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What a Trip to China Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

What a Trip to China Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

A trip to China is a venture into one of the world’s oldest existing cultures, with architecture, language, and food traditions that go back thousands of years.

It’s also a huge country, with one of the world’s top two populations and the largest land mass in Asia. With all the places there are to see, there is no one answer to the question of how much you’ll spend on a trip to China.

How much it costs will depend on which regions you visit, what time of year you go, and what kinds of travel you prefer. We’ll break down a few potential stays so you can figure out for yourself what your trip might cost.

This is how it all adds up; let us be your guide!

Average Trip to China Cost in 2024

Average China Trip Cost Table

A week in China costs around $4,750 for two people:

  • Average Accommodation Cost: $70 per night
  • Average Flight Cost: $1,400 per person
  • Food, Drink & Activities: $80 per person, per day
  • Transportation: $50 per day
  • Total Cost: $4,750

As you can see, the flight is easily the highest cost of the trip. Once that is out of the way, average costs drop a lot.

There’s still a lot of variation depending on what you like and where you go. Check out our examples below to figure out what sorts of experiences at what price points work for you.

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China Trip Cost: Average by Item

Wangjiang Pavilion pictured on the water during peach blossoms in Chengdu

Adam Yee/Shutterstock

Once you are in China, you have a few different options when it comes to costs during your trip. Do you prefer having a tour guide, or do you have the language skills to go on your own?

Will you travel by car or by rail? Choose what’s important to you to find out what you are likely to spend. Let’s take a deep dive into the factors affecting the total cost of your trip.

Accommodation Costs

This is one area where you can pick and choose based on your ideal travel. A from at the Kempinksi Hotel Beijing Yansha Center will cost around $150 per night.

This hotel has a heated indoor pool on the rooftop, bars and restaurants in the lobby, free WIFI, and an on-site teahouse. It’s located near the city center and offers a shuttle to the airport. If you like a more luxe setting, consider the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Beijing.

Amenities include a hotel garden, spa, game room, and bike rental service. Guests gush about the modern architecture and hospitable staff. Expect to pay around $260 a night. Breakfast is available for around $35 per person.

There are also bargains available throughout the city, including many hostels and guest houses for $10 to $20 per night. In other parts of China, average room prices vary greatly.

Chengdu and Shanghai both have a number of midrange hotels with prices around $50 a night. In Shenzhen, rooms range from $25 a night for the most basic to $150 for a well-appointed hotel.

Flight Cost

If you are traveling from the US, the cost of your flight will likely be the most expensive part of your trip. A flight from New York to Beijing will cost between $1,200 and $8,000, depending on your route and when you travel.

Check out airfare to other major cities in China to see if deals pop up.

According to China Highlights, eighty percent of international travel into China arrives in Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhour, Shanghai, and Chengdu. Compare rates between cities to see if any have deals during your planned dates of travel.

Food, Drink & Activity Costs

Neat view of the street and market in Hongyadong for a guide titled Trip to China Cost

CHONGQING, CHINA – JAN 06, 2017 : Hongyadong complex the shape of a large ancient building chinese style and famous traditional cultural tourism destination. Inside There a restaurant, hotel, shop./Ecospace/Shutterstock

How much food and drink cost depends largely on your expectations and your flexibility. If you are looking for western-style meals, expect western prices, with entrees running $60 a person or more.

At a Chinese restaurant serving local cuisine, however, you can typically get out with a check around $15 per person. Fast food or street food are options that allow you to save some money. Most street vendors, for instance, comes in around $5.

You can also save a bit of money by making your own meals. A kilogram of chicken breast costs about $4, a kg of potatoes a little under a buck. Dairy products aren’t as popular, and thus subject to higher prices.

According to Hikers Bay, expect to pay around $13 a pound for local cheese in Beijing. Bar hopping is a favorite activity in Chinese cities and the prices are very affordable.

For instance, a cocktail during happy hour at Magpie in Shanghai costs around $5. Venture to the Shochu bar Mokkos and enjoy a local offering like papaya or grapefruit shochu for about $6 a glass.

Local beers tend to be inexpensive. In Beijing, you’ll pay about $2 a glass. Expect to pay about twice that if you want an import.

Commenters on Reddit suggest booking tours if you don’t speak Chinese. A four-hour tour of the Forbidden City will run around $80 per person. Touring Beijing with a tour group for two days will run around $200 per person.

Many people consider the Terracotta Army in Xi’an a must-see. Tickets to this attraction will cost just under $20 a piece.

If you decide to go to the area for multiple days, also take a visit to the Shaanxi History Museum, which offers free admission. Museums are also a good way to spend some of your time in Bejing.

Most, including the National Museum of China and the Beijing Museum of Natural History, are free to enter. The Great Wall of China is another attraction most consider a must-see. Tickets cost just $5 per person.

If you wish to hire a guide, you can find tours starting at around $25 per person. The Morning Mubus tour, for example, offers a trip to a quieter, less popular area of the wall with a multi-lingual tour guide.

Hop-on Hop-off tours are another way around the cities. In Hong Kong, you can get an hour and a half pass for just under $50 per person.

Transportation Costs

A number of hotels offer shuttle service to and from the airport. Check to see what is available when you book your room. If you need to book a private shuttle, expect to pay around $25 per person.

If you are going to spend time in more than one region of China, you’ll need a way to get from place to place. China has the world’s largest high speed rail system, with over 42,000 kilometers of track covering 33 of the country’s 34 provinces.

The price varies depending on the route you take and what seating class you book. Going from Beiging to Shanghai will cost under $40 for a second class seat on the overnight D train, but anywhere from $250 to $350 for a business class seat on the G train during the day.

Once you are in the city, you can travel in most places by subway or bus. Shanghai, for instance, has an elaborate bus and train system.

A Shanghai Jiaotong Card will get you onto those plus some taxis for less than $5 a day. You can buy the card in the metro station or in some convenience stores. The cost of traveling by cab starts under $1 US.

You can get around most major cities for under $10 per trip.

Multiple redditors recommend against renting a car in China due to traffic. You are likely to travel more quickly using buses or trains. That said, you typically rent a compact car for under $350 a week.

Things to Consider

  • Consider setting up an Alipay account before you go. Credit cards sometimes do not work, so Alipay is a convenient backup.
  • You can save money by traveling to China in the winter. This is the country’s off season. While the weather is colder, it is also the driest time of year.
  • Buy souvenirs at the street markets instead of the tourist supermarkets. You’ll likely pay far less for items there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Xiamen Nanputuo temple on a sunny day without anyone around, featured as an image for a guide titled Trip to China Cost


Is China expensive as a tourist?

China is a good destination for budget-conscious travel. There are hotels and meals at just about every price point, depending on what your preferences are and how you like to travel.

How do I prepare for a trip to China?

Be sure to pack your passport, cash, any medications you might need, and the right clothes for the time of year you plan to travel. Let your credit card issuer know you plan to travel overseas to avoid having your card frozen due to suspicious charges.

Can you wear shorts in China?

Yes, wearing shorts in China is fine. Just be respectful and dress the way you normally would. Anywhere overly revealing clothing would be disrespectful in the US, for instance, it would probably be looked down on in China.

Can I use US currency in China?

A few vendors, such as hotels and restaurants with a lot of non-Chinese customers, may be willing to accept US dollars as payment.

However, you may wind up paying an unfavorable exchange rate. Instead, make a withdrawal using your debit card at an ATM. You’ll be able to get local currency at a better exchange rate.

So, What Is the Average Trip Cost for China?

🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost$70 per night
✈️ Average Flight Cost$1,400 per person
🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities$80 per person, per day
🚕 Transportation$50 per day
💲 Total Cost$4,750

There is no one answer to this question. That said, two people can go to China for a week, airfare included, for around $4,750.

The costs will all depend on how willing you are to go outside your comfort zone and how well you research the places you want to visit on your trip. Take the time to examine several alternatives to see which is the right sort of adventure for you.

Happy travels!