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

Should you visit Nanjing or Hangzhou?

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

Should I visit Nanjing or Hangzhou? 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 Hangzhou?

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.

Hangzhou

Hangzhou is a city in Eastern China, about an hour by train from Shanghai, renowned for its historic relics and natural beauty. Each year it attracts more than 20 million tourists who come to see what the city has to offer. Set amongst the natural scenery of lakes and mountains, Hangzhou is modern city that coexists with the old. Historic pagodas and cultural sites built around the central lake sit like they belong amidst the skyscrapers and bustling markets of today.

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, Hangzhou 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 Hangzhou is $65. 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 Hangzhou in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nanjing $46
    Hangzhou $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nanjing $92
    Hangzhou $46
Compare Hotels in Nanjing and Hangzhou

Looking for a hotel in Nanjing or Hangzhou? 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 Hangzhou


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
    Hangzhou $8.11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nanjing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nanjing:

  • Nanjing Railway Station Private Transfer from City Center: $32
  • Huangshan Tunxi International Airport Private Arrival Transfer to City Area: $20
  • Nanjing Airport (NKG) to Nanjing - Round-Trip Private Transfer : $73
  • Nanjing Lukou Airport Chauffeur Service, Nanjing Airport Transfer, Pickup: $63
  • Nanjing Lukou Int Airport (NKG): Private Transfer to Nanjing: $177
  • Nanjing Lukou International Airport Private Arrival Transfer to City Center: $45
  • Nanjing Private Round Trip Transfer to Niushoushan Cultural Park: $67
  • Nanjing Private Transfer from Nanjing central to Nanjing Lukou Airport (NKG): $116
  • Nanjing Railway Station Private Transfer to Lukou International Airport: $45
  • Nanjing Tangshan Hot Spring Spa Experience with Private Transfer: $103
  • Nanjing To Huangshan Bullet Train Ticket with Local Private Transfers: $129
  • Nanjing to Beijing Bullet Train Ticket with Local Private Transfers: $163

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hangzhou

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Hangzhou:


  • Local Bus for Two
    $0.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hangzhou

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hangzhou:

  • Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport Private Arrival Transfer to City Area : $29
  • 2-Day Putuo Mountain Self-Guided Tour from Hangzhou by Private Transfer: $282
  • Enduring Memories of Hangzhou West Lake Show VIP Ticket with Private Transfer: $128
  • Hangzhou Downtown Transfer To Hangzhou East Railway Station: $32
  • Hangzhou Downtown transfer to Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport: $35
  • Hangzhou East Railway Station Transfer To Hangzhou Downtown City: $32
  • Hangzhou International Airport Private Arrival Transfer to Shaoxing City : $84
  • Hangzhou Private Transfer to Shanghai with Drop-off Options : $131
  • Hangzhou Private Transfer to Shanghai with stop-over at Wuzhen Water Town: $165
  • Hangzhou Private Transfer: City Hotels to Railway Station: $28
  • Hangzhou Private Transfer: Railway Station to City Hotels: $33
  • Hangzhou Railway Station Private Departure Transfer from City Area : $29

Is it cheaper to fly into Nanjing or Hangzhou?

Prices for flights to both Hangzhou 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Nanjing $28
    Hangzhou $18

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

Typical Food Prices in Hangzhou

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


  • Breakfast Pastries
    $2.35
  • Pizza Hut Lunch
    $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hangzhou

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

  • All Inclusive Night Tour with Impression West Lake Show VIP Ticket and Dinner: $117
  • VIP Seated Enduring Memories of Hangzhou Show Tour with Authentic Dinner: $127
  • Private Amazing Hangzhou Airport Layover Tour with Lunch or Dinner Option : $170
  • Enduring Memories of Hangzhou West Lake Show VIP Ticket with Authentic Dinner: $191
  • Hangzhou Private Tour to Wuzhen and Xitang Water Town with Dinner and Boat Ride: $282

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nanjing $9.26
    Hangzhou $20

Tours and Activities in Nanjing

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

  • Flexible Private Nanjing Independent Tour : $63
  • Nanjing Self-Guided Day Tour with Private Car and Driver Service: $70
  • Private Amazing Nanjing City Day Tour in Your Way: $75
  • Nanjing Private English Tour Guide Service: $75
  • Nanjing Professional English Tour Guide Service: $91
  • Half-Day Nanjing Purple Mountain Private Tour in Your Way: $94
  • Half-Day Nanjing City Private Flexible Tour : $109
  • 4-Hour Nanjing Private Tour: Xiaoling Tomb, Ming City Wall and Memorial Hall : $115
  • Nanjing Private Flexible Day Tour with Ancient and Modern History: $119
  • Half-Day Private Customized Nanjing City Tour: $122
  • Nanjing Private Flexible Day Tour with Professional Guide and Driver Service: $126
  • Nanjing By Night: Qinghuai River Cruise with Authentic Dining Experience: $138

Tours and Activities in Hangzhou

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

  • Hangzhou Lingyin Temple Tour : $28
  • Hangzhou Longjing Tea Culture Experience Tour : $53
  • Best Price: Impression West Lake Show Ticket: $59
  • Skip the Line: Impression West Lake Show Ticket: $65
  • Zuiyi Hangzhou Impression West Lake Show Ticket: $69
  • Enduring Memories of Hangzhou Show Ticket with Private Transport: $89
  • One-day Hangzhou Lakeside Mountains Relics & Ruins Hiking – Guided Outdoor Tour : $90
  • Independent Tour to Shaoxing City from Hangzhou: $94
  • Night Tour with Impression West Lake Show VIP Ticket and Hefang Heritage Street : $95
  • Songcheng Park & Lengend of Song Dynasty Show Ticket: $100
  • Hangzhou Impressoin West Lake- Enduring Memory of Hangzhou Show Tour: $100
  • The most beautiful temple in China-Yongfu Temple tour with vegetarian lunch: $100

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nanjing $9.46
    Hangzhou $10


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Nanjing and Hangzhou, we can see that Nanjing is more expensive. And not only is Hangzhou much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hangzhou would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hangzhou 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 Hangzhou.

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


Which is Bigger, Nanjing or Hangzhou?

Nanjing has a larger population, and is about 64% larger than the population of Hangzhou. When comparing the sizes of Nanjing and Hangzhou, 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 Hangzhou?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Nanjing or Hangzhou in the Summer?

Both Hangzhou and Nanjing are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

Nanjing is around the same temperature as Hangzhou in the summer. The daily temperature in Nanjing averages around 28°C (83°F) in July, and Hangzhou fluctuates around 29°C (85°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Hangzhou. It's quite rainy in Nanjing. In July, Nanjing usually receives more rain than Hangzhou. Nanjing gets 174 mm (6.9 in) of rain, while Hangzhou receives 129 mm (5.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nanjing 28°C (83°F) 
    Hangzhou 29°C (85°F)

Should I visit Nanjing or Hangzhou in the Autumn?

Both Hangzhou and Nanjing during the autumn are popular places to visit.

In the autumn, Nanjing is around the same temperature as Hangzhou. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Nanjing in October average around 17°C (63°F), and Hangzhou averages at about 19°C (66°F).

Nanjing usually gets less rain in October than Hangzhou. Nanjing gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Hangzhou receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nanjing 17°C (63°F) 
    Hangzhou 19°C (66°F)

Should I visit Nanjing or Hangzhou in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Nanjing and Hangzhou.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Hangzhou. It's quite cold in Nanjing in the winter. In January, Nanjing is generally much colder than Hangzhou. Daily temperatures in Nanjing average around 3°C (37°F), and Hangzhou fluctuates around 5°C (41°F).

In January, Nanjing usually receives less rain than Hangzhou. Nanjing gets 27 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Hangzhou receives 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nanjing 3°C (37°F) 
    Hangzhou 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Nanjing or Hangzhou in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Nanjing as well as Hangzhou.

Nanjing is around the same temperature as Hangzhou in the spring. The daily temperature in Nanjing averages around 15°C (60°F) in April, and Hangzhou fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

It's quite rainy in Hangzhou. Nanjing receives a lot of rain in the spring. Nanjing usually gets less rain in April than Hangzhou. Nanjing gets 101 mm (4 in) of rain, while Hangzhou receives 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nanjing 15°C (60°F) 
    Hangzhou 16°C (61°F)

Typical Weather for Hangzhou and Nanjing

Nanjing Hangzhou
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) 5°C (41°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 52 mm (2 in) 6°C (42°F) 88 mm (3.4 in)
Mar 9°C (48°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 10°C (50°F) 115 mm (4.5 in)
Apr 15°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in) 16°C (61°F) 130 mm (5.1 in)
May 21°C (69°F) 88 mm (3.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 159 mm (6.3 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 114 mm (4.5 in) 25°C (77°F) 185 mm (7.3 in)
Jul 28°C (83°F) 174 mm (6.9 in) 29°C (85°F) 129 mm (5.1 in)
Aug 28°C (83°F) 158 mm (6.2 in) 29°C (84°F) 145 mm (5.7 in)
Sep 23°C (74°F) 105 mm (4.1 in) 24°C (76°F) 171 mm (6.7 in)
Oct 17°C (63°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 19°C (66°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 11°C (52°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 13°C (56°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 25 mm (1 in) 7°C (45°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)