Shanghai Cityscape

China – Tips on Choosing the Right Accommodation

This post was last updated on April 13th, 2020 at 09:16 am


If you are traveling to China, you also have to spend the night there. Especially with a backpacking trip, it is important to rest well. In terms of overnight stays in China, you have many options. Whether you are looking for a budget hostel in Lijiang or a super-luxury hotel in Beijing, everything is available in China. Nowadays accommodation is easy to book online. Although this is often not necessary because there are enough options, it may be useful in some cases to book accommodation in advance. On this page, we have put together our tips about staying in China and booking accommodations.

 

Cost of Staying the Night in China

It is difficult to say exactly what the costs of spending the night in China are. This is entirely dependent on your own wishes. You can choose to stay in budget accommodation or a luxury hotel. In addition, prices often depend on the high or low season and whether they are at a known highlight or not. That’s how you pay more in Shanghai than in Suzhou. A budget option can cost US$5, while you can easily pay US$500 per night for a luxury hotel. To elaborate on the different options for overnight accommodations in China, we have highlighted hotels, hostels, and guesthouses.

 

Booking the First Night in Advance

One of the first questions when planning your trip is whether or not to book accommodation in advance for the first night. We always recommend doing this. Not because you have to worry that there is no accommodation available, but because you do not have to search for anything after a long journey. If you have just arrived in a strange city, it is nice to direct your taxi driver to your place to sleep rather than looking for a place to sleep with your backpack or suitcase. This not only prevents searching but also a lot of stress. In addition, a more luxurious bed is nice to have on the first night.

 

Book Online

If you want to book your accommodation online there are many options. To book a hotel, hostel or guesthouse you can use Booking.com. Booking via the internet is easy, safe and fast. Think carefully about how many nights you want to stay somewhere. Especially if you want to book the first night, booking online is a great solution. However, you can also book online during your trip. If you arrive late at night it is nice to already have accommodation waiting for you!

 

Curved road in Shanghai with many lights and buildings
Aerial view of the Bund in Shanghai

 

Hostels in China

Among backpackers, the hostel is probably the best-known and most favorite option. Hostels in China are cheap and usually in good condition. The reason that hostels are so popular is not only because of the price but also because you often meet other travelers there. A hostel in China is often comparable to a hotel only with slightly fewer facilities. Below you can find some of our tips on booking a hostel in China.

 

Booking a Hostel in China

Whether you are looking for a hostel in Beijing or at the Li River National Park, you will find them everywhere. You do not have to worry that you cannot find a hostel. Does that mean you don’t have to book in advance? That is a frequently asked question. It is advisable to book the first night of your trip in advance. This is not only useful, so you don’t have to go searching after a long journey, but also required to get your China visa.

 

In addition, it can be quite busy in the high season, especially at the more famous highlights. It is certainly advisable to book in advance at those times. On the other hand, the nice thing about traveling is that you have the freedom to go wherever you want. If you book all your hostels in China in advance, you limit your freedom.

 

If you want to book in advance, you can do so easily, safely and quickly via the internet. You can find the best deals on hostels in China on Booking.com. Here you will find endless options for almost every place in China.

 

Cost of Hostels in China

The price for a hostel in China is hard to specify. Just like hotels, there are luxurious and basic hostels. In addition, the difference in price between the high and low season is fairly large and hostels with known highlights are always more expensive than in more unknown regions.

 

In Beijing, you pay around US$5 to $10 per night for a private room in a hostel. At other known places that will be roughly the same. More unknown regions will apply different rates. If you know that you will stay longer than one night, it is useful to indicate this. This can sometimes matter in price.

 

Window view of the Huangpu River in Shanghai
Window view of the Huangpu River in Shanghai

 

Hotels in China

A hotel in China is not hard to find. And there is certainly no lack of options. They rise like mushrooms from the ground. And whether you are backpacking, on vacation or have booked a tour, a hotel will always cross your path once. Hotels are often more expensive than a hostel or guesthouse, but they also offer more comfort and facilities, which is nice after a long journey! In China, you have many hotels with an excellent price/quality ratio!

 

Even if you travel with a smaller budget, a hotel in China can be a good option. Even though the prices of the hotels are higher than a hostel or guesthouse, the prices in China are still lower than those in most Western countries. Furthermore, a hotel in China offers just a little more comfort. If you have had a long journey or have slept in low-budget accommodations for weeks, the luxury of a hotel is sometimes more than welcome.

 

Where you do not always have to make a reservation for hostels and guesthouses, a hotel is a bit different. Certainly in China. In China it is not only busy in the high season, many locals and tourists also travel out of season. This means that accommodations are sometimes full. If you want to be sure of a hotel in China, it’s best to book in advance. However, this means that you must know in advance where you sleep and your journey is, therefore, pretty much fixed. There won’t be much freedom where you can go after you booked all your hotels.

 

Booking  a Hotel in China

If you want to book a hotel in advance, you can do so easily and securely on the internet. You can find the best deals on booking.com. You will always find a hotel that meets your needs. Another option is to only book the first night. If you arrive in a strange (and large) city after a long flight, it is wonderful to get in a taxi and be dropped at your hotel instead of looking for one.

 

View of Shanghai from a hotel room window
Another great view of Shanghai from a hotel room window

 

Guesthouses in China

A guesthouse is a great unknown to many travelers when it comes to spending the night. And that’s a shame because a guesthouse is one of the nicest ways to spend the night. A guesthouse is a bit like a hostel. The difference is that a hostel is not in people’s homes. A guesthouse (usually) is. The costs of a guesthouse in China are often lower than those of a hostel. The best thing about a guesthouse is that you stay with the locals (not always!). This brings you into contact with local culture and the locals often know more than the best travel guide.

 

Cost of Guesthouses in China

The price of a guesthouse depends on your own wishes. Just like hotels and hostels, there are also luxurious and less luxurious guesthouses. What is certain is that the costs for a guesthouse are almost always lower than for a hotel. The prices for guesthouses are roughly the same as those for a hostel. Keep in mind that the costs of spending the night in China are higher than in countries like Laos or Vietnam. This is because fewer tourists come. On average you pay between $8 and $16 for a guesthouse. The higher prices are mainly at the more famous highlights.

 

Booking a Guesthouse in China

Is it necessary to book in advance? That is a question we receive a lot. The only thing we can say is that you are required to book the first night for your China visa. In addition, it is also useful to book the first night because you do not want to look for accommodation in a strange city after a long journey. In addition, the cities in China are so large that walking around looking for a guesthouse is not really a great option.

 

It is advisable to book your first night in advance. In addition, it can sometimes be difficult to find a guesthouse in China as few people speak English. You can, therefore, choose to book in advance online. Whether that is at home or during your trip does not matter. The best website for booking guesthouses is Booking. Besides guesthouses, you can also book hotels and hostels here.

 

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