North China: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Embark on an extraordinary journey through North China’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and unlock a treasure trove of cultural and historical wonders. From the awe-inspiring Great Wall of China, a testament to human determination, to the majestic Imperial Palaces in Beijing and Shenyang, where emperors once ruled, each site offers a glimpse into China’s rich heritage. Let the Temple of Heaven and the serene Chengde Mountain Resort transport you to a world of imperial rituals and leisure, while the ancient city of Ping Yao unveils the captivating charm of a thriving Han Chinese center. With every step, you’ll be one site closer to fulfilling your dream of exploring all the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage sites, and North China* is ready to unveil its secrets and leave an indelible mark on your wanderlust-filled soul.

 *North China:  The provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia.

Forbidden city, Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang min

Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties

These palaces, including the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Imperial Palace in Shenyang, are magnificent examples of imperial architecture and provide insights into the imperial life of China's Ming and Qing dynasties.

UNESCO Dossier: 439bis.

Temple of Heaven, an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North China min

Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar


Built during the Ming Dynasty, it served as an imperial sacrificial altar where emperors would pray for good harvests and divine blessings. The complex's design, with its intricate symbolic elements and layout in perfect harmony with the natural surroundings, reflects the deep connection between heaven and earth in traditional Chinese philosophy.

UNESCO Dossier: 881.

Yungang Grottoes, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North China min

Yungang Grottoes

Shanxi Province

Carved into the sandstone cliffs, the grottoes feature over 51,000 statues, ranging from small to monumental in size, representing various Buddhist figures and scenes. This remarkable achievement of ancient artistry showcases the fusion of Indian, Central Asian, and Chinese artistic influences, providing valuable insights into the cultural exchange and religious devotion of the time.

UNESCO Dossier: 1039.

UNESCO World Heritage sites in North China, Mount Wutai min

Mount Wutai

Shanxi Province

Mount Wutai is one of China's Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains and a center of pilgrimage for Buddhists. It is renowned for its grand monasteries, magnificent statues, and the spiritual atmosphere that permeates the entire mountain.

UNECO Dossier: 1279.

UNESCO World Heritage sites in North China, Summer Palace, Beijing min

Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden


The Summer Palace is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape design, combining natural features with man-made elements such as pavilions, temples, and bridges. It exemplifies the harmonious integration of human architecture with nature.

UNESCO Dossier: 880.

The Great Wall of China (长城 Chángchéng) stretches westward across the provinces and municipalities of Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Ningxia Autonomous Region to Gansu in the west.

Ancient City of Ping Yao, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North China min

Ancient City of Ping Yao

Shanxi Province
With its well-preserved city walls, traditional architecture, and intricate urban layout, Ping Yao offers a remarkable glimpse into the prosperous commercial culture and architectural heritage of ancient China. Its historical significance as a thriving financial center during the Ming and Qing dynasties makes it a unique and invaluable site for understanding China's economic and cultural history.

UNESCO Dossier: 812.

Chengde Mountain Resort, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North China min

Chengde Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples

Hebei Province

The resort served as a summer retreat for the Qing emperors, offering a harmonious blend of traditional Chinese architectural styles and the surrounding mountains, lakes, and forests. The outlying temples, representing various Buddhist, Taoist, and Tibetan architectural traditions, further enhance the site's cultural and religious significance, making it a unique testament to the imperial leisure culture of China.

UNESCO Dossier: 703.

Grand Canal, Beijing, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North China min

The Grand Canal

Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Henan Provinces

Stretching over 1,700 kilometers, it is the longest and oldest artificial waterway in the world, connecting the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The canal's construction showcased the advanced hydraulic techniques of ancient China and facilitated economic and cultural exchange, playing a vital role in shaping the country's development and fostering regional integration throughout the centuries.

UNESCO Dossier: 1443bis.

Travel Tip(s)

Look for free cancellation options: Some hotels offer free cancellation up until a certain date. Booking accommodations with free cancellation can provide flexibility in case your plans change.

Check the map view: has a map view feature that shows the location of hotels. This can help you identify accommodations in areas that are both desirable and affordable.

Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North China min

Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

It is the site where ancient human remains, including Homo erectus fossils, were discovered, providing crucial insights into human evolution and the origins of early humans in East Asia. This archaeological site offers a rare window into our ancestral past and contributes to our understanding of human history and cultural development.

UNESCO Dossier: 449.

Xanadu, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North China min


Inner Mongolia Province

The Site of Xanadu, located north of the Great Wall, encompasses the remains of Kublai Khan's capital city, representing the assimilation of Mongolian and Han Chinese cultures. Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty from this base, expanding China's boundaries and spreading Tibetan Buddhism throughout the region. The site, planned with consideration for traditional Chinese feng shui, features various elements such as temples, palaces, tombs, nomadic encampments, and the Tiefan'gang Canal, offering a glimpse into the diverse historical and cultural aspects of Xanadu.

UNESCO Dossier: 1389.

Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North China min

Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including the Ming tombs and the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Beijing and Nanjing, Jiangsu Provinces

The tombs, including the Yongling Tomb, Fuling Tomb, and Zhaoling Tomb, were constructed in the 17th century for the Qing Dynasty's founding emperors and their ancestors. Showcasing the influence of traditional Chinese geomancy and fengshui, the tombs exhibit intricate stone statues, carvings, dragon-themed tiles, and a blend of previous dynastic traditions with distinct Manchu civilization elements, representing the evolving funerary architecture of the Qing Dynasty.

UNESCO Dossier: 1004.

Quench The Adventure Junkie Inside

North China’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites are a testament to the region’s rich cultural and historical legacy, captivating the hearts and minds of adventurous travelers. From the iconic Great Wall to the imperial treasures of Beijing, each site tells a unique story, inviting you to embark on a remarkable voyage through time and immerse yourself in the grandeur of China’s past. Enjoy the adventure!

Beijing - Travel Pocket Guide

Experience it's rich culture and history on your next vacation.

Visit iconic landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and immerse yourself in vibrant city life. Book your Beijing vacation today!

Things to do in Beijing  |  Beijing hotels  |  Where to eat in Beijing  |  Flights  |  Beijing holiday apartments  |  China cruises  |  China car rentals

Find best things to do in Beijing China travel and home reis en huis min.jpg

Ready-made holiday packages anywhere in the world that include almost everything so you don’t have to worry.    

Go on vacation with less stress.  Book with a trusted company. 

#UNESCOWorldHeritage #WorldHeritageSites #CulturalHeritage #HistoricalSites #NaturalHeritage #UNESCOAsia #UNESCOTravel #HeritageConservation #ExploreUNESCO #UNESCOBucketList #GreatWallOfChina #ForbiddenCity  #PingyaoAncientCity #ChengdeMountainResort #YungangGrottoes #TempleofHeaven #SummerPalace #MingTombs #WorldHeritageAdventures #UNESCOEnthusiast #WorldHeritageHunter #HeritageExplorer #UNESCOAddict #HeritageTraveler #heritagehunters #UNESCOWorldHeritagetravelers #heritagechasers

Explore Asia