A Travel Price Comparison for China Xi'an vs. Beijing for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Xi'an 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 Xi'an 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: Xi'an or Beijing?

Xi'an

Xi'an is an ancient city in the Shaanxi Province in China. Today it is most notable as the location of the Terracotta Warriors, but for visitors who choose to linger, there is so much more to see and do in the area. The city itself is more than 3,000 years old and for about one thousand years, through 13 dynasties and 73 emperors, it was the capital. Because of its rich history there are many historical ruins and a strong culture in the city. Today the city is a pleasant place to visit, although much of it's influence and power has dwindled. The city has both cosmopolitan and modern areas as well as historic and culturally rich areas. The neighborhoods are diverse and by exploring the city in depth you can learn a little more about what China really has to offer.

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


Which place is cheaper, Beijing or Xi'an?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Xi'an is $94, while the average daily cost in Beijing is $75. 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 Xi'an and Beijing in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Xi'an $60
    Beijing $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Xi'an $120
    Beijing $78
Compare Hotels in Xi'an and Beijing

Looking for a hotel in Xi'an 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 Xian


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.
    Xi'an $12
    Beijing $7.69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Xi'an

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Xi'an:

  • 1-Day Xi'an Layover Tour: Terracotta Army with Round Airport transfers(XIY): $100
  • 2-Day Customized Private Tour With Transfer in Historical Xi'an: $231
  • 4-Hour Private Xian Tour to Terracotta Warriors with Airport Transfer Option: $140
  • Bullet Train Station Transfer Service: $31
  • Essential Xian Tour with Airport Train Station or Hotel Transfer: $197
  • From Xian: Terracotta Army and City Wall Tour with Airport Transfer: $194
  • Full-Day Layover Private Tour: Essence of Xi'an With Airport Transfer: $197
  • Mt. Hua Entrance Ticket w/ Shuttle Bus&Cable Car&Private Transfer: $224
  • One Day Private Xian Tour to Terracotta Warriors with Airport Transfers: $149
  • One-Way Airport Transfer From Xi'an Xianyang International Airport to Xi'an Hotel: $75
  • Private Airport Transfer: Xi'an Hotel to Xianyang International Airport: $29
  • Private Airport Transfer:Xi'an Xianyang International Airport to Xi'an Hotel: $29

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Beijing

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


  • Taxi
    $4.70
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $6.88
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.26
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.20
  • Metro
    $0.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Jinshanling Great Wall Self-hiking Tour by Private Transfer Service : $98
  • Private English Transfer to Shilin Gorge Platform And Ming City Wall : $140
  • 1 Day Pass for Universal Beijing and Private Transfer Package: $265
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Private Tour: Forbidden City with Round Airport transfers: $198
  • 1-Way Private Transfer between Beijing Airport and City Hotels: $35
  • 4-Hour Huanghuacheng Great Wall Sunset Tour with Airport Transfer: $160
  • 5 Hours Round Trip Transfer Service to Mutianyu Great Wall: $70
  • Acrobatics Show with Private Driver Service and Hotel Round Transfer: $75
  • Airport Layover Transfer Service to Mutianyu Great Wall & City Sightseeing : $115
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Capital Airport PEK to Beijing in Business Car: $73
  • Arrival Transfer from Beijing Capital International Airport(PEK) to Hotel: $55
  • transfer from the airport to the hotel: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Xi'an or Beijing?

Prices for flights to both Beijing and Xi'an 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
    Xi'an $12
    Beijing $19

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Xi'an

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Xi'an.

  • Skip the Line: Xi'an Tang Dynasty Show Ticket & Dumpling Dinner or Royal Banquet: $32
  • Xian Muslim Quarter: 2-Hour Small Group Walking Food Tour : $36
  • Tang Dynasty Show with Optional Dinner: $51
  • Tang Dynasty Dinner Show with Private transfer: $55
  • Xi'an Vegetarian Food Tour: $60
  • Half-day Xi'an Biang Biang Noodles Cooking Class with Spice Market Visit: $65
  • Private Old Xi'an Authentic Local Beer Dinner Tour: $68
  • Xi'an Evening Food Tour by TukTuk: $69
  • 4 Hours Food Tours in Xi'an: $72
  • Xi'an Tang Dynasty Show and Dumpling Dinner with Hotel Transfer: $76
  • Half-day Xi'an Steamed Buns(Baozi) Cooking Class with Market Visit: $78
  • Xi'an Authentic Food Tour with Local Beverages: $80

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
    $6.88
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.75
  • Watermelon
    $1.93
  • 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 Beijing Dumplings and Cuisine by Sunflowerli Renowned Chef : $20
  • Online Cooking Class Handmade Noodles 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
  • Gulou (the Drum Tower) of Beijing Dinner & Beer Walking Tour: $68
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Beijing Gulou Night Market Food Tour: $75
  • Hidden Gems Guided Food Tour with Beer and Tastings: $75
  • Beijing Gulou Night Market Food Tour: $76
  • discovery more Beijing back street evening food tour with locals : $79

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Xi'an $35
    Beijing $24

Tours and Activities in Xi'an

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

  • 6 Hour Bus Tour: From Xi'an to Terra Cotta Warriors Museum Round Trip (8:30am): $13
  • Terra-cotta Warriors Entrance Ticket with Optional Guided Service: $26
  • Terracotta Warriors 5-Hour Private Tour w/ Optional Pickup Point: $26
  • Terracotta Army Tickets Booking: $28
  • Terracotta Army Tickets Booking: $28
  • Terracotta Army Tickets: $28
  • Terracotta Army Ticket: $28
  • Terracotta Warriors Tickets Booking: $28
  • Group Bus Tour to Terracotta Warriors with Hotel Pickup & Lunch: $35
  • Tang Dynasty Palace Show Tickets Booking: $37
  • Half Day Walking Tour around Xi'an Peaceful Old Downtown Area: $38
  • Xi'an Religions Tour: $45

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
    $8.26
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $58
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $9.63
  • 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:

  • Beijing's Old Hutongs: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $4.99
  • Temple of Heaven Group Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Hutongs Group Walking Tour : $5.00
  • Beijing's Old Hutongs: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Beijing´╝ÜJingshan Park (Palace Museum Garden) Ticket: $5.74
  • Confucius Temple and the Impercial College E-ticket: $6.48
  • Temple of Heaven Ticket: $6.50
  • Temple of Heaven Ticket Booking: $6.50
  • Temple of Heaven Tickets Booking: $6.50
  • Imperial Ancestral Temple Ticket Booking Service: $7.17
  • Panda House+City Attractions or Mutianyu Day Tour: $7.17
  • Beijing Summer Palace Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $7.88

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Xi'an $7.20
    Beijing $11

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-Drum Tower, Hutong Food Taste and Local Brewery Beer: $120
  • Full Day Private Chateau Changyu Wine Tour from Beijing: $164


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Xi'an and Beijing, we can see that Xi'an 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 Xi'an would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Xi'an 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 Xi'an Expensive? and Is Beijing Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Xi'an or Beijing?

Beijing has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Xi'an. When comparing the sizes of Xi'an 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.