Places to visit in China

Since it is not an unknown fact that China is a massive country, unsurprisingly, it also has plenty of places to visit. With its massive population and intriguing history, China offers you an overwhelming array of places to visit, when you land in the country. It is simply impossible to explore China in one go. Hence, for a country like this with so many diverse landforms and cultures, it is advisable to take a long time and visit it in parts to get enough of this beauty. Though it is varied, you can get all the itineraries at the same fare almost everywhere in the country, which makes it remarkable. If you want to have a quick tour in China, then choose the major cities like Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai, as they are the most happening places in China regarding tourism. Historic monuments in Beijing, Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, and the shopping in Shanghai are the most important attractions in China.


However, China is more than these three cities, with each town having a historical background of their own. The traditional Chinese culture is unlike any other culture in the world, with food made from confusing and unusual ingredients like beef and broccoli. The landscapes in China are so alluring that they look like they have been taken out of a fantasy movie or even a science fiction novel. Overall, there are many places to visit in China that you cannot get enough of. Apart from these areas, there are also many things do to in China like trekking, historical walks, and other activities that will make you feel fulfilled. Plan a trip and don’t forget to get yourself the Best Travel Insurance for Asia at Thomas Cook.

With the charming citadel walls that surround the place, that is located in the heart of the beautiful Beijing; this UNESCO listen site is one of the most ancient preserves of China. Known to be a home for two dynasties that ruled China, this area has more than 900 royal buildings with servants, concubines, and eunuchs. This magical place is one of the best attractions of China. 

 

Location: Beijing, China.

Known for: Royal constructions. 

How to reach: Take a local transport from the heart of Beijing. 

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 400-600 approximately.

Operating hours: 8:30 am to 5 pm from April to October; 8:30 am to 4:30 pm from November to March; closed on Mondays. 

Any precautions/ must carry items etc.: Wear traditional clothes. 

Type: Historical site.

One of the best Buddhist art collections in the world, Mogao Grottoes is a home for more than 18 monasteries, 1400 nuns and monks, and numerous artists, calligraphers, and translators. There are English speaking tour guides who will help you in understanding this place better.

 

 

 

Location: Dunhuang

 

Known for: Buddhist collections.

 

How to reach: 5 km ride from the Mingshan Lu near the railway stations.

 

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 1000-2000 approximately.

 

Operating hours: 8 am to 6 pm from May to October, 9 am to 5:30 pm from November to April.

 

Any precautions/ must carry items etc.: Wear comfortable clothes.

Type: Buddhist monastery.

One of the best examples of the Buddhist cave art, these caves were built in the 5th century and are magnificent. They have more than 51,000 states, celestial bodies, all of them engrossed within a Shanxi shade. These caves are mainly influenced by the Persian, Indian and Greek architecture.

 

Location: Datong

Known for: Buddhist caves

How to reach: Take the bus 603 from Datong railway station to the terminus. You can also take a taxi.

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 800-1200 approximately.

Operating hours: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm from 1st April to 15th October; 8:30 am to 4:50 pm from 16th October to 31st March.

Any precautions/ must carry items etc.: Wear comfortable shoes.

Type: Cave.

Located in the busiest of China's landforms; this 267-hectare park is a synonym for uniqueness. True to its name, the Temple of Heaven will take you to a tranquil sea of peace with the most methodical designs. This place is more like an altar than a temple, where people used to worship earlier for a good season of harvest and divine clearance.

 

Location: Tantan Donglu

Known for: Altar for prayers.

How to reach: Take a local ride.

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 300-400 approximately

Operating hours: 6:30 am to 10 pm for the park, 8 am to 5:30 pm for sightseeing.

Any precautions/ must carry items etc.: Wear traditional clothes.

Type: Park

Located in the famous city of Xi'an, this is one of the most important tourist attractions of China. This place has the life-size structures of thousands of army men who guarded the country of China for more than two millenniums. These structures are believed to be constructed for the spirit of Qin Shi Huang to linger in the quest for the afterlife, or to continue ruling even after his death.

 

Location: Xi'an

Known for: Terracotta Army

How to reach: You can take a public bus.

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 500-1000 approximately.

Operating hours: 8:30 am to 6 pm from March to November; 8:30 am to 5:30 pm from December to February.

Any precautions/ must carry items etc.: Wear comfortable clothes.

Type: Historic site.

Though it has been massively destroyed due to the significant earthquake caused in China, it is still one of the best places to visit. You can get a fantastic view of the pristine nature and the sparkling lakes. There is an unexplored plan in this park called the Zharu Valley, which is accessible to only a few people.

 

Location: Sichuan

Known for: Lakes, nature, and waterfalls.

How to reach: Take a public ride.

Approximate Cost: It will cost you 2000-3000 approximately.

Operating hours: 7 am to 7 pm from May to mid-November; 8 am to 6 pm from mid-November to April.

Any precautions/ must carry items etc.: Wear comfortable shoes.

Type: Park

This classic beauty in China is utterly mesmerizing. There are hills which are topped with pagodas that rise over the waters, while the boats in the waters drift gently through a leisure charm. It is one of the best attractions in China for the people who are lovers of tranquility.

 

Location: Hangzhou

Known for: Lake views

How to reach: Take a local ride

Approximate Cost: No entry fee

Operating hours: Open throughout the year

Any precautions/ must carry items etc.: Wear comfortable clothes and carry your camera

 

Type: Landmark

This wonderful architectural structure, located in the heart of China was once the seat of the Tibetan Government and also the winter residence of Dalai Lamas. This palace has 13 floors with more than 1000 rooms that are filled with royalty in every corner. There are dozens of stupas, chapels, and prayer halls open for the tourists to explore.

 

Location: Lhasa

Known for: Amazing architecture

How to reach: Take a local ride

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 1500-2000 approximately.

Operating hours: 9:30 am to 3 pm from November to April, 9 am to 3:30 pm from May to October.

Any precautions/ must carry items etc.: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Type: Historical Site.

Usually decided by the Chinese lunar calendar, this is the biggest festival of China which includes lots of food, family gatherings, firecrackers, decorations, and all things beautiful. There is a one week holiday all over the country during this period, and they celebrate it with great pomp and splendor.

 

Why you should attend this: To witness the biggest festival of China.

Who should attend this: Almost everyone can attend this festival. It is especially for those who love to see the cities all decorated and people excited. You can also eat lots of good food during this period.

This yearly harvest festival is the second most important festival in China. This is the moment when all the Chinese families come together and celebrate with a huge feast. It is also referred to as the mood festival because the moon is believed to be its fullest during this period. When you visit China during this period, don't miss to eat the mooncakes.

 

Why you should attend this: To be a part of the happiest festival in China. The mooncakes, full moon views, and family feasts are marvellous with delicious food served.

Who should attend this: Everyone can attend this festival. It is especially for the people who love the moon.

This main tourist attraction of Harbin is a Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, which is also the biggest winter festival in China. More than 15 million tourists come from all parts of the world to witness this wonderful festival. They make sculptures as wide as 600,000 square meters and as tall as 46 meters. More than 10,000 workers work on the ice to make it a visual treat.

 

Why you should attend this: To witness the biggest ice festival in Asia.

Who should attend this: People who love snow will absolutely enjoy this festival.

Also known as Duanwu Festival, this is one of the most traditional festivals of China. It is mainly about the dragon worship, and it is marked as a day in remembrance of Qu Yuan, Cao E, and Wu Zixu. They host an amazing Dragon boat racing that is the best part of this event.

 

Why you should attend this: To be a part of the Dragon boat racing.

Who should attend this: People who love celebrating festivals with some of the quirkiest traditions will enjoy this.

One of the most popular traditional festivals of Tibet, Shoton Festival is all about eating curd and celebrating the unity of the Tibetan monks. All the monks assemble to meditate and perform dramatic operas. This yearly festival is the best showcase of the Tibetan culture and is a feast for both the Tibetans and tourists. They have colorful markets, bountiful performances, fun competitions, and lots of entertainment in store for you.

 

Why you should attend this: To witness the biggest Tibetan festival that is held in Asia. It gathers all the Tibetans together, and lets you know better about their culture.

Who should attend this: People who are keen about the cultures of China can attend this.

This massive structure took more than 2000 years to build, with 19 dynasties taking it up on an unparalleled scale. Listed as one of the wonders of the world, this beautiful structure offers the best trekking experience you can ever have in your lifetime. It feels like walking along a giant dragon, with its detours. 

 

Location: Great Wall of China

For: All age groups, but most advisable for fit people.

Difficulty level: Moderate to high depending on the individual.

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 300-400 as entry fee approximately.

Why you should do it: To experience the thrill of exploring the best wonder of the world.

Tips: Wear comfortable shoes and carry lots of water.

Keeping aside the beauty of the skyscrapers in China, the ancient towns have a charm of their own. They are inarguably the best locations to visit in China, that offer you lots of peace and tranquility. This beautiful water town which is located 11 miles away from the Suzhou downtown, dates back to 1000 years. There are many museums and monasteries, which is worth a visit. The most astonishing part is that this place is surrounded by five beautiful lakes that make it one of the unique places in China, as you need to take boats and cruises to travel.

 

Location: Tongli

For: All age groups

Difficulty level: Easy

Approximate Cost: There is no entry fee.

Why you should do it: To experience the best towns in China.

Tips: Wear comfortable footwear, as you might step into a puddle of water. Also, don't forget to carry your camera.

If you are fond of Pandas, then the Sichuan province offers you an amazing opportunity to spend your time with these adorable animals. Used as the official symbol by the World Wildlife Fund, Pandas have been winning peoples hearts all over the world for their unique behavior and cute gestures. You can sign up for the training of a panda keeper and spend the best time of your life between these cute animals.

 

Location: Sichuan province

For: All age groups

Difficulty level: Easy

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 15000-20000 approximately

Why you should do it: To spend time with these adorable animals.

Tips: Take proper training and handle the animals with care.

Popularly known as the Yellow Mountains, and listen among the four natural wonders of the world, these mountains host a wide variety of pine trees, uniquely-shaped rocks, a plethora of clouds, and wonderful hot springs. You can ascend to its highest point and witness this magnificent beauty among the group of clouds. It is once in a lifetime experience.

 

Location: Yellow Mountains

For: Young group of people

Difficulty level: Moderate

Approximate Cost: There is no entry fee

Why you should do it: To experience the best views of China

Tips: Wear comfortable shoes, and make sure you are fit enough before carrying on with this trek.

The Shaolin Temple is the perfect place for all the fans of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. This traditional sport of Kung Fu is the best things you can learn in the country of China. This professional art form is known to benefit people by increasing their fitness levels, energy, mental health, coordination, confidence, and self-discipline.

 

Location: Shaolin Temple

For: All age groups

Difficulty level: Hard

Approximate Cost: It will cost you INR 1000-15000 approximately

Why you should do it: To become a master in one of the best forms of art.

Tips: Make sure you are fit enough and do not have any issues with your ailments.

Known for its experimental cooking and beautiful decor, Luk Yu Tea House is the ultimate destination for all the artists, painters, and writers. They serve traditional Cantonese food like the sweet and sour pork, dumplings, and a wide variety of pastries.

 

Must eat: Dumplings, prawn toast, sweet and sour pork

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 2000-4000 approximately.

Address: 24-26 Stanley St., Hong Kong, China

Contact: 852 2523 5464

Opening hours: 7 am to 10 pm

The most conceptual place for dining in China, Ultraviolet is a blend of some of the best tastes from across the world. They serve you authentic dishes amidst a beautiful setting filled with scented candles and the best wine in China. It is a perfect place to have a romantic dinner. However, this place is extremely pricey.

 

Must eat: Wine with some amazing food.

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 40000-50000 approximately.

Address: The Bund and People's square

Opening hours: Dinners only on Tuesday and Saturday.

This place serves you some of the best authentic Chinese dishes blended with some fantastic flavors. They offer the quirkiest combination of food along with some good drink to go with. This is the best place to devour Cantonese dishes. However, make advanced bookings, as this site gets very rushy during peak times.

 

Must eat: Wine-infused liver of the goose.

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 2500-4500 approximately

Address: 9 Sham Hong Road, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.

Contact: 852 2491 0105

 

Opening hours: 11 am to 11 pm.

One of the most comfortable places in China, where you can spend a laid-back evening with some delicious food is the Green Tea Restaurant. The lights are dim, flavors are subtle, and the prices are astonishingly low, offering you a good deal.

 

Must eat: Eggplant clay pot, Cantonese bread, Icecream.

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 500-600 approximately.

Address: 250 Jiefang Lu, Hangzhou, China.

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 11 pm

Setup by the celebrity chef, Jason Atherton; this restaurant is everything you want in China. It is stylish, relaxed, and exciting with all the amazing aromas of flavors and vibes around it. They also have a beautiful cocktail bar on the terrace with an open-kitchen that serves the best international food you can have in China. It is a very crowded area with first come first serve basis. So be prepared to queue up!

 

Must eat: Almost everything on its menu is to be tried at least once.

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 800-2000 approximately.

Address: 511 Jiangning Road, Shanghai, China

Opening hours: 12 pm to 2:30 pm and 6 pm to 10:30 pm from Tuesday to Friday; 12 pm to 3 pm and 6 pm to 10:30 pm on Saturdays; and until 3 pm on Sundays.

This elegant dining spot in Yuyuan is the perfect place for all the vegetarians. They have a strictly vegetarian menu that is a delight for all the vegetarians with three sets of menus that feature all the creative flavors and blends you can get in China.

 

Must eat: Dumplings

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 1500-3000 approximately

Address: 1037 Yuyuan Road, Shanghai, China.

Contact: 021 3980 9188

Opening hours: 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 10:30 pm every day.

Located in the backstreets of the old-town, this Nepali restaurant is a perfect choice to taste the best of Chinese in Lhasa. They serve delicious curries, delectable sizzlers, and cheesy burgers that will devour your taste buds. Make sure you arrive before 6 pm to reserve yourself a table in this crowdy place.

 

Must eat: Burgers, cakes, and sizzlers

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 700-1000 approximately

Address: 11 Lugu Wu Xiang, Lhasa

Opening hours: 11 am to 9:30 pm every day.

This small outlet is the ultimate destination to savor the best dumplings in China. This is a housing chain that serves dumplings of all kinds ranging from pork to prawns. This restaurant is a self-service restaurant, where you can grab your food and get going.

 

Must eat: Prawn shengjian and pork

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 400-500 approximately.

Address: 2nd floor, 269 Wujiang Road, Shanghai

Opening hours: 10 am to 10 pm.

Run by the Hui Muslims, who are also known as the Han Chinese, this Chinese Muslim restaurant in Beijing is for tourists who want to try a different kind of cuisine.

 

Must eat: Kao Baozi

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 400-500 approximately

Address: 16 Dongsi Luitiao Hutong, Beijing, China

Opening hours: 11 am to 11 pm.

Specialising in folk cuisine, this Shanghai restaurant is located in the Yunnan province. The food and flavors of this place are very subtle with a beautiful terrace seating. They also serve some of the best cocktails in town at affordable prices. Make sure you book ahead, as the evenings can get crowdy.

 

Must eat: Dai roast pork served in banana leaf.

Approximate Cost for two: It will cost you INR 700-1200 approximately

Address: 23 Qianmen Dong Dajie, Beijing, China

Contact: 010 8516 2698

Opening hours: 11 am to 2 pm and 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm

This original microbrewery in Beijing is perfect for all the beer-enthusiasts. Set up by the famous American, Carl Setzer; this elegant courtyard bar in a renovated Qing dynasty's courtyard, and serves some of the wonderful drinks you can have in China.

 

Must try: Beer

Opening hours: 2 pm to 11 pm from Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Location: 6 Doujiao Hutong, Beijing, China.

This bohemian set up in the beautiful town of Beijing is everything you have ever wanted. They have some freshly brewed beer, scrumptious food, and a live venue that displays art. The front part of this bar seems like it has been taken out of a Spanish setting, with black and white checkered tiles, bar stools, and wooden decor. They also host some fantastic cabaret shows, salsa dances, and live jazz.

 

Must try: Their wide range of cocktails.

Opening hours: 4 pm to 2 am from Monday to Friday, 11 am to late night on Saturday and Sunday.

Location: 44 Baochao Hutong, Beijing.

This is one of those bars in China that offers you craft beer in a tap. They have an ever-changing menu of 12 well-maintained local brews that include the best once devised by Master Gao. Along with beer, they also offer some delectable pizzas, potato wedges, and burgers.

 

Must try: Beer

Opening hours: 3 pm to 1:30 am on Mondays, 3 pm to 1 am from Tuesday to Friday, 11 am to 1 am on Saturdays, 11 am to 1:30 am on Sundays.

Location: Block 2, Phase 4, Lingongdi, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China.

A purposefully built alley behind the Qiyi Jie, with a knowledgeable staff that helps you taste all the beer and decide your favorite, this is one of the best places to have international standard crafted beer at reasonable prices.

 

Must try: International craft-beer.

Opening hours: 1 pm to 1 am every day.

Location: Qiyi Lu, Xindadi Huayuan

This signature bar in China serves some of the finest cocktails in the country. They have a vast array of Japanese inspired cocktails, signature drinks, shiso-influenced tequila shorts, and the great plum salt rim. This place is everything that will take you on a good trip over some of the most excellent drinks in China.

 

Must try: Cocktails

Opening hours: 6 pm to 1:30 am from Sunday to Thursday, 6 pm to 2:30 am on Friday and Saturday.

Location: 579 Middle Fuxing Road, Shanghai, China.

The most popular escapade for all the people in the busy city of Shanghai, this Morocco based bar is set by the Hollywood designers. They have comfy cushions, fruit-flavored hookahs, and a perfect roof terrace.

 

Must try: Cocktails

Opening hours: 11 am to 2 am

Location: People's Park, 231 West Nanjing Road, Shanghai.

This sleek, moody, and dim cocktail bar is a hud for all the well-dressed crowd. They serve authentic Asian-influenced cocktails like the Quinary Sour, Oolong Tea Collins and the Checkers that make it one of the quirkiest places to grab a drink in China.

 

Must try: Cocktails.

Opening hours: 5 pm to 2 am from Monday to Saturday; closed on Sundays.

Location: 56-58 Hollywood Road.

Renowned for selling the best beer in town, this pub is mostly crowded with the North American people. Other than freshly brewed beer, it also serves some of the best snacks like burgers and chicken related dishes.

 

Must try: Fresh beer

Opening hours: 3 pm to 2 am

Location: Huguo Xintiandi, 85 Huguosi Dajie.

This interesting nonprofit enterprise is a boon to the traditional Tibetan handicrafts and Nepali imports. They sell products of extremely high quality, which are made using the traditional techniques and the most contemporary designs.

 

Location: 11 Chaktsalgang Lam, Lhasa

Timing: 10 am to 8 pm

Known for: Handicrafts

 

Bargaining: You can bargain

This creative fair in China brings to you the most beautiful Chinese ceramics in the form of cute teacups, twisted plates, chopstick holders, and vases in the form of kung fu. These products are made by the famous Shanghai designers and are available at very reasonable prices.

 

Location: 360 Kangding Road, Shanghai

Timing: 11 am to 8 pm

Known for: Ceramics

Bargaining: You can bargain

It is the best market in China to shop for all kinds of arts, crafts, and antiques. They sell various products ranging from the calligraphy posters to the Buddha head ceramics. There are also many beautiful dynasty-styles furniture pieces and Tibetan carpets that make it one of the best places to shop in China.

 

Location: West of Panjiayuan Qiao, Beijing

Timing: 8:30 am to 6 pm from Monday to Friday, 4:30 am to 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays

Known for: Antiques

Bargaining: You can bargain.

Located amidst the stretch of the middle Fangbang Road, this street hosts a plethora of tourist shops that sell puppets, jewelry, fabrics, horn combs, kites, chopsticks, teapots, banknotes, old advertising posters, and many other souvenirs.

 

Location: Middle Fangbang Road, Shanghai

Timing: 8 am to 6 pm

Known for: Souvenirs

Bargaining: You can bargain.

This is one of the most renowned places in China that sells unique shard bottles, boxes, and jewelry made from porcelain fragments. Apart from this, they also sell many rings, cufflinks, and also repair jewelry.

 

Location: 2 Jiangtai Road, Beijing

Timing: 9 am to 7 pm

Known for: Shard bottles, boxes, and jewelry.

Bargaining: You can bargain.

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