Cheap Flights to China from the UK

  • Best fares
  • Student flights
  • Cheapest time to book
  • How to fly
  • Why visit?
  • FAQs

Best student & youth fares right now to China

If the cost of flights to China is keeping you from exploring this amazing country and culture (or making it back home to your family for a perfectly cooked homemade meal), then you’ve come to the right place.

Check out our cheap fares on flights to China below! These prices are updated every day, so bookmark this page and check back for more great deals daily.

Student flights from the UK to China

It’s no wonder that China is an increasingly popular student destination, as it’s home to a culture that’s both centuries-old and increasingly modern. With ancient architecture, energetic cities and stunning natural landscapes, there’s plenty to explore during a holiday to China. Students from the UK also have the chance to study the most-spoken language in the world, encounter and experience a completely new culture and work with amazing people.

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Keep scrolling for more info on cheap flights to China, travel tips for China and more.

map of China showing major airports

What are the main China airport hubs?

The main China airport hubs include Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Beijing:The Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is the main international airport in Beijing and the largest airport in China. As you may imagine, that means it’s usually pretty busy. The wait time can be up to 3-3.5 hours, so be sure to leave plenty of time to get through security and customs. Once you arrive, take the Airport Express train downtown, which comes every 15 minutes. There’s stations at both Terminal 2 and 3. A one-way ticket costs 25 RMB (£2.70).

Shanghai:The main international airport in Shanghai is the Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG). The easiest way to get downtown is to take the Metro Line 2 to People’s Square. The ride takes just over an hour and costs about 28 RMB (£3).

Hong Kong:The Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is the main airport for international flights. Again, make sure you leave plenty of time here for customs and security. To get downtown, take the Airport Express Train. It costs 115 HK$ (£12) and the ride is about 25 minutes. If you get off at the Central station, you can take the free MTR shuttle bus to 50 nearby hotels.

How to fly from the UK to China

The UK is fairly well-connected to China, with direct flights flights to several major cities in China from London. The most popular airlines to fly to China are Air China, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic. All of these airlines offer direct nonstop flights from the UK to China, although of course there are many other airlines that offer both nonstop and connecting flights as well. The average flight time from London to China is 11 hours.

For smaller cities in the UK, transiting through London (or another major city) will probably be your best bet for traveling to China. However, while a connecting flight may take longer, it may save you some money in the long run, as connecting flights tend to be cheaper.

When is the best time to fly to China?

Since China is such a huge country, the weather and the best times to visit can vary a lot from city to city. The best time to fly to China is usually spring or fall. One thing to keep in mind is that summer is China’s peak tourism season, so major sights and big cities will be really crowded between June and September. Fall and spring are a lot less crowded—plus you’ll have the advantage of having much milder weather. Summers can be tropical and humid in Southern China, while winters in Northern China can be bitterly chilly.

While each season in China has something to offer, keep in mind the specific weather for the cities you’ll be visiting. You’ll also do well to avoid major holidays in China, as the crowds can make travel quite difficult.

When is the cheapest time to book a flight from the UK to China?

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Prices based on bookings made 30-60 DAYS days prior to departure.

Why do British students love visiting China?

From rich cultural history to modern technology and business to a world-class shopping and food scene, China is a brilliant destination for student travelers. Whether you’re taking a summer holiday for a few weeks, studying abroad for a semester or taking a gap year, you’ll never be bored in China. Keep reading for more on why students travel to China.


China universities and campuses

China universities and campuses

If you’re thinking about studying abroad in China, you’re in the right place! China can be a great place to study abroad, but with so many amazing universities and cities, the options can feel overwhelming. Here’s some of the top places for international students in China: Science students: think about heading to Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It’s one of the best research unis in China (and the world), so you’ll be in good hands. Get a taste of international business at the world-class Tsinghua University in Beijing. For government or sociology, check out Peking University. Fudan University is home to plenty of international students and is a more traditional Chinese university. Want to learn Mandarian while you’re in China? They have an great program! Hong Kong University is another great option for lots of students. It gives you a more western school while still putting you at the heart of a major and energetic Asian city.


China lifestyle and culture

China lifestyle and culture

Chinese lifestyle and culture is very different from what you might be used to at home. However, in any case, travelling to China is an amazing way to experience a totally new culture and way of living. Whether you’re travelling to a big city like Beijing or Shanghai or staying in smaller towns, there’s always plenty to see and do. And when we say big city, we mean it! Beijing is nearly ten times bigger (geographically) than Greater London, so bring your walking shoes. Don’t be surprised to encounter plenty of differences in customs as well. For example, in China, slurping your noodles loudly is not impolite, but is actually a way to show that you’re enjoying your food. You may also find that queuing is more of a suggestion than a rule—it’s quite common for locals to jump the queue if they’re in a hurry.


Exploring China on a student budget

Exploring China on a student budget

Exploring China on a student budget is quite easy. Between budget accommodation, cheap street food and plenty of free things to do, a trip to China doesn’t have to break the bank. Eating out in particular is quite affordable in China. Breakfasts are often between 5-20 yuan (50p - £2) and lunch or dinner will usually be around 30-50 yuan (£3-£5.5). The street food in particular is a great way to grab food on-the-go and save some cash! Also keep in mind that you can find loads to do for free in China, from exploring the modern cities to learning about China’s history and more.

Frequently asked questions about flying from the UK to China

Do I need a visa to travel to China?

Is China safe to visit?