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

Should you visit Beijing or Madrid?

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 Madrid 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 historic, massive, and jam-packed city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Madrid

Madrid is a compact, friendly, and cultural city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Other popular activities here include nightlife, live music, and food.

Beijing and Madrid: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


How is Beijing different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Beijing
Madrid

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

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.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Madrid. There are a number of cultural sights in the city including Museo Nacional del Prado, the Royal Palace and Gardens, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.


Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Food?

Beijing
Madrid

Dining out at restaurants in both Beijing and Madrid 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 Madrid, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Beijing
Madrid

It's hard to distinguish whether Beijing or Madrid 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.

Madrid is a world class party destination. Many tourists and international students hang out in the Huertas area, while Malasaña has a bohemian, hipster vibe with small clubs that play indie music. Chueca is a fun area that's known for being gay-friendly with many good bars. Finally, you'll find that the area around Avenida de Brasil is where famous DJs often perform.

Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Shopping?

Beijing
Madrid

Shopping is a popular activity in both Madrid 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.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Madrid. Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.

Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Families?

Beijing
Madrid

Both Beijing and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a very family-friendly destination. Kids love splashing around at Madrid Río, taking a ride on the cable car (Teleférico), and exploring the city's many parks and playgrounds. There's even a maze at Sabatini Gardens. Restaurants around the city are also very kid-friendly.


Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Couples?

Beijing
Madrid

Both Beijing and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Fun and romantic activities around town include taking a boat ride at Casa de Campo, riding a bike in one of the many parks, and enjoy dinner and show in the evening.

Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Beijing
Madrid

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

Beijing is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. 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.

Many backpackers frequent Madrid. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Students?

Beijing
Madrid

Beijing and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a very popular place to visit for students. With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.

Is Beijing or Madrid Better for Public Transit?

Beijing
Madrid

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

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.

Madrid has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.


Is Beijing or Madrid a more walkable city?

Beijing
Madrid

Madrid is more walkable than Beijing.

Getting around Madrid on foot is easy. Most tourists stay in the central part of Madrid where it's compact and relatively easy to walk to most tourist sights.

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.

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Beijing?

How long in Beijing or Madrid?

In either Beijing or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Beijing than Madrid 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 Madrid is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Beijing or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Beijing 3-7 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Beijing or Madrid?

Beijing is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Madrid, you'll find shopping and museums. 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 Madrid?

Beijing is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

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

Five days in Beijing or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Beijing. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Madrid is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Madrid has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Beijing or Madrid?

Beijing is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Madrid. Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Madrid. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Which city is cheaper, Madrid or Beijing?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Beijing is $62, while the average daily cost in Madrid is $111. 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 Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $32
    Madrid $62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $64
    Madrid $124
Compare Hotels in Beijing and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Beijing or Madrid? 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 Madrid


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 Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $6.17
    Madrid $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $4.76
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $6.97
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.36
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.23
  • Metro
    $0.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Private 2-Day Xi'an Tour From Your Beijing's hotel Including Transfer Service: $1,680
  • Private Day Trip Of Xi'an From Your Beijing's hotel Including Transfer Service: $1,100
  • Private Day tour of Xi'an From Beijing Including Transfer Service: $1,000
  • Beijing to Xi'an See Terracotta Warriors with Bullet Train Round Trip Transfer: $564
  • 3-Days Classic Beijing Sightseeing Tour with Layover Airport Transfer Option: $560
  • All-Inclusive Tianjin Port Transfer with Classical Beijing 2-day Tour: $540
  • 2-Day Customizable Beijing Highlight Tour with Airport Transfer Option: $520
  • Private 3-Day Beijing Highlights Tour with Tianjin Port Transfer: $514
  • Simatai Great Wall & Beijing City 4-Day Private Tour Package + Airport Transfer: $513
  • Chongli Ski Resorts Private Transfer from Beijing City: $480
  • 4 Days Beijing Sightseeing with Airport (Train Station) Transfer: $455
  • 2 Days Beijing to Feng Ning Ba Shang Grassland tour with private transfer: $448

Typical Local Transportation prices in Madrid

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Madrid are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

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

  • Airport Transfer Chauffeur Drive: $122
  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car MAD to Madrid: $51
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Car MAD to Madrid: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer MAD to Madrid in a Minibus: $140
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Avila City by Business Car: $247
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Luxury Van: $70
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Standard Minibus: $126
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid MAD to Madrid, Toledo or Avila Luxury Van: $69
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Car: $58
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Van: $56
  • DUCA - Hassle-Free transfer from Madrid to Vicentine Coast: $743
  • Departure Private Transfer Luxury Car Madrid to MAD: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Beijing or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid 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 $17
    Madrid $29
Typical Food prices in Beijing

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


  • Popcorn
    $0.84
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $6.97
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.79
  • Watermelon
    $1.95
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $17
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.84

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 Madrid

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Madrid:


  • Coffee
    $2.08
  • Ice Cream
    $3.12
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    $16
  • Croissant
    $1.56
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Madrid

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

  • Virtual Cooking Class: The Spanish Paella Experience: $24
  • Florida Retiro Dinner Show: $38
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $49
  • Virtual cooking - spanish "tortilla de patatas": $50
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $50
  • Flamenco Workshop and Show with Dinner and Drinks: $51
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $52
  • Homemade pasta cooking class and lunch in the heart of Madrid: $58
  • Mamaz Social Italian Dinner in Madrid: $60
  • 3-hour Virtual Spanish Cooking Class in Madrid: $62
  • Iberico Ham and Spanish Wine Small-Group Food Tour: $67
  • Authentic Italian Dinner in Madrid: $68

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $19
    Madrid $28
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
    $8.36
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $59
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $9.76
  • 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 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 Madrid

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Madrid.

  • Prado Museum Self-Guided Audio Tour App: $3.97
  • Madrid's Private Tour with your Family: Highlights & Hidden Gems: $4.04
  • A local's Tuck into the city's history and some tapas on an audio tour: $5.00
  • History Tour of The Town Too High To Die Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Let's Tapear! The Madrid Tapas Route Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid from the Inquisition to Multiculturalism Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid Private Tour: Fun Old Town Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Skip the Line: Museo Lázaro Galdiano Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Madrid 90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Ticket for the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid: $9.95
  • Tours from Home: Intro to Madrid: $10
  • 2 Hours Secrets of Madrid Retiro Park Tour: $11

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $9.43
    Madrid $16

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 Madrid

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Madrid are as follows:


  • Beer
    $5.21
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Madrid

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Madrid:

  • Pub Crawl in Madrid: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid by Madpartycrew: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $32
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $43
  • Madrid Tapas and Mysteries Walking Tour with Private Option and Pub Crawl: $47
  • Wine Tasting and Flamenco Master Class in Madrid: $58
  • Segovia and Spanish Versailles Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting: $62
  • Old Town Madrid Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $82
  • Gourmet Tapas & Wine Tasting Experience In Madrid: $91
  • Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour: $93
  • Madrid Tapas Diaries- A Premium Food & Wine Tour in the old city of Madrid: $123


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Beijing and Madrid, we can see that Madrid 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 Madrid 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 Madrid would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Madrid than you might in Beijing.

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Beijing vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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