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The Great Wall of China needs no introduction

The great wonders in China include Beijing's imposing Forbidden City and Xi’an’s mystical Terracotta Warriors, dating back thousands of years. When you've filled up on culture, you can feast upon the incredibly varied food, from spicy Sichuan to southern stir-fries.

Essential information for China

Local time

Language

Flag of China
Mandarin and English

Currency

Chinese Yuan
Official currency of China

Flight information

11h 45m
Hong Kong (HKG)
Direct flight

Flight schedule

  • Virgin Atlantic fly to Hong Kong or Shanghai. Departures are daily from London Heathrow
are our main partner airline

Do I need a visa?

Yes, British citizens require a visa for travel to China.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Eating out

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. 

From ancient history to wondrous sights: Discover China

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 IntercontinentalHong 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!

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Your holiday may be affected by the government’s travel restrictions

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK have advised against all but essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just let us know.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist.

Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

Your holiday will not be going ahead as planned

Due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, the Foreign Commonwealth Office have advised against all but essential travel. Therefore, with known airline cancellations, the following holidays will not go ahead as planned:

  • Any holidays departing before 27th April 2020.
  • Any Caribbean holidays departing before 1 May 2020.

We’re flexible with your holiday plans

We understand you may want to change your holiday plans. You can postpone your holiday to any time before 31 December 2021, and even choose a different destination. We won’t charge you to make these changes.

For now, we do ask you not to contact us. As a priority, we are currently supporting those customers whose holidays have already been directly affected by cancellations. We will contact you as soon as we can, or if there are any further changes that could affect your holiday.

We know you’ll want to get this sorted as soon as possible, and we’re very grateful for your understanding.

Please look out for an email from us in the coming days and weeks with our latest advice. See our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for latest updates.

You’re good to go

In line with the advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK, and known airline cancellations, all trips booked from June onwards are currently going ahead as planned.

As a priority, we are currently supporting those customers whose holidays have been directly affected by cancellations.

So, for now, we ask you not to contact us. Rest assured we are contacting all of our customers by email in departure date order to support them with options, and we will absolutely let you know if your situation changes.

If your remaining balance is due within two weeks, and you’d like to know what your options are, please log into Manage my Booking for further information.

Please look out for an email from us in the coming weeks. See our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for latest updates.

Rebook your holiday


We are sending all affected customers a voucher by email that is valid for the full value of your cancelled holiday. When you rebook, we’d like to gift you with 4,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles too.

There’s no rush. You can redeem your holiday voucher on a new booking with us any time before 31 July 2020.

We know you’ll be wanting to get this sorted as soon as possible. So please look out for our email for more details of how to amend your holiday plans.

Cancel your holiday


We're sending all affected customers a voucher by email that is valid for the full value of your cancelled holiday.  

Rather than cancel, if you’d like to travel with us sometime in the future, we would still love to find a great holiday for you (and gift you with 4,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles as a thank you).

If you'd prefer to cancel completely, we understand. We will refund you in full. We’re currently dealing with a huge volume of enquiries from our customers, including refund requests. Because of this, it’s likely it will take much longer than usual to process your refund. We’re very grateful for your continued patience, and we’ll work as quickly as we can to get to you.

We know you’ll be wanting to get this sorted as soon as possible. So please look out for our email for more details of how to amend your holiday plans.

Your holiday is in safe hands


No need to contact us. Be assured, that if the situation changes, we will contact you as soon as this happens with the options available to you.

Change it up


You can postpone your holiday to travel any time before 31 December 2021, and even choose a different destination. We won’t charge you to make these changes and our Service Team are there to help – just give us a call.

Please bear in mind our wait times are currently longer than usual due to high demand.

Your holiday is in safe hands


Your holiday is scheduled to depart as booked. Continue to pay off your holiday balance with the assurance that your money is fully protected through ATOL. Be assured, that if the situation changes, we will contact you as soon as this happens with the options available to you.

The choice is yours


No problem! To amend your holiday dates, just give us a call. Any amendments to your booking can be made for £50pp, and our Service Team can help you decide on dates, or even a different destination.

Please bear in mind our wait times are currently longer than usual due to high demand.

Register yourself as away from home


If you’re abroad and your flight home has been cancelled please let us know, as relief flights will end soon.

Register as away from home

Alternatively, call our UK Duty Office on +44 0344 472 9646 (option 3) to discuss your options for getting home.

Book online


Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist

Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers

Help is at hand


Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types online and save your faves to your very own Wishlist

If you’re ready to book but can’t find the information you need on our website, just call our travel experts who will be happy to help.

To redeem your holiday voucher on a new booking with us, just give us a call and quote your old booking reference.

How would you like to talk to us?

Important information: We are working hard to help all of our customers, particularly those already on holiday or due to travel in the next 72 hours.

Let's talk

If you still need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel in the next 72 hours, please log into Manage my Booking to call or message us. You are our immediate priority.