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

Should you visit Shenzhen or Beijing?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Shenzhen and Beijing can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Shenzhen or Beijing?

Shenzhen

Located in the Guangdong Province of southeastern China, Shenzhen is a metropolis that connects Hong Kong to China's mainland. It is one of China's most populous cities, inhabited by vast array of people from other Chinese regions.  It is perhaps best known for it shopping, collection of amusement parks, green parks, museums and galleries, and a few historic sites. It is on UNESCO's Creative Cities list.

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 Sightseeing Tours in China, The Best Cultural Tours in China, The Best Luxury Tours to China, and The Best Budget Tours to China.


Which place is cheaper, Beijing or Shenzhen?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Shenzhen is $123, while the average daily cost in Beijing is $77. 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 Shenzhen and Beijing in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Shenzhen $89
    Beijing $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Shenzhen $178
    Beijing $78
Compare Hotels in Shenzhen and Beijing

Looking for a hotel in Shenzhen 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 Shenzhen


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.
    Shenzhen $15
    Beijing $7.65

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shenzhen

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

  • Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to Hong Kong Airport (HKG) -Departure Private Transfer : $44
  • A Premium Airport Transfer Service, Meet us at the Arrival Hall!: $131
  • Guangzhou Baiyun Airport Chauffeur Service , to Shenzhen Transfer: $71
  • Hong Kong Airport (HKG) to Hong Kong - Arrival Private Transfer: $64
  • Hong Kong Airport (HKG) to Hong Kong -Round-Trip Private Transfer: $128
  • Hong Kong Airport (HKG) to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal - Arrival Private Transfer : $44
  • Hong Kong Airport HKG to Hong Kong Arrival Private Transfer: $57
  • Hong Kong Disneyland: 1-Day Entry Ticket with Private Transfer: $162
  • Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) Private Transfer: $30
  • Hong Kong Private Arrival Transfer Driver Meet and Greet: Airport to Hotel: $62
  • Hong Kong Private Transfer from Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok Airport to Hong Kong: $76
  • Hong Kong Private Transfer to Macau hotel over Bridge: $265

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $4.72
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $6.91
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.29
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.21
  • Metro
    $0.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • [Airport Transfer] Beijing Capital Airport ⇔ Beijing City Transfer (one way) ☆ High reputation for service! <Charter charter>: $30
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Beijing APT-HTL (PEK): $62
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port to Beijing Capital Airport by private transfer: $148
  • Tianjin International Cruise Port Transfer from Beijing: $130
  • Tianjin Cruise Port to Beijing Daxing Airport by Private Transfer: $148
  • Tianjin Cruise Port Private Transfer to Beijing International Airport: $153
  • Tianjin Binhai Airport to Beijing - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $157
  • Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City Private Tour With Airport Transfer: $205
  • Shijingshan Amusement Park with FlyOver China Experience by Private Transfer: $78
  • 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 Shenzhen or Beijing?

Prices for flights to both Beijing and Shenzhen 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
    Shenzhen $20
    Beijing $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Shenzhen

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

  • Vegetarian Food Tour: $77
  • Wet market tour & cooking class with local mum: $89
  • Hong Kong Guided Dinner + Laser Show Lounge Entry (2023) | 200+ booked : $100
  • Hong Kong Food Tour: Sham Shui Po District: $107
  • Hong Kong Food Tour: Central and Sheung Wan Districts: $107
  • Secret Food Tour With the Locals in Tin Hau Hong Kong w/ Private Tour Option: $109
  • Private Food Tour With the Locals in Hong Kong: $141
  • The 10 Tastings of Hong Kong With Locals: Private Street Food Tour : $159
  • Hong Kong Food Tour with a Local: A Feast for Foodies 100% Personalized: $160
  • Kowloon Street Food Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private: $160

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
    $6.91
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.76
  • Watermelon
    $1.94
  • 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 Handmade Noodles by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Beijing Dumplings and Cuisine by Sunflowerli Renowned Chef : $20
  • Online Cooking Class Kungpao Chicken: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Orange Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • 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
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $55
  • Temple of Heaven Private Tour w/Option Show &Dinner: $60
  • 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
  • Authentic Lunch or Dinner Tour in Beijing's Best Hidden Spots: $80

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Shenzhen $17
    Beijing $24

Tours and Activities in Shenzhen

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

  • Skip the Line! Walk to the Peak: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Yau Ma Tei: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in the Heart of Kowloon: $5.40
  • Victoria Peak: Climb to the summit via the Mid-Levels escalato on an audio tour: $5.40
  • Hong Kong Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Hong Kong Airport Express Train Tickets(Avoid Heavy Traffic): $15
  • Lovely Hong Kong Self-Guided Audio Tour: $16
  • Walking Tour in Hong Kong - Local Experience (New & Best) : $17
  • sky100 Tales of Hongkong Admission Ticket F-KZ_1/F-KE: $21
  • TramOramic Sightseeing Tour plus 2-Day Tramways Ticket: $23
  • sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck Tickets: $23
  • Dukling Boat Tour in Victoria Harbour: $25
  • Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ticket on Lantau Island: $26

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
    $8.29
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $59
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $9.68
  • 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:

  • 4 hours Deep Forbidden City Private Tour by Knowledgeable Guide.: $80
  • 4-Hour Beijing Layover Tour to Hutong from Daxing Airport: $145
  • All Inclusive Mutianyu Great Wall & Summer Palace Private Tour: $188
  • All Inclusive Private Tour: Juyongguan Greatwall, Sacred Road, MingTombs : $176
  • Beijing 2 Summer Palace Private Garden Tour: $140
  • Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with English Driver : $100
  • Beijing Private Tour of Ming Tombs, Summer Palace, Bird's Nest and Water Cube: $297
  • China Art Museum and 798 Art Zone Private Tour: $137
  • Classic One Day Beijing Tour: $290
  • Forbidden City Tour : $110
  • Full Day Private Tour Incredible Beijing City Highlights: $179
  • Jinshanling&Gubeikou Great Wall Private Guided Tour : $140

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Shenzhen $19
    Beijing $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Beijing:

  • Beijing Brewery Bike Tour: $99
  • Private Tour-Bejing Old Hutong Food Tasting+Local Brewery Beer: $110
  • Full Day Private Chateau Changyu Wine Tour from Beijing: $162
  • 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 Shenzhen and Beijing, we can see that Shenzhen is more expensive. And not only is Beijing much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Beijing would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Beijing 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 Shenzhen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Shenzhen than you might in Beijing.

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


Which is Bigger, Shenzhen or Beijing?

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


When is the best time to visit Shenzhen or Beijing?

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 Shenzhen or Beijing in the Summer?

Both Beijing and Shenzhen during the summer are popular places to visit. Also, the city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Beijing this time of year.

Shenzhen is a little warmer than Beijing in the summer. The daily temperature in Shenzhen averages around 30°C (85°F) in July, and Beijing fluctuates around 27°C (80°F).

In Beijing, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Shenzhen. In the summer, Shenzhen often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Beijing. Shenzhen gets 231 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Beijing receives 224 hours of full sun.

Beijing gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Shenzhen. Shenzhen usually gets more rain in July than Beijing. Shenzhen gets 323 mm (12.7 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 176 mm (6.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Shenzhen 30°C (85°F) 
    Beijing 27°C (80°F)

Should I visit Shenzhen or Beijing in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Shenzhen and Beijing. Also, many travelers come to Beijing for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Shenzhen is much warmer than Beijing. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Shenzhen in October average around 26°C (78°F), and Beijing averages at about 14°C (56°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Beijing this time of the year. Shenzhen usually receives less sunshine than Beijing during autumn. Shenzhen gets 190 hours of sunny skies, while Beijing receives 227 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Shenzhen gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Shenzhen usually receives more rain than Beijing. Shenzhen gets 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Shenzhen 26°C (78°F) 
    Beijing 14°C (56°F)

Should I visit Shenzhen or Beijing in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Shenzhen as well as Beijing. Also, many visitors come to Beijing in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Beijing can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Shenzhen is generally much warmer than Beijing. Daily temperatures in Shenzhen average around 16°C (60°F), and Beijing fluctuates around -4°C (26°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Beijing. In the winter, Shenzhen often gets less sunshine than Beijing. Shenzhen gets 140 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Beijing receives 201 hours of full sun.

Shenzhen usually gets more rain in January than Beijing. Shenzhen gets 26 mm (1 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Shenzhen 16°C (60°F) 
    Beijing -4°C (26°F)

Should I visit Shenzhen or Beijing in the Spring?

Both Beijing and Shenzhen are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, most visitors come to Beijing for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months.

Shenzhen is much warmer than Beijing in the spring. The daily temperature in Shenzhen averages around 23°C (73°F) in April, and Beijing fluctuates around 14°C (57°F).

It's quite sunny in Beijing. Shenzhen usually receives less sunshine than Beijing during spring. Shenzhen gets 95 hours of sunny skies, while Beijing receives 247 hours of full sun in the spring.

It's quite rainy in Shenzhen. In April, Shenzhen usually receives more rain than Beijing. Shenzhen gets 154 mm (6.1 in) of rain, while Beijing receives 26 mm (1 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Shenzhen 23°C (73°F) 
    Beijing 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for Beijing and Shenzhen

Shenzhen Beijing
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 16°C (60°F) 26 mm (1 in) -4°C (26°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Feb 16°C (61°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) -1°C (30°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Mar 19°C (66°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 6°C (42°F) 9 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 23°C (73°F) 154 mm (6.1 in) 14°C (57°F) 26 mm (1 in)
May 27°C (80°F) 325 mm (12.8 in) 20°C (68°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Jun 29°C (83°F) 382 mm (15 in) 25°C (76°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Jul 30°C (85°F) 323 mm (12.7 in) 27°C (80°F) 176 mm (6.9 in)
Aug 29°C (85°F) 393 mm (15.5 in) 25°C (78°F) 182 mm (7.2 in)
Sep 28°C (83°F) 300 mm (11.8 in) 20°C (69°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 26°C (78°F) 143 mm (5.6 in) 14°C (56°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Nov 21°C (70°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 5°C (41°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Dec 17°C (63°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) -1°C (29°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)