A Travel Price Comparison for China Dalian vs. Beijing for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Dalian or Beijing?

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

Should I visit Dalian or Beijing? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Dalian or Beijing?


Dalian, China is a very large peninsula city located in the southernmost part of the Liaoning Province in northeast China. The area has a wealth of history, with roots in Russian and Japanese rule, resulting in unique architecture and many universities that attract foreign students and teachers. Dalian is also known for their beautiful green spaces and relaxing beaches which juxtapose a lot of the more industrial cities found throughout other areas of northern China.


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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to China, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in China, The Best Historical Tours in China, and The Best 10-Day Tours in China.

Which place is cheaper, Beijing or Dalian?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dalian is $103, while the average daily cost in Beijing is $77. 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 Dalian and Beijing in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dalian $54
    Beijing $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dalian $108
    Beijing $78
Compare Hotels in Dalian and Beijing

Looking for a hotel in Dalian or Beijing? 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 Dalian

Hotels in Beijing

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.
    Dalian $41
    Beijing $7.65

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dalian

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

  • Dalian Private Arrival Transfer: Railway Station to City Hotel: $33
  • Dalian Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Railway Station: $32
  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Chauffeur Service , to Dalian Transfer: $27
  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Chauffeur Service , to Dalian Transfer: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer: City Hotel to Any Guiyang Railway Station: $38

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:

  • Beijing to Zun Hua Explore Qing Emperor's Tombs By Car Transfer : $285
  • Beijing Layover Private Tour: City Highlights With Airport Transfer: $250
  • Beijing Layover of Comprehensive City Tour With Airport Transfer: $240
  • Private Transfer from Tianjin Cruise Port to Beijing with stop at Great Wall : $221
  • Private Transfer between Beijing and Bashang Grassland in Mulan Weichang: $208
  • Private Transfer between Beijing and Qinhuangdao: $208
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with Round Airport Transfers: $208
  • Private Round Trip Transfer to Chengde from Beijing with English speaking driver: $208
  • Private Transfer between Beijing and Beidaihe: $208
  • Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City Private Tour With Airport Transfer: $205
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Private Tour: Forbidden City with Round Airport transfers: $198
  • Private Roundtrip Transfer to Gubei Water Town/Simatai: $194

Is it cheaper to fly into Dalian or Beijing?

Prices for flights to both Beijing and Dalian 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
    Dalian $27
    Beijing $21

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 Orange Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Kungpao Chicken: $20
  • 3.5-Hour Walking Food Tour: A Bite of History at Beijing Niujie Street: $49
  • 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
  • Mogolian Hot Pot Dinner with no limit soft drink and local beer .: $70
  • discovery more Beijing back street evening food tour with locals : $79
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80
  • Acrobatic Show with Peking Duck Dinner Private Tour: $80
  • Discovery more local Beijing evening food Tour: $89
  • Private Nightlife Trip to See Wonderful Acrobatic Show Enjoy Delicious Barbecue Buffet Dinner: $96

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dalian $4.79
    Beijing $24

Tours and Activities in Dalian

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

  • Dalian City Private Day Tour in Your Way: $159

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:

  • 4-Hour Beijing Layover Tour to Hutong from Daxing Airport: $145
  • All Inclusive Mutianyu Great Wall & Summer Palace Private Tour: $188
  • All Inclusive Private Tour: Juyongguan Greatwall, Sacred Road, MingTombs : $176
  • Beijing 2 Summer Palace Private Garden Tour: $140
  • Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with English Driver : $100
  • Beijing Private Tour of Ming Tombs, Summer Palace, Bird's Nest and Water Cube: $297
  • China Art Museum and 798 Art Zone Private Tour: $137
  • Classic One Day Beijing Tour: $290
  • Forbidden City Tour : $110
  • Full Day Private Tour Incredible Beijing City Highlights: $179
  • Jinshanling&Gubeikou Great Wall Private Guided Tour : $140
  • Lama temple -Confucius temple - DongYue temple Private Cultural Tour: $156

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dalian $6.32
    Beijing $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Beijing:

  • Private Tour-Bejing Old Hutong Food Tasting+Local Brewery Beer: $110
  • Full Day Private Chateau Changyu Wine Tour from Beijing: $162
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $238

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dalian and Beijing, we can see that Dalian is more expensive. And not only is Beijing much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. 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 Dalian would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dalian than you might in Beijing.

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

Which is Bigger, Dalian or Beijing?

Beijing has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Dalian. When comparing the sizes of Dalian and Beijing, 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.

When is the best time to visit Dalian or Beijing?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Dalian or Beijing in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Dalian as well as Beijing. Additionally, most visitors come to Beijing for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Dalian is cooler than Beijing in the summer. The daily temperature in Dalian averages around 24°C (75°F) in July, and Beijing fluctuates around 27°C (80°F).

It's quite rainy in Beijing. Dalian receives a lot of rain in the summer. Dalian usually gets more rain in July than Beijing. Dalian gets 202 mm (8 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 176 mm (6.9 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Dalian 24°C (75°F) 
    Beijing 27°C (80°F)

Should I visit Dalian or Beijing in the Autumn?

Both Beijing and Dalian are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Beijing because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Dalian is around the same temperature as Beijing. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Dalian in October average around 15°C (58°F), and Beijing averages at about 14°C (56°F).

In October, Dalian usually receives more rain than Beijing. Dalian gets 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Dalian 15°C (58°F) 
    Beijing 14°C (56°F)

Should I visit Dalian or Beijing in the Winter?

Both Beijing and Dalian during the winter are popular places to visit. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Beijing this time of year.

It's quite cold in Beijing in the winter. The weather in Dalian can be very cold. In January, Dalian is generally around the same temperature as Beijing. Daily temperatures in Dalian average around -4°C (25°F), and Beijing fluctuates around -4°C (26°F).

Dalian usually gets more rain in January than Beijing. Dalian gets 9 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Dalian -4°C (25°F) 
    Beijing -4°C (26°F)

Should I visit Dalian or Beijing in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Dalian and Beijing. Also, many travelers come to Beijing for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

Dalian is cooler than Beijing in the spring. The daily temperature in Dalian averages around 11°C (51°F) in April, and Beijing fluctuates around 14°C (57°F).

In April, Dalian usually receives more rain than Beijing. Dalian gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 26 mm (1 in) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Dalian 11°C (51°F) 
    Beijing 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for Beijing and Dalian

Dalian Beijing
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -4°C (25°F) 9 mm (0.4 in) -4°C (26°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb -2°C (28°F) 12 mm (0.5 in) -1°C (30°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 4°C (38°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 6°C (42°F) 9 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 11°C (51°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 14°C (57°F) 26 mm (1 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 20°C (68°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Jun 21°C (69°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 25°C (76°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Jul 24°C (75°F) 202 mm (8 in) 27°C (80°F) 176 mm (6.9 in)
Aug 25°C (77°F) 132 mm (5.2 in) 25°C (78°F) 182 mm (7.2 in)
Sep 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 20°C (69°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 15°C (58°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 14°C (56°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Nov 7°C (44°F) 26 mm (1 in) 5°C (41°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Dec -0°C (32°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) -1°C (29°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)