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

Should you visit Lhasa or Nanjing?

Should I visit Lhasa or Nanjing? 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.

Nanjing

Nanjing is the capital city of the Jiangsu Province on the central eastern coast of China, just north of Shanghai. This historically and culturally rich city lies at the lower end of the Yangtze river, resulting in lush and scenic landscapes. Nanjing is well-known for having many popular historical sites, some of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Which city is cheaper, Nanjing 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 Nanjing is $86. 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 Nanjing 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.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $41. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Nanjing the cost is $82 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lhasa $35
    Nanjing $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lhasa $70
    Nanjing $82

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.

Nanjing food costs typically run travelers around $25 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Lhasa $23
    Nanjing $25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lhasa

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137
  • 4-Day Lhasa City Essential Group Tour including Hotel and Welcome Dinner: $592

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nanjing

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • 3-Hour Nanjing Authentic Local Food Tour by Public Transportation: $93
  • Nanjing City Private Night Tour with Qinghuai River Cruise and Dinner Option: $101
  • Flexible Private Nanjing City Night Tour with Dinner Option: $107
  • Private Nanjing Local Street Food Tour with Night River Cruise: $112
  • Half-Day Nanjing City Private Flexible Tour with Lunch or Dinner Option: $137
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137
  • Nanjing Tangshan Mountain Hot Spring Experience and Hot Pot Dinner: $175

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 $2.31 on transportation in Lhasa on average per day.

The average price of local transportation around Nanjing is $34 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lhasa $2.31
    Nanjing $34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lhasa

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

  • Airport Transfers (SHA/PVG) for Shanghai (Multiple Car Models): $38
  • Badaling Great Wall in Beijing Private Transfer: $43
  • 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
  • Longji Rice Terraced Fields and Minority Villages Tour with Transfer from Guilin or Yangshuo: $108
  • Luxury Private Shanghai Pudong International Airport Transfers (PVG) for Downtown Shanghai: $118
  • Luxury private Baiyun International Airport Transfers (CAN) for Guangzhou : $74
  • Luxury private Bao'an International Airport Transfers (SZX) for Downtown Shenzhen: $67
  • Luxury private Beijing Capital International Airport Transfers (PEK) for Downtown Beijing: $74
  • Luxury private Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Transfers (SHA) for Downtown Shanghai: $59

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nanjing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nanjing:

  • [Up to 20% Off] Private City Transfers for Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing : $23
  • [Up to 15% Off for Round Trip Transfers] Private Beijing Capital Airport Transfers (PEK) for Beijing : $37
  • Zhenjiang Private Transfer Service from Nanjing City or Lukou Airport: $78
  • Yangzhou Private Transfer Service from Nanjing City or Lukou Airport: $80
  • Yangshuo and Li River Highlights Day Tour with Transfers: $111
  • Tangshan Hot Spring Spa Resorts Private Transfer from Nanjing City: $44
  • Shared Shenzhen Airport (SZX) Coach Transfers for Hong Kong (Trans-Island): $12
  • Shared Hong Kong International Airport Transfers (HKG) for Shenzhen: $15
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shunde and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shenzhen Bay Port and Hong Kong (Trans-island): $6.45
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Panyu and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $11
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Hong Kong and Huadu by Eternal East Bus: $13

Is it cheaper to fly into Lhasa or Nanjing?

Prices for flights to both Nanjing 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.

Nanjing's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $8.34 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lhasa $15
    Nanjing $8.34

Tours and Activities in Lhasa

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

  • Hupao Park Ticket in Hangzhou (For Mainland China ID Holders): $2.35
  • China Red Sandalwood Museum Ticket in Beijing : $2.79
  • Simatai Great Wall Admission with Cable Car Ticket in Beijing: $3.09
  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Ticket Chengdu - ID Card Direct Entry: $4.19
  • Evergreen Resort Ticket in Shenzhen: $6.19
  • Jinxi Ancient Town Attractions Combo Ticket: $6.99
  • Gulangyu Seashell Museum Ticket: $7.45
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Sanqiutian Pier: $8.55
  • Wuyishan Xiamei Ancient Village Admission Ticket: $8.55
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Neicuoao Pier: $8.55
  • Guangdong First Peak Ticket: $9.29
  • Beijing Palace Museum Ticket (The Forbidden City): $9.29

Tours and Activities in Nanjing

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 2 Days Shanghai Private Tour: $178
  • 2-Day Beijing Private Tour Including the Great Wall from Nanjing by Bullet Train: $534
  • 2-Day Beijing Private Tour from Nanjing by Bullet Train with Drop-Off Options: $488
  • 2-Day Mount Huangshan and Xidi Village Private Tour from Nanjing by Bullet Train: $549
  • 2-Day Mt Huangshan and Hongcun Village Private Tour from Nanjing by Bullet Train: $549
  • 2-Day Nanjing Private Flexible Tour with Tangshan Hot Spring Spa Experience: $300
  • 2-Day Private Beijing Highlights Tour from Nanjing by Bullet Train: $499
  • 2-Day Private Customized Harbin Tour from Nanjing by Air: $1,118
  • 2-Day Private Lijiang Highlights Tour from Nanjing by Plane: $948
  • 2-Day Private Tour from Nanjing by Air and Train:Highlights of Xi'an and Beijing: $969
  • 2-Day Private Tour from Shenzhen with Hotel:Shaolin Temple and Longmen Grottoes: $798

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Lhasa spend on average $6.21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Nanjing may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.51 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lhasa $6.21
    Nanjing $8.51


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

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Lhasa vs. Nanjing Travel Comparison

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