Where to stay in China
Holidays in Hong Kong
It's cheap and easy to get around Hong Kong, via the Mass Transit Railway, buses and taxis. And don't forget your feet, helped along considerably in Central District by the world's longest escalator - join the office workers as they slide to work! Shopping is a major pastime here. You can indulge everywhere, from bargain markets to posh department stores.
Holidays in Shanghai
Shanghai is China’s largest city and has the perfect blend of East and West. Featuring futuristic skyscrapers and a fascinating heritage, you're in for an amazing cultural adventure on a Shanghai holiday.
Holidays in Beijing
China's capital has some of the world’s most awe-inspiring attractions, extaordinary history and diverse culture. Explore all of this plus more, on your holiday to Beijing. Whether you're interested in breathtaking sights such as the beautiful temples and the Great Wall of China, or the vibrant cultural scene, from Kung fu to world-class opera, discover the best the city has to offer with our Beijing holiday packages.
Essential information for China
- Virgin Atlantic fly to Hong Kong or Shanghai. Departures are daily from London Heathrow
Do I need a visa?
There are as many cuisines in China as there are regions, though there are 3 main styles. Sichuan is famous for its hot and spicy dishes. Northern-style dishes utilise steamed bread and pancakes instead of rice. Southern cooking involves classic, light stir-fry dishes made from a vast array of ingredients.
Amazing ancient history, deliciously eclectic food, stunning scenery, world-famous landmarks and dazzling cities…
We think trips to China should be on everyone’s bucket list. Everyone’s. Whether you’re an explorer itching for your next adventure, a family looking for something a bit different or simply someone that just needs a break somewhere far, far away, China holidays have something truly unforgettable to offer you.
With beautifully diverse landscapes and fascinating cultures to immerse yourself in, China is the ideal destination for trips of all kinds. Planning holidays to China can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, but don’t fret, we’ve got this — here’s our top tips for the best things to see and do in this phenomenal country.
Our fantastic China tour packages take you to some of the most incredible places in the country. Combine China package holidays with a tour (or two!) for the trip of a lifetime. Alternatively, you can do things your own way. However you choose to do it, don’t miss these cultural highlights:
Adventurers and culture fanatics have got to explore Beijing’s Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming and Qing dynasties. With 9,999 rooms filled with artifacts, it’s the largest ancient palatial structure in the world (at twice the size of the Vatican) and the singular most popular tourist destination in China.
Visit Xi’an to see the Great Mosque of Xi’an, as well as the ancient Ming-era city walls, the world-famous Terracotta Warriors and the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi. The labyrinthine Muslim Quarter is not to be missed, and the many pagodas and museums are worth setting some time aside for, too.
Climb the 240 steps on Lantau Island, Hong Kong’s largest outlying island, to the 111-foot Tian Tan Buddha, or ‘Big Buddha’ statue. Ride a cable car from Tung Chung for spectacular views of the island and the South China Sea.
Animal lovers, take a tour of the exhibits at Chendu’s giant panda research centre, a sanctuary that breeds and cares for these amazing endangered animals, as well as other pandas and over 20 other species’ too. China is also home to two zoos, and both Beijing and Chongging Zoos offer a fun day out for all the family.
If boat tours are your thing, there’s nothing quite like meandering along the Yangtze, the world’s third largest river, with the most popular stretch being The Three Gorges (the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges are truly spectacular).
Of course, trips to China would be incomplete without experiencing the Great Wall of China first hand, and you’ve got to do it in style — take a cable car to the restored Mutianyu section for breathtaking views of the Great Wall and the surrounding scenery. You can even take a toboggan down for a bit of extra excitement.
A little bit of extra luxury with your holiday is the way to go, and our selection of China holiday packages are all a cut above the rest. Sip a cocktail by the pool with fantastic views of Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon skyline at the Harbour Grand Hong Kong, and when you can pull yourself away, get some retail therapy in the upscale department stores of Kowloon.
Our Platinum hotel, InterContinental Hong Kong, offers luxury like you’ve never experienced it before, with 2-Michelin Star restaurants and 3 temperature infinity pools. Plus, take luxury one step further and upgrade to a Harbour View room for one of the greatest views in the world. Luxury China holidays done right.
With world-famous dishes and cuisines, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something <em>bad</em> to eat in this deliciously diverse country, but with so much choice, where do you start? Here’s our recommendations for the best food and drink spots that make China holidays extra special:
- Visit the ancient trading route of Silk Road in Shanghai for incredible bowls of noodles and the best Peking Duck you’ve ever tasted. Lost Heaven Silk Road is a fusion restaurant like no other, expertly blending cuisine from across China and other parts of Asia to create dishes you won’t find anywhere else.
- Hop between the many coffee shops, bars and restaurants in the arty enclave of Tianzifang, Shanghai (and browse the beautiful craft boutiques and shops for souvenirs while you’re there).
- The Michelin-Starred dining at the Kowloon Shangri-La or Intercontinental, Hong Kong is divine. With multiple restaurants to choose from at each hotel, every meal will be a dining experience to remember.
If you visit at the right time, holidays to China can involve cultural festivals you’ll never forget. Some events for your diary:
- It goes without saying that Chinese New Year, which falls in January/February each year, is the key annual event. The festival lasts until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the lunar month — expect plenty of food, fireworks and festivities. Head to one of the colourful temple fairs in Beijing or see the beautiful traditional Lion Dance performances in Guangzhou. If you’re in Hong Kong, you’re in luck: the fireworks display is truly spectacular.
- Held in May/June each year, around the summer solstice, is the Duanwu (Dragon Boat) Festival, held in many cities on water. It’s been running for 2000 years and there’s nothing quite like it. Grab some of the traditional celebratory Zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) and watch the race of colourful dragon-shaped boats.
Now we’ve convinced you that China is the one to visit (and we have, haven’t we?), check out our China package holidays and hotel deals — you’ll be gazing down at the Great Wall from your cable car before you know it!