Top 30 Attractions in China
When someone is talking about China, they probably imagine the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, karst mountains in Guilin, Yangtze River Cruise, etc. However, China has many many things to show to its tourists because China has a splendid history and culture and vast land, which conceives the rich tourism resources. There are currently more than 30,000 tourist attractions in China.
We are pleased to show you the famous attractions in China in order to bring you closer to this unique country, which includes cultural relics left over from thousands of years of history, China's unique landscapes, and modern new China. After you are finished reading the top 30 attractions in China, you would definitely know the best attractions to add to your China tour.
1. China Great Wall in Beijing
The Great Wall is a military fortification in ancient China, with a tall, sturdy, and continuous long wall to limit the movement of enemy riders. It is a world cultural heritage and one of the seven wonders of the world. The Great Wall spans 15 provinces, regions, and cities including Hebei, Beijing, Shaanxi, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, etc. And many well-preserved sections worth visiting are located in Beijing, like Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Simatai, etc. For more details, please read over the Great Wall travel guide.
2. Forbidden City in Beijing - World Heritage
The Forbidden City in Beijing is the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in China. The Forbidden City is centered on three main halls, covering an area of 720,000 square meters, with a construction area of about 150,000 square meters, more than 70 large and small palaces, and more than 9,000 houses. It is surrounded by a wall of 10 meters high on all sides and a moat of 52 meters wide outside the city. The architectural style of the Forbidden City is magnificent, symbolizing the supremacy of the feudal regime.
The Forbidden City is one of the largest and best-preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. It has a large number of precious cultural relics, according to statistics, a total of 1,862,690 pieces, including bronzes, porcelain, jewelry, paintings and calligraphy works, and other ancient art treasures.
3. Summer Palace in Beijing - World Heritage
The Summer Palace is a royal garden during the Qing Dynasty in China, covering an area of about 290 hectares. The architectural complex is integrated with the mountains and lakes, and the scenery changes endlessly. It is the most intact preserved imperial palace and the royal garden and was included in the "World Heritage List" in 1998.
Nowadays, because of its large size, beautiful scenery, and many historical relics on display, the Summer Palace is very popular among local residents in Beijing. Every day, elderly people come here for a walk and exercise. On weekends, parents take their children for an outing.
4. Temple of Heaven in Beijing - World Heritage
The Temple of Heaven is a place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties worshipped the gods of heaven and earth and prayed for a good harvest. Its rigorous architectural layout, peculiar architectural structure, and magnificent architectural decoration are considered to be the most exquisite and beautiful group of ancient buildings in China.
Regardless of the overall layout or a single building, the Temple of Heaven reflects the relationship between heaven and earth (that is, between humans and gods), and this relationship occupies a central position in ancient Chinese cosmology.
5. Datong Yungang Grottoes - World Heritage
The Yungang Grottoes has 45 main grottoes, 252 grottoes of different sizes, and more than 51,000 stone statues, which is one of the largest ancient grottoes groups in China. It vividly records the historical development of Indian and Central Asian Buddhist art to Chinese Buddhist art, reflecting the gradual secularization and nationalization of Buddhist statues in China.
The excavation of the Yungang Grottoes lasted for more than 60 years from AD 460 to AD 524. It has undergone 1,500 years of changes in geological, environmental conditions, natural weathering, and man-made destruction, resulting in varying degrees of damage to the caves and statues. In recent decades, the Yungang Grottoes have undergone many repairs, so that the caves have been properly protected.
6. Pingyao Ancient Town - World Heritage
The ancient city of Pingyao is located in the central part of Shanxi Province and was built from BC 827 to 782, and the expansion began in 1370. It has a history of more than 2,700 years. It retains the basic style and features of the county in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and is the most complete ancient city existing in China.
Pingyao ancient city's traffic network consists of crisscrossed four main streets, eight small streets, and 72 alleys. There are various shops, including restaurants, clothing stores, musical instruments shops, cafes, bars, and inns. Pingyao is a city living between history and modernity, the classic and modern blends complement each other.
7. Xi'an Terracotta Warriors Museum - World Heritage
The Terracotta Warriors is located in the pit 1.5 kilometers east of the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang in Xi'an, which were discovered in March 1974. It was hailed as "the eighth wonder of the world".
Terracotta Warriors and Horses are a category of ancient tomb sculptures. In ancient times, the slave was to be killed and buried as a burial object after the death of the slave owner. During BC 770-221, the terracotta figures (made by clay and wood) were substituted for human sacrifices in the tomb.
This is the largest ancient military museum in China, there are 3 pits of terracotta warriors and horses. Pit No. 1 is the main phalanx of chariots and infantry. Pit No. 2 is composed of chariots, cavalry, and crossbows. Pit No.3 is the command system of the military formation.
8. Xi'an City Wall
The Xi'an City Wall was built between 1374-1378 and expanded on the basis of the imperial city of Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty and Fengyuan City in the Yuan Dynasty, with a total circumference of 11.9 kilometers. It is the most intact ancient Chinese city wall building.
The city wall of Xi'an includes a series of military installations such as moats, suspension bridges, gate towers, arrow towers, main towers, turrets, etc, forming a complete military defense system.
Visitors can choose to take a stroll or ride a bicycle around the city wall. The road on the city wall is not smooth, please pay attention to safety when riding.
9. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a well-known conservation and research institution for giant pandas and other rare and endangered wild animals in China and even the world, which integrates giant panda scientific research and breeding, conservation education, educational tourism, and panda culture construction.
The wild-living environment of giant pandas is completely simulated here, with lakes, streams, bamboo forests, lawns, and so on. There are more than 100 pandas in captivity, of all ages. In addition to the giant panda, you can also see the black-necked crane, peacock, red panda, etc. There are two special delivery rooms for the cutest panda babies.
10. Yangtze River Cruise
The Yangtze River originates from the "Roof of the World"-the southwest side of Geladandong Peak in the Tanggula Mountains on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The trunk stream flows through 11 regions including Qinghai, Tibet, Chongqing, Hubei, Shanghai, etc. With a total length of 6,387 kilometers, it is the third-longest river in the world. The section from Chongqing to Hubei is the most spectacular section of the Yangtze River.
The best way to visit the Yangtze River is to take a cruise. You can choose from Chongqing to Yichang by downstream or travel from Yichang to Chongqing by upstream. The cruise ship has comfortable rooms, delicious food, a gym, swimming pool, cinema, bar, etc. Travelers will be arranged to disembark to visit every day, the daily schedule is different and interesting.
11. Guilin Li River
Li River, located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, flows through Xingan, Lingchuan, Guilin, Yangshuo, etc. The li River is 164 kilometers long with clear water and karst landforms on both sides. The famous landscape of Guilin lies on the Li River.
The Li River Scenic Area is the world's largest and most beautiful karst mountain and water tourist area. The Li River has four wonders: green mountains, clear waters, strange caves, gorgeous stones. Both banks of the Li River in Yangshuo are the most typical karst peak forest landforms in the world. The main ways to visit the Li River are by boat, bamboo raft, and hiking. Either way, visiting the Li River is an enjoyable experience, like walking into a painting
12. Yangshuo Countryside Hiking
Yangshuo is located in the northeast of Guangxi, to the south of Guilin City. The center of Yangshuo is 65 kilometers away from Guilin. There is a saying in China that "Guilin landscape is the best in the world, and the most beautiful and characteristic scenery is in Yangshuo".
Away from the busy scenic spots, hiking in the quiet but beautiful countryside is a way to know Yangshuo and better know Chinese culture and customs. Hiking on the countryside roads with intertwined scenery, smelling the breath of the countryside, taking a deep breath of nature's sweetest air, and smelling the fragrance of the flowers along the way.
13. Longji Rice Terraces
With a history of at least 2,300 years, Longji rice terrace fields are regarded as the original terraced fields in the world. It is one of the world's cradles of cultivated rice. The terraces are distributed between 300-1100 meters above sea level, with a maximum slope of 50 degrees, most roads to the terraces are winding mountain roads.
Longji Rice Terraces is so famous due to its magnificent scale, like a chain or a belt, winding from the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain. The hills are like snails, and the mountains are like towers, layered on top of each other. The abstract curves of terraces like flowing clouds and water, chic and charming.
14. Mount Huangshan - World Heritage
Mount Huangshan Scenic Area is adjacent to Zhejiang Province in the east and Jiangxi Province in the south, covering an area of 160.6 square kilometers. It is the watershed of the two major water systems of the Yangtze River and the Qiantang River.
Huangshan mountain is one of the top ten famous mountains in China and also a dual heritage of world culture and nature. It has 82 peaks, the main peak Lianhua is a1864.8 meters. The strange pine, strange rocks, the sea of clouds, hot springs, and winter snow here is the most beautiful scenery that people talk about. Mount Huangshan is one of the few natural scenic spots that are worth visiting all year-round.
15. Tongli Water Town in Suzhou
Tongli Water Town was built in the Song Dynasty, where it has many gardens, temples, mansions, and former residences that were built in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Fifteen rivers divide the town into seven islets, and 49 ancient bridges connect them into one.
Travelers can feel the excitement and joy here, as well as silence and ease. You can use your footsteps to measure every inch of the secluded stone road or watch the boats passing by on the river bank, listen and enjoy the songs... The most recommended way is to take an ancient awning boat rippling and shuttle in this water town to feel the history, culture, and folk customs here.
16. Suzhou Classical Gardens - World Heritage
Suzhou Classical Gardens, also known as "Suzhou Gardens", is the general name of Chinese classical gardens located in Suzhou City. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, there were more than 170 gardens inside and outside Suzhou, with more than 50 existing.
The formation of Suzhou Classical Gardens is a creation of human beings attached to nature, seeking harmony with nature, beautifying and perfecting their own living environment in densely populated, and lacking natural scenery. The Chinese philosophy, history, humanities, and customs contained in Suzhou classical gardens are a symbol and condensate of the humanities, historical traditions, and local customs in the south of the Yangtze River.
17. Hangzhou West Lake
With a lake area of 6.38 square kilometers, the West Lake is surrounded by mountains on three sides, the outline of the lake is almost elliptical, the bottom of the lake is relatively flat, the average depth of the lake is 2.27 meters.
The West Lake Scenic Area has over 100 attractions and over 20 museums. There are more than 100 species of birds and more than 20 species of mammals in the scenic area. In addition, there are a total of 620 ancient trees over 100 years old in the scenic spot, of which 138 are first-class protected trees over 300 years old.
The West Lake scenic area has one mountain, two towers, three islands, three dimes, and five lakes as the basic pattern. Travelers can choose to hike, take a cruise, take a battery car, drive or ride a bike on the West Lake.
18. Shanghai Pudong Skylines
Pudong generally refers to the Pudong New Area, which brings together high-rise buildings such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai International Convention Center, and the World Financial Center. The skyscrapers make people feel like being in an urban forest.
This is the premier financial business district at home and abroad and is now the most attractive place in Shanghai. Standing on the skyscrapers and overlooking the city, you will feel the modern sense of Shanghai. It is also a place where fashionistas gather and various international brands concentrate, and a good place for shopping.
19. Longmen Grottoes - World Heritage
Longmen Grottoes is the largest and most sculptural art treasure house in the world, having 2,345 existing cave statues, and more than 110,000 statues. Densely covered on the cliffs of the east and west mountains of Yishui, it is 1 km long from north to south.
Longmen Grottoes began to be excavated around 493 AD, experienced more than 10 dynasties, and built last for more than 1,400 years, making it the longest grotto in the world. It has shown a trend of Sinicization of grotto art and is a "milestone" of Chinese grotto art. After experiencing the construction of Tianzhu, Silla, Tocharo, Kangguo, and other countries, European patterns and ancient Greek stone pillars were discovered, which can be called the world's highest level of international grottoes.
20. Dunhuang Mogao Caves
Mogao Grottoes, commonly known as the Thousand Buddha Caves, is located in Dunhuang, at the western end of the Hexi Corridor. It was built in the pre-Qin period (AD 351-394), and has been built in many dynasties and formed a huge scale. There are 735 caves, 45,000 square meters of murals, and 2,415 clay sculptures. It is the largest and most abundant Buddhist art place in the world.
The scenic area is composed of two parts: Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center and Mogao Grottoes, with a large number of murals, grottoes, cultural relics, etc. There are statues of Buddha and flying apsaras everywhere in the cave. There are nine-story sitting statues and small Bodhisattvas measuring more than ten centimeters. In addition, you will find numerous bodhisattvas with different shapes.
Note: No photos can be taken inside the Mogao Grottoes. Mobile phones and cameras can be free storage at the entrance.
21. Kunming Stone Forest - World Heritage
Stone Forest Scenic Area has been appraised as "World Geopark" and "World Natural Heritage Scenery" by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Sciences. About 300 million years ago, it was vast land. After a long geological evolution, extremely precious geological relics were finally formed, covering many types of karst landforms on the earth.
The stone forest preserves and exhibits the most diverse karst forms: the tall sword-shaped, column-shaped, mushroom-shaped, and tower-shaped limestone columns. In addition, there are caves, stalactites, dissolution lakes, natural bridges, cliff waterfalls, cone-shaped peaks, etc. Almost all karst forms in the world are concentrated here, forming a panoramic view of karst geology and landforms.
22. Dali Ancient Town
Dali ancient town was built in 1382 and covers an area of 3 square kilometers. It was the political, economic, and cultural center of Yunnan during the 500-year history of the Tang and Song dynasties. It carries Dali's history, culture, religious culture, and ethnic culture.
Dali ancient town has three main streets in the north-south direction and six alleys in the east-west direction. The houses in the town are all civil houses with tile roofs, and the streets are mostly made of bluestone slabs. Most streets have clear spring water flowing from Cangshan Mountain. A large number of buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties and the Republic of China are still preserved in the ancient town, with temples, academies, churches, and other ancient buildings dotted with it.
23.Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge originates from the Jinsha River in Gladandong Snow Mountain in Qinghai province, the narrowest part of the river is only 30 meters. It is blocked by Jade Dragon Mountain and Haba Mountain. It is the first grand Canyon in the Yangtze River, and which is the canyon with the largest drop 3900 meters in the world with a total length of about 20 kilometers.
The conventional way of sightseeing is from the town of Tiger Leaping Gorge directly to the upper section of the Leaping Gorge. Then through the middle section, to truly appreciate the magnificent momentum of the Tiger Leaping Gorge. It‘s also a world-famous hiking resort, and outdoor enthusiasts are in an endless stream.
24. Yuanyang Rice Terraces - World Heritage
Yuanyang Rice Terraces are masterpieces left by the Hani people for generations. The people of all ethnic groups, dominated by the Hani nationality, use the special geography and climate to create the wonders of terrace farming civilization has the history of more than 1300 years, which is grand in scale and magnificent.
Yuanyang Rice Terraces are widely distributed. In addition to the three main core scenic spots (Laohuzui, Duoyishu, Bada), there are dozens of large and small terraces. The terraces cover thousands of acres, with different shapes and unique characteristics. Numerous terraced fields in the shadow of the vast forest and covered by the sea of clouds form a magical and magnificent landscape. Travel to Yuanyang, besides the magnificent sunrise and sunset of the terraces, you will also appreciate the unique customs of the Hani village.
25. Jiuzhaigou National Park - World Heritage
Jiuzhaigou National Park is a valley with a depth of more than 50 kilometers, with a total area of 64,297 hectares and a forest coverage rate of more than 80%. Jiuzhaigou is named after nine Tibetan villages and famous for its six wonders: emerald lakes, cascading waterfalls, colorful forest, snow peaks, Tibetan custom, and blue ice.
Jiuzhaigou is rich in animal and plant resources, with a wide variety of species. The primeval forests are all over the place, and more than ten rare and precious wild animals such as giant pandas live there. The lake water here is clear, and the bottom is clearly visible. Coupled with the cultural landscape composed of Tibetan wooden buildings, hanging prayer flags, trestle bridges, Tibetan customs, Jiuzhaigou is gorgeous in all seasons, just like a fairy tale.
26. Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve
Reputed as the last pure land on our planet, Yading Natural Reserve maintains the purity that is nearly extinct on the earth, with unique landforms and original natural scenery. This is one of the most complete and primitive alpine natural ecosystems in China.
Yading Nature Reserve has three holy mountains (Xiannairi, Yangmaiyong, Xianuoduoji) and surrounding rivers, crystal lakes (Milk Lake, Five-Color Lake, Pearl Lake), and alpine meadows (Chonggu pasture, Luorong Pasture). Travelers need to hike (partly road can be replaced by a sightseeing bus or horse-ride) to view those beautiful lakes and mountains. In addition, you will meet the pure and pious Tibetan people and feel the Tibetan culture.
27. Mount Everest Base Camp
Mount Everest is the main peak of the Himalayas and the highest mountain in the world, located on the border between China and Nepal. Mount Everest Base Camp refers to the living area set up to view the environment of the core area of Mount Everest. It's one of the best locations to view the Everest peak with its splendid sunset.
There are tents for tourists at the Everest base camp. Most travelers will also choose to stay overnight in the Rongbuk Monastery near the base camp. Staying the night on the roof of the world, the air is thin, and what you look up at is the starry sky. This is definitely an excellent experience in life and a night that will never be remembered forever.
28. Lhasa Potala Palace - World Heritage
Potala Palace is a magnificent building with the highest elevation in the world, integrating palaces, castles, and monasteries. It was built in the 7th century and has a history of 1,300 years. Potala Palace is the holy place of Tibetan Buddhism, attracting countless pilgrims and tourists every year.
The Potala Palace is built on a hillside with overlapping buildings, it is the largest and most complete ancient palace and castle complex in Tibet. The main building is divided into the White Palace and the Red Palace. The highest Red Palace in the middle is an important place for religious ceremonies, and the surrounding White Palaces are mainly used by the Dalai Lama.
29. Leshan Giant Buddha & Mount Emei
Leshan and Emei city are historical and cultural cities, and can be reached to each other 30 minutes by car.
Leshan Giant Buddha was built between AD 713-803, which lasted about 90 years. The giant buddha is a seated Maitreya Buddha with a height of 71 meters. It is the largest carved stone statue on a cliff in China. Travelers can choose to hike to observe the giant Buddha up close or take a boat to see the Big Buddha from a distance and get a panoramic view.
Mount Emei is a famous Buddhist mountain and the dojo of Samantabhadra. The numerous temples in the mountain make it full of the breath of Buddha. The best experience would be reaching to the top and overlooking the Golden Summit. Travelers can also hike in the half mountain to view the quiet mountain, stream, pavilion, etc.
30. Hongkong Victoria Harbour
Hong Kong Victoria Harbour is one of the three great natural harbors in the world. The name of Victoria Harbour comes from Queen Victoria of England. It has been influencing the history and culture of Hong Kong and leading the economic and tourism development of Hong Kong. It is one of the keys for Hong Kong to become an international metropolis.
It's a good choice to take a sightseeing boat to enjoy Hong Kong's scenery. The lights are shining at night, and a large-scale light show is staged every night at 20:00 pm. Here is also the main venue for fireworks displays in Hong Kong. During important festivals or major events, grand fireworks performances will be held here.