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

Should you visit Lhasa or Beijing?

Should I visit Lhasa or Beijing? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Lhasa

Lhasa is the famed capital of Tibet, and is one of the most fascinating cities in the world to visit. It's name means "Land of the Gods" and the city dates back more than 1,300 years. It's elevation is 3,650 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest cities in the world. It sits on the northern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains by the Lhasa River and is the second largest city on the Tibetan Plateau after Xining.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Beijing or Lhasa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lhasa is $63, while the average daily cost in Beijing is $69. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Lhasa and Beijing in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $70 in Lhasa For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Beijing is $70. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lhasa $35
    Beijing $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lhasa $70
    Beijing $70

Food

Lhasa food costs typically run travelers around $23 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

In Beijing travelers spend around $18 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Lhasa $23
    Beijing $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lhasa

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

  • 4-Day Lhasa City Essential Group Tour including Hotel and Welcome Dinner: $592

Typical Food prices in Beijing

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


  • Popcorn
    $0.93
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $7.72
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $3.09
  • Watermelon
    $2.16
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $18
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Beijing

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

  • Online Cooking Class: $25
  • Path Hutong Food Tour: $30
  • Kung fu Show and Peking Roasted Duck Dinner: $58
  • Private Temple of Heaven Walking Tour with Peking Duck Dinner or Kung Fu Show: $62
  • Acrobatic Show w/ Peking Duck Dinner Private: $68
  • Beijing Historical Center with Peking Opera and Duck Dinner: $69
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $69
  • 4-Hour Peking Duck Dinner & Kung Fu Show Night: $80
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80
  • Vegetarian / Peking Duck / Hotpot Dinner with Kungfu Show Private Tour: $90
  • Authentic Local Food Tour in Center Beijing: $90

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Lhasa than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $2.29 on transportation in Lhasa on average per day.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.83 per day to get around in Beijing.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lhasa $2.29
    Beijing $6.83

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lhasa

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

  • Lhasa Kongga Airport Chauffeur Service, Lhasa Airport Transfer, Pickup: $260
  • Lhasa Private Arrival Transfer: Railway Station to Hotel: $89
  • Lhasa Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $89
  • Lhasa Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Railway Station: $89

Typical Local Transportation prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $5.27
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $7.72
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $9.26
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.47
  • Metro
    $0.62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Zhoukoudian Peking Man and Marco Polo Bridge Private Transfer from Beijing: $88
  • Ultimate Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall Discovery with Airport Transfer: $186
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Pekin-Beijing City to Airport: $29
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Pekin-Beijing Airport to Pekin-Beijing City: $29
  • Transfer from Beijing hotel downtown to Beijing International Airport: $21
  • Transfer from Beijing Capital (PEK) - Beijing: $50
  • Tradtional Chinese Massage with Transfer in Beijing: $68
  • Tour of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater with Transfer: $59
  • Tour Combo Package: 4-Day Beijing with 2-way airport to hotel transfer: $441
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port to Beijing Capital Airport by private transfer: $148
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port Transfer from Beijing: $130
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port Pick up or Drop off with Private Transfer: $130

Is it cheaper to fly into Lhasa or Beijing?

Prices for flights to both Beijing and Lhasa 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Lhasa, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $15 per day, per person.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Beijing. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lhasa $15
    Beijing $21

Tours and Activities in Lhasa

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

  • 4 Days Top Lhasa Group Tour: $53
  • Highlight Tibet Potala Palace Tour with Tibet Travel Expert Guide: $95
  • Day Tour: Tibet Ganden Monastery: $178
  • Day Tour: Tibet Drepung and Sera Monasteries: $180
  • Day Tour: Tibet Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple: $237
  • Tibet Entry Permit Plus Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Streets and Sera Monastery Tour: $263
  • Half- Day Potala Palace Tour from Lhasa: $278
  • 2-Day Lake Namtso Experience Small-Group Tour from Lhasa: $353
  • 2-Day Gyantse and Shigatse Tour from Lhasa: $359
  • Lhasa overview tour - 2 days: $360
  • The Best Bet 4 Days Lhasa Tour with Local Tibet Travel Expert: $421
  • 3-Night Essential Lhasa Tour: $474

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
    $9.26
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $66
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $11
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
    $19
  • Forbidden City Tickets
    $19
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
    $12

Tours and Activities in Beijing

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

  • 1 Day Beijing Badaling Great Wall with 30-Minute Helicopter Tour: $614
  • 1 Day Beijing No Shopping Tour with Peking Roast Duck: $226
  • 1 Day Mutianyu Great Wall Bus Tour: $29
  • 1 Day Old Beijing City Tour .Forbidden City,Hutong,Temple of Heaven: $163
  • 1 Day Romantic Tour in Oriental Provence Lavender Manor and Mutianyu Great Wall: $208
  • 1 Day Tour : Simatai Great Wall and Gubei Water Town: $239
  • 1 Day Tour Badaling Great Wall and Badaling Ski Resort: $249
  • 1 Day Tour Mutianyu Great Wall & Chunhuiyuan Hot Springs: $224
  • 1 Day Tour: Badaling Great Wall and Jiuhua Hot Spring: $167
  • 1 day Mutianyu Great Wall Nonshopping bus tour: $51
  • 1-Day Badaling Great Wall Helicopter Tour with Sacred Way & Bird's Nest: $714
  • 1-Day Badaling Great Wall and Ming Tombs Tour with Sacred Way from Beijing: $212

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Lhasa spend on average $6.17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Beijing may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $10 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lhasa $6.17
    Beijing $10

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

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

  • Evening Food Private Tour with Brewery Taproom Hopping at Slow Boat in Beijing: $138
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Wonderful Beijing Bar Crawl Tour: $195
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $228


When comparing the travel costs between Lhasa 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.

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Lhasa vs. Beijing Travel Comparison

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