A Travel Price Comparison for China Chengdu vs. Harbin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chengdu or Harbin?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Chengdu and Harbin. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Chengdu or Harbin?


Chengdu is in China's Sichuan Provence and is in what is known as the Red Basin. It is a particularly fertile region in China that is known for its agriculture. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as the "Land of Milk and Honey". The Funan River cuts through the city but has almost no boat traffic anymore. The city itself has a wonderful relaxed vibe compared to the rest of China and is filled with green parks and places to relax. It is considered one of the most livable cities in China.


Harbin, China is the northernmost major city in the country, with a population of over 10 million. Harbin was founded in 1897 by Russia, which has resulted in a lot of Russian influence throughout the city and many Russian citizens. The city is most famous for their annual International Snow and Ice Festival, a two-month-long festival running from January through February of each year.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in China, The Best Luxury Tours to China, The Best Budget Tours to China, and The Best Tours for Seniors to China.

Which place is cheaper, Harbin or Chengdu?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chengdu is $50, while the average daily cost in Harbin is $54. 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 Chengdu and Harbin in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chengdu $21
    Harbin $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chengdu $42
    Harbin $42
Compare Hotels in Chengdu and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Chengdu or Harbin? 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 Chengdu

Hotels in Harbin

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chengdu $5.94
    Harbin $1.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chengdu

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chengdu:

  • [Airport Transfer] Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport Kosheng City Transfer High reputation for service! : $22
  • Sichuan Face Changing Opera With Door to Door Private Transfer: $52
  • Round-Trip Private Transfer between Emei Shan and Chengdu City: $113
  • Private Transfer to Leshan Giant Buddha: $100
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu to Mount Emei and Stops at Leshan Giant Buddha: $160
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu hotel to Chengdu Train Station: $27
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu Shuangliu Airport to Chengdu Hotel: $52
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu Hotel to Chengdu Shuangliu Airport: $52
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu Hotel to Chengdu Shuangliu Airport: $52
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu City Hotels to Airport: $35
  • Private Transfer Chengdu (TFU & CTU) Airport Pickup Service: $29
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer:Chengdu Shuangliu Airport or Chengdu Tianfu Airport : $67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Any Harbin Railway Station : $25
  • Harbin Airport (HRB) : Private Arrival Transfer with Meet & Greet Service: $32
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $27
  • Harbin City Car Transfer Service with Driver: $168
  • Harbin Private Transfer from Harbin Airport (HRB) to central Harbin: $116
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Harbin West Railway Station to Harbin City Hotel: $65
  • Private Departure Transfer to Harbin Railway Station from Harbin City Hotel: $50
  • Private Full Day Transfer Service to Harbin Top Winter Attractions: $168
  • Private HRB Airport Arrival Transfer to Harbin City Hotel: $70
  • Private HRB Airport Departure Transfer from Harbin City Hotel: $70
  • Shared Night Transfer Service to Harbin Ice and Snow World: $85

Is it cheaper to fly into Chengdu or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin and Chengdu 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
    Chengdu $22
    Harbin $14

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chengdu

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

  • Sichuan Opera Face-Changing Show And Hotpot Dinner Evening Tour: $40
  • Half-Day Chinese Bun Cooking Class with Local Spice Market Visit: $56
  • Private Sichuan Cooking Class including Local Wet Market Visit: $59
  • Chengdu evening food tour by local guide: $61
  • Half day Chengdu Dumpling making Cooking Class: Make from Scratch: $62
  • Half-Day Chengdu Cooking Class with Local Market Visit: $66
  • Tuktuk Food Tour Through Chengdu's Local Eats: $69
  • Half-Day Professional Mapo Tofu Cooking Class with Local Spice Market Visit: $69
  • Chengdu Hotpot Food Tour With Local Spice Market Visit: $71
  • Half Day Chengdu Tofu Making Class with Mapo Tofu Cooking: $72
  • Sichuan Opera Show VIP Seat Tickets w/ Transfer or Dinner: $73
  • Half-Day Chengdu Farm Cooking Class & Spice Market Exploration: $75

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • 4-Hour Private Night Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World with Dinner Options: $261
  • Private Full Day Tour to Harbin Beifang Forest Zoo and Optional Seafood Dinner: $261

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chengdu $16
    Harbin $53

Tours and Activities in Chengdu

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

  • Chengdu Leshan Buddha and Drop off off Railway Station Day Tour: $226
  • Private Chengdu Panda Base and Sichuan Cuisine Museum Day Tour: $120
  • Private Chengdu day Tour of panda base with Leshan giant Buddha: $298
  • Private Full Day Chengdu Panda Base and Jinsha Site Museum Tour: $136
  • Private Leshan Buddha Day Tour with Local Market visiting: $160
  • 1 Day Wolong Panda Nature Reserve Tour: $218
  • 1 day Dujiangyan + Jiezi Old town Mini Group tour: $83
  • 1-Day Chengdu Cultural Discovery:Jinsha,Shu Brocade Museum & Dufu Cottage Tour : $189
  • 1-Day Chengdu Cultural Tour: Ancient Poets and Temples: $189
  • 1-Day Chengdu Leshan Giant Buddha Private Tour With the Lunch and Boat tour: $242
  • 1-Day Chengdu Panda Base and Leshan Giant Buddha GROUP Tour: $144
  • 1-Day Chengdu Panda Base and Leshan Giant Buddha Private Tour with the Lunch: $246

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • Half Day Tour for Harbin Guandong Ancient Lane and Wood Sculpture Museum: $104
  • 1-Day Harbin Private Tour: $130
  • 4-Hour Private Tour of the Largest Indoor Ice and Snow Paradise: $136
  • Private Half Day City Tour including Russian Town and Harbin Ropeway Ride: $150
  • Private Half Day Tour Harbin ConfucianTemple and Temple of Bliss (Jile Si): $157
  • Harbin City Guided Tour to Zhongyang Street and Sophia Church: $180
  • Small Group Night Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World: $198
  • Harbin Ice Festival New Year Eve Countdown Group Tour on December 31: $200
  • Harbin City Private Day Tour in Your Way in Winter Season: $200
  • Private Harbin Ice Festival Night Tour: $209
  • Private Customized Harbin City Day Tour by Public Transportation: $220
  • Revolving Restaurant Dining Experience at Harbin Dragon Tower: $250

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chengdu $3.94
    Harbin $7.85

When comparing the travel costs between Chengdu and Harbin, we can see that Harbin is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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

Which is Bigger, Chengdu or Harbin?

Chengdu has a larger population, and is about 22% larger than the population of Harbin. When comparing the sizes of Chengdu and Harbin, 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.