China is an Instagrammer’s dream. It’s full of beautiful people, epic sights and natural wonders just waiting for you to plaster all over the ‘gram. Earlier this year, I spent almost two weeks in China on the hunt for the best places to point my camera, and have come up with a list of the most Instagrammable places in China so you can do the same.
Can you use Instagram in China?
Maybe. Following pro-democracy protests across the country, Instagram was officially banned in China in 2014. However, when I visited in 2017, about half of my tour group could access the app using data roaming, and a couple could post photos too.
But to be honest, I didn’t even try.
People have been thrown in jail for attempting to break down the Great Firewall of China, so it’s really not worth the risk. I recommend waiting until you get home after your first visit (or at least to another country!) before you post your pics.
The Most Instagrammable Places in China
The Forbidden City in Beijing
China’s capital, Beijing, is one of the busiest, craziest cities in the world, but it still has some beautiful spots to photograph. We were very lucky to have visibility like this – usually it’s a smoggy mess thanks to the pollution – but our eyes and our cameras were treated to bright blue skies during Golden Week in early October.
The Forbidden City is my top spot for photos in Beijing – just look at those Chinese-style roofs and exceptionally painted walls!
The Great Wall of China
This place needs no introduction, and rightly deserves its place on the list of the most Instagrammable places in China. The way the wall snakes off into the distance, creating leading lines a photographer can usually only dream of, made it one of my very favourite places in the world to capture on
film my SD card.
The Beautiful City Walls in Xi’an
Man, if this list of the most Instagrammable places in China is anything to go by, the Chinese sure know how to build a beautiful wall. Xi’an’s city wall took me two hours to get around by bike, purely because I coudn’t help but stop to admire and photograph the scenery as I went.
The World’s Most Photographed Army: The Terracotta Warriors
The world famous Terracotta Warriors are world famous for a reason. Just look how photogenic the soldiers are! But that does mean the place can get incredibly busy (especially during Golden Week!). The day we went, it felt much more like a mosh pit than a tourist attraction, so I recommend taking bags of patience and (dare I say it) a selfie stick of some kind to help your camera get above the crowds.
East Meets West in Cosmopolitan Shanghai
Shanghai was my favourite city in China, because it’s just so full of contrasts! I loved how the city seamlessly blends traditional Chinese gardens with modern skyscrapers, both of which are totally Instagram worthy.
The Oriental Venice of Suzhou
What do you get when you cross beautiful bridges with traditional Chinese boats floating along calm waters? Amazing photos, that’s what! Just 2 hours outside of Shanghai is Suzhou, a super quaint and photogenic city that looks great from all angles.
Of course, I couldn’t possibly cover everything – China is just way too big and beautiful for that! So what are your suggestions for the most instagrammable places in China? Let me know what I should be adding to my list for my next trip!
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15 thoughts on “The Most Instagrammable Places in China”
Your photos are stunning! I love the pops of color in Xi’an – the red really stands out against the natural greens and greys. Hoping to visit China next year so this guide will definitely be useful!
These photos are simply amazing! I love this asian architecture, so full of details and colors! Suzhou is on my Bucket List, I always dreamed about visiting a city like this, it brings Old Era feelings!
Wow — your photos are making me want to book a flight! Especially Shanghai and Suzhou, they look (and sound) so lovely!
Awesome post! pretty photo locations for sure!
I actually wasn’t even aware of the ban. But good thing that you took a lot of pictures, because they are really stunning!
Thanks Anna for sharing. I got to see China from a different angle.
The forbidden city is gorgeous! The temples remind me a lot of the ones you see here in Korea. Thanks for all the Insta fodder! 😉
What wonderful photographs. Sounds like you had a great time there. And thanks for sharing the info about whether you can actually use Instagram in China! So helpful.
The great wall of China has been on my list forever!! I can’t wait to visit. I had no idea Instagram was banned there though for a few years. You learn something new everyday haha. Great read, thanks for sharing!
Oh wow! These photos are just gorgeous. I’ve always wanted to visit China and now I’d like to even more! Do you edit your photos at all? They look amazing!
Gorgeous photos ! My favorites are the Great Wall of China… so magical 🙂 Would love to experience and capture the way the wall snakes off into the distance with my camera. I’ve visited Shanghai few years ago and I’ve really enjoyed the contrast between Chinese gardens & modern skyscrapers 🙂
Omg, all these places are absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to visit China one day! It’s one of my dreams!
I was living in China and thus, I completely agree with this selection of places, Anna. These places are truly picturesque and you just can’t resist taking a good picture. 😉
I guess it was an exciting experience! Great history, great country!
Suzhou looks like a little piece of heaven! Definitely need to visit. Thanks for these spots, Anna, brilliant writing!