Frequently asked questions
Can I use my bank card in China?
Credit and debit cards are accepted in China, although using cash is still widespread.
You’ll find ATMs readily available in towns and cities, and you can make withdrawals
from these in Chinese currency with your card. Your bank might charge a currency exchange
transaction fee each time for withdrawing cash in China.
If you’re planning on travelling to more remote areas, it’s a good idea to make sure you have cash in advance.
What are the typical prices in China?
As you’d expect in such an enormous country, prices in China will vary enormously depending
on the area you’re visiting. As a tourist, you might expect to pay around:
- 25 CNY for a coffee
- 200 CNY for a mid-range meal for two people
- 498 CNY for a mid-range double hotel room
Check our currency converter to see the latest exchange rates for Chinese yuan.
Can you use other currencies in China?
The official currency of China is the yuan. If you order your travel money for China before you leave
you won’t need to worry about finding cash for those first few arrival expenses like taxis or food
for the first few days.
How difficult is it to get a visa for China?
British passport holders will need to apply for a visa in order to visit China. It can be a lengthy process,
so apply well in advance of your planned travel dates. Allow at least 2 to 3 months.
You’ll need to make your application in person at a Visa Application Centre. As part of the process
biometric data is used and your fingerprints scanned.
You should always research the most up to date visa guidelines before planning a trip.
Should you tip in China?
Tipping at street food markets and taxis is not expected in China. In more tourist areas,
restaurant staff may welcome a tip of between 10-20% for good service, but this isn’t compulsory.
What languages are spoken in China?
The main language across China is Mandarin. It’s spoken in most major cities including Shanghai
and Beijing by the majority of the population. There are also several hundred regional dialects
and Chinese language groups spoken across China. These include:
- Standard Chinese
- Cantonese (Yue)
What is the latest government travel advice for China?
What is the best time of year to visit China?
China is an incredible place to visit all year round. Depending on the type of trip you’re planning,
you can find great places to visit in China in any season, from the Great Wall of China to the modern
architecture of Beijing.
In peak summer from around May to August, the south of the country is extremely hot. This is also the
rainy season, with high humidity and frequent downpours.
Central China has very cold winters, with temperatures rarely rising above freezing between December and March.
For the most moderate weather, lots of people choose to visit in the spring and autumn, to avoid the extremes temperatures.