Mike Cairnduff from Hello Teacher!

Updated November 04, 2019
By Mike Cairnduff

Top city to visit in China

What are China’s top 10 tourist cities?

According to a recent study, Shanghai is one of the best. But it doesn’t come out on top!

Cities on the Chinese mainland were evaluated based on five aspects:

  • Number of visitors
  • Tourism revenue
  • Contribution to the local economy
  • Traffic
  • Tourism infrastructure.

Picturesque Hangzhou, history-filled Beijing and bustling Guangzhou all feature in the top 10. But which city tops the list?

Read on to find out!

10. Nanjing

As one of the four ancient capitals of China (the other three being Beijing, Luoyang and Xian), Nanjing has a prominent place in Chinese history.

9. Suzhou

World renowned for its elegant gardens, canals and bridges, it’s no wonder that Suzhou – or the Venice of the East – is one of China’s top 10 cities to visit.

Suzhou is one of China's top tourist cities

Suzhou's famed gardens.

8. Hangzhou

Hangzhou’s lush tree-lined streets, contemporary way of life and enormous West Lake make it one of China’s best cities for TEFL teachers and tourists alike.

Hangzhou is one of China's best places to visit

Hanging out at West Lake in Hangzhou.

7. Wuhan

Compared to the other cities on this list, Wuhan is light-on when it comes to traditional tourist attractions but its central location makes it a booming travel and transport hub.

Wuhan makes the top 10 cities to visit in China list

Wuhan's Yellow Crane Tower is the city's main tourist attraction.

6. Chengdu

Chengdu is home to China’s panda sanctuary, where you can get up close and personal with the country’s national treasure. And this is reason enough for Chengdu to be one of China’s top tourist cities!

Chengdu is popular with tourists thanks to the panda sanctuary

Chengdu is popular with tourists thanks to its panda sanctuary.

5. Guangzhou

Guangzhou is one of China’s biggest air travel hubs, with China Southern its main carrier. The warm weather in Guangzhou, and its proximity to Hong Kong and Shenzhen, keep tourists coming back to this megacity.

Guangzhou is a tourist city

View of Guangzhou from the top of the Canton Tower.

4. Tianjin

Surprisingly high on the list at number 4, Tianjin is just a stone’s throw from Beijing (well, about a one-hour bullet train ride). This makes it a handy destination for Beijingers and tourists who make day trips from the capital.

Tianjin is surprisingly one of China's top tourism cities

Ice fishing in downtown Tianjin.

3. Shanghai

Shanghai is home to stunning European architecture on The Bund, as well as cosmopolitan shopping and food. It’s a great entry point into China for first-time visitors and those teaching in China.

Shanghai is one of China's best cities to visit

Shanghai is popular with Western tourists and TEFL teachers. 

2. Chongqing

If you love hot food, head to Chongqing for its famed hotpot. It’s also well located on the Yangtze River for some serious cruising.


1. Beijing

Palaces, squares, temples and tombs – Beijing has got it all. And there’s also that thing called The Great Wall!

With a history of more than 3,000 years, Beijing is a metropolis with abundant natural and cultural resources.

Beijing is China's top tourist city

Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

As a transport hub, travel in Beijing is relatively easy despite its big population. It’s got a super-network of highways, railways, subways and airlines that connect with countless locations.

In 2016, Beijing received 280 million domestic tourists and over 4 million foreign visitors. Its tourism revenue amounted to more than 500 billion yuan. This represents 20 per cent of the city’s total GDP.

And that’s why Beijing came out on top!

Do you agree that Beijing is China’s top city for tourists?


Source: China.org.cn

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