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

Should you visit Kunming or Chengdu?

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 Chengdu. 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 Chengdu?

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.

Chengdu

Chengdu is in China's Sichuan Provence and is in what is known as the Red Basin. It is a particularly fertile region in China that is known for its agriculture. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as the "Land of Milk and Honey". The Funan River cuts through the city but has almost no boat traffic anymore. The city itself has a wonderful relaxed vibe compared to the rest of China and is filled with green parks and places to relax. It is considered one of the most livable cities in China.

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, Chengdu 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 Chengdu is $50. 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 Chengdu in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kunming $33
    Chengdu $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kunming $66
    Chengdu $42
Compare Hotels in Kunming and Chengdu

Looking for a hotel in Kunming or Chengdu? 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 Chengdu


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
    Chengdu $5.91
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Kunming

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.51

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kunming

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

  • Kunming Changshui Airport Chauffeur Service, Kunming Airport Transfer, Pick up: $71
  • Kunming Changshui Airport Chauffeur Service, Kunming Airport Transfer, Pickup: $83
  • Kunming Private Round Trip Transfer to Fuxianhu Lake: $90
  • One way Kunming airport to hotel private transfer: $41
  • Private Transfer from Kunming hotel to Guizhou Xingyi hotel: $240

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chengdu

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chengdu:

  • Downtown to Leshan or Mount Emei round way transfer for 2-day service: $251
  • 1-Day Chengdu Layover Tour: Panda Base, city central with Round Airport Transfer: $240
  • Chengdu Panda & Giant Buddha Day Tour With Private Transfer: $240
  • 1-Day Chengdu Layover Tour: Leshan Giant buddha with Round Airport Transfer: $205
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu to TFU or CTU Airport: $180
  • Downtown to Leshan round way transfer for one day service: $172
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu to Mount Emei and Stops at Leshan Giant Buddha: $160
  • Giant Buddha or Dujiangyan Ticket+Private Transfer: $144
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu Downtown to Airport: $140
  • Chengdu Airport to Hotel: Private Transfer for up to 5 pax: $120
  • Downtown to Dujiangyan round way transfer: $117
  • Round-Trip Private Transfer between Emei Shan and Chengdu City: $113

Is it cheaper to fly into Kunming or Chengdu?

Prices for flights to both Chengdu 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
    Chengdu $22

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: $64
  • Private Kunming Night Tour with Dinner: $78
  • Half Day Private Tour of Kunming Flower Market and Flower Pastry Cooking Class: $165

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chengdu

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

  • Half-Day Chinese Bun Cooking Class with Local Spice Market Visit: $56
  • Private Sichuan Cooking Class including Local Wet Market Visit: $59
  • Chengdu evening food tour by local guide: $60
  • Half day Chengdu Dumpling making Cooking Class: Make from Scratch: $62
  • Discovery more Chengdu evening food tour with locals : $65
  • Half-Day Chengdu Cooking Class with Local Market Visit: $69
  • Tuktuk Food Tour Through Chengdu's Local Eats: $69
  • Half-Day Professional Mapo Tofu Cooking Class with Local Spice Market Visit: $69
  • Sichuan Opera Show VIP Seat Tickets w/ Transfer or Dinner: $71
  • Chengdu Evening Food Tour: $76
  • Cooking Class with Fresh Market Half Day Experience: $79
  • Tuk Tuk Food Tour with Unlimited Beer and Soda: $79

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kunming $18
    Chengdu $16

Tours and Activities in Kunming

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

  • One day tour to eastern coast region of Daichi Lake: $69
  • One day Kunming leisure city tour: $70
  • Half-Day History Tour in Kunming: $82
  • Private Night Tour to Enjoy Dynamic Yunnan Show: $86
  • 1-Day Self-Guided Stone Forest Geological Park Tour from Kunming: $106
  • Stone Forest Day Tour: $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 Civil Culture Tour in Kunming: $112
  • 1- Day Kunming Short Hiking Tour: $122
  • 1-Day Kunming Temple and Market Tour: $122
  • 1-Day Panorama Tour in Kunming: $122

Tours and Activities in Chengdu

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

  • Chengdu Private Day Tour to the Leshan Giant Buddha and Huanglongxi Old Town: $248
  • Chinese Traditional Massage Experience In Chengdu: $90
  • Private Chengdu day Tour of panda base with Leshan giant Buddha: $298
  • Private Full Day Chengdu Panda Base and Jinsha Site Museum Tour: $136
  • Private Leshan Buddha Day Tour with Local Market visiting: $160
  • 1 day Chengdu City Highlights Mini Group tour: $102
  • 1-Day Chengdu Ancient History and Culture City Tour: $179
  • 1-Day Chengdu Cultural Discovery:Jinsha,Shu Brocade Museum & Dufu Cottage Tour : $189
  • 1-Day Chengdu Leshan Giant Buddha Private Tour With the Lunch and Boat tour: $242
  • 1-Day Chengdu Panda Base and Leshan Giant Buddha GROUP Tour: $144
  • 1-Day Chengdu Panda Research Base and Sanxingdui Archeological Museum Tour : $256
  • 1-Day Chengdu Private Tour: Dujiangyan Ancient River Irrigation and Temple Site : $213

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kunming $17
    Chengdu $3.91


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kunming and Chengdu, we can see that Kunming is more expensive. And not only is Chengdu much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chengdu would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chengdu 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 Kunming would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Kunming than you might in Chengdu.

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


Which is Bigger, Kunming or Chengdu?

Chengdu has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Kunming. When comparing the sizes of Kunming and Chengdu, 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.