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

Should you visit Lijiang or Beijing?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Lijiang and Beijing can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Lijiang or Beijing?

Lijiang

Lijiang is a city in Southwestern China with a history of rule under the Mu family during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It played a key role along the Ancient Southern Silk Road, which started from Burma, crossed Lijiang, Shangri-La County, Tibet, journeyed through Iran, the Fertile Crescent, and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea. The area was once a center for trade, politics, culture, and education, which is still evident in the rich culture seen today. Lijiang has also been the home of centuries to the Naxi people who still inhabit the area.

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 Lijiang?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lijiang is $41, while the average daily cost in Beijing is $76. 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 Lijiang and Beijing in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lijiang $15
    Beijing $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lijiang $30
    Beijing $78
Compare Hotels in Lijiang and Beijing

Looking for a hotel in Lijiang 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 Lijiang


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.
    Lijiang $5.58
    Beijing $7.71

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lijiang

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

  • Private Transfer from Lijiang/Shuhe hotel to Dali : $149
  • Private Transfer from Lijiang/Shuhe hotel to Dali and Stops at Shaxi Old Town: $160

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $4.71
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $6.90
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.28
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.21
  • Metro
    $0.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Visit Great Wall With Beijing Capital Airport Round-Way Transfer : $215
  • Ultimate Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall Discovery with Airport Transfer: $186
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Beijing APT-HTL (PEK): $62
  • Transfers to Jinshanling Great Wall with professional driver: $95
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port Transfer from Beijing: $130
  • Tianjin Cruise Port to Beijing Daxing Airport by Private Transfer: $148
  • Tianjin Binhai Airport to Beijing - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $159
  • Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City Private Tour With Airport Transfer: $205
  • The Great Wall Jinshanling PRIVATE TRANSFER From Beijing : $105
  • Shared Shuttle Bus Transfer Between Tianjin Cruise Port And Downtown Beijing : $59
  • Self Guided transfer service to Juyongguan Great Wall or Badaling Great Wall: $78
  • Round-Trip Private Transfer from Your hotel in Beijing to Great wall at Mutianyu: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Lijiang or Beijing?

Prices for flights to both Beijing and Lijiang 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
    Lijiang $17
    Beijing $19
Typical Food Prices in Lijiang

For Lijiang, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.14

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lijiang

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

  • Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit: $59

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
    $6.90
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.76
  • Watermelon
    $1.93
  • 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 Beijing Dumplings and Cuisine by Sunflowerli Renowned Chef : $20
  • Online Cooking Class Orange Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Handmade Noodles by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Kungpao Chicken: $20
  • Deal 20% off Beijing Nango HotSpring Water World with Dinner: $38
  • 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
  • Temple of Heaven Private Tour w/Option Show &Dinner: $54
  • Beijing Gulou Night Market Food Tour: $61
  • 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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lijiang $20
    Beijing $24

Tours and Activities in Lijiang

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

  • 4 Hour Private Lijiang City Highlights Walking Tour: $72
  • One day Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Tour in From Lijiang: $160
  • 1 Day Private Tour to Shaxi Ancient Town from Lijiang or Dali: $165
  • 1-Day Old Town Tour in Lijiang: $166
  • Lijiang Train Station Pick up and Tiger Teaping Gorge Private Tour : $170
  • 1 Day Tiger Teaping Gorge Private Tour from Lijiang or Shangri-La: $170
  • Beautiful Country road Biking tour to Xinhua village Heqing start from Lijiang: $173
  • Private trekking tour to Wenhai lake from Lijiang half day service: $175
  • Country Biking tour to lashi lake Lamaism temple baisha village from Lijiang: $176
  • Private Jade Dragon Snow Mountains and Naxi Village Tour: $187
  • 2 Days Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour by public coach: $189
  • Private Day Tour Tiger Leaping Gorge and Black Dragon Pond from Lijiang: $207

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
    $8.28
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $59
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $9.66
  • 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:

  • 1-Day Mutianyu Great Wall and Beijing Airport Drop off Tour: $235
  • 4 hours Deep Forbidden City Private Tour by Knowledgeable Guide.: $80
  • 4-Hour Beijing Layover Tour to Hutong from Daxing Airport: $145
  • All Inclusive Private Summer Palace, Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour: $204
  • All Inclusive Private Tour: Juyongguan Greatwall, Sacred Road, MingTombs : $176
  • Beijing 2 Summer Palace Private Garden Tour: $140
  • Beijing Art Tour: Seeing Fantastic Ming Murals at Fa Hai Temple : $220
  • Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with English Driver : $93
  • China Art Museum and 798 Art Zone Private Tour: $137
  • Classic One Day Beijing Tour: $240
  • Full Day Private Tour Incredible Beijing City Highlights: $179
  • Mutianyu Great Wall And Ming Tomb Private One Day Tour: $205

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lijiang $7.86
    Beijing $11

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: $110
  • Private Tour-Drum Tower, Hutong Food Taste and Local Brewery Beer: $120
  • Full Day Private Chateau Changyu Wine Tour from Beijing: $164
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $238


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

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


Which is Bigger, Lijiang or Beijing?

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