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

Should you visit Xigatse or Harbin?

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


The second largest city in Tibet behind Lhasa, Xigatse, commonly known as Shigatse, is home to sights and attractions like the Tashilhunpo Monastery, plenty of markets, and the ruins of Shigatse temple. All places of interest are fairly walkable, though auto-rickshaws are also available.


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 Xigatse?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Xigatse is $55, 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 Xigatse and Harbin in more detail.


Travelers usually pay around $50 for a double occupancy room in Xigatse If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end 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
    Xigatse $25
    Harbin $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Xigatse $50
    Harbin $36


Xigatse food costs typically run travelers around $21 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

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
    Xigatse $21
    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

Xigatse'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 $11 per person, per day on transportation in Xigatse.

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.
    Xigatse $11
    Harbin $1.34

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 Xigatse or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin and Xigatse 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.


Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Xigatse can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $12 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

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.
    Xigatse $12
    Harbin $47

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 Xigatse, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $2.82.

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

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Xigatse $2.82
    Harbin $7.01

When comparing the travel costs between Xigatse and Harbin, we can see that Xigatse is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Xigatse vs. Harbin Travel Comparison

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