30 Best Tourist Attractions in China

Most visitors visiting China wish to see the best tourist attractions in China. The Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, stroll down Shanghai’s Bund and tour the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing.  They may include a trip to Guangzhou or a Yangtze River tour. However, China is much more than simply these well-known locations.

China is home to many breathtaking tourist destinations, including historic towns, woods, temples, artistically constructed rice fields, holy mountains, and breathtaking waterfalls.

Backpackers in their 20s are not the only ones who have a desire to travel off the beaten route, where Chinese tourists outnumber foreign tourists. A good phrase book, a pot of patience, and a wonderful sense of humour should be enough for any traveller to get by.

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The Best Tourist Attractions in China

1. China’s Great Wall

17 Facts About the Great Wall of China You Should Know

The Great Wall of China, which stretches over 6,000 kilometers and nearly four million bricks, is a marvel of engineering. Indeed, an old Chinese saying is that a person cannot be a hero unless they have walked on the Great Wall. It stands as one of the best tourist attractions in China, drawing visitors from all over the world to witness its grandeur and historical significance.

From east to west, the Great Wall of China traverses a truly remarkable and intricate variety of landscapes. Because only a few would know the nation as well as someone who strolled the entire length of it.

There aren’t many of us who have the time to accomplish this, though. Ningxia and Gansu have some of the nicest views of the wall. Some of its best-preserved portions are on display at both locations. Those who choose to stay near Beijing should explore the well-known Badaling Pass region.

2. Potala Palace

For millennia, the arrival of winter in Lhasa meant one thing above all else: the Dalai Lama would once more call it home. Up until 1959, this was a custom carried out at the striking Potala Palace.

During the Chinese invasion that year, the Dalai Lama at the time escaped to India, where there was safety. It signalled the end of a long-standing custom. But you may learn more about it today by going to the palace.

The 14-story Potala Palace is well-known for its bright red center, which gleams like the sun, and its whitewashed exterior. As one of the best tourist attractions in China, it houses handwritten Buddhist scripture and antiquated emperor presents. Here are also the golden tombs where the Dalai Lamas who have departed are buried.

3. Forbidden City

The greatest collection of ancient architecture in China may be seen at the Forbidden City, which is surrounded by 3.5 kilometers of old fortress walls. The Forbidden City is located in the centre of Beijing. Owing to its immense grandeur, customs, and dynastic past, this landmark, one of the best tourist attractions in China, attracts more than 16 million tourists annually.

The Forbidden City stood at the forefront of the national consciousness for more than six centuries. It expanded to 900 buildings and housed a colourful group of advisors together with some of China’s most notable historical characters.

All of this was altered in 1911 when the Qing dynasty fell. It’s now become a massive piece of living history. Come explore amazing architectural achievements and discover the dynasties that governed China with an iron grip.

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4. Pudong Skyline, Shanghai

With all there is to do in Shanghai, you’ll have your hands full. However, there’s one specific event that you should repeat twice, if not every day. Shanghai today almost seems futuristic. It has one of the largest collections of skyscrapers on the planet, and every one of them is unique. The idea that the majority of this was built in the last 20 years is absurd.

The Pudong Skyline is home to the best tower collection. The Bund offers the greatest views of this skyscraper sector, with the skyline seeming as an architectural banquet. The Jinmao Tower, Shanghai Tower, and the eye-catching Oriental Pearl TV Tower are among the highlights. As one of the best tourist attractions in China, the neighborhood comes together to display a complex, electric rainbow of lights at night.

5. Hani Terraces

The Hani Terraces, on the southern slopes of Ailao Mountain, are a sight to behold and a puzzle to solve. The way the colors blend together and the lines delineating the banks seem from above is reminiscent of an abstract painting. Among the best tourist attractions in China, the rice terraces are strikingly authentic, though.

For a millennia, people have grown rice crops on these terraces. It was formerly merely a rising mountain that rose more than 2,500 metres above sea level and was meticulously chiselled by hand. As a result, hundreds of unique terraces in various phases of creation have been produced.

The intriguing fusion of nature and civilization creates a kaleidoscope scene that is captivating to see. When irrigation floods the terraces in December and March, it’s the ideal time to come.

6. Leshan Great Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha, standing 71 meters tall, is the biggest in the world. The astounding structure is etched into a mountainside and is considered one of the best tourist attractions in China. It took ninety years to accomplish this. In the eighth century, Hai Tong oversaw the rock’s carving. His goal was to guarantee the well-being and security of his neighborhood.

Although the outcomes are subjective, your initial reaction upon witnessing its enormity and extravagance isn’t. These days, you may cruise along the Min River or stand at its feet. Because of all the extra rock that was deposited along the banks, the flow of this body of water slowed down considerably.

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7. Harbour Victoria

Victoria Harbour, the third-biggest seaport in the world, is more than just a center of activity. It captures the well-organized chaos of Hong Kong, where a lot is going on and nothing gets lost. As one of the best tourist attractions in China, the natural harbour stretches off in all directions. Tanker ships arrive and depart at the same rapid pace as small fishing boats leaving small towns. No matter how hard you try, you can never stay motionless.

That’s because there is always something better to look at. As dusk falls, the plethora of lights illuminating the skyline will enthral and excite you. Hong Kong’s skyscrapers are as colourful as the galaxy above, and the city never sleeps. Stay on the Kowloon side and gaze across the harbour for the greatest views. After that, you’ll be able to visit the Avenue of Stars.

8. Terracotta Army

The formation of the Terracotta Army is not documented. It appears as though the 8,000 terracotta warriors defending Qin Shi Huang’s tomb were intended to remain hidden. Sadly, they weren’t discovered until 1974, around 2,000 years later. At that time, people digging a well about 30 kilometres outside of Xi’an made an amazing discovery, uncovering one of the best tourist attractions in China.

After fifty years, the army has grown to become one of China’s most well-known tourist destinations. An amazing work of engineering and art is preserved because an overhand shades the troops. More than 500 horses and 100 chariots, each with meticulous attention to detail, are among the soldiers. Take an informative guided tour of the Terracotta Army, located in the emperor’s Masoleu Site Park.

9. Li River Cruise

The Li River gently winds its way between Yangshuo and Guilin, passing through breathtaking scenery. Old limestone karsts reach as high as the ceiling. As rugged and gorgeous as the last, each one is distinct.

One of the best tourist attractions in China is to take a cruise along the Li River, which offers stunning landscapes and a glimpse of a life far apart from the concrete metropolis. You can travel to Guilin, board a 4–5 hour boat, and get off at Yangshuo, where there is ready-made transportation to return you.

You’ll pass through 80 kilometres of terrain that has served as an inspiration to writers and romantics alike. When you take in the views of Mount of Unique Beauty and Elephant Trunk Hill, you will experience the same. Cruises are offered all year long. But the greatest time to explore is in the autumn.

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10. Mount Huang

Mount Huang | China & Asia Cultural Travel

Mount Huang is located in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui and is a component of the Huangshan mountain range. Because of its unspoiled splendour, the range, which translates as the yellow mountains, was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the best tourist attractions in China.

You’ll take a shuttle to the Eastern or Western stairs in Tangkouzhen to start your time here. You can then start a variety of walks with varying degrees of difficulty from there. There is a cable car that goes to the top from the Eastern Steps.

Make time to see the breathtaking Xihai Grand Canyon, whether you choose to hike or use the cable car. This enormous canyon hangs off the brink of a cliff and is surrounded by magical trees. Include a visit to Lotus Peak or Shixin Peak for breathtaking vistas. Discover why Huangshan is referred to as the Yellow Mountains by staying till dusk.

11. Yungang Grottoes

Though amazing Buddhist excavations can be found all around China, none date back as far as the Yungang Grottoes, considered among the best tourist attractions in China. You may see 50,000 stone figures that date back to the fifth and sixth centuries along the massive wall. There are 252 caves in the Shanxi Province in Datong City where the creations are located.

Every element is more finely crafted than the last, and the chosen Buddhist text reflects the wishes of the former Northern Wei Dynasty. To fully see all of the caves, time would be needed. Thus, to aid you, concentrate on the amazing Five Caves. Tan Yao is the creator of this. It is a masterwork of early Chinese art because of the coherence of design and arrangement.

12. Longji Terraces

The Longji Terraces, which were built by hand during the Ming Dynasty more than 500 years ago, are breathtaking. It will take some time to take it all in once you first gasp and take a breath from an elevated vantage point. These rice terraces in Longsheng stretch up the mountainside like verdant footsteps.

The ridgeline is curved by each meandering step, creating a variety of breathtaking contour lines. The terraces are filled with irrigation water during the growing season, which runs from December to March. It’s a wonderful site, and the best way to take it all in is by walking carefully around and up to even better perspectives. These terraced fields are among the best tourist attractions in China, offering a glimpse into centuries-old agricultural practices and stunning natural landscapes.

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13. Mogao Cave

The Mogao Caves, a former Silk Road pilgrimage site, have been a part of the local culture for well over a millennium. Renowned as one of the best tourist attractions in China, the caves developed into a center of art and culture in the middle of the fourth century, a situation that persisted into the 1300s. The amazing caves are still open for exploration today, and the scripture and artwork have withstood the test of time.

One of China’s most renowned archaeological sites is the Mogao Caves, which are located not far from Dunhuang. They highlight the variety of visitors and ethnic cultures that came to this location via the Silk Road inside. Not simply locally produced art. You’ll witness fashions that have roots in Persia, India, and Central Asia.

14. Longmen Grottoes

The Longmen Grottoes in Henan Province are among the best tourist attractions in China, a historic feat of engineering located south of Luoyang. Buddha and his followers are depicted in almost 100,000 statues at the Longmen Grottoes, so forget about the four heads of Mount Rushmore. Situated by the undulating Yihe River, these are all cut into the cliffs and caves of the Longmenshan and Xiangshan peaks.

Every creature is very different from the others. While some are adorable creations of only 25 centimetres, others soar to heights of 17 metres! The ages of everyone are different. The majority, though, can be attributed to times between the fourth and tenth centuries. Explore the grottoes to discover more about their formation and the numerous wars that have taken place here now recognised as a UNESCO site.

15. Jiuzhaigou

Jiuzhaigou is a national park in Sichuan that is quite remarkable. Jiuzhaigou, one of the best tourist attractions in China, is a breathtaking setting of emerald-hued lakes, waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks. There is not much of a warning of the fantasy paradise that is Jiuzhaigou as you get closer to the southern Chinese highlands.

Particularly for the more than 100 lakes in the park, each one as pristine and turquoise as the last. With the help of their interconnecting streams, they receive fresh snowmelt, which forms breathtaking waterfalls.

The picturesque network of valleys created by the mountains, lakes, and rivers is incredibly colourful. For the greatest hiking and flowering views, visit in the summer. Alternately, wait for the snow to fall and enjoy a winter paradise.

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16. Summer Palace

One of the most fascinating man-made attractions in the nation is the sumptuous Summer Palace, which is situated in northwest Beijing. Surrounded by lush woodlands, the old royal playground feels more rural than its position would imply. During the warmest months of the year, the royal court used to retreat to the appropriately called Summer Palace in Beijing, making it one of the best tourist attractions in China.

The all-encompassing environment, coupled with the refreshing Kunming Lake, made it the ideal location for conducting business. In the present day, it is a stunning public park. A few of the buildings are now museums and galleries, and there are some great vistas from the beautifully landscaped gardens.

17. West Lake Hangzhou

Hangzhou’s sparkling West Lake is surrounded by gardens, temples, and quaint bridges, making it one of the best tourist attractions in China. West Lake has been a source of inspiration for locals and visitors since the 800s, so it’s not a recent invention either. At that point, Hangzhou solidified its place in the history of the country as the former capital of China. Every inch of West Lake exudes romanticism and artistry, reflecting thousands of years of trade with neighbouring villages and nations.

Locals are practicing Tai Chi in the early morning, while mist rises up the Wulin Mountains from the valley. There are trails that circle the lake, where the massive reflections on the water below are made by weeping willows. In addition to walking, you can visit Little Paradise Island by boat. Alternatively, climb Leifeng Pagoda for panoramic views.

18. Reed Flute Cave

One of the best tourist attractions in China to behold while cruising the Li River is the magnificent Reed Flute Cave. It’s so much so that you should include a visit here on your itinerary even if you decide against taking the cruise. The reef scattered over the entrance marks the location of the enormous limestone cave. Its majestic beauty led some people to imagine it might be turned into flutes.

However, that is only the start. The cave’s interior is an underground paradise. Stlagmites wind up from the cave floor in a curved pattern, while stalagmites hang in astonishing quantities from the roof. Now that the cave is illuminated by lightning, scripture from the eighth century is on display.

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19. Hanging Monastery of Hengshan

Three different religions are honored at the Hanging Monastery of Hengshan in Shanxi Province, making it one of the best tourist attractions in China. This distinguishes it as unique in China. The monastery honors all aspects of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Constructed at the end of the 5th century, the Hanging Temple has a long history.

Because it contains the relics of three of the most widely practiced religions in China, it has remained quite intact throughout the past 1500 years. You will be in awe of the monastery’s construction, nevertheless, since it clings so tightly to the rock face. Its two sections are united by a bridge, and it protrudes from the wall thanks to cantilevers.

20. Lijiang Old Town

LiJiang Old Town - China Tours @WestChinaGo

Lijiang, in northwest China, has a rich 800-year history. With the added benefit of a breathtaking mountain backdrop, the ancient town of Lijiang transports you back to the Naxi Kingdom’s glory days, making it one of the best tourist attractions in China.

Like any good old town Lijiang exudes charm, romanticism, and a rich cultural heritage. The streets are still laid up as they were hundreds of years ago, and the town stands out from other historic towns in China due to its distinct history.

The town, which is ruled by the Mu family, is a representation of the native Naxi culture and architecture. The finest places to view these are on the little, cobblestone alleyways and the stunning stone bridges that span Lijiang’s network of tastefully designed canals.

21. Yangtze River Cruise

The Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, spanning 6,387 kilometres. It is said to as one of China’s mother rivers since it sustains both the natural world and people across this vast nation. Over a body of water this size, there are certain to be some iconic vistas.

Yangtze River Cruises are the finest method to view more than the odds and ends. They offer an unparalleled opportunity to experience some of the best tourist attractions in China, including the majestic Three Gorges, historic cities like Chongqing and Wuhan, and cultural landmarks such as the ancient Shibaozhai Temple.

You can explore the splendour of the Yangtze River’s Three Gorges with the aid of a cruise. The largest and most well-known portion of the canyon is this one, which you won’t want to leave. Cruise in either direction between Chongqing and Yichang to see the best of the river.

22. Mount Tai

One of China’s Five Sacred Mountains is Mount Tai, which is located in Shandong Province. Regarded as one of the best tourist attractions in China, Mount Tai holds immense cultural significance. One of the first things a new emperor would do was climb Taishan, which means mountain in Mandarin. It is reported that 72 emperors completed the ascent.

Great temples, inscriptions on tablets, and other artefacts of their culture were left behind. As the emperors did, visitors with an imperial bent should ascend the 6,000 steps on the east route. For about two millennia before to the present day, the highest peak, Jade Emperor, served as the focal point of Fengshan ceremonies.

There are now artefacts and historic masterpieces scattered over the 1,500-meter mountain. Importantly, you’ll learn about the influence of many nations and civilizations, including the Khmer and Turkish, in addition to that of Chinese Fengshan sacrifices. You can tour the mountain and several temples in addition to the culture. Get up early to catch the dawn in the East Pavilion, which is a unique location.

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23. Zhaozhuang

Inform Venice that a new sheriff has taken office. Situated on the Yangtze River’s southern bank is the historic river town of Zhouzhuang. As it has done for more than a millennium, the water courses past and beneath historic mansions and shops.

Zhouzhuang’s stunning blend of coloured and whitewashed structures makes it a photographer’s paradise. Tradition boats float up and down the river in the early morning light, and when the water settles, the magnificence is reflected in the mirror-like river, showcasing one of the best tourist attractions in China.

Zhouzhuang, an east Chinese town, located less than 32 km (20 miles) from Suzhou and is well-known for its twin bridges, Yongan and Shide, which serve as the town’s emblems. One excellent method to see the city is via boat.

24. Wudang Mountain

Visitors who have seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are already aware of the breathtaking scenery of the Wudang Mountains, which are found in Hubei Province’s northwest. In addition to being beautiful, Tai Chi originated in the Wudang Mountains. They are therefore among the best tourist attractions in China and are considered China’s most significant Taoist mountains.

Some temples are visually striking, religion, and ancient culture. Not to mention the breathtaking peaks all around. Wudang Mountain, sometimes referred to as the original cradle of Tai Chi, is a living example of wisdom and the principles underlying Chinese shadowboxing.

Here, human history dates back to the fifth century BC. There are currently twelve pavilions, eight temples, and nine palaces. They are preserved in a variety of ways. For some people, they never go away. Others see them as a representation of the amazing chronology of Wudang Mountain.

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25. Wall of Xian City

To protect their cities from invaders, the Chinese erected enormous stone walls around them hundreds of years ago. Xi’an was no different. The eight-year-old Xian City Wall, built in the 1370s, served as a testament to the city’s ability to support itself, making it one of the best tourist attractions in China. That is on top of Zhu Yuanzhang’s tendency towards seclusion.

Something he kept demonstrating when he was crowned the first Ming Dynasty emperor. Aside from the Great Wall, China’s finest example is the Xian City Wall. The wall, which was a veritable mountain at about 14 km in length, 12 m in height, and 12 m in thickness, offered Xian City unrivalled defence.

These days, you can use a bike or foot to explore the top of the wall that encloses the Old Town. This will lead you to some of the most famous gates on the wall, some of which predate the wall itself.

26. Leaping Tiger Gorge

One of the best tourist attractions in China, Tiger Leaping Gorge spans the border between Shangri-La and Lijiang. Nearly 3,800 meters separate the gorge’s highest and lowest points.

Jade Dragon Snow and Haba Snow are two enticing mountains on either side of the gorge. You will be able to see a variety of scenery in addition to the gorge that was sculpted by the Jinsha River’s ferocious white waters.

Walking is the greatest way to explore, so come ready to work up a sweat. There are several intermediate to difficult treks in the Upper, Middle, and Lower Gorge, some of which take several days to complete.

However, the hikes should not be taken lightly. It’s a workout that can seriously damage the knees, even for individuals in excellent physical condition. Hikers won’t need a tent because lodging is provided at guesthouses along the route. all of which lead to absurd points of view and even the bottom.

27. The National Forest Park of Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park has an unearthly and deeply mystical quality, making it one of the best tourist attractions in China. Over millions of years, wind and rain have worn down the quartz sandstone. All that’s left of the once-vast mountain range are towering pillars covered in dense forests.

The mist rises in the morning from hundreds of metres below in the deep valley. It’s difficult to reconcile the scenery created by the combination of sandstone and vegetation. It seems otherworldly. It makes sense why it served as some of the inspiration for Avatar.

The park is best experienced on a tour, as lifts take you to some amazing vantage points. Nothing, however, surpasses the world’s tallest bridge, the Grand Canyon Glass Bridge.

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28. Stone Forest of Shilin

Despite its name seeming contradictory, the Shilin Stone Forest is exactly that. Discovering the 270 million-year-old stone forest is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, making it one of the best tourist attractions in China. You could mistakenly believe that the enormous array of karst formations is artificial, considering its almost otherworldly appearance.

However, a series of seismic catastrophes and the limestone’s ageless weathering were responsible for its creation. Hundreds of massive stalagmite pillars exist today, creating an unending maze to explore.

It’s not just rock, though. Discoveries like lakes, waterfalls, and even underground rivers offer a striking contrast to the strange and magnificent scenery.

29. Gardens & Canals in Suzhou

About 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Shanghai, along the Grand Canal, sits the charming city of Suzhou. It is well-known for its silks, the city’s network of canals, and its classical gardens, which feature rockeries and fish ponds. Suzhou perfectly captures the distinction that this Chinese metropolis has over such behemoths as Shanghai and Beijing.

These attractions make it one of the best tourist attractions in China for those seeking a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Suzhou is remaining true to its historical and cultural roots, whereas these other cities are growing into expansive, cutting-edge metropolises. Initially, the traditional gardens are striking. However, closer examination reveals that they are just as historic.

Some even go all the way back to the Song Dynasty, a millennium ago. There are roughly eighty classical gardens in Suzhou, the most well-known of which is the Humble Administrator’s Garden. A canal boat ride is a wonderful opportunity to take in Suzhou’s splendour.

30. Dali’s Three Pagodas

Three Pagodas reflection Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

The Three Pagodas in southern China are among the best tourist attractions in China and are among the earliest surviving buildings in the area. The oldest of the three was built in the 800s, and they represent Dali. Everywhere you go in Dali, you can’t help but see the Three Pagodas, rising out of the ground like old-growth woods.

With 16 levels and a height of 70 meters, Qianxun Pagoda is the tallest. Ten tiers reaching 42 meters make up the other two. It’s a blessing to be able to explore so close to such historic monuments, even though you can’t get inside. The stunning Chongsheng Temple is visible behind them and is open to tourists.

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