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

Should you visit Guangzhou or Harbin?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Guangzhou and Harbin can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Guangzhou or Harbin?

Guangzhou

With a population of more than 12 million, Guangzhou is the third largest city in China after Beijing and Shanghai. Though it has a long history, founded in 214 BC, the city has also many modern attractions, a mix of the old and new with temples and parks as well as skyscrapers and shopping centers. Its location on the Pearl River has contributed to this growth, making Guangzhou a major port and commercial hub.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in China, The Best 2-Week Tours in China, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in China, and The Best Adventure Tours to China.


Which place is cheaper, Harbin or Guangzhou?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Guangzhou is $88, 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 Guangzhou and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guangzhou $57
    Harbin $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guangzhou $114
    Harbin $42
Compare Hotels in Guangzhou and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Guangzhou 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 Guangzhou


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.
    Guangzhou $14
    Harbin $1.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guangzhou

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Guangzhou:

  • Zhuhai City Private Arrival Transfer from Guangzhou Baiyun Int'l Airport : $108
  • Shenzhen Day Tour from Guangzhou by Round Way Private Transfer: $255
  • Private Transfer: Guangzhou hotel to Guangzhou Baiyun Airport: $37
  • Private Transfer: Guangzhou Baiyun Airport to Guangzhou hotel: $33
  • Private Transfer from Guangzhou city hotels to Shekou Cruise Port: $62
  • Private Transfer from Guangzhou Int Airport to Shekou Port: $62
  • Private Transfer from Guangzhou Int Airport (CAN) to Shekou Port: $69
  • Private Transfer from Guangzhou Hotel to Guangzhou Baiyun Airport: $88
  • Private Transfer from Guangzhou City Center to South Railway Station: $49
  • Private Transfer from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport to Guangzhou Hotel: $88
  • Private Transfer between Guangzhou and Zhuhai City Area : $104
  • Private Transfer between Guangzhou Chimelong Safari Park and City Center: $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • Harbin Airport (HRB) : Private Arrival Transfer with Meet & Greet Service: $32
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $27
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $40
  • Harbin City Car Transfer Service with Driver: $168
  • Harbin Taiping Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer, Pick up.: $59
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Harbin Railway Station to Harbin City Hotel: $55
  • 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
  • Private Transfer to China's Snow Town from Yabuli Ski Resort: $107

Is it cheaper to fly into Guangzhou or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin and Guangzhou 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
    Guangzhou $19
    Harbin $14

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guangzhou

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

  • Guangzhou Evening Food Tour Through Local Neighborhood: $65
  • Guangzhou Night View Cruise Tour with Dinner: $90
  • Guangzhou walking tour with dimsum dinner&Zhujiang river cruise: $100
  • Private Evening Food Tour with Pearl River Cruise: $108
  • Private Guangzhou Evening Food Tour with Pearl River Night Cruise: $119
  • Private Guangzhou Food Tour Michelin Restaurant&Local Food Market: $130
  • Private Guangzhou Food Tour Yumcha and Local Food Market Explore: $130
  • Private Guangzhou Night Tour VIP Cruise and Dim-Sum Dinner Option: $146
  • 3-Hour Guangzhou Private Cooking Class with Local Market Visit : $165
  • Private Guangzhou Night Tour with Canton Tower and Dim-Sum Dinner: $176
  • Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruise and Din Tai Feng Dinner: $199
  • Private City Tour with Lunch or Dinner: $215

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
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guangzhou $18
    Harbin $52

Tours and Activities in Guangzhou

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

  • Guangzhou Self-Guided Tour with Private Car and Driver Service: $75
  • Private Tour of Foshan: The Ancestral Temple and Other Options from Guangzhou : $167
  • 4 Hours Half Day Guangzhou Airport Layover Visa-Free Private Tour: $145
  • 4-Hour Private Flexible Guangzhou City Tour with Dim-Sum Option: $95
  • 4-Hour Private Tour to Museum of Nanyue King & Academy of Clan Chen in Guangzhou: $91
  • 5-Hour Private Day Tour to Visit Unique Architecture in Guangzhou: $130
  • 6-Hour Half Day Private Tour to Guangdong Romance Park: $187
  • 6-Hour Private Tour for Layover Travellers via Guangzhou Airport: $145
  • 8-Hour Private Tour to National Natural Reserve-Dinghu Mountain: $159
  • 9-Hour Gulong Gorge and Huangteng Gorge Glass Bridge Private Tour: $159
  • All-inclusive Guangzhou Historic City Private Day Tour: $192
  • Best of Guangzhou City Sightseeing: $110

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • 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 Walking Sightseeing : $198
  • 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 Half Day Tour to Unit 731 Museum in Harbin: $209
  • Full Day Private Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: $250
  • Revolving Restaurant Dining Experience at Harbin Dragon Tower: $250

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guangzhou $14
    Harbin $7.81


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

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


Which is Bigger, Guangzhou or Harbin?

Harbin has a larger population, and is about 2% larger than the population of Guangzhou. When comparing the sizes of Guangzhou 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.


When is the best time to visit Guangzhou or Harbin?

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 Guangzhou or Harbin in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Guangzhou as well as Harbin.

In the summer, Guangzhou is a little warmer than Harbin. Typically, the summer temperatures in Guangzhou in July average around 29°C (84°F), and Harbin averages at about 24°C (75°F).

It's quite rainy in Harbin. Guangzhou receives a lot of rain in the summer. Guangzhou usually gets more rain in July than Harbin. Guangzhou gets 228 mm (9 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 153 mm (6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Guangzhou 29°C (84°F) 
    Harbin 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Guangzhou or Harbin in the Autumn?

Both Harbin and Guangzhou are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In October, Guangzhou is generally much warmer than Harbin. Daily temperatures in Guangzhou average around 25°C (76°F), and Harbin fluctuates around 7°C (44°F).

In October, Guangzhou usually receives more rain than Harbin. Guangzhou gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 23 mm (0.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Guangzhou 25°C (76°F) 
    Harbin 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Guangzhou or Harbin in the Winter?

Both Harbin and Guangzhou during the winter are popular places to visit.

Harbin can get quite cold in the winter. Guangzhou is much warmer than Harbin in the winter. The daily temperature in Guangzhou averages around 14°C (58°F) in January, and Harbin fluctuates around -18°C (-0°F).

Guangzhou usually gets more rain in January than Harbin. Guangzhou gets 43 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Guangzhou 14°C (58°F) 
    Harbin -18°C (-0°F)

Should I visit Guangzhou or Harbin in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Guangzhou and Harbin.

In the spring, Guangzhou is much warmer than Harbin. Typically, the spring temperatures in Guangzhou in April average around 22°C (72°F), and Harbin averages at about 8°C (46°F).

Guangzhou gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Guangzhou usually receives more rain than Harbin. Guangzhou gets 182 mm (7.2 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 21 mm (0.8 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Guangzhou 22°C (72°F) 
    Harbin 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Harbin and Guangzhou

Guangzhou Harbin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 14°C (58°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) -18°C (-0°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb 15°C (59°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) -14°C (7°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 18°C (65°F) 85 mm (3.4 in) -3°C (26°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 22°C (72°F) 182 mm (7.2 in) 8°C (46°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
May 26°C (79°F) 284 mm (11.2 in) 15°C (60°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 258 mm (10.1 in) 21°C (70°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 29°C (84°F) 228 mm (9 in) 24°C (75°F) 153 mm (6 in)
Aug 29°C (84°F) 221 mm (8.7 in) 22°C (72°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)
Sep 28°C (82°F) 172 mm (6.8 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 25°C (76°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 7°C (44°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Nov 20°C (68°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) -4°C (24°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Dec 16°C (61°F) 24 mm (0.9 in) -14°C (7°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)