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40 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in China

China , a land of unrivaled beauty, unfolds like a masterpiece across its expansive canvas of 9.6 million square kilometers. From the misty Jiangnan region in the east to the snow-capped mountains of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau  in the west, China offers a wide variety of natural wonders , including rivers , lakes, grasslands, deserts, and forests.

CNN , renowned for its discerning eye, has meticulously curated a selection of China's top 40 most beautiful places. Building upon this illustrious list, our esteemed team of travel experts at Asia Odyssey Travel now presents to the world these 40 most beautiful places in China , inviting travelers to embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating tapestry of China. Prepare to be captivated as you witness the harmonious convergence of nature's wonders, unveiling a panorama so breathtaking, it will leave an indelible mark upon your soul. Get inspired now by AOT's list of China's 40 most beautiful places!

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1. Great Wall, Beijing - A Must-Do for Any Traveler in China

The Great Wall (长城) , one of the world's most iconic landmarks, is a must-visit attraction when in Beijing . Spanning over 21,000 kilometers, this ancient wonder offers a glimpse into China's rich history and architectural marvels. Located about 60-130 kilometers (1-2 hours’ drive) from Beijing , the Great Wall provides an unforgettable experience for travelers. There are several sections in Beijing, including Mutianyu , Badaling, Jinshanling , Jiankou , Simatai , and Huanghuacheng Great Wall. The best section for you depends on your interests, fitness level, and travel style.

  • For families and first-time visitors: Mutianyu and Badaling offer easy access and stunning views.
  • For adventurous hikers: Jiankou and Gubeikou provide a challenging and authentic experience.
  • For history buffs: Jinshanling and Gubeikou offer well-preserved sections with rich historical significance.

Hike along its winding paths, marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views, and immerse yourself in the grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site . You can learn about the wall's construction and appreciate its magnificence up close.

Practical Tips: Choose a section of the Great Wall that suits your fitness level and interests.The most popular sections are Mutianyu and Badaling, but there are many less crowded options available.Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing

4 Days Classic Beijing Tour with Forbidden City & Great Wall

4 Days Beijing Tour: City Highlights, Great Wall Night Views & Gubei Water Tour

2. Forbidden City, Beijing - Step into China's Imperial Past

The Forbidden City (故宫) , located in the heart of Beijing , is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into the grandeur and history of imperial China. With its impressive architecture and cultural significance, it is a must-visit attraction for travelers. The Forbidden City served as the imperial palace for over 500 years that served as the residence of 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties  and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site .

Situated in downtown  Beijing , the Forbidden City is easily accessible for visitors. Once inside, you can explore the vast complex and marvel at its stunning palaces, ceremonial halls, and beautiful gardens . Take your time to admire the intricate details of the buildings and learn about the lives of emperors and their courtiers.

There are several top things to do in the Forbidden City. Walk along the central axis and explore the imperial chambers, visit the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Palace of Heavenly Purity, and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. Don't miss the opportunity to see the treasures housed in the Palace Museum, which displays a remarkable collection of imperial artifacts.

Practical Tips: Purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid long queues.Allow at least 3-4 hours to explore the Forbidden City thoroughly.Audio guides are available for rent to enhance your understanding of the historical significance of each site.

Forbidden City, Beijing

2 Days Beijing World Heritage Tour with Forbidden City & Mutianyu Great Wall

3. Terracotta Warriors, Xian - Awe-inspiring Archaeological Marvel with the Past

The Terracotta Warriors  (兵马俑) in Xian , Shaanxi, are a remarkable archaeological site that attracts visitors from around the world. Discovered in 1974, this ancient army of life-sized clay soldiers, horses, and chariots was created to accompany Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. The site showcases the incredible craftsmanship and historical significance of the Qin Dynasty.

Situated approximately 40 kilometers from Xian , the Terracotta Warriors are easily accessible for tourists. Once there, you can explore the three excavation pits, each revealing different aspects of the army's formation and weaponry. Witness the sheer magnitude of the army and marvel at the intricate details of each individual statue.

Practical Tips: Book your tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons.Allow ample time to explore the vast excavation site and admire the Terracotta Warriors from various angles.Audio guides are available to provide context and insights into the historical significance of the Terracotta Army.

Terracotta Warriors, Xian

3 Days Xi'an Essence Tour: Terracotta Warriors, City Wall & Tang Dynasty Everbright City

3 Days Xian Family Tour with Chinese Calligraphy & Hanfu Experience

4. The Bund, Shanghai - A Stroll Through Shanghai's Architectural Grandeur

The Bund (外滩) , located in the metropolis Shanghai , is an iconic waterfront area that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. With its stunning skyline views and architectural marvels, it is a must-visit destination in Shanghai. The Bund stretches along the Huangpu River and showcases a collection of colonial-era buildings that once housed banks and trading houses.

Situated in the heart of Shanghai, the Bund is easily accessible for visitors. Stroll along the waterfront promenade and admire the architectural beauty of the buildings , such as the neoclassical Bund Customs House and the Art Deco Peace Hotel. Marvel at the contrast between the historical structures and the futuristic skyscrapers of Pudong across the river.

There are several top things to do in the Bund area. Take a Huangpu River Cruise  to fully appreciate the panoramic views of the skyline. Explore the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, an underground tunnel that connects the Bund to Pudong, offering a unique visual experience. Visit the Shanghai Museum of Art or indulge in some retail therapy at Nanjing Road, a bustling shopping street nearby.

Practical Tips: Visit during the day to appreciate the architectural details and the bustling river activity.Take a leisurely boat ride on the Huangpu River for a unique perspective of the cityscape.Capture panoramic views of the Bund from the rooftop bar of the Peninsula Hotel.

The Bund, Shanghai

Classic Shanghai Day Tour - A Glimpse of China's Magic City

3 Days Best Shanghai Tour: Encounter Old and New Shanghai

5. Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan - Unveiling the Enchantment of "Fairyland on Earth"

Jiuzhaigou Valley (九寨沟) , located in Sichuan province , is a mesmerizing destination that captivates travelers with its stunning natural beauty. With its turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks, Jiuzhaigou Valley is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Situated around 330 kilometers from Chengdu , Jiuzhaigou Valley is easily accessible by flight (1 hour), bus or private transfer. The journey for private car takes approximately 8-10 hours, but the scenic landscapes along the way make it worthwhile. When the high-speed train opens, you'll be able to travel directly from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou.

The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou Valley is during the autumn months of September to November  when the foliage turns vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Spring , from April to June, is also a great time to visit when the valley comes alive with blooming flowers.

Once in Jiuzhaigou Valley, there are several top things to do. Explore the three main valleys  of Rize, Zechawa, and Shuzheng, each offering their own unique attractions. Marvel at the magnificent Nuorilang and Pearl Shoals waterfalls, take leisurely walks around the picturesque lakes, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the ancient forests. And also, combine with Huanglong Valley for your Jiuzhaigou trip .

Practical Tips: Visit during the autumn foliage season to witness the vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow.Allow sufficient time to explore the valley's many scenic spots, including Wuhua Lake, Ruoergai Grassland, and Shuzheng Falls.Consider staying overnight in the valley to fully experience its tranquility and beauty.

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan

5 Days Jiuzhaigou Valley & Panda Tour from Chengdu by Flight

7 Days Sichuan Highlights Tour of Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, Leshan and Emei

6. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan - Soaring through Nature's Wonderland

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Hunan Province , Zhangjiajie National Forest Park  (张家界国家森林公园) is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. This captivating site, renowned for its towering sandstone pillars, mystical rock formations, and diverse ecosystems, promises an unforgettable journey into China's natural wonders. Zhangjiajie National Park is located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, approximately 40 kilometers from Zhangjiajie City .

Once in the park, there are several top things to do. Take a ride on the famous Bailong Elevator, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. Explore the enchanting Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, home to the famous Hallelujah Mountain seen in the movie "Avatar." Hike through Tianzi Mountain: Witness the stunning rock formations, panoramic views, and unique flora and fauna of this iconic mountain. Hike along the Golden Whip Stream, a picturesque trail that winds through lush forests and alongside crystal-clear streams.

Other Recommended Top Things to Do in Zhangjiajie:

  • Walk the Glass Bridgeover Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon: Challenge your fear of heights on the world's highest glass bridge and enjoy unparalleled panoramas.
  • Explore the Yellow Dragon Cave: Discover a wonderland of colorful geological formations, shimmering pools, and intricate rock formations.
  • Relax by Baofeng Lake: Take a boat ride on the serene lake, enjoy the picturesque scenery, and escape the crowds.

Practical Tips: Visit during the off-season to avoid crowds and enjoy a more tranquil experience.Allow at least 2-5 days to explore the park's diverse landscapes and attractions.Consider staying in a hotel within the park to fully immerse yourself in its natural beauty.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

3 Days In-depth Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Tour in Wulingyuan

4 Days Zhangjiajie Best Natural Tour with Glass Bridge & Tianmen Mountain

7. Kanas Lake, Xinjiang - Jewel of Xinjiang

Kanas Lake (喀纳斯) , located in the north Xinjiang, is a hidden gem that beckons travelers with its serene beauty. Known for its crystal-clear waters, surrounding snow-capped mountains, and lush forests, Kanas Lake is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers. Kanas Lake is located in Burqin County, Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang, approximately 500 kilometers from Urumqi .

The best time to visit Kanas Lake is during the  autumn months of September and October  when the foliage transforms into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors. Spring and early summer are also ideal for pleasant weather and blooming wildflowers.

Once at Kanas Lake, there are several top things to do. Take a boat ride on the lake to fully appreciate its beauty, hike along the surrounding trails for panoramic views, and visit the Tuwa ethnic village to experience the local culture.

Kanas Lake, Xinjiang

8. Yangshuo, Guangxi - Ultimate Beauty of Karst Countryside Views

Yangshuo (阳朔) , located in the Guangxi region of China , is a captivating destination that draws travelers with its stunning landscapes and vibrant local culture. Surrounded by towering limestone karsts and the picturesque Li River , Yangshuo offers a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

Situated approximately 65 kilometers from Guilin , Yangshuo is easily accessible by Li River cruise (4 hours) or bus, making it a popular side trip for visitors exploring Guilin.

There are several top attractions and activities to experience in Yangshuo. Taking a leisurely boat ride along the Li River  is a must-do, offering breathtaking views of the karst peaks and lush countryside. Exploring the famous West Street  is another highlight, with its lively atmosphere, local handicrafts, and delicious street food. Cycling or bamboo rafting along the Yulong River provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the tranquil rural scenery.

Yangshuo Countryside

3 Days Guilin Yangshuo Highlights Tour with Li River Cruise & Yulong River

4 Days Guilin Yangshuo & Longji Rice Terraces Classic Tour

9. Yellow Mountain, Huangshan - Ascending into Beauty

Yellow Mountain (黄山) , or Huangshan Mountain, is a majestic destination that attracts travelers with its breathtaking beauty and iconic granite peaks. Known for its ethereal sea of clouds, ancient pine trees, and stunning sunrises, Yellow Mountain is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and hikers. Situated in the Anhui province , Yellow Mountain is approximately 60 kilometers away from the city of Huangshan .

The best time to visit Yellow Mountain is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the landscapes are at their most vibrant. In Summer, enjoy warm weather and clear skies, offering ideal conditions for experiencing the "Sea of Clouds". Winter also are the time to view the snow. Learn more about Best Time to Visit Yellow Mountain >>

Top Things to Do for Visiting Yellow Mountain:

  • Hike the "Beginning-to-Wonder" Trail: Embark on this classic trail offering stunning views of the "Sea of Clouds" and iconic peaks like the "Lion Peak" and "Flying Over Rock."
  • Climb the "Heavenly Capital Peak": Challenge yourself to reach the highest peak in Yellow Mountain and witness the breathtaking panoramic vistas.
  • Visit the "Xihai Grand Canyon": Explore this scenic gorge adorned with waterfalls, natural pools, and unique rock formations.
  • Relax at the "Jade Screen Hot Springs": Immerse yourself in the therapeutic hot springs and rejuvenate after a day of exploration.
  • Discover the "Fairyland": Explore this hidden gem known for its mystical atmosphere, serene ponds, and ancient temples.

Practical advice for visiting Yellow Mountain includes wearing comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for hiking, bringing layers as temperatures can vary, carrying enough water and snacks for the trek, and being prepared for the crowds during peak seasons. It is also important to follow the designated paths, respect the environment, and take necessary precautions for mountain safety.

Yellow Mountain, Huangshan

4 Day Huangshan Heritage Tour: Yellow Mountain, Hongcun & Xidi Ancient Villages

3 Days Huangshan Essence Tour: Yellow Mountain & Hongcun Village, Tunxi Old Street

10. Potala Palace, Tibet - Majestic Symbol of Tibetan Culture

Dominating the Lhasa skyline, the Potala Palace (布达拉宫)  stands as a majestic symbol of Tibetan culture and history. This UNESCO World Heritage Site , once the residence of the Dalai Lamas, offers a glimpse into the spiritual heart of Tibet , inviting visitors on a journey through time and tradition. Situated in the capital city of Lhasa , the Potala Palace is conveniently located within the city center, allowing for easy access by foot or taxi.

Admire the imposing red and white facade, explore the intricate carvings and murals, and marvel at the vast collection of statues, frescoes, and religious artifacts housed within. Wander through peaceful courtyards and prayer halls, witness monks chanting and offering prayers, and find solace in the tranquil atmosphere. Ascend to the rooftop and witness panoramic vistas of Lhasa and the surrounding valley, capturing the grandeur of the palace against the backdrop of the Himalayas.

Practical Tips:

  • Altitude: Lhasa's high altitude (3,650 meters) can cause . Acclimatize gradually and carry necessary medication.
  • Respectful dress code: Dress modestly when visiting the palace, covering shoulders and knees.
  • Photography: Photography is permitted in certain areas, but consult the guidelines before taking pictures.

Potala Palace, Tibet

8 Days Tibet Discovery Tour from Lhasa to Mount Everest Base Camp

9 Days Panorama Tibet Tour from Lhasa to EBC with Namtso Lake

11. Mount Everest, Tibet - The Highest Point on Earth

Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, Mount Everest  (珠峰), known as Chomolungma (珠穆朗玛) in Tibetan, beckons adventure seekers with its breathtaking beauty and imposing presence. Standing as the Earth's highest point , this snow-capped peak inspires awe and challenges climbers from around the world.

For those seeking the ultimate adventure, the trek to Everest Base Camp  is an unforgettable experience. Starting from Lhasa, the journey takes you through stunning landscapes, culminating at the foot of the world's highest mountain. Witness the raw power and grandeur of the Himalayas as you trek through valleys adorned with prayer flags and gaze upon turquoise lakes reflecting the snow-capped peaks.

The north face of Mount Everest is accessible from Lhasa , offering a challenging yet rewarding trek of approximately 620 kilometers (385 miles). This popular route provides a unique perspective of the mountain and allows you to experience the rich Tibetan culture along the way.

Along the trek, you'll have the opportunity to visit Rongbuk Monastery , an ancient Tibetan haven nestled amidst the Himalayas. Explore the vibrant murals and soak in the serene atmosphere of this sacred place. This cultural immersion adds another dimension to your adventure, offering a deeper understanding of the people who call this region home.

Mount Everest, Tibet

12. Longji Rice Terraces, Guilin - A Stairway to Heaven

Nestled in the breathtaking region of Guilin, the Longji Rice Terraces  (龙脊梯田) are a natural wonder that enthralls visitors with their stunning beauty and cultural significance. Also known as the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces , these iconic terraces are a testament to human ingenuity and harmonious coexistence with nature.

Located approximately 80 kilometers from Guilin , the Longji Rice Terraces can be reached by a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside. The journey itself is an enchanting experience, with verdant mountains, cascading waterfalls, and traditional villages dotting the landscape. It is a good idea to spend 1 or 2 days there.

Best Time to Visit:  Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) offer pleasant weather and stunning scenery, with the spring season showcasing vibrant green rice paddies and the autumn season revealing golden hues.

Once at the Longji Rice Terraces, there are several top things to do. Embark on a memorable hike through the terraced fields, marveling at the intricate irrigation system that has been in place for centuries. Visit the ethnic minority villages of Zhuang and Yao, where you can immerse yourself in their vibrant cultures, sample traditional cuisine, and witness age-old customs.

Longji Rice Terraces

5 Days Guilin Yangshuo Longji Tour with Hiking in Longji Rice Terraces

13. Hongcun Ancient Village, Huangshan - UNESCO World Heritage in Huangshan

Journey into the picturesque Hongcun Ancient Village  (宏村), nestled amidst the majestic scenery of the Huangshan Mountains. Hongcun Ancient Village offers a captivating glimpse into the past, capturing the essence of traditional Chinese architecture and rural life . This UNESCO World Heritage Site , boasting well-preserved Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, enchanting canals, and a tranquil atmosphere, guarantees an unforgettable journey through time. Located approximately 70 kilometers from Huangshan City , it serves as an idyllic escape.

Stroll along the ancient alleyways and marvel at the unique architecture characterized by white-washed walls, black-tiled roofs, and intricately carved wooden structures. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Moon Pond , a serene reflection pool surrounded by traditional buildings. Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance and observe the village's daily life unfold before your eyes.

Hongcun Ancient Village, Huangshan

14. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong - Capture Stunning Panoramic View of HK

Ascend to the top of Victoria Peak  (维多利亚山), the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island, for panoramic views of the city skyline and the surrounding Victoria Harbour . Enjoy the breathtaking vistas, capture stunning photos, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic landmark.

Spectacular Views: The primary allure of Victoria Peak lies in its unparalleled views of Hong Kong's sprawling cityscape. Witnessing the mesmerizing skyline, sparkling harbor, and surrounding mountains from the peak's vantage point is an absolute feast for the eyes.

Iconic Peak Tram: Embark on a memorable journey to the summit of Victoria Peak by riding the historic Peak Tram. This charming funicular railway, which has been in operation since 1888, offers a scenic and nostalgic experience as it ascends steep slopes, providing stunning views along the way.

Sky Terrace 428: Take in the breathtaking vistas from the Sky Terrace 428, the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong . Located atop the Peak Tower, this observation deck offers a 360-degree panoramic view and is a prime spot for capturing stunning photographs.

Victoria Peak Night View

One Day Hong Kong Tour: Classic Exploration to Meet Different Hong Kong Island

2 Days in Hong Kong: Classic Tour of Hong Kong Island & Lantau Island

15. Mount Kailash, Tibet - Discover Majestic Beauty of Sacred Mountain

Mount Kailash  (冈仁波齐), also known as Kang Rinpoche in Tibetan, holds great significance for various religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Bon. Mount Kailash is located in the far west of Tibet , approximately 1,600 kilometers from Lhasa , the capital city. The journey from Lhasa to Mount Kailash takes around 2-3 days by road, passing through spectacular landscapes and remote Tibetan villages.

Top Things to Do at Mount Kailash:

(1) Kora Trek: Undertake the sacred Kora trek , which involves walking around Mount Kailash. This spiritual journey typically takes three days and offers breathtaking views of the mountain, pristine lakes, and high-altitude landscapes. It is a deeply transformative experience for many pilgrims and travelers alike.

(2) Visit Lake Mansarovar: Located near Mount Kailash, Lake Mansarovar is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. Considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism, it is believed to cleanse one's sins and offer spiritual rejuvenation. Take the opportunity to visit and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of this holy lake.

(3) Explore the Surrounding Monasteries: Discover the ancient monasteries and hermitages that surround Mount Kailash. Chiu Monastery, Dirapuk Monastery, and Zuthulphuk Monastery are among the notable sites where you can witness the rich spiritual traditions of Tibet.

Mount Kailash, Tibet

16 Days Mount Kailash Pilgrimage Tour with Lhasa Shigatse & EBC

13 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Gyirong with EBC & Mount Kailash Trek

16. Xiapu Mudflat, Fujian A Photographer's Paradise in Fujian

Nestled in the northeastern corner of Fujian Province , China, lies the captivating Xiapu Mudflat  (霞浦滩涂). This breathtaking natural landscape, encompassing 40 square kilometers and boasting over 400 kilometers of coastline, has earned its reputation as one of the most stunning mudflats in the country, and a true photographer's paradise.

The most magical moments at Xiapu Mudflat occur during sunrise and sunset . As the sun peeks over the horizon, bathing the landscape in a warm glow, the mudflats come alive with a vibrant palette of colors. The reflections of the sky on the water create a mesmerizing mirrored effect, while the silhouettes of the fishing boats add a touch of human presence to the scene.

The best time to visit Xiapu Mudflat is between April and October , when the weather is warm and sunny. During this time, you can experience the full range of the tides and witness the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. To capture the most dramatic images, be sure to plan your trip around the lunar calendar, as the tides are highest during the full and new moon phases.

Xiapu Fujian Province

4 Days Xiapu Mudflat Photo Tour for China’s Most Beautiful Mudflat

7 Days Fujian Tour to Xiamen, Hakka Tulou & Xiapu Mudflat with Photography Experience

17. Three Gorges, Yangtze River - Take 5-star Cruise along the Longest River in China

The Yangtze River  (长江), the longest river in Asia, carves a dramatic path through the heart of China, showcasing some of the most breathtaking landscapes on Earth. One of its most awe-inspiring sections is undoubtedly the Three Gorges : Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge.

The most immersive way to experience the wonders of the Three Gorges is undoubtedly on a 5-star Yangtze River cruise . Various cruise options are available, ranging from luxurious ships with all the amenities to smaller, more intimate boats. You can choose from the 4-day downstream cruise  from Chongqing to Yichang or 5-day upstream cruise  from Yichang to Chongqing. As you sail along the river, you can enjoy breathtaking views from the deck, participate in onboard activities, and stop at various points of interest along the way. Your cruise will likely include excursions to historical sites, visits to local villages, and opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.

Three Gorges, Yangtze River

18. Daocheng Yading, Sichuan  "Last Shangri-La"

Daocheng Yading  (稻城亚丁), often referred to as the 'Last Shangri-La' or the 'Fairyland on Earth,' is located in the southwest of Sichuan Province . This pristine natural paradise offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes, vibrant Tibetan culture, and unparalleled tranquility. Daocheng Yading is a treasure trove of natural wonders, encompassing snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, lush valleys, and vibrant meadows. As you explore this captivating landscape, you'll be in awe of the towering peaks, including the iconic Chenrezig Mountain, resembling a reclining Buddha, and the majestic Xiannairi Mountain, with its awe-inspiring pyramid-like shape.

The best time to visit Daocheng Yading is from May to October  when the weather is pleasant, and the landscapes are at their most vibrant. However, be aware that the region experiences high altitude, so it's important to acclimatize properly before embarking on strenuous activities.

To get to Daocheng Yading, you can fly to Chengdu , the capital of Sichuan Province, and then take a bus or private car to the region. Alternatively, you can take a direct flight to Daocheng Yading Airport , located near the town. You are recommended to go with Asia Odyssey Travel with private service to explore Daocheng Yading.

19. Mount Siguniang, Sichuan - "Oriental Alps" of Sichuan

Nestled amidst the majestic peaks of the Qionglai Mountains in Sichuan Province , lies Mount Siguniang  (四姑娘山), also known as the 'Four Girls Mountain.' This breathtaking natural wonder, with its towering summits, pristine valleys, and diverse flora and fauna, offers a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. The four peaks - Yaomei, Erfeng, Sanfeng, and Dafeng - resemble four graceful women, standing tall against the backdrop of the azure sky, creating a truly captivating spectacle. While it is difficult to climb the Four Girls Mountains, it is recommended to hike through its three valleys  - Shuangqiao Valley, Changping Valley, and Haizi Valley - to enjoy the mountain views. Chengdu  serves as the gateway to Mount Siguniang, with just a 4-5 hour drive to reach the mountain area.

Mount Siguniang

3 Days Amazing Mount Siguniang Hiking Tour from Chengdu

5 Days Best Chengdu & Mount Siguniang Leisure Hiking Tour

20. West Lake, Hangzhou - A Journey Through Hangzhou's Heart and Soul

West Lake  (西湖), nestled in the heart of Hangzhou , Zhejiang , is an iconic natural landmark that has captivated hearts and inspired artists for centuries. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not just a picturesque lake, but a symbol of cultural heritage and breathtaking beauty.

West Lake is not just a visual feast; it's a playground for relaxation and recreation. Cruise across the lake on a traditional boat, enjoying the gentle breeze and the tranquil scenery. Hike the scenic trails surrounding the lake, breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the breathtaking views.

Hangzhou West Lake

1 Day Paradise Hangzhou Cultural Tour from Shanghai by High Speed Train

5 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Tour: Experience Heavenly Charm by Bullet Train

21. Classical Gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu

With a history spanning over 2,500 years, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou  (苏州园林) are a testament to the deep reverence for nature and the seamless integration of it into living spaces by the Chinese people. These gardens were not merely decorative spaces; they were intended to be microcosms of the natural world, offering havens for contemplation, relaxation, and artistic expression.

Step into a world of serenity and refinement at the Classical Gardens of Suzhou , a UNESCO World Heritage site . Explore  the Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, Net Master's Garden, Canglang Pavilion, Lion Grove Garden, Garden of Cultivation , and others in Suzhou . Stroll through these meticulously designed gardens, adorned with pavilions, bridges, ponds, and rock formations, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of traditional Chinese landscaping.

Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou

Suzhou Day Trip from Shanghai by High Speed Train

22. Fujian Tulou - Earthen Wonders in Fujian Province

Tucked away in the rolling hills of Fujian Province , lies a unique and captivating collection of earthen structures known as the Fujian Tulou  (福建土楼). These remarkable buildings, constructed between the 12th and 20th centuries, stand as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the Hakka people who built them. Recognized for their exceptional cultural and historical significance, the Fujian Tulou were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site  in 2008. These breathtaking structures are not simply houses; they are living museums, offering a glimpse into the lives and customs of the Hakka people, who migrated to the region centuries ago in search of refuge from conflict and persecution.

The Fujian Tulou are mainly located in Yongding and Nanjing counties . To reach the Fujian Tulou, you can fly into Xiamen, the nearest major city, and then take a bus or train to the Tulou-rich areas such as Yongding or Nanjing counties. Learn about How to Get to Fujian Tulou from Xiamen >>

Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster, Fujian Province

1 Day Nanjing Tulou Tour: From Xiamen to the Hometown of Mulan - Fujian Tulou

23. Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake, Dunhuang - A Desert Dream

Nestled in the heart of the Gobi Desert, just outside the ancient Silk Road oasis town of Dunhuang , lies a breathtaking natural wonder known as Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake  (鸣沙山和月牙泉). This captivating landscape, a mesmerizing blend of towering sand dunes and a serene crescent-shaped lake, is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking a unique and unforgettable adventure.

Top Things to Do at Echoing Sand Mountain and In Dunhuang:

  • Camel Rides:Embark on a thrilling camel ride across the sand dunes, experiencing the traditional mode of transportation used by Silk Road traders for centuries.
  • Sandboarding:Feel the adrenaline rush as you sandboard down the steep slopes of the dunes.
  • Mogao Caves:Visit the nearby Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , and marvel at the ancient Buddhist art and sculptures.
  • Dunhuang Night Market:Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Dunhuang Night Market, indulging in local delicacies and browsing through an array of souvenirs.

24. Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong - A Fusion of Styles

Nestled amidst the verdant countryside of Guangdong Province in China lies a unique architectural marvel: the Kaiping Diaolou  (开平碉楼). These multi-storied fortified towers, standing as proud sentinels against the backdrop of rolling hills and lush rice paddies, offer a glimpse into the fascinating history and cultural heritage of the region. You can transfer to Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong.

Top Things to Do at Kaiping Diaolou:

  • Explore the various diaolou clusters, each with its own unique architectural features.
  • Visit the Zili Village, home to the largest and most concentrated collection of diaolou.
  • Learn about the history and cultural significance of the diaolou at the Kaiping Museum.

Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong

3 Days Guangzhou Kaiping Diaolou & Foshan Tour with Lingnan Culture

6 Days Guangdong Tour to Guangzhou, Foshan, Kaiping Diaolou & Shenzhen

25. Huangguoshu Waterfall, Guizhou - Unveiling the Majestic Power of Nature

Huangguoshu Waterfall  (黄果树瀑布), nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Guizhou province, stands as a testament to nature's awe-inspiring grandeur. With its cascading waters plunging over 77 meters and spanning a width of 101 meters, Huangguoshu is not only one of the largest waterfalls in Asia but also a captivating destination for travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty.

Distance from Guiyang:  Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, is the nearest major city to Huangguoshu Waterfall, located approximately 128 kilometers away.

Top Things to Do at Huangguoshu Waterfall

  • Witness the awe-inspiring power of the main waterfall from the Rain Shower Pavilion.
  • Capture panoramic views of the waterfall and surrounding landscape from the Flower Shower Platform.
  • Embark on a hike through the lush forests of the park, exploring hidden waterfalls and scenic viewpoints.
  • Take a boat ride on the Baishui River, enjoying the tranquil waters and serene surroundings.
  • Visit the Huangguoshu Waterfalls Museum to delve into the history and cultural significance of the waterfall.

26. Yalong Bay, Sanya - Paradise Found in Hainan

Nestled on the southernmost tip of China's Hainan Island lies a haven of pristine beauty and luxurious comfort: Yalong Bay  (亚龙湾). This horseshoe-shaped bay, often referred to as the "Hawaii of the East", boasts breathtaking beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush tropical landscapes, and world-class resorts, making it a dream destination for travelers seeking relaxation, adventure, and a touch of paradise.

Yalong Bay boasts a stunning 7.5-kilometer stretch of pristine beach , known for its soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters. Whether you're seeking sunbathing bliss, indulging in water sports like snorkeling and diving, or simply strolling along the shore, Yalong Bay offers the perfect setting for beachside relaxation.

27. China Snow Town, Heilongjiang - A Winter Wonderland for Snow Fun

Deep in the heart of Heilongjiang Province, lies a winter wonderland known as China Snow Town  (中国雪乡, also known as Shuangfeng Forest Farm or Xuexiang). This charming village, nestled amidst snow-capped mountains and pristine forests, transforms into a magical landscape during the winter months, attracting visitors from all over the world with its breathtaking scenery and unique cultural experiences.

From December to March , China Snow Town is blanketed in a thick layer of snow, turning houses, trees, and even the landscape into whimsical sculptures. The air is crisp and invigorating, the silence broken only by the crackling of snow underfoot and the occasional burst of laughter from children playing in the streets.

To get to China Snow Town, you can fly into Harbin Taiping International Airport  and then take a train or bus to Mudanjiang City. From Mudanjiang, you can take a taxi or shuttle to the village. You are recommended to take private service with Asia Odyssey Travel.

28. Shennongjia, Hubei - Explore Wild Heart of China

Nestled in the northwestern corner of Hubei Province, lies Shennongjia  (神农架). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a land of breathtaking beauty and captivating mystery. Renowned for its pristine forests, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, Shennongjia offers an unforgettable adventure for travelers seeking to escape the ordinary and immerse themselves in nature's splendor.

Shennongjia is home to some of the largest and most well-preserved primary forests in central China . These ancient woodlands, shrouded in mist and teeming with life, offer a glimpse into a world untouched by time. Hike through towering redwoods, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and breathe in the fresh, clean air that fills your lungs and invigorates your soul. To get to Shennongjia, you can fly into Wudangshan Airport or Yichang Sanxia Airport , which are located nearby. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to your destination within Shennongjia.

29. Fenghuang Ancient Town - Enchanting Town in Hunan

Nestled amidst the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes of Hunan Province, lies the captivating town of Fenghuang  (凤凰古城), also known as Phoenix Ancient Town. This enchanting destination, with its rich history, unique architecture, and vibrant culture, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a glimpse into the heart of traditional China. Fenghuang boasts a history spanning over 1,300 years, reflected in its well-preserved ancient buildings and narrow, winding streets. Stroll along the Tuojiang River, admiring the colorful wooden houses adorned with intricate carvings and red lanterns, and feel transported back in time.

To get to Fenghuang, you can fly into Changsha Huanghua International Airport  or Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport  and then take a train or bus to the town.

Fenghuang Ancient Town, Zhangjiajie

5 Days Panorama Zhangjiajie Tour with Fenghuang Ancient Town

30. Singing Sand Bay, Inner Mongolia - A Symphony of Sand and Sound

Deep in the heart of Inner Mongolia, nestled within the vast Gobi Desert, lies a natural phenomenon unlike any other: Singing Sand Bay  (响沙湾). This mesmerizing landscape, where sand dunes rise like towering waves and the very earth sings underfoot, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking adventure and a touch of sonic wonder.

To get to Singing Sand Bay, you can fly into Baotou Airport, which has connections to major cities in China. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from nearby cities like Ordos or Hohhot.

31. Wuyuan, Jiangxi A Canvas of Scenic Splendor

Situated within the heart of Jiangxi Province, lies the captivating landscape of Wuyuan  (婺源), a region renowned for its breathtaking scenery, rich cultural heritage, and historical charm. This hidden gem, often referred to as the "Most Beautiful Countryside in China,"  promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a glimpse into traditional Chinese culture amidst breathtaking natural landscapes.

Wuyuan's beauty is a result of its diverse landscapes, encompassing rolling hills, lush valleys, and captivating rivers. Wander through the picturesque villages, adorned with traditional Hui-style architecture, featuring whitewashed walls, black-tiled roofs, and intricate carvings. Immerse yourself in the vibrant green rice paddies that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a mesmerizing tapestry of colors.

32. Changbai Mountain & Heaven Lake - The Roof of Northeast China

Towering over the Jilin Province in Northeast China lies the majestic Changbai Mountain  (长白山), a mesmerizing volcanic landscape cloaked in mystery and awe. This sacred peak, shared by both China and North Korea, offers a unique blend of natural wonders, historical significance, and cultural richness, making it a must-visit destination for any adventurous traveler.

The undisputed highlight of Changbai Mountain is the breathtaking Heaven Lake  (天池), a crater lake nestled at the peak's summit. This stunning glacial lake, considered the deepest in China and the highest volcanic lake in the world, is a sight to behold. Its crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding snow-capped peaks, creating a picture-perfect panorama.

To reach Changbai Mountain, you can fly into Changbaishan Airport, located nearby. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from major cities in Jilin Province like Changchun and Jilin City.

China tour

33. Qinghai Lake - Embrace the Azure Jewel in Qinghai

In the heart of the Tibetan Plateau, nestled amidst towering mountains and vast grasslands, lies Qinghai Lake  (青海湖), China's largest and highest inland lake. This majestic body of water, often referred to as "the blue sea" , is a mesmerizing spectacle of natural beauty and a haven for wildlife and cultural heritage.

To reach Qinghai Lake, you can fly into Xining Caojiabao International Airport, which provides connections to major cities in China. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from major cities like Lanzhou and Chengdu.

Qinghai Lake

13 Days Shanghai & Xining Tibet Train Tour with Qinghai Lake

8 Days Tibet Train Tour from Beijing | Beijing Xining Lhasa

34. Xian Ancient City Wall - A Walk through Time in Xian

Standing tall amidst the modern cityscape of Xian , the Xian Ancient City Wall  (西安古城墙) whispers tales of a bygone era. This UNESCO World Heritage Site , one of the most complete and best-preserved ancient city walls in China , offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the grandeur of the Ming Dynasty.

Xian Ancient City Wall

35. Hukou Waterfall, Shanxi - Witness the Power of Nature

Hukou Waterfall  (壶口瀑布), nestled amidst the majestic Yellow River Valley in Shanxi Province, China, is a spectacle that leaves every visitor awestruck. This powerful cascade, known as the "Flask Mouth Waterfall"  due to its unique shape, is a testament to the raw beauty and untamed energy of nature. To reach Hukou Waterfall, you can fly into Taiyuan Wusu International Airport or Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, which are located nearby. From there, you can take a train or bus to Hukou Town.

36. Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi A Gallery of Divine Sculptures

Nestled amidst the sun-baked cliffs of the Wuzhou Mountain, just outside Datong City in China's Shanxi Province, lies a treasure trove of ancient art and history - the Yungang Grottoes  (云冈石窟). This UNESCO World Heritage Site , carved into the sandstone cliffs over 1,500 years ago, houses over 250 caves filled with a dazzling array of Buddhist sculptures, murals, and inscriptions.

Stepping into the Yungang Grottoes is like stepping back in time. The cool air of the caves, the soft glow of the lanterns, and the sheer scale of the sculptures create an atmosphere of awe and reverence. Each cave tells a story, depicting scenes from the life of Buddha, Buddhist deities and bodhisattvas, and intricate geometric patterns and floral motifs.

37. Nalati Grassland, Xinjiang Vastness of the Heavenly Mountains

Nestled amidst the snow-capped peaks of the Tian Shan Mountains in Xinjiang, China, lies a breathtaking haven - the Nalati Grassland  (那拉提草原). This subalpine meadow, known as the "Pearl of the Northern Xinjiang" and one of the four largest grasslands in the world, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, nomadic culture, and vibrant festivals, making it an unforgettable destination for any traveler seeking an escape to a truly idyllic setting.

To reach Nalati Grassland, you can fly into Urumqi Diwopu International Airport and then take a taxi or bus to the site. Alternatively, you can take a train from nearby cities like Yining or Kuitun.

38. Dali Three Pagodas, Yunnan The Symbol of Dali

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Dali, Yunnan Province, China, stands a trio of architectural wonders known as the Three Pagodas. Rising majestically from the heart of the Chongsheng Temple grounds, these ancient structures have been captivating visitors for centuries, serving as silent witnesses to the region's rich history and cultural heritage.

39. Pudacuo National Park, Yunnan - Unveil Shangri-La’s Hidden Gem

Nestled amidst the majestic mountains and valleys of Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, lies Pudacuo National Park, a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. This expansive park, encompassing 1,300 square kilometers of breathtaking natural beauty, offers a unique blend of pristine lakes, lush forests, diverse wildlife, and awe-inspiring landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast.

40. Lugu Lake, Sichuan & Yunnan - Mystical Landscape & Mosuo Culture

Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Yunnan-Sichuan border, lies Lugu Lake, a jewel-toned oasis reflecting the azure sky. This serene alpine lake, shared by the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan , enchants visitors with its spectacular scenery, unique Mosuo culture, and captivating legends, making it a truly unforgettable destination.

To reach Lugu Lake, you can fly into Lijiang Airport or Kunming Changshui International Airport, and then take a bus or taxi to the lake. Alternatively, you can take a train from major cities like Chengdu and Kunming.

China tour

How to Plan China Tours with Most Beautiful Places in China?

Trying to learn more about China? Find out more with Top China Attractions , How to Plan a China Tour , 40 Most Beautiful Places , Best Time to Visit China .

Or you can just pick your tour right below here. Everything has been planned out for you. Travel with AOT, care-free, unique travel experience Guaranteed!

4 Days @Beiing: Ideal to Cover Forbidden City, Great Wall and other Attractions in China, Beijing - 4 Days Beijing Group Tour >>

8 Days @ Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai: Let's spend more time and do it in one go with Top China Attractions - 8 Days Bejing Xian Shanghai Group Tour >>

9 Days For Culture Explorer: Let's visit traditional Suzhou Gardens and the Metroplis of Shanghai which are the Top Places located in same area of China - 9 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Tour >>

10 For Nature Lovers and Panda Fans: Have fun at Panda Base and Explore Jiuzhaigou's Nature - 10 Days Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Zhangjiajie Tour >>

China Attractions

11 Days @ Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an & Huangshan Mountain: A more inclusive itinerary, with added Top Places with Natural Beauty - 11 Days Shanghai Huangshan Xian Beijing >>

11 Days For Grand Natural Wonders: Mountains, Rivers, All the Gorgeous Landscapes in China - 11 Days Jiuzhaigou Yangtze Zhangjiajie Tour >>

3 Days Add-on with Li River: Li River, Yangshuo are not to be missed - 3 Days Guilin Yangshuo Ultimate Landscape Tour >>

14 Days @ Beijing, Xi'an, SHanghai, Guilin, Hong kong: Wonderful China Tour with Golden Triangle Cities & More - 14 Days China Group Tour >>

14 Days @ Tibet, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an & Mount Everest: How could you miss Tibet(Xizang) and Mount Everest when visiting China? - 14 Days China Group Tour >>

17 Days @ Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Lhasa, Shanghai & More: China Highlights Tour with Holy Tibet Discovery & Chengdu Pandas - 17 Days China Tour >>

Explore China from Whole New Perspectives with AOT

Asia Odyssey Travel is your gateway to China . We're headquartered in China, with local teams in major cities. Our mission? To provide the best service and authentic travel experiences for explorers like you.

China Travel Plan

AOT offers a range of Tailor-Made Trips , City Trips , Nature Tours , Bike Tours , Trekking Tours , Family Tours , and Lhasa Luxury Tours with professional local team and on-spot service all the way. We cover all the top places in China, including Beijing , Shanghai , Tibet , Hong Kong , etc..

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Tourist Attractions in China

30 Top Attractions & Things to do in China

By Jamie Gambetta · Last updated on February 5, 2024

When most people go to China, they only want to see the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, walk along the Bund at Shanghai or take in the Terracotta Warriors at Xi’an. Maybe they’ll throw in a visit to Guangzhou or take a Yangtze River cruise. But there’s much more to China than just these famous sites.

There are plenty of amazing tourist attractions in China, from ancient cities to forests to temples to rice fields that look like they’ve been designed by artists to sacred mountains and stunning waterfalls. This desire to explore off the beaten path where Chinese tourists outnumber foreign tourists isn’t just confined to 20-something backpackers. Any traveler armed with a good phrase book, a pot of patience and a marvelous sense of humor should do just fine.

30. Xian City Wall

Xian City Wall

Hundreds of years ago, the Chinese built massive stone walls around their cities to defend them from invaders. Xi’an was no exception.

Constructed over 8 years in the 1370s, the Xian City Wall was a symbol of the city’s self-sustainability. That, in addition to Zhu Yuanzhang’s propensity for reclusiveness. Something he continued to display when he became the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall aside, the Xian City Wall is the best example in China. At almost 14km long, 12m high and 12m thick, the wall was a literal mountain and provided Xian City with envious protection.

Today, you can explore the top of the wall, which envelopes the Old Town, on foot or bike. This will take you to the wall’s renowned gates, some of which out-date the wall itself.

29. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park


There is something otherworldly and utterly spiritual about Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The quartz-sandstone has been weathered down by wind and rain over thousands of years. Where once a mountain range stood, today you’ll see only towering pillars draped in lush forests.

In the morning, the mist rises from the deep valley hundreds of meters below. The mix of sandstone and greenery creates a scenery that’s hard to reconcile with. It doesn’t seem earthly. No wonder it was a part of the inspiration for Avatar.

The park is best explored on tour, with lifts taking you to incredible viewpoints. But nothing tops the Grand Canyon Glass Bridge, the tallest in the world.

28. Three Pagodas, Dali

Three Pagodas

In southern China , the Three Pagodas are some of the region’s oldest surviving structures. They are a symbol of Dali, with the oldest of the trio constructed in the 800s.

Rising out of the land like old-growth forests, the Three Pagodas hold a noticeable presence wherever you go in Dali. The tallest, Qianxun Pagoda, stands at 70 meters and features 16 tiers. The other two are ten tiers rising to 42 meters.

Although you can’t go inside them, it’s a blessing to be able to explore so close to such ancient monuments. Behind them is the beautiful Chongsheng Temple, open to visitors.

27. Shilin Stone Forest

Shilin Stone Forest

Its name may seem like an oxymoron, but the Shilin Stone Forest is exactly that. Exploring the 270 million year-old stone forest is an unforgettable experience. It’s almost supernatural and such a vast spread of karst formations that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s manmade.

It was, however, created by a sequence of seismic events and ageless erosion of the limestone. Today, there are hundreds of enormous stalagmite pillars that form an endless maze to explore.

But it’s not just rock. You’ll discover waterfalls, lakes and even underground rivers that provide a gorgeous contrast to the epic, yet odd landscape.

26. Lijiang Old Town

Lijiang Old Town

In northwest China, Lijiang boasts 800 years of history. Once the capital of the Naxi Kingdom, the old town of Lijiang takes you right back to its heyday, with the bonus of an epic mountain backdrop.

Like any good “old town”, Lijiang is flooded with romanticism, charm and rich culture. The layout of the historic streets remains as it did hundreds of years ago, while its unique heritage places it in contrast with other historic towns around China.

Under the rule of the Mu family, the town reflects the indigenous Naxi culture and architecture. You can see the best of these along narrow, cobbled streets, in addition to the beautiful stone bridges that cross Lijiang’s collection of elegant canals.

25. Wudang Mountain

Wudang Mountain

Travelers who’ve seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon already know how scenic the Wudang Mountains, located in northwestern Hubei Province, are. Besides being scenic, the Wudang Mountains iare the birthplace of Tai Chi. Thus, they’re the most important Taoist mountains in China. Religion, timeless culture and eye-catching temples can be found there. That’s in addition to the amazing surrounding peaks.

Known as the “original cradle of Tai Chi”, Wudang Mountain is the natural representation of wisdom and the values behind Chinese “shadowboxing”. Human history here can be traced back to the 5th century BC. Today there are nine palaces, eight temples and a dozen pavilions.

They lie in a mixed state of preservation. For some, they stand eternal. For others, they mark an example of Wudang Mountain’s incredible timeline.

24. Zhouzhuang


Tell Venice there’s a new sheriff in town. Zhouzhuang is a historic river town along the southern section of the Yangtze River. The water flows by and under old-time townhouses and businesses as it has for over 1,000 years.

The gorgeous mix of colored and whitewashed buildings makes Zhouzhuang a photographer’s dream. In the early morning light tradition vessels float up and down the river and when the water settles, the mirror-like river reflects the splendor.

Located less than 32 km (20 miles) from Suzhou in east China , Zhouzhuang is famous for its twin bridges, Shide and Yongan that are symbols of the town. A boat ride is a good way to see the city.

23. Mount Tai

Mount Tai

Mount Tai, in Shandong Province, is one of China’s Five Sacred Mountains. Climbing Taishan (“shan” is mountain in Mandarin) was one of the first things a new emperor did; it’s said that 72 emperors made the climb.

They left behind great temples, inscribed tablets and other cultural relics. Travelers with imperial leanings will want to climb the 6,000-step east route as that’s what the emperors did.

Before the modern era, the tallest peak, Jade Emperor, was the center of Fengshan rituals for almost 2,000 years. Relics and ancient masterpieces can now be found around the 1,500m mountain. Significantly, you’ll discover not just the influence of Chinese Fengshan sacrifices, but that of numerous countries and cultures, from the Khmer to the Turkish.

Aside from the culture, you can explore the mountain and several temples. Get up there early as the East Pavilion is a memorable spot to watch the sunrise.

22. Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Straddling the border of Lijiang and Shangri-La, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest in the world. At its highest to lowest point, the gorge measures almost 3,800 meters.

On either side of the gorge are two intoxicating mountains: Jade Dragon Snow and Haba Snow. Along with the gorge, carved by the monstrous white waters of the Jinsha River, you’ll be able to experience a wide breadth of landscapes.

The best way to explore is on foot, so be prepared to break a sweat. The Upper, Middle and Lower Gorge provide a range of intermediate to advanced treks, some over multiple days.

The hikes are not to be taken lightly though. Even for those in good physical shape, it’s a workout and can certainly wreck the knees. Accommodation along the way is in guesthouses, so hikers won’t need a tent. All bringing you to insane viewpoints and even down to the very bottom.

21. Suzhou Gardens & Canals


Suzhou is a picturesque city located on the Grand Canal about 65 km (40 miles) from Shanghai. It is famous for its silks, the canals that run through the city, and for its classical gardens with their fish ponds and rockeries.

Suzhou encapsulates the difference this Chinese city evokes compared to giants such as Shanghai and Beijing. Whereas these cities are becoming vast, futuristic metropolises, Suzhou is sticking close to its heritage and culture.

The traditional gardens are at first eye-catching. But upon further inspection, they’re equally historic. Some even date back a thousand years to the Song Dynasty.

Suzhou has about 80 classical gardens; the Humble Administrator’s Garden is among the most famous. A canal boat ride is a good way to experience the exquisiteness of Suzhou.

20. Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves

A former pilgrimage site along the famous Silk Road, the Mogao Caves have been a part of regional culture for well over a thousand years. In the heart of the 4th century, the caves became a place of art and culture.

Something that would remain the case until the 1300s. You can still explore the incredible caves today and despite the time that has passed, the artworks and scripture remain intact.

Just outside of Dunhuang, the Mogao Caves are one of China’s most revered archaeological sites. Within, they showcase the breadth of travelers and cultural backgrounds that found their way here along the Silk Road.

It’s not just nearby art forms. You’ll see styles that can be traced through Central Asia, India and as far as Persia.

19. Longji Terraces

Longji Terraces

Constructed by hand over 500 years ago during the Ming Dynasty, the Longji Terraces are a sight to behold. From any elevated viewpoint, you’ll need a moment to first gasp and take a breath before truly being able to take it all in.

In Longsheng, these rice terraces span like lush green footsteps up the mountainside. Each winding step curves around the ridgeline, forming an array of spectacular contour lines.

From December to March, during the growing season, the terraces are flooded with irrigated water. It’s a remarkable sight and one that is best appreciated on foot as you walk slowly around and up to even better views.

18. Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Located in northwest Beijing, the opulent Summer Palace is one of the most captivating, man-made landmarks in the country. The ancient imperial playground is surrounded by thriving forests, creating a more rural feel than its location would suggest.

Back in the day, the high court would descend upon the aptly named Summer Palace to escape Beijing’s summer heat during the hottest months of the year. The encompassing nature along with the cooling and Kunming Lake made it the perfect place to get business done.

Fast forward to today, and it’s a beautiful public park. Some buildings have been transformed into museums and galleries, while the embellished grounds provide excellent views.

17. Yangtze River Cruise

Yangtze River Cruise

Spanning 6,387 kilometers, the Yangtze River is the third longest on earth. It’s known as one of China’s mother rivers as it nurtures humans and nature alike throughout this enormous country.

Across such a lengthy body of water, there are bound to be some memorable landscapes. The best way to see more than just the odds and ends is to embark on a Yangtze River Cruise.

A cruise can help you discover the beauty of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River. This is the most renowned section and marks an immense canyon that you’ll never want to leave.

To see the best of the river, cruise between Chongqing and Yichang, in either direction.

16. Hanging Monastery of Hengshan

Hanging Monastery of Hengshan

In Shanxi Province, the Hanging Monastery of Hengshan is dedicated to a trio of religions. This makes it one of a kind here in China. You’ll find the monastery celebrates all of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

The Hanging Temple has a lengthy history, having been constructed towards the end of the 5th century. It remains well-preserved over the last 1500 years, in no small part due to its enshrining of three of China’s most popular religions.

But it’s the architecture of the monastery, which clings on tight to the cliff face that will have you in awe. Thanks to cantilevers, it protrudes from the wall, with its two sections connected by a bridge.

15. Reed Flute Cave

Reed Flute Cave

As you cruise along the Li River, one of China’s best attractions is the impressive Reed Flute Cave. So much so, that even if you forego the cruise, you should add a trip here to your itinerary.

The sprawling limestone cave is marked by the reef that is strewn across the entrance. Such was its majestic beauty that some believed it could be made into flutes.

But that is just the beginning. The interior of the cave is a subterranean wonderland. Stalactites dangle from the ceiling in wondrous numbers, while stalagmites curve their way up from the cave floor.

Lightning now illuminates the cave and showcases scripture that dates to the 8th century.

14. Yungang Grottoes

Yungang Grottoes

There are some incredible Buddhist excavations throughout China, but none are as old as the Yungang Grottoes. Along the enormous wall, you’ll be able to witness 50,000 stone statues that can be traced back to the 5th and 6th centuries.

Near Datong City in Shanxi Province, the creations are spread throughout 252 caves. Each feature is more intricately detailed than the last, while the will of the old Northern Wei Dynasty is reflected in the selected Buddhist scripture.

It would take some time to see all the caves in proper detail. So to help you out, focus on the remarkable Five Caves. This was created by Tan Yao. The unity of design and layout makes it a masterpiece of early Chinese art.

13. West Lake, Hangzhou

West Lake

Gardens, temples, and charming bridges are found around the gleaming waters of West Lake in Hangzhou. It’s not a modern creation either, with West Lake inspiring residents and travelers since the 800s.

It was then, as an ancient capital of China, Hangzhou cemented itself in the nation’s timeline. Thousands of years of trade with neighboring communities and countries are shown in the artistry and romanticism that flows out of every inch of West Lake.

In the early hours, locals practise Tai Chi and the mist rises from the valley up to the Wulin Mountains. Trails take you around the lake where weeping willows create vast reflections on the water below.

Aside from walking, you can take a cruise to Little Paradise Island. Or head to the top of Leifeng Pagoda for all-encompassing views.

12. Jiuzhaigou


In Sichuan, Jiuzhaigou is a veritable gem of a national park . One of the best public parks in China, Jiuzhaigou, is a stunning collection of snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and emerald-hued lakes.

As you approach the mountains of southern China, there’s little warning of the fairyland that exists in Jiuzhaigou. Especially for the park’s 100+ lakes, each as crystal-clear and turquoise as the last. They’re fed by pristine snowmelt with their connecting streams, creating spectacular waterfalls.

The mountains, lakes and rivers combine for an idyllic network of valleys whose scenery is immensely vivid. Come in the summer for the best hiking and blooming flowers. Or wait for the snow and experience a winter wonderland.

11. Longmen Grottoes

Longmen Grottoes

South of Luoyang in Henan Province, the Longmen Grottoes is an ancient engineering masterpiece. Forget the four heads of Mount Rushmore, the Longmen Grottoes are home to an estimated 100,000 statues of Buddha and his followers.

These are all carved into the cliffs and caves of Longmenshan and Xiangshan peaks and set along the rolling Yihe River. Each creation varies significantly. Some are a cute 25 centimeter creation, others reach the lofty heights of 17 meters! They all vary in age. However, the bulk can be traced to periods between the 4th and 10th centuries.

Now a UNESCO site, you can explore the grottoes to learn about their creation and the various battles that have taken place here.

10. Pudong Skyline, Shanghai

Pudong Skyline

You’ll have your work cut out seeing all that there is to do in Shanghai . But there’s one particular experience you’ll want to do twice, or even daily.

Modern Shanghai is almost futuristic. Its collection of skyscrapers is some of the biggest on earth and each is distinct from the last. It’s a wild thought that most of this has been constructed in only the last twenty years.

The best collection of towers is known as the Pudong Skyline. This district of skyscrapers is best seen from the Bund , where the skyline is on display like an architectural buffet. Highlights include the Jinmao Tower, the Shanghai Tower and the striking Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

At night, the district combines to showcase an elaborate, electric rainbow of lights.

9. Hani Terraces

Hani Terraces

On the southern slopes of Ailao Mountain, the Hani Terraces are both head-turning and head-scratching. From above, the mix of colors and the lines that mark the banks look straight out of an abstract painting. Yet, the rice terraces are remarkably real.

These terraces have been used to grow rice crops for a millennium. Once just a rising mountain, over 2,500 meters above sea level, it’s been carved painstakingly by hand. This has created hundreds of distinct terraces, all in varying stages of production.

It’s a fascinating mix of nature and humanity, one that leads to a kaleidoscopic landscape that is mesmerizing to witness. The best time to visit is from December to March, when irrigation floods the terraces.

8. Leshan Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha

Rising 71 meters, Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest in the world. The jaw-dropping creation is carved into the side of a mountain. This was a feat that took 90 years to complete!

The carving of the rock was led by Hai Tong in the 8th century. He wanted to ensure the safety and happiness of his community. While the results are open to interpretation, what isn’t is the way you feel when you first take in the size and opulence of it.

Today, you can stand right at its feet, or cruise by on the Min River. This was a body of water that slowed down significantly with all the excess rock deposited into the banks.

7. Mount Huang

Mount Huang

A part of the Huangshan mountain range, Mount Huang is found in the Anhui province in eastern China. The range translates to the yellow mountains and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its pristine beauty.

Your time here begins in Tangkouzhen, where you’ll take a shuttle to either the Western or Eastern steps. From there, you can embark on a range of hikes with changing difficulties. From the Eastern Steps, there is a cable car to the summit.

Whether you hike or ride the cable car, find a way to see the stunning Xihai Grand Canyon. This is a vast canyon mixed in with ethereal forests, hanging from the cliff’s edge. For amazing views, add a trip to either Lotus Peak or Shixin Peak. Stick around for sunset to discover why Huangshan is known as the Yellow Mountains.

6. Li River Cruise

Li River Cruise

Connecting Guilin to Yangshuo , the Li River snakes its way softly through majestic landscapes. Ancient limestone karsts soar up to the sky’s ceiling. Each of them is unique and as craggy and beautiful as the last.

With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, a cruise along the Li River is one of the best things to do in China. You can make your way to Guilin, jump on a 4 to 5 hour cruise and disembark at Yangshuo, where road transport is ready to take you back.

Along the way, you’ll see 80 kilometers worth of geography that has inspired authors and romantics alike. You’ll feel the same once you gaze upon Elephant Trunk Hill and Mount of Unique Beauty.

Cruises are available year-round. However, autumn marks the best time to explore.

5. Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

There are no records of the creation of the Terracotta Army. It’s as if the 8,000 terracotta soldiers guarding the tomb of Qin Shi Huang were meant to go undiscovered.

But alas, they were found some 2,000 years later in 1974. It was then, locals sinking a well around 30 kilometers from Xi’an made an incredible discovery.

Fifty years later, the army has become one of the most famous tourist attractions in China. An overhand shades the army, ensuring the preservation of a remarkable feat of art and engineering. Among the soldiers are over 500 horses and 100 chariots, each featuring the same painstaking detail as the last.

The Terracotta Army lies within the emperor’s Masoleu Site Park, where you can embark on an insightful guided tour.

4. Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour

The world’s third largest seaport, Victoria Harbour, is beyond a hub of activity. It encapsulates the organized chaos of Hong Kong , where much is occurring, but nothing misses a beat.

The natural harbor sprawls out into the distance. Tanker ships come and go with the speed of little fishing boats jetting out from tiny villages. As much as you want to sit still, you never can. That’s because there’s always a better view to be had.

Come nightfall, you’ll become captivated and inspired by the smorgasbord of lights taking up the skyline. Hong Kong never sleeps and its array of skyscrapers become as vibrant as the galaxies above.

For the best views, stay on the Kowloon side and look across the harbor. You’ll then be able to experience the Avenue of Stars.

3. Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Surrounded by 3.5 kilometers of old fortress walls, China’s Forbidden City marks the country’s best collection of historic architecture. You can find the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing . It’s a place so rich in dynastic history, rituals and, importantly, size that it’s visited by over 16 million people every year.

For over six centuries, the Forbidden City was at the forefront of the national conscience. It grew to be 900 buildings large, filled with some of China’s most historic figures, plus an eccentric cast of advisors.

This all changed in 1911, upon the fall of the Qing dynasty. It has transformed into an enormous piece of living history. Come and discover impressive feats of architecture, while learning about the dynasties that ruled China with an iron fist.

2. Potala Palace

Potala Palace

For centuries, the winter coming to Lhasa meant one important thing; it would once again be the abode of the Dalai Lama. This was a tradition that took place at the eye-catching Potala Palace until 1959.

That year, during a Chinese invasion, the Dalai Lama at the time fled to safe ground in India. It brought the end of an enduring tradition. However, it’s one you can get to know today with a visit to the palace.

Featuring 14 stories, the Potala Palace is renowned for its deep red central that shines like the sun surrounded by a whitewashed facade. Within lies hand-written Buddhist scripture and ancient gifts from emperors. Golden tombs, home to Dalai Lamas who passed away, are also located here.

1. Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Encompassing over 6,000 kilometers and almost four million bricks, the Great Wall of China is a true wonder. In fact, an ancient Chinese proverb goes that one cannot be a hero, unless he’s stepped onto the Great Wall.

The Great Wall of China runs from east to west, passing through a genuinely inspiring and complex array of landscapes. For if one walked the length of it, they would know the country like few others.

However, there aren’t many of us with the time to do such a thing. Some of the best places to see the wall are in Ningxia and Gansu. Both places showcase some of its best preserved sections. Travelers wanting to stay close to Beijing can visit the popular Badaling Pass section.

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Map of China Attractions

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The Ultimate Chinese Bucket List: 50 Must See Places to Visit in China

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The Ultimate China Bucket List: 50 Must-See Places to Visit in China

China is a huge country. There’s no ifs, buts, or coconuts about it. At 9,596,960 square kilometers – it weighs in behind only Russia, Canada, and the United States for sheer size. Couple this with China’s massive population and its jaw-dropping history, and you’ve got a recipe for a borderline overwhelming array of choices when it comes time to plan your trip to China.

Put simply, there are just too many places to visit in China to do it all in one go.

For a country with so many diverse cultures and landscapes, it’s remarkable that so many Chinese itineraries consist of the same tried and tested fare.

Beijing for the historic sites, a brief detour to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors, and one final stop-off in Shanghai for shopping and a brief walk along the Bund.

For those pressed for time, this is perfectly fine, but there’s so much more to China than just these three cities.

There is a wealth of cities with more history in one neighborhood than the entirety of my own country.

There are unbelievable and almost alien landscapes the likes of which would fit in better with fantasy or science fiction.

You’ll find cultures as unlike the ‘traditional’ Chinese as our own, sample foods that go well beyond beef & broccoli, and be confused, frustrated, and amazed every step of the way.

forbidden city entrance beijing

A Lifetime Commitment

China is not a country to be tackled in a week or a fortnight. It’s a country that begs to be visited and revisited. A country with so much to see that it would take a lifetime to do it justice.

But if you’re planning your dream Chinese trip and came in search of suggestions, look no further! I’ve compiled a list of the fifty places you should see and the experiences you should have while in China.

It’s a far from exhaustive list, and I’m bound to have missed some things, but you’ll find a little of everything here. From off the beaten path national parks to ancient monuments to beautiful beaches, there’s a little something for every Chinese bucket list here.

If you’re inspired to embark on your own journey through this fascinating country, explore a range of curated  trips to China  that can help you experience the best of China’s unique culture and landscapes.

The Obvious

Like any country, China has a few items that should be on any first-time itinerary.

The US has the Statue of Liberty, France has the Eiffel Tower, Australia has Sydney Harbour, and England has London’s many iconic sites.

There’s a reason why Xi’an, Beijing, and Shanghai feature so prominently on Chinese itineraries: the most recognizable landmarks can be found in these three cities. 

Throw in Chengdu to see China’s most famous animal and a cruise along China’s most famous river, and you’ve got the makings of a fantastic two-week itinerary.

1. Visit the Imperial Sites in Beijing (The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven)

summer palace beijing sunset

No Chinese itinerary would be complete without at least a few days in the nation’s capital.

Beijing may have a bad reputation due to its increasingly bad pollution, but pierce the haze and you’ll still find China’s most enduringly charming and fascinating city.

The presence of the legendary Forbidden City, the tranquil Summer Palace, and the distinctive Temple of Heaven give the city a triumvirate of historic sites the envy of every other city on earth.

With the possible exception of the Great Wall of China, no other landmark can really attest to better epitomizing China’s rich Imperial culture.

Looking for more for your Beijing itinerary? Check out Lama Temple, one of China’s most famous Buddhist temples.

Where: All three sites can be reached easily by taxi or public transport from most Beijing hotels.

How Much?: 40-60rmb ($10 USD) – Forbidden City, 20-30 RMB ($5 USD) – Summer Palace, and 15rmb ($2.50 USD) – Temple of Heaven.

2. Hike the Great Wall of China

Huanghuashan Great Wall

Arguably the most recognizable symbol of China’s rich history, the 21,196km long fortification stretches from Dandong in the country’s east all the way to Lop Lake in its west.

While it’s true that the Badaling section of the wall is often crowded to the point that you’re barely able to see the wall you’re standing atop, there remains a wealth of places where you can not only experience the Great Wall’s majesty – but even have the wall almost entirely to yourself!

Hiking sections of the wall such as Jinshanling or Gubeikou offer you a better idea of both the wall’s age and its sheer scale. Far from the over-touristed and carefully restored sections such as Badaling and Mutianyu, these sections offer a tougher climb and a modicum more peace.

Whether you take a tour through a company like Great Wall Hiking or make the journey yourself, standing atop the Great Wall should be at the top of any Chinese traveler’s to-do list.

Curious? You can read about my experience hiking the Great Wall of China .

Where : The most famous sections of the Great Wall can be reached from Beijing in 1-3 hours, but the wall itself stretches as far inland as Inner Mongolia.

Cost : 45 – 65rmb ($8 – $10 USD) depending on the section of the Great Wall. Tours and additional activities are extra.

3. Wander the Bund in Shanghai

The Bund 5

While Shanghai’s skyline is today defined by the modern skyscrapers of the rapidly developing Pudong region, it was once defined by a collection of European constructed and owned buildings that today comprise The Bund.

Walking along the shores of The Bund is a journey through architectural history, as buildings from such varied styles as Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque vie for attention in the city’s former financial centre.

Whether you take in the atmosphere by day or soak in the twinkling lights of Pudong by night, time spent on The Bund is bound to be one of your more enduring memories of Shanghai.

A fan of Willie Wonka? The bizarre sightseeing tunnel is a dizzying aural and visual experience. Tickets are 55rmb ($9.50 USD) for a round trip.

Where : The Bund can be reached via taxi, ferry, bus, subway, or the famous sightseeing tunnel.

Cost : Free.

4. See the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an

Terracotta Warriors Xi'an

Standing as silent testament to the will of Emperor Qin Shi Huang , the ranks of China’s Terracotta Warriors are one of the nation’s most beloved cultural icons.

With each warrior being a unique sculpture, the Terracotta Warriors were an archaeological gold mine upon their discovery and remain one of China’s most popular tourist attractions.

Want to know more about the Terracotta Warriors? Adventures Around Asia has a fantastic article on their history and how to get there.

Where : The Terracotta Warriors can be reached from Xi’an by private car or public bus.

Cost : 120 – 150rmb ($18 – $22 USD).

5. See the giant pandas in Chengdu

chengdu panda centre

China isn’t all ancient cities and dusty old relics. The country’s endemic giant pandas are one of the world’s most beloved animals.

For those wanting an up-close and personal experience with these gentle giants, the world-famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding , in Sichuan is the place to be.

Home to more than eighty giant pandas (and a small collection of the no less adorable red panda), is the place to go if you want to see these gorgeous creatures up close and learn more about them.

Where : You can reach the Chengdu Panda Centre by public bus or taxi from Chengdu.

Cost : 58rmb ($10 USD).

6. Shop for souvenirs along Nanjing East Road

nanjing road shanghai

While China tries hard to crack down on its reputation as a place for fakes, it remains a popular place to bargain for designer brands that might fetch much higher prices elsewhere.

Stretching for more than three miles and featuring over 600 businesses, the always bustling Nanjing East Road is a dizzying cacophony of sights, smells, and sounds.

Whether you’re hunting for an authentic Chinese souvenir or the latest in fashion or technology, Nanjing East Road is sure to offer up something.

Where : Nanjing East Road stretches from The Bund to Jing’an Temple in Shanghai, and can be reached by public transport or taxi.

7. See Shanghai from The Pearl

the pearl shanghai

While Yuyuan Gardens showcases Shanghai’s Chinese history and The Bund stands as a testament to its international occupation, the towering silhouette of The Pearl stands as a tribute to modern China.

While you’re coming for the view from the Aerial Sightseeing Corridor, The Pearl offers visitors a number of activities to engage both young and old.

The Oriental Pearl Science Fantasy World, Shanghai Municipal History Museum, and a revolving buffet restaurant are all on site as well.

Where : The Pearl is located in Shanghai’s Pudong district, and can be reached by taxi or public transport.

Cost : 160 – 220rmb ($23 – $32 USD). Lunch is 338rmb ($49 USD) for a buffet.

8. Eat Peking duck in Beijing

peking duck beijing

No trip to China would be complete without devouring this delectable dish.

While it’s available all over China, eating Peking (Beijing) duck in the nation’s capital is something that should be on any culinary bucket list.

There’s no shortage of options in Beijing, and you’ll find a wealth of articles debating which restaurant offers the best value for money and best quality.

For me, I think the best Beijing duck in the city can be found at DaDong. You can read more about my experience here .

Not sure how to eat Beijing duck? Check out this helpful resource: A Foreigner’s Survival Guide to Ordering and Eating Beijing Duck .

Where : All over Beijing. Check out this list for some inspiration.

Cost : 50-200rmb per person ($10 – $40 USD).

9. Visit Tiananmen Square

Tienanmen Tower Tienanmen square

Infamous for its role in the massacre that China continues to claim didn’t happen, Tiananmen Square is one of the world’s largest public squares and a popular tourist spot located just across the road from the Forbidden City.

The most recognizable building will undoubtedly be the 600-year-old Tiananmen Tower, but the Square is also home to other buildings such as the National Museum of China and the final resting place of controversial figure, Chairman Mao.

Where : Tiananmen Square is located opposite the Forbidden City’s front entrance.

Cost : Free. 15rmb ($3 USD) to climb Tiananmen Tower.

10. Take a cruise along the Yangtze

Yangtze River Cruise

One of the twin cradles of Chinese civilization (alongside the Yellow River), the mighty Yangtze is the longest river in China and the third longest river in the world.

Major cities along the river include Chongqing, Nanjing, and Shanghai – but it is the scenic gorges, especially Three Gorges, that are the highlights of any Yangtze River cruise.

There are no shortage of options and itineraries when looking to spend some time upon the river, and many itineraries combine the river with nearby attractions such as Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yellow Mountain, the Leshan Giant Buddha, West Lake, and much more.

Where : The Yangtze River stretches from the Tibetan plateau all the way to Shanghai. Cruises start in a number of major cities.

Cost : Dependent on itinerary and provider, cruises range from $500 – $3000 USD per person.

11. Visit Yuyuan Gardens

Yuyuan Garden Shanghai

A classic example of a Chinese garden, Yuyuan Gardens in Shanghai is one of the most accessible and impressive examples of the art form.

At 20,000 square metres, the park is relatively small by Chinese standards but packs a lot into the small space including pavilions, rockeries, ponds, bridges, and a bustling bazaar.

Highlights of the gardens include the Bridge of Nine Turns, the Exquisite Jade Rock, and the Yuyuan Bazaar. Be sure to grab Shanghai’s famous  xiaolongbao  (soup dumplings) while you’re there!

Where : Yuyuan Gardens is a short walk from The Bund, and can also be reached by taxi or public transport.

Cost : 40rmb ($8 USD).

The Unmissable

Got more than a week to spend in China? Here’s a collection of the very best the country has to offer.

From breathtaking national parks to underrated historical gems to fascinating cultural experiences, this list of twenty-five Chinese itinerary ideas is sure to inspire.

12. Walk Huashan’s “Plank of Death”

Huashan plank of death walk of death

It’s rare you’ll go more than a week without seeing some viral video of this death-defying hike on social media.

Sometimes called “the world’s most dangerous hike”, Huashan’s Plank of Death is just a small part of a Huashan Scenic Area in Shaanxi province. With three routes of varying difficulty, the mountain itself is worth your time, even if you’re a bit too chicken to tackle the precarious ladder and plank portion of the hike.

Curious to learn more? Adventures Around Asia has a great article on the Huashan plank walk .

Where : Huashan can be reached by train, bus, or private car from Xi’an.

Cost : 180rmb ($27 USD) for entry. 30rmb ($5 USD) for harness rental. Cable car extra.

13. Visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial

nanjing nanking massacre memorial

The atrocities committed by Japan in Asia both before and during World War II are often glossed over in the west, but China very much remembers the nefarious acts of their would-be conquerors.

The Rape of Nanking was a nightmarish period of six weeks in which the Japanese perpetuated mass rape and mass murder against the population of the former Chinese capital. Between 50,000 and 300,000 people lost their lives during the occupation.

Today, the city remembers the darkest period in its history at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial. Part museum and part somber memorial, it stands as a haunting reminder of the very worst of mankind.

Where : The Memorial can be reached easily by bus, taxi, or subway. Nanjing is a 90-minute train ride from Shanghai.

14. Visit Yellow Mountain and Hongcun Village

Yellow Mountain Huangshan Anhui

A region of towering stone spires, twisted pines and stunning sunrises, Yellow Mountain is arguably China’s most famous mountain.

Visitors come from all over China and around the world to see Huangshan’s bizarrely shaped rocks and trees jutting from a sea of shifting mists. It’s truly one of China’s most surreal and beautiful locations.

When you’re done soaking in nature’s beauty, nearby Hongcun Village is a step back in time, epitomizing Qing and Ming era architecture as well as presenting visitors with unspoiled rural panoramas. For those wanting an escape from bustling modern China, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Where : Huangshan is located in Anhui province. It can be reached by bus or train from Hangzhou or Shanghai, or can be flown to.

Cost : 150 – 230rmb ($21 – $34 USD) for Huangshan. 105rmb ($15 USD) for Hongcun Village.

15. Explore Tiger Leaping Gorge

tiger leaping gorge yunnan

One of the most breathtaking landscapes not just in China, but in the world – Tiger Leaping Gorge boasts the snow-capped peaks, dramatic cliffs, and terraced farms that inspired the landscapes of Kung Fu Panda .

Hikes vary in length and difficulty, but you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody returning from the gorge without a sense of wonder.

It’s not easy to get there on the uneven roads, but it’s worth the effort.

Where : The closest city is Lijiang and can be reached by local bus.

Cost : 65rmb ($10 USD) for an open-ended ticket.

16. Gamble in Macau

macau street

With annual gambling revenue seven times that of Las Vegas, Macau is the true sin city when it comes to games of chance.

A former Portuguese colony, the city still very much wears its colonial history on its sleeve, Macau offers a charming contrast of historic European buildings and glitzy casinos catering to the world’s largest gambling market.

Like Las Vegas, Macau is more than just gambling – with bungee jumping, shopping, live entertainment, greyhound racing, and a number of historic sites also worth your time.

Where : Macau is a special administrative zone that can be reached via ferry from the mainland (Shenzhen), bus, car, or flight.

Cost : There is no cost to enter Macau.

17. Soak in the Sanya sun

Sanya nanshan temple

White sand beaches and crystal clear waters aren’t the first things that come to mind when you picture China, but the country’s southernmost province is an island paradise the likes of which you’d expect to find in Southeast Asia.

A popular playground for the Chinese and Russians in particular, Sanya boasts some remarkably picturesque beaches – the most famous of which is Yalong Bay.

In addition to sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling – the island of Hainan is a playground of resorts, spas, floating restaurants, and amusement parks perfect for a family getaway.

Nanshan Temple is also worth a look, with its towering three-sided statue of Guan Yin Buddha being a highlight.

You can read about my Christmas in Hainan if you’d like to know more.

Where : Sanya is located in southern China, and can be reached by regularly scheduled flights from all over the country and abroad.

Cost : Varies depending on accommodation and activities. The island boasts everything from backpacker’s hostels to five-star resorts. Check all the options with Cozycozy !”

18. Explore Jiuzhaigou

Jiuzhaigou sichuan

Bright blue waters so clear you can see every leaf on the lake floor, beautiful waterfalls that cascade down tier after tier after tier and verdant forest whose leaves paint the surrounding mountains in an explosion of colours make Jiuzhaigou one of the most surreal and beautiful locations in all of China.

Located far from the hustle and bustle of modern China, this stunning valley high in the Sichuan tablelands is an unspoiled paradise in which wild pandas still roam to this day.

While you’re highly unlikely to see the park’s most famous residents during your visit, the landscape and the quiet mountain villages after which the park is named are sure to spellbind.

Where : Jiuzhaigou can be reached via flights to the nearby airport or by taking a bus from Chengdu.

Cost : 220rmb ($32 USD)

19. See the giant Buddha in Leshan

leshan giant buddha

Located just a short bus or train ride from Chengdu, Leshan is home to the world’s tallest stone Buddha in the world and the largest pre-modern statue in the world.

Like something out of ancient fiction, this towering (71 metre) representation of Maitreya sits solemnly on the banks of the Qingyi River. With its proximity to Chengdu’s panda centre, it’s a perfect day trip. In fact, there are many Chengdu tours that combine the two!

Where : Leshan can be reached by bus or train from Chengdu, or by ferry from Chongqing.

Cost : 90rmb ($13 USD).

20. Take a ride around (and on) West Lake

20. West Lake, Hangzhou

Immortalized on the 1 RMB note, Hangzhou’s West Lake is a picture of serenity – all swaying willows, tranquil ponds, gracefully arching bridges, and meticulously manicured gardens.

Surrounded on three sides by mountains, the lake is one of China’s most popular tourist attractions, and the perfect place to while away a day in spring, summer, or fall.

Popular activities at West Lake include renting bikes to cycle its bridges and shores, taking a scenic ferry ride out onto its waters, and visiting the famous Leifeng Pagoda.

Hangzhou itself is a wonderfully green and relaxed city, and its proximity to Shanghai makes it an easy addition to even the most crowded itinerary.

Where : West Lake is located in Hangzhou, which is a short train or bus ride from Shanghai. The city is also served by its own international airport.

Cost : Free. Leifeng Pagoda, boat rides, and bike rental attract their own cost.

21. Visit one of China’s famous water cities

tongli water town china

Canal cities might be more closely associated with Europe’s Venice, but China has a long history of settlements built on or around the water.

These water cities offer a charming glimpse into simpler times, and while some have become tourist traps, many retain much of their old world charm after hundreds of years.

Hongcun (mentioned earlier) is arguably the most famous of the water cities, but Tai’erzhuang in Shandong and Zhouzhang near Shanghai are also popular options.

If you’re looking for something a little more authentic, Tongli, Xitang, and Nanxun near Shanghai are better options.

Where : There are water towns scattered across China. Check out this list of Chinese water towns for some Shanghai adjacent inspiration.

Cost : Varies dependent on the town and its level of commercialism.

22. See the Longsheng rice terraces

longsheng rice terraces

China’s rice terraces are picturesque no matter where you go, but the Longsheng Rice Terraces near Guilin are the unquestioned king. Otherwise known as the Dragon’s Backbone, this classic example of Chinese agricultural ingenuity shouldn’t be missed.

A study in bucolic beauty, the terraces are surrounded by quaint villages where the adventurous tourist can get a taste of the real China. Covering 66 square kilometres, the various terraces have plenty of space – so you’ll rarely feel overcrowded while you soak in the serenity.

Where : The scenic area can be reached by bus from Guilin.

Cost : 80rmb ($12 USD) for a two-day pass.

23. Take a ride along the Li River in Guilin

Li River guilin

Dramatic karst rock formations, indifferent water buffalo munching on their meals in the shallows, idyllic rice paddies, and bamboo rafts flitting along the Li River’s surface like water bugs combine to make it one of China’s most beautiful regions.

Another Chinese landmark immortalized on the nation’s currency, the Li River is a step back in time. Fishermen use cormorants to catch fish, disinterested farmers trudge through their paddies, and it’s all as you imagine China might have been hundreds of years ago.

Taking a bamboo raft down the Li River is definitely one for any self-respecting Chinese bucket list. You can also take a more traditional cruise, soar above it all by helicopter, or even hike the Li River’s banks.

Where : The Li River is located close to Guilin.

Cost : Varies based on how you want to tackle the river. River rafts range from 50-200rmb ($7 – $30 USD).

24. See the Avatar mountains

24. Zhangjiajie Avatar Mountains

Avatar might not have left much of an impression once the 3D glasses came off, but you’d be a tough judge to not be impressed by the soaring karst pinnacles of Zhangjiajie National Park.

Jutting up into the clouds like spears, the mesas of Zhangjiajie inspired the surreal scenery in James Cameron’s CGI blockbuster, and inspired hundreds of thousands of tourists each and every year.

Nearby Tianmen Mountain is an impressive sight all of its own, and doesn’t draw quite the crowds that the park itself does.

Where : Flights to Zhangjiajie depart from most major Chinese cities, and you can also get there by taking a lengthy train ride of 10+ hours.

Cost : 248rmb ($36 USD) for the park. 248rb ($36 USD) for Tianmen Mountain.

25. Soak in the serenity of Dali

dali yunnan

A charming lakeside town which can boast startling ethnic diversity, Yunnan’s Dali is the laid back alternative to more modern Kunming.

Nearby Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake lend the city some real natural beauty, while manmade wonders such as the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple contribute with their own unique beauty.

Dali isn’t so much a city you see as it is one you experience – a modern day Shangri-La that backpackers from around the world have fallen in love with.

Where : Dali is located in northern Yunnan, and can be reached by bus or train from Kunming.

26. Visit Potala Palace in Tibet

potala palace lhasa tibet

Tibet’s inclusion in China may remain a source of hot debate, but there’s no debating the stunning beauty of Potala Palace in Lhasa.

Once the home to the Dalai Lama, the five-hundred-year-old Potala Palace stands some 100 metres above Lhasa and an astonishing 3,750 metres above sea level, making it the highest palace in the world.

While access to Tibet is hard to negotiate and access to the palace even more so, even taking in its majesty Lhasa should be a goal for any lover of architecture and religious history.

Where : Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, Tibet. It can easily be reached by taking a local bus or taxi.

Cost : 100 – 200rmb ($14 – $28 USD).

27. Get lost in Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter

Muslim Quarter Xian

While many people visit Xi’an each year to see the Terracotta Warriors, you’d be doing yourself an injustice if you didn’t take the time to explore China’s former capital more thoroughly.

Xi’an once acted as the starting point for the famous Silk Road, and as a hub of Asian trade, it attracted a considerable Middle Eastern influence over the centuries. This influence remains today, and the Muslim Quarter is both a living museum of historic Muslim architecture, but also a culinary journey of delicious foods found nowhere else in well-traveled China.

It’s an interesting insight into a China that isn’t the stereotype of fried rice and mahjong.

Where : Located in Xi’an, the Muslim Quarter can be reached by taxi or local bus.

28. Eat at the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant

28. Tim Ho Wan, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s first entry on the list is a delicious one, and it’s one that won’t break your bank. It’s not often you get to eat at a Michelin Star restaurant for cheap, but Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum is just that.

While the small eatery has gone on to spawn an entire chain, the original is still considered the best, and no visit to Hong Kong would be complete without trying the restaurant’s world class selection of dim sum.

Got your appetite up? Check out Sassy Hong Kong’s post on Tim Ho Wan .

Where : There are four Tim Ho Wan locations in Hong Kong. See the above article for addresses.

Cost : Roughly $150 USD for dinner for two.

29. See Hong Kong from atop Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak hong kong skyline night

The best place to take in Hong Kong’s twinkling skyline, Victoria Peak is one of Hong Kong’s most popular tourist destinations day or night.

The more active can choose to hike their way up to the peak, but the popular Peak Tram is a scenic and more comfortable alternative. Tickets are HK$40 ($5.10 USD) return.

Once at the top, there are a number of tourist attractions include Madame Tussauds, Sky Terrace 428 (Hong Kong’s highest viewing platform), and more.

A Different View

Would you rather see Hong Kong from above while also breaking a sweat? KKday offers a Beacon Hill rock-climbing tour that affords a similarly spectacular view of the city.

Where : The lower terminus can be reached by MRT.

30. Eat hot pot in Chongqing

Chongqing Hotpot sichuan

While hot pot is available all over China, Chongqing’s take on the popular spicy broth is perhaps its most famous variant.

Featuring Sichuan’s famous mouth-numbing pepper and a number of other unique ingredients, Chongqing hot pot isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s a challenge any adventurous eater should be up for.

Where : Chongqing is overflowing with restaurants serving up this popular local delicacy, although you can find it in Sichuan restaurants all over the country.

Cost: Varies.

31. Visit the Mausoleum of San Yat Sen in Nanjing

San Yat Sen Mausoleum Purple Mountain Nanjing

While he’s not as (in)famous outside of China as Chairman Mao, Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s role in forming both modern China and modern Taiwan cannot be overstated.

A political revolutionary revered on both sides of the Taiwan Strait for his role in introducing democracy (such as it is) to both Chinas, Sun Yat Sen’s life was one of constant struggle and turmoil.

For those wishing to pay their respects for the unique political figure, his mausoleum can be visited at Purple Mountain in Nanjing.

An impressive construction in its own right, the Mausoleum’s proximity to other Purple Mountain attractions such as the original Ming Tomb and the nearby parklands makes it a perfect day trip from the city.

Where : Purple Mountain Scenic Area can be reached from Nanjing by bus, train, or local taxi.

Cost : Entrance to the Mausoleum is free, but Purple Mountain costs 15rmb ($2.20 USD).

32. Visit Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake

China’s largest lake, Qinghai Lake is a 4,317 square kilometer saltwater lake famed for its serenity and the lush grasslands that surround its occasionally frosty shores.

The lake itself may not seem especially spectacular, but the utter quiet that surrounds it and the diverse ethnicities that live in the area make it an intriguing cultural journey. Boat rides, bird watching, and cycling are also popular activities.

It’s well off the tourist trail and at high altitude, so it’s not one for the pampered or the faint of heart.

Want something even more off the beaten track? Check out the starkly beautiful Chaka Lake, which is also in the Qinghai province.

Chaka Lake Qinghai

Where : Buses can be taken from the city of Xining.

33. Visit the Ming Tombs

Ming Tombs Beijing

One not to be missed while in Beijing, the thirteen tombs of Ming Emperors whose combined reign stretched from 1368 – 1644.

While only certain parts of the massive complex are open at any given time, the chance to wander its famous Sacred Way and visit a few of its large tomb complexes is one worth jumping on.

While the original Ming Tomb can be found in Nanjing, these thirteen are better known and represent a greater portion of the once great dynasty.

Where : You can reach the Ming Tombs by bus, taxi, or subway from Beijing. It is often combined with a visit to the nearby Badaling section of the Great Wall.

Cost : 100 – 130rmb ($15 – $19 USD).

34. Attend the Harbin Ice Festival

Harbin Snow and Ice Festival

The world’s largest ice sculpture festival, the annual Harbin Ice & Snow Festival sees the northern Chinese city transformed into a winter wonderland of impressive structures of snow and ice lit by brightly coloured lights.

Running throughout the cold winter months (December – February), the festival sees millions of people visit the three venues that host the various ice and snow sculptures.

Temperatures range from -10C to -25C during the festival, so pack warm!

Where : Harbin can be reached by flights, long-distance train, or long distance bus from Beijing and other major cities.

Cost : 240rmb for Sun Island ($35 USD), 330rmb for Ice & Snow World ($48 USD), and 150rmb for Zhaolin Park ($22 USD).

35. See Asia’s highest waterfall in Guizhou

Guizhou Huangguoshou Waterfall

Standing at 74 metres in height and 81 metres in width, the impressive Huangguoshou Falls in Guizhou province is the largest waterfall in Asia.

With a thunderous roar, the waters of the falls plunge into the Rhinoceros Pool and awe crowds of tourists from all over the world. Accompanied by a number of other waterfalls, it makes for a thrilling (and slightly moist) day out.

Where : You can take a bus from Anshun or Jinyang.

Cost : 160 – 180rmb ($23 – $26 USD).

36. Get off Beijing’s beaten track in the hutongs

Beijing Hutongs Wudaoying

My absolute favourite district of Beijing is the cluster of dusty laneways and cute boutiques that make up its hutong district.

While modern Beijing has precious little time for the grimy local restaurants and crowded courtyard tenements of the city’s past, there remains a lot to love in these window alleyways where people live, play, eat, and do pretty much everything else.

Hutongs such as Wudaoying and Fengjia near Andingmen are a delightful mix of authentic China and modern hipster charm, with microbreweries, cute cafes, art galleries, local dives, fashion boutiques, and everything in between to be found.

Where : Get off at Andingmen Station and explore.

The Off the Beaten Path

Are you a seasoned China veteran looking for something truly unusual to do?

Have you tackled most or all of the above and rolled your eyes?

Here are some of the more obscure, off the beaten track places to visit in China.

37. Drink Tsingtao in Qingdao

qingdao tsingtao beer

If you’ve spent any time at all in China or have a taste for foreign beers, you’ve probably heard of Tsingtao. While it’s not the most popular beer in China (that honour goes to Snow), it’s definitely China’s most famous malty export.

If you’re wanting to take your love affair with Tsingtao to a new level, you can pay a visit to the German-inspired beach town of Qingdao. Home to both the Tsingtao Brewery & Museum and the Qingdao International Beer Festival , it’s a place for a beer lover’s pilgrimage.

Beyond the suds, Qingdao is a picturesque city of beaches, clifftop art installations, German architecture, and good food.

Where : Qingdao is served by an international airport and a high-speed train station. It is roughly halfway between Shanghai and Beijing.

Cost : Free. Entry to the Beer Museum is 60rmb ($10 USD) and includes two beers. Tickets for the Beer Festival are 20-30rmb ($4 – $5 USD).

38. Drive the Karakoram Highway

yurt mountains karakoram highway xinjiang

One of the most scenic drives you’re ever likely to encounter, the Karakoram Highway connects the historic Silk Road city of Kashgar with the Sino-Pakistani border high in the mountains.

A day long drive that takes you through sun-blasted desert, swaying grasslands, high mountain passes, and past churning glacial rivers – this is a drive that’s all about the journey and not the destination.

Notable stops along the way include the fiery Red Mountain, the icy beauty of Karakul Lake, the historic Stone Fort in Tashkurgan, the snow-capped Sand Mountain, the serene Golden Grasslands, and the snowy silence of Kunjerab Pass.

You can read more about my epic journey along the Karakoram Highway .

Where : The Karakoram Highway begins in Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang province. Flights to Kashgar typically come via Urumqi.

Cost : Tours vary in length and cost.

39. Take the Qinghai-Tibet Railway

qinghai tibet railway

From the road to the rail, we focus on the world’s highest altitude railway. Connecting traditional China with Tibet, this near 2,000 kilometre stretch of rail covers some of the most visually stunning terrains in China.

Stretching from Xining all the way to Lhasa, the high-speed train cuts across a hugely diverse assortment of landscapes before ascending into Tibet – where oxygen masks may be needed due to the high altitude.

You’ll also need to arrange a  Tibet tour  ahead of your trip, as independent travelers are not permitted in the region.

Where : The train departs from Xining, and has seven stops along the way.

Cost : Tickets range from 224rmb ($32 USD) for a seat to 781rmb ($115) for a sleeper.

40. Go horseback riding in Inner Mongolia

inner mongolia landscape

People are often surprised to learn that there is an Inner Mongolia, but the vast grass sea of this northern Chinese province is sure to put you in mind of the vast Mongol hordes who once ravaged China.

A distinctly different culture makes a visit to Inner Mongolia akin to visiting an entirely different country. Here, you’ll find a land of boundless grasslands that sway in the breeze, nomadic herdsmen, primitive yurts, and sun-baked deserts at odds with China’s modern metropolises.

No visit to the region would be complete without slipping into the saddle and seeing the grasslands from horseback. The horse was a vital part of what made Mongolia such a threat to ancient China, and to see Inner Mongolia from horseback is truly a bucket list experience.

Where : Inner Mongolia is served by both international and domestic airports.

Cost : 5rmb (less than $1 USD).

41. See the Caucasian mummies in Urumqi

yingpan man xinjiang museum mummy urumqi

Creating mummies is not the sole domain of ancient Egypt, although Xinjiang’s controversial ‘Tamin Mummies’ were created by the province’s heat and dry rather than religious ritual.

Why controversial? The near 4,000-year-old Loulan Beauty is distinctly Caucasian in her features, which is at odds with modern China’s assertions that Xinjiang has always been a part of China.

The Xinjiang Museum in which the mummies reside is worth a visit while in the provincial capital, with exhibits on the province’s melting pot of ethnicities as well as its vital role in the ancient Silk Road.

You can read more about the Xinjiang Museum on Far West China.

Where : The Xinjiang Museum is located in Urumqi, and can be reached by taxi or local bus.

42. See the thousand Buddhas of the Mogao Caves

mogao caves 1000 buddhas

Sometimes known as the Thousand Buddha Grottos, the Mogao Caves in China’s Gansu province are home to a startling collection of Buddhist artworks dating back more than 1,000 years.

Exploring the 750+ caves is like artistic time travel, as you’ll see different styles and mediums used in celebration of the Buddhist religion. These range from towering statues to intricate murals – a truly inspiring display of religious devotion.

Where : The Mogao Caves can be reached by bus or taxi from Dunhuang.

Cost: 220rmb ($32 USD).

43. Visit the coloured pools of Huanglong

huanglong sichuan

Not far from stunning Jiuzhaigou in northern Sichuan is another stunning natural wonder, Huanglong. Like Jiuzhaigou, it is a distinctly beautiful park of waterfalls, coloured pools, and virgin forest, but Huanglong’s famous fairy pools possess a charm all of their own.

A place of almost alien beauty, Huanglong is well and truly off the beaten path, and visitors can expect peace and quiet while they soak in the park’s otherworldly beauty.

Want to see both Jiuzhaigou  and  Huanglong? Why not try a Jiuzhaigou tour ?

Where : Buses can be taken from Chengdu or Jiuzhaigou.

Cost : 200rmb ($30 USD).

44. Visit Dalian

dalian castle hotel

A relatively young city by Chinese standards, Dalian is a beachside city with an impressive collection of Russian architecture due to its former state as a Russian settlement.

The city’s extensive coastline makes for some pretty dramatic views, and Dalian is considered one of China’s premier seafood destinations on par with Guangdong in the nation’s south.

Highlights in Dalian include the Bangchuidao Scenic Area with its hills and forests and the family friendly Tiger Beach Ocean Park.

Where : Dalian is served by an international airport as well as high-speed trains and long distance buses.

45. Be humbled by Heavenly Lake, Changbaishan

tianchi changbaishan heavenly lake

As if the breathtaking lake and the chance to stand on a volcano aren’t incentive enough, Changbai National Park is also home to a hugely diverse selection of Chinese animals including bears, lynx, leopards, deer, and the Siberian tiger!

You can keep your pandas, people – I’d die a happy man if I ever got to see a tiger in the wild and lived to tell the tale.

The park’s most famous sight is undoubtedly Tianchi (Heavenly Lake), a stunning crater lake that is worth a look at any time of year, but especially gorgeous during the snowy winter months.

Where : Take a taxi or private car from Erdaobaihe County, which can be reached by train or by flying in to Yanji Airport.

Cost : 125rmb ($18 USD).

46. Go bamboo rafting at Mt. Wuyi

wuyi nine bend river rafting

A stunningly diverse region of river canyons and dense forest, the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian province is especially famous for the opportunity to raft Nine Bend River and take in the surrounding scenery.

The more adventurous will find a number of hiking trails to really get them close to nature, but a public bus within the park makes it accessible for all ages.

Where : Take a taxi from Wuyishan or a train from Xiamen or Fuzhou.

Cost : 210rmb ($30 USD).

47. Ride camels across the Gobi Desert to see Crescent Lake

echoing sand mountains

A stunning contrast reminiscent of Tatooine in the Star Wars movies, Crescent Lake and Echoing Sand Mountain are a startling juxtaposition of towering dune and verdant oasis located in Gansu province.

The crescent-shaped lake exists at odds with the shifting sands of the Gobi Desert, and visitors can cool off on its shores before embarking on thrilling desert adventures such as riding camels across the dunes, sandboarding, or ATVing.

Where : Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake are both located a short bus or taxi ride from Dunhuang.

Cost : 120rmb ($17 USD). Additional cost for activities.

48. See the Kaiping Fortress Towers

bai he village kaiping

Guangdong province in China’s south is often overlooked by tourists, but it’s not without its appeals.

One of the more dramatic landmarks in the province are the Kaiping Fortress Towers. Built in the waning years of the Qing Dynasty, these watchtowers and fortifications now stand solemn vigil over idyllic farmlands – making for a unique photo opportunity.

Want to learn more? Only Original Art has a great piece on their visit to the Kaiping Fortresses .

Where : Kaiping City is located a short bus ride from Guangzhou.

49. Be amazed by Fenghuang

fenghuang water town phoenix village

Known as one of the most beautiful towns in China, Fenghuang in Hunan is a classic example of a water city comprised of gracefully curving bridges, stilted houses, and boats skimming through the canals.

Sometimes called Phoenix Ancient Town, Fenghuang lies on the banks of the Tuo Jiang River and its Miao people derive much of their livelihood from its waters.

Despite its popularity with tourists, the town remains as a kind of living museum for simpler times.

Where : Fenghuang can be reached by bus from either Changsha or Zhangjiajie National Park.

Cost : 148rmb ($21 USD).

50. Live like a local in rural China

longsheng rice terraces dragon's backbone longji

For those really wanting to experience China away from its bustling city, it pays to get well and truly off the beaten track and visit a place not renowned for tourism.

You’ll need some Mandarin or world-class charades skills most of the time and you might have trouble finding hotels that can take foreign guests, but you’ll see China as it truly is – rather than as its state-owned media wishes it to be portrayed.

There’s no hard and fast guide on how you should do this, but stopping at one of those towns that lie between your starting point and your destination might be a good way to go about it.

You can read about my experience in rural China as a foreigner in Lianyungang .

Where : All over China.

most popular tourist attractions in china

As you can see, there are a wealth of things to do and see while traveling in China.

Whatever your budget, there is something for everyone.

Check out The Broke Backpacker’s fantastic China budget travel guide to get started planning your trip!

Worried about missing out on your favourite shows behind China’s infamous Great Firewall? Learn how to change your Prime location to access content when in China .

Do you have any favourite spots in China that warrant their place on this list?

How many of the above have you made it to?

Don’t hesitate to suggest your own inclusions, as I am looking to expand this list to 100 items in 2018!

Looking for more bucket list inspiration?

Don’t forget to check out my other comprehensive bucket lists!

  • The Ultimate Japan Bucket List
  • The Ultimate South Korea Bucket List
  • The Ultimate Australia Bucket List

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  • Top 10 Attractions in China

Top 10 Attractions in China

Top 1 The Great Wall, Beijing

The star attraction of China is the Great Wall , a spectacular defensive structure built to keep intruders from entering the mainland, which stretches from Jiayuguan Pass in the west, to Shanhaiguan Pass in the east, with a total length of 8851.8 km that traverses Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Inner Mongolian and Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu, etc. 9 provinces and municipalities. The steady stone fortification is a symbol of China, which was inscribed into the list of the World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO . It must be the first atttraction in top 10 attractions in China. Badaling , Mutianyu and Jinshanling sections within Beijing area are the most famous ones. Location:  Across Northern China

  • Get to know more about the Great Wall of China at: Great Wall of China  
  • Recommended China Package Tours covering the Great Wall: Great Wall of China Tours
  • Recommended Beijing Package tours covering the Great Wall: Beijing Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - Great Wall

Top 2 Forbidden City, Beijing

Located in the very heart of Beijing, magnificent Forbidden City , also known as Imperial Palace Museum, is the symbol of imperial power. Built in Yongle Period, Ming Dynasty (1406 - 1420 AD), it is the largest and well-preserved wooden building complex of the world. These were laid out very precisely in accordance with a feudal code of architectural hierarchy which designated specific features for reflecting the paramount authority and status of the emperor. Forbidden City can be taken as a sample of the traditional Chinese palatial architecture . In 1987, it became a World Heritage Site. Besides, it is also listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. Forbidden City ranks the second place in top 10 attractions in China.  

  • Recommended Beijing Package Tours covering Forbidden City: Beijing Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - Forbidden City in Beijing

Top 3 Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an

As one of the greatest discoveries in the archaeological history, Xian Terracotta Warriors has been buried underground for more than 2,000 years till 1974. Known as the eighth wonder of the world, now is the biggest underground military museum to display all mighty terra-cotta warriors and horses made in Qin Dynasty (221 B.C. – 206 B.C.). From its history, Qin Terracotta Army is covered by a mysterious face. There are four main categories of figures in this museum: chariot warriors, infantrymen, cavalrymen, and horses. It deserves its place on the UNESCO world heritage list.   

  • Recommended Xi'an Package Tours covering Terracotta Warriors at: Xian Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - Terracotta Warriors

Top 4 Yangtze River

The Mother River of the Chinese Nation, the Life-blood of China, mighty Yangtze is the largest and longest river in China with a length of over 6,300 kilometres. It is a curious blend of the grand natural scenery and brilliant human culture. Flowing through 9 provinces, this ‘Travelling-Through-the-Heavens’ River, finally pouring into the East China Sea through Shanghai. Section between Chongqing and Yichang are the magnificent one. Take a comfortable Yangtze River Cruise , you will have chance to appreciate the magnificent Three Gorges, which are regarded as one of the most spectacular scenic attractions in China, and all powerful Three Gorges Dam . Location:  Across South China  

  • Recommended China Package Tours covering Yangtze River Cruise at: Yangtze River Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - Yangtze River

Top 5 Li River, Guilin

Li River Scenic Area is the biggest and the most enchanting Karst tourist site of the world. Li River, expressed perfectly the inner core of the scenery and also the custom of the city - mild, delicate, genial but also proud. The 83-km-long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo is the masterpiece of Li River. Along the river, the rolling peaks, steep cliffs, green hills and clear water constitute a fascinating hundred-mile pictures gallery. The natural beauty of the Li River is indeed beyond any descriptions, you have to be there to see with your own eyes and to feel with your own heart.   

  • Recommended Guilin Package Tours covering Li River at: Guilin Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - Li River in Guilin

Top 6 Potala Palace, Lhasa

Originally built by King Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century, the awe-inspiring Potala Palace , perched high above much of Lhasa, is the landmark of the city. Built against the Red Hill, Potala Palace is a spectacular castle-like building complex of Lhasa, which is used to be the unification centre of political and religious of Tibet. Covered an area of over 360,000 square meters, it is a great palace of art with creative designing and gorgeous decoration. Its conservative religious atmosphere, precious scriptures, murals, jewels and antiques housed inside, earning it a place on UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site list.   

  • Recommended Tibet Package tours covering Patala Palace at: Tibet Tours   

Top 10 China Attractions - Potala Palace in Lhasa

Top 7 Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan), Anhui

Located in the south part of Anhui Province, Yellow Mountain is one of the top mountain-view spots of China and known as the No. 1 Mountain under heaven. It features imposing peaks, grotesquely-shaped rocks, steep cliffs, fantastic caves and those peculiarities that make the mountain outstanding among others. Yellow Mountain is celebrated for having all the features of mountain scenery. Due to the weather condition, misting, clouding, natural scenery in the area changes beyond prediction. Yellow Mountain can be divided into Beihai Scenic Area, Xihai Scenic Area, Songgu Scenic Area, Yungu Scenic Area, Yuping Scenic Area, Baiyun Scenic Area and Hot Spring Scenic Area. In 1990, UNESCO enrolled it as a World Heritage Site. Yellow Mountain plays a important role in top 10 attractions in China.  

  • Recommended best China pakcage tours covering Huangshan at: Huangshan Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - Yellow Mountain

Top 8 The Bund, Shanghai

The Bund , Shanghai's famed waterfront promenade, stretches 1.5km along the west bank of Huangpu River, is known as the “the exotic building clusters of Shanghai”. And it is  one of the most popular attractions in Shanghai.   Facing the modern skyscrapers Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Tower across the river, the Bund is a big stage displays its rich collection of early 20th-century architectures. These buildings were built respectively during the 20s and 40s of the 20th century with different architectural styles but were well harmonized. The buildings are all decorated with floodlights. At night, the Bund is brightly lit, glittering and dazzling to the eye. It is the symbol and mark of Shanghai.   

  • Recommended Best Shanghai Package Tours at: Shanghai Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - The Bund in Shanghai

Top 9 West Lake, Hangzhou

West Lake is a previous natural gift of Hangzhou as an apple of the eye. Located in the west part of Hangzhou, embraced by green hills by three sides, this lake is reputed for beautiful scenery, a multitude of historical sites, brilliant cultural relics, and a profusion of native products. Ancient Chinese people praised the West Lake as a place of intoxicating beauty for its serenity water surface and the long narrow river levee that full of sense of “willow down and flowers reign”. Legend goes that the West Lake was a heavenly jewel fallen to earth. Pragmatists insist that it is a mere lagoon on Hangzhou's western fringe. In any case, West Lake has inspired painters for centuries.   

  • Recommended Best Hangzhou Package Tours covering West Lake at: Hangzhou Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - West Lake in Hangzhou

Top 10 Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan

Situated in the northern part of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley is a well-known fairyland that features perennially snow-capped mountain peaks, verdant and lush forest, stretches of serene lakes, and various birds and animals. It is also a world of water, the clearest in the world. Water brings Jiuzhai Valley its most enchanting views, which is the soul of the place. Bright green waters, icy waterfalls, colorful forest (especially in autumn) and pure snow mountains surrounded, all contributing to the unique view of Jiuzhai Valley and earning it a place on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List.  

  • Recommended Best Jiuzhaigou Valley Tours at: Jiuzhaigou Tours

Top 10 China Attractions - Jiuzhaigou Valley

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China’s Top Seven Tourist Attractions

Barsbold Baatarsuren

The ancient and varied provinces of China are home to some incredible tourist attractions , and they are quickly becoming one of the most famous places to visit on the planet. You will never be short of incredible sights to see in China, whether you plan to spend time in one of the country's sprawling cities or venture into its serene rural hinterlands.

With so much to see and do, compiling a definitive top ten list of China's major tourist attractions is difficult. But, after much deliberation and consideration, we've come up with a list of China's must-see tourist attractions. Others are simple, while others are a little more unusual, but they all serve to highlight the magnificence of one of the world's most fascinating civilizations.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China , the world's longest wall and an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture, is one of the country's most recognizable landmarks . Its winding route takes in some spectacular scenery as it passes through rugged terrain and steep mountains. It is deserving of its status as one of China's "New Seven Wonders of the World" and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Great Wall of China

The wall stretches for 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) from China's western border to the east coast, but the most integrated and well-preserved parts are close to Beijing. When people talk about the Great Wall of China, they generally say something like this.

Hiking or walking along China's Great Wall is the best way to see the country's most popular landmark. Walk over centuries-old bricks and through the remains of a watchtower. Take your time to allow the past to come alive for you.

Guilin and Yangshuo's Li River — China's Most Popular Scenery

Artists have been drawn to the karst landscape along the Li River. The beauty of nature there has inspired generations of Chinese painters and writers, who have used their pens and brushes to capture the breathtaking scenery.

Guilin and Yangshuos Li River

It is now a popular photography location. When Chinese tourists think of natural beauty, they think of the Li River and Yangshuo.

The most beautiful part of the Li River is the 83-kilometer stretch between Guilin and Yangshuo. The riverbank is lined with bamboo groves and is adorned with stunning hills, steep mountains, and farming villages.

The Li River was named one of the "World's Top Ten Watery Wonders" by National Geographic Magazine in the United States. Former US Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush (Senior), as well as Bill Gates, have also paid visits to the Li River.

You might try a SUP (stand-up paddleboard, also known as a mini raft) on the Yulong River, a bamboo raft, a bike tour through the countryside, or a thrilling drive in an all-terrain vehicle.

The Forbidden City & the Imperial Palace

The Forbidden City (Zjnchéng) - also known as the Imperial Palace - is China's largest and most important structure, located in the heart of Beijing and a must-see for anyone visiting the country. Most of the complex that can be seen today was constructed between 1406 and 1420 during the Yuan Dynasty, which lasted from 1271 to 1368. This sprawling complex, which included several magnificent palaces in one, was the home of 24 Ming and Qing Emperors, whose presence prohibited anyone other than the imperial family and their courtesans from entering.

The Forbidden City & the Imperial Palace

This vast complex, which spans 720,000 square meters and is surrounded by a 10-meter-high wall with watchtowers and a large moat, consists of ceremonial and administrative areas, as well as the emperor's private residence. Highlights include the five white marble Golden River Bridges; the 35-meter-tall Hall of Supreme Harmony, which houses the imperial throne; and the magnificent emperor's banquet hall (the Hall of Preserving Harmony); and the Palace Museum, which houses a wide collection of art and objects from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Cobbled Pedestrian Streets and Small Waterways in Lijiang's Old Town

Lijiang Old Town is known for its ancient cobblestone avenues, stone bridges, and flower-filled water-wheel-driven canals. Everywhere there are shops, cafés, pubs, restaurants, snack stalls, hotels, and hostels.

Cobbled Pedestrian Streets and Small Waterways in Lijiang Old Town

Lijiang Old Town is known for its large waterwheels. They will be visible when you reach the old town. They rotate due to the river that runs through the old town. Next to them is Bar Street, which gets really busy at night.

You can also see Naxi art at the Naxi Hieroglyphs and Painting Exhibition Hall. The Naxi are the only people in the world who still write in hieroglyphs.

Erhai Lake in Dali — One of the Most Stunning Lakes in China

Dali's most beautiful spot is Erhai Lake. It's a lake on a hill. Erhai Lake is named after its shape, which is that of an ear. This plateau lake is like a deep blue jewel in the midst of lush greenery. The lake's water is calm and clear. The gentle breeze by the lake will make you feel at ease.

Erhai Lake in Dali

Every December, flocks of black-headed gulls from Siberia arrive at Erhai Lake to spend the winter.

The fastest way to get around the lake is by bike. It's a great pleasure to capture the elegance of a landscape bathed in sunlight and breezes. Around Erhai Lake, there are two bike routes: Haixi (on Erhai's west shore) and Haidong (on Erhai's east shore).

The Potala Palace in Tibet — Heart of the Roof of the World

Tibet's Potala Palace is a landmark. It was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994. It's a veritable treasure trove of Tibetan history, faith, culture, and art materials and articles. The valuable paintings, murals, scriptures, Buddhist statues, antiques, and religious jewelry housed inside the palace are well-known.

The Potala Palace in Tibet

You could see the architectural marvel that houses Tibet's regal heritage, hear stories from Dalai Lamas who lived in the palace, and view the palace from four different perspectives.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountains in Lijiang

Outside of the Andes, Jade Dragon (Yulong) Snow Mountain is the nearest snow-capped mountain range to the equator. In the hearts of the Naxi people, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is sacred.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountains in Lijiang

The most stunning scenery of the mountain is made up of glaciers, canyons, waterfalls, and colorful azaleas blooming at various elevations, not to mention its snowy summits.

The famous hiking destination of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. To get a closer look at the mountain's glory and experience its awesomeness, skip the cable cars and climb it step by step.

To get to a meadow at the southern foot of the mountain range, you'll have to cross a grassland and pass through a forest.

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Top 10 Must-See Tourist Attractions in China

Top 10 Must-See Tourist Attractions in China

Endowed with a long history, rich culture and a variety of climatic ecological environments, there are so many things China has to offer to your life-time travel experience. We have carefully selected the top 10 tourist attractions to meet different interests.

1. Great Wall of China

When you are planning a trip to China, the Great Wall is always on the top visiting list. Having been the earliest military defensive project, the Great Wall plays a very import role in China’s history. Based on the statistics from the Mapping Department, the total length of the Great Wall could be 12,000 miles.

Great Wall of China

Travel Tips: There are many sections of the Great Wall in Beijing. The Mutianyu section of the Wall is a well renovated part. However the Jinshanling section is an ideal place for a hiking tour.

  • How was the Great Wall defended in ancient times?
  • Classic two days Great Wall hiking tour in Beijing

2.Yellow Mountains

Only about 2.5 hours bullet train ride from Shanghai, the Yellow Mountains are one of the four most beautiful mountain areas in China. Endowed with the pine trees, seas of clouds and beautiful rocks, you will be amazed by visiting it in any season of the year. The other highlight of Huangshan city is the Hui architecture. The beautiful countryside with traditional Hui houses and people’s daily life are the best subjects for photographers.

Yellow Mountains

Travel Tips: The best time to visit the Yellow Mountains is from March to May and September to October when the weather is quite comfortable. But please do avoid the public holiday when it’s extremely crowded.

  • How to travel to the Yellow Mountains?
  • The most recommended 3 days Yellow Mountain tour

The landscape in Guilin is the top of the world. Having been the mother river, Li River is the essential part of the picturesque landscape in Guilin. The best way to see the river is by taking a boat from Guilin to Yangshuo. With the 4 hour boat ride, you are going to see the solitary Karst peaks, crystal waters and vivid countryside life.

li river

Travel Tips: The other option is taking a bamboo raft from Yangdi to Xingping Village. This part presents the highlights of the Li River. But the bamboo raft is quite a unique experience to explore the river.

  • What to see along the Li River?
  • The best Guilin tours

4.The Forbidden City

Besides the Great Wall, the other symbol of Beijing is the Forbidden City. Having a history of more than 600 years, there were 24 emperors who used to live here. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987. It’s the best well-designed wooden architecture combined with gates, halls, corridors, arches, pavilions and beautiful roofs.

beijing forbidden city

Travel Tips: Due to the real name registration system, please take your passport with you when you are visiting the Forbidden City. You will need at least 2 hours for sightseeing in the palace, and a pair of comfortable shoes is highly recommended.

  • How big is the Forbidden City?
  • The highly recommended Beijing tours

5.West Lake

As the symbol of Hangzhou, and with free entrance, West Lake is the must see in this city. Surrounded by classic temples, pagodas and gardens, the four causeways have divided it into different parts. There are more than 100 attractions around the West Lake, including 20 museums. Walking or cycling around the lake is quite relaxing. The other option is taking a boat ride to explore the islands in the lake.

west lake

Travel Tips: There are two types of boat you can choose to get to the islands. You can charter a rowing boat which is more expensive than the big boat.

  • What are the highlights of the Lake?
  • 2-Day Hangzhou City and Tea Culture Tour

6.Yangtze River

Yangtze River is the longest river in both China and Asia and the third longest one in the world at 3,915 miles. It goes through 8 provinces from west to east and pours into the East China Sea. The Yangtze River Cruise line is between Chongqing and Yichang. The downstream cruise takes 4 days and 3 nights while the upstream cruise takes 5 days and 4 nights.

yangtze river

Travel Tips: The peak season is from April to October when cruise ships are available almost every single day. If you are travelling from November to March, please consult your travel advisor and see if a cruise ship is available on your travel date.

  • Which are the main cities on the Yangtze River?
  • Panda Country & Yangtze River Cruise Tour

7.Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army is another must-see in China. Endowed with 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, it is regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World. Within a 2 hour visit, you will totally immerse yourself in the history of Emperor Qin’s Empire and be amazed by his ambitions, spending 39 years to build this marvelous mausoleum. Pit 1 and Pit 2 will be the highlights where you can find most of the soldiers in this mausoleum.

The Terracotta Army

Travel Tips: It’s always crowded in the museum. We always suggest that you visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds.

  • Top Mysteries of the Terracotta Warriors
  • 3-Day Xi’an Terracotta Warriors Tour

8.Mogao Grottoes

Mogao Grottoes is also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes. It’s the biggest and greatest variety of Buddhist arts in the world. Mogao Grottoes, Yungang Grottoes, Longmen Grottoes and Maijishan Grottoes are the top four Buddhist grottoes in China. Located in Dunhuang City, and combined with the Gobi desert scenery, it has always been quite an attractive destination on the Silk Road trip.

Mogao Grottoes

Travel Tips: The Mogao Grottoes include 735 specific caves. The ticket office will assign several caves randomly for you to visit. It’s not possible to see a specific cave based on your request. There are only 6,000 tickets available every single day, please book it in advance.

  • The Silk Road Adventure Tour

9.Jiuzhai Valley National Park

Located in the north of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou is only about 1 hour by airplane from Chengdu city. It is famous for its beautiful forests, crystal waters, colorful reflections and amazing waterfalls. The elevation varies from 6,600 to 14,800 feet (2,000 to 4,500 m), causing the rushing water to flow between the placid lakes. The diversity of organisms is another highlight. You even can meet the snub-nosed monkeys by accident. The three main valleys are Rize Valley, Zechawa Valley and Shuzheng Valley.

beautiful jiuzhaigou

Travel Tips: The best travel time is from April 1st to November 15th. If you are a photographer, the best time would be from October 20th to November 10th when the leaves are turning to yellow.

  • More facts about Jiuzhaigou
  • Chengdu and Panda Tour

10. Pingyao Ancient Town

As one of the cultural heritage sites on the UNESCO list, Pingyao ancient town has a history of 2,700 years. It’s one of the most well-preserved ancient towns in China. The old city wall, security guard company and government office will help you to experience the ancient life in China.

Pingyao Ancient Town

Travel Tips: We recommend booking a hotel inside the ancient town. It’s a good way to discover the town on your own, especially in the evening when it is lit up with red lanterns. A good design courtyard hotel will help you immerse yourself in the Chinese architecture.

  • 4-day Datong and Pingyao Tour

Top 10 Landmarks in China

most popular tourist attractions in china

Discover the Wonders: Top Things to Do in China Beyond the Great Wall

C hina, a land of ancient wonders and modern marvels. But what if you've seen the Great Wall and tasted Peking duck? What's next? Dive into the lesser-known treasures of this vast nation and discover why over 55.7 million tourists flocked here in 2018.

TL;DR: China's Hidden Gems

  • China is the third most visited country globally, with a rich tapestry of attractions beyond the famous Great Wall.
  • From ancient relics in Xi'an to the bustling streets of Shanghai, there's something for every traveler .
  • Discover secret spots and insider tips from experienced travelers like Deborah Green.

Why China Should Be on Every Traveler's Bucket List

According to the World Tourism Organization, China ranks third in global tourist visits. But why? Let's delve deeper.

The Great Wall: More Than Just Bricks and Mortar

Yes, the Great Wall is iconic. Stretching over 13,000 miles and with a history spanning 2,300 years, it's a testament to China's enduring spirit. But as travel writer Chris Taylor puts it, "China has a lot more to offer than just the Great Wall or the Forbidden City. The country is vast and diverse , from the ancient relics of Xi'an to the modern metropolis of Shanghai, from the desert landscapes of Xinjiang to the stunning karst mountains of Guilin."

Unearth the Secrets of Xi'an

Speaking of Xi'an, did you know it's home to the Terracotta Army? Thousands of life-sized statues, each with a unique face, guarding the tomb of China's first emperor. A sight that leaves even the most seasoned travelers in awe.

Shanghai: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

From the historic Bund to the futuristic skyline of Pudong, Shanghai is a city of contrasts. Explore hidden alleyways, savor local delicacies , or dance the night away in a rooftop bar. The choice is yours!

Experience the Magic of Guilin

Imagine cruising down a river, surrounded by towering limestone peaks, their reflections shimmering in the water. That's Guilin for you . A place where nature and culture intertwine, offering experiences that linger long after the trip ends.

Insider Tips from Deborah Green

When in China, don't just stick to the tourist trail. Seek out local experiences. Join a tea ceremony, try your hand at calligraphy, or hike off the beaten path in Zhangjiajie. And always , always have some local street food. The flavors will blow your mind!

Dive Deeper: China's Cultural and Natural Wonders

China's vastness isn't just geographical; it's cultural, historical, and natural. Beyond the bustling cities and iconic landmarks, there lies a treasure trove of experiences that often escape the typical tourist's radar. Here's a deeper dive into some of these wonders.

Yunnan's Enchanting Beauty

Located in the southwestern part of China, Yunnan is a province that boasts a diverse range of ethnic groups, each with its unique traditions and festivals. The ancient town of Dali, with its traditional Bai architecture and serene Erhai Lake, offers a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle. Not to mention the breathtaking Yuanyang Rice Terraces, where layers upon layers of cascading fields paint a picture of nature's artistry.

Hangzhou's West Lake

Described by Marco Polo as "the City of Heaven," Hangzhou's West Lake is a testament to that claim. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, this freshwater lake is dotted with pagodas, bridges, and islands. A boat ride here , especially during sunset, is nothing short of poetic. The reflections of the ancient structures on the shimmering waters tell tales of bygone eras.

The Silk Road Adventure

The ancient Silk Road, a network of trade routes that connected the East and West, has left behind a legacy that travelers can still experience today. Cities like Dunhuang offer glimpses into this past with its Mogao Caves, a complex of 492 grottoes adorned with Buddhist art. And then there's the echoing sand mountain, where the dunes sing as the winds pass.

Deborah Green's Pro Tip

If you're looking to truly immerse yourself in China's diverse tapestry, consider attending a local festival. Whether it's the Water-Splashing Festival in Yunnan or the Lantern Festival celebrated nationwide, these events offer a firsthand experience of China's rich cultural heritage. And remember, while landmarks are fascinating, sometimes the real magic lies in the unexpected detours and the stories of the people you meet along the way.

China is more than just its popular landmarks. It's a land of stories, of people, and of experiences waiting to be discovered. So, pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and embark on a journey like no other. See you in China!

What are some lesser-known attractions in China?

Places like the Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye, the ancient town of Lijiang, and the serene Jiuzhaigou Valley are just a few hidden gems.

Is street food safe to eat in China?

Generally, yes. Just ensure the food is freshly cooked and the stall is clean. Trust your instincts and enjoy the culinary journey!

How do I get around in China?

China boasts an extensive high-speed rail network, making it easy to travel between major cities. For shorter distances, taxis and subways are convenient options.

What's the best time to visit China?

Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) are ideal, with pleasant temperatures and fewer tourists.

Do I need to know Mandarin to travel in China?

While it's helpful, many signs are in English, and translation apps can assist in communication. A smile and gestures go a long way!

World Tourism Organization

China Travel Guide

Interview with Chris Taylor, Travel Writer

Clever Journey | Travel Gear Reviews, Packing Tips, Travel Advice

The 15 Most Beautiful Places in China (#7 Will Impress You)

China's vast and diverse territory endows the country with some of the most beautiful natural scenery on earth. From the picturesque karst landscape in Guilin and Yangshuo to the precipitous pillars in Zhangjiajie, from the Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye to the holy high land of Tibet, China's diverse natural beauty is as impressive as it is splendid culture.

Content Preview

  • 1. Karst Landscape
  • 2. The Yellow Mountains
  • 3. Zhangjiajie
  • 5. Shangri-La
  • 7. Zhangye's Danxi
  • 8. Western Sichuan
  • Which One(s) to Visit? Visit them at the Right Time!
  • 10. Inner Mongolia
  • 11. Hangzhou
  • 12. The Yuanyang Terraced Fields
  • 13. Jiuzhaigou
  • 15. Xishuangbanna

1. Guilin & Yangshuo — China's Most Beautiful Karst Landscape

The Li River in Guilin is like an artist's masterpiece, bounded by classic sheer karst hills, which have inspired many poets and ink painters. It is listed as one of the world's " Top 10 Watery Wonders " by America's National Geographic Magazine and the World's "15 Best Rivers for Travelers" by CNN Travel .

Taking a leisurely cruise or a 3–4-hour family-friendly moderate hike (more on Li River hiking ) are good ways to enjoy the Li River's beauty. We can take you to less-crowded stretches for you to immerse yourself in this paradise of nature.

When looking for natural beauty, Yangshuo comes first in Chinese minds for its karst hills and rivers. Get away from the touristy parts of Yangshuo and enjoy the idyllic, painting-like scenes in peace.

Challenge yourself to a SUP (stand-up paddleboard, i.e. a mini raft) on the Yulong River, take a bamboo raft, have a cycling tour into the countryside, or take an exciting drive with an all-terrain vehicle.

  • 4-Day Guilin Scenic and Ethnic Discovery (The Basic Itinerary)
  • 5-Day Dynamic Guilin and Yangshuo Tour (Best for Outdoor Experience)
  • 6-Day Guilin, Yangshuo, and Longsheng Tour (The Classic Itinerary)

2. The Yellow Mountains and Villages Nearby

An image of a twisting pine tree growing from a curiously curved rock pops into Chinese minds when they hear of the Yellow Mountains .

These mystical and mystical mountains are the most beautiful and most famous in China. Their classic attractions are grand dawns and their "four natural wonders": peculiar pines, oddly-shaped rocks, seas of clouds, and hot springs.

This fairyland scene with the sunset and the sea of clouds is also perfect for a marriage proposal or to mark an important occasion. See our 5 Days Dynamic Huangshan Tour .

The nearby villages, for example, Bishan Village is where you could quiet down and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the countryside.

You could walk or bike among ancient villages, stay in a typical Hui-style inn, and see how artists turn this small area into a rural paradise on canvas. Canola flowers in spring can be the icing on the cake.

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family 's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

3. Zhangjiajie — Precipitous Pillars

The precipitous pillars in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park are the inspiration for the Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar.

Zhangjiajie is famous for its towering peaks, breathtaking rock pillars, and deep valleys. The forest of massive pillars is one of the best muses for photographers in China.

Take a 4-day tour of the main highlights in Zhangjiajie : Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon with its Glass Bridge, and Tianmen Mountain.

Want a non-touristy route? 5-Day Zhangjiajie Hiking and Biking Tour for Any Level is a good choice.

Bungee jumping at Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is available. Contact us to arrange an adventure tailored for you.

See more on How to Plan a Tour of Zhangjiajie and 2 Weeks in China: 3 Top Itinerary Ideas for Couples, Families, and More .

4. Lijiang — An Ancient Town with Awesome Natural Beauty

Lijiang , with its ancient town, snowy mountains, highland glacial lakes, and majestic canyons is truly a breathtakingly beautiful destination.

A stroll in Lijiang Ancient Town brings you a charming look at local Naxi minority life. Take a cable car up Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to enjoy fantastic views of the glaciated peak.

Or you may choose to skip the cable car, hike through the bushes, wade across a little stream, and enjoy exclusive views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain that only hikers can .

Take a 2-day hike along the deepest-but-easily-accessible gorge. Tiger Leaping Gorge is considered the best hiking trail in China and a once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list experience. You will not only hike between two holy snow-capped mountains but also be a party to the most remarkable views when passing the steep 28 bends and the most tumultuous part of the Jinsha River.

  • 8-Day Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La Tour
  • 9-Day Yunnan Family Toure

5. Shangri-La — the Holy Meili Snow Mountains

In the southwest of Deqin County, Shangri-La, and the surrounding Meili Snow Mountains is a holy place of pilgrimage for Tibetan people. The mountain range has 13 peaks and the main peak is Kawagebo, which is 6,740 meters (22,100 feet) above sea level.

The most important highlight is the golden sunrise on these spectacular snow-capped peaks.

The best season to visit the Snow Mountains is autumn when the sky is clear and blue.

Besides the snow-capped mountains, you can also see plateau lakes, thick forests, exotic flowers and trees, and various wild animals in the mountains. There are many Tibetan monasteries and villages at the foot of the mountains, bringing you a real Tibetan cultural experience.

Pudacuo National Park, about 22 km (14 mi) from Shangri-La, is also stunning in the fall. The blue sky, red meadows, clear lakes, and colorful forests make a beautiful picture.

  • 7-Day Shangri-La and Meili Snow Mountain Adventure Tour

6. Tibet — Lofty Mountain Splendor

Tibet , locked in the Himalayas, holds travelers' imaginations of the lost Shangri-la. From the unspoiled sacred lakes to the world's highest peak — Mount Everest ; from the vast untouched Changtang Grasslands to the depths of the Yarlung-Tsangpo Canyon, the Roof of the World is filled with awe and pristine beauty.

If you are interested in the Tibetan lifestyle, we can arrange for you to visit a local Tibetan family. You could talk to the host (with our guide's interpreting) about the family's life and help them with farming work.

Tibet doesn't accept independent travelers. Traveling with a travel agency is required. Contact us to explore the main highlights from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp. Consider a top Tibet trekking trip, the Everest Base Camp trek , if you'd love a more outdoorsy experience.

  • 5-Day Lhasa Highlights and Lake Yamdrok Tour
  • 8-Days Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour
  • 17-Day Beijing-Xian-Tibet-Chengdu-Guilin-Hong Kong

7. Zhangye's Danxia Landscape — Rainbow Mountains

The Danxia landscape in Zhangye is vividly named "Rainbow Mountains" by many due to its dazzling colors. Danxia (丹霞 /dan-sshya/) means "red, red clouds". In China's remote northwest, Zhangye is deeply loved by photographers and en route for those on a Chinese Silk Road scenery and culture journey.

The landscape is composed of curvy, layered, multi-hued formations, most of which are several hundred meters high. When the sun shines on them, their colors appear in full vibrancy. It looks like an oil painting when the vast red rock formations are simply set against a pure blue sky.

  • 6-Day Zhangye and Dunhuang Photography Tour
  • 8-Day Qinghai Lake, Zhangye, and Dunhuang Tour
  • 10-Day Lanzhou–Xiahe–Zhangye–Dunhuang–Turpan–Urumqi Tour

8. Western Sichuan Province — Pure Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve

Yading Nature Reserve is called "the last pure land on earth" and "the last Shangri-La".

It features snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, vast grasslands, and colorful forests. You can tour it by starting from Chengdu and passing through Xinduqiao, a picturesque Tibetan town famous for its plateau pasture views, before arriving at Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve. You will see stunning fall scenery throughout the whole trip.

The Tibetan cultural experience is another highlight of this route. You can see many ancient monasteries and Tibetan-style houses during the trip.

  • 4-Day Western Sichuan Tibetan Spring Tour from Chengdu
  • 8-Day Chengdu to Shangri-La Adventure Tour
  • 9-Day In-Depth Exploration of Western Sichuan — Baby Pandas, Eastern Alps, and Hidden Monasteries

9. Kanas in North Xinjiang — Beautiful Mountain Lake

Nestled in the deep forests and mountains of Altay, Kanas is a truly beautiful mountain lake. Since its access roads have been improved for travelers, it has attained a reputation as "the tourism pearl of Mountainous Altai".

The lake takes on different colors following the four seasons: sometimes it's crystal blue, sometimes it's dark green or even gray, and you may find it containing many colors setting off each other, thus it got a name as "the color-changing lake".

Nearby Kanas Lake, you can visit a village of the Tuwan tribe, which is a branch of the Mongolian ethnic group . Believers of Lamaism, live in their traditional houses and practice their centuries-old traditions. If you are interested in local culture, you can visit the village or even stay with hospitable families.

  • 8-Day North Xinjiang Tour (with Kanas)
  • 7-Day Xinjiang Highlights Tour (Best for First Timers)
  • 8-Day Xinjiang Tour with Ili (Best for Summer)

10. Ejina Desert Polar Forest in Inner Mongolia

A Euphrates poplar golden leaves shoot in autumn is a dream trip for many photography lovers. If you're one of them, the Populus euphratica forest in Ejina , Inner Mongolia is the right place for you.

Ejina Euphrates Poplar Forest is one of the best remaining ancient desert poplar forest areas and features dazzling golden leaves, dreamy water reflections, running sheep, and boundless deserts with longed-for camel riding opportunities. It is a good place for both sunrise and sunset shoots.

With its advantageous position adjacent to Gansu Province, Ejina Euphrates Poplar Forest is usually combined with a trip along the legendary Silk Road . Traveling from Dunhuang to Zhangye via Jiayuguan and Ejina, with the mysterious Mogao Caves, desert landscapes, colorful landforms, and stunning golden leaves, you will have a rich touring experience.

11. Hangzhou — Next Best Place to Heaven

Renowned for its scenic beauty, Hangzhou is one of the most photogenic cities in China. In the 13th century, Marco Polo described Hangzhou as "the city of heaven" and "the finest and most splendid city in the world".

Hangzhou's most famous sight, West Lake , is considered one of the most beautiful sights in China. Each season offers picturesque scenes that will leave an ever-lasting impression.

The best time to go is spring (March to May). The lake, ancient buildings, and causeways decorated with flower blossoms are the theme of many elegant Chinese paintings.

Hangzhou is also a good place to learn about Chinese tea culture. You could visit a tea plantation to see how farmers pick tea leaves, learn the process of making tea, and taste a cup of China's most-adored tea. See our 5-Day Shanghai & Hangzhou with Watertown Tour

Also, read How to Plan a Hangzhou Tour .

12. The Yuanyang Terraced Fields — Steps to Heaven

"If you are a traveler, but have never been to Yuanyang , Yuanyang will feel sad for you; If you are a photographer but have never been to Yuanyang, God will feel sorry for you!"

There are many things that you know will never be surpassed once you see their beauty. And you will find Yuanyang's terraced fields are the most beautiful terraces in the world, once you have been there.

  • Also, read China's Five Most Beautiful Rice Terraces .
  • Recommended itinerary: 6-Day Jianshui and Yuanyang Tour

13. Jiuzhaigou — Colorful Alpine Lakes

Jiuzhaigou , in remote western China, has inspired dreams of a colorful fairyland among many travelers. Jiuzhaigou features multicolored lakes surrounded by vast mountain forests. These lakes change color throughout the day and year. The colors come from the reflections of surrounding mountainsides and algae and minerals in the lakes.

Fall is the most beautiful season in Jiuzhaigou, when the landscape changes color, providing a vivid backdrop of autumnal hues — an unspoiled, dazzling beauty rarely rivaled in China.

  • 3-Day Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong Highlights Tour
  • 6-Day Essential Chengdu and In-Depth Jiuzhaigou Tour
  • 7-Day Chengdu, Mount Emei, and Jiuzhaigou Scenic Tour

14. Sanya — Warm Winter Escape

Located at the southern tip of China's Hainan Island, this tropical paradise is known as the "the Hawaii of China".

Sanya has the best beaches in China, and you will find plenty of resort choices at Yalong Bay, Dadonghai, and Sanya Bay. Wuzhizhou Island and West Island are paradises for diving enthusiasts.

What about walking on a suspension bridge or flying over the rainforest on a zipline? The tropical rainforests bring you choices of exciting and adventurous activities. Nanwan Monkey Island is especially popular among families with children.

Looking for a warm winter vacation? Our 5-Day Sanya Tour with the Best Beach ensures you uncompromised fun with the ocean, the beach, and the sun.

15. Xishuangbanna — Tropical and Exotic Charms

Remember the "Long March" of 15 Asian elephants in 2021?

Right, they came from Xishuangbanna — a pleasant place with an annual average temperature of about 20°C (68°F). It is a paradise of tropical plants, a kingdom of wild animals, and home to the Theravada Buddhist temples of China.

Nature lovers would be spoiled with a visit to the Tropical Botanical Garden in Xishuangbanna, which has the richest collection of species and the most plant-specific attractions anywhere in China.

Stilt-style Dai houses are dotted throughout every corner of the region. Take ethnic-culture-rich pictures and find yourself in a truly Southeast Asian atmosphere.

Last, but not least, local tourists rush to Xishuangbanna in winter to escape the cold further north. More flights are available, but you will find airfares are comparatively high during winter times.

What about a short hike in the tropical forest or a stay in a treehouse, relaxing in the oxygen-rich air? Or a chance to interact with the native Asian elephants and peacocks? Our 6-Day Xishuangbanna and Pu'er Tour gets you in touch with the rainforest.

Which One(s) to Visit?

These top 15 most beautiful places in China are excellent destinations that everyone would visit if they could. But, for the best experience, it is important that you choose the places to visit that best meets your travel needs at the right time for you.

Visit at the Right Time

These 15 places are suitable to travel all year round, but the best times are definitely April to May and September to early November when the weather is the most pleasant on average. There are some exceptions:

Winter Vacation:

  • Sanya: Want somewhere sunny and warm for winter? This is a great place for a winter escape.
  • The Yuanyang Terraced Fields: For great photos, try to visit between January and March when the terraces are irrigated with water.
  • The Yellow Mountains: The snow-capped Yellow Mountains in winter are quite different from their legendary popularity in other seasons — more like a peaceful haven.

Summer Vacations:

  • Tibet: It's the rainy season in Tibet during summertime, but there isn't much rain and temperatures are the most comfortable of the year. The annual Shoton Festival is around that time.
  • If you want to avoid heat and enjoy a cool summer holiday, Jiuzhaigou, Lijiang, and western Sichuan are good options.

Busy Golden Weeks:

  • Ejina Desert Polar Forest: To enjoy the very best of the golden poplar leaves, visit in early October during the National Day holiday in China (if you do not mind crowds).

No matter what season you are visiting China, our consultants will arrange a suitable itinerary for you to enjoy the beauty of China. All our tours can be customized based on your interests and requirements. Just contact us .

Visit These Beautiful Places with Us

It is hard to plan a trip to cover all these naturally beautiful places on your own. Our travel advisors can help you with an itinerary and personal advice. They can help you choose awesome places according to your interests, and plan the trip you want.

If you are planning to travel to these places, click on the links in the article for more information. Or contact us to tailor-make a tour according to your requirements. Or continue to read How to Plan a First Trip to China .

Here are two sample itineraries for inspiration:

  • 11 Days China Classic Wonder Tour : the most popular destinations in China
  • 14-Day China History and Scenery Discovery Tour : the most important historical destinations and extraordinary scenery destinations in China
  • Find more ideas from our China tours .
  • 11-Day China Classic Tour
  • 9-Day Beyond the Golden Triangle
  • 8-Day Beijing–Xi'an–Shanghai Private Tour
  • 12-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Shanghai Tour for Your Summer Vacation
  • 15 Best Places to Visit in China (2024)
  • Best (& Worst) Times to Visit China, Travel Tips (2024/2025)
  • How to Plan a 10-Day Itinerary in China (Best 5 Options)
  • 8 Days in China: Top 15 Tours and Itineraries (2024/2025)
  • China Weather in January 2024: Enjoy Less-Crowded Traveling
  • China Weather in February 2024: Places to Go, Costs, and Crowds
  • China Weather in March 2024: Destinations, Crowds, and Costs
  • China Weather in April 2024: Where to Go (Smart Pre-Season Pick)
  • China Weather in May 2024: Where to Go, Crowds, and Costs
  • China Weather in June 2024: How to Benefit from the Rainy Season
  • China Weather in July 2024: How to Avoid Heat and Crowds
  • China Weather in August 2024: Weather Tips & Where to Go
  • China Weather in September 2024: Weather Tips & Where to Go
  • China Weather in October 2024: Where to Go, Crowds, and Costs
  • China Weather in November 2024: Places to Go & Crowds
  • China Weather in December 2024: Places to Go and Crowds

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Shanghai Attractions

Shanghai, known as the Paris of the East, is a gateway city to visit China. Sightseeing in Shanghai can be a daunting task. In a megacity Shanghai where there's something different to see around every corner, it can be hard to know where to start. If you are planning your visit, use our definitive guide to the top Shanghai attractions whenever you're entertaining out-of-town guests or simply want to play tourist and revisit iconic places. We've compiled the most popular sights and spots in Shanghai on tripadvisor with detailed info about their location, opening hours, tickets, and recommended visiting time, and the attractions include towering skyscrapers, great parks, museums, exotic streets, historical venues, etc. Landmarks like the Bund , Nanjing Road , Oriental Pearl TV Tower , Yu Garden & Bazaar are perennial favorites, but we’ve also highlighted a few of our favorite gems, such as Zhujiajiao Water Town , Shanghai Disneyland . Thirsty for more? Discover the 35 very best attractions in Shanghai to learn about its past and present, Start your Shanghai tour now!

View of Lujiazui - Our Guest Antal

3 Days Shanghai Past and Present Contrast Tour (at Leisure Pace)

Shanghai Attractions Map

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Shanghai Attractions by Category - Table of Page Contents

Skyscrapers & observation decks & towers.

  • Oriental Pearl TV Tower
  • Shanghai World Financial Center
  • Shanghai Tower
  • Jinmao Tower

Exotic Buildings

  • Wukang Road
  • Heping Fandian
  • Xujiahui Catholic Church

Shopping Areas

  • Nanjing Road
  • Shanghai Xintiandi

Traditional Chinese Gardens & Temples

  • Yu Garden & Bazaar
  • Jade Buddha Temple
  • City God Temple
  • Jing'an Temple
  • Longhua Temple

Museums in Shanghai

  • Shanghai Museum
  • Urban Planning Exhibition Center
  • Shanghai History Museum
  • Shanghai Natural History Museum
  • China Arts Museum
  • Shanghai Maglev Museum
  • Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

Entertainment Sites in Shanghai

  • Shanghai Disney Resort
  • Huangpu River Cruise
  • Shanghai Circus World
  • Shanghai Sightseeing Tunnel
  • Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
  • Shanghai Zoo

Ancient Water Towns in Shanghai

  • Zhujiajiao Ancient Town
  • Fengjing Water Town
  • Qibao Ancient Town

Artistic Zones

  • Shanghai Tianzifang
  • M50 Creative Park

Public Parks in Shanghai

  • People's Square
  • Century Park

the Bund in Shanghai

No. 1: The Bund

The Bund, “a gallery of international architectures”, is the landmark of Shanghai. It is always the best place to view Shanghai. Take a stroll along the embankment of the Huangpu River, and you’ll get various architectural styles from Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque to Classicism and the Renaissance in your camera. The modern skyscrapers of Lujiazui across Huangpu River in Pudong New Area provide another backdrop. The night view here is more breathtaking, how about taking an evening cruise or a stroll by it?

Type: Historic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Sights & Landmarks

Opening Hours: All Day

Tickets: Free Entry

Recommended Visiting Time: 1 - 2 hours

Address: On the bank of Huangpu River, Shanghai, Huangpu District, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区中山东一路(临黄浦江)

Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Shanghai

No. 2: Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Standing at the end of the Huangpu River, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower soars 468 meters, setting the character of the new urban area as well as its cityscape. An all-around panorama view of Shanghai from the tallest TV tower in Asia and the third tallest in the world can be amazing, walking on the glass bottom and feeling your adrenaline pumps is also cool. It is worthy to visit in the late afternoon that you could see the sunset and the city come alive with lights.

Type: Observation Decks & Towers, Modern Buildings & Landmarks

Opening Hours: 8:00-21:30

Tickets: CNY 35- CNY 458

Recommended Visiting Time: 2 hours

Address: No. 1, Century Avenue, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China 上海市浦东新区世纪大道1号

Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai

No. 3: Yu Garden & Bazaar

Dating back to the 16th Century, Yuyuan Garden is the most revered green space in Shanghai. Known as the “Mountains and Forest within the City”, it is crowded to bursting point every day. And yet, it managed to maintain something of its air of serenity. Here, you’ll find ornate structures as well as intimate enclaves that are divided by “dragon walls”. Highlights include the Heralding Spring Hall, the Jade Magnificent Hall, and the Lotus Pool. Out of the Yuyuan Garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you could explore how elaborating and cute the traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works are, and also savor some local flavor snacks here…

Type: Gardens, Nature & Parks, Bazaar

Opening Hours: 09:00-16:30, No entry after 16:00, closed on Monday

Tickets: CNY 40 - Peak Season (Apr to Jun, Sep to Nov); CNY 30 - (Jul to Aug, Dec to Mar)

Address: No. 168 Fuyou Street, Huangpu District, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区福佑路168号

Shanghai Attractions

No. 4: Shanghai Disney Resort

Shanghai Disney Resort is the first Disney resort in mainland China and the sixth one in the world. In Disneyland Park, you can lignite your dream by exploring Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, Fantasyland, Treasure Cove, Adventure Isle, and Tomorrowland with different themes, characters, and activities. It is about 18 kilometers from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, about 27 kilometers from the Huangpu River area. Disney is a dreamland for both children and adults. With Disney Resort, your Shanghai tour will be more enjoyable.

Type: Theme Parks, Water & Amusement Parks

Opening Hours: 09:00~21:00

Tickets: CNY 261 - CNY 1250

Recommended Visiting Time: half day to one day

Address: No. 310 Huangzhao Road, Chuansha Town, Pudong New District, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区川沙镇黄赵路310号

Nanjing Road in Shanghai

No. 5: Nanjing Road

Running west from the Bund, Nanjing Road is Shanghai’s foremost shopping street and is one of the world’s busiest shopping streets. The Shanghai equivalent of New York’s Fifth Avenue, Nanjing Road boasts retailers from all over the world. In the daylight, you’ll admire the graceful architecture of the surrounding buildings. At night, you’ll marvel at the illuminated logos and brand names that line the avenue.

Type: Shopping, Street, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Address: Nanjing East Road & Nanjing West Road, Huangpu District & Jing’an district, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区&静安区,南京东路&南京西路

Shanghai World Financial Center

No. 6: Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai World Financial Center in the key CBD is a new and vital landmark in Shanghai. Being the fifth tallest building in the world with a total height of 492 meters, SWFC provides visitors the world's highest observatory at 474 meters high that is the best deck to appreciate the panorama of the whole old and new Shanghai, including the Bund, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jinmao Tower, and Huangpu River, and so on.

Sky Walk Opening Hours: 11:00~21:00 (No entry after 20:00, except for major festivals)

Tickets: Free Entry (Sky Walk: CNY 135 per person, CNY 200 for two)

Address: 上海市浦东新区世纪大道88号

Shanghai Tower

No. 7: Shanghai Tower

Just Completed in 2016, Shanghai Tower of 632 m high is at present the tallest skyscraper in China and proudly the second tallest one in the entire world, with the 828 m high Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai being the No. 1. Designed by Gensler from America with the fabulous stream-lined spiral facade, the world's highest observation, great functions to save more energy, top-class environment for offices and other functions, Shanghai Tower is so much attractive to visitors from the globe. Catch the chance to stimulate your body at the over 500 m high place. Let's Go!

Opening Hours: 8:30-22:00

Tickets: CNY 180

Address: No. 501, Middle Yincheng Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai China

Jinmao Tower

No. 8: Jinmao Tower

The Jinmao Tower is situated in the heart of Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone in Pudong New Area. This 88-story skyscraper, Jinmao Tower rises 420 meters, making it one of the tallest buildings in the world. The Observation Deck of Jinmao Tower is on Level 88, 340 meters above the ground. In bright and comfortable light, you could enjoy a bird’s eye view of Shanghai City. In addition, it offers a topside view of the hotel atrium lobby.

Opening Hours: Jan - 08:30-21:00 (no entry after 20:30); Feb to Dec - 09:00-20:30 (no entry after 20:00)

Sightseeing Tickets: CNY 85

Address: 88 Century Avenue, Lujiazui, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区陆家嘴世纪大道88号

Shanghai Attractions

No. 9: Huangpu River

The Huangpu River, known as the Mother River of Shanghai as well as the largest river in Shanghai, is a 113-kilometer long river flowing through Shanghai which is the last tributary of Yangtze River ends in the East China Sea. Puxi (West Bank) and Pudong (East Bank) are bounded by it, forming the world-famous Bund, Lujiazui financial zone, and other important landmarks. The western side of Puxi is home to “An Exhibition of International Buildings”. The eastern side of Pudong is a recent development of the last few decades and is the new business and financial district boasting many awesome glass and steel towers.

Type: River Cruise; Bodies of Water

Opening Hours: 11:00~21:30

Tickets: CNY 120 per person (without dining and snacks onboard)

Recommended Visiting Time: 2 - 3 hours

Address: Huangpu River, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区黄浦江

Shanghai Museum

No. 10: Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum is not only the cultural landmark of Shanghai but the biggest museum in China with numerous fine Chinese artifacts. It contains over 120,000 items rated precious cultural relics. Unlike many museums in China, it arranges its exhibits by theme rather than by dynasty. The collection consists of 21 categories, having its highlights bronze wares from Shang and Zhou Dynasties, pottery and porcelain spanning 8,000 years, and a large variety of calligraphy works and paintings.

Type: Comprehensive Museum, historical & Cultural site

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00, no entering after 16:00, closed on Monday (except national holidays)

Tickets: Free Ticket

Address: No. 201, Peoples Avenue, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China (上海市黄浦区人民大道201号)

Zhujiajiao Water Town in Shanghai

No. 11: Zhujiajiao Ancient Town

Known as the “Venice in Shanghai”, Zhujiajiao Ancient Town has a history of 1,700 years and is a well-preserved waterside ancient town. In Zhjiajiao Water Town, You could take the traditional boat to cruise along the canals and see the old residences, shops and bridges that are filled with classic architectural tone in Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911).

Type: Water Town, Architectural Buildings, Historic Site

Address: Zhujiajiao Town, Qingpu District, Shanghai 上海市青浦区朱家角古镇旅游区

Jade Buddha Temple

No. 12: Jade Buddha Temple

Quite different from many other temples hidden in mountains and forests, Jade Buddha Temple shows itself in the center of Shanghai city. It enjoys a high reputation both home and abroad for the extraordinary jade Buddha enshrined within it, hence the temple’s name. Among the clouds of incense smoke, it’s kind of unexpected to see so many pilgrims in such a modern city, no fewer than in Tibet.

Type: Buddhist Temples, Sacred & Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings

Opening Hours: 8:00-16:30 (Except for Major Festivals, No entry after 16:00)

Tickets: CNY 20

Address: No. 170 Anyuan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai 上海市普陀区 安远路170号

Shanghai Attractions

No. 13: Old Wukang Road

Shanghai Old Wukang Road area is located in Huangpu district (黄浦区) and Xuhui District (徐汇区). Since its opening up in 1849, groups of foreigners from many countries came to Shanghai and settled down. Travelers can appreciate the diverse types of old buildings in exotic styles and feel the rich culture mixed with local Shanghai features and Western styles, with leafy trees side by.

Type: Historic & Cultural Site, Walking Streets, Old Exotic Buildings

Address: 22 Jianguo Middle Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区建国中路22号


No. 14: Tianzifang

Tianzifang at Taikang Road is one of the coolest places to wander in Shanghai. A lot of artistic and cultural studios of celebrities and young creatives set here in the typical Shikumen houses of both Shanghai and western styles make the mazy lanes full of artistic culture. Strolling along the old paths to see the daily life of the residents here to feel the old Shanghai flavor, watching people chatting and laughing in the restaurants and bars from many other countries, and finding various kinds of interesting items and Chinese crafts are especially funny!

Type: Historical & Cultural Lanes, Artistic Shops, International Restaurants

Address: No. 210, Taikang Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Attractions

No. 15: Shanghai Xintiandi

Located in the downtown area of Shanghai City, Shanghai Xintiandi is a historical site as well as a fashionable center full of entertainment, restaurants, and shopping malls. You could enjoy the antique and rebuilt Shikumen structure which is a witness of the communication between the building cultures of western countries and China. Despite in old appearance, the inside life is tailor-made for people in modern society, you can feast on the international art galleries, fashion shops, coffee houses, themed restaurants, and so forth.

Type: Neighborhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Shopping & Entertainment

Address: Xintiandi, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200021, China 上海市黄浦区新天地

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center

No. 16: Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center

Are you curious about what turned Shanghai into today’s super city? Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center is a must-see to witness how Shanghai became a cosmopolitan city from a shabby fishing village. With the theme of “ City, man, environment, and development” it serves for exhibition, research, communication, consultation, education, and sightseeing. The 3rd Floor is perhaps the most impressive, which displays a scale model of Shanghai. A cup of coffee on the top will be a good ending to this time travel.

Type: Museum, Exhibition Hall, Points of Interest

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00; Tuesday to Sunday

Tickets: CNY 30

Address: No. 100, Peoples Avenue, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China.

Shanghai Attractions

No. 17: City God Temple

City God Temple of Shanghai, an important Taoist temple, also known as Chenghuang Temple or Cheng Huang Miao is located in the most prosperous and prestigious Yu Garden scenic area. It was built in the Yongle period of the Ming Dynasty (1403 - 1424). It has a history of nearly six hundred years and witnessed the rise and fall, the peace and war of Shanghai. The main building includes the front square, the main hall, the Yuan Chen hall, the God of wealth hall, the Ci Hang Hall, the city god hall, and the goddess hall. It was destroyed during the war and closed in 1966, and rebuilt and reopened in 1994.

Type: Temple, Park, Bazaar

Opening Hours: 08:30-16:30, No entry after 16:00, except for major holidays

Tickets: CNY 10

Address: 249 Fangbang Zhong Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区方浜中路249号

Shanghai Circus World

No. 18: Shanghai Circus World

Referred as the No. 1 Circus World in China, Shanghai Circus World is a world-renowned comprehensive recreational venue with a uniquely designed building and acrobatic performance. It enjoys excellent hardware like complete facilities, advanced devices, and full-equipped functions as well as preeminent acrobats. Two great programs are performed in the Shanghai Circus World. One is ERA - Intersection of Time, from which the audiences could watch the most magical scenes and breathtaking acrobatics. The other is the Happy Circus, which is most loved by the kids and recommended as a family tour.

Type: Architectural Buildings, Theatre, Shows & Performance

Opening Hours: 09:00 ~ 19:30

Tickets: 130 RMB ~ 880 RMB

Address: No. 2266, Gonghexin Road, Zhabei District, Shanghai 200073, China

Shanghai Attractions

No. 19: Shanghai Sightseeing Tunnel

The Bund sightseeing tunnel is located in the Pudong New Area between Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Nanjing East Road. It is a pioneering work in the history of tunnel construction. It is the first cross-river pedestrian tunnel in China, with a total length of 646.70 meters, with a total construction area of nearly 17500 square meters. With the ocean-themed lighting and shadow, it is like a dreamland. The entrance to the Bund sightseeing tunnel is located on the west side of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, on the south side of the International Conference Center, and the other entrance is located on the north side of Chen Yi square of Puxi.

Type: Sightseeing, Points of Interest & Entertainment

Opening Hours: 09:00-21:30

Tickets: CNY 50 - CNY 70

Recommended Visiting Time: 1 hour

Address: 2789 Binjiang Avenue, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区滨江大道2789号

No. 20: Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

Shanghai ocean aquarium is next to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. You can get to see all kinds of marine life from all over the world, as well as interesting animal shows. The four underwater tunnels are very popular, where allow you to step into them to watch sharks and turtles swimming overhead. Here, you can see the Australian archerfish, African multi finfish, Southeast Asian White ax shark, South American eel, Antarctic penguin, lovely seahorse, etc. It is the only aquarium in the world that has an independent Chinese exhibition area to display aquatic lives, such as Chinese sturgeon, rouge fish, Chinese alligator, giant salamander, etc.

Type: Features Animals, Aquariums

Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00 (no entry after 17:30)

Tickets: CNY 155

Address: 1388 Lujiazui Ring Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区陆家嘴环路1388号

No. 21: Fengjing Water Town

With a history of more than 1,500 years, Fengjing is the only township in Shanghai on the list of Historic Towns of China. This town is renowned for its cultural background, elegant waters, well-preserved ancient houses, and traditional lifestyle with a strong local flavor. It is also known as the birthplace of the famed Jinshan Peasant Painting, which has won popularity for its creative designs and bright colors that vividly depict town’s culture and customs.

Opening Hours: Aug to Apr: 08:00-16:30 (No entry after 16:00); May to Sep: 08:00-17:00 (No entry after 16:30)

Address: Lane 8588, Tingfeng highway, Fengjing town, Jinshan District, Shanghai 上海市金山区枫泾镇亭枫公路8588弄

No. 22: Jing'an Temple

Jing'an Temple is located in the prosperous Jing'an district, with convenient transportation. The architectural style of the temple is integrated with the Tibetan temple. The silver Buddha in the main hall weighs 15 tons. Guanyin hall is set in the East Chamber on the right side of the first floor. The Guanying Buddha inside is 6.2 meters high. On the left side of the west chamber is the hall of Sakyamuni, which houses the 3.87-meter-high Sakyamuni Jade Buddha. This jade Buddha is much larger than the Jade Buddha in Jade Buddha Temple. The roof of Jing'an Temple is covered with copper tiles, and the top of the pagoda behind the temple is painted in gold. Looking afar, the whole temple is shining under the sun.

Type: Historic Sites, Sacred & Religious Sites

Opening Hours: 07:30-17:00

Tickets: CNY 50

Address: 1686 Nanjing West Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai 上海市静安区南京西路1686号

No. 23: Longhua Temple

Longhua Temple is the oldest and largest ancient temple in Shanghai with a history of more than 1700 years. From south to north, along the central axis of Longhua temple is Maitreya hall, Tianwang Hall, Daxiong Hall, Sansheng hall, and Sutra library. The Daxiong hall is very solemn. In front of it, there are three golden statues of Buddhas, Tathagata, Manjusri, and Puxian. On the back, there are exquisite statues of Guanyin. On both sides of the hall, there are carved sixteen Arhats. There are bell and drum towers on the East and west sides of the temple.

Type: Sacred & Religious Sites

Opening Hours: 9:00-16:30

Address: 2853 Longhua Road, Longhua Town, Xuhui District, Shanghai 上海市徐汇区龙华镇龙华路2853号

No. 24: Shanghai History Museum

Shanghai History Museum was founded in 1983, formerly known as the Shanghai Museum of historical relics. In 1991, Shanghai History Museum was changed to its current name. It reflects the historical development of Shanghai. It has collected a large number of cultural relics and documents representing the historical process of Shanghai. If you are interested in the history of Shanghai, there are more than 4 hundred relics to see. Shanghai History Museum was founded in 1983, formerly known as the Shanghai Museum of historical relics. In 1991, Shanghai History Museum was changed to its current name.

Type: History Museums

Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (No entry after 16:00), Tuesday to Sunday

Address: 325 Nanjing West Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区南京西路325号

No. 25: China Arts Museum

China Arts Museum used to be the National Pavilion of China in the Shanghai World Expo. The multimedia version of Qingming Riverside is the treasure of the China Arts Museum, there are many works of modern artists on display here. The exhibition hall of the art palace is mainly located on the 0-m, 5-m, 33-m, 41-m, and 49-m floors. You can take the elevator to go up and down the stairs. It is recommended to take the direct elevator to the 49-m floor to enjoy the multimedia "Qingming Riverside map". Then you can visit it from top to bottom. The other floors mainly display various works of modern Chinese artists, as well as temporary exhibitions of works of art at home and abroad.

Type: Specialty Museums

Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (No entry after 17:00), Tuesday to Sunday

Recommended Visiting Time: 3 - 5 hours

Address: 205 Shangnan Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区上南路205号

No. 26: Shanghai Natural History Museum

Shanghai Natural History Museum is one of the largest natural history museums in China, located in Jing'an District. In the museum, the skeleton of a 26-meter long Zhongjiamamen River dinosaur is the most eye-catching. It is the largest dinosaur in Asia with the longest neck in the world. The new museum has five floors, two on the ground and three underground. It usually starts from the second floor above the ground and goes down in turn. The whole journey takes about half a day to a day. The last two underground floors are the most abundant exhibition areas. There are 10 permanent exhibitions in the museum, which are divided into three systems: natural evolution, living environment, and human civilization.

Type: Features Animals, Specialty Museums

Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 Tuesday to Sunday

Address: 510 Beijing West Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai 上海市静安区北京西路510号

No. 27: Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

Shanghai Science and Technology Museum is the largest science education site in Shanghai. Through various modern equipment and rich interactive ways, you can have an all-around understanding of natural science with shocking audio-visual effects. Shanghai Science and Technology Museum is rich in exhibits. There are hundreds of exquisite Wildlife Specimens and geological specimens, various robot performances with different functions, various models of electronic equipment and aerospace equipment, and a variety of scientific and technological inventions. The science and technology museum also has an IMAX three-dimensional giant screen, ball screen, four-dimensional and high-tech special cinema, etc.

Opening Hours: 9:00 - 17:00, Tuesday to Sunday

Tickets: CNY 45

Address: 2000 Century Avenue, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区世纪大道2000号

No. 28: People's Square

The People's Park is located in the center of Shanghai, on the east side of Nanjing Road pedestrian street, and it is very easy to reach by metro. It has always been known as the "lung" of the city. If you are a museum-goers, there are many museums nearby. In the park, you can see the very special matchmaking corner in China. The park can be roughly divided into three scenic spots: East, Center, and West. The central area is an open space with scenery building, teahouse, open-air theater; the scenic spots in the west area, including pavilions, corridors, gardens, rockeries, pools, etc. It is the main scenic spot of the park.

Type: Architectural Buildings, Parks

Address: 185 Renmin Avenue, Huangpu District, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区人民大道185号

No. 29: Shanghai Zoo

Shanghai Zoo is near Hongqiao Airport. There are more than 600 kinds of animals in the zoo, including a panda, elk, golden monkey, Siberian tiger, and other rare animals. There are amphibians and reptiles, herbivores, beasts of prey, birds of prey, and other animal exhibition areas, as well as a science and Education Museum, goldfish Gallery, butterfly museum, and other exhibition halls. There is also a reed-covered Swan Lake, inhabiting pelicans, swans, mandarin ducks, and other birds. It is also a good choice to stay in the zoo to rest on the lawn, bask in the sun, row boats and ride Ferris wheel.

Type: Features Animals, Zoos

Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00

Tickets: CNY 40

Address: 2381 Hongqiao Road, Changning District, Shanghai 上海市长宁区虹桥路2381号

No. 30: Century Park

Century Park is located at the southeast end of Century Avenue in Pudong. It is a large natural ecological park in Shanghai. The park is divided into a rural area, lakeside area, forest and lawn area, bird protection area, exotic area, etc. It is a good place for relaxation and entertainment in the city. Jingtian Lake in the garden is a large artificial lake, which is approximately around and about 300 meters in diameter. Another Zhangjiabang river passes through the park, creating an ecological environment with vertical and horizontal waterways in the garden.

Type: Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Opening Hours: 06:00-18:00

Address: 1001 Jinxiu Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区锦绣路1001号

Shanghai Attractions

No. 31: Heping Fandian

Peace Hotel Museum or Heping Fandian Museum is the first museum in China built in the form of a hotel. The museum displays a number of "antique" items engraved with the words "华懋饭店", such as copper ice pot, copper key plate, copper thermos, copper ashtray, and the silver spoon, as well as calligraphy and paintings by famous artists. Due to its profound historical background, it has become the recording site of 33 films and TV plays. The South Building of Peace Hotel imitates the balanced apartment building of Renaissance, while the north building is the Gothic building of Chicago school.

Type: Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings

Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00

Address: 20 Nanjing East Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区南京东路20号

No. 32: Shanghai Maglev Museum

The predecessor of the Shanghai Maglev Museum is the Shanghai Maglev Science and Technology Exhibition Hall, which is a professional exhibition hall to show the maglev technology and the development history of the Shanghai maglev train. It officially opened on August 16, 2007, with an area of 1250 square meters. It is divided into five parts: the birth of maglev, Shanghai maglev line, maglev exploration, maglev advantages, and maglev prospects. There are many interactive projects for tourists to participate in. Tourists can visit the maglev train for free with maglev train tickets of the day.

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

Tickets: Free Entry with valid Maglev Train Ticket

Address: 2100 Longyang Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区龙阳路2100号

No. 33: M50 Creative Park

M50 is the abbreviation of No. 50 Moganshan Road. It is located in the peninsula area on the South Bank of Suzhou River. It is a creative park reconstructed from the original textile factory. Compared with other creative parks, the biggest feature here is the graffiti and free gallery exhibition along the street. You can see the artworks of abstract, realistic, watercolor, oil painting, and so on. Over the past few years, M50 has attracted more than 130 artists from 17 countries and regions including UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, Canada, Norway, and Hong Kong, etc. The presence of these artists and creative design institutions creates a strong cultural atmosphere along the Suzhou River.

Type: Civic Centers, Art Museums

Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00

Address: 50 Moganshan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai 上海市普陀区莫干山路50号

No. 34: Qibao Ancient Town

Qibao ancient town was built in the Northern Song Dynasty. It is only 5 kilometers away from the downtown area of Shanghai. It can be reached directly by metro line 9. Qibao ancient town is the nearest ancient town to Shanghai, which retains the characteristics of a water town in the metropolis and shows a new and simple cultural atmosphere. Qibao means seven treasures. It is said that there are seven treasures in the ancient town, namely, the Golden Sutra, the sacred tree, the flying Buddha, the golden rooster, the jade chopsticks, and the Jade axe. The area of the ancient town is small, with only a few streets in total. The main scenic spots are Qibao old street, Qibao pawnshop, Zhou's Micro carving hall, cricket cottage, etc. It is also a food street with all kinds of local snacks.

Type: Ancient Town, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00

Recommended Visiting Time: 1 - 3 hours

Address: Intersection of Qingnian Road and Hengli Road, Minhang District, Shanghai 上海市闵行区青年路与横沥路路口

Shanghai Attractions

No. 35: Xujiahui Catholic Church

Xujiahui Catholic Church is adjacent to the prosperous Xujiahuidistrict. It is the largest Catholic Church in Shanghai. The red brick walls and two towering bell towers make this medieval Gothic building with hundreds of years of history particularly eye-catching. The simple exterior modeling and gorgeous interior decoration carry a strong religious atmosphere. You can also feel the rare tranquility in the city. Every night, the church is particularly charming under external lighting.

Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00 Monday to Saturday; 14:00-16:00 on Sunday

Address: 158 Puxi Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai 上海市徐汇区蒲西路158号

How to Plan a Shanghai Tour

How to Get to Shanghai: You can fly to Shanghai directly from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, London, Los Angeles & many overseas countries (regions) and almost all major Chinese cities, like Beijing, Xian; or take high speed bullet train to Shanghai from domestic cities.

Best Time to Visit Shanghai: March to May (in spring) & September to November (in autumn), because these periods offer beautiful nature scenery and comfortable weather for outdoor sightseeing and activities.

Top Attractions to Visit in Shanghai: The Bund, Lujiazui Skyscrapers, Yu Garden, Shanghai Museum, Wukang Road, Shanghai Disney Resort…

Best known as an international popular tourist destination, Shanghai perfectly preserves mixed culture of the western and eastern. The duration and theme of your Shanghai tour can be flexibly arranged based on your time and interests. Usually, tourists spend 2 days on sightseeing the most famous landmarks, including the Bund , Yu Garden, skyscrapers like Shanghai Tower, World Financial Center, Wukang Road, Shanghai Museum, etc. With one extra day, you can enjoy family fun in Disneyland Park or visit Zhujiajiao Water Town in the suburb. Don't miss the Shanghai Maglev Train, wonderful nightlife and Shanghai Cuisine.

✔ 2 Days Classic Shanghai City Tour ✔ 3 Days Shanghai Past and Present Contrast Tour ✔ 3 Days Shanghai Highlights & Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour

Travel Shanghai with Hangzhou Suzhou, More Nearby Destinations

Convenient transportation makes it quite efficient and popular to make day trips from Shanghai to Hangzhou , Suzhou , and longer vacation in Huangshan Mountain , Nanjing, Mount Jiuhua and other places in surrounding areas. So you can visit West Lake and learn Chinese tea culture in Hangzhou, marvel at tasteful classical gardens and witness Chinese silk productive process. Splendid rocky mountains with exotic pine trees are highlights in Huangshan Mountain.

✔ 5 Days Shanghai Hangzhou Suzhou Highlights Tour ✔ 6 Splendid East China Tour by Bullet Train ✔ 5 Days Shanghai Huangshan Tour by High Speed Train

Travel Shanghai with Beijing, Xian & More China Destinations

Beijing Xian Shanghai are golden triangle cities often visited together for a week holiday. You can use 3 days to visit the Great Wall and major iconic spots like Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and leave 2 days for fulfilling your Terracotta Warriors tour in Xian. With more time, you can extend the trip from Shanghai to Zhangjiajie, Guilin, Chengdu, Yunnan, Silk Road, Tibet and more phenomenal destinations to enrich your China discovery. (more top China tours from Shanghai >> )

✔ 6 Days Beijing Shanghai Tour by High Speed Train ✔ 8 Days Best of China Tour (Beijing/Xian/Shanghai) ✔ 7 Days Shanghai Suzhou Beijing Contrast Tour by High Speed Train

Shanghai Travel Photos

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Recommended Shanghai Tour Packages

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2 Days Classic Shanghai City Tour

Highlights: The Bund, Yu Garden, Shanghai French Concession, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai World Financial Center

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Highlights: The Bund, Yu Garden, Shanghai Museum,Shanghai World Financial Center, Jade Buddha Temple

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Highlights: The Bund, Shanghai Museum, West Lake, Tea Village, Lingyin Temple, Lingering Garden, Silk Factory, Tongli Water Town

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15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Shanghai

Written by Bryan Dearsley Updated Mar 23, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Shanghai, China's largest city, offers many exciting sightseeing opportunities for travelers. Despite having a population of more than 24 million, this always busy city offers a number of quieter historic districts and places to visit alongside its many newer tourist sites. One of the world's busiest container ports thanks to its position at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the city also provides opportunities for exploration by water along the Chinese coast and its inland waterways.

Things to do here include visiting the city's world-class museums and art galleries, such as the Shanghai Museum and the China Art Museum; wandering through lovely gardens and parks; or getting in some shopping, especially in the "New World" pedestrian area with its luxury boutiques and galleries. Also fun is exploring the city's many fine old temples and traditional pagodas.

To help you plan your visit to China's most exciting city, be sure to read through our list of the top attractions and things to do in Shanghai.

See also: Where to Stay in Shanghai

1. Take a Stroll along Shanghai's Promenade: The Bund

2. visit shanghai's oldest green space: yu garden, 3. see the priceless statues of the jade buddha temple, 4. learn about chinese culture at the shanghai museum, 5. visit historic longhua temple and pagoda, 6. see the views from the oriental pearl tower, 7. shop 'til you drop on nanjing road, 8. gather at the people's square, 9. the french connection: tianzifang, 10. xujiahui cathedral and the sheshan basilica, 11. visit the shanghai science and technology museum, 12. the china art museum, 13. visit shanghai disney resort, 14. jin mao tower and skywalk, 15. shanghai natural history museum, where to stay in shanghai for sightseeing, map of tourist attractions & things to do in shanghai, shanghai, china - climate chart.

Shanghai's Promenade: The Bund

Best known by its Anglo-Indian name of Bund (Wàitan), the Zhongshan Lu is a lovely broad promenade running along the west bank of the Huangpujiang River. It's particularly popular among tourists - the area has retained a European feel, as it was once the location of the city's International Settlement. This influence is particularly noticeable in the many old English and French buildings now serving as restaurants, boutique stores, galleries, and offices.

Always bustling, it's a splendid place for a stroll day or night as you take in the Bund's 52 unique buildings, constructed in a variety of styles including Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Renaissance influences. The Bund is also home to what amounts to one of the world's most impressive collections of Art Deco architecture.

Moving from south to north, the dominant buildings are the former headquarters of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation with its splendid cupola, the harbor customs office with its bell tower, the old Peace Hotel, and the Bank of China.

Huangpu Park , located at the north end of The Bund, opened in 1886 and is famous as the country's oldest public park. It's a pleasant place to visit, and has an interesting museum dedicated to The Bund's history. The Bund is also a great place from which to embark upon a sightseeing tour aboard a boat around the port and the confluence of the Huangpujiang and Yangtze rivers.

Address: Zhongshan East 1st Road, Huangpu, Shanghai

The Yu Yuan district, the old town of Shanghai, on a sunny day, ChinaYu Garden

To the northeast of the old town and laid out in 1559 is the splendid Yu Garden (Yù Yuán). Also known as the Garden of Happiness, this vast green space covers an area of more than 20,000 square meters and consists of an outer and an inner garden.

The oldest section is the Outer Garden , with further changes being made in the 18th century when Sansui Tang, the park's main hall, was added. This impressive building is notable for its lovely roof ornaments, figurative representations in bas-reliefs, and window openings, as well as its dragon-adorned walls.

The best-known building is the Hall of Spring , where the Company of the Little Swords (Xiaodao Hui) had its headquarters between 1853 and 1855 when it ruled Shanghai. Of great historical importance are the artificial rocks in this part of the garden, the only work of the master garden designer Zhang Nanyang that has been preserved.

The newer and much smaller Inner Garden is also worth seeing. Dating from 1709, it includes features typical of a classical Chinese writer's garden: attractive little pavilions, decorative stones, and miniature mountain ranges, dividing walls and small ponds, and even a richly decorated theatrical stage.

Address: 279 Yuyuan Old Street, Huangpu, Shanghai

The Jade Buddha Temple

Located in the Anyuan Lu district of Shanghai, the beautiful Jade Buddha Temple houses two Shakyamuni statues, which the monk Huigen brought with him from Burma. The present building, erected in 1928 to replace the original temple built in 1882, is divided into three halls and two courtyards.

The most impressive structure is the splendid Hall of the Kings of Heaven (Tian Wang Dian), notable for its statues of the four heavenly kings and two Shakyamuni sculptures. Carved from white jade, one of these impressive statues stands nearly two meters high in the Wentang Main hall, where a collection of Buddhist manuscripts is also kept (the smaller statue is in the west courtyard).

Also of interest is the charming Hall of the Great Hero (Daxiong Baodian) with its Buddhas of the Three Ages, along with 18 Luohan figures. Another of Shanghai's many important Buddhist sites is the stunning Jing'an Temple on Nanjing West Road.

Address: 170 Anyuan Road, Jing'an, Shanghai

Official site:

The Shanghai Museum

Founded in 1952, the Shanghai Museum remains China's most important museum of classical Chinese art. Set in a modern building that's something of a work of art itself - its unique round top and square base encompasses traditional Chinese concepts of the Earth - the museum's four floors include impressive displays of bronzes and ceramics from prehistoric cultures to the 19th century.

Other highlights of the collection include ink drawings, calligraphy and seals, as well as large collections of art from ethnic minorities. It's also home to large collections of jade, coins, furnishings from the Ming and Qing periods (1368-1912), and a well-stocked gift shop.

Address: 201 Renmin Avenue, Ren Min Guang Chang, Huangpu, Shanghai

Official site:

Longhua Temple and Pagoda

Located in a pleasant park in the southwest area of Shanghai, the splendid Longhua Temple remains one of the oldest religious sites in China. Built along with the nearby 40-meter-tall wood and brick pagoda around AD 242, this important place of worship was destroyed and rebuilt many times through the years, with the present structure dating back to the 10th century.

The site is still used for regular Buddhist ceremonies and consists of five large halls, including the Maitreya Hall (Mile Dian), with its large Buddha statue; the Heavenly King Hall (Tian Wang Dian), dedicated to the Four Heavenly Kings; and the Grand Hall of the Great Sage (Daxiong Baodian), with its fine statues and a 16th-century bell.

Other highlights include the Bell Tower with an even older, two-meter-tall, five-ton bell from 1382, which is still used on special occasions; the Library with its old manuscripts and ceremonial instruments; and the impressive sight of some 500 gold-painted Luohan Buddhas.

Address: 2853 Longhua Rd, Xuhui, Shanghai

The Oriental Pearl Tower

A must-visit while in Shanghai is the 468-meter-tall Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower (Dongfang Míngzhuta). It's located in Pudong-Park on the east bank of the Huangpu River. In addition to its excellent views over the busy river and the new city, you'll be rewarded with superb views over the historic Bund promenade.

Built in 1991, the tower takes its name from its 11 linked spheres of various sizes, the highest of which - the Space Module - contains an observation level at the 350 meter mark with a glass-floored outside deck. All told, the tower boasts 15 viewing areas, including the Sightseeing Floor and Space City, as well as a revolving restaurant with great views.

Other highlights include a lower level shopping mall, the Space Hotel offering rooms with spectacular views, and a fun virtual reality rollercoaster ride. Even if you can't make it up the tower, you'll enjoy viewing it at night when the whole structure is lit up as part of a fascinating light show.

Address: 1 Century Ave, Lu Jia Zui, Pudong, Shanghai

Woman shopping on Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road (Nánjing Lù) is Shanghai's principal shopping street. Constructed in the second half of the 19th century, it runs from the Zhongshan Lu for several miles towards the west. Along this largely pedestrian-friendly street, you'll find every conceivable type of consumer goods, from street vendors selling Chinese-themed souvenirs to expensive boutiques selling traditional arts and crafts. There are also a number of large shopping malls and department stores such as the iconic Yibai and Jiubai.

It's also a busy entertainment district, home to many restaurants and cinemas, as well as a hub for street performances. It's especially fun to visit during major holidays such as Chinese New Year when the street becomes a focal point for festivities and fireworks.

Another dedicated shopping area to explore is Xintiandi , an affluent pedestrian zone that retains some of the ambience of the old city.

People's Square

Built on what was once the city's racecourse, the People's Square (Rénmín Guangchang) has been transformed over the years into Shanghai's premier public space. Home to the new Shanghai City Hall , the Shanghai Museum, and the state-of-the-art Grand Theatre , it's a perfect spot from which to begin touring the city.

You'll also want to spend time visiting the excellent Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center . Here, you'll find superb displays and models - even a 360-degree movie theater - showing both existing and planned-for buildings. Be sure to view this massive scale-model from the upper galleries for a fascinating bird's-eye perspective of this modern metropolis.

Address: Wusheng Road, Huangpu, Shanghai

The French Connection: Tianzifang

In what was once Shanghai's French Concession, Tianzifang has been transformed into a fascinating arts and crafts destination. While much of the older homes and buildings have been replaced, the character of this old European district has been carefully preserved in its architecture and layout, with numerous small laneways and alleys just begging to be explored.

In addition to its many shopping opportunities - it consists of numerous small galleries and craft shops, rather than the bigger stores found elsewhere in the city - it's also a fun place to visit at night due to its many restaurants serving traditional fare, its numerous cafés and music joints, as well as artists' studios and workshops.

Fuxing Park is another notable tourist attraction with a distinct French flavor. The city's largest park when constructed in 1909, it remains a delightful place to wander due to its many fountains, gardens, and pavilions.

Address: 10 Taikang Road, Da Pu Qiao, Huangpu, Shanghai

Xujiahui Cathedral and the Sheshan Basilica

Built in 1911 in Neo-Romanesque style, Xujiahui Cathedral - also known as St. Ignatius Cathedral - is another splendid reminder of Shanghai's rich multi-national heritage. In the southern city district of Xujiahui, it's the largest place of Roman Catholic worship in Shanghai, and in addition to its splendid park-like setting is worth visiting for its twin 50-meter-high bell-towers and restored interior with fine stained-glass windows.

Another important religious site is the Sheshan Basilica (the National Shrine and Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan). This fine old Roman Catholic church stands on the western peak of the hill after which it's named. Like so many other religious sites, it was heavily damaged during the Chinese Cultural Revolution but in recent years has undergone extensive renovations and remains an important pilgrimage site. A highlight of a visit is following the 14 Stations of the Cross, which zigzag up the hill to the church, along with the many splendid views along the way.

Address: 158 Puxi Road, Xu Jia Hui, Xuhui District, Shanghai

Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

In keeping with its status as a world-class city, Shanghai is not without its fair share of top-notch museums. In addition to the splendid Shanghai Museum, the city is home to the huge Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the largest of its kind in China and one of the city's top draws with more than two million visitors each year.

Opened in 2001, the museum offers numerous things to see and do, including interactive multimedia exhibits, permanent displays, and state-of-the-art science theaters. Highlights include a large collection of animals native to the region, scientific achievements, a fascinating exhibit on robotics, as well as exhibits focusing on space travel.

Other fun attractions for families include the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium . This worthwhile attraction is popular for its 120-meter underwater tunnel, which provides a close-up view of the region's diverse marine life. Also worth a visit is the Shanghai Zoo , famous for its large collection of native species, including giant pandas and South China tigers.

Address: 2000 Century Ave, Pudong, Shanghai

Official site:

The China Art Museum

Also often referred to as the China Art Palace, the China Art Museum (Zhonghuá Yìshù Gong) is the largest art gallery in Asia. It's also home to the country's most important collections of modern art, housed in the city's spectacular China Pavilion, the sole survivor of the city's Expo 2010 event (and looking a little like an upside-down pyramid).

Highlights of a visit include its fascinating collections of Chinese modern art, exhibits of prominent Chinese artists, as well as numerous works related to Shanghai's cultural development over the decades. Culture lovers should also invest a little time visiting the Oriental Art Center , one of the city's most important venues for performances of classical music, opera, and theatrical productions.

Also of note is the splendid Shanghai Grand Theatre , well regarded for its regular roster of concerts, operas, ballet performances, and traditional theater.

Address: 205 Shangnan Road, Pudong, Shanghai


Shanghai Disney Resort, China's second Disney venture after Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, opened to great fanfare and huge crowds in 2016 and shows every sign of being a massive success.

In addition to its two themed hotels and the Disneytown entertainment and shopping district, this nearly 1,000-acre site in the city's Pudong district is home to the Shanghai Disneyland Park, the hub of all the action and the real reason some 10 million people visit the resort each year.

And it's every inch the kind of Disney experience fans and families alike can't seem to get enough of. The fun starts on Mickey Avenue, with its character meet and greets and merchandise-cum-souvenir shops, before guests head off to their favorite part of the park.

Highlights include Gardens of Imagination, with its pleasant Chinese gardens and Dumbo carousel, and Fantasyland, in many ways the parks "heart and soul." It's here you'll find the Enchanted Storybook Castle and hordes of mini wannabe princesses waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite Disney royalty. Also popular is Treasure Cove, home to a thrilling Pirates of the Caribbean -inspired ride.

Address: 310 Huangzhao Road, Pudong, Shanghai

Official site:

Jin Mao tower interior

In a country that seems to build super-tall skyscrapers at a rate of knots, the Jin Mao Tower (Jinmoh Dusa) certainly manages to stand out. Reaching 93-stories skyward (420.5 meters), this impressive tower stands as testament to the new found prosperity that is so evident in Shanghai - hence the building's name, which in Chinese translates to "Golden Prosperity Building."

One of the world's tallest freestanding structures, it has become a popular tourist attraction for its thrilling Skywalk, a massive enclosed observation deck located on the 88th floor that's capable of holding upwards of 1,000 people at a time. While the views over the city and the Bund are of course impressive, it's the building's unique and spectacular interior view down to the atrium of the Grand Hyatt Shanghai Hotel far below that draws the biggest "oohhs" and "aahhs."

While here, be sure to visit the large shopping center at the base of the tower. Also worth visiting are the other neighboring skyscrapers, including the 121-story Shanghai Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center, which together with the Jin Mao Tower make for the world's tallest trio of super-tall skyscrapers.

Address: 88 Century Ave, Lu Jia Zui, Pudong, Shanghai

Shanghai Natural History Museum /

Museum goers won't want to miss the chance to visit the Shanghai Natural History Museum. This stunning world-class facility was established in 1956 and only recently opened up in its new state-of-the-art location in Jing'an Sculpture Park in 2015. This is one of the country's largest museums - it covers an impressive 40,000 square meters.

You'll be rewarded with a chance to peruse a vast collection of more than 240,000 artifacts, many of them unique to China and including everything from rare animal and plant specimens, some dating back as far as 140 million years (there is a rare dinosaur skeleton, which stands over four stories high). Also fun to see are the many large animatronic dinosaurs, which provide a pretty good idea of the sheer size, power, and appearance of these extinct beasts.

Location: Jing'an District, Shanghai

If you're visiting Shanghai for the first time and want to see the top tourist attractions, the best place to stay is in the city center, near the Bund, Shanghai's famous waterfront promenade, which intersects with Nanjing Road, the bustling shopping street. Another popular base is near the People's Square, with the Shanghai Museum, Grand Theatre, and the exhibition center. Here are some highly rated hotels in these convenient locations:

Luxury Hotels:

  • In a fantastic location right on the Bund, the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund exudes grand elegance, with its chandeliers, lavish marble, and soaring columns.
  • Also on the Bund, overlooking Nanjing Road and decked out in beautifully preserved Art Deco style, is the Fairmont Peace Hotel , with a pool and spa, plush rooms, and attentive staff.
  • Near the Shanghai Museum, the art museum, and the Bund, JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square delivers the same impeccable service found at other luxury Shanghai hotels for more affordable rates.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Fresh and modern with textural Chinese accents, Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund , near Yu Garden, is a popular boutique option with large city-view rooms and a glass-encased pool overlooking the river.
  • Also on the Bund and near Yu Garden, Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai sits on the banks of the Yangtze River, a few blocks from Nanjing Road, while the Marriott Hotel City Centre is a 12-minute walk from the People's Square, near great shopping.

Budget Hotels:

  • Within walking distance of Nanjing Road and the Bund, Shanghai Fish Inn Bund offers clean, contemporary rooms and apartments, which are great value for groups, while the Jinjiang MetroPolo Hotel Classiq Shanghai Peoples' Square is a little pricier but offers excellent value for money in a fantastic location right next to its namesake attraction.
  • Across the Yangtze River from the Bund, about 12 minutes away by car, Jinjiang Inn (Shanghai Lujiazui) offers clean, basic rooms for budget prices.

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Historic Hangzhou : Just a two-hour train ride away from Shanghai is the historic city of Hangzhou . Famous for its many beautiful temples, including the 13th-century Yue Fei Temple, and the six-square-kilometer West Lake with its lovely waterside parks and pagodas, Hangzhou is also a great place to explore on foot, especially around the historic Qinghefang Ancient Street area, popular for its old cobbled streets, quaint squares, traditional restaurants, and shopping.


Taking Flight : Thanks to its being a major transportation hub - both nationally and internationally - Shanghai serves as a great jumping-off point to explore other parts of the country. An easy two-hour flight away, Beijing , the country's capital, is a must for visitors to China. Highlights include the magnificent Imperial Palace, the Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, and more modern wonders, including the Beijing National Stadium, famous for its role in the 2008 Summer Olympics, and the Beijing Capital Museum.

Beijing also offers a variety of interesting day trip options , the most popular being a trip to Badaling Pass and the Great Wall of China.

A little further afield but still under three hours flying time, Chengdu is where you'll have the unique opportunity to spend time getting up close to the country's most iconic animals at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (be sure to opt for one of the special, immersive caretaking packages, which include feeding and cleaning up after these cuddly creatures).


China Vacation Ideas : Thanks to its immense size, China offers a wide variety of interesting landscapes to explore. One of the most popular is a Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo . Starting in Guilin, you'll spend the best part of a day drifting along the Li River, enjoying the beautiful karst mountain scenery along the way, before disembarking in Yangshuo. Here, you can enjoy activities like exploring the riverside pathways by bike, or taking a ride on one of the traditional bamboo rafts available for hire.

Another great option for adventurous types is to take the (silk) road less traveled to Dunhuang and Jiayuguan . Located in the northwestern corner of the country, here you can enjoy such experiences as a spectacular sunset camel ride across the Gobi Desert, or exploring parts of the Great Wall of China not normally visited by tourists around the spectacular Jiayuguan Pass.

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More on China

China Travel Guide

  • 1 Day Wuzhen Trip
  • 2 Days City Tour
  • 5 Days Hangzhou & Huangshan
  • Leifeng Pagoda
  • Meijiawu Tea Plantation

Lingyin Temple

Six harmonies pagoda.

  • Tomb of General Yue Fei

Qinghefang Ancient Street

  • Grand Canal
  • Qiantang River
  • National Silk Museum
  • Performance: Enduring Memories of Hangzhou

Xixi National Wetland Park

Thousand islets lake.

  • Wuzhen Water Town
  • Xitang Water Town
  • Mount Putuo
  • Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City
  • Zhangjiajie

12 Best Places to Visit in Hangzhou for First-time Visitors

Hangzhou , regarded as “Heaven on Earth”, is one of the most beautiful cities in China. The stunning natural landscapes, impressive historical sites, palatable Zhejiang cuisine , and more make it a popular tourist city. This article will introduce 12 best places to visit in Hangzhou for the first-time visitors to enjoy a pleasant trip there.

West Lake

Longjing Village

Longjing Village

Zhejiang Provincial Museum

Zhejiang Provincial Museum

Prince Bay Park

Former residence of hu xueyan, song dynasty town.

Six Harmonies Pagoda

Nanxun Water Town

Nanxun Water Town

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