There’s more to China than just dragons and pandas. As one of the largest countries in the world, this Asian expanse of land is a goldmine of rich, novel experiences that make it a worthy tourist hotspot. Discover some beautiful beaches in China or take a stroll around ancient cities like Xi’an. But one thing is certain — there is certainly no scope for a traveler to ever run out of things to do in this magnificent country. Even on a budget constraint!
The world over, China is held in high stead for its innovative character. As efficient as the country is on its work front, it has the advantage of being equally gifted as far as natural wonders and imposing landscapes are concerned. Beyond the famed Great Wall of China, which has an incredible story behind it, lies an infinite wealth of stunning mountain vistas, azure coasts, traditional temples, and verdant fields where Chinese culture converges beautifully. Scroll through these 10 vacation spots in China to begin planning an unforgettable adventure of a summer!
The hotels featured in this article are all based on our recommendations and have been curated after thorough research on stays in China’s popular tourist spots. These accommodations enjoy superior reviews from travelers, as well as high ratings of 8.0 and up at the time of publishing. The varying price range of stays mentioned hopes to cater to an assorted group of travelers seeking comfort and hospitality as per their budget.
Situated in northern China, the coastal city of Tianjin has much to offer the tourist seeking an enriching holiday without breaking the bank. It’s a hub of major historical attractions and national landmarks, from the UNESCO-recognized Grand Canal to streets lined with traditional architecture to let the international traveler indulge in the true essence of China. Kick back at Dongjiang Bay Beach or spend a romantic evening near the glittering riverside of the famous Tianjin Eye. For the best spread of China’s authentic gastronomic delights, Nanshi Cuisine Street is absolutely unmissable.
Nighttime View Of Beijing, China
Don’t be surprised to see Beijing on the list. Despite its status as a prosperous metropolitan hub, the Chinese capital offers affordable tourist options in abundance. From turning back time at historically important spots like Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and the Great Wall of China, to soaking in local culture at the 798 Art District or chancing upon a fairytale at the Purple Bamboo Park, a tourist’s guide to Beijing is packed with bucket list items not to be missed. To budget the trip, one can also opt for hostels or homestays, of which options are plenty.
Wangjiang Pavilion during Spring with peach blossoms in Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Sichuan is a slice of paradise in China. The historic province plays host to a smattering of scenic landscapes and natural wonders that satisfy the traveler’s soul. Chengdu’s cuddly pandas and the Giant Buddha in Leshan are among Sichuan’s top tourist attractions, though there is a wealth of tourist experiences beyond that, too. The mountainous region’s storybook vistas are on generous display to enjoy for free, while tours around the heavenly Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve can be budgeted per the traveler’s own needs.
Ancient houses in Xitang Ancient Town, Zhejiang
Enjoy the flavors of eastern China at the seaside haven of Zhejiang, where the culture is rich and so are lifestyles. But don’t worry — despite being one of China’s most affluent pockets, Zhejiang welcomes tourists who don’t want to spend a bomb. Nature is at its pristine best here, with towering peaks and picturesque lakes offering up glorious views for free. Much of the action is centered around the popular cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Wuzhen. Xi Lake, Putuo Mountain, and Lingyin Temple are considered must-see attractions.
Sun and Moon Bay, Wanning City, Hainan Island, China
Lying at the southernmost tip of China is Hainan Island, where turquoise waters gently wave and sunny days yawn into a lazy summer that never seems to end. The province is renowned for its surreal topography, where the mountains meet the sea, and tropical temperatures ensure relaxation like no other! Sanya is the premier tourist destination on the island, with Yalong Bay and Wuzhizhou touted as standout attractions. The best part? Hainan Island offers visa-free entry to many countries!
Guilin, Guangxi, China karst mountains on the Li River
Home to some of the wondrous scapes across China, the southern city of Guilin has many beautiful places for travelers to enjoy on a budget. Nature, and in particular karst terrain, reigns supreme here, with sites like the Li River, the Reed Flute Cave, and the Elephant Trunk Hill offering up endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. The name, meaning “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus,” pays a fitting tribute to the place’s lush, heavenly vistas and creates enough allure for every tourist to want to visit.
Mukden Palace in Shenyang, Liaoning
A small place tucked away on the shores of northeastern China, Liaoning can be a refreshing corner of the country to be in for the summer. It’s as much an abode of historically important sites, like Mukden Palace and Yalu River Broken Bridge, as it is an eco-paradise with spots like the Red Beach and Qianshan National Park dotting its geography. Every few steps bring the tourist face-to-face with picture-perfect panoramas straight out of an Asian dreamscape. Perfect for a summer holiday!
Yunnan, Zhaotong, Yongshan County
The Chinese province of Yunnan boasts beauty incomparable to anywhere else in the country. Not only is it famously diverse in its cultures and ethnicities, but Yunnan is also gifted with varying landscapes that bring the best of nature together in one place. From snowcapped peaks to rice terraces and stone, forests seeped in tradition, the sweeping panoramas here seem to be straight out of wild fantasy. Be sure to check the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Er Lake, and Lijiang Old Town off that bucket list!
Three people sitting in a garden in Gulangyu island
The great thing about Fujian is that it has something for every traveler. Chasing the grandeur of lofty mountains? The Wuyi range has that covered. Seeking a quiet escape to an island where walking is the only way to get around? Look no further than Gulangyu Island. Want to witness the land’s traditions of Buddhism? The historic South Putuo temple is an oasis of spirituality. The coastal province is a true goldmine of tourist attractions, most of which don’t cost a dime to be experienced.
1 Inner Mongolia
There’s no place better to spend a summer in China than in Inner Mongolia. The northern edge of the country, which lies bordering its sibling Mongolia, is a wonderful holiday destination adorned by lush forests, hot springs, historical buildings, and rural grassland vistas worthy of being laptop wallpapers. Hohhot, Hulunbuir, and Ulanqab are among the region’s most-visited spots, where nature and culture put up a grand show. A perfect place for the whole family to have a gala time!
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