harbin. Beijing gets 176 mm (6.9 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 153 mm (6 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Beijing 27°C (80°F) 
    Harbin 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Beijing or Harbin in the Autumn?

Both Harbin and Beijing are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Beijing for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Beijing is much warmer than Harbin in the autumn. The temperature in Beijing is usually 14°C (56°F) in October, and Harbin stays around 7°C (44°F).

In October, Beijing usually receives less rain than Harbin. Beijing gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 23 mm (0.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Beijing 14°C (56°F) 
    Harbin 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Beijing or Harbin in the Winter?

Both Harbin and Beijing during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Beijing because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

It's quite cold in Harbin in the winter. The weather in Beijing can be very cold. In the winter, Beijing is much warmer than Harbin. Typically, the winter temperatures in Beijing in January are around -4°C (26°F), and Harbin is about -18°C (-0°F).

Beijing usually gets less rain in January than Harbin. Beijing gets 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Beijing -4°C (26°F) 
    Harbin -18°C (-0°F)

Should I visit Beijing or Harbin in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Beijing and Harbin. The activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Beijing this time of year.

In April, Beijing is generally much warmer than Harbin. Temperatures in Beijing average around 14°C (57°F), and Harbin stays around 8°C (46°F).

In April, Beijing usually receives more rain than Harbin. Beijing gets 26 mm (1 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 21 mm (0.8 in) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Beijing 14°C (57°F) 
    Harbin 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Harbin and Beijing

Beijing Harbin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -4°C (26°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) -18°C (-0°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb -1°C (30°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) -14°C (7°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 6°C (42°F) 9 mm (0.4 in) -3°C (26°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 14°C (57°F) 26 mm (1 in) 8°C (46°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
May 20°C (68°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 15°C (60°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 25°C (76°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 21°C (70°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 27°C (80°F) 176 mm (6.9 in) 24°C (75°F) 153 mm (6 in)
Aug 25°C (78°F) 182 mm (7.2 in) 22°C (72°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 14°C (56°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 7°C (44°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Nov 5°C (41°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) -4°C (24°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Dec -1°C (29°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) -14°C (7°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)

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Beijing vs. Harbin Travel Comparison

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