Top 20 destinations in China

China is a vast and diverse country with countless incredible destinations to explore. 

Here are 20 top destinations in China that offer a mix of cultural, historical, and natural attractions:

China received 151.9 million tourists in 2019. This number is expected to grow in the coming years, as China continues to become a more popular tourist destination.Here are some other interesting facts about tourism in China

  • The most popular time to visit China is during the spring and autumn seasons.
  • The average length of stay for tourists in China is 7 days.
  • The most popular activities for tourists in China include sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
  • The top 3 nationalities of tourists visiting China are from South Korea, Japan, and the United States.

Here are the top 20 tourist destinations in China, with the number of tourists in 2019:



Number of tourists (2019)


The Great Wall of China

13.4 million


Forbidden City

12.3 million


Terracotta Army

11.2 million


West Lake

10.9 million


Summer Palace

10.2 million


Yellow Mountain

10 million


Leshan Giant Buddha

7.9 million


Victoria Harbour

7.6 million


Temple of Heaven

7.4 million


Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

7.2 million


Lijiang Old Town

7 million


Pingyao Ancient City

6.8 million


Mount Everest Base Camp

6.6 million


The Potala Palace

6.5 million


Huashan Mountain

6.4 million


The Silk Road

6.3 million


Guilin and the Li River

6 million



5.9 million


Mogao Caves

5.8 million


The Palace Museum, Taipei

5.7 million

Here are 20 popular destinations in China

Beijing - The capital city known for its historic sites like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square.

Shanghai - A bustling metropolis renowned for its modern skyline, vibrant nightlife, and shopping opportunities.

Xi'an - Home to the famous Terracotta Army, Xi'an is an ancient city with a rich cultural heritage.

Guilin - Known for its picturesque landscapes, including the Li River and karst mountains.

Chengdu - Famous for its giant pandas and Sichuan cuisine.

Hangzhou - Renowned for its scenic West Lake, tea plantations, and historical sites.

Suzhou - Noted for its classical gardens and traditional Chinese architecture.

Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) - A UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning natural beauty and hiking trails.

Lhasa - The capital of Tibet, offering unique cultural and spiritual experiences, including Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple.

Zhangjiajie - Known for its dramatic sandstone pillars and scenic beauty, which inspired the movie "Avatar."

Yunnan Province - A diverse region with attractions like the Stone Forest, Dali Old Town, and the ancient city of Lijiang.

Hong Kong - A dynamic city with a mix of Chinese and Western influences, famous for its skyline, shopping, and culinary scene.

Macau - Known for its vibrant casinos, colonial architecture, and blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures.

Guilin - Renowned for its stunning karst landscapes, rivers, and caves.

Hainan Island - A tropical paradise with beautiful beaches, resorts, and water activities.

Zhangye Danxia Landform - A unique geological formation characterised by colourful rock formations.

Jiuzhaigou Valley - A nature reserve renowned for its crystal-clear lakes, waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks.

Harbin - Famous for its annual Ice and Snow Festival, showcasing incredible ice sculptures and winter activities.

Dunhuang - Known for the Mogao Caves, which house Buddhist art and murals.

Shaolin Temple - The birthplace of Chinese martial arts, located in Henan Province.

Please note that travel trends and popular destinations may change over time, so it's always a good idea to check for the latest information before planning a trip to China.

Here are the top 5 countries that have seen the most stimulated growth in tourism to China in recent years, along with their estimated number of tourists in 2023:


2022 Tourists

2023 Tourists (Estimated)

Growth Rate

South Korea

5.9 million

7.2 million



5.6 million

7 million


United States

4.7 million

6 million



4.2 million

5.4 million



3.8 million

4.9 million


NOTE: Related content

China is becoming a more popular tourist destination for people from all over the globe. This is a positive development for China, as it will help to boost the country's economy and promote its culture to a wider audience.

China offers a diverse range of top travel destinations, including iconic landmarks like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing, the modern skyline of Shanghai, the ancient Terracotta Army in Xi'an, the stunning landscapes of Guilin, the adorable giant pandas in Chengdu, and the natural wonders of Zhangjiajie. With its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking scenery, China provides a unique and memorable travel experience for visitors worldwide.

Thanks to rapid urbanisation, rising disposable incomes and relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, the volume of international trips by Chinese travellers has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012.4 China is famous for its ancient architecture, for example, the illustrious Great Wall of China which was constructed in the 7th century BC. Similarly, China has ancient traditions such as martial arts which originated during the Xia dynasty.

China as a Global Tourist Destination. Tourism is becoming increasingly important to China as both a source of revenue and a means of enhancing its international image. In 2018, nearly 159 million “visitors” travelled to China. This figure includes all non-residents travelling to China for any length of time or purpose Chinese people invented paper, printing, the compass, and gunpowder. The Four Great Inventions have made important contributions to human civilization. Besides the four great inventions, Chinese people also invented many other things, such as Chinese football.

Leave a comment