The Best 7 Places to Live And Retire In China

Vehicle on Street in Between High-rise Buildings With Stores on the Bottom

Have you ever wondered why people want to relocate to China and live there? There are various advantages to residing in China aside from the fast-growing economy. In this article we will help you decide which city in China is going to suit you the best!

The Best 7 Cities To Live In China are:

  • Shanghai
  • Nanjing
  • Shenzhen
  • Guangzhou
  • Beijing
  • Tianjin
  • Kinmen

Scroll below to see why these cities could be the perfect destinations for you to live in!

Is China a good place to Live?

Population: 1.4 Billion
Climate: 25 °C / 77 °F
Capital City: Beijing
Currency: Renminbi / Yuan (CNY)
Language: Mandarin

China is a country in East Asia that is officially known as the People’s Republic of China. With a population of over 1.4 billion people, it is the world’s most populated country. China borders 14 nations and spans five geographical time zones which is the second most of any country in the world behind Russia.

China’s living costs are much lower than most other countries. It can be seen how inexpensive dining out is but the same can be said for groceries, electricity, gas, phone bills and rent. Of course, living costs vary by region in China; for example living in Shanghai is more expensive than living in Suzhou but you can live comfortably anywhere in China without worrying about money too much.

Despite their negative political reputation, China’s larger cities are extremely safe. There are very few serious crimes as well as petty crimes. Pickpocketing does occur in busy places but it is nothing more than bad luck if it occurs to you and mainly due to you not being aware of your surroundings. So as long as you don’t break the law no expat will be at risk when visiting or working in China.

China is also a fantastic place for anyone looking to make new connections with both expats and locals alike. The Chinese people are really nice and helpful. Locals will always strive to assist you in your daily life even if you don’t speak a lot of mandarin. 

In general if you want to get to know a Chinese person you must overcome their shyness but it is well worth the effort. Furthermore, living in China’s huge cities makes it quite easy to meet people from various places from all over the world as well. Most expat groups have a facebook page as well you can look up.

LINK: Foreigners in China Facebook Group

What are the best cities to live in?

Whether you like living in China will depend mainly on where you choose to live and how many people you get to know while there. So let’s look at some and see if any match well with how you like to live?  

Is Shanghai a good place to Live?

Temperature: 9°C to 23°C / 48°F to 73°F
Population: 26 million

Shanghai is a well-known tourist attraction, an international hub, a major business district and one of China’s best places to live. With 26 million people as of 2020 it is also China’s most populated city. It is home to the earliest commercial maglev train line and boasts a significant large metro system.

There are plenty of things to see in this town and here are some of them. The former French Concession which is a European-looking sector of town managed by the French from 1849 to 1946 is one of the city’s most well-known neighborhoods. The Bund, Shanghai’s shoreline as well as the shopping center on Nanjing Road are also worth seeing. The City God Temple and Yu Gardens are extremely popular among Shanghai visitors and residents.

Shanghai offers excellent restaurants, nightclubs, cafés, pubs, and shopping to rival any other capital city in the world. The cost of living in Shanghai is quite high in China but it is not as expensive as in other major international cities. A one-bedroom condo in the town center rents for about $1,300 USD per month on average.

What To Do in Shanghai:

Popular Restaurants in Shanghai:

Is Nanjing a good place to Live?

Temperature: 7°C to 29°C / 45°F to 84°F
Population: 8.5 million

Nanjing is a popular destination for both expats and Chinese since it offers a diverse range of experiences. Nanjing is brimming with historical and cultural significance as well as a thriving economy and a slew of higher education institutions as colleges and universities. 

The Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum which is dedicated to one of China’s most revered leaders of the twentieth century is located in Nanjing. The Mausoleum is located on the beautiful Purple Mountain which is home to various historical and scenic tourist attractions. Other prominent attractions in the city include Xuanwu Lake and the Hunan Road and Fuzimiao shopping malls (Confucius Temple). The 1500-year-old Qixia Buddhist Temple was built just outside the city. Countless Buddha images are etched into the cliffs and sides of the hills behind the temple.

The 1912 district offers a diverse range of restaurants, dance clubs and western pubs for nightlife. There are also a number of bars and pubs along Shanghai Road. Both locations are popular among the city’s international residents. Nanjing is an excellent spot to sample cuisine from all across China and street food is as varied as it is good.

What To Do in Nanjing:

Popular Restaurants in Nanjing:

Is Shenzhen a good place to Live?

Temperature: 12°C to 29°C / 54°F to 84°F
Population: 12.6 million 

Shenzhen is a fast-paced, ultra-modern metropolis in Mainland China that borders Hong Kong. It is situated on a beautiful coastline and is close to a few great beaches. Despite the fact that the city is barely forty years old it boasts Asia’s fifth largest economy.

One of Shenzhen’s attractions is the famed “Window of the World,” a theme park with scaled-down replicas of iconic monuments such as the Eiffel Tower. The China Folk Culture Village and the Xianhu Botanical Garden are also worth visiting. Shenzhen is linked to Hong Kong by a bridge and a metro system that spans the Shenzhen Bay.

A one-bedroom residence in Shenzhen’s downtown area which is the Futian District costs around $1,180 but cheaper rentals can be found elsewhere in the city. The normal rules apply with being a little further out will lower your rent.

What To Do in Shenzhen:

Popular Restaurants in Shenzhen:

Is Guangzhou a good place to Live?

Temperature: 12°C to 29°C / 54°C to 84°F
Population: 15.3 million

Guangzhou is the biggest town in China’s Guangdong Province which is located in the country’s south-east. This lively metropolis which once known to foreigners as Canton is still a favorite expat destination to live in. Guangzhou is not simply a port but also a hub of economic development with plenty of opportunities for its 15 million residents. 

Guangzhou is also known for its contemporary architecture and cultural events. It has the famed opera house called Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou where many performances are held.  The conical Canton TV tower can be seen towering over the city and is still in operation today. As you wander the city you will be amazed at its architecture.

This city is likewise reasonably priced with a monthly rental of $607 USD for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center.

What To Do in Guangzhou:

Popular Restaurants in Guangzhou:

Is Beijing a good place to Live?

Temperature: 3°C to 27°C / 37°F to 81°F
Population: 21.5 million

Beijing is China’s political, cultural and educational capital as you probably already know. Beijing has an energetic vibe because of a mix of art, heritage and modern buildings that make it one of China’s top locations to live. The Great Wall of China, the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites in or near Beijing. Beijing food is well-known for its deliciousness in addition to its history and tradition. It’s where “Peking Duck” originated.

Beijing is China’s second-largest city with a population of almost 22 million people. Although it is a large city, it boasts a well-developed transportation system that includes numerous metro lines, buses, bike lanes and electric scooter rentals.

If you require medical attention in Beijing you have a wide selection of foreign hospitals from which to choose. The cost of living is equivalent to that of other first-tier cities. A studio apartment in the center of the city will set you back roughly $1,175 USD per month.

What To Do in Beijing:

Popular Restaurants in Beijing:

Is Tianjin a good place to Live?

Temperature: 6°C to 26°C / 43°F to 79°F
Population: 15.6 million

Tianjin is one of the world’s largest cities. However it is arguably best known for its proximity to Beijing. You can get to the capital city in 30 minutes by taking a high-speed train. Although both Tianjin and Beijing are near Hebei province, Tianjin residents have easier access to the tourist destinations.

Although Tianjin is frequently eclipsed by Beijing it has a distinct and significant past. The city is well-known throughout the country for the xiang sheng which is a style of comedic act. Tianjin is also well-known for its remarkable clay figure sculptures. From elegant bridges to extravagant skyscrapers the city’s architecture is very distinctive. In the 1800s Tianjin was home to a slew of European land grants or concessions from China to other countries that made the different influenced quarters of the town. Many of them are still around today in some way.

While many people are drawn to the capital it’s worth pausing to evaluate whether you’d rather live in Tianjin and travel to Beijing when you need too. You’ll undoubtedly save money up to $400 every month which will add up quickly. The most significant distinction is the cost of living with Tianjin’s rental prices being roughly 50–60% lower than Beijing.

What To Do in Tianjin:

Popular Restaurants in Tianjin:

Is Kinmen a good place to retire?

Temperature: 15°C to 30°C / 59°F to 86°F
Population: 1.5 million

Kinmen island and county is near Xiamen and is made up of two major islands. Kinmen’s people, climate and natural beauty are well known and the area is a lot more slow paced then some of the larger cities. Whether you wish to ride a bike around to all the monuments, hike up Taiwu mountain or explore the beaches, forests or old villages. 

In addition if you are into war history this area is very rich with things to see. The access to the island is by ferry and you can take it straight from Xiamen.

What To Do in Kinmen:

Popular Restaurants in Kinmen:

TIP: If you want to look up more restaurants and attractions in China, google maps is not recommended because China doesn’t allow google maps. You can use baidu maps to explore around China instead

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