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

Should you visit Xi'an or Lijiang?

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 Lijiang 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 Lijiang?

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.

Lijiang

Lijiang is a city in Southwestern China with a history of rule under the Mu family during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It played a key role along the Ancient Southern Silk Road, which started from Burma, crossed Lijiang, Shangri-La County, Tibet, journeyed through Iran, the Fertile Crescent, and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea. The area was once a center for trade, politics, culture, and education, which is still evident in the rich culture seen today. Lijiang has also been the home of centuries to the Naxi people who still inhabit the area.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in China, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in China, The Best 2-Week Tours in China, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in China.


Which place is cheaper, Lijiang 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 Lijiang is $41. 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 Lijiang in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Xi'an $60
    Lijiang $15
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Xi'an $120
    Lijiang $30
Compare Hotels in Xi'an and Lijiang

Looking for a hotel in Xi'an or Lijiang? 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 Lijiang


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
    Lijiang $5.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Xi'an

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Xi'an:

  • Xian to Xian Xianyang Airport (XIY) - Departure Private Transfer: $32
  • Xian Xianyang International Airport (XIY) Private Arrival Transfer: $40
  • Xian Xianyang Airport (XIY) to Xian City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $58
  • Xian Xianyang Airport (XIY) to Xian City - Arrival Private Transfer: $29
  • Xian Xianyang Airport (XIY) to Xian - Arrival Private Transfer: $32
  • Xian Terracotta Warriors Tour with Airport Transfer: $176
  • Xian Private Day Tour with Airport Transfer: Terracotta Warriors and City Wall: $186
  • Xian Highlights Private Tour With Airport Transfer: $195
  • Xian City to Xian Xianyang Airport (XIY) - Departure Private Transfer: $29
  • Xian City Wall and Big Wild Goose Pagoda Tour With Airport Transfer: $176
  • Xian Best Day Tour with Airport / Railway Station Transfer: $132
  • Xi’an Xianyang International Airport Private Departure Transfer from City Area : $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lijiang

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

  • Lijiang Sanyi International Airport Chauffeur Service,Lijiang Airport Transfer: $57
  • Private Transfer from Dali to Lijiang and Stops at Shaxi: $161
  • Private Transfer from Lijiang to Dali and Stops at Shaxi: $161
  • Private Transfer from Lijiang to Shangri-La and Stops at Tiger Leaping Gorge: $159
  • Private Transfer from Lijiang/Shuhe hotel to Shangri-la(Diqing) hotel: $149

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

Prices for flights to both Lijiang 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
    Lijiang $17

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
  • Dinner and Show of Tang Dynasty Palace in Xian: $40
  • Private Home Cooking Class:Dumpling Cooking Class Tour in Xi'an: $50
  • Xi'an Twilight Sightseeing and Food Tour: $51
  • Tang Dynasty Dinner Show with Private transfer: $55
  • Half-day Xi'an Biang Biang Noodles Cooking Class with Spice Market Visit: $65
  • Private Xi'an Food Tour: $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
  • Authentic Muslim Alley Food Tour in Xi'an: $75

Typical Food Prices in Lijiang

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lijiang

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

  • Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit: $59
  • Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Xi'an $35
    Lijiang $19

Tours and Activities in Xi'an

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

  • All Inclusive Terracotta Army Group Tour: $110
  • Group Tour to the Terra-cotta Warriors Museum & Lunch : $65
  • Private Half Day Tour to See The Big Wild Goose Pagoda&City Wall:: $185
  • Terracotta Army Day Tour with Biangbiang Noodles Making Class: $225
  • Xi'an Morning Food & Market Tour by TukTuk: $55
  • 1 Day Xian City Highlights Private Tour: $148
  • 1 Day Xian Group Tour: Terracotta Warriors & City Wall: $138
  • 1 day The Terracotta Army+Xi'an City Wall+Yongxing Square Mini Group Tour: $106
  • 1 day private tour to Xi'an Terra Cotta Warriors by Metro/Subway: $110
  • 1-Day Private Tour: Mount Huashan With the Lunch from Xi'an: $190
  • 1-Day Xi'an City Highlights and Hanyangling Museum Private Tour: $100
  • 1-Day Xi'an Terracotta Warriors Museum and Banpo Neolithic Village Museum Tour: $100

Tours and Activities in Lijiang

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

  • Land of wilderness (Howl's Moving Castle )Ticket: $26
  • Via Ferrata with Zipline Experience in Lijiang: $42
  • Private Half-Day Tour: Old Town of Lijiang and Black Dragon Pond Park: $98
  • Private Tour: Jade Dragon Village and Baisha Village via Bicycle: $158
  • One day Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Tour in From Lijiang: $160
  • Biking tour&guide visit Lijiang baisha village market park: $160
  • 1 Day Private Tour to Shaxi Ancient Town from Lijiang or Dali: $165
  • 1 Day Tiger Teaping Gorge Private Tour from Lijiang or Shangri-La: $170
  • Beautiful Country road Biking tour to Xinhua village Heqing start from Lijiang: $173
  • Private trekking tour to Wenhai lake from Lijiang half day service: $175
  • Lijiang Sanyi airport (LJG) Pick up and Tiger Teaping Gorge Private Tour : $186
  • Private Jade Dragon Snow Mountains and Naxi Village Tour: $187

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Xi'an $7.20
    Lijiang $7.83


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

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 Lijiang Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Xi'an or Lijiang?

Xi'an has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Lijiang. When comparing the sizes of Xi'an and Lijiang, 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.