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

Should you visit Kunming 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 Kunming 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: Kunming or Beijing?

Kunming

Kunming, located in southern China, is the modern capital city of the Yunnan province. It is a transportation hub for visitors entering the region, and good transfer point to just about everywhere else in the province by train or bus. Within the city itself there are many things to see and do with a full range of parks and zoos, museums, temples, theatres, and scenic areas.

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 2-Week Tours from Beijing, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to China, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in China, and The Best Historical Tours in China.


Which place is cheaper, Beijing or Kunming?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kunming is $67, while the average daily cost in Beijing is $77. 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 Kunming and Beijing in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kunming $33
    Beijing $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kunming $66
    Beijing $78
Compare Hotels in Kunming and Beijing

Looking for a hotel in Kunming 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 Kunming


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.
    Kunming $13
    Beijing $7.65
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Kunming

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kunming

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

  • Kunming Airport Private Transfer - Charge by Vehicle: $48
  • Kunming Changshui Airport Chauffeur Service, Kunming Airport Transfer, Pickup: $83
  • Kunming Private Arrival Transfer:Railway Station to City Hotel: $22
  • Kunming Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Railway Station: $22
  • Private Transfer from Kunming hotel to Guizhou Xingyi hotel: $240
  • [Airport Transfer] Kunming Changshui Airport ⇔ Kunming City Transfer ☆ High reputation for service! <Charter charter>: $36

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
    $6.91
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.29
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.21
  • Metro
    $0.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Beijing to Zun Hua Explore Qing Emperor's Tombs By Car Transfer : $285
  • Beijing Layover Private Tour: City Highlights With Airport Transfer: $250
  • Private Day Tour of Beijing City Overview with Airport Transfer: $245
  • Beijing Layover of Comprehensive City Tour With Airport Transfer: $240
  • Private Transfer from Tianjin Cruise Port to Beijing with stop at Great Wall : $221
  • Private Transfer from Tianjin Cruise port to Mutianyu Great Wall of China : $221
  • Mutianyu Great Wall Hiking Private Tour With Airport Transfer: $213
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with Round Airport Transfers: $208
  • Private Round Trip Transfer to Chengde from Beijing with English speaking driver: $208
  • Private Transfer between Beijing and Bashang Grassland in Mulan Weichang: $208
  • Private Transfer between Beijing and Qinhuangdao: $208
  • Private Transfer between Beijing and Beidaihe: $208

Is it cheaper to fly into Kunming or Beijing?

Prices for flights to both Beijing and Kunming 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
    Kunming $22
    Beijing $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kunming

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

  • Kunming evening food tour with locals: $65
  • Private Kunming Night Tour with Dinner: $78
  • Half Day Private Tour of Kunming Flower Market and Flower Pastry Cooking Class: $110

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
    $6.91
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.76
  • 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 Handmade Noodles by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Beijing Dumplings and Cuisine by Sunflowerli Renowned Chef : $20
  • Online Cooking Class Kungpao Chicken: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Orange Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • 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
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $55
  • Temple of Heaven Private Tour w/Option Show &Dinner: $60
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Mogolian Hot Pot Dinner with no limit soft drink and local beer .: $70
  • discovery more Beijing back street evening food tour with locals : $79
  • Authentic Lunch or Dinner Tour in Beijing's Best Hidden Spots: $80

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kunming $18
    Beijing $24

Tours and Activities in Kunming

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

  • One day Kunming leisure city tour: $70
  • Half-Day History Tour in Kunming: $82
  • Private Night Tour to Enjoy Dynamic Yunnan Show: $86
  • Half Day Flower Tour in Kunming: $91
  • Morning Market Tour - Eat like a local: $93
  • Stone Forest Day Tour: $106
  • 1-Day Self-Guided Stone Forest Geological Park Tour from Kunming: $106
  • Private Day Tour of Jiuxiang Cave from Yunnan: $109
  • 4-Hour Tea-tasting and Cha Guo Zi (茶果子)Experience Tour: $112
  • 1 day Kunming Highlights Mini Group tour: $114
  • One day Stone Forest and Nuohei Yi Village Tour: $114
  • Private Kunming Illuminated Night Tour: Dianchi Lake,1903 Park and Fountain Show: $118

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
    $8.29
  • 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:

  • 4 hours Deep Forbidden City Private Tour by Knowledgeable Guide.: $80
  • 4-Hour Beijing Layover Tour to Hutong from Daxing Airport: $145
  • All Inclusive Mutianyu Great Wall & Summer Palace Private Tour: $188
  • All Inclusive Private Tour: Juyongguan Greatwall, Sacred Road, MingTombs : $176
  • Beijing 2 Summer Palace Private Garden Tour: $140
  • Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with English Driver : $100
  • Beijing Private Tour of Ming Tombs, Summer Palace, Bird's Nest and Water Cube: $297
  • China Art Museum and 798 Art Zone Private Tour: $137
  • Classic One Day Beijing Tour: $290
  • Forbidden City Tour : $110
  • Full Day Private Tour Incredible Beijing City Highlights: $179
  • Jinshanling&Gubeikou Great Wall Private Guided Tour : $140

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kunming $17
    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-Bejing Old Hutong Food Tasting+Local Brewery Beer: $110
  • Full Day Private Chateau Changyu Wine Tour from Beijing: $162
  • 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 Kunming 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 Kunming Expensive? and Is Beijing Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Kunming or Beijing?

Beijing has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Kunming. When comparing the sizes of Kunming 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.