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

Should you visit Dalian or Harbin?

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

Should I visit Dalian or Harbin? 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 Harbin?

Dalian

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.

Harbin

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.

Which city is cheaper, Harbin or Dalian?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dalian is $83, while the average daily cost in Harbin is $44. 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 Dalian and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dalian $44
    Harbin $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dalian $88
    Harbin $34
Compare Hotels in Dalian and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Dalian 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 Dalian


Hotels in Harbin


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dalian $33
    Harbin $1.21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dalian

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

  • Private Round-Trip Transfer:Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport(DLC): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer:Hotel to Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport(DLC): $32
  • Private Departure Transfer: City Hotel to Any Guiyang Railway Station: $36
  • Private Arrival Transfer to Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport from Dalian Downtown: $36
  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Chauffeur Service , to Dalian Transfer: $27
  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Chauffeur Service , to Dalian Transfer: $40
  • Dalian Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Railway Station: $30
  • Dalian Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Railway Station: $89
  • Dalian Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $56
  • Dalian Private Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer to Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin HRB Airport: $400
  • Private Transfer to China's Snow Town from Harbin City: $400
  • Private Departure Transfer to Harbin HRB Airport from Yabuli Ski Resort: $399
  • Private Arrival Transfer to China's Snow Town from Harbin HRB Airport: $392
  • Private Transfer to Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin City: $350
  • Full-DayPrivateTransfer to Harbin Volga Manor&Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin City: $300
  • Full-DayPrivateTransfer to Harbin Volga Manor&Harbin City from Yabuli Ski Resort: $270
  • Private Day Transfer to Jihua Ski Resort from Harbin City: $250
  • Harbin Catholic Church Car Transfer Service: $200
  • Harbin Private Transfer from Harbin central to Harbin Taiping Airport (HRB): $131
  • Harbin Volga Manor Private Transfer Service 1- day Car Service with Driver: $130
  • Private Full Day Transfer Service to Harbin Top Winter Attractions: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Dalian or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Dalian $22
    Harbin $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • 3-hour Private Food Tour in Harbin: $100
  • Half-Day Private Harbin Beer Museum and Food Tour Including Harbin Beer1900: $150
  • Harbin Dumpling Cooking Class: $150
  • Hot Spring Experience with Hot Pot Dinner in Harbin: $160
  • 4-Hour Private Night Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World with Dinner Options: $250
  • Private Full Day Tour to Harbin Beifang Forest Zoo and Optional Seafood Dinner: $250

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dalian $3.89
    Harbin $43

Tours and Activities in Dalian

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

  • 3-Day Private Tibet Tour from Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake and Khampa La Pass: $925
  • 4 Days Private History and Culture Tour of Beijing and Xi'an: $1,088
  • 7-Day Private China Tour from Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin and Shanghai: $2,328
  • All Inclusive 2-Day Private Tour of Beijing City Highlights from Dalian by Air: $738
  • All Inclusive 3-Day Private Tour of Xi'an and Beijing from Dalian with Hotel: $1,278
  • All Inclusive Private Lushun(Port Arthur) Full-Day Tour: $300
  • All-Inclusive Private Dalian Port Layover Tour with Lunch: $300
  • Dalian City Highlight Private Day tour: $73
  • Dalian City Private Day Tour in Your Way: $150
  • Flexible Dalian City Highlights Private Day Tour with Lunch: $188
  • Private 2 Day Tour of Dalian City: $250
  • Private Dalian Night Tour: $200

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • "Harbin Planning Exhibition Hall" A guide tour.: $120
  • "Visit 5 Museums in Harbin" A guide tour.: $500
  • "Visit 5 universities in Harbin" A guide tour.: $400
  • "Visit Museum of Heilongjiang" - a guide tour.: $100
  • 1-Day Harbin Private Tour: $70
  • 2 Days Private Tour to Chagan Lake Winter Fishing from Harbin: $1,500
  • 2-Day Group City Tour Package with Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: $399
  • 2-Day Harbin City Private Tour in Your Way in Winter Season: $210
  • 2-Day Harbin City Private Tour with Ice and Snow Festival with Lunch: $340
  • 2-Day Leisure Private Tour Combo Package of Harbin Including Lunch: $627
  • 2-Day Private Tour to Volcanic Vent in Wudalianchi from Harbin: $1,000
  • 2-Day Private Trip to China Snow Town and Yabuli Ski Experience from Harbin: $1,150

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dalian $5.13
    Harbin $6.37


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dalian and Harbin, we can see that Dalian is more expensive. And not only is Harbin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Harbin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Harbin 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 Harbin.


When is the best time to visit Dalian or Harbin?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Dalian or Harbin in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Dalian and Harbin.


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In July, Dalian is generally around the same temperature as Harbin. Temperatures in Dalian average around 24°C (75°F), and Harbin stays around 24°C (75°F).

Harbin receives a lot of rain in the summer. Dalian gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Dalian usually receives more rain than Harbin. At this time of the year, Dalian gets 202 mm (8 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 153 mm (6 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Dalian 24°C (75°F) 
    Harbin 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Dalian or Harbin in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Dalian as well as Harbin.


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Dalian is much warmer than Harbin in the autumn. The temperature in Dalian is usually 15°C (58°F) in October, and Harbin stays around 7°C (44°F).

Dalian usually gets more rain in October than Harbin. Dalian gets 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 23 mm (0.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Dalian 15°C (58°F) 
    Harbin 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Dalian or Harbin in the Winter?

Both Harbin and Dalian are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.


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Harbin can be very cold during winter. Dalian can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Dalian is much warmer than Harbin. Typically, the winter temperatures in Dalian in January are around -4°C (25°F), and Harbin is about -18°C (-0°F).

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


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Dalian -4°C (25°F) 
    Harbin -18°C (-0°F)

Should I visit Dalian or Harbin in the Spring?

Both Harbin and Dalian during the spring are popular places to visit.


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In April, Dalian is generally a little warmer than Harbin. Temperatures in Dalian average around 11°C (51°F), and Harbin stays around 8°C (46°F).

Dalian usually gets more rain in April than Harbin. Dalian gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 21 mm (0.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Dalian 11°C (51°F) 
    Harbin 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Harbin and Dalian

Dalian Harbin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -4°C (25°F) 9 mm (0.4 in) -18°C (-0°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb -2°C (28°F) 12 mm (0.5 in) -14°C (7°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 4°C (38°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) -3°C (26°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 11°C (51°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 8°C (46°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 15°C (60°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 21°C (69°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 21°C (70°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 24°C (75°F) 202 mm (8 in) 24°C (75°F) 153 mm (6 in)
Aug 25°C (77°F) 132 mm (5.2 in) 22°C (72°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)
Sep 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 15°C (58°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 7°C (44°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Nov 7°C (44°F) 26 mm (1 in) -4°C (24°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Dec -0°C (32°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) -14°C (7°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)


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Dalian vs. Harbin Travel Comparison

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