China is a land of great geographical diversity, with everything from mountains and forests to deserts and plateaus.
It’s also home to some of the world’s most ancient and iconic civilizations, making it a popular destination for tourists from all over the globe.
If you’re planning a trip to China, be sure to add these top 10 tourist attractions to your itinerary:
1. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the most popular tourist attractions in China, attracting millions of visitors each year worldwide.
Stretching over more than 21,000 kilometers across northern China, this iconic structure was originally built as a defensive fortification against invasions from neighboring tribes and nations.
Fun Facts about The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe.
Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall.
Especially famous is the wall built 220–206 BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains; most of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty.
The Great Wall of China has been an important tourist attraction for many years, drawing millions of visitors each year to marvel at its impressive architecture and spectacular natural surroundings.
There are many different sections of the wall that travelers can explore, each offering a unique experience and insight into this historical landmark.
Whether you’re marveling at the grandeur of the wall’s more remote stretches or taking in the stunning views from one of its well-preserved watchtowers, there is something for everyone at the Great Wall of China.
Travel Tips and Advice
If you’re planning a trip to China and want to visit some of the top tourist attractions around the country, add a stop at the Great Wall to your itinerary. Here are just a few tips for making the most of your visit:
1. Get there early to avoid the crowds.
The Great Wall tends to get very busy during peak travel times, so try to arrive as early in the day as possible to get a good spot and enjoy some peace.
2. Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and insect repellent if necessary.
You’ll be out in the open for several hours, so it’s important to stay hydrated and protected from the elements.
3. Consider hiring a tour guide
A guide who can help you learn more about this iconic landmark and point out its hidden gems along the way. There is always something new to discover when exploring the Great Wall, from fascinating historical facts to local legends.
4. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures!
The Great Wall makes for a great photo opportunity, so make sure to snap some shots to remember your visit.
5. Be prepared for a bit of a hike.
The Great Wall is, after all, a series of fortifications built along a mountainside, so there will be some uphill sections to contend with. However, the views from the top are more than worth the effort.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or simply looking to take in some of China’s most famous sights, a trip to the Great Wall should be on your list.
Its rich history and beautiful setting are an experience you won’t soon forget.
2. The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City in Beijing is another must-visit destination for any traveler to China.
Also known as the Palace Museum was once home to the imperial family during the Ming and Qing dynasties and today houses countless artifacts, artworks, and historical relics that reflect the country’s rich heritage.
Fun Facts about The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. It is located in the center of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum.
It served as the home of emperors and their households and the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for almost 500 years.
Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,886 bays of rooms and 720,000 square meters.
The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia.
With its stunning architecture, rich history, and beautiful surroundings, the Forbidden City is one of the top tourist attractions in China.
It attracts millions of visitors every year from worldwide who come to explore this magnificent imperial palace.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for an intriguing place to visit while in China, the Forbidden City will amaze and delight you.
Travel Tips and Advice
To get the most out of your time at this UNESCO World Heritage site, here are some tips on what to see when you’re there:
1. Explore the palaces and halls in detail. The Forbidden City was designed as a microcosm of the Chinese empire, with numerous buildings and courtyards that give you a glimpse into traditional Chinese architecture and culture.
Be sure to spend some time wandering through the various palaces, such as the Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony, Palace of Heavenly Purity, Hall of Union, and Palace for Abstaining from Meat.
Each hall has its own unique story and significance to Chinese history, so it’s worth taking your time to explore them all.
2. Take note of the decorative details on buildings throughout the city. As you wander around the complex, look for beautiful carvings, paintings, and other details that adorn the buildings.
These intricate features make the Forbidden City truly unique and give you a sense of the wealth and power of the imperial court.
3. Learn about the lives of the people who lived in the city. The Forbidden City was not just the home of Chinese emperors but also their families and thousands of palace servants.
Take some time to learn about their lives and how they interacted with each other within the complex. This will give you a more well-rounded understanding of life in Imperial China.
4. Visit during special events for an even more memorable experience. Every year, the Forbidden City hosts several festivals and cultural events that offer visitors a chance to see the complex in a different light. Check it out if you’re lucky enough to be in Beijing during one of these events!
5. Get there early to avoid the crowds. The Forbidden City is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations, so it’s important to get there as early as possible to avoid the large crowds. aim to arrive when the gates open at 8:30 am.
With its incredible history and unique architecture, the Forbidden City is a must-see for anyone visiting China.
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have a memorable and enjoyable experience exploring this incredible imperial palace.
3. The Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army is one of the most famous tourist attractions in China. It is a collection of life-size terracotta sculptures of soldiers and horses.
The army was built to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.
The army is over 2,000 years old, and it is an amazing sight to see. If you are interested in history or archaeology, this is a must-see attraction.
Fun Facts about The Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army is one of China’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing visitors worldwide.
Located in Xi’an, this impressive collection of ancient statues was built to serve as a final resting place for Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who ruled over China during the Warring States period.
The Terracotta Army was discovered by accident in 1974 when local farmers were digging a well near Emperor Qin’s mausoleum.
Upon unearthing several life-sized statues buried underground, they quickly realized they had uncovered an incredible archaeological find.
Over the years since its discovery, archaeologists and historians have worked tirelessly to excavate and restore these stunning sculptures.
Today, The Terracotta Army attracts millions of visitors every year, making it one of China’s most popular tourist destinations.
If you’re planning on visiting The Terracotta Army, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore this fascinating site. And don’t forget to take a photo with one of the famous statues!
Travel Tips and Advice
The Terracotta Army is a must-see. Located in Xi’an, this incredible archaeological site comprises over 8,000 life-sized clay soldiers built to protect the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.
With its incredible history and stunning archaeological remains, the Terracotta Army is one of the top tourist attractions in China. Whether you’re looking for a guided tour or want to explore on your own, there are plenty of tips and advice to help make your visit to this historical site a success.
So if you’re planning a trip to see the Terracotta Army, here are some things to keep in mind:
First and foremost, it’s important to plan when traveling to see the Terracotta Army.
Find an English Speaking Guide
This means making arrangements for transportation and finding an English-speaking guide who can provide information about the site and answer any questions you may have.
While it’s possible to visit the museum on your own, it’s much easier (and less frustrating) to go with a tour group.
This is especially true if you’re not familiar with the Chinese language, as most of the signs at the museum are in Mandarin.
There are a few different options for transportation, depending on where you’re coming from.
If you’re already in Xi’an, you can take a taxi or public bus to get to the site. However, if you’re coming from another city, the best way to get there is by taking a bullet train.
It is faster than driving, but it’s also more convenient as the train station is located right next to the museum.
Best Time to Visit
As for timing, the best time to visit the Terracotta Army is in the morning when it’s not as crowded. This gives you more time to explore the site and take photos without jostling with other tourists. Remember that the museum is closed on Mondays, so plan your trip accordingly.
Finally, be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of walking! The site is huge and there’s a lot to see, so you want to make sure your feet can handle it. And if you get tired, there are plenty of places to rest along the way.
4. The Summer Palace
Located in the northwest outskirts of Beijing, The Summer Palace is a stunning royal garden that was once used as a retreat for Chinese emperors and their courtiers.
With its expansive grounds and beautiful lakes and palaces, The Summer Palace highlights any visit to China.
The history of The Summer Palace stretches back over 800 years when it was first built as a hunting lodge by Zhu Di, the third emperor of the Ming dynasty.
Over time, numerous additions were made to create an elaborate complex with numerous buildings and gardens designed in traditional Chinese style.
Today, visitors can explore the massive grounds of The Summer Palace and admire its many temples, pavilions, bridges, gates, and gardens.
The best time to visit The Summer Palace is during the spring or autumn when the weather is milder, and the crowds are thinner.
Travelers should be aware that many of the buildings and gardens within The Summer Palace complex are only open to visitors from April to October.
Fun Facts of The Summer Palace
It was originally built in 1750 as a summer retreat for Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty.
Over time, various architectural features and gardens were added to the palace grounds, earning it recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, visitors to The Summer Palace can explore its many palaces, pavilions, and gardens while enjoying stunning views of Lake Kunming.
Some of the highlights include Longevity Hill and Long Corridor, which are popular spots for taking photos or just relaxing amidst scenic surroundings.
In addition to its natural beauty, The Summer Palace also has a rich cultural history that allows visitors to understand traditional Chinese culture and art.
Travel Tips and Advice
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved.
– Bring a hat or umbrella to protect yourself from the sun.
– Take some time to relax and enjoy a cup of tea in one of the pavilions overlooking the lake.
– Consider hiring a tour guide or booking a private tour to learn more about the palace’s history and discover hidden areas that are not accessible to the public.
5. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations, with its bustling city streets, iconic skyscrapers, and beautiful natural scenery. Whether you’re looking to shop ’til you drop on Nathan Road, take in sweeping views from Victoria Peak, or explore picturesque hiking trails on Lantau Island, Hong Kong has something for everyone.
Travel Tips and Advice
To make the most out of your time in Hong Kong, it’s important to plan and do your research before embarking on your trip. Here are some useful tips for first-time visitors to this vibrant city:
1. Choose the right time to visit
Hong Kong is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your interests and what you want to see and do while you’re here.
For example, if you’re interested in hiking and outdoor activities, the cooler months from November to February are the ideal time to come.
However, if you’re more interested in city sightseeing and shopping, the spring and summer months are better.
2. Get an Octopus card
This stored-value card can be used for public transportation, including buses, trains, ferries, and making purchases at select stores and restaurants.
It’s a convenient way to get around and makes life much easier during your visit!
3. Book accommodations in advance
Hong Kong is a popular tourist destination, so you’ll want to book your accommodation well in advance to ensure that you have a place to stay during your trip.
There are plenty of options available, from budget hostels and hotels to luxury resorts, so do some research ahead of time and find the accommodations that best suit your needs.
4. Visit the many vibrant neighborhoods throughout the city
Hong Kong is home to countless diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe and attractions.
Whether you’re interested in exploring local markets in Mong Kok or sampling delicious dim sum at award-winning restaurants in Sheung Wan, there’s something for everyone here!
Top Attractions in Hong Kong
If you’re planning a trip to Hong Kong, be sure to put these top attractions on your itinerary:
1. Victoria Harbour and The Peak
Located in the heart of Hong Kong, this iconic harbor offers spectacular views of the city’s skyline from both sides.
You can also take a tram ride to the top of Victoria Peak for breathtaking panoramic views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
2. Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery
This peaceful oasis is home to beautiful Buddhist architecture and tranquil gardens, making it a popular spot for locals and travelers alike.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet during your visit, Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery are definitely worth checking out!
3. Ocean Park Hong Kong
This world-famous theme park is perfect for a fun day with the family. There’s something for everyone at Ocean Park Hong Kong with its many rides, shows, and attractions!
4. Wong Tai Sin Temple
Located in the bustling neighborhood of Wong Tai Sin, this popular temple is known for its traditional Chinese architecture and stunning gardens. It’s also a popular spot for fortune-telling, so why not give it a try if you’re feeling lucky?
5. The Hong Kong Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Home to over 1,000 animals from around the world, the Hong Kong Zoo is a great place to learn about wildlife and get up close to some of your favorite animals. The adjacent Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit, offering tranquil gardens and outdoor spaces to admire the beautiful local flora.
5. Mount Everest
Mount Everest is the tallest mountain globally and is located in the Himalayan range in Nepal.
It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China and attracts climbers from all over the world.
Climbing Mount Everest is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something that everyone should try at least once. However, it should be noted that it is a very difficult climb, and you need to be prepared both mentally and physically before attempting it.
Many companies offer guided tours up Mount Everest, and they will provide you with all the necessary equipment and training. If you are planning on climbing Mount Everest, then make sure to do your research and choose a reputable company.
Fun Facts about Mount Everest
Mount Everest, also known as Qomolangma or Chomolungma, is one of China’s most iconic and revered tourist attractions.
Located on the border between Nepal and Tibet, this majestic mountain has long been a source of fascination for people worldwide.
The history of Mount Everest dates back thousands of years to when it was first climbed by Nepalese Sherpas in 1953.
Over the centuries, various explorers attempted to reach their peak, but none were successful until Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay did their historic climb in 1953.
Today, Mount Everest continues to draw tourists from all over the globe who come to admire its stunning beauty and experience its fierce yet awe-inspiring power.
Travel Tips and Advice
Mount Everest is the world’s tallest mountain, and it draws climbers from all over the globe. If you’re planning on making the trek to its summit, you should know a few things.
First, be aware that the conditions on Everest are extreme. The air is thin, and the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be in good physical shape before climbing the mountain.
You’ll also need to have proper clothing and equipment; make sure you have everything you need before setting out.
Second, be prepared for the altitude. Many climbers experience altitude sickness during their ascent; if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, descend to a lower altitude until you recover.
Finally, be sure to stay safe on the mountain. Travel with a reputable guide company that will provide you with proper training and support to make your ascent.
And always remember to pack plenty of water and food if you need to wait out bad weather or take an unscheduled detour.
6. The Yangtze River
The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world.
It runs for over 6,300 kilometers from the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea.
The river passes through China’s most populous cities, including Shanghai, Wuhan, and Nanjing.
The Yangtze is an important waterway for transportation and trade and a source of hydroelectric power.
It is also home to various plant and animal life, including the Chinese alligator and the finless porpoise.
Fun Facts about the Yangtze River
The Yangtze River is one of the most popular tourist attractions in China, offering visitors unrivaled views of this vast and majestic natural wonder.
Some great spots for sightseeing include Fengdu Ghost City and Shibaozhai Temple, both located along the river’s banks.
If you’re looking to get out on the water itself, there are plenty of boat tours available that will take you along the river’s many twists and turns.
7. Tiananmen Square
As the largest public square in the world, Tiananmen Square is a must-visit spot in Beijing.
Located in the city’s center, the square is surrounded by many historical and cultural attractions, including the Forbidden City, the Great Hall of the People, and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.
Visitors can also enjoy various activities in the square, such as watching the flag-raising ceremony and exploring the massive portrait of Chairman Mao.
With its long history dating back over a thousand years, this sprawling plaza has played an important role in Chinese history and culture.
8. The Ming Tombs
Located near Beijing, the Ming Tombs are an impressive complex containing 13 imperial mausoleums that date back to the 14th-17th centuries.
These tombs are home to ornate architecture that features intricate carvings depicting various Chinese mythology and folklore scenes.
Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of the Ming Dynasty at the on-site museum.
Fun Facts about Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs are located 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Beijing City in Changping District.
They are the general name of the mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).
The construction of the Ming Tombs began in 1409 and ended in 1644.
In 1961, they were listed by the State Council as one of the key national protected historical sites.
The layout and architectural style of the Ming Tombs follow China’s traditional imperial tomb system.
Most of them are square or rectangular. In front of each tomb is a stone memorial archway, and behind it is a spiritual way leading up to the tomb.
On both sides of the spirit are stone statues of animals and human figures.
The whole tomb area covers an area of 120 square kilometers (30,000 acres).
The Ming Tombs have a long history and are well-preserved. They are a valuable historical witness to feudal China’s grand imperial mausoleum architecture and funeral system.
10. Huangshan Mountain
Located in eastern China, Huangshan Mountain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
The mountain is known for its unique rocky peaks, misty forests, and breathtaking scenic views.
Visitors can hike along trails or take a cable car up to the summit for an unforgettable experience.
Fun Facts of Huangshan Mountain
Huangshan Mountain, located in southern Anhui province, is one of China’s most famous mountains. The mountain is home to many rare and endangered plant and animal species and is a popular tourist destination.
The mountain has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. It is also one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.
Huangshan Mountain is famous for its unique geological features, including the many granite peaks that jut out of the mountain and its hot springs and waterfalls.
The mountain is also home to many rare plant and animal species, including the Chinese pheasant and the black-and-white gibbon.
Travel Tips and Advice
1. The best time to visit Huangshan Mountain is from mid-April to mid-October. Avoid visiting during the winter months when the weather is cold and the mountain is covered in snow.
2. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing as you will be doing a lot of walking.
3. Bring plenty of water and snacks with you as there are no shops or restaurants on the mountain.
4. Be prepared for changing weather conditions. The mountain can be very hot during the day and cold at night.
5. Don’t forget your camera! The views from the top of Huangshan Mountain are truly stunning. Whether you’re admiring the granite peaks or hiking through one of the mountain’s many trails, you’ll want to capture these incredible sights.
Thoughts and Conclusion
Whether you’re interested in history, nature, culture, or just want to experience the breathtaking beauty of this amazing country, China has something for everyone.
So pack your bags and get ready to explore some of the world’s most fascinating destinations!