A Travel Price Comparison for China Qingdao vs. Harbin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Qingdao or Harbin?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Qingdao or Harbin, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Qingdao or Harbin?

Qingdao

Qingdao, China, located in the Shandong Province, is a very large city right on the Yellow Sea coast. The city, whose name means "The Green Island" due to it's gorgeous landscapes and interesting geography, was named China's most livable city in 2012. The city is rich in history, having almost become a German territory in 1897 and being occupied by the Japanese during WWI. Evidence of these occupiers is present in much of the architecture around the city, which includes a few Catholic and Protestant churches.

Harbin

Harbin, China is the northernmost major city in the country, with a population of over 10 million. Harbin was founded in 1897 by Russia, which has resulted in a lot of Russian influence throughout the city and many Russian citizens. The city is most famous for their annual International Snow and Ice Festival, a two-month-long festival running from January through February of each year.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in China, The Best Luxury Tours to China, The Best Budget Tours to China, and The Best Tours for Seniors to China.


Which place is cheaper, Harbin or Qingdao?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Qingdao is $58, while the average daily cost in Harbin is $54. 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 Qingdao and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Qingdao $26
    Harbin $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Qingdao $52
    Harbin $42
Compare Hotels in Qingdao and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Qingdao or Harbin? 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 Qingdao


Hotels in Harbin


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.
    Qingdao $12
    Harbin $1.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Qingdao

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

  • Qingdao Railway Station Depature Transfer from City Hotels: $36
  • Qingdao Railway Station Arrival Transfer to City Hotel: $36
  • Qingdao Private Transfer from Qingdao central to Qingdao Airport (TAO): $83
  • Qingdao Private Transfer from Qingdao Airport (TAO) to central Qingdao: $83
  • Qingdao Northern Railway Station Arrival Private One-Way Transfer: $42
  • Qingdao Liuting Airport Transfer Service by Minivan: $86
  • Qingdao Cruise Port Departure Transfer from City Hotels: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer: City Hotel to Qingdao Railway Station : $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • Private HRB Airport Departure Transfer from Harbin City Hotel: $70
  • Private HRB Airport Arrival Transfer to Harbin City Hotel: $70
  • Private Full Day Transfer Service to Harbin Top Winter Attractions: $168
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Harbin West Railway Station to Harbin City Hotel: $65
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Harbin Railway Station to Harbin City Hotel: $55
  • Harbin Taiping Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer, Pick up.: $59
  • Harbin Taiping Airport Chauffeur Service , Harbin Airport Transfer,Pick up: $78
  • Harbin Private Transfer from Harbin Airport (HRB) to central Harbin: $115
  • Harbin City Car Transfer Service with Driver: $168
  • Harbin Catholic Church Car Transfer Service: $80
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $27
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Qingdao or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin and Qingdao 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
    Qingdao $20
    Harbin $14

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • 4-Hour Private Night Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World with Dinner Options: $261
  • Private Full Day Tour to Harbin Beifang Forest Zoo and Optional Seafood Dinner: $261

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Qingdao $20
    Harbin $52

Tours and Activities in Qingdao

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

  • Private Qingdao Essentials Tour: City Highlights and Beer Museum: $216
  • All-Inclusive Private Day Tour: Qingdao Highlights with Lunch: $285
  • Laoshan Mountain Full Day Private Activity Tour: $224
  • Private Qingdao Historic architectural day tour with Tsingdao beer during Lunch: $245
  • Private Qingdao Laoshan day tour with lunch& round way cable car: $240
  • Private Qingdao Laoshan half day tour with one bottle of Tsingdao beer as gift: $199
  • Private Qingdao city tour with Qingdao beer and Lunch: $260
  • Private Qingdao highlights city tour with Lunch and Qingdao beer: $175
  • Private tour Qingdao laoshan with round way cable car lunch: $190
  • Qingdao Discover Tour to the Mount Laoshan and Tasting Famous Local Beer: $248
  • Qingdao Private Day Tour to Laoshan Mountain with Lunch and Cable Car: $238
  • Qingdao Private Tour: City Highlights and Laoshan Mountain with Lunch+Cable Car: $268

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • 1-Day Harbin Private Tour: $130
  • 2-Day Harbin City Private Tour in Your Way in Winter Season: $280
  • 4-Hour Private Tour of the Largest Indoor Ice and Snow Paradise: $136
  • From Amazing Day Trip Including tickets: $400
  • Full Day Private Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: $250
  • Group Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World plus Sun Island Snow Sculpture Festival: $298
  • Harbin City Group Tour including Crossing Songhua River by Ropeway and Ice Swimming Show: $290
  • Harbin City Private Day Tour in Your Way in Winter Season: $200
  • Harbin City Walking Sightseeing : $198
  • Harbin Ice Festival New Year Eve Countdown Group Tour on December 31: $200
  • Private City Tour of Harbin: $360
  • Private Half Day City Tour including Russian Town and Harbin Ropeway Ride: $150

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Qingdao $14
    Harbin $7.83


When comparing the travel costs between Qingdao and Harbin, we can see that Qingdao 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 Qingdao Expensive? and Is Harbin Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Qingdao or Harbin?

Harbin has a larger population, and is about 97% larger than the population of Qingdao. When comparing the sizes of Qingdao and Harbin, 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 Qingdao or Harbin?

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 Qingdao or Harbin in the Summer?

Both Harbin and Qingdao are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

In July, Qingdao is generally around the same temperature as Harbin. Daily temperatures in Qingdao average around 25°C (77°F), and Harbin fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Harbin. It's quite rainy in Qingdao. In July, Qingdao usually receives more rain than Harbin. Qingdao gets 211 mm (8.3 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 153 mm (6 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Qingdao 25°C (77°F) 
    Harbin 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Qingdao or Harbin in the Autumn?

Both Harbin and Qingdao during the autumn are popular places to visit.

Qingdao is much warmer than Harbin in the autumn. The daily temperature in Qingdao averages around 17°C (62°F) in October, and Harbin fluctuates around 7°C (44°F).

Qingdao usually gets more rain in October than Harbin. Qingdao gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 23 mm (0.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Qingdao 17°C (62°F) 
    Harbin 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Qingdao or Harbin in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Qingdao and Harbin.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Harbin. It's quite cold in Qingdao in the winter. In the winter, Qingdao is much warmer than Harbin. Typically, the winter temperatures in Qingdao in January average around -0°C (32°F), and Harbin averages at about -18°C (-0°F).

In January, Qingdao usually receives more rain than Harbin. Qingdao gets 11 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Qingdao -0°C (32°F) 
    Harbin -18°C (-0°F)

Should I visit Qingdao or Harbin in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Qingdao as well as Harbin.

In April, Qingdao is generally much warmer than Harbin. Daily temperatures in Qingdao average around 12°C (53°F), and Harbin fluctuates around 8°C (46°F).

Qingdao usually gets more rain in April than Harbin. Qingdao gets 37 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Harbin receives 21 mm (0.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Qingdao 12°C (53°F) 
    Harbin 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Harbin and Qingdao

Qingdao Harbin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -0°C (32°F) 11 mm (0.4 in) -18°C (-0°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb 1°C (34°F) 12 mm (0.5 in) -14°C (7°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) -3°C (26°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 12°C (53°F) 37 mm (1.5 in) 8°C (46°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 51 mm (2 in) 15°C (60°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 81 mm (3.2 in) 21°C (70°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 211 mm (8.3 in) 24°C (75°F) 153 mm (6 in)
Aug 26°C (79°F) 162 mm (6.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)
Sep 22°C (72°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 17°C (62°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 7°C (44°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Nov 10°C (49°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) -4°C (24°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Dec 3°C (37°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) -14°C (7°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)