Do you know what the Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven in Beijing and Chengde’s Mountain Resort sites have in common? All of them were built by a dozen members of the Lei family, architects for eight generations, and their creations are today known in Chinese as Yangshi Lei, meaning “Lei style” architecture. Fast forward to the present, and the architecture of China seems to be following only one style – strange, perplexing, and of course, enormous.

After monitoring trends closely, we have made a list of the 10 most instragrammable buildings of China:

New library in Tianjin

Is it a real library or just background for the latest Instagram photo? All the images show people walking around with the latest smart phone in their hands but not the books. Can anyone advise if you need to be a member of the library to get the best Instagram shot?

New library in Tianjin

The Piano House in Anhui

Some people say it’s the most romantic building in China – I’m not sure about that but it’s certainly one of the most distinctive! It was designed by architecture students at Hefei University and constructed from transparent and black glass  in the shape of a violin that houses the staircase and escalators, and a grand piano that is the main building.

The Piano House in Anhui readyclickandgo travel

The Shanghai Tower

The Shanghai Tower has the world’s highest observation deck within a building or structure (Level 121, 561.25 m), and the world’s fastest elevators at a top speed of 20.5 metres per second (74 km/h; 46 mph). It is the world’s second-tallest building by height to architectural top.

shanghai tower readyclickandgo travel

The Birds Nest in Beijing

Open just in time for the magnificent 2008 Olympic and it’s called Beijing National Stadium or the National Stadium, but best known as the Bird’s Nest or just simply a stadium in Beijing.

The Birds Nest in Beijing readyclcikandgo travel

Guangzhou Opera House

Is it a rock or a house? It was designed by the famous architect Zaha Hadid who conceived the idea as two rocks washed away by the Pearl River. It does look spectacular on Instragram but it’s not seen very often. Who goes to Guangzhou?

Guangzhou Opera House readyclickandgo travel


Cities are very popular on Instagram but people are getting bored of Hong Kong and old Shanghai. A new city has been declared as the World’s fastest-growing tourism destination – Chongqing. It looks magnificent…during the night when all the lights are switched on. 

Chongqing City by Night readyclickandgo travel

Beijing South Railway Station

To house their high speed trains, the Chinese government decided to build a depot in Beijing in the shape of a saucer. Yes, a saucer. Actually, it feels a bit like an airport, it’s so spacious and modern, but you really need to see it from above to admire the architecture – find the bird’s eye view shots on Instagram. 

Beijing South Railway Station readyclickandgo travel

Forbidden City

I was under the impression the Great Wall would make this list but it seems people prefer an image of the Forbidden City. Any idea why?

Beijing China readyclickandgo travel

Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort

Also known as “Horseshoe Hotel” and “Doughnut Hotel” due to its geometrical shape which looks amazing when the lights are lit.

Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort readyclickandgo travel

Underpants of Beijing

Or the CCTV building. It involves two L-shaped high-rise towers linked at the top and the bottom at an angle to form a loop.

Underpants of Beijing readyclickandgo travel

My favorite is the Grand Hyatt Hotel In Shanghai – not because they have the best bar in the city called Cloud 9, but because of the atrium of the hotel. Highly recommended for getting vertigo.





About the author: Tara


The travel professional with years of experience in the travel industry – in guiding, reservations, operations, contracting, customer service and product development – and have travelled extensively in Asia and Eastern Europe not just on holiday but also for work, inspecting hotels, visiting attractions and seeing exactly what each destination has to offer. The only way I could do this properly was with my own guide, car and driver and this inspired me to create my own range of customised private day tours for other people to be able to explore in-depth and learn to love their destination as much as I do.