There are four direct-controlled municipalities in China – Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing. They’re basically large, densely populated urban areas which act like provinces.

Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin have held municipality status for quite some time, while Chongqing is a relative newcomer to the group. It merged with neighbouring cities and was classed as a municipality in the late 1990s.

Chongqing is unique as it’s the largest municipality and the only one located inland.

If you happen to teach English in one of China's municipalities, you're bound to have an amazing experience.

China's municipalities at a glance

Municipality Highlights
  • China’s best tourist attractions all in one place
  • The Forbidden City is the jewel of Beijing’s crown
  • Access the many sections of the Great Wall of China (you really can’t see it from outer space)
  • See if your ears can handle the high notes of the Peking Opera
  • Restaurant Quanjude has been serving up succulent Peking duck since last century
  • Fly a kite by the Bird’s Nest – Beijing’s newest tourist attraction
  • Palaces, temples and gardens galore
  • Tempted to try ‘scorpion on a stick’ at Wangfujing Snack Street? Go on, we dare you!
  • A thriving, cosmopolitan metropolis – some call it the Paris of the East
  • Beautiful European facades line The Bund
  • Brands, brands and more brands on Nanjing Road
  • Panoramic views over the city from its super-tall towers
  • Just half an hour by bullet train to Beijing
  • Colonial architecture mixed with modern structures gives the place a unique vibe
  • Ride the Tianjin Eye built above the Hai River
  • A section of the Great Wall can be accessed here – a good way of avoiding the Beijing crowds
  • Board a river boat down the Yangtze River and see the Three Gorges
  • Spicy food is the order of the day (hot pot is the local specialty)
  • The unusually steep downtown area makes walking interesting!
  • The Dazu Rock Carvings date back centuries


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