China is a huge country with so much to offer tourists. From the bustling city of Beijing to the stunning scenery of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, there is something for everyone in China. In this article, we will discuss some of the best places to visit in China and what makes them so special. If you are planning a trip to China, be sure to add at least one of these destinations to your itinerary!
#1 The Great Wall of China
If there’s one man-made structure that is instantly recognizable all over the world, it’s the Great Wall of China. Stretching for thousands of miles across the Chinese countryside, this magnificent feat of engineering is a testimony to the ingenuity and determination of the Chinese people. Despite its age – construction began in the 7th century BC – the Wall is still an awe-inspiring sight today. So if you ever have a chance to visit China, be sure not to miss this UNESCO World Heritage Site!
#2 The Forbidden City & the Imperial Palace, Beijing
No visit to Beijing is complete without a trip to the Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace. These two UNESCO World Heritage Sites are packed with history and culture, and offer visitors a glimpse into China’s past. The Forbidden City was the home of the imperial family for over 500 years, and today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Beijing. The Imperial Palace is where the emperors lived after they left the Forbidden City. And it is now home to a museum that features exhibits on Chinese history and art. A visit to these two amazing sites is definitely not to be missed!
#3 The Terracotta Army, Xi’an
Discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers digging a well, the Terracotta Army is one of the most amazing archaeological finds of all time. Comprised of thousands of life-sized clay figures, it is thought that the army was commissioned by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, to serve as his guardians in the afterlife. Each soldier is different in facial features and uniform, indicating that they were made individually by artisans. The terracotta figures are currently on display at the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. If you’re ever in China, make sure to visit this incredible museum!
#4 The Summer Palace, Beijing
Memorials to the past are often beautiful, sobering places. The Summer Palace in Beijing is one such place. It is a lavish reminder of China’s imperial history and a sacred site for tourists from all over the world. Despite its beauty, however, the Summer Palace holds a dark history that many people don’t know about. As you walk through its gardens and ornate pavilions, please remember the events that took place here and reflect on their significance.
#5 Cruising the Li River, Guilin
The Li River winds its way through Guilin, snaking through dramatic limestone karsts and providing some of the most picturesque scenery in all of China. The best way to explore this breathtaking landscape is by cruising down the river on a traditional bamboo raft. Soak up the sights and sounds of rural China as you glide along, and be sure to keep an eye out for the local wildlife. Whether you’re looking for an awe-inspiring nature experience or just a unique way to travel, a Li River cruise is definitely worth checking out!
#6 Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Sichuan
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sichuan province. The Base was founded in 1987 to help preserve the dwindling population of giant pandas. It now serves as a research and breeding center for the animals, as well as a sanctuary for injured and abandoned pandas. Over 100 giant pandas live at the Base, making it a great place to see these iconic creatures up close. In addition to panda-spotting, visitors can enjoy hikes in the surrounding forested hills, along with performances by local artists and traditional handicraft demonstrations.
#7 The Yangtze River and the Three Gorges
The Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world. It spans more than 5,500 miles from its source in the Tibetan Plateau to its mouth on the East China Sea. The river flows through some of China’s most stunning landscapes, including the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges are a series of steep-sided gorges that run for more than 100 miles along the Yangtze River. They are home to some of China’s most iconic sights, including the Qutang and Wu gorges. Visitors can take cruises down the river to enjoy these breathtaking views.
#8 The Classical Gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu
The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are a set of gardens located in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. The gardens were constructed from the 5th to the 18th century during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Suzhou is known as the “Venice of the East” due to its many canals and waterways. These classical gardens were built to take advantage of this natural landscape and feature elements such as ponds, streams, pavilions, rock formations, and arches. They are some of the most well-known and highly regarded gardens in all of China. And it’s a must-see for any visitor to the country.
#9 The Potala Palace, Tibet
When most people think of Tibet, the first thing that comes to mind is the imposing Potala Palace. This former winter palace of the Dalai Lama is a 13-story labyrinth of temples, courtyards and living quarters built high on a hill overlooking the city of Lhasa. Getting to the top can be a challenge, but once you’re there, the views are worth it. Whether you’re exploring the empty chapels or trying to catch a glimpse of the Dalai Lama’s private quarters, a visit to Potala Palace is an unforgettable experience.
#10 Shanghai’s Promenade: The Bund
The Bund is a world-famous promenade on the east bank of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. It offers stunning views of the city’s skyline and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Shanghai. The name “Bund” means embankment in English, and it was named for the long, narrow strip of land that separates the old city from the new. Today, The Bund is lined with dazzling skyscrapers and historical buildings, making it a must-see attraction in Shanghai.
#11 Hangzhou’s Historic West Lake
One of the most popular tourist destinations in China is the city of Hangzhou, located in the eastern province of Zhejiang. The city is best known for its spectacular West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features well-preserved historic architecture and ample green space. Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities on the lake, including boating, cycling, and hiking. There are also a number of interesting temples and pagodas to explore in the area. Hangzhou is definitely a must-see destination and one of best places for anyone to visit in China.
#12 The Mausoleum of Light: The Northern Imperial Tomb, Shenyang
The Northern Imperial Tomb, located in Shenyang, is a magnificent mausoleum built for the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Construction on the tomb began in 1646 and took over two hundred years to complete. The tomb is thought to be one of the most beautifully constructed and well preserved imperial tombs in China. It is known as the “Mausoleum of Light” due to its numerous skylights that allow natural light to illuminate the interior. Millions of tourists visit this one of best places in China each year to admire its grandeur.
#13 Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya located in the southern province of Sichuan, China. At 233 feet (71 meters) tall, it is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world. The construction of this impressive monument began in 713 AD and took over 90 years to complete. Visitors can climb up to the Buddha’s shoulders for magnificent views of the surrounding area. The Leshan Giant Buddha is an impressive sight that should not be missed if you’re traveling through southern China. This massive stone statue towers above everything else in the landscape. And they make it a popular spot for photographers and tourists alike.
#14 The Hong Kong Skyline
The best way to experience the Hong Kong skyline is from Victoria Harbor. The harbor is located in the central district of the city. And it offers stunning views of the skyscrapers that make up this iconic skyline. Many tourists flock to the harbor for its postcard-perfect views. But if you’re looking for a quieter spot to take it all in, try Kowloon Park or Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. Whichever spot you choose, be sure to snap a photo or two – you’ll want to remember this view!
#15 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a must-see natural wonder in Hunan Province, China. This park is home to unique sandstone pillars that rise up from the earth, making for stunning scenery and plenty of Instagram-worthy photo ops. Visitors can explore the park by hiking or taking a cable car ride up to the top of one of the mountains for panoramic views. With its lush forests and dramatic landscapes, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is definitely one of the most beautiful and best places to visit in China.
While there are many places to visit in China, we’ve put together a list of the 15 best destinations based on our own personal experiences and traveler feedback. We hope you enjoy this guide and that it helps you plan your dream trip to China. Have you been to any of these amazing places? What was your favorite destination? Let us know in the comments below.