12 of The Best Places to Visit in China

12 of The Best Places to Visit in China


With its diverse culture and long history, impressive skylines, and historic landmarks, China is a Mount Rushmore of travel destination. It has the most number of World Heritage Sites along with Italy, one of the famous cuisines in the world, and 53 assorted ethnic groups and around 300 spoken languages.

Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, or Longji Rice Terraces in northern Guilin photo via DepositPhotos
Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, or Longji Rice Terraces in northern Guilin photo via DepositPhotos

There are too many things to do and see in China that, unless you stay there your entire life, it is absolutely impossible to do all or even scratch the surface.

While it can be challenging to fit all the great places to visit and see in China, these 12 are to just help you get started and inspire you.

12 Best Places to Visit in China

Explore Beijing

Bronze lion in the forbidden city Beijing photo via Depositphotos
Bronze lion in the forbidden city Beijing photo via Depositphotos

Most of China’s impressive attractions are located in major cities, and Beijing you will get encounter some of them. Besides being the capital city, Beijing is also home to the Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace as well as the Great Wall of China.

It is also the second-largest city in China after Shanghai and has been the main center of Chinese politics, economy, culture, and academy for over 800 years.

Most of Beijing attractions are pristine, including the Beijing Ancient Observatory from 1442, Beihai Park, Tian’anmen Square (the largest public square in the world), and the Heavenly Temple.

Visit Guilin

Sunrise in Guilin China
Sunrise in Guilin China

From Beijing, head to the northeastern parts of China where you will find Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, located high on the banks of Li River.

While there is a literally infinite number of things to do in China, no trip is complete without trying out bamboo cruise down River Li. This river also happened to connect two major cities of Yangshuo and Guilin.

The cruise itself is around 80 kilometers and takes you through some of the best East Asia landscapes including the famous karstic rocks.

Check what Shanghai has to offer

Beautiful Shanghai Yuyuan Garden at night photo via DepositPhotos
Beautiful Shanghai Yuyuan Garden at night photo via DepositPhotos

As the largest city in China and one of the major global cities, Shanghai is known for its perfect blend of modern structures and ancient architecture. With more than 24 million inhabitants, the city’s major attractions include the City God Temple, the China Pavilion, Yu Garden, and the structures along the Bund.

Other centerpieces you can glee on are the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower, and Shanghai Disney.

Hike on the Huangshan

Yellow Mountain Huangshan via Depositphotos
Yellow Mountain Huangshan via Depositphotos

Huangshan means Yellow Mountain and is one of the most visited attractions in China. It is because of its breathtaking landscapes and peaceful scenes that the Huangshan Scenic Area was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Climbing the Yellow Mountain and watching as the clouds drift above the crests during rainy days, is one of the best experiences you will ever have.

Admire pandas in Chengdu

Chengdu Panda photo via DepositPhotos
Chengdu Panda photo via DepositPhotos

China is also known for its devise species of pandas and the best place to watch them is the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province.

In Chengdu, precisely at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, you will come across over 80 species of giant pandas and even feed them if you time your visit. The facility also features a museum with displays that focus on panda conservation.

Walk the Great Wall of China

Sunrise at Great Wall of China photo via Depositphotos
Sunrise at Great Wall of China photo via Depositphotos

As one of the greatest landmarks in the history of mankind, there is just no way you can visit China without checking out this majestic wall. Locally known as “Changcheng” (Long Wall), this ancient fortification stretches over 6,000 kilometers, starting from Shanhaiguan in the east to Jiayuguan in the West.

Positioned along its walls are many watchtowers and battlements.

The Great Wall of China was initially built in the 7th century BC but most of what is remaining today were built around 600 years ago during the Ming Dynasty.

Enjoy a cold beer in Qingdao

Laoshan overlooks the scenery of Qingdao photo via DepositPhotos
Laoshan overlooks the scenery of Qingdao photo via DepositPhotos
Tsingtao beer photo via DepositPhotos
Tsingtao beer photo via DepositPhotos

The city of Qingdao is famous for its Tsingtao beer that is influenced by the Germans. The famous brewery in the city was actually set up by the Germans during the 20th century when they had occupied the region.

Today, you can enjoy this tasty beer anywhere in China or tour the factory in Qingdao.

Walk along the glass-bottomed skywalk in Guangzhou

Gulong Canyon Glass Bridge photo via highestbridges.com
Gulong Canyon Glass Bridge photo via highestbridges.com

Located about 70 kilometers from the city of Guangzhou is the iconic Gulong Canyon Glass Bridge, featuring more than 1,300 meters of glass sky walkway over the Gulong Canyon.

To fully enjoy this expedition, you should consider booking one of the tours.

Tour Hangzhou

A pavilion bridge in west lake, hangzhou, china via Depositphotos
A pavilion bridge in west lake, hangzhou, china via Depositphotos

The city of Hangzhou is one of the most visited metropolitan areas in China, and it is not hard to see why. Its main attraction is the 1,776 kilometers Grand Canal, which joins the city to Beijing.

Besides that, the city is also located in a photogenic spot – at the foot of a mountainous range overlooking the famous West Lake and is littered with hundreds of ancient temples and shrines.

The city has a lot to offer and was once declared the most beautiful city in the world by Marco Polo.

Explore the city of Wuhan

Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan via Depositphotos
Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan via Depositphotos

Wuhan is one of the oldest cities in the world has been around for more than 3,000 years.  It is located at the mouth of the Hanshui and Yangtze rivers in central China and features numerous top of the line tourist attractions. One of the highlights of the city is East Lake, which is known for its wide range of beautiful gardens.

For those looking to learn about the Chinese culture and history of Wuhan, you can visit the Hubei Provincial Museum which displays artifacts from the 5th century including the tomb of Marquis Yi.

Check out Buddhas in Foshan

Guanyin of Mount Xiqiao in Foshan China via DepositPhotos
Guanyin of Mount Xiqiao in Foshan China via DepositPhotos

Located some 20 kilometers away from Guangzhou in Canton, Foshan is a popular tourist destination in China thanks to its three 628 AD bronze Buddha statues. The city is was also an important hub for the porcelain industry.

There are many things to see in Foshan including the ancient Ancestral Temple and Shi Wan.

Ride a bike along the walls of Xi’an

Xi’an Terracotta Army photo via Depositphotos
Xi’an Terracotta Army photo via DepositphotosTaken 24 Mar 2014

Though Xi’an is known for many things, the best thing to do there is riding a bike atop the walls of the old city. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Xi’an is the Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum where you can find terracotta sculptures.

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife

Xi’an is one of the oldest cities in China, the oldest prefecture capital and one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history. Xi’an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

The number of tourists is often greater during Summer (May-August), although the most pleasant season for visiting Xi’an is Autumn.

To help you plan out your visit to China, we listed places to visit and other amazing places to visit in China. We also listed some of the best China travel and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable China hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about other beautiful tourist attractions in China? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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