Last modified on January 27th, 2023 at 11:29 am

There are more epic landmarks in China than most people realise! After living in this fascinating country for several years, I was fortunate to travel to many areas that others know little about, and I discovered so many landmarks in China that are not on the typical tourist trail, but definitely worth a visit! Are you a tourist thinking about exploring China’s sparkling beauty? But, are you confused about which places in China are worth your time and money? If yes, then I have got your back….keep reading to learn more about the landmarks in China…


The Most Amazing Landmarks In China

China is a country with dozens of stunning locations. But, as a tourist, it can be hard to choose the best landmarks in China to visit. You obviously won’t want to be disappointed by visiting places that don’t match your expectations and China is such a vast country that chances are, you won’t have time to see all the landmarks in China. So which should top your list? In this article, you will discover the 50 finest landmarks in China that you must visit.

So, let’s get straight into it….

1. Forbidden City

Landmarks In China

If you consider visiting the most iconic landmarks in China, you must visit the Forbidden City, situated in the heart of Beijing. A former Chinese palace served as the state residence for Chinese emperors and their households. 

It’s almost 500 years old, has over 980 buildings, and extends over 180 acres. It is a must-see destination for tourists worldwide, with enormous museums and cultural monuments. And, Its treasures and unique artifacts make it a thriving spot. 

2. Great Wall of China

Landmarks In China

In Chinese history, you will surely find this masterpiece, The Great Wall of China. It is 21,196 km long, stretches from Dandong on the Eastern side of the country and reaches Lop Lake in its west.

If you think about visiting there, you must know that the Badaling section of the wall is perhaps the most crowded point, such that you can barely see the wall you are standing upon. But that is not the only amazing place there; visiting Jinshanling or Gubeikou will give you a better idea of the wall’s age and sheer scale. 

And if you’re a climber, Mutianyu is gonna give you a tough time climbing but with a joy of peace. 

This is not only one of the most incredible landmarks in China, but in the whole world! Before your visit, I recommend researching the best parts of the wall to visit, we hiked several sections on our trip along the Silk Road in China.

3. Leshan Giant Buddha

Landmarks In China

Out of many tourist spots in China, Leshan Giant Buddha is one of the most impressive landmarks in China. It is located in the most ideal place, in the middle of the three significant Chinese rivers: Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River.

But that’s not the only reason for its popularity. It’s approximately 71-meter high, making it the most enormous Buddha statue in the whole world. It is immense that it took 90 years to finish its making. 

This is another of my favourite landmarks in China, I mean- who doesn’t love a giant buddha, right? We visited as part of our trip to Chengdu with kids as it is only a short ride away from the city.

4. The Bund

In China, not just the famous ancient landmarks but the modern ones are also the charm of tourists’ eyes. The Bund is among the novel locations that has gained popularity in recent years.

This is the financial centre of Shanghai, where you can also see the city’s skyline, which is almost as famous as the one in New York. This is one of teh best landmarks in China, that should be on everyone’s itinerary!

5. Yangtze River

Landmarks In China

The Yangtze River, another incredible place to visit when you’re in China. It flows all the way through 9 different provinces, covering almost 6,300 kilometres. It is the longest Asian river with being in the world’s top 3.

It’s not just famous for being the 3rd longest river, but also for the far-fetched landscapes. Many people choose to do cruises along this fascinating river.

6. Potala Palace

Landmarks In China

In the anonymous Tibet region, the stunning palace of Potala is an exceptional beauty. It was located in Lhasa and was home to 10 diverse Dalai Lamas in ancient times.

Nowadays, it is reshaped into a museum where only 2700 visitors can enjoy each day. So, booking tickets ahead of the visit is necessary if you don’t wanna miss the spot. 

7. Terracotta Army

Landmarks In China

Another epic landmark in China is the Terracotta Army. Although it was discovered a few decades back, it is considered the most famed monument in China.

People from all over the world travel to Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi province from around the globe to visit Terracotta Army.

A fun fact about this place is that there is not a single repeated copy among 8000 warriors- wow!. 

8. Guilin 

things to do in Guilin

The Li River located in Guilin seems like an artistic masterpiece. America’s National Geographic Magazine enlisted it in the “World’s Top 10 Watery Wonders“.

To enjoy this heavenly natural beauty, you can either take a sedate cruise or a moderate hike with your friends and family. And, you’ll be mesmerized by this paradise of nature for sure. In fact, the whole area is well worth a visit, learn why in my post about things to do in Guilin.

9. Yangshuo

things to do in Guilin

Just like Guilin, The karst landscape of Yangshuo will captivate you. If you escape the touristy parts of Yangshuo, you can enjoy nature’s tranquil and artistic scenes in peace.

From stand-up paddleboard or taking a bamboo raft on the Yulong River to having a cycle tour in the countryside, your eyes will feel the immense pleasure of divine beauty.

10. The Yellow Mountains

yellow mountains Huangshan

If you’ve been to The Yellow Mountains, you might agree to call it one of the most attractive landmarks in China. There are twisted pine trees grown from the enquiringly curved rocks that seem so mystical.

The Yellow Mountains are famous because of their great dawns. Not just that, the peculiar pines, uniquely-shaped rocks, dense clouds, and hot springs are considered wonders of The Yellow Mountains. I have written all about this stunning scenic area, you can learn more in my post about the things to do in the Yellow Mountains.

11. Zhangjiajie — Precipitous Pillars

Landmarks In China

Have you ever heard of the sheer pillars in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park? Basically, Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar are inspired by them. And they are now the center of attraction for tourists worldwide.

Every year millions of tourists visit Zhangjiajie for its gigantic peaks, magnificent rock pillars, and deep valleys. For photographers, the forest of massive pillars amuses a lot.

If you’re considering visiting Zhangjiajie, do not miss the Bungee jumping available at the Glass Bridge. 

12. Lijiang

Hiking in Yunnan

Lijiang is added to the list of epic landmarks in China because of its ancient town and spellbinding snowy mountains. Not just that, its high ground glacial lakes and magnificent canyons just take your breath away.

The Lijiang Ancient Town articulates local Naxi minority life. To relish the amazing views of the glaciated peak, take a cable car or just hike through the beautiful sceneries. But, only the hikers get the chance to enjoy the exclusive views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. You can learn all about visiting Lijiang and hiking in the surrounding area on my post about the things to do in Lijiang.

13. Shangri-La — the Holy Meili Snow Mountains

Landmarks In China


Shangri-La and the neighboring Meili Snow Mountains in the southwest of Deqin County are Holy places of pilgrimage for Tibetan people. It is a well-known landmark in China with a mountain range that has 13 peaks. The prominent peak is Kawagebo, 6,740 meters above sea level.

If you are thinking about visiting the peaks, the best time is autumn because the weather and views are hypnotic.

Besides the mountains covered in snow, there are plateau lakes, bushy forests, colorful flowers and trees, and countless wild animals in the mountains to have a look at. There are also Tibetan monasteries and villages that bring about the authentic Tibetan culture experience to you. 

14. Tibet — Lofty Mountain Splendour 

Landmarks In China

Tibet is filled with the pristine beauty of the Himalayas. Its sacred lakes, the world’s highest mountain – Mount Everest, and the vast green lands spellbind the tourists.

You’ll find everything filled with awe, from Changtang Grasslands to the Yarlung-Tsangpo Canyon.

But, here, solo travellers aren’t entertained, so you must get along with a travel agency if you’re considering visiting Tibet. 

15. Zhangye’s Danxia Landscape — Rainbow Mountains 

Landmarks In China

Thinking about making China your next vacation destination? Well, don’t forget to add the Danxia landscape in Zhangye to your wish list. It is also known as Rainbow Mountain because it is filled with vibrant colors.

This gorgeous scenery is praised mostly by photographers because it looks like a splendid oil painting painted by nature. 

16. Western Sichuan Province – Pure Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve

Landmarks In China

Yading Nature Reserve is known as “the last pure land on earth”, and its snowy mountains, clear lakes, lively forests and wide-spread green meadows justify it.

While roaming the Yading Nature Reserve, you’ll grasp spectacular fall sceneries through your journey, accompanied by the Tibetan cultural experience. 

17. Kanas in North Xinjiang

Landmarks In China


Kana, a fairly stunning mountain lake, is situated in the mountains of Altay. After getting improved for tourism purposes, it has gained a much reputation and is now entitled as “the tourism pearl of Mountainous Altai”.

It is famous for its color-changing lake, not only surprising visitors but also taking its beauty to the next level and making it a must-visit place for tourists. 

18. Ejina Desert Polar Forest in Inner Mongolia

Landmarks In China


If you’re a photography lover, you must be longing for Euphrates’ poplar golden leaves that shoot in autumn. And, what will be the best place then, Populus euphratica forest in Ejina in Inner Mongolia?

It is considered the finest ancient desert poplar forest area that sites alluring golden leaves, wistful water reflections, and illimitable deserts with heaven-sent camel riding opportunities.

Ejina Euphrates Poplar Forest has an ideal location; adjacent to Gansu Province, it is usually combined with a trip along the well-known Silk Road. 

19. Hangzhou West Lake

Landmarks In China

Hangzhou is known as the next best place in heaven. You’ll find it one of the most photogenic landmarks in China. Heck, I obviously loved the place as I lived in Hangzhou for three years!

Marco Polo, in the 13th century, labeled it as “the city of heaven” and “the finest and most splendid city in the world”.

The most famous sight for tourists in Hangzhou is its West Lake. When you enter it in Spring, it offers the most striking charm that leaves an ever-lasting impression on its visitors. 

20. The Yuanyang Terraced Fields

50 Epic landmarks in China


There are many things that outshine you once you see them, and Yuanyang’s terraced fields are one of them. These are said to be the step of heaven.

Calling them “The Most beautiful terraces in the world” is perhaps not wrong tho!

21. Jiuzhaigou — Colorful Alpine Lakes

Landmarks In China


Colors always attract, and what’s more attractive than dreamy, colorful scenery? Jiuzhaigou is one of the colorful fairylands in China. Its multicolor featured lakes surrounded by the mountains are so eye-pleasing for the tourists.

Throughout the year, the lake reflects different colors because of its neighboring mountainsides and algae and the presence of various minerals in the lakes.

Considering the best season to visit Jiuzhaigou is fall when the colors are changed, and an intense backdrop of autumnal hues is spread all around, portraying a remarkable unspoiled beauty. This is certainly one of the most mesmerising landmarks in China!

22. Chengdu Dujiangyan Panda Base

Chengdu with kids

If you’re an animal lover, Chengdu is a must-visit place for you. It’s said to be the house of giant pandas. At Dujiangyan Panda Base, you can even join in taking care of them. There is a Panda Keeper Program that calls for volunteers to look after these furry creatures.

Besides this, you can enjoy roaming the town and relish its fancy tea houses, museums and laneways and plenty more- I have it all covered on my post about the things to do in Chengdu.

23. Yunnan Mountains

Hiking in Yunnan

Yunnan is the name of astounding attractiveness. And it is vast enough to cover an area almost the size of Germany!

This province is filled with the treasure of ancient towns, historical views, mountain and river scenery and cultural experiences. From its World Heritage-listed Stone Forest in Kunming to 1000-year-old Yuanyang Rice Terraces, you’ll find a glimpse of Nature.

You can have a peaceful time there, roaming in the paved streets of the ancient town of Lijiang at the Himalayan foothills. The area is famous for its fantastic hiking opportunities and I have written ALL about that in post about hiking in Yunnan.

24. Yu Garden, Shanghai

Landmarks In China

Yu Garden in the Huangpu District of Shanghai is 400 years old landmark in China that displays classic Chinese architecture and landscaping. Moreover, it also represents glorious sculptures and carvings that seem so pleasing.

In the neighbourhood, you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants and the most famous Yuyuan Bazaar too.

If you’re making up plans to visit the Yu Garden, do visit in springs. 

25. Tiananmen Square, Beijing

Landmarks In China

Tiananmen Square is a city square present in the heart of Beijing, and it separates itself from the Forbidden City. Not magnificent like The Forbidden City, it is also an amazing place to visit when in Beijing.

During National Day and May Day holidays, you’ll find the place covered with flowers and decorations, an excellent opportunity to take fabulous photographs.

26. Temple of Heaven, Beijing

Landmarks In China

This place was named the Temple of Heaven because Ming Dynasty’s emperors held the Heaven Worship Ceremony here. Later, in 1988 it was opened as a park for the public. It is also famed because it unveils ancient philosophy, culture, and Chinese history.

The temple is greater than the Forbidden City and is parted into inner and outer portions. Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Circular Mound Altar, and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest are the parts of the temple that people praise the most. 

27. Summer Palace, Beijing

Landmarks In China

Beijing’s Summer Palace is one of the most youthful gardens worldwide. It’s a lush green garden where visitors spend most of their day exploring.

On your visit to this garden, you can spend your time boating on Kunming Lake or walking along its Long Corridor. There is also a live traditional Chinese performance in an ancient theatre which amuse the visitors. 

28. Beijing Zoo, Beijing

Landmarks In China

Beijing Zoo is yet another one of the popular landmarks in China. It is located in Xicheng District and was the first ever Chinese zoo. It has got about 450 different species and 5,000 animals in total. There are 16 exhibition halls and significant play areas for children.  

In one of the halls, there is a specific hall named Gorilla Hall with hillocks and wooden apparatus along with gorilla paintings in each habitat. As decor, pools and rockeries are also kept there.

However, whilst this is a popular tourist attraction, I do not recommended it because of the way that the animals are treated here, you can learn more about this in my post about the ethics of visiting zoos.

29. Houhai, Beijing

Landmarks In China


Houhai is a beautiful lake situated in Beijing. It belonged to the royal family in Yuan Dynasty, but today Chinese government has opened it to the public.

In Houhai, you’ll find traditional buildings and royal courtyards. You can also explore the old hutongs and visit former celebrity homes.

But the journey doesn’t end here. There is a famous bar street where the nightlife is at its peak. The two very renowned bars Zoom Club and Houhai No. 5, are the main attraction of the Chinese there.

30. Jingshan Park, Beijing

Landmarks In China


Jingshan Park, Beijing, is another significant Chinese landmark located in the North of Forbidden City. Built in 1179 during Jin Dynasty, it covers almost 23 hectares. In this part, the main center of attention is its “Prospect Hill”, an artificially created piece.

There is also a temple at the top of the hill where tourists can look over the Forbidden City. Apart from magnificent views, the park is well-maintained. There are well-manicured Chinese gardens also that contain various local flower kinds. 

31. White Horse Temple, Luoyang

Landmarks In China


Out of many awesome temples in China, the White Horse temple is the classiest of all. The oldest Buddhist temple in China dates back to 68 AD.

The White Horse temple is divided into multiple halls, including the Great Buddha Hall and the Hall of Heavenly Kings. The temple also has burning incense and shrines throughout its stretch. This is another example of one of the most popular landmarks in China for those who choose to visit Beijing.

32. Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Landmarks In China


Shanghai is the top-most famous city to visit when in China. It’s just for famous for its bustling energy but also for modern architecture, But Nanjing Road (Nanjing Lu).is the cherry on top.

Its shopping zone is 6km long and is one of the busiest areas you’ll ever see. From small local shops to brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, you’ll find everything there. 

33. Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai

Shanghai with kids

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower visualized a unique image of twin dragons playing with pearls. When you’re touring Shanghai, do add it to your bucket list. It would be so unfortunate if you missed this.

You can keep yourself entertained in the Pearl Tower by doing plenty of activities. There is a Game City, Revolving Restaurant, the Dynamic Ring Multimedia Show, and much more that will not let you get bored. 

34. Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, Xi’an

Landmarks In China

Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum is said to be the 8th wonder of the world. It is also called the Terracotta Warriors Museum because the imprints of the terracotta army were made of warriors and horses.

Daily, hundreds of visitors come to see this amazingly mesmeric monument, which is undoubtedtly one of the most popular landmarks in China. There is free entry for children with a height of less than 1.4 m (4.6 ft), and for children under 16 years, the ticket price is half. So, bring your family and enjoy your lovely time exploring the museum. 

35. The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an

Landmarks In China


In China, you’ll find a lot of Holy places, and The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is one of them. Often called “The Big Wild Goose Pagoda”, it is the center of attraction for thousands of tourists.

This pagoda is popular for the lavish green gardens and squares surrounding it. The most famous square is the North Square having the largest musical fountain in all of China.

36. Ming Dynasty Tombs, Changping District

Landmarks In China


Ming Dynasty Tombs in the Changping Districts are not just tourist spots but also a part of remarkable Chinese history. They were built during the Ming Dynasty and are basically an assortment of renowned mausoleums.

To explore the tombs, you need to take a guide with you. While wandering through the hallways, you’ll find yourself admiring the tomb’s artifacts. 

37. Jiuzhai Valley National Park, Sichuan

Landmarks In China

Jiuzhai Valley National Park is China’s most famous tourist attraction place because of its beautiful natural sceneries and glorious waterfalls.

Photographers just love this spot because of its amazing views and magical landscapes.

The total of 114 lakes and 5 remarkable waterfalls of Jiuzhai Valley National Park will take three days to fully explore.

The Shuzheng Valley is its most treasured place. Apart from that, there are Nuorilang Waterfall, Panda Lake, Long Lake, and various other sites to visit. 

38. Chimelong Paradise, Guangzhou

Landmarks In China


Enjoying a roller coaster ride and having fun in the resort sound like a dream vacation, no? well, you can enjoy all this on your visit to Chimelong Paradise. It’s also called the Guangzhou Chimelong Holiday Resort, which is 3rd most popular theme park in China.

Here, you will find a waterpark, safari park, circus, and other exciting activities to do during your holidays. You can also enjoy your evenings there playing golf, going to the zoo, and having a walk in the beautiful gardens.

39. Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou

Landmarks In China

Talking about the most important landmarks in China, The Guangzhou Opera House is one of them. It is now among the biggest performance centers in China, designed by Zaha Hadid.

In this Opera House, many performances and incredible shows are hosted, which include ballets, classical music concerts, operas, and more.

Every year, thousands of people visit the Guangzhou Opera House not just to get amused by the performances but also to admire the opera house’s stunning modern design.

40. Reed Flute Cave, Guilin

Landmarks In China

Visiting China? Don’t miss out on the Reed Flute Cave, Guilin. It is known as “the Palace of Natural Arts”.

The caves there were named after the natural reeds grown near the caves, and the people at that time cultivated them and turned them into flutes.

Nowadays, the Reef Flute Caves are illuminated with modem lighting, providing an attractive multicolored light display that appeals to its visitors.

41. Mount Hua, Huayin

Landmarks In China


Amongst the five greatest mountains in China, Mount Hua is the westernmost mountain, located 120 kilometres from Xi’an. It’s of the most famous hiking mountain because of being at 2,154 meters high and having lots of lean pathways with steep drops.

Looking for a hike? Well, the best trail is the Huashan Plank Trail, and it’s the one that has earned this mountain its reputation.

42. Jinsha Site Museum, Chengdu

Landmarks In China

Jinsha Site Museum was a place built to protect the prehistorical items, but later it attracted tourists towards it. Here, you’ll see rare items such as unearthed ivories, elephant skulls and molars.

This museum, one of the most popular landmarks in China, is divided into 4 parts; the Relics Hall, the Exhibition Hall, the Cultural Heritage Protection Center, and the Ecological Garden. Each region has got its own beauty. Moreover, the museum is surrounded by metasequoias and other ancient trees, providing it with more charm. 

43. Mogao Caves, Dunhuang

Landmarks In China

In China, there are almost 56 World Heritage sites, and Mogao Caves are one of them, having 492 cell and cave sanctuaries.

On your visits to Mogao Caves, you’ll find Buddhist statues and a painting everywhere, making it the world’s largest Buddhist art collection. This is one of the best landmarks in China, but beware that it does get very busy!

44. Shanghai Tower

Landmarks In China

Shanghai Tower is more than 2000 feet mega skyscraper. This 118-storey building is among the well-known landmarks in China.

Not only is this building an engineering wonder, but it’s also an architectural beauty. In the 2015 Skyscraper Awards, Shanghai tower was judged as the most beautiful building in the world.

Its beauty captivates the visitors and doesn’t allow them to leave for hours. So, it’s quite a perfect place to satisfy your wanderlust.

45. Mount Tai, Tai’an

Landmarks In China


Located in the East, Mount Tai is amongst the five sacred mountains in China and one of the landmarks in China worthy of a mention in this post. Since 1,000 BC, these mountains have given spiritual significance because emperors used to meditate and offer sacrifices there.

This mountain is the center of attraction for tourists because of its eminent temples, the South Heavenly Gate, and the Jade Emperor Peak. And, if you’re a hiking freak, hiking through the stunning blossom tree valleys feels like the icing on the cake.

46. Harbin Ice & Snow World, Harbin

Landmarks In China

In winter, the best place to visit in China is the Harbin Ice & Snow World. There is a festival that starts in December and stays till the mark. It’s one of the largest help ice and snow festivals worldwide.

There are icy sculptures illuminated with bright colours and fireworks to enjoy at night. This was one of the most unique and amazing place that I visited during my time in China, and is without a doubt one of the most unusual landmarks in China!

47. Saint Sophia Cathedral, Harbin

Things to do in Harbin

China is not just the land of Chinese history and culture; here, Saint Sophia Cathedral is another of the well-known landmarks in China. It is basically a Russian Orthodox Church that was built in 1907. Its remarkable admiration is because of it being the largest Orthodox Church in the Far East.

If you’ve visited the Churches, you might have seen that their architecture is a look-alike of the famous buildings in Russia. There are dome roofs with golden crosses, glass windows and lavishly carved details that represent its wealth and give an Eastern European touch.  

48. Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang

Landmarks In China


Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang is yet another of the famous landmarks in China showing Buddhist art’s glory. Thousand Buddhist statues embody Buddha and his disciples carved into the rocks.

The Longmen Grottoes were part of ancient Chinese history. But still, it is one of the lesser-known landmarks in China. Nevertheless, many people visit the site every year and praise the stunning carvings. 

49. Sanya Beaches

things to do in Sanya

Sanya is a tropical paradise that is situated at the southern tip of China’s Hainan Island. It is named “The Hawaii of China” for its best beaches and plenty of resort choices.

If you’re a diving enthusiast, Wuzhizhou Island and West Island are for you. Not just adventurous activities Sanya, ensure your uncompromised fun at the beach. 

Sanya is a popular place for expats and locals to head to for some beach time, you can read why it is so popular and what there is to do here in my post on the things to do in Sanya.

50. Xishuangbanna– tropical paradise

Landmarks In China


Now for the last of the epic landmarks in China- Xishuangbanna is a tropical bliss. Its’ a territory for wild animals and home to the Buddhist temples in China.

For nature lovers, this place is like heaven, a paradise of tropical plants. Its Tropical Botanic Garden has the richest collection of the most attractive plant species you might not find elsewhere.

Not just that, you’ll find ethnic-culture-rich stilt-style Dai houses in every corner that will give you genuinely Southeast Asian feels. 

In winter it’s a lovely escape for tourists. 

Landmarks in China- Wrap Up

China is a country of natural beauty and rich culture. The beautiful natural and man-made landmarks in China lure tourists from all around the world. From lakes to mountains and vast meadows, everything is eye-catching. Some landmarks in China seem so magical that they leave a man to ponder upon how such a mesmeric sight even exists. If you’re thinking about visiting China for your vacation, we’ve enlisted the top 50 epic landmarks in China. Just give it a read and choose your dream destination.

Are there any landmarks in China that I have missed off this list? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you have enjoyed this article on the landmarks in China, I am sure that you will love these posts too-

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