If you’d like to explore China’s best sights and most famous offerings, you’ll want to see more than the major cities. This next list will give you an idea of what places must go on your itinerary.
Some of them you might be familiar with, but others are a bit off the beaten path and worthy of exploring to get the full experience of China’s rich tapestry of history and culture.
Yes, it’s a major city in China, but you can’t go to China and not visit the capital. The historic significance of this place is astounding and rather humbling. It’s often one of the easiest places to enter via plane as the airport accommodates flights from all over the world.
In Beijing, you must see:
– The Great Wall
There is nothing like being on top of this ancient structure. Don’t miss this wonder of the world, though do take caution on Chinese holidays. Everyone goes and it becomes very crowded. It’s nice in winter when no one is around.
– The Forbidden City
This imperial palace is the best-preserved in the entire country. It also has the honor of being the largest in the world. Like the Great Wall, you shouldn’t miss it.
– The Summer Palace
This palace features an ornate imperial garden. It’s stunning, and peaceful here.
– The Temple of Heaven
Here was the place where emperors said their prayers in hopes of good harvests. It’s beautiful, plus today, you’ll find locals during their exercises here, combining history with local culture.
This famous ancient city is a must-visit for history buffs. It once was the capital of China in 221 BC. It is home to some of the most incredible Chinese relics, plus was the starting point for the famed trade route known as the Silk Road.
In Xi’an, you’ll want to see:
– The Terracotta Army
The impressive statues of an army of soldiers and world’s largest imperial tomb will take your breath away. It has been dated back to 206 BC.
– The Ancient City Wall
From the 14th century, this largest city fortification in the world is incredibly impressive. May visitors walk or bike around the loop.
– Big Wild Goose Pagoda
This gorgeous Buddhist pagoda is another site to behold in Xi’an.
As mentioned before in our section on major Chinese cities, Shanghai is the financial center, a wealthy place to discover. It has many fascinating things to take in and offers the opportunity for upscale 5-star style.
In Shanghai, you’ll want to see:
– The Bund
Come both day and night to see the amazing skyline on both sides of the Huangpu River. Plus, the fancy restaurants and bars here will make you forget you’re in China.
– Yu Garden
This traditional Chinese garden is not only beautiful, but an interesting respite in the middle of the busy city vibrating all around it.
– Shanghai Tower
It’s the tallest building in China, second tallest in the world. A view of Shanghai from here is sublime.
– Zhujiajiao Water Town
Stop in this charming canal town of Shanghai for a drastic contrast to the center of the city.
See something different from the big, bustling cities when you visit Guilin. It’s one of the most beautiful places in China, if not, the entire planet. Travelers from all over come to revel in it’s stunning landscapes.
In Guilin, you’ll want to see:
– The Li River
Take a cruise to experience the awe-inspiring beauty along this river.
Want a slice of rural life in China? This is the place to see it.
– Longji Terraced Fields
See the rice terraces, get in touch with ethnic culture, and enjoy the bounty of gorgeous scenery.
Revered as the home to giant pandas, Chengdu is a must-see destination. It’s also noted for its spicy Sichuan food.
In Chengdu, you’ll want to see:
– Dujiangyan Panda Base
Unlike other zoos in the country, you get the chance to volunteer to take care of the pandas!
– Leshan Giant Buddha
Standing at 71 meters in height, you’ll marvel at the giant Buddha carved from a cliff.
– Jinli Old Street
Here’s the place to be if you want to sample tasty local snacks.
Hopefully, our guide has helped you get to know more about China. Of course, with a country this big, there’s so much more to it, but this should help you navigate and get started creating your own epic adventure in China.