Top places to visit in China

China is a mesmerising melting pot of old and new, offering awe-inspiring architecture, a fascinating history, beautiful art and delicious, sometimes intriguing, cuisine. The best way to discover the greatest sights, cities and natural wonders is to set off on a Travelsphere escorted tour to China. It offers a feast for the senses and the perfect holiday if you’re hoping to broaden your horizons and learn about a mysterious and ancient culture.

With bustling cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and many more, the country is home to over 1.3 billion people, making it the most populous nation in the world.

Visitors may be surprised at the massive changes that have taken place in China's thriving cities over the last 30 years. Skyscrapers fill the skyline, with businesses from across the globe setting up home here. However, in more rural areas the ancient culture and traditions of China still survive in the many small villages scattered across this vast country.

The top places and cities to visit in China could be an extensive list but we've put together some of our recommendations below and all of these can be seen when booking one of our tours:

Visit Shanghai

China’s biggest city is known for both its colonial past and its rule as a powerhouse of economic growth. Visit Shanghai and you’ll see some of the most iconic contemporary buildings in Asia as well as a labyrinthine Old Town. Be sure to take a stroll along The Bund – the city’s striking riverside boulevard boasts many former colonial structures.

Among the neon, glass and concrete, this fast-growing capital of enterprise has a rich culture too. Visit its traditional tea rooms, marvel at the incredible Jade Buddha Temple and watch a performance of the world-famous Shanghai Acrobats.

Beijing's Highlights

Visit Beijing and you are guaranteed immense natural beauty and awesome architecture. The great Yongding and Chaobai Rivers flow gently through the 3000-year-old city, and the Great Wall of China cuts across its northern districts. It’s here too that you’ll discover the Forbidden City, at the heart of the Ming Dynasty’s empire from the 15th century onwards. Your tour of Beijing will also take you to the Imperial Palace, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square.

Explore Xian

One of China’s four ancient capitals, Xian sits at the eastern end of the Silk Road. Its most popular attraction is the Terracotta Army at Li Shan Mountain, built by China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang to protect him during the afterlife. Discovered in 1974, this great feat of 3rd century artistry includes thousands of life-sized clay soldiers as well as chariots, horses, acrobats, strongmen and musicians all carved in intricate detail. This UNESCO-listed site really is an astonishing sight to behold. 

Great Wall and Terracotta Army

Visiting the Great Wall on a China holiday is something that should be high on your list of things to do. Built more than 2,000 years ago as a barrier against foreign invaders, it stretches for more than 5,500 miles across plateaus, deserts, mountains and grasslands. Another must-see site is the incredible Terracotta Army at Li Shan Mountain, one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. It’s here that you’ll see thousands of life-size terracotta soldiers, horses and chariots believed to date back to the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC). They were interred with the first Qin emperor and form a dazzling display of Chinese military power.

Yangtze River Cruise

Always popular with visitors to China is a cruise along the famous Yangtze River, offering a relaxing way to see many wonderful sights. You’ll visit the site of the mighty Three Gorges Dam – the largest hydroelectric dam in the world – and sail through the Three Gorges Dam locks. Spectacular scenery awaits along the Xililng, Wu and Qutang Gorges as you take in the views in complete comfort aboard a cruise ship which boasts excellent facilities.