A Travel Price Comparison for China Beijing vs. Shangri-La for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Beijing or Shangri-La?

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 Shangri-La 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 Shangri-La?

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.

Shangri-La

The original Shangri-La existed in the fictional world of James Hilton's novel "The Lost Horizon." It was a hidden paradise, a place so beautiful that it couldn't possibly exist on earth. The Shangri-La that exists in Yunnan, China today was renamed from its former title Zhongdian in 2001 in order to associate the place with the mystical allure created in Hilton's novel. Visitors come to admire the traditional monasteries and temples set against a backdrop of mountain preserves and pristine lakes.

Which city is cheaper, Shangri-La or Beijing?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Beijing is $63, while the average daily cost in Shangri-La is $38. 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 Shangri-La in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $32
    Shangri-La $15
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $64
    Shangri-La $30

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $6.21
    Shangri-La $8.44
Typical Local Transportation prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $4.79
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $7.01
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.42
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.24
  • Metro
    $0.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Beijing Train Stations: $20
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Beijing Train Stations to Hotel: $20
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Beijing to Beijing Capital Int. Airport (PEK): $21
  • Transfer from Beijing hotel downtown to Beijing International Airport: $21
  • Beijing Airport Transfer: $21
  • Private Airport Transfer: Beijing Nanyuan Airport (NAY) to Beijing: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Beijing to Beijing Nanyuan Airport (NAY): $23
  • Beijing Railway Station Departure Transfer: Hotel/Apartment to Railway Station: $23
  • Private airport transfer to or from Peking International Airport max 15 Persons: $23
  • Private airport transfer to or from Peking International Airport Max 15 persons: $24
  • Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) Private Departure Transfer: $24
  • Private Airport Transfer: Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) to Beijing: $24

Is it cheaper to fly into Beijing or Shangri-La?

Prices for flights to both Shangri-La 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
    Shangri-La $15
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
    $7.01
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.81
  • Watermelon
    $1.96
  • 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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $19
    Shangri-La $13
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
    $8.42
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $60
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $9.82
  • 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:

  • Temple of Heaven Tickets Booking: $4.00
  • MTY test product for tours: $5.00
  • Beijing Summer Palace Admission Ticket: $5.13
  • Train Tickets in China: $5.34
  • Private Tailor made tour for your family only in China around: $5.34
  • Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts Admission Ticket: $6.45
  • Beijing Temple of Heaven Admission Ticket: $7.06
  • Summer Palace Tickets Booking: $8.00
  • Beijing Forbidden City Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $8.21
  • Beijing Automobile Museum Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Skip the Line: Beijing Forbidden City Admission Ticket: $8.80
  • Skip the Line: Forbidden City Tickets & Optional Guide Tours: $8.88

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $9.49
    Shangri-La $10

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 Shangri-La, we can see that Beijing is more expensive. And not only is Shangri-La much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Shangri-La would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Shangri-La 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 Shangri-La.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Beijing vs. Shangri-La Travel Comparison

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