A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Beijing vs. Hong Kong for Attractions, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Beijing or Hong Kong?

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 Hong Kong 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

Beijing is a fascinating, historic, and massive 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.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a compact, dense, and cosmopolitan city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Beijing and Hong Kong: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Beijing or Hong Kong?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Beijing. Although Beijing and Hong Kong are roughly the same size, Beijing has more sights and attractions for tourists. Beijing is more popular for its museums, while Hong Kong is known for its beaches, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty. Beijing is more touristy than Hong Kong and is popular for its rich culture, many historical landmarks, its long running history, and its world class cuisine. It is also home to The Forbidden City. Hong Kong is popular for its modern skyscrapers, colorful waterfront, lush parks, and amazing dim sum.

How is Beijing different from Hong Kong?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hong Kong and Beijing. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Beijing or Hong Kong?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Beijing is an unbeatable place for its museums and history. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

The museums and tourist attractions in Beijing are world-renowned. 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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Hong Kong. The city's skyline is one of the most famous "landmarks", but you'll also want to visit Victoria Peak, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Wong Tai Sin Temple, and Avenue of Stars.


Is the Food Better in Beijing or Hong Kong? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Dining out at restaurants in both Beijing and Hong Kong can be an enjoyable experience.

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.

Eat your way through Hong Kong, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city's population is famous for its frequency of dining out, and the prolific diversity of restaurants is obvious from the moment you arrive. There are street food stalls and night markets, as well as luxury award winning restaurants. The city holds tight to its culinary traditions, but fusion restaurants are creeping in as well. Some of the most famous Hong Kong foods include dim sum, sweet and sour pork, and roast goose.

Is Beijing or Hong Kong Better for Nightlife?

Beijing
Hong Kong

It's hard to distinguish whether Beijing or Hong Kong 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.

The nightlife in Hong Kong has something for everybody. The city lights up after the sun sets. You'll find a diverse range of activities in the evening with everything from night markets to concerts and parties. There's a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary activities, particularly around Lan Kwai Fong. Many of the most popular venues are found around Central and, like everything else in Hong Kong, the venues are full of energy.

Is Beijing or Hong Kong Better for Beaches?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a great destination for the beach. However, Beijing is not a beach destination.

The beaches at Hong Kong attract visitors from all over. You actually don't have to travel far from the city center to find a relatively quiet, sandy beach. The different beaches on Hong Kong Island are relatively close to each other, and each has its own atmosphere. If you need a break from the heat and the crowds, then a beach day is a fun option. Hong Kong's natural coastline give way to popular beaches including Repulse Bay Beach and Shek O Beach. Each offers a number of amenities and dining options.

Beijing is not a beach destination.


Is Beijing or Hong Kong Better for Hiking?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a great destination for its hiking experiences. However, Beijing is not a hiking destination.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Hong Kong. The city is surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful viewpoints, making it easy to enjoy a day in nature. The hikes will offer impressive views and dramatic rock formations. Popular hikes in the area include The Peak, Dragon's Back, and the Violet Hill and Twin Peak hike.

Beijing is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Beijing or Hong Kong?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an unbeatable place for its shopping areas. Also, Beijing is still popular, but not quite as popular for shopping.

Hong Kong is a world class destination for shoppers. There is a high concentration of shopping malls in the city, and you'll likely find yourself cutting through malls to access different parts of town. The city is arguably one of the best shopping cities in the world. Popular items to purchase in the city include designer clothes, handbags, electronics, jewelry, watches, and tailor-made suits.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting 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.

Is Beijing or Hong Kong Better for Families?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an unbeatable place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Beijing is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Hong Kong is an extremely popular city to visit for families. In addition to its many fascinating cultural experiences like visiting the markets and historical landmarks, this city also has a diversity of kid-friendly entertainment options. The most obvious is Disneyland, but there are also other amusement parks and aquariums like Ocean Park. Make sure you check out the Symphony of Lights in the evening and head to The Peak Tower during the day.

Beijing offers lots of family activities. 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.


Is Beijing or Hong Kong Better for Couples?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an unbeatable place for couples. Also, Beijing is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Hong Kong is a great city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. This city is filled with luxury hotels, beautiful parks, and impressive restaurants. For a romantic evening, check out the Symphony of Lights over Victoria Harbour after the sun sets.

Beijing is a nice destination for couples. 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.

Is Beijing or Hong Kong Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Beijing is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers 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.

Hong Kong is a good city to visit for backpackers. The city is more expensive than many places, but cheap eateries and free activities are abundant. Many backpackers stay in the Tsim Sha Shui area of Kowloon. This is where you'll find the frequently talked about Chungking Mansions. Times are changing though, and you'll find more hostels on Hong Kong Island these days as well.

Is Beijing or Hong Kong Better for Students?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Beijing is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Hong Kong is not popular with students.

Beijing is a great city to visit as a student. 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.

Hong Kong is not popular with students.


Is Beijing or Hong Kong Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an unbeatable place for its public transit. Also, Beijing is still popular, but not quite as popular for times when you don't have a car.

Visitors in Hong Kong can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. Land transportation includes the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, minibuses, and tramways. There are also ferries that connect the different parts of the city.

Many visitors rely on the effecient and affordable public transportation in Beijing. 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.

Is Beijing or Hong Kong a more walkable city?

Beijing
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an unbeatable place for its ease of walking around. However, Beijing is a city with minimal options for its walkability.

Getting around Hong Kong on foot is easy. The city has many parks and walking paths that connect different areas.

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.

For even more information, also check out Is Beijing Worth Visiting? and Is Hong Kong Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hong Kong or Beijing?

How long in Beijing or Hong Kong?

Both Beijing and Hong Kong have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Hong Kong has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Hong Kong than Beijing. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Hong Kong than Beijing. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Hong Kong, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Hong Kong than Beijing. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hong Kong that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Beijing than Hong Kong if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Beijing.


  • How many days in Beijing or Hong Kong? Ideal Length of Stay
    Beijing 3-7 
    Hong Kong 3-7

One day in Beijing or Hong Kong?

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 Hong Kong, you'll find nightlife and food. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A weekend in Beijing or Hong Kong?

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 Hong Kong, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Beijing or Hong Kong?

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.

Hong Kong is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Hong Kong has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Beijing or Hong Kong?

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 Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, you'll find museums and nightlife. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.


Which place is cheaper, Hong Kong or Beijing?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Beijing is $78, while the average daily cost in Hong Kong is $160. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Beijing and Hong Kong in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $40
    Hong Kong $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $80
    Hong Kong $150
Compare Hotels in Beijing and Hong Kong

Looking for a hotel in Beijing or Hong Kong? 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 Hong Kong


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: Hong Kong Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $7.68
    Hong Kong $8.72
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $4.74
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $6.95
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.34
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.22
  • Metro
    $0.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • [Airport Transfer] Beijing Capital Airport ⇔ Beijing City Transfer (one way) ☆ High reputation for service! <Charter charter>: $30
  • Visit Great Wall With Beijing Capital Airport Round-Way Transfer : $215
  • Ultimate Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall Discovery with Airport Transfer: $186
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Beijing HTL-APT (PEK): $47
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Beijing APT-HTL (PEK): $47
  • Transfers to Jinshanling Great Wall with professional driver: $95
  • Transfer to Daxing International Airport : $49
  • Transfer from Daxing International Airport: $49
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port to Beijing Capital Airport by private transfer: $148
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port Transfer from Beijing: $130
  • Tianjin Cruise Port to Beijing Daxing Airport by Private Transfer: $148
  • Tianjin Cruise Port Private Transfer to Beijing International Airport: $153

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • MTR (for 2)
    $2.81
  • Local Bus
    $2.81
  • Ferry Ticket
    $0.26
  • Hong Kong Airport Express Train Ticket
    $15

Is it cheaper to fly into Beijing or Hong Kong?

Prices for flights to both Hong Kong 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Beijing $21
    Hong Kong $33
Typical Food Prices in Beijing

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


  • Popcorn
    $0.83
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $6.95
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.78
  • Watermelon
    $1.95
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $17
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.83

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Beijing

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

  • Online Cooking Class Beijing Dumplings and Cuisine by Sunflowerli Renowned Chef : $20
  • Online Cooking Class Handmade Noodles by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Kungpao Chicken: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Orange Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • 3.5-Hour Walking Food Tour: A Bite of History at Beijing Niujie Street: $35
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $55
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $55
  • Temple of Heaven Private Tour w/Option Show &Dinner: $60
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Beijing back street evening food tour with locals : $75
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80
  • Acrobatic Show with Peking Duck Dinner Private Tour: $80

Typical Food Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • Dinner for 2
    $12

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $24
    Hong Kong $95
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
    $8.34
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $59
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $9.73
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
    $17
  • Forbidden City Tickets
    $17
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
    $11

Tours and Activities in Beijing

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

  • 1-Day Mutianyu Great Wall and Beijing Airport Drop off Tour: $235
  • 2-Day Small-Group Tour of Beijing Highlights: $259
  • 4 hours Deep Forbidden City Private Tour by Knowledgeable Guide.: $75
  • 4-Hour Beijing Layover Tour to Hutong from Daxing Airport: $145
  • All Inclusive Mutianyu Great Wall & Summer Palace Private Tour: $188
  • All Inclusive Private Summer Palace, Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour: $204
  • All Inclusive Private Tour: Juyongguan Greatwall, Sacred Road, MingTombs : $176
  • Beijing Art Tour: Seeing Fantastic Ming Murals at Fa Hai Temple : $220
  • Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with English Driver : $108
  • Beijing Mutianyu Great Wall Daily Tour with pick up-no shoping: $18
  • Beijing Private Tour of Ming Tombs, Summer Palace, Bird's Nest and Water Cube: $297
  • China Art Museum and 798 Art Zone Private Tour: $137

Typical Entertainment Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • Peak Tram
    $7.67
  • Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
    $24

Tours and Activities in Hong Kong

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

  • Plover Cove Bicycling and Hiking Adventure: $110
  • Ma On Shan Climbing Adventure: $115

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $12
    Hong Kong $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

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

  • Beijing Brewery Bike Tour: $99
  • Evening Food Private Tour with Brewery Taproom Hopping at Slow Boat in Beijing: $110
  • Full Day Private Chateau Changyu Wine Tour from Beijing: $163
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $228


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Beijing Expensive? and Is Hong Kong Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Beijing or Hong Kong?

Beijing has a larger population, and is about 7% larger than the population of Hong Kong. When comparing the sizes of Beijing and Hong Kong, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.