10 Days in China: Our Recommendations

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From modern cities that are speckled with ancient temples to spectacular natural scenery, it is possible to experience the best of China in a little over a week’s time. Although 10 days in China may sound too short, travelers can explore the highlights of the country and a few other hand-picked attractions at a reasonable pace. To help you plan the perfect trip to China, here are our suggested China itineraries for 10 to 12 days. 

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Tourists riding the cable car at Mutianyu Great Wall
Located in Huairou District, 70 kilometers northeast of the center of Beijing, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is the best-preserved section.
Day 1 Explore Beijing at your own leisure
Day 2 Visit Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City and more
Day 3 Cable car ride to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall
Day 4 Rickshaw tour of Hutong. High-speed train ride to Xi'an
Day 5 Visit the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Mosque and more in X'ian
Day 6 Bike ride on the Xian City Wall and cook a meal with a local Chinese family
Day 7 Cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo, visit a local home
Day 8 On a Guilin tour, explore the Reed Flute Cave and more. Take a flight to Shanghai
Day 9 City tour of Shanghai. Cruise on the Huangpu River
Day 10 Depart from Shanghai

If you want to include the most-loved attractions of China in a single trip and season it with a local touch, this itinerary is for you. Explore Beijing and go on a cable car ride to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Take a rickshaw tour of Hutong then get on a high-speed train to Xi’an — two very authentic yet very different experiences in China — on the same day. While you trace the country's enthralling history at world-famous sights such as the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, also take a sneak-peek into everyday life with a bicycle tour of Xi’an. End the visit with a home-cooked lunch at the home of a local Chinese family. Then, hop on a Li River cruise in Guilin and another cruise on the Huangpu River in Shanghai. End your 10 days in China, exploring the Bund at your own leisure. See tours.


Tourists exploring the Beijing Hutong in traditional rickshaws
When viewed from a drone or a helicopter, the interlaced lanes of the Beijing Hutong resemble a maze or a chessboard.
Two giant pandas gazing towards the sky
You can visit, observe and volunteer at the Chengdu Panda Research Base on your trip.
Day 1 Arrive in Beijing
Day 2 See Beijing's highlights, including Hutong by rickshaw and Tiananmen Square. Lunch with a local family.
Day 3 Beijing tour continues: Visit the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace
Day 4 A day at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China
Day 5 Travel to X'ian and bicycle on the city walls. Enjoy a traditional Hui Muslim meal
Day 6 Terracotta Warriors, X'ian tour and end-of-day light show
Day 7 Take a high-speed train to Chengdu
Day 8 Pay respect at Leshan Giant Buddha
Day 9 Visit the Chengdu Giant Pandas Research Centre
Day 10  Fly to Shanghai. Cruise the Huangpu River
Day 11  Enchant yourself at Yu Garden
Day 12  Leave for home

With a couple of extra days, this 12-day itinerary takes you to visit some of China’s biggest, most exciting and modern cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, and also immerses you in the country’s rich and fascinating history with visits to historical and archeological gems like the Great Wall of China and the Leshan Giant Buddha. Mix in a few local insights and experiences, and you’ve got a trip fit for anyone looking for the best of China. See tours.

An overview map of the routes of 10 day China itineraries
An overview map of the routes of 10 day China itineraries


Beijing skyscrapers and traffic from a distance on a clear, sunny day
You can visit Tienanmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Great Wall of China and Summer Palace in Beijing on this 10-day tour.
Tourists walking the Great Wall of China on a sunny day
While you can hike easily on some sections, you can ride the cable car to the top on other sections of the Great Wall.
Day 1 Welcome to China’s ancient capital city
Day 2 Witness tombs, mountains and the Great Wall
Day 3 Explore the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park
Day 4 Say goodbye to Beijing and take a high-speed train to Xi’an
Day 5 Visit Terracotta Warriors Museum
Day 6 Fly to Sanya and relax on its white sandy beaches
Day 7 Explore Sanya’s best spots at your own pace
Day 8 Enjoy Sanya at your leisure
Day 9 Experience watersports, traditional restaurants and tasty flavors
Day 10 Say goodbye to Sanya

Soak up everything from the ancient vibes of Xi’an to the tranquil tropical environment of Hainan during this 10-day trip. See the massive Great Wall before heading off to discover the mysteries that lay behind the walls of Beijing's Forbidden City. Take in some of Beijing's finest art and architecture during a visit to its magnificent temples, palaces, and pavilions. Then travel in one of China’s famous high-speed trains to explore the Terracotta Warriors. After a few days in China’s jam-packed cities, it is time to explore Hainan Island on your own. You can trek through the forests of Nanwan Monkey Island, take a dip in the waters at one of Sanya’s breathtaking bays, or discover the island's tasty offerings at an authentic local restaurant. Describe your ideal 10-day China tour on a tailor-made vacation package.

So, what are you waiting for? Book one of the 10-day China trips recommended above and experience some of the country's most magnificent wonders. Or, get in touch with one of our travel experts in China for a customized itinerary for 10 days in China.


Published by Kate Haley, updated on May 17, 2023
Plan a trip to China We offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to China.
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