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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 travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

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 give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

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.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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