Things to Do in Changsha

What are the top places to visit in Changsha? As an ancient city with rich historical and natural relics, Changsha is one of the popular tourist cities in China.

Here, we have carefully selected the famous places in this city for you, like Yuelu Academy & Mount Yuelu, Hunan Provincial Museum, Mawangdui Han Tombs and the hometown of Chairman Mao, to uncover its brilliant glory of the past and also the incomparable natural beauty. You’ll be impressed by its grand mountain view, well-preserved ancient architectures and also the ancient academy, etc.

Changsha Attraction Map

  • Top Attractions
Wulingyuan Scenic Area

No.1: Yuelu Academy

Type: Historic Sites

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Yuelu Academy, situated at the foot of Mount Yuelu, is not only the “one-thousand-year-old-academy, but also one of the four greatest academies in ancient China. In AD.976, Zhudong officially founded Yuelu Academy based on a school run by Buddhists. Now, it is a research base for humanities and social science and studies of Chinese ancient civilization of Hunan University, as well as the Hunan Provincial research base for Huxiang culture. Inside the academy, there are some historical sites, such as Wenchang Pavilion, Library of Imperial Books and Xiangshui Sutra Proofreading Hall.

A visitor commented on tripadvisor “It’s great and motivating. It completed with modern museum which explain the movement of education in China.”

Mount Yuelu

No.2: Mount Yuelu

Type: Scenic/ Historic Walking Areas, Mountains

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

The 300-meter Mount Yule is the best place to view the whole Changsha city. Looking afar, the Xiangjiang River is like a ribbon, Juzizhou (Orange Island) is like in the middle of the river with lush trees, two bridges connect the east and the west.

Mount Yuelu, gathering together the finest parts of Xiangchu Culture, has many places of historic interest and scenic beauty. Moreover, the natural scenery is also fantastic here. The maple trees, catalpa trees, pines and chestnut trees are lush with powerful branches and trunks; water of spring keeps flowing all the year around and brings you with a peaceful feeling. The best time to visit Mount Yuelu is at the turn of autumn and winter, the maples color the mountain red and red oranges are produced on the branches, which make Yuelu Mountain more beautiful.

Hunan Provincial Museum

No.3: Hunan Provincial Museum

Type: History Museums, Museums

Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hours

Hunan Provincial Museum is the biggest integrated historical museum in Hunan Province. Located next to Martyr’s Park in Changsha’s Kaifu District, It covers 51,000 square meters. This provincial museum has gathered together most curios unearthed in Hunan Province, unfolding the cultural development of Hunan Province throughout thousands of years.

The museum has a collection of more than 180,000 objects, including items found in the tombs of the Marquis of Dai and his wife in Mawangdui. Besides, also exhibits: 1) bronze from the Shang and Zhou eras; 2) celadon porcelain wares produced in the kilns of the villages of Xiangyin and Yuezhou during the Eastern Han, Sui and Tang Dynasties; 3) underglaze porcelain wares, with hand-printed motifs; 4) masterpieces by famous Chinese artists and thinkers from the 4th century down to the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.

Mawangdui Han Tombs

No.4: Mawangdui Mausoleum (Mawangdui Han Tombs)

Type: Ancient Ruins

Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hours

Mawangdui Mausoleum is located in the eastern suburbs of Changsha, only 4 km away. It was served for the Prime Minister Li Cang and his family members of Changsha State during the early Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – A.D.24).

All three tombs inside were excavated between 1972 and 1974. The coffin chambers were well-conceived laid out. Over 3,000 cultural relics have been excavated from the Han tombs, such as a thin gauze cloth, weighing 49g, beautiful silk writings and paintings, a women corpse that had been well preserved for more than 2,000 years. All these cultural relics are now preserved in the Hunan Provincial Museum.

Orange Island Park

No.5: Orange Island Park (Juzizhou)

Type: Parks, Game/ Entertainment Centers

Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hours

As early as in Tang Dynasty, oranges were produced abundantly and sold to distant Jianghan areas. Juzizhou had been a famous scenic spot of Hunan Province since the ancient time. It is a place with the scenery of "snow on the river", one of the eight sceneries of ancient Xiaoxiang. Juzizhou is a bridge where the present meets the past. It adds a profound cultural legacy to Xiaoxiang culture. When Mao Zedong was standing at Juzizhou, he threw such a question to the vast sky—"asking the vast land, who will determine the ups and downs". He changed the process of Chinese history and showed special preference to Juzizhou.

A visitor commented on tripadvisor “fantastic day to enjoy the park, beautiful scenery, just a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon. The fire work display on a Saturday night just fantastic.”

Hunan First Normal University

No.6: Hunan First Normal University

Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Among the numerous sites related to Mao Zedong, the most interesting is the Hunan First Normal University, where he studied from 1913, when he was 19, until 1918. At college, he devoted much of his time organizing student societies, a useful practice for his future role as a teacher between 1920 and 1922.

Visitors could follow a self-guided route through the rebuilt college, which is still active, visiting the dormitories, the well where Mao bathed, and the hall where he held political meetings. This could be educative tour.


No.7: Shaoshan

Type: Historic Sites

Recommended Length of Visit: half day

Shaoshan is the birthplace of Mao Zedong, China’s leader from 1949 until his death in 1976. Shaoshan is really has two towns, the newer one is near the railway station while the village of Shao Shan Chong, where the “Great Helmsman” spent his early years is 4 miles away.

The must-sees in this place are Mao Zedong's Former Residence, Mao Zedong Exhibition Hall, Mao Ancestral Temple, and Dripping Water Cave.

Recommended Changsha Tours

Top 3 Changsha tours chosen by most customers to explore Changsha in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Yuelu Academy
3 Days Best Changsha Tour with Chairman Mao’s Hometown Visit

Changsha / Shaoshan / Changsha

Orange Beach
6 Days Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang and Changsha Tour

Zhangjiajie / Fenghuang / Changsha

7 Days Hunan Discovery Tour from Changsha

Changsha / Shaoshan / Zhangjiajie / Fenghuang / Zhangjiajie

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