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

Should you visit Hangzhou or Beijing?

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 Hangzhou and Beijing. 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: Hangzhou or Beijing?

Hangzhou

Hangzhou is a city in Eastern China, about an hour by train from Shanghai, renowned for its historic relics and natural beauty. Each year it attracts more than 20 million tourists who come to see what the city has to offer. Set amongst the natural scenery of lakes and mountains, Hangzhou is modern city that coexists with the old. Historic pagodas and cultural sites built around the central lake sit like they belong amidst the skyscrapers and bustling markets of today.

Beijing

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 Adventure Tours to China, The Best Sightseeing Tours in China, The Best Cultural Tours in China, and The Best Luxury Tours to China.


Which place is cheaper, Beijing or Hangzhou?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hangzhou is $65, while the average daily cost in Beijing is $76. 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 Hangzhou and Beijing in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hangzhou $23
    Beijing $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hangzhou $46
    Beijing $78
Compare Hotels in Hangzhou and Beijing

Looking for a hotel in Hangzhou 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 Hangzhou


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.
    Hangzhou $8.13
    Beijing $7.73
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hangzhou

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Hangzhou:


  • Local Bus for Two
    $0.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hangzhou

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hangzhou:

  • Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport Private Arrival Transfer to City Area : $29
  • 2-Day Putuo Mountain Self-Guided Tour from Hangzhou by Private Transfer: $282
  • Enduring Memories of Hangzhou West Lake Show VIP Ticket with Private Transfer: $128
  • Hangzhou Downtown transfer to Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport: $35
  • Hangzhou East Railway Station Transfer To Hangzhou Downtown City: $32
  • Hangzhou Private Transfer to Shanghai with Drop-off Options : $131
  • Hangzhou Private Transfer to Shanghai with stop-over at Wuzhen Water Town: $165
  • Hangzhou Private Transfer: Railway Station to City Hotels: $33
  • Hangzhou Railway Station Private Arrival Transfer to City Area : $29
  • Hangzhou Railway Station Private Departure Transfer from City Area : $29
  • Hangzhou West Lake Impression Ticket with Private Transfer: $122
  • Hangzhou Xiaoshan Int'l Airport Private Departure Transfer from City Area : $29

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Beijing

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Beijing:


  • Taxi
    $4.72
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $6.92
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.30
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.21
  • Metro
    $0.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Jinshanling Great Wall Self-hiking Tour by Private Transfer Service : $98
  • Private English Transfer to Shilin Gorge Platform And Ming City Wall : $140
  • Private One-Way Transfer Between Beijing Railway Station and Hotel: $30
  • Private Transfer to Daxing International Airport : $35
  • 1 Day Pass for Universal Beijing and Private Transfer Package: $265
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Private Tour: Forbidden City with Round Airport transfers: $198
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with Round Airport Transfers: $208
  • 1-Day Bejing Layover Tour:Mutianyu Great Wall,Forbidden City & Airport Transfers: $250
  • 4-Hour Huanghuacheng Great Wall Sunset Tour with Airport Transfer: $160
  • 5 Hours Round Trip Transfer Service to Mutianyu Great Wall: $70
  • Acrobatic Show at Red Theater With Private Transfer: $45
  • Airport Layover Transfer Service to Mutianyu Great Wall & City Sightseeing : $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Hangzhou or Beijing?

Prices for flights to both Beijing and Hangzhou 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
    Hangzhou $18
    Beijing $19
Typical Food Prices in Hangzhou

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Hangzhou:


  • Breakfast Pastries
    $2.35
  • Pizza Hut Lunch
    $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hangzhou

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

  • All Inclusive Night Tour with Impression West Lake Show VIP Ticket and Dinner: $117
  • VIP Seated Enduring Memories of Hangzhou Show Tour with Authentic Dinner: $127
  • Private Amazing Hangzhou Airport Layover Tour with Lunch or Dinner Option : $170
  • Enduring Memories of Hangzhou West Lake Show VIP Ticket with Authentic Dinner: $191

Typical Food Prices in Beijing

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Beijing:


  • Popcorn
    $0.83
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $6.92
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.77
  • Watermelon
    $1.94
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $16
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.83

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
  • Online Cooking Class Handmade Noodles by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Deal 20% off Beijing Nango HotSpring Water World with Dinner: $38
  • Beijing Acrobatic Show Tickets w/ Optional Dinner or Transfer: $48
  • 3.5-Hour Walking Food Tour: A Bite of History at Beijing Niujie Street: $49
  • Temple of Heaven Private Tour w/Option Show &Dinner: $54
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $55
  • Beijing Gulou Night Market Food Tour: $61
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Hidden Gems Guided Food Tour with Beer and Tastings: $75

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hangzhou $20
    Beijing $24

Tours and Activities in Hangzhou

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

  • Hangzhou Lingyin Temple Tour : $28
  • Hangzhou Longjing Tea Culture Experience Tour : $53
  • Best Price: Impression West Lake Show Ticket: $59
  • Skip the Line: Impression West Lake Show Ticket: $65
  • Zuiyi Hangzhou Impression West Lake Show Ticket: $69
  • Hangzhou West Lake Highlights Half Day Tour : $85
  • Enduring Memories of Hangzhou Show Ticket with Private Transport: $89
  • Independent Tour to Shaoxing City from Hangzhou: $94
  • Night Tour with Impression West Lake Show VIP Ticket and Hefang Heritage Street : $95
  • Songcheng Park & Lengend of Song Dynasty Show Ticket: $100
  • Hangzhou Impressoin West Lake- Enduring Memory of Hangzhou Show Tour: $100
  • 4-Hour Hangzhou City Private Customized Tour with Options: $112

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
    $8.30
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $59
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $9.68
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
    $17
  • Forbidden City Tickets
    $17
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
    $11

Tours and Activities in Beijing

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

  • Beijing's Old Hutongs: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $4.99
  • Summer Palace Group Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Hutongs Group Walking Tour : $5.00
  • Temple of Heaven Group Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Beijing's Old Hutongs: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Temple of Heaven Ticket: $6.50
  • Beijing Lama Temple Entrance Ticket with Optional Guided Service: $7.00
  • Panda House+City Attractions or Mutianyu Day Tour: $7.31
  • Beijing Summer Palace Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $7.88
  • Beijing Temple of Heaven Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $7.88
  • Temple of Heaven Ticket Booking: $7.90
  • Summer Palace+Ming Tombs/Heaven Temple/China National Museum Tour: $8.00

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hangzhou $10
    Beijing $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

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

  • Beijing Brewery Bike Tour: $99
  • Private Tour-Drum Tower, Hutong Food Taste and Local Brewery Beer: $120
  • Full Day Private Chateau Changyu Wine Tour from Beijing: $163
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $238


When comparing the travel costs between Hangzhou and Beijing, we can see that Beijing 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 Hangzhou Expensive? and Is Beijing Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Hangzhou or Beijing?

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

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 Hangzhou or Beijing in the Summer?

Both Beijing and Hangzhou are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Beijing because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Hangzhou is around the same temperature as Beijing. Typically, the summer temperatures in Hangzhou in July average around 29°C (85°F), and Beijing averages at about 27°C (80°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Beijing. It's quite rainy in Hangzhou. In July, Hangzhou usually receives less rain than Beijing. Hangzhou gets 129 mm (5.1 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 176 mm (6.9 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Hangzhou 29°C (85°F) 
    Beijing 27°C (80°F)

Should I visit Hangzhou or Beijing in the Autumn?

Both Beijing and Hangzhou during the autumn are popular places to visit. Also, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Beijing this time of year.

In October, Hangzhou is generally a little warmer than Beijing. Daily temperatures in Hangzhou average around 19°C (66°F), and Beijing fluctuates around 14°C (56°F).

Hangzhou usually gets more rain in October than Beijing. Hangzhou gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Hangzhou 19°C (66°F) 
    Beijing 14°C (56°F)

Should I visit Hangzhou or Beijing in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Hangzhou and Beijing. Also, many travelers come to Beijing for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Beijing. It's quite cold in Hangzhou in the winter. Hangzhou is much warmer than Beijing in the winter. The daily temperature in Hangzhou averages around 5°C (41°F) in January, and Beijing fluctuates around -4°C (26°F).

In January, Hangzhou usually receives more rain than Beijing. Hangzhou gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Hangzhou 5°C (41°F) 
    Beijing -4°C (26°F)

Should I visit Hangzhou or Beijing in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Hangzhou as well as Beijing. Also, many visitors come to Beijing in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Hangzhou is a little warmer than Beijing. Typically, the spring temperatures in Hangzhou in April average around 16°C (61°F), and Beijing averages at about 14°C (57°F).

Hangzhou receives a lot of rain in the spring. Hangzhou usually gets more rain in April than Beijing. Hangzhou gets 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 26 mm (1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Hangzhou 16°C (61°F) 
    Beijing 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for Beijing and Hangzhou

Hangzhou Beijing
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (41°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) -4°C (26°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 88 mm (3.4 in) -1°C (30°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 10°C (50°F) 115 mm (4.5 in) 6°C (42°F) 9 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 16°C (61°F) 130 mm (5.1 in) 14°C (57°F) 26 mm (1 in)
May 21°C (70°F) 159 mm (6.3 in) 20°C (68°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 185 mm (7.3 in) 25°C (76°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Jul 29°C (85°F) 129 mm (5.1 in) 27°C (80°F) 176 mm (6.9 in)
Aug 29°C (84°F) 145 mm (5.7 in) 25°C (78°F) 182 mm (7.2 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 20°C (69°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 19°C (66°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 14°C (56°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Nov 13°C (56°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 5°C (41°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Dec 7°C (45°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) -1°C (29°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)