How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou

Hangzhou located in the north part of Zhejiang Province in East China is one of the beautiful darlings of Chinese people. This amazing popular travel destination has long been reputed as “the Heavenly City on Earth” for her poetic and pleasant charming sightseeing as well as elegant culture complimented by many famous ancient poets, thus, anyone been to Hangzhou would love this picturesque city. Surely West Lake is the best one to savor its nature and culture, but since Hangzhou has a long history of more than 2,200 years ago and has been the capital of Wu Yue Kingdom in the Five Dynasties and South Song Dynasty, do not miss to hear her past stories!

Travelling in Hangzhou is easy, however, our Hangzhou trip planner will help you enjoy a high-quality experience during your trip. Check to know when to visit Hangzhou, how to get there & around, what to see & do, where to stay, how many days to stay, what to prepare and more useful tips to plan your own wonderful Hangzhou tour 2024/2025!

Hangzhou Weather & Best Time to Go

Hangzhou belongs to the monsoon subtropical zone with four distinct seasons and plentiful of rain. It rains comparatively more in January, February, July and August. Hangzhou is suitable to visit all around the year, and the best time are spring and autumn.

Spring (March to May): the average temperature in spring is about 20℃. Flowers are gradually in bloom. Particularly, it is the best time to admire Early Spring at Su Causeway and Oriom Singing in the Willows with full eyes of green and other colors. Also, fresh tea comes out in April and May, you can experience tea picking at the fields.

Autumn (October to November): it is pleasant in autumn with an average temperature of about 18℃. Osmanthus flowers are in bloom to make the whole city in sweet aroma. Besides, plantations changes to orange, yellow and red colors.

Winter (December to February): winter in Hangzhou is a little cold with an average temperature of about 4℃. January is usually coldest. It is great to admire the snow scenery at West Lake and wintersweet blossoms on Gushan Hill.

Summer (June to September): it is a little wet and hot and rains more in summer. The average temperature is around 26℃. it is usually hottest in July with the highest temperature exceeding 33℃. However, you can admire the lotus flowers around West Lake and leisure at Xixi Wetland Park.

▶ Check more about Hangzhou Weather & Best Time to Go

How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Dawn at the Su Causeway in Spring
How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Yanggong Causeway in Autumn

How to Get to Hangzhou

Flights to Hangzhou

You can fly to Hangzhou easily! Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (IATA: HGH) links Hangzhou with about 100 cities in China including Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Changsha, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Harbin, Qingdao, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Guilin, Guiyang, Kunming, Lijiang, Lhasa, Lanzhou, Hohhot, Urumqi, Shenyang, etc. and around 40 international cities (regions) such as San Francisco, Amsterdam, Madrid, Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver, Rome, Doha, Singapore, Seoul, Busan, Jeju Island, Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, Bangkok, Chiengmai, Kuala Lumpur, Viet Nam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, etc. The airport is about 27 kilometers from city downtown with about 1 hour’s distance by car. Check more about Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport | Get from Hangzhour Airport to City

Trains to Hangzhou

Hangzhou has a convenient high speed rail network. The three major used train stations has many high speed trains to / from Beijing (4.5-6.5 hrs), Shanghai (1-1.5 hrs), Xian (7-8.5 hrs), Guangzhou (6-7.5 hrs), Suzhou (1.5-2.5 hrs), Huangshan (1.5-2 hrs), Nanjing (1.5-4.5 hrs), Zhengzhou (4.5-7 hrs), and Xiamen (4.5-7 hrs), Chengdu, Changsha (3.5-4.5 hrs), Chongqing, Guiyang, Guilin, etc.

Hangzhou Railway Station is closest to city center with many trains daily. Hangzhou East Railway Station about 6.5 km from city center has most bullet trains to most destinations domestically, including the train to Hong Kong (7.5 hrs). And Hangzhou South Railway Station is 15 km from city center and has limited bullet trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Xian, Xiamen.

▶ Check more about Hangzhou High Speed Train

How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport
How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Bullet Train at Hangzhou East Station

How to Get Around Hangzhou

Hangzhou has convenient network of public transportation. There are 7 Hangzhou Metro lines (Metro Line 1, Metro Line2, Metro Line 4, Metro Line 5, Metro Line 6, Metro Line 7 and Metro Line 16) taking you to West Lake, Hefang Street, city center, the airport, train stations, and other places with convenient. Besides, many local buses and tourist bus lines helps you get to different tourist attractions easier. Also, public bicycles, ferries, taxis, etc. Are easy to find for your exploration of Hangzhou and West Lake. To help you travel without any worry, we highly recommend you use our private transfer service to get from your accommodation / airport / stations to anywhere in and around Hangzhou with speed and safety. Please contact us directly if you need any help!

▶ Check more about How to Get to & Around Hangzhou | How to Get to West Lake | 2024 Hangzhou Maps

Recommended Tour Package:

☛ 2 Days Essence of Hangzhou Tour

☛ 5 Days Shanghai Hangzhou Suzhou Highlights Tour

How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Hangzhou Metro (Line 2)

Top Attractions & Things to To in & Around Hangzhou

What to see and do in Hangzhou? There are abundant beautiful sightseeing of lakes, temples, mountains, museums, streets, parks, towers, countryside places, etc. For your admiration. Besides, shows, performance, activities, etc. are also well arranged around Hangzhou for your ultimate wonderful memories there!

1. West Lake - No.1 Place to Go in Hangzhou

West Lake listed as a UNESCO World Heritage is the must-see highlight of Hangzhou City. Gathering the famous “Ten Sceneries of West Lake” in different seasons and those fabulous ponds, old bridges, causeways, towers, parks, pavilions, etc., it is the best place to appreciate the poetic charm of this old and paradise city and also savor the authentic culture of elegant Jiangnan. So matter you walk, ride a bike, take a cruise or get on a sightseeing car, you will get the fabulous landscape of the lake and lots of fun.
Recommended Visiting Time: 2 hours - 1 day
Transfer from City Center:  by car

2. Lingyin Temple - Most Popular Buddhist Culture Site

Linyin Temple with about 1,700 years’ history is oldest and most famous temple site in entire Hangzhou. Nearly all visitors would plan a visit to the ancient Lingyin Temple standing on the luxurious forest with verdant leaves and immerse into its quiet Buddhist culture. Hall of Heavenly Kings and Grand Hall of Great Sage are magnificent where lots of locals pray and burn incense. Besides, the nearby Feilai Peak boasts outstanding Buddhist carvings along the riverbanks since the 10th century.
Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 hours
Transfer from City Center: 20 minutes by car

3. Longjing Tea Plantation - Walk at Dragon Well Tea Fields

Favored by people to get close to the nature and Chinese tea culture. You can visit Longjing Village and Meijiawu Village to appreciate the emerald Dragon Well tea plantation, walk in the field with fragrance, taste the tea, watch how to produce longjing tea, etc. Besides, in spring, you can enjoy the fun of picking fresh tea leaves. Hiking on the tea hills and take pictures of the tea plantation are highly recommended.
Recommended Visiting Time: 2-3 hours
Transfer from City Center: 15-25 minutes by car

4. Wuzhen - Not-missing Representative Water Town in Jiangnan

Wuzhen Water Town from more than 1,300 years ago is one of the top six ancient towns in south China. Little winding rivers, old crossing bridges, old dwelling houses of Jiangnan region, old streets and alleys, store and shops, etc. Form the harmonious and typical water town scene in China. Thus people love Wuzhen so much and call it Venice of East. Travel to the old time of China and enjoy a special slow life!
Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 days
Transfer from Hangzhou: 1.5-2 by car

5. Hefang Street & Hu Qing Yu Tang - Admire Past Prosperous Hangzhou

Hefang Street from South Song Dynasty is the most famous and only well-preserved ancient street in Hangzhou, where you can see the prosperous scene in ancient Hangzhou about 800 years ago with many time-honored stores, shops, restaurants, etc. Hu Qing Yu Tang also called Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine was found in 1874 and is the cultural highlight of Hefang Street. This museum tell you how Chinese people cure their illness and strengthen their body with traditional medicinal herbs and the detailed processing techniques.
Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 hours
Transfer from City Center: 20 minutes to Wulinmen by car

Besides, Hangzhou has many other interesting places to go, such as China National Tea Museum to admire various kinds of tea wares and historical culture of tea in China, Former Residence of Xueyang Hu to know the living garden of that famous businessman in ancient Zhejiang, Xixi National Wetland Park to soak in fresh air in the verdant wetland resort, Liuhe Pagoda to see the past days of Hangzhou look over Qiantang River, Qiandao Lake to see thousands of emerald lslets on the azure water, Xitang Old Town to seek the authentic leisure life of people in Yangtze Rive Delta, etc.

▶ Check more about Top Things to Do in Hangzhou | Interesting Hangzhou Attractions | Hangzhou Shows & Nightlife

How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou West Lake in Summer
How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Lingyin Temple
How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Hangzhou Tea Plantation
How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Wuzhen Water Town
How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Hefang Street
How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Thousand Islets Lake

How Many Days to Stay in Hangzhou

Travelers usually spend 1-3 days to savor the best nature and culture highlights in Hangzhou. If time permits, you can stay more days in and around to explore and enjoy more. Have a look at the following recommended Hangzhou itineraries from 1-3 days for more inspiration of your Hangzhou trip design.

Hangzhou 1 Day Itinerary

Features Itinerary Recommended Tour
Bests of Hangzhou West Lake + Lingyin Temple & Feilai Peak + Longjing Tea Plantation + China National Tea Museum Contact Us to Customize

(Note: The above recommended itinerary does not include the day for arrival and departure. Please contact us to help you plan your Hangzhou itinerary.)

Hangzhou 2 Days Itinerary

Features Itinerary Recommended Tour
Essence of Hangzhou Day 1: West Lake + Lingyin Temple & Feilai Peak + Longjing Tea Plantation
Day 2: Liuhe Pagoda + Hefang Street + Hu Qing Yu Tang
2 Days Essence of Hangzhou Tour

(Note: The above recommended itinerary does not include the day for arrival and departure. Please contact us to help you plan your Hangzhou itinerary.)

Hangzhou 3 Days Itinerary

Travel Plan Features Itinerary Recommended Tour
Plan A Hangzhou city essences with extend to WuzhenDay 1: West Lake + Lingyin Temple & Feilai Peak + Longjing Tea Plantation + China National Tea Museum
Day 2: Wuzhen Water Town
Day 3:Liuhe Pagoda + Hefang Street + Hu Qing Yu Tang
3 Days Best Hangzhou Tour with Wuzhen Water Town
Plan B Nature & culture highlights of Hangzhou Day 1: West Lake + Lingyin Temple & Feilai Peak + Longjing Tea Plantation
Day 2: Liuhe Pagoda + Hefang Street + Hu Qing Yu Tang + Museum of Knives, Scissors, Swords + Museum of Fans + Museum of Umbrellas
Day 3: Xixi Wetland Park
Contact Us to Customize
Plan C Hangzhou best highlights with Thousand Islets Lake Day 1: West Lake + Lingyin Temple & Feilai Peak + Longjing Tea Plantation + China National Tea Museum
Day 2: Liuhe Pagoda + Hefang Street + Hu Qing Yu Tang + Museum of Knives, Scissors, Swords + Museum of Fans + Museum of Umbrellas
Day 3: Thousand Islets Lake
3 Days Hangzhou Highlights Tour with Qiandao Lake

(Note: The above recommended itinerary does not include the day for arrival and departure. Please contact us to help you plan your Hangzhou itinerary.)

Travel beyond Hangzhou

To Shanghai, Suzhou & Huangshan

If you have 4-9 days, you are highly suggested travel beyond Hangzhou to the nearby Shanghai being the magic metropolis, Suzhou with incredible silk culture and elegant classic gardens and Huangshan with the UNESCO praised Yellow Mountain and Hui styled culture and architecture in the beautiful Yangtze River Delta region, which is quite popular for most travelers to Hangzhou. You can travel so easy with the convenient and almost 1-2.5 hours’ bullet train riding to those destinations. Usually, it needs 2-3 days in Shanghai, 1-2 days in Suzhou, 2-4 days in Huangshan. it is most popular to plan about 5-6 days to discover Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou in one go.

Recommended Tour Packages

☛ 3 Days Hangzhou & Suzhou Beauty Tour by High Speed Train

☛ 5 Days Shanghai Hangzhou Suzhou Highlights Tour

☛ 5 Days Yellow Mountain Tour from Hangzhou

☛ 9 Days East China & Mt. Huang Tour by High Speed Train

How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou

To More Domestic Destinations

Besides Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui, you are also recommended to extend from Hangzhou to more popular places in China if you have a longer vacation. You can go to Beijing to see the Forbidden City, Great Wall and more royal sites and modern appearance in China, to Xian to look closely at the Terracotta Warriors and remained capital quality from centuries ago, to Guilin to marvel at the picturesque Karst landscape, to Zhangjiajie to open the unbelievable Avatar’s world at Wulingyuan (Zhangjiajie National Forest Park), to Chengdu to say hello to adorable giant pandas, to Yangtze River to enjoy a leisure classic Three Gorges Cruise, etc.

Also, you can go to Luoyang, Tibet, Guizhou, Hong Kong, Xiamen, Harbin, Inner Mongolia, etc. to savor more amazing sightseeing, brilliant culture and history and delicious Chinese food in the vast country!

Recommended Tour Packages

☛ 11 Days Gorgeous China Tour from Beijing (Beijing / Huangshan / Hangzhou / Suzhou / Shanghai)

☛ 12 Days Classical China Vacation (Beijing / Xian / Guilin / Hangzhou / Shanghai)

☛ 10 Days China Golden Triangle Plus Hangzhou Paradise Tour (Shanghai / Hangzhou / Xian / Beijing)

How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Beijing Jinshanling Great Wall
How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Yangshuo in Guilin

Where to Stay in Hangzhou

Hangzhou as a prosperous provincial capital city has abundant accommodation choices from luxury 5-star, comortable 4-star, to budget 3-star, boutique hotels and hostels. You can find many luxury international hotel brands like Sofitel, Hyatt, Shangri-La, Crowne, Marriott, etc. Usually, there are 6 areas popular among visitors to Hangzhou, but the most chosen one is around West Lake particularly around Hubin Road and Xihu Avenue, where you can find many luxurious hotels. Wulin Square and surrounding is more prosperous with convenient public transportation to get around and places to do some simple shopping. If you are looking for some quiet place and good homestays, area around Lingyin Temple & Baile Bridge and area around Four-eye Well (Siyanjing) & Manjuelong are two popular choices. While, Hefang Street and Wushan Square has some accommodations for your close to Hangzhou old time features. Also, if you want to stay in a resort farther from the downtown, you can select around Qingzhiwu and Xixi National Wetland Park.

▶ Check more about Where to Stay in Hangzhou | Recommended Hangzhou Hotels

How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Map of Places to Stay in Hangzhou

What to Prepare for Visiting Hangzhou

Valid travel documents including passport, air tickets or train tickets (round trip), cash (CNY), clothes of the season, sun block, hat, credit card, necessary digital device like mobile phone, camera, etc., are not to be missed to pack. Mosquito repellent, rain gears are strongly suggested particularly for trip from July to August. Usually, we suggest you book the hotel 1 month in advance, and follow the weather 1 week before your setting off.

Hangzhou 144 hour Visa Free Transit

Hangzhou has implemented the 144-hour Visa Free Transit Policy since January 30, 2016, which enables citizens from the certain 53 countries to enter from 8 permitted ports of enter (including Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport) and stay in the administrative region of Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang within 144 hours (6 days). For more details about 144-Hour Visa-free Transit Policy

Travel Hangzhou with China Discovery

China Discovery is an experienced, professional and reliable travel companion devoted to offering high-quality and the best tour services for all travelers to China. In order to have a hassle-free travel and focus on the trip itself, it’s highly recommended to travel with China Discovery. So, you can enjoy convenient airport pick-up and drop-off service and transportation to all scenic spots in a safe, clean, comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking vehicle. Also, we will arrange knowledgeable local English-speaking tour guide, excellent accommodation and dining arrangements to ensure you rest well and get better understanding of highlights in Hangzhou and Zhejiang. The tour can be tailor-made according to your interests, time, group size, budget and every special need. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us to customize your tour!

How to Plan a Trip to Hangzhou Our Customers visited Meijia Dock Longjing Tea Plantation, Hangzhou

Get Inspired by Real Travel Stories of Our Customers

Since 2012, we China Discovery have helped numerous customers to visit Hangzhou and surroundings. With our fully-inclusive private tour packages, all of our customers enjoyed their trips to the West Lake, Lingyin Temple, etc. Some of them kindly shared their precious photos and stories about their Hangzhou journey, just get inspired now.

"Impression Show is a must see when visiting Hangzhou…" - shared by Nguyen (Read her entire travel story: The Pursuit of Natural Beauty with the Beloved one - 14 Days Beautiful China Exploring Tour)

"This last night in Hangzhou led us to explore a different side of West Lake, vastly changing our erstwhile bland impression of the famed tourist site…" - shared by CS from Singapore (Read her entire travel story: Delightful Journey to Poetic Jiangnan Area)

Besides the wonderful travel stories, many customers who visited Hangzhou with China Discovery also send us their first-hand feedbacks about their trip, feel free to read the Hangzhou Reviews and learn what they say about their experience. If you want to start your Hangzhou tour now, don't hesitate to contact us.

Our Customers visited the West Lake, Hangzhou Our Customers visited the West Lake, Hangzhou (Check more Customers Hangzhou Travel Photos)

Recommended Hangzhou Tours

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

West Lake Sunset at Changqiao Park

2 Days Hangzhou Essence Tour (Most Time-Efficient)


West Lake Summer Scenery

5 Days Shanghai Hangzhou Suzhou Highlights Tour

Shanghai / Hangzhou / Suzhou / Shanghai

Traveler in Humble Administrator's Garden

3 Days Hangzhou Suzhou Beauty Tour by High Speed Train

Hangzhou / Suzhou

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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