Cheapest Cities in China

This post will bring an insight on which are the cheapest cities in China, in case you are looking to live or move to this unique Asian country.

China is one of the biggest country, and is set to surpass the US in economic terms in the next decades. However, as any big country, there are big differences when it comes to costs among different regions. Let’s check what are the cheapest cities in China, to find out on whether you should add them or not on your trip to the Middle Empire.

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Getting inside China is however one of the most complicated things involving travelling to any Chinese region. Virtually all passports require a visa to visit China.

One of the best bets is  to get a business visa to China. Which can get you up to 6 months for the first application, and plenty of time to visit this unique country, and improve your Mandarin or Cantonese skills.

Since the last update, China has considerably relaxed its visa policy for citizens of some countries. Citizens of countries like the US, Canada, and the UK can get a 10 year visa to China. Brazilians for example are able to get a 5 year Chinese visa.

Another option, is to transit through China. If you enter China through some airports, you might be able to stay from 72 to 144 hours in that city. This apply to citizens of some countries, and as long as you are doing a stopover and flying to a third country (not returning to your country after it).

So, let’s see which are the cheapest cities in China:

5 – Jilin

Jilin China
Jilin China by Claudio di Ludovico / Flickr

Jilin is a city in Northern China, a regional not so densely populated as the rest of the country, it is also home to a large number of ethnic North Koreans / Koreans, which makes of it a quite unique city in China.

4 – Chengdu

Chengdu China by Lyle Vincent / Flickr

Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan province, more known for its extremely spicy cuisine, so it can be a great call for learning Chinese and eating – if you like hot food.

3 – Harbin

Harbin China by siyang xue / Flickr

Just like Jilin, Harbin is situated in Northern China, but closer to the Russian border. It even has a nice orthodox church and many elements of Russian architecture. It is more known for its winter festival with gigantic ice sculptures.

2 – Huangshan

Huangshan China by David Almeida / Flickr

Even if Huangshan is a highly touristic city, due to its unique relief and landscapes, it is still very affordable, but there is not much to do in it other than hiking.

1 – Xi’an

Xi’an-China by Mariusz Kluzniak / Flickr

Xi’an is mostly known for being home to the famous terracota warriors. To some extent to its Muslim quarter has been gathering fame for its great food. It’s rather isolated location far from the coast does not attract as many visitors as Shanghai or Guangdong, therefore it remains quite cheap.

If you are travelling to China you might want to check some of our guides to the country. Check where to stay in Chengdu and our guide to the best areas to stay in Wuhan.