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Cost to travel to China

Cost of travel in China (budget):

  • Flight: €650-900 // £555-756
  • Domestic travel (train, flights...):
    • 3-week route: CNY 4,900 (€580 - £487).
    • 2-week route: CNY 2,500 (€300 - £252)
    • 10-day route: CNY 850 (€100 - £84)
  • Activities: CNY 100 per day and person (approx. €13 - £11).
  • Food: CNY 110 per day and person (approx. €12 - £10)
  • Lodging: CNY 350 per night for a double room (approx. €41 - £35)

The total cost is approximately:

  • 1-week route: €1.500 - £1,260 per person plus the cost of the international flight.
  • 2-week route: €800 - £670 per person plus the cost of the international flight.
  • 10-day route: €500 - £420 per person plus the cost of the international flight. 

Money and currency

Yuan, also called Renmimbi (CNY or Y).

Not many places accept credit cards (only medium-high level hotels and restaurants) and bank machines are few and far between. You should therefore make sure that you always have enough local currency with you. Calculate about 450CNY a day per person (approx. 60€ - 45£).

You won't be able to buy yuans in your country of origin (it's a China thing), so you'll need to exchange local currency right when you get to the airport. Your options are:

  • Bring cash from your country (preferably euros or dollars) and exchange it at the bank in the airport. There is only one office, so don't even bother calculating the commission, it's a monopoly.
  • Get money from an automatic teller using your Visa or Master Card. The commission will depend on the agreement you have with your bank, though it shouldn't be too different from what the airport bank charges (around 4%).

We recommend bringing half the money you'll need in dollars or euros and exchanging it at the airport bank (not all of it; put some aside just in case). You can get the rest from automatic tellers periodically over the course of your trip (no problem in big cities like Shanghai, Peking, Xian and Chengdu, but more complicated everywhere else). 

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