China is the most populous and the third largest country in the world, so naturally, there is a lot to see. The most touristically important cities are the capital of China, Beijing and the financial and trade center Shanghai.
Best Time to Travel
Since the country is vast and extends over several climate zones, there is no best travel time for China. China is connected to Europe through numerous direct flights and the travel time is about 11-13 hours. Flights to China can be found for less than 400€ throughout the year, and there are also often excellent Business Class fares.
A general advice is that travel should be avoided during the Chinese national holidays, which span over the first two weeks of October. During these time tourist destinations are overcrowded with Chinese tourists on their domestic vacation.
Visa for China
Most European citizens will need a visa to enter China.
You can apply for a tourist visa at a Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) in your country. There you’ll hand in your visa application personally and can pick it up again after a few days. There is no faster and cheaper way.
Alternatively, you can apply for a visa by mail. The processing time will be up to two weeks, and you’ll have to pay for extra for shipping.
There are also so-called Visa services available that sometimes offer a faster (and maybe even cheaper) way to get your Visa. Check local sites to find out more.