Are you planning a trip to China and wondering what are the best cities to visit? China is a huge country with a wide variety of cities ranging from traditional to ultra-modern. Moreover, many of these cities are spread out and travel to and from provinces can take some time. While you won’t be able to see everything there is to see in this massive country there are a few cities that you must see on your trip! Here are a few of the best cities to visit in China.
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View from Shenzhen Marriott in Nanshan.
The first city on our list was named number two on Lonely Planets ‘top 10 Cities in 2019‘ to visit. Shenzhen has been my home for the past seven years and is one of the best cities to visit in China.
Shenzhen is located in the Canton Province and is right next to Hong Kong. It is home to a number of electronic corporations like Huawei and has one of the largest electronics markets in the world. Furthermore, it is known as the Silicon Valley of China. It’s also home to a number of large financial institutions like China Merchant Bank and Ping An Bank.
This megalopolis has a cool business district, scenic beaches, and beautiful parks. In addition, compared to many other places in China, air pollution is a lot less.
The second-most populous city in China is Shanghai. It’s famous for its unique architecture, amazing skyline, interesting museums, and historical buildings.
Transportation here is also very convenient. In fact, the world’s longest metro system is located in this very city.
Shanghai is very diverse and has over 170,000 foreigners that live and work in the city. It’s also the center of many international companies stationed in China. Another thing that makes China’s largest city one of the best cities to visit in China is that foreigners from certain countries can stay visa-free for 144 hours, 6 days!
Beijing has lovely seasons.
Beijing is the capital of China and is also one of my favorite cities in China. It’s home to a number of must-see sites: the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square, just to name a few.
Another thing I love about Beijing is how foreign-friendly the city is. Unlike many cities in China where the locals stare openly at foreigners, most locals often see foreigners so they don’t stare.
Financial Center in Chengdu.
Chengdu is located in Sichuan province. This city is a fantastic place for foodies who love night markets and spicy food. Another special reason to visit is the chance to see the adorable Giant Panda at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. This place is a non-profit research facility for giant pandas and other rare species.
Furthermore, Chengdu is in close proximity to a number of national parks like the gorgeous Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve. Also nearby is Shunan Bamboo Forest. This scenic area has over 58 species of bamboo and is a must-see!
The 11 Best Things To See In China
Sunset in Xian city.
For a more traditional and cultural experience in China, you must visit Xian. Xian was the capital city during the reign of Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang dynasties.
This city is home to the UNESCO world heritage site, the Terracotta Army. Moreover, the historical Silk Road also starts in Xian city.
Xian is also famous among locals for its special foods such as Xi’an Kabobs, Guan Tang Baozi (Buns) and Biang Biang Noodles.
Old Town Lijiang at night.
Lijiang city is located in Yunnan and borders Sichuan. The city’s surrounding landscapes are among some of the most beautiful in China. A few include Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Blue Moon Valley, and Tiger Leaping Gorge. Further Lijiang Old Town is very famous in China and has a history of over 1,000 years.
One of the things I love about Lijiang is its mild subtropical climate. It’s low-latitude and high elevation. Moreover, the winters are very dry and sunny.
When we visited in April, the weather was slightly cool but pleasant. I was also happy to see there were blue skies and no pollution.
Riding a boat on a canal.
Suzhou is located in Jiangsu Province. This city is known for its canals, traditional architecture and art, and music scene. As a result, it is one of the most popular cities for tourists to visit in China. The classical gardens are also famous and nine of them are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
One thing I love about Suzhou culture is its delicious food. In ancient China, the Province of Jiangsu has had some of the wealthiest people in China, as a result, the people in this province could afford finer ingredients. Till this day the Suzhou food is known for its high-quality and delicious taste.
Hangzhou city at night.
Like Suzhou and Beijing, Hangzhou is a great city to explore more traditional Chinese culture and history. Hangzhou has a history that goes back to the Qin dynasty.
When visiting Hangzhou, you must see the UNESCO World Heritage Site, West Lake. Another must-see and World Heritage site is the Grand Canal. This canal is the longest canal or artificial river in the world.
The delicious food is another reason Hangzhou is one of the best cities to visit in China. The local food is a perfect combination of sweet and sour and is one of my favorite cuisines.
Conclusion: If this will be your first time visiting China we hope this has whetted your appetite for what’s to come. However, if you’re not really a city person and looking to explore more nature than the metropolis, you’ll be happy to know there are many gorgeous national parks in China as well. Check out our post “Best Things To See In China” to learn more about the most scenic spots in China.
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