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

Should you visit Hefei or Harbin?

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

Should I visit Hefei 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: Hefei or Harbin?

Hefei

While most would consider the city of Hefei a pass-through destination, there are plenty of things to see in the capital city of China's Anhui province.

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 Hefei?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hefei is $62, 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 Hefei and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hefei $28
    Harbin $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hefei $56
    Harbin $42
Compare Hotels in Hefei and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Hefei 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 Hefei


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.
    Hefei $17
    Harbin $1.49

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 City Car Transfer Service with Driver: $168
  • Harbin Taiping Airport Chauffeur Service , Harbin Airport Transfer,Pick up: $78
  • Harbin Taiping Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer, Pick up.: $59
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Harbin West Railway Station to Harbin City Hotel: $65
  • 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
  • Shared Night Transfer Service to Harbin Ice and Snow World: $85
  • Shared Transfer Service to Ice and Snow World, Sun Island Snow Festival: $250

Is it cheaper to fly into Hefei or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin and Hefei 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
    Hefei $21
    Harbin $14

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hefei $19
    Harbin $52

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • Half Day Tour for Harbin Guandong Ancient Lane and Wood Sculpture Museum: $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
  • 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
  • Small Group Tour to Harbin Siberian Park Tiger: $200
  • Private Harbin Ice Festival Night Tour: $209
  • Private Half Day Tour to Unit 731 Museum in Harbin: $209
  • Songhua River Boat Tour and Food Experience in Harbin: $230
  • Full Day Private Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: $250

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hefei $11
    Harbin $7.80


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


Which is Bigger, Hefei or Harbin?

Harbin has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Hefei. When comparing the sizes of Hefei 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 Hefei 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 Hefei or Harbin in the Summer?

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

Hefei is a little warmer than Harbin in the summer. The daily temperature in Hefei averages around 29°C (83°F) in July, and Harbin fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

It's quite rainy in Harbin. Hefei receives a lot of rain in the summer. Hefei usually gets more rain in July than Harbin. Hefei gets 171 mm (6.7 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 153 mm (6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Hefei 29°C (83°F) 
    Harbin 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Hefei or Harbin in the Autumn?

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

In the autumn, Hefei is much warmer than Harbin. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Hefei in October average around 18°C (64°F), and Harbin averages at about 7°C (44°F).

In October, Hefei usually receives more rain than Harbin. Hefei gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 23 mm (0.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Hefei 18°C (64°F) 
    Harbin 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Hefei or Harbin in the Winter?

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

Harbin can be very cold during winter. Hefei can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Hefei is generally much warmer than Harbin. Daily temperatures in Hefei average around 3°C (38°F), and Harbin fluctuates around -18°C (-0°F).

Hefei usually gets more rain in January than Harbin. Hefei gets 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Hefei 3°C (38°F) 
    Harbin -18°C (-0°F)

Should I visit Hefei or Harbin in the Spring?

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

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

In April, Hefei usually receives more rain than Harbin. Hefei gets 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 21 mm (0.8 in) of rain each month for the spring.


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

Typical Weather for Harbin and Hefei

Hefei Harbin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) -18°C (-0°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb 5°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in) -14°C (7°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 10°C (50°F) 68 mm (2.7 in) -3°C (26°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 16°C (61°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 8°C (46°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
May 22°C (71°F) 97 mm (3.8 in) 15°C (60°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 25°C (78°F) 121 mm (4.8 in) 21°C (70°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 29°C (83°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 24°C (75°F) 153 mm (6 in)
Aug 29°C (83°F) 111 mm (4.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)
Sep 23°C (74°F) 86 mm (3.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 18°C (64°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 7°C (44°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Nov 11°C (53°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) -4°C (24°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Dec 5°C (42°F) 25 mm (1 in) -14°C (7°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)