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

Should you visit Xi'an or Dali?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Xi'an and Dali can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

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.

Dali

Dali is a city in southern China with a long and glorious history dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Xiaguan neighborhood of the city is the modern industrial center where most public transportation arrives; however, the Old Town of Dali is the place that draws the most visitors. Being one of China's ancient cities, Dali is said to have been a gateway to the Silk Road, and still attracts attention with its traditional architecture, beautiful scenery, ethnic cultures, and nightlife.

Which city is cheaper, Dali or Xi'an?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Xi'an is $85, while the average daily cost in Dali is $43. 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 Xi'an and Dali in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Xi'an is $108. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $30 in Dali For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Xi'an $54
    Dali $15
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Xi'an $108
    Dali $30

Food

In Xi'an travelers spend around $11 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.

The average traveler spends about $16 per day in Dali for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Xi'an $11
    Dali $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Xi'an

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137

Typical Food prices in Dali

For Dali, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch
    $4.96
  • Breakfast
    $3.88

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dali

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137
  • 1-Day Dali Baba Cooking and Cruise Tour: $150

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $11 per day to get around in Xi'an.

Dali's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $8.27 per person, per day on transportation in Dali.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Xi'an $11
    Dali $8.27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Xi'an

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Xi'an:

  • [Up to 20% Off] Private City Transfers for Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing : $23
  • [Up to 15% Off for Round Trip Transfers] Private Beijing Capital Airport Transfers (PEK) for Beijing : $37
  • Yangshuo and Li River Highlights Day Tour with Transfers: $111
  • Shared Shenzhen Airport (SZX) Coach Transfers for Hong Kong (Trans-Island): $12
  • Shared Hong Kong International Airport Transfers (HKG) for Shenzhen: $15
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shunde and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shenzhen Bay Port and Hong Kong (Trans-island): $6.45
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Panyu and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $11
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Hong Kong and Huadu by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers Between Hong Kong and Zhaoqing by EE Bus: $12

Typical Local Transportation prices in Dali

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


  • Local Bus
    $0.47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dali

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

  • Airport Transfers (SHA/PVG) for Shanghai (Multiple Car Models): $38
  • Badaling Great Wall in Beijing Private Transfer: $43
  • Dali Airport Chauffeur Service,Dali Airport Transfer: $40
  • Longji Rice Terraced Fields and Minority Villages Tour with Transfer from Guilin or Yangshuo: $108
  • Luxury Private Shanghai Pudong International Airport Transfers (PVG) for Downtown Shanghai: $118
  • Luxury private Baiyun International Airport Transfers (CAN) for Guangzhou : $74
  • Luxury private Bao'an International Airport Transfers (SZX) for Downtown Shenzhen: $67
  • Luxury private Beijing Capital International Airport Transfers (PEK) for Downtown Beijing: $74
  • Luxury private Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Transfers (SHA) for Downtown Shanghai: $59
  • One Way Private Transfer between Shanghai City and Xitang Scenic Area: $119
  • One Way Private Transfer between Shanghai and Zhujiajiao Scenic Area : $94
  • One Way Private Transfers between Shanghai and Zhouzhuang Scenic Area: $94

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

Prices for flights to both Dali 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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $32 per person, per day in Xi'an. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Dali can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $16 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Xi'an $32
    Dali $16

Tours and Activities in Xi'an

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 2 Days Shanghai Private Tour: $178
  • 2D1N Mount Emei Monastery Cultural Tour: $51
  • 2D1N Mount Emei Tour from Chengdu: $199
  • 2D1N Mount Emei and the Leshan Giant Buddha Tour from Chengdu: $216
  • 3 Day Essential Hangzhou Private Tour: $297
  • 3 Day Guilin Highlights & Rice Terraces Private Tour: $222
  • 4 Day Guilin and Yangshuo Private Tour: $348
  • Anchang Ancient Town and Yangshan Stone Quarry Day Private Tour from Hangzhou: $61
  • Baofeng Lake Admission Ticket in Zhangjiajie (with Boat Ride) : $16
  • Barca Experience Ticket in Haikou: $20
  • Beijing Alleys, Beihai Park, and Prince Gong's Mansion Private Day Tour: $76

Tours and Activities in Dali

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

  • Hupao Park Ticket in Hangzhou (For Mainland China ID Holders): $2.35
  • China Red Sandalwood Museum Ticket in Beijing : $2.79
  • Simatai Great Wall Admission with Cable Car Ticket in Beijing: $3.09
  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Ticket Chengdu - ID Card Direct Entry: $4.19
  • Evergreen Resort Ticket in Shenzhen: $6.19
  • Jinxi Ancient Town Attractions Combo Ticket: $6.99
  • Gulangyu Seashell Museum Ticket: $7.45
  • Wuyishan Xiamei Ancient Village Admission Ticket: $8.55
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Sanqiutian Pier: $8.55
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Neicuoao Pier: $8.55
  • Shanghai Joy City Rooftop Ferris Wheel - Sky Ring Ticket: $9.29
  • Guangdong First Peak Ticket: $9.29

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Xi'an may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.50 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Dali spend on average $9.93 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Xi'an $6.50
    Dali $9.93


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Xi'an and Dali, we can see that Xi'an is more expensive. And not only is Dali much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Dali would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Dali 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 Dali.

Budget Your Trip

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Xi'an vs. Dali Travel Comparison

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