23 days in China & Iran Itinerary

23 days in China & Iran Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in China & Iran Itinerary

Start: Hong Kong, China
Bus:  2 h 30 min
1
Guangzhou, China
— 2 nights
Fly:  8 h
2
Urumqi, China
— 1 night
Fly:  20 h
3
Tehran, Iran
— Few hours
Fly:  1 h 30 min
4
Yazd, Iran
— 1 night
Fly:  3 h 30 min
5
Shiraz, Iran
— 2 nights
Fly:  2 h
6
Isfahan, Iran
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
7
Kashan, Iran
— 1 night
Train:  2 h 30 min
8
Tehran, Iran
— 2 nights
Fly:  20 h
9
Urumqi, China
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
10
Turpan, China
— 1 night
+2
Train + Taxi + Bus:  9 h
11
Dunhuang, China
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h
12
Jiayuguan, China
— 1 night
Fly + Bus:  4 h
13
Lanzhou, China
— 1 night
Bus + Fly:  3 h
14
Xi'an, China
— 2 nights
Fly + Bus:  5 h 30 min
End: Hong Kong, China


Learn more about your trip

2
nights
Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou ©
A massive metropolis and critical international trading hub, Guangzhou sprawls along the Pearl River, distinctly vibrant and cosmopolitan.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): see the interesting displays at Chen Clan Ancestral Hall-Folk Craft Museum, head off the coast to Shamian Island, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Sacred Heart Cathedral, then look for gifts at Beijing Road Shopping District, and finally don't miss a visit to Sun Yat-sen University. On the 23rd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the extensive heritage of Baomo Scenery, then indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, and then browse the different shops at Onelink International Plaza.

To see ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Guangzhou trip planner.

Hong Kong to Guangzhou is an approximately 2-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. Expect little chillier evenings in Guangzhou when traveling from Hong Kong in December, with lows around 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can travel to Urumqi.

Things to do in Guangzhou

Historic Sites Tours Museums
Highlights from your plan
Shamian Island ©
Shamian Island
Sacred Heart Cathedral ©
Sacred Heart Cathedral

1
night
Urumqi, China

Urumqi ©
As one of China's fastest-growing cities, Urumqi is a melting pot of international people and cultures set against a mountainous backdrop.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Hantengeli Temple, don't miss a visit to Red Hill, then take an in-depth tour of Silk Route Musem of Xinjiang Uygur, and finally examine the collection at Xinjiang Regional Museum (Qu Bowuguan).

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Urumqi day trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Guangzhou to Urumqi takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In December, Urumqi is cooler than Guangzhou - with highs of -5°C and lows of -13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to travel to Tehran.

Things to do in Urumqi

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Tianshan Grand Canyon, Karakoram Highway
Highlights from your plan
Red Mountain ©
Red Mountain
Xinjiang Regional Museum (Qu Bowuguan) ©
International Bazaar ©
International Bazaar

few
hours
Tehran, Iran

Tehran ©
Tehran, the capital and one of the largest cities in the Middle East, sits in the foothills of a mountain range and stretches out for miles.
For reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Tehran trip itinerary maker .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Urumqi to Tehran. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 4 hours traveling from Urumqi to Tehran. Traveling from Urumqi in December, things will get much hotter in Tehran: highs are around 12°C and lows about 2°C. On the 26th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Yazd.

Things to do in Tehran

Historic Sites Shopping Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Masoudieh Mansion ©
Masoudieh Mansion
Valiasr Street ©
Valiasr Street

1
night
Yazd, Iran

Yazd ©
Step back in time as you explore the ancient UNESCO World Heritage city of Yazd, a desert town known for its distinct Persian architecture style, punctuated by mud-brick buildings, wind towers, domed ice houses, and water reservoirs.
For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Yazd visit planner.

Traveling by flight from Tehran to Yazd takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Tehran in December, expect nights in Yazd to be about the same, around 2°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Shiraz.

Things to do in Yazd

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Old City ©
Old City
Silk Road Gallery ©
Silk Road Gallery

2
nights
Shiraz, Iran

Shiraz ©
An esteemed center of Persian culture, Shiraz boats plentiful artistic, architectural, and religious points of interest.
Get some cultural insight at Nagsh-e Rostam and Vakil Mosque. Do your shopping at Haan art shop and Persian Gulf Complex. Take a break from Shiraz with a short trip to Persepolis in Persepolis, about 1h 10 min away. There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, steep yourself in history at Eram Garden (Baq e Eram), get to know the fascinating history of Vakil Bazaar, and don't miss a visit to Ali Ibn Hamzeh Holly Shrine.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Shiraz fast, fun, and easy.

Traveling by flight from Yazd to Shiraz takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In December, daytime highs in Shiraz are 19°C, while nighttime lows are 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can travel to Isfahan.

Things to do in Shiraz

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Persepolis
Highlights from your plan
Nagsh-e Rostam ©
Nagsh-e Rostam
Qavam House ©
Qavam House
Vakil Mosque ©
Vakil Mosque

2
nights
Isfahan, Iran

Isfahan ©
A cultural hub in the center of the country, Esfahan boasts a proud heritage of art, architecture, and craftsmanship.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): step into the grandiose world of Aali Qapu Palace, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, make a trip to Naqshe Jahan Square(Shah Square), take in the spiritual surroundings of Royal Mosque (Masjid-i-Shah), then view the masterpieces at Fotowat Miniaturist, and finally look for gifts at Bazaar of Isfahan. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at Ali Gholi Agha Historical Bath, take in the spiritual surroundings of Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ispahan - Mosquee du Vendredi, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ali Mosque Minaret, then pause for some serene contemplation at Bedkhem Church, and finally examine the collection at Vank Cathedral.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Isfahan trip planner.

Getting from Shiraz to Isfahan by combination of flight and taxi takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Shiraz in December: high temperatures in Isfahan hover around 15°C and lows are around -4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can go by car to Kashan.

Things to do in Isfahan

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Jameh Mosque of Isfahan ©
Jameh Mosque of Isfahan
Bedkhem Church ©
Bedkhem Church
Royal Mosque (Masjid-i-Shah) ©
Royal Mosque (Masjid-i-Shah)

1
night
Kashan, Iran

Kashan ©
A jewel of desert architecture halfway between Tehran and Esfahan, Kashan has somehow remained one of Iran's best-kept tourism secrets.
On the 1st (Tue), admire the striking features of Shahzadeh-ye Ibrahim, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Meydan Mosque, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shrine of Hilal ibn Ali, stop by Zhee Showroom, then browse the eclectic array of goods at Bazaar of Kashan, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Agha Bozorg Mosque.

For photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Kashan online attractions planner .

You can drive from Isfahan to Kashan in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a train. Traveling from Isfahan in December, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 0°C in Kashan. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) to allow time to travel to Tehran.

Things to do in Kashan

Historic Sites Shopping Museums
Highlights from your plan
Ameriha House ©
Ameriha House
Agha Bozorg Mosque ©
Agha Bozorg Mosque
Puppet & Toy Museum ©
Puppet & Toy Museum

2
nights
Tehran, Iran

Tehran ©
On the 2nd (Wed), take an in-depth tour of Golestan Palace, wander the streets of Valiasr Street, then take a stroll through Darband, then stop by ZEEEN, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Iranian Artists Forum. On your second day here, examine the collection at Reza Abbasi Museum, then take in the exciting artwork at Golkar Art Gallery, then explore the world behind art at Negarestan Garden, and finally take an in-depth tour of National Museum of Iran.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Tehran trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by train from Kashan to Tehran takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Urumqi.

Things to do in Tehran

Museums Shopping Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Golestan Palace ©
Golestan Palace
National Museum of Iran ©
National Museum of Iran
Darband ©
Darband

1
night
Urumqi, China

Urumqi
Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): take in the spiritual surroundings of Beifang Mosque and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Southern Mosque.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Urumqi online holiday planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Tehran to Urumqi. You'll lose 4 hours traveling from Tehran to Urumqi due to the time zone difference. Prepare for cooler weather when traveling from Tehran in January: high temperatures in Urumqi hover around -11°C and lows are around -20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Turpan.

Things to do in Urumqi

Winter Sports Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trip

Wulabo Ancient City

1
night
Turpan, China

Turpan
Situated below sea level, the city of Turpan boasts a rich history as an ancient trade center, and its dramatic climate brings cold, harsh winters and boiling hot summers.
Take the guesswork out of planning a Turpan vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Urumqi to Turpan in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or fly. You will leave for Dunhuang on the 6th (Sun).

Things to do in Turpan

Nature Historic Sites Parks

2
nights
Dunhuang, China

Dunhuang ©
Once a vital stop-off on the Silk Road trade route, Dunhuang today offers travelers of all persuasions a place to rest in the middle of the desert.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Sun): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mingsha Shan (Echo Sand Mountain) Park, Dunhuang, China and then explore the ancient world of Xijin Tomb. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Mon): Head underground at Mogao Caves, take an in-depth tour of Library Cave Heritage Museum, admire the masterpieces at Dunhuang Grotto Art Protection,Examination and Exhibition Center, examine the collection at DunHuang MoGaoKu YiShuGuan, then examine the collection at DunHuang ShiKu WenWu BaoHu YanJiu ChenLie ZhongXin, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dunhuang Leiyin Temple.

To see reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Dunhuang trip planner .

Drive from Turpan to Dunhuang in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a train. On the 8th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Jiayuguan.

Things to do in Dunhuang

Historic Sites Museums Nature
Highlights from your plan
Mogao Caves ©
Mogao Caves
Dunhuang Leiyin Temple ©
Dunhuang Leiyin Temple
Yangguan Historic Site Ticket Office ©

1
night
Jiayuguan, China

Jiayuguan
The city of Jiayuguan has become particularly well known as the location of the Jiayu Pass, the best preserved and biggest of the passes of the Great Wall of China.
To find photos, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Jiayuguan journey tool .

You can do a combination of bus and taxi from Dunhuang to Jiayuguan in 5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to travel to Lanzhou.

Things to do in Jiayuguan

Historic Sites Museums

1
night
Lanzhou, China

Lanzhou ©
Once a major stop-off on the ancient Silk Road trading route, Lanzhou today acts as an important place to rest up for Silk Road tourists and trekkers.
To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Lanzhou road trip site .

Getting from Jiayuguan to Lanzhou by combination of flight and bus takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In January in Lanzhou, expect temperatures between 0°C during the day and -17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Xi'an.

Things to do in Lanzhou

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Baiyun Taoist Temple of Lanzhou ©
Baiyun Taoist Temple of Lanzhou
Gansu Provincial Museum ©
Gansu Provincial Museum

2
nights
Xi'an, China

Xi'an
Historians often describe Xi'an, capital city for over a dozen dynasties, as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
On the next day, take in the spiritual surroundings of Xi'an Mosque, stop by Muslim market, make a trip to Muslim Quarter, then contemplate the long history of Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta), then admire the masterpieces at TangBo Art Museum, and finally take an in-depth tour of The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Xi'an day trip tool .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Lanzhou to Xi'an takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, taxi, and flight; or drive. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Lanzhou in January; daily highs in Xi'an reach 6°C and lows reach -7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Xi'an

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Xi'an Museum ©
Xi'an Museum
Tang Bo Art Museum ©
Tang Bo Art Museum

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