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Compare flights to China

What is China like?

China is one of the world's largest and most diverse countries, with one of its oldest and richest cultures. From historic sightseeing in Beijing and shopping in Shanghai to natural wonders like floating rocks, rainbow lakes and giant pandas – not to mention the culinary odyssey across the regions – the phrase 'something for everyone' has rarely been more apt.

Which airlines fly to China?

You can fly non-stop from Auckland to Beijing daily with Air China and from Auckland to Shanghai with Air New Zealand or China Eastern.

There's a wider choice of 1-stop flights with airlines such as Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines and Qantas. These connect at airports in Asia or Australia.

How long is the flight to China?

Flights to Beijing

Auckland to Beijing

13 hours 10 minutes (direct)

Christchurch to Beijing

16 hours 30 minutes (1 stop)

Queenstown to Beijing

16 hours 40 minutes (1 stop)

Wellington to Beijing

15 hours 45 minutes (1 stop)

Flights to Shanghai

Auckland to Shanghai

12 hours 20 minutes (direct)

Christchurch to Shanghai

14 hours 45 minutes (1 stop)

Queenstown to Shanghai

15 hours 40 minutes (1 stop)

Wellington to Shanghai

14 hours 30 minutes (1 stop)

What is the best time to visit China?

China spans multiple climate zones, but most of the popular destinations are best experienced in the spring and autumn (March-May and September-November). Summer can be sweltering in the cities, but comfortable if you're heading into the mountains. Winters can get unpleasantly cold, but the advantages are smaller crowds and a unique landscape.

Speaking of crowds, there are 2 key times to avoid China if you don't want to be stuck for accommodation or stuck in traffic: Chinese New Year in February and National Day in October.

Do I need a visa for China?

Yes. You must apply for a visa at your local consular office in Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington and have it granted before you fly to China. Find out more about visas here.

Certain airports allow up to 72 or 144 hours of visa-free entry if you're only transiting.

How expensive is China?

China is generally cheaper than New Zealand, but prices vary considerably based on where you are in the country. Prime cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are more expensive than secondary cities, which are more expensive than smaller urban and rural areas.

It's very easy to eat, drink, sleep and travel cheaply in China, but if you frequent international or higher-end establishments, you should expect higher prices. China's currency is the renminbi, the currency unit being the yuan.

Useful tips about China

Don't expect English to be widely spoken or understood. A Mandarin Chinese phrasebook or dictionary app can be invaluable, and you should carry Chinese language business cards from your hotel to show to drivers.

You won't be able to access Facebook, Twitter or many other social media accounts in China. You can struggle to get around the firewall with a VPN or embrace the opportunity to disconnect and enjoy your trip.

Want a free flight upgrade? Read Skyscanner's tips for flying business class on an economy budget.

Find your cheap flights to China on Skyscanner today - use the search panel above to search for the cheapest airfare and specials.

Please note: all information is correct as of February, 2018.

Images by Flickr\Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do it. World Tour

Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.