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Best things to do in China

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Where in the world: Asia  /  China
There are many amazing things to do in China, and savvy travelers can work out an itinerary beyond the same tried and tested list of hotspots. Beijing historic sites certainly deserve your time and attention, but so does the skyscraping Shanghai World Financial Center and the unbelievable landscapes of Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve. Children will appreciate a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, while romantic couples will enjoy wandering the winding paths of Yu Garden between lakes, bridges, and pagodas. To truly dive into the country's diverse historical and cultural heritage, go on a food tour.

China is best known for its Landmarks, Observation Decks, and History Museums.

Top 15 things to do in China

1. Mutianyu Great Wall, Beijing

Exceptionally well preserved and rich in detail, Mutianyu Great Wall offers visitors an iconic view of China's symbolic World Heritage Site and one of the seven man-made wonders of the world. This segment of the wall was originally built in the 6th century CE during the Northern Qi dynasty and has remained unchanged since 1569. The section boasts many watchtowers and is surrounded by a dense forest, which makes for sweeping scenery. Access the wall by climbing the approximately 4,000 steps, riding the chairlift, or taking the gondola lift.
Suggested duration: 4h 30 min
Tours from $25 › Learn more about Mutianyu Great Wall

2. The Bund (Wai Tan), Shanghai

Stroll along The Bund (Wai Tan) to become one with Shanghai's bustling crowds and take in views of the city's glittering skyline. The buildings lining this waterfront walk represent a broad variety of architectural styles, such as Gothic, Baroque, and Beaux-Arts. Take photos at the flood-control wall affectionately called the Lovers Wall and in front of the famous skyscrapers, including the Pearl Tower, whose pillars and spheres pierce the sky.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $53 › Learn more about The Bund (Wai Tan)

3. Jinshanling Great Wall, Luanping County

Trek Jinshanling Great Wall, a well-restored section of the wall renowned for picturesque views. Situated 130 km (80 mi) from Beijing, this area of the legendary wall doesn't typically get as crowded as some of the others. View an array of interesting features preserved on the massive structure, such as barrier walls and watchtowers, each one with a description in English about its history. Hike along this remote zone of the Great Wall, take some great shots, and enjoy the lush, mountainous scenery and peaceful atmosphere of the surroundings.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
Tours from $54 › Learn more about Jinshanling Great Wall

4. Morning Mubus to the Mutianyu Great Wall (8:00am Departure)

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The benefits of traveling with Mubus include:-A direct bus transportation service to the Mutianyu Great Wall.-You will be provided with more sightseeing time (5 hours).-Professional guide service on the bus to teach you how to travel the Great Wall.-No any shopping stops to waste your precious travel time.Morning Mubus Time Table08:00: Mubus departs from meeting point09:30: Mutianyu Great Wall Sightseeing time on your own14:30: Mubus departs from Mutianyu Great Wall16:30: Arrive at meeting point and end the tour.
Suggested duration: 9 hours
Tours from $25 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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Best tours in China

5. Summer Palace (Yiheyuan), Beijing

The assembly of lakes, palaces, gardens, and pavilions that make up Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) dates back to the 12-century Jin dynasty. This World Heritage Site served as a residence for members of the Qing dynasty in the 18th and 19th centuries. The complex contains an exemplary collection of landscaped royal gardens, temples, bridges, and palaces. Look out for the 96 m (315 ft) stone boat constructed entirely from marble, and for the elaborately painted and decorated corridor connecting the Hall of Joy and Longevity to the Shizhang Pavilion.
Suggested duration: 5 hours
Tours from $49 › Learn more about Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)

6. The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Xi'an

The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses boasts a collection of over 8,000 carved soldiers and horses. The figures in this World Heritage Site were buried in the 3rd century BCE with the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, to protect him in the afterlife. The thousands of life-size soldiers stand at attention as an imperial army would in real life. Look for remains of the paint that originally lacquered each statue.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $29 › Learn more about The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses

7. The Palace Museum, Beijing

Within a palace that served as the seat of power for the Ming and Qing dynasties, The Palace Museum houses a massive collection of artifacts that include ceramics, porcelain pieces, paintings, bronzeware, steles, sculptures, and much more. Built in the early 15th century, the palace holds the honor of being a World Heritage Site and contains an unparalleled number of preserved ancient wooden structures. Bring your ID or passport to purchase entry tickets.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $9 › Learn more about The Palace Museum

8. Beijing Hutong Food and Beer Tour by Tuk Tuk

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This is not another walking tour. Your small group tour travels by private tuktuk and offers unlimited beer and soda while you and your English-speaking guide are whisked around the alleys of Beijing's hutongs to get off the beaten path. You will eat where the locals eat at small, family-run businesses and try the best local food at places you can’t find on your own. After 3-4 hours, you will finish at a popular local brewery to have a pint of the best craft brew in town.
Suggested duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Tours from $84 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong

Enjoy a world of Disney characters and Disney-inspired rides and attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland, an Asian branch of the popular American brand. Opened in 2005, the park caters to tourists, with the Disney cast speaking English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Explore seven themed sections, from a world of fantasy to Main Street, USA. Along the way you'll encounter attractions like Tarzan's treehouse, a Cinderella carousel, and Sleeping Beauty's castle--plus live Disney characters and plenty of dining options. Although an American company, this location has a uniquely Chinese flair, with important components of Chinese culture, such as feng shui, incorporated into its design.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Hong Kong Disneyland

10. Victoria Peak (The Peak), Hong Kong

As the highest point on the island, Victoria Peak (The Peak) gives you a view of the Hong Kong skyline that's hard to beat. Visit the free observation deck to see the panorama of soaring skyscrapers, green hills, and busy Victoria Harbor. Grab an audio guide to listen to the history of this cosmopolitan city and the buildings in front of you. Several different lookout spots offer similar views, including a 3.5 km (2.2 mi) walk. For the full experience, take the peak tram to reach the top. As you ascend, the city unfolds in front of you. For a budget-friendly alternative to the tram, ride a public bus to the summit.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Victoria Peak (The Peak)

11. The Great Wall at Badaling, Beijing

Originally built under the Ming dynasty to protect Beijing against invasion and attack, The Great Wall at Badaling was the first part of the Great Wall of China to open for tourists. Visitors can walk a 3.7 km (2.3 mi) stretch that is accessible by both cable car and stairs. Notice the width of the wall here--at 6 m (20 ft) across, it would have accommodated five horses or ten soldiers to march side by side. Watch out for steep and uneven steps, and grab the handrail for stability.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
Tours from $11 › Learn more about The Great Wall at Badaling

12. Beijing Mini Group Day Tour: Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen

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Join the worry-free Beijing mini group day tour with Price Beat Guarantee and No Shopping Promise. Start with a morning walk through the Tiananmen Square, and skip the ticket line to visit the 600-year-old imperial Forbidden City. Enjoy the 2 to 3 hours' hiking on the Mutianyu Great Wall. Lastly stop by the bustling Nanluoguxiang Hutong at night.· Mini group of only 1 to 6 members, with more personal service.· No shopping detours, no factory, no tea ceremony and no shopping site restaurant, which at least save you two hours today for a pure sightseeing experience. That's the reason why you can have more time at the attraction sites. This tour are running for guests' interests rather than the shopping commission.· Avoid the ticket line at the entrance of all attractions.· Professional English-speaking guide offers in-depth commentary and photography inspirations.
Suggested duration: 9 to 10 hours
Tours from $149 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Mt. Huangshan, Huangshan

Listed as a World Heritage Site, Mt. Huangshan enables visitors to immerse themselves in natural scenery amid oddly shaped granite peaks. With the highest peak standing at 1,834 m (6,115 ft), the inspirational mountain offers opportunity for recreation, relaxation, science, art, and photography. Explore the pine forests, which shelter abundant resources and a great variety of animal and plant life. Go hiking, where you will have the chance to see hot springs and and the popular veil of clouds. The mountain contains many easily accessible hotels, restaurants, and other necessary facilities at its summit.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $144 › Learn more about Mt. Huangshan

14. Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu), Shanghai

Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu) both shapes the beauty of Shanghai's cityscape and offers visitors impressive views from its observation areas. Completed in 1994, the 468 m (1,535 feet) high tower features 11 connected spheres and contains a variety of attractions and activities inside its enormous columns and orbs, including a Municipal History Museum, observation decks, and an elegant 25-room hotel. Travel between levels in massive double-decker elevators, and visit the rotating restaurant in the second highest sphere.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $23 › Learn more about Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu)

15. Big Bus Hong Kong Open Top Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

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See Hong Kong’s highlights on this hop-on hop-off tour! Hop off at any of the sightseeing spots to explore attractions on the bus. Visit Man Mo Temple, Stanley Market, Aberdeen, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and more. Enjoy a sampan ride at Aberdeen. Also included in selected tickets is a Peak Tram Sky Pass to enjoy the view of the top of Victoria Peak.
Suggested duration: 75 to 90 minutes
Tours from $63 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

Best tours in China