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

Should you visit Lijiang or Dalian?

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 Dalian can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Lijiang or Dalian?

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.

Dalian

Dalian, China is a very large peninsula city located in the southernmost part of the Liaoning Province in northeast China. The area has a wealth of history, with roots in Russian and Japanese rule, resulting in unique architecture and many universities that attract foreign students and teachers. Dalian is also known for their beautiful green spaces and relaxing beaches which juxtapose a lot of the more industrial cities found throughout other areas of northern 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, Dalian 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 Dalian is $103. 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 Dalian in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lijiang $15
    Dalian $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lijiang $30
    Dalian $108
Compare Hotels in Lijiang and Dalian

Looking for a hotel in Lijiang or Dalian? 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 Dalian


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
    Dalian $41

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dalian

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

  • Private Departure Transfer: City Hotel to Any Guiyang Railway Station: $38
  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Chauffeur Service , to Dalian Transfer: $27
  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Chauffeur Service , to Dalian Transfer: $40
  • Dalian Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Railway Station: $32
  • Dalian Private Arrival Transfer: Railway Station to City Hotel: $33

Is it cheaper to fly into Lijiang or Dalian?

Prices for flights to both Dalian 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
    Dalian $27
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lijiang $20
    Dalian $4.78

Tours and Activities in Lijiang

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

  • 1 Day Private Tour to Shaxi Ancient Town from Lijiang or Dali: $165
  • 1 Day Tiger Teaping Gorge Private Tour from Lijiang or Shangri-La: $170
  • 1-Day Old Town Tour in Lijiang: $166
  • 1-Day Private Tour to Lijiang Highlights: $297
  • 2 Days Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour by public coach: $189
  • 2-Days Self-Guided tour from Lijiang to Dali and overnight in Shaxi old town: $212
  • 4 Hour Private Lijiang City Highlights Walking Tour: $72
  • All Inclusive Private Day Tour to Shaxi Ancient Town from Lijiang: $221
  • Beautiful Country road Biking tour to Xinhua village Heqing start from Lijiang: $173
  • Country Biking tour to lashi lake Lamaism temple baisha village from Lijiang: $176
  • Flexible Lijiang City Highlights Private Day Tour with Lunch: $208
  • Flexible Lijiang City Highlights Private Day Tour with Lunch: $218

Tours and Activities in Dalian

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

  • Dalian City Private Day Tour in Your Way: $159

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lijiang $7.86
    Dalian $6.31


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Lijiang and Dalian, we can see that Dalian 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 Dalian would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dalian 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 Dalian Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Lijiang or Dalian?

Dalian has a larger population, and is about 79% larger than the population of Lijiang. When comparing the sizes of Lijiang and Dalian, 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.