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

Should you visit Nanjing or Dalian?

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

Should I visit Nanjing or Dalian? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Nanjing or Dalian?


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.


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 Historical Tours in China, The Best 10-Day Tours in China, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in China, and The Best 2-Week Tours in China.

Which place is cheaper, Dalian or Nanjing?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nanjing is $96, 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 Nanjing and Dalian in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nanjing $46
    Dalian $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nanjing $92
    Dalian $108
Compare Hotels in Nanjing and Dalian

Looking for a hotel in Nanjing 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 Nanjing

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.
    Nanjing $38
    Dalian $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nanjing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nanjing:

  • Nanjing Lukou Int Airport (NKG): Private Transfer to Nanjing: $177
  • Nanjing to Beijing Bullet Train Ticket with Local Private Transfers: $163
  • Nanjing To Huangshan Bullet Train Ticket with Local Private Transfers: $129
  • Nanjing Private Transfer from Nanjing central to Nanjing Lukou Airport (NKG): $116
  • Private Nanjing Airport Transfer to Zhenjiang City: $110
  • Private Transfer to Yangzhou City from Nanjing Lukou Airport : $109
  • Nanjing Tangshan Hot Spring Spa Experience with Private Transfer: $103
  • Nanjing to Suzhou Bullet Train Ticket with Train Station Transfer: $96
  • Private Transfer to Zhenjiang from Nanjing City Center: $94
  • Private Round Trip Transfer to Zhenjiang from Nanjing: $94
  • Private Round Trip Transfer to Yangzhou Attractions from Nanjing: $89
  • Private Transfer to Yangzhou from Nanjing City Center: $89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dalian

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

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Nanjing or Dalian?

Prices for flights to both Dalian and Nanjing 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 Meals for one day
    Nanjing $28
    Dalian $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nanjing

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

  • 3-Hour Nanjing Authentic Local Food Tour by Public Transportation: $93
  • Flexible Private Nanjing City Night Tour with Dinner Option : $112
  • Nanjing City Private Night Tour with Qinghuai River Cruise and Dinner Option: $114
  • Nanjing Tangshan Mountain Hot Spring Experience and Hot Pot Dinner: $175

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nanjing $9.26
    Dalian $4.78

Tours and Activities in Nanjing

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

  • Half-Day Nanjing City Private Flexible Tour : $109
  • 2-Day Unlimited Nanjing Private Flexible Tour with Lunch Option : $295
  • 4-Hour Nanjing Private Tour: Nanjing Jiming Temple, Ming City Wall, Xuanwu Lake: $147
  • 4-Hour Nanjing Private Tour: Xiaoling Tomb, Ming City Wall and Memorial Hall : $115
  • All Inclusive Amazing Nanjing City Highlights Private Day Tour: $193
  • All Inclusive Nanjing City Private Day Tour with Tailor-Made Highlights: $213
  • All-inclusive Customized Nanjing Layover Tour: $201
  • By round way bullet train from Shanghai to Nanjing city tour: $650
  • Flexible Private Nanjing City Highlights Day Tour: $164
  • Flexible Private Nanjing Independent Tour : $63
  • Flexible Private Nanjing Layover Tour: $171
  • Flexible Suzhou Private Day Tour from Nanjing by Bullet Train: $245

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 Drinks for one day
    Nanjing $9.46
    Dalian $6.31

When comparing the travel costs between Nanjing and Dalian, we can see that Dalian 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.

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

Which is Bigger, Nanjing or Dalian?

Nanjing has a larger population, and is about 52% larger than the population of Dalian. When comparing the sizes of Nanjing 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.

When is the best time to visit Nanjing or Dalian?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Nanjing or Dalian in the Summer?

Both Dalian and Nanjing during the summer are popular places to visit.

In the summer, Nanjing is a little warmer than Dalian. Typically, the summer temperatures in Nanjing in July average around 28°C (83°F), and Dalian averages at about 24°C (75°F).

Dalian gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Nanjing. Nanjing usually gets less rain in July than Dalian. Nanjing gets 174 mm (6.9 in) of rain, while Dalian receives 202 mm (8 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nanjing 28°C (83°F) 
    Dalian 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Nanjing or Dalian in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Nanjing and Dalian.

In October, Nanjing is generally a little warmer than Dalian. Daily temperatures in Nanjing average around 17°C (63°F), and Dalian fluctuates around 15°C (58°F).

In October, Nanjing usually receives more rain than Dalian. Nanjing gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Dalian receives 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nanjing 17°C (63°F) 
    Dalian 15°C (58°F)

Should I visit Nanjing or Dalian in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Nanjing as well as Dalian.

Dalian can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Nanjing. Nanjing is much warmer than Dalian in the winter. The daily temperature in Nanjing averages around 3°C (37°F) in January, and Dalian fluctuates around -4°C (25°F).

Nanjing usually gets more rain in January than Dalian. Nanjing gets 27 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Dalian receives 9 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nanjing 3°C (37°F) 
    Dalian -4°C (25°F)

Should I visit Nanjing or Dalian in the Spring?

Both Dalian and Nanjing are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Nanjing is a little warmer than Dalian. Typically, the spring temperatures in Nanjing in April average around 15°C (60°F), and Dalian averages at about 11°C (51°F).

It's quite rainy in Nanjing. In April, Nanjing usually receives more rain than Dalian. Nanjing gets 101 mm (4 in) of rain, while Dalian receives 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nanjing 15°C (60°F) 
    Dalian 11°C (51°F)

Typical Weather for Dalian and Nanjing

Nanjing Dalian
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) -4°C (25°F) 9 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 52 mm (2 in) -2°C (28°F) 12 mm (0.5 in)
Mar 9°C (48°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 4°C (38°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Apr 15°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in) 11°C (51°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
May 21°C (69°F) 88 mm (3.5 in) 17°C (62°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 114 mm (4.5 in) 21°C (69°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
Jul 28°C (83°F) 174 mm (6.9 in) 24°C (75°F) 202 mm (8 in)
Aug 28°C (83°F) 158 mm (6.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 132 mm (5.2 in)
Sep 23°C (74°F) 105 mm (4.1 in) 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 17°C (63°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 15°C (58°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Nov 11°C (52°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 7°C (44°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 25 mm (1 in) -0°C (32°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)