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

Should you visit Dalian or Harbin?

Should I visit Dalian or Harbin? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

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 $92, while the average daily cost in Harbin is $49. 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 Dalian and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $98 in Dalian For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $38 in Harbin For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dalian $49
    Harbin $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dalian $98
    Harbin $38

Food

In Dalian travelers spend around $24 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.

On average, meal and food prices in Harbin cost around $12 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $4.80.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Dalian $24
    Harbin $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dalian

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • 3-hour Private Food Tour in Harbin: $100
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137
  • 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

Local Transportation

Dalian's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $37 per person, per day on transportation in Dalian.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Harbin than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $1.34 on transportation in Harbin on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dalian $37
    Harbin $1.34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dalian

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

  • [Up to 20% Off] Private City Transfers for Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing : $23
  • [Up to 15% Off for Round Trip Transfers] Private Beijing Capital Airport Transfers (PEK) for Beijing : $37
  • Yangshuo and Li River Highlights Day Tour with Transfers: $111
  • Shared Shenzhen Airport (SZX) Coach Transfers for Hong Kong (Trans-Island): $12
  • Shared Hong Kong International Airport Transfers (HKG) for Shenzhen: $15
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shunde and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shenzhen Bay Port and Hong Kong (Trans-island): $6.45
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Panyu and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $11
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Hong Kong and Huadu by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers Between Hong Kong and Zhaoqing by EE Bus: $12

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
  • Private City Transfers between Zhongshan and Hong Kong: $313
  • Full-DayPrivateTransfer to Harbin Volga Manor&Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin City: $300
  • Private City Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong: $296
  • Private City Transfers between Guangzhou and Hong Kong: $283
  • Full-DayPrivateTransfer to Harbin Volga Manor&Harbin City from Yabuli Ski Resort: $270
  • Private Day Transfer to Jihua Ski Resort from Harbin City: $250
  • Private City Transfers between Huizhou and Hong Kong : $230

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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Dalian can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $4.30 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing expenses in Harbin, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $47 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dalian $4.30
    Harbin $47

Tours and Activities in Dalian

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 2 Days Shanghai Private Tour: $178
  • 2D1N Mount Emei Monastery Cultural Tour: $51
  • 2D1N Mount Emei Tour from Chengdu: $199
  • 2D1N Mount Emei and the Leshan Giant Buddha Tour from Chengdu: $216
  • 3 Day Essential Hangzhou Private Tour: $297
  • 3 Day Guilin Highlights & Rice Terraces Private Tour: $222
  • 3-Day Private Tibet Tour from Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake and Khampa La Pass: $925
  • 4 Day Guilin and Yangshuo Private Tour: $348
  • 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

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • "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 Days Shanghai Private Tour: $178
  • 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

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Dalian, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.68.

Typically, people visiting Harbin spend on average $7.04 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dalian $5.68
    Harbin $7.04


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.

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Dalian vs. Harbin Travel Comparison

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