A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Beijing vs. Ulaanbaatar for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Beijing or Ulaanbaatar?

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 Ulaanbaatar 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 Ulaanbaatar?


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.


Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia's capital city. It has a population of slightly over two million people, or about sixty percent of the country's entire population. You are likely to arrive in Ulaanbaatar either by train, coming from China or Russia, or by plane. Many people use Ulaanbaatar as a stop off while doing the Transsiberian Railway. The city is a great place to organize a tour of the surrounding countryside. It's also good city to relax, so make sure you allow yourself a few days to recover from your tour, enjoy some of the great food options, and see some of the fascinating cultural sights around town.

Which place is cheaper, Ulaanbaatar 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 Ulaanbaatar is $25. 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 Ulaanbaatar in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $40
    Ulaanbaatar $12
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $80
    Ulaanbaatar $24
Compare Hotels in Beijing and Ulaanbaatar

Looking for a hotel in Beijing or Ulaanbaatar? 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 Ulaanbaatar

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: Ulaanbaatar Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $7.68
    Ulaanbaatar $2.95
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:

  • Jinshanling Great Wall Self-hiking Tour by Private Transfer Service : $98
  • Private English Transfer to Shilin Gorge Platform And Ming City Wall : $140
  • Private One-Way Transfer Between Beijing Railway Station and Hotel: $30
  • Private Round Transfers to Gubei Water Town & Night View of Simatai Great Wall: $184
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Private Tour: Forbidden City with Round Airport transfers: $198
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with Round Airport Transfers: $208
  • 1-Day Bejing Layover Tour:Mutianyu Great Wall,Forbidden City & Airport Transfers: $250
  • 1-Way Private Transfer between Beijing Airport and City Hotels: $30
  • 4-Hour Huanghuacheng Great Wall Sunset Tour with Airport Transfer: $160
  • 5 Hours Round Trip Transfer Service to Mutianyu Great Wall: $70
  • Acrobatic Show at Red Theater With Private Transfer: $45
  • Acrobatics Show with Private Driver Service and Hotel Round Transfer: $65

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ulaanbaatar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Ulaanbaatar:

  • 2024 Ulaanbaatar Airport Transfer & Taxi Shuttle Service - Best!: $20
  • Airport transfer service: $50
  • Mongolia Private Airport Transfer: $40
  • New Ulaanbaatar International Airport Transfer Service: $45
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan Airport: $31
  • Private Transfer Ulaanbaatar Airport ULN to Ulaanbaatar City : $28
  • Private Transfer between New Ulaanbaatar International Airport and Ulaanbaatar : $60
  • Private Transfer from Chinggis Khaan Airport to Ulaanbaatar: $38
  • Private Transfer from Ulaanbaatar to or from Terelj National Park: $60
  • Private Transfer to Ulaanbaatar Airport ULN by Business Vehicle: $28
  • Transfer service to Terelj national park : $51
  • Ulaanbaatar Airport Transfer: $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Beijing or Ulaanbaatar?

Prices for flights to both Ulaanbaatar 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 $21
    Ulaanbaatar $9.06
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 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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ulaanbaatar

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

  • Cooking Class in a Traditional Ger Home in Ulaanbaatar Suburbs: $84
  • Farm to Table: Organic Farm Visit and Mongolian Cooking Class: $100

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $24
    Ulaanbaatar $4.48
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:

  • Entry Ticket to Forbidden City or Tian’anmen Square in Beijing: $3.00
  • Beijing's Old Hutongs: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $4.99
  • Beijing's Old Hutongs: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.34
  • The Forbidden City or Tiananmen Square Entry Ticket: $5.78
  • Temple of Heaven Ticket: $6.50
  • Temple of Heaven Ticket Booking: $6.50
  • Beijing Lama Temple Entrance Ticket with Optional Guided Service: $7.00
  • Beijing The Forbidden City Ticket OR Tiananmen Square : $7.00
  • The Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) Entrance Ticket: $8.00
  • Beijing Summer Palace Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $8.00
  • Confucius Temple and Imperial College Entrance Ticket : $8.00
  • Beijing Temple of Heaven Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $8.00

Tours and Activities in Ulaanbaatar

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

  • Terelj National Park: Tour with horse riding and hiking: $4.00
  • Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex and Sain Nomun Monastery Tour : $35
  • Private custom tour with a local guide: $48
  • Ulaanbatar : Private Custom Tour With A Local Guide : $49
  • Genghis Khan Statue Tour: $57
  • Traditional Music and Dance Performance Ticket: $69
  • Day Coach Tour of Aglag Buteel Monastery and Meditation Center Including Lunch : $72
  • Genghis Khan Statue Tour + Bonus Gorkhi-Terelj National Park One Day tour: $79
  • Genghis Khan Statue One Day Tour +Bonus Terelj National Park And Aryabal Temple: $80
  • Ancient Fine Arts with Honored Masters - UB City Experience: $82
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj National Park Including Lunch: $83
  • Day Tour of Hustai National Park: $83

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $12
    Ulaanbaatar $3.88

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

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

Which is Bigger, Beijing or Ulaanbaatar?

Beijing has a larger population, and is about 9 times larger than the population of Ulaanbaatar. When comparing the sizes of Beijing and Ulaanbaatar, 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.