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

Should you visit Beijing or Washington?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Beijing and Washington can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

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.

Washington

Washington, DC is the capital city of the United States of America. It is also a city rich in history and culture. The city dates back to 1791 when the states of Maryland and Virginia donated the land to create the capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land that was ceded by Virginia and in 1871 it created a single municipal government with the remaining area. Today, Washington, DC has a population of over 600,000 people. The metropolitan area includes suburbs in Maryland and Virginia and has a population of about 5.8 million.

Which city is cheaper, Washington or Beijing?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Beijing is $69, while the average daily cost in Washington is $155. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Beijing and Washington in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Beijing is $70. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $182 in Washington For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $35
    Washington $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $70
    Washington $182

Food

In Beijing travelers spend around $18 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about $30 per day in Washington for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Beijing $18
    Washington $30
Typical Food prices in Beijing

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


  • Popcorn
    $0.93
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $7.72
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $3.09
  • Watermelon
    $2.16
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $18
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.93

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
  • Path Hutong Food Tour: $30
  • Kung fu Show and Peking Roasted Duck Dinner: $58
  • Private Temple of Heaven Walking Tour with Peking Duck Dinner or Kung Fu Show: $62
  • Acrobatic Show w/ Peking Duck Dinner Private: $68
  • Beijing Historical Center with Peking Opera and Duck Dinner: $69
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $69
  • 4-Hour Peking Duck Dinner & Kung Fu Show Night: $80
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80
  • Vegetarian / Peking Duck / Hotpot Dinner with Kungfu Show Private Tour: $90
  • Authentic Local Food Tour in Center Beijing: $90

Typical Food prices in Washington

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


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

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

  • Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle: $65
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $76
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: DC Morning Food Tour on H Street: $79
  • Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience: $79
  • Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour: $79
  • Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner: $81
  • U Street Neighborhood Food Tour: $89
  • Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $100
  • Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC: $108
  • Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise: $122

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.83 per day to get around in Beijing.

To get around in Washington, the average visitor spends $37 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $6.83
    Washington $37
Typical Local Transportation prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $5.27
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $7.72
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $9.26
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.47
  • Metro
    $0.62

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 Washington

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


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

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

  • Airport Transfer to and from Dulles International IAD Airport: $160
  • DCA Private 1-Way Transfer from D.C. City Center Hotels: $97
  • DCA to D.C. City Center Hotels: 1-Way Private Transfer: $102
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Business Car: $118
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury SUV: $154
  • Departure Private Transfers : Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury Van: $154
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Business Car: $119
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury SUV: $151
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury Van: $159
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $78
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van: $82

Is it cheaper to fly into Beijing or Washington?

Prices for flights to both Washington 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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Beijing. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

In Washington, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $21
    Washington $19
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
    $9.26
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $66
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $11
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
    $19
  • Forbidden City Tickets
    $19
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
    $12

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 Washington

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

  • The National Mall: Discover the monuments and their memories on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Tidal Basin: Stroll around the cherry blossoms and monuments on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Lincoln's Assassination: Explore Lincoln's final day on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • The Kennedy Homes: Explore the colonial architecture on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Washington DC: Arlington Nat. Cemetery Ticket & Tram Tour: $15
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King Memorial: $18
  • Virtual Tour African American Heritage in Washington DC: $19
  • DC: Museum of the Bible Exclusive Early Admission Ticket: $20
  • Washington, DC: US Capitol Building Entry with 1-Hour Tour: $20
  • Haunted History Ghost Tour: $21

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Beijing may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $10 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Washington, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $10
    Washington $15

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting: $120
  • NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV: $645
  • 6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour: $920


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

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Beijing vs. Washington Travel Comparison

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