15 Largest Cities in China


China is one of the most interesting countries in the world to visit. It’s a place where you’ll see old and new architecture sitting down next to each other, and it has modern cities that look like they could be straight out of sci-fi movies.

China is home to some amazing sights and lots of history and culture to discover. It is also very populous with over 1 billion people! To put that into perspective, it’s almost twice as many as the number of people who live in the United States. That means you have a lot of options for urban exploration!

Here are 15 of the largest cities in China to get you started.

Beijing

A tree in a forest

With a population that exceeds 1 billion people, China has a diverse range of urban centers to explore!

Beijing is the capital of China. It is the seat of government and one of the most populous cities in the world. With a population that exceeds 1 billion people, China has a diverse range of urban centers to explore!

Beijing is located in northern China which means that it has a much colder climate than other parts of the country with temperatures dropping below freezing during winter months and often snowing in January or February. The city also has the highest population density and also holds many historical sites including Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and Temple of Heaven just to name a few examples!

Shanghai

A close up of a flower

Shanghai is a city that has a population of 22.5 million people and it is the most populous metropolis in China! Shanghai is also known as a global financial hub and it’s one of the most iconic cities in China and around the world!

Shanghai is located in eastern China and they share a border with Hong Kong. Shanghai is always warm and humid, the climate is quite mild but remains hot year-round. The city has a reputation for being an economic powerhouse featuring one of the busiest ports in the world as well as having plenty of finance and business opportunities.

Shanghai includes many different districts such as Huangpu District, Baoshan District, and Putuo District to name a few. and also has many famous tourist attractions such as The Bund, Yu Garden, The Purple Mountain, and Shanghai World Financial Center just to name a few examples!

Tianjin

Tianjin is a coastal city that sits on the coast of eastern China. The population of Tianjin is about 12.5 million people.

The climate for Tianjin is temperate and continental with clear, cold winters and hot summers. In winter, there is usually more rainfall in Tianjin than in the summer months due to the East Asian monsoon.

Tourist attractions include Forbidden City, Xiangshan Park, Tianjin Ancient Culture Street, Jinli Old Street, and Donghai Bridge Wetland Park to name a few examples!

Chongqing

Chongqing is a city that sits on the Yangtze River. The population in Chongqing is about 12 million people.

Chongqing is located near the Three Gorges Dam and Yichang, which is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Chongqing.

The climate for Chongqing is humid subtropical with warm summers and mild winters.

Tourist attractions include Dazu Rock Carvings, Beibei Ancient Town, Minghu Lake, Huaxi Ancient Town, and Yuzhong District to name a few examples!

Guangzhou

Guangzhou is one of the famous cities in China with a population of 11 million people. Guangzhou is the capital of the province of Guangdong.

Guangzhou is located near Hong Kong and Macau in southeastern China. Guangzhou has a humid subtropical climate with year-round rainfall, hot summers, and mild winters. The rain in Guangzhou falls almost exclusively during the summer months with only about 15 days per year being classified as thunderstorms or more severe events.

Tourist attractions in Guangdian include Tianhe Park, Tianxin Pavilion, Zhanyuan Temple, Lingnan Impression Garden, Memorial House of Mao Zedong, and Chimelong Safari Park to name a few examples!

Shenzhen

Shenzhen is one of the most well-known cities in China.

It has a population of about 11 million people and it is also one of the most important industrial and commercial centers in China.

Shenzhen was one of the first special economic zones established in 1980, which led to its rapid transformation from a fishing village to a major financial center. It is considered to be the wealthiest city in China and has the largest number of high-rise buildings in mainland China.

Shenzhen is located near Hong Kong in southeastern China at the border with Guangdong province. The climate is subtropical with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters. Shenzhen is also known for having one of the largest shopping malls in the world, The New South China Mall.

Tourist attractions include Window of the World, Shenzhen Bay Park, Overseas Chinese Town, Bao An Ancient Street, and many more!

Chengdu

Chengdu is a city that sits in the southwestern part of China. The population of Chengdu is approximately 11 million people, making it the 9th largest city in China. The climate for Chengdu is a subtropical monsoon climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. High levels of precipitation occur throughout the year in Chengdu, but there are large variations between rainfall from month to month.

Tourist attractions include Wuhou Temple, Jinli Old Street, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and Jin River to name a few examples!

Wuhan

Wuhan is the capital of Hubei Province in China. The population of Wuhan is roughly 10 million people.

The climate for Wuhan is humid subtropical with warm summers and cool winters. There are great variations in the temperature throughout the year in Wuhan because it is affected by both the monsoon and the continental climate.

Tourist attractions include Yellow Crane Tower, Zhongshan Park, Hongshan Park, Baishiyi Scenic Area, Daming Lake, and many more!

Xi’an

Xi’an is a city located in northwestern China. The population for Xi’an is about 8 million people.

The climate for Xi’an is temperate and semi-arid with hot summers and cold winters. Although rain falls year-round, there are large variations between rainfall from months from less to more rainfall.

Tourist attractions in Xi’an include the Terracotta Army, Famen Temple, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall of Xi’an, and many more!

Wuxi

Wuxi is a city in East China’s Jiangsu Province. It has a population of about 8 million people.

The climate for Wuxi is humid subtropical with hot summers and mild to cold winters. The best time to visit Wuxi tends to be spring or autumn since the climate then is mild, although rainfall does tend to peak around summer.

Tourist attractions include Zhongshan Park, Sun Temple, Lake Tai, and Luzhi to name a few examples!

Jinan

Jinan is the capital city of Shandong Province in China. It has a population of approximately 8 million people. The climate for Jinan is temperate with distinct seasons that are well-defined. There are large variations in temperature between the summer and winter months due to the monsoon.

Tourist attractions include Shandong Provincial Museum, Thousand Buddha Mountain, Mount Lushan National Park, and Qufu to name a few examples!

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city that has a population of 7.3 million people and is one of the autonomous cities in China! Hong Kong is also known for being one of the world’s leading financial centers due to its economic liberalization since the 1980s. The country also has a very high life expectancy, it reaches 83 years old on average!

Hong Kong is located in eastern China which means that it has a humid subtropical climate. The summers are hot and humid with temperatures reaching over 26 degrees Celsius and winters are mild with the temperature only falling below freezing at night. Hongkongers love to spend their weekends exploring the city’s many attractions such as Stanley Market, Avenue of Stars, Big Buddha Statue, and many more!

Nanjing

Nanjing is a coastal city in China with roughly 7 million people living in the region.

The climate for Nanjing is a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. There are large variations in temperature between the summer and winter months due to the monsoon.

Tourist attractions include Purple Mountain and Zijin Mountain (both famous mountains in Nanjing), Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, Qinling Park, Zhifo Temple, and Handong Cave to name a few examples!

Kunming

Kunming is the capital city for Yunnan Province in China. The population is 6.8 million people. The climate for Kunming is a humid subtropical climate with hot, wet summers and cool to cold, dry winters. There are large variations in temperature between the summer and winter months due to the monsoon.

Tourist attractions include Dian Chi Lake, Lugu Lake, Stone Forest of Yunnan, and Kunming Botanical Garden to name a few examples!

Harbin

Harbin is a city in China with a population of about 6.4 million people. The climate for Harbin is a humid continental climate with hot, wet summers and cool to cold, dry winters. There are large variations in temperature between the summer and winter months due to the monsoon.

Tourist attractions include a museum dedicated to Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Dandong Border Crossing, Ice Sculpture Festival, and many more!

There are many large cities in China with a population of over 8 million people. Beijing is the most populous city, followed by Shanghai and Tianjin. Other larger Chinese cities include Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuxi, Jinan, Kunming, and Harbin among others! In this article, we have discussed some of these largest cities in China as well as what makes them unique to visit during different times of the year.

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