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

Should you visit Tianjin or Harbin?

Should I visit Tianjin or Harbin? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.


Tianjin is a large metropolis on the north east coast of China. This ancient city, which dates back to prehistoric times, is one of five National Central Cities of China and is rich in culture and history. Tianjin is most famous for its beautiful walking streets and history of European concession territories.

Tianjin experiences hot and humid summers, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are cool and dry with temperatures around 15° (F). Spring and Autumn tend to be the best times to visit as weather is a little more mild, although Spring has a tendency to be a little rainy.


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.

Which city is cheaper, Harbin or Tianjin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tianjin is $68, while the average daily cost in Harbin is $49. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Tianjin and Harbin in more detail.


An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $62 in Tianjin For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $36 in Harbin For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tianjin $31
    Harbin $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tianjin $62
    Harbin $36


In Tianjin travelers spend around $18 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

On average, meal and food prices in Harbin cost around $12 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $4.80.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Tianjin $18
    Harbin $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • 3-hour Private Food Tour in Harbin: $100
  • Half-Day Private Harbin Beer Museum and Food Tour Including Harbin Beer1900: $150
  • Harbin Dumpling Cooking Class: $150
  • Hot Spring Experience with Hot Pot Dinner in Harbin: $160
  • 4-Hour Private Night Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World with Dinner Options: $250
  • Private Full Day Tour to Harbin Beifang Forest Zoo and Optional Seafood Dinner: $250

Local Transportation

To get around in Tianjin, the average visitor spends $33 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Harbin than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $1.34 on transportation in Harbin on average per day.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tianjin $33
    Harbin $1.34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tianjin

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

  • Tianjin Round Trip Transfer to Chengde Summer Resort and Eight Outer Temples: $216
  • Tianjin Railway Station Private Transfer to Cruise Port: $59
  • Tianjin Railway Station Private Transfer from Cruise Port: $59
  • Tianjin Private Transfer to Gubei Water Town and Simatai Great Wall: $196
  • Tianjin Private Transfer from Tianjin central to Tianjin Binhai Airport (TSN): $132
  • Tianjin Private Transfer from Railway Station to Cruise Port: $80
  • Tianjin Private Transfer from Cruise Port to Railway Station: $80
  • Tianjin Private Round-Trip Transfer to Huangyaguan Great Wall: $112
  • Tianjin Private Round Trip Transfer to Panshan: $124
  • Tianjin Private Round Trip Transfer to Huangyaguan Pass and Eastern Qing Tombs: $132
  • Tianjin Private One Way Transfer to Beidaihe: $246
  • Tianjin Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Railway Station: $56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer to Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin HRB Airport: $400
  • Private Transfer to China's Snow Town from Harbin City: $400
  • Private Departure Transfer to Harbin HRB Airport from Yabuli Ski Resort: $399
  • Private Arrival Transfer to China's Snow Town from Harbin HRB Airport: $392
  • Private Transfer to Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin City: $350
  • Full-DayPrivateTransfer to Harbin Volga Manor&Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin City: $300
  • Full-DayPrivateTransfer to Harbin Volga Manor&Harbin City from Yabuli Ski Resort: $270
  • Private Day Transfer to Jihua Ski Resort from Harbin City: $250
  • Harbin Catholic Church Car Transfer Service: $200
  • Harbin Private Transfer from Harbin central to Harbin Taiping Airport (HRB): $131
  • Harbin Volga Manor Private Transfer Service 1- day Car Service with Driver: $130
  • Private Full Day Transfer Service to Harbin Top Winter Attractions: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Tianjin or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin and Tianjin 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.


In Tianjin, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $9.17 per person, per day.

Sightseeing expenses in Harbin, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $47 per day, per person.

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tianjin $9.17
    Harbin $47

Tours and Activities in Tianjin

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tianjin.

  • 1 Day Tianjin City Essence Tour from Tianjin Port: $235
  • 1 Day Tianjin City Tour: $195
  • 1-Day Tour:Tianjin Cruise Port to Beijing City Highlights and back in a day: $355
  • 1-Day Tour:Tianjin Cruise Port to Beijing Mutianyu Great Wall and back in a day: $355
  • 2 Days Beijing Group Tour from Tianjin Port without Shop/Factory Stops: $276
  • 2 to 3hours shopping Tour at Tianjin Tanggu Foreign goods market by Car: $118
  • 2-Day Beijing Private Tour from Tianjin Cruise Port: $545
  • 2-Day Private Tianjin Sightseeing Tour including Huangyaguan Great Wall: $446
  • 2-Day Private Tour of Qinhuangdao and Beidaihe from Tianjin: $708
  • 3 Days Beijing Group Tour from Tianjin Port without Shop/Factory Stops: $340
  • 3-Day Private Tibet Tour from Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake and Khampa La Pass: $925
  • 3-Day Private tour to Beijing and Tianjin from Tianjin Cruise Port: $875

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • "Harbin Planning Exhibition Hall" A guide tour.: $120
  • "Visit 5 Museums in Harbin" A guide tour.: $500
  • "Visit 5 universities in Harbin" A guide tour.: $400
  • "Visit Museum of Heilongjiang" - a guide tour.: $100
  • 1-Day Harbin Private Tour: $70
  • 2 Days Private Tour to Chagan Lake Winter Fishing from Harbin: $1,500
  • 2-Day Group City Tour Package with Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: $399
  • 2-Day Harbin City Private Tour in Your Way in Winter Season: $210
  • 2-Day Harbin City Private Tour with Ice and Snow Festival with Lunch: $340
  • 2-Day Leisure Private Tour Combo Package of Harbin Including Lunch: $627
  • 2-Day Private Tour to Volcanic Vent in Wudalianchi from Harbin: $1,000
  • 2-Day Private Trip to China Snow Town and Yabuli Ski Experience from Harbin: $1,150


Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Tianjin, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.88.

Typically, people visiting Harbin spend on average $7.01 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tianjin $9.88
    Harbin $7.01

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tianjin and Harbin, we can see that Tianjin 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 Tianjin would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tianjin than you might in Harbin.

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Tianjin vs. Harbin Travel Comparison

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