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

Should you visit Taiyuan or Harbin?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Taiyuan and Harbin. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Taiyuan or Harbin?

Taiyuan

With sleek architectural designs and blossoming businesses, this metropolis is simply brimming with invigorating excitement and once-in-a-lifetime entertainment. Despite its glimmering skyscrapers and gorgeous fountains, Taiyuan, China has an extensive history of nearly 2,500 years. During ancient China, Taiyuan, or the "Dragon City," was a major military town. Presently, this city is now one of China's most important industrial cities, producing more than half of the national coal mining output. Taiyuan is both the capital and largest city of the Shanxi province of North China. It is bounded by mountains on three of its sides, allowing this great city to be surrounded by fantastic views of its landscape. Besides its economic significance, Taiyuan also achieves tourist significance due to its plethora of landmarks and sights. Some of these attractions include Jinci Temple, Forest Park, Mengshan Giant Buddha, and Shanxi Museum. Taiyuan is also celebrated internationally for holding their annual Shanxi Taiyuan International Folk Arts Festival, a celebration held in September that hosts exhibition of fine arts, painting, paper-cutting, sculpture, drama, acrobatic and the culture of costume. With such a great deal to do in such a limited window of time, it is best to make the most Taiyuan while you visit!

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 Budget Tours to China, The Best Tours for Seniors to China, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Beijing, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Lhasa.


Which place is cheaper, Harbin or Taiyuan?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taiyuan is $90, 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 Taiyuan and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taiyuan $42
    Harbin $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taiyuan $84
    Harbin $42
Compare Hotels in Taiyuan and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Taiyuan 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 Taiyuan


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.
    Taiyuan $47
    Harbin $1.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • Harbin City Car Transfer Service with Driver: $168
  • Private Full Day Transfer Service to Harbin Top Winter Attractions: $168
  • Harbin Private Transfer from Harbin Airport (HRB) to central Harbin: $116
  • Shared Night Transfer Service to Harbin Ice and Snow World: $85
  • Private HRB Airport Departure Transfer from Harbin City Hotel: $70
  • Private HRB Airport Arrival Transfer to Harbin City Hotel: $70
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Harbin West Railway Station to Harbin City Hotel: $65
  • Private Departure Transfer to Harbin Railway Station from Harbin City Hotel: $50
  • Harbin Airport (HRB) : Private Arrival Transfer with Meet & Greet Service: $32
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $27
  • Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Any Harbin Railway Station : $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Taiyuan or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin and Taiyuan 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
    Taiyuan $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.
    Taiyuan $15
    Harbin $53

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
  • Half Day Tour for Harbin Guandong Ancient Lane and Wood Sculpture Museum: $104
  • Harbin City Guided Tour to Zhongyang Street and Sophia Church: $180
  • Harbin City Private Day Tour in Your Way in Winter Season: $200
  • Harbin Ice Festival New Year Eve Countdown Group Tour on December 31: $200
  • Private City Tour of Harbin: $360
  • Private Customized Harbin City Day Tour by Public Transportation: $220

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taiyuan $6.32
    Harbin $7.85


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Taiyuan and Harbin, we can see that Taiyuan is more expensive. And not only is Harbin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Harbin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Harbin 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 Taiyuan would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Taiyuan than you might in Harbin.

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


Which is Bigger, Taiyuan or Harbin?

Harbin has a larger population, and is about 19% larger than the population of Taiyuan. When comparing the sizes of Taiyuan 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.

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