China is huge and differing in landscape and culture. There is a lot more to China besides its vast land area and The Great Wall. We have narrowed down China’s most famous cities for tourism, to help you make your choices and maximize your time discovering the highlights of China.

Wall of China

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Here are our top 6 options for your next trip to China.

Beijing — Historic Capital Full of Cultural Heritage

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Beijing, China’s capital city for over 700 years, is enriched by the history itself, both imperial and modern. There are a lot of well-preserved relics in Beijing, as well as recent landmarks.

It’s quite easy to reach Beijing by air, and it’s the first stop for most first-time travellers to China. Flights and high-speed trains from Beijing to other famous cities are quite convenient.

Best attractions:

  • The Great Wall is the world’s longest wall and greatest historical architecture. Mutianyu is a foreigners’ loved section.
  • The Forbidden City is China’s best-conserved imperial palace and the world’s largest.
  • The Summer Palace is a fancy imperial garden, where the royals calmed in the warmer months.
  • The Temple of Heaven was where rulers prayed for good crops. Now locals do morning jogs there.

Unique experiences:

  • Delve into the hutongs (medieval alleys) by rickshaw and enjoy a home-visit to a classical courtyard house.
  • Treat yourself with a tasty Peking roast duck.
  • Spend an evening enjoying Beijing opera or a kung fu show.

Xi’an — a Window on China’s Ancient Civilization

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The second most popular of China’s ancient capitals, Xi’an, was the very first capital of United China in 221 BC, and capital for over the next millennium. Thus Xi’an is enriched with a big number of important relics and historical sites.

Xi’an was the beginning point of the Silk Road trade route, through Asia to Europe, playing a prominent role in East-West economic and cultural exchange in royal times.

Best attractions:

  • The Terracotta Army is part of the world’s largest royal tomb complex, which rolls back to 206 BC.
  • The Ancient City Wall is the world’s largest city citadel from the 14th century. You need to walk or cycle the 22-km (14-mile) circle.
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the library and most outstanding building of one of the ancient Buddhist temples in China.
  • The Muslim Quarter is a must-visit if you’d like to get your hands on some local snacks and delve into China’s Muslim culture.

Unique experiences:

  • Watch a local craftsman’s cave dwelling and learn how to create a mini terracotta warrior.
  • Treat yourself with a dumpling feast in a local restaurant, with dumplings in more than 20 various sizes and shapes.

Shanghai — China’s Prosperous Largest City

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Shanghai, China’s biggest city, gives out an atmosphere of vitality, which can compete with New York and Paris. Being one of the world’s leading economic and business city, Shanghai’s modernity is proved by its ambitious skyline.

Unlike in Beijing, there are not many popular attractions. However, the beauty of coming to Shanghai lies not in a richness of artifacts, but in experiencing the city’s ancient and cutting-edge grandeur.

Best attractions:

  • The Bund is a worthwhile walk by day or night. Enjoy the colonial structures on one side and wonderful skyline the other.
  • Yu Garden is a beautiful traditional Chinese garden, in sharp comparison to the busy city surrounding it.
  • Zhujiajiao Water Town is the best of the wonderful historical canal towns in Shanghai.
  • Shanghai Tower, rangiest building in China, second globally, offers an awesome view of Shanghai and China’s future.

Unique experiences:

  • Experience the world’s fastest train — the Maglev, moving at 431 kilometers per hour (270 miles per hour).
  • Take a sail on the Huangpu River to enjoy Shanghai’s remarkable views.
  • Enjoy some leisure time in the French Concession, a Chinese garden, or a water town near Shanghai.

Guilin — China’s Top Karst Landscape

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Guilin, with its wonderful limestone scenery, is renowned as one of the most awesome places on earth. On his tour, Former US President Nixon said: “I have found that no city can surpass the beauty of Guilin.”

Guilin is an hour due west from Hong Kong by flight. A tour of Hong Kong can be easily extended with a Guilin tour for visa-free travel.

Best attractions:

  • The Li River is one of the most wonderful sights on the planet. It is best accomplished with a cruise or a gentle hike along its banks.
  • Yangshuo is a traveller favourite — an awesome place to experience rural China.
  • The Longji Terraced Fields brag fantastic natural scenery with flopping rice terraces and rich ethnic culture.

Unique experiences:

  • Check out the Old Town of Daxu with a local scholar.
  • Try your hands on some farming activities in a village near Yangshuo.
  • Treat on a helicopter tour to catch a bird’s view of the Li River.
  • Enjoy some Guilin local delicacies, such as rice noodles, bamboo rice and oil tea.

Chengdu — Hometown of Giant Pandas

A short video trip for China.

Although there are humongous pandas in zoos in different places around the world, the best place to see pandas is in Chengdu.

Chengdu is also popular for mouth-watering Sichuan food like kung pao chicken and spicy hotpot. You can delve into cooking the most authentic Sichuan dish with a local chef.

Best attractions:

  • Dujiangyan Panda Base offers you a once in a lifetime chance to get into a volunteer program to take care of pandas.
  • The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-meter high stone statue engraved out of a cliff.
  • Jinli Old Street is a place to enjoy some local snacks.

Unique experiences:

  • Hold a panda in your hands and take pictures.
  • Experience spicy Sichuan hot pot.
  • Take an onward excursion to Jiuzhai Valley.

Hangzhou — Shanghai’s Picturesque Backyard with Rich Culture

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When a traveler came to Hangzhou during the thirteenth century, he called it “the most lovely and stylish town within the world”. There is a preferred Chinese saying: “Above there’s heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou.”

Hangzhou’s “heavenly” beauty and Buddhist, imperial, and tea culture attract variant travelers yearly. There are convenient 1-hour high-speed trains from/to Shanghai.

Best attractions:

  • West Lake, famous for its stunning scenery and various historical sites, can be enjoyed by bike, walking, or boat ride.
  • Lingyin Temple, one of the most important and wealthiest Buddhist temples, has many pagodas and Buddhist grottoes.
  • The Grand Canal, from Hangzhou to Beijing, is the lengthiest historical canal in the world. Some parts are over 2,000 years old.
  • Wuzhen Water Town is a restored ancient water town looking like a traditional Chinese painting.

Unique experiences:

  • On your 1-Day Dragon Well Tea Culture Tour, step into a tea plantation to pick tea leaves and learn the art of tea making.
  • Paint your own oiled-paper umbrella at associate degree artisan’s tent.
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the charismatic water town canals, and even on the Grand Canal itself.

This is all from JupiBlog for your China trip, now plan your trip and let us know your trip experience in below comments.

Top Places To Visit In China

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