10 Ancient Cities in China You Must Visit Once in Your Life

China is one of the oldest civilizations. Many historic cities have been well conserved and are now popular tourist destinations.

So what are 10 ancient cities in China? While some places have thrived for a short period before going extinct, others have persisted for thousands of years.

China currently has more than 600 cities. Every city has a distinct charm and a rich cultural history. Find out with us which city is the best place to visit!

We have chosen 10 fantastic cities that you need to think about visiting at least once in your lifetime.

1. Luoyang

The 4000-year-old city of Luoyang is the city with the most international cultural heritages outside of Beijing.

It was the old city of the Thirteen Empires, the eastern gateway to the Silk Road, and the prominent religious place of oriental culture. The Hetu Luoshu shines a light on the first signs of Chinese civilization.

During the Five Kings, Luoyang served as the Yellow Emperor’s hidden capital. It is called “the first capital of the country” since Xia Duxuan was the seat of the initial dynasty in Chinese history.

White Horse Temple and Longmen Grottoes are two well-known historical attractions in Luoyang that allow visitors to learn about the city’s turbulent history. The Luoyang ancient city with old-style structures, will allow you to experience local culture.

2. Wuhan

Wuhan

The 3500-year-old city of Wuhan has a lengthy cultural past. The development of Wuhan began at the Panlong Capital Ruins in the city’s northern suburbs.

The late Qing Empire’s Europeanization Movement encouraged Wuhan’s economic development as well as modernized industry growth. It makes this city a significant industrial hub in contemporary China and well-known both in and out of the country.

Nowadays, Wuhan is the country’s political hub and the origin of the Chinese democratization process.

Excellent geographic positioning makes Wuhan a crucial hub for nation land, air, and maritime transportation. It is a geographic center that links the north to the south and the west to the east.

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3. Xingtai

Xingtai is also known as Xing. In the long stream of history, Xingtai has collected significant cultural implications throughout the city’s development history.

The people created the capital three times and established the territory of Xingtai four times. The “Hometown of Xing Empire and the birthplace of Xiangguo” is how people refer to it.

It is the entrance to the Central Plains from the north. The region boasts fantastic natural features and a wealth of tourist opportunities.

The Xingtai Canyon, Kongshan Baiyun Cave, Qingfeng Building, and Kaiyuan Temple are just a few natural and cultural landmarks. Chinese people created white Chinese porcelain at Xingtai’s Xing Kiln.

4. Qufu

Qufu has a 3400-year history. It is the city where Confucius was born.

Shao Hao, the Emperor’s son, founded the capital city at Qufu camp and rose to become the head of the Dongyi during the reign of the Five Emperors.

After the 14th century BC, Qufu served as the Realm of Amuo’s capital and briefly served as the Shang’s capital.

Qufu is a must-see place for anybody with interest in Chinese history and culture or who wants to experience the spirits and knowledge of the ancient Oriental sages.

The Confucius Festival is the ideal time to visit Qufu. During that time, there will be a lot of festivities.

5. Anyang

Anyang

The earliest recorded Chinese capital was Anyang. The city contains the Yin Ruins, a major cultural and national center of China, where archeologists found 150,000 bones in 1899.

The bronze cauldron in the world, a four-legged square simuwu in Anyang, weighs 87 kilograms. The initial Chinese character exhibition, which was established in Anyang to help conserve traditional Chinese culture, is also located there.

Travelers who want to see the artifacts and remains from China’s oldest historical era should make a private trip to Anyang.

6. Xi’an

Xi’an, China’s capital for a longer time than Beijing, has a more archaic feel. The Silk Road’s terminal is a kaleidoscope of religions and cultures.

The city has been promoting the Silk Road’s inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list for the past few years. It has made initiatives to revive the Muslim district, which still has crowded, narrow streets filled with different sellers.

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Its 12-meter-high city wall from the Ming era is still intact. It creates a rectangle with a 14-kilometer diameter and is encircled by a dry moat.

Most people know Xi’an for its Terracotta Warriors, which have become famous worldwide as a representation of Chinese history. If you’re considering a trip to China, you must visit this museum.

7. Zhaoge

Zhaoge, also known as Qi, has a three thousand-year history. Zhaoge served as both the Great Patriotic Kingdom’s capital throughout the Spring and Fall Periods and the final capital of the Shang Dynasty.

Wu Ding relocated from Xi Bo to create Wu Ding’s capital in the later Shang Dynasty. Afterward, Wu Ding City’s growth caused Wang Yin to grow, and they moved the capital to Zhaoge due to the city’s westward development.

8. Baoji

Baoji Railway Station

The second-largest city in western Shaanxi is called Baoji. In the past, Baoji was called Chencang and Yongcheng.

People also know Baoji as “The home of Emperor Yan and the homeland of bronze wares.” Several high-value bronze artifacts have been discovered in this renowned birthplace of bronzeware.

In the Baoji Bronze Ware Museum, visitors may see old, exquisitely crafted bronze artifacts and discover more about the culture and history of the Zhou and Qin Dynasties (1046–207 BC).

Famen Temple, another must-see natural attraction in Baoji, is recognized as a Buddhist holy site because it houses the finger bone sarira of Sakyamuni Buddha. Additionally, it retains several Tang Dynasty cultural artifacts and historic structures in the Tang style (618–907).

Baoji also provides a variety of woodland areas for recreation and relaxation. Here, you may find a variety of traditional arts and crafts, such as woodblock New Year drawings, paper cutouts, clay sculptures, and straw weaving.

9. Xuzhou

Xuzhou was known as Pengcheng from the start of the Peng Dynasty, which the Emperors Yao, Five Emperors, and Peng Zu constructed. Following that, Xuzhou and Pengcheng construction titles underwent numerous changes.

Xuzhou was one of the eight significant cities the state erected during the China Republic period. Han culture originated there, where civilization has existed for more than 6 thousand years.

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10. Taiyuan

Taiyuan University of Technology

Taiyuan is a national historical and cultural city. In the Shang and Yin dynasties, Taiyuan was an old nation in the north of the Tang dynasty.

The Fen River runs through the region from northern to southern, and mountains bound it on three sides. Old people have called it “the magnificent Taiyuan City” since antiquity.

Archaeologists found the Shang Dynasty artifacts at Xutan Village and dubbed them “Xutan-type culture.”

Nowadays, it is a heavy industry, energy hub, cultural center, and military in the northern part of the country.

FAQs

What is the oldest city in China?

Ao was the name of the earliest distinctly urban community in prehistoric China. The present city of Chengchou (Zhengzhou) is close to the archaeological remains of Ao.

Are there any ancient Chinese towns left?

Zhujiajiao is a well-known historic water town with a history spanning more than 1700 years that stands in a suburb of Shanghai.

What was China’s old capital?

Beijing, Nanjing, Luoyang, and Xi’an (Chang’an) are The “Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.”

What was Beijing before?

Beijing was once known as Beiping, meaning “Northern Peace.” In the fifteenth century, the third Ming emperor gave it the new name called Beijing (“Northern Capital”).

Who built the first cities in China?

The earliest Chinese towns that have been historically recorded are from the Shang Dynasty.

Final Thoughts

The 10 oldest cities in China are excellent examples of an intriguing and varied cultural past. They are sure to delight your senses with the rich culture of China.

The historic structures surrounded by trees and moss-covered bluestone slabs transport you to ancient China. The antique homes, walls, and eaves appear like fading portraits of the city’s past.

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