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

Should you visit Hangzhou or Harbin?

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 Harbin. 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 Harbin?

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.

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 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, Harbin 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 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 Hangzhou and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hangzhou $23
    Harbin $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hangzhou $46
    Harbin $42
Compare Hotels in Hangzhou and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Hangzhou 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 Hangzhou


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.
    Hangzhou $8.13
    Harbin $1.50
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:

  • [Airport Transfer] Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport ⇔ Hangzhou City Transfer ☆ High reputation for service! <Charter charter>: $29
  • Xitang Water Town Self-Guided Tour with Private Transfer from Hangzhou : $95
  • Wuzhen Water Town Self-Guided Tour with Private Transfer from Hangzhou : $87
  • Wuzhen & Xitang Water Town Self-Guided Tour with Private Transfer from Hangzhou: $97
  • VIP Seated Impression West Lake Show with Private Hassel-Free Transfer Service: $85
  • VIP Seated Enduring Memories of Hangzhou Show with Private Transfer: $83
  • Transfer from Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport to City Center: $55
  • Skip the Line: Impression West Lake Show VIP Seat Ticket with Pick-up Transfer: $82
  • Skip the Line: Impression West Lake Show Ticket with Pick-up Transfer: $72
  • Private Transfer to Wuzhen Water Town from Hangzhou: $88
  • Private Transfer to Suzhou City from Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport: $125
  • Private Transfer to Suzhou City from Hangzhou: $113

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Any Harbin Railway Station : $25
  • 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 Private Transfer from Harbin Airport (HRB) to central Harbin: $116
  • Harbin Taiping Airport Chauffeur Service , Harbin Airport Transfer,Pick up: $78
  • 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 Arrival Transfer to China's Snow Town from Harbin HRB Airport: $149
  • Private Arrival Transfer:Any Harbin Railway Station to City Hotel: $29
  • Private Departure Transfer to Harbin Railway Station from Harbin City Hotel: $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Hangzhou or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin 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
    Harbin $14
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • Harbin Dumpling Cooking Class: $154
  • Half-Day Private Harbin Beer Museum and Food Tour Including Harbin Beer1900: $157
  • 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
  • Hot Spring Experience with Hot Pot Dinner in Harbin: $300

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hangzhou $20
    Harbin $53

Tours and Activities in Hangzhou

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

  • Hangzhou Private Day Tour of West Lake, Lingyin Temple and Tea Village: $199
  • West Lake Private Tour with Boat Ride and Enduring Memories Night Show VIP Seat: $242
  • 2-Day Huangshan Mountain Sunset Climb & Sunrise Camp Guided Tour from Hangzhou : $162
  • 3 days tour Shanghai Huangshan & Hangzhou by bullet trains: $830
  • 4-Hour Hangzhou City Private Customized Tour with Options: $112
  • 4-Hour Hangzhou Summit and Former Residence of Xueyan Hu Private Tour: $141
  • Best Price: Impression West Lake Show Ticket: $59
  • Best of A Comprehensive Tour of the City's Top Sights: $153
  • Cirque Du Soleil Ticket : $120
  • Customized Hangzhou Guided Tour Based on Your Interests: $145
  • Day Tour to Discover the Secrets of Hangzhou's Tea Culture: $161
  • Day tour to Enjoy the Picturesque Scenery in Hangzhou: $263

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • Private Harbin Ice Lantern Show at Zhaolin Park Night Tour with Zhongyang Pedestrian Street: $104
  • 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
  • Small Group Tour to Harbin Siberian Park Tiger: $200
  • Harbin City Private Day Tour in Your Way in Winter Season: $200
  • Harbin Ice Festival New Year Eve Countdown Group Tour on December 31: $200
  • Private Harbin Ice Festival Night Tour: $209
  • Private Half Day Tour to Unit 731 Museum in Harbin: $209

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hangzhou $10
    Harbin $7.85


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


Which is Bigger, Hangzhou or Harbin?

Harbin has a larger population, and is about 72% larger than the population of Hangzhou. When comparing the sizes of Hangzhou 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 Hangzhou 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 Hangzhou or Harbin in the Summer?

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

Hangzhou is a little warmer than Harbin in the summer. The daily temperature in Hangzhou averages around 29°C (85°F) in July, and Harbin fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

It's quite rainy in Harbin. Hangzhou receives a lot of rain in the summer. Hangzhou usually gets less rain in July than Harbin. Hangzhou gets 129 mm (5.1 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 153 mm (6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Hangzhou 29°C (85°F) 
    Harbin 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Hangzhou or Harbin in the Autumn?

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

In the autumn, Hangzhou is much warmer than Harbin. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Hangzhou in October average around 19°C (66°F), and Harbin averages at about 7°C (44°F).

In October, Hangzhou usually receives more rain than Harbin. Hangzhou gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 23 mm (0.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Hangzhou 19°C (66°F) 
    Harbin 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Hangzhou or Harbin in the Winter?

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

The weather in Harbin can be very cold. Hangzhou can be very cold during winter. In January, Hangzhou is generally much warmer than Harbin. Daily temperatures in Hangzhou average around 5°C (41°F), and Harbin fluctuates around -18°C (-0°F).

Hangzhou usually gets more rain in January than Harbin. Hangzhou gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Hangzhou 5°C (41°F) 
    Harbin -18°C (-0°F)

Should I visit Hangzhou or Harbin in the Spring?

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

Hangzhou is much warmer than Harbin in the spring. The daily temperature in Hangzhou averages around 16°C (61°F) in April, and Harbin fluctuates around 8°C (46°F).

Hangzhou gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Hangzhou usually receives more rain than Harbin. Hangzhou gets 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 21 mm (0.8 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Hangzhou 16°C (61°F) 
    Harbin 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Harbin and Hangzhou

Hangzhou Harbin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (41°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) -18°C (-0°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 88 mm (3.4 in) -14°C (7°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 10°C (50°F) 115 mm (4.5 in) -3°C (26°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 16°C (61°F) 130 mm (5.1 in) 8°C (46°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
May 21°C (70°F) 159 mm (6.3 in) 15°C (60°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 185 mm (7.3 in) 21°C (70°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 29°C (85°F) 129 mm (5.1 in) 24°C (75°F) 153 mm (6 in)
Aug 29°C (84°F) 145 mm (5.7 in) 22°C (72°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 19°C (66°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 7°C (44°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Nov 13°C (56°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) -4°C (24°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Dec 7°C (45°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) -14°C (7°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)