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Zhengzhou Travel Guide

Zhengzhou Travel Guide 2024

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Zhengzhou is the capital city as well as the largest city, the political and economic center of Henan Province, which lies on the southern bank of the Yellow River, in north-central Henan Province and the hinterland of China’s Central Plains. Today, Zhengzhou is most famous for the Shaolin Temple, birthplace of the Yellow Emperor and its transport hub function in the Central Plains area. Being one of the excellent tourism cities and an important cradle of Chinese civilization Zhengzhou owns plentiful natural and human landscapes, including international famous Shaolin Temple and Shaolin Kung Fu, one of China’s Five Great Mountains - Mount Song, many ancient architectures and natural sights.

Why Visit Zhengzhou:

  • Shaolin Temple and Shaolin Kung Fu - It’s the biggest reason for a Zhengzhou tour. Built in the Northern Wei Dynasty in the late 5th century AD, Shaolin Temple at the foot of Mount Song is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site where Chinese Zen Buddhism and Chinese Kung Fu (Martial Arts) originated. The temple has long been honored as “the First Temple in the World” and a holy land to witness and learn the influential Chinese Kung Fu by worldwide Chinese Kung Fu lovers.
  • UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Dengfeng - On Mount Song of Dengfeng, altogether 11 ancient sites have been listed as World Cultural Heritage - “The Center of Heaven and Earth” (Shaolin Temple is included). It is a huge historical monument complex owning the most type of buildings and richest cultural connotation, because it comprises of architectures from Han, Tang to Qing Dynasty, spanning a period of 9 dynasties to over 2,000 years. This complex is an outstanding embodiment of ancient Chinese’s unique cosmology and aesthetics for religion, science, technology and education. Here you can visit the existing oldest astronomical observatory, very old Taoist temple - Zhongyue Temple, Songyang Academy - one of China’s four famous ancient academies.
  • Birth Place of the Yellow Emperor - Chinese people all call themselves the descendants of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) and the Yan Emperor (Yandi), two legendary ancient Chinese rulers and heroes cultivated Chinese civilization. According to historical records, Zhengzhou is where the Yellow Emperor was born, started his achievement and established the capital, so massive Chinese at home and abroad flood into Zhengzhou to worship the great ancestor and attend the annual worship ritual in Xinzheng Yellow Emperor’s Hometown.
  • Splendid History and Culture - Zhengzhou has been considered the center of the heaven and earth and many regimes have built state here. In Zhengzhou, you can discover the Zhiji Cave and other Paleolithic sites, Peiligang ruins of Neolithic, ruins of Shang Dynasty’s capital and imperial tombs of the Northern Song Dynasty.
  • Countless Eminent Luminaries - Lots of remarkable figures of Zhengzhou have made magnificent impact on China’s history, such as the Guanzhong, Hanfei and Zhangliang during the Spring and Autumn Period, Du Fu, Bai Juyi and Li Shangyin (famous poets) of Tang Dynasty, Li Jie (architect) of the Northern Song Dynasty, Xu Heng (Neo-Confucianist) of Song & Yuan Dynasty, etc.
  • The Yellow River - It is a national scenic area and a national geopark presenting the magnificence landscape of the Yellow River. Covering over 20 square kilometers, the Yellow River Scenic area of Zhengzhou is a huge attraction consist of peaks, lakes, giant statues of the Yellow Emperor and Yan Emperor.

Top Attractions

Under the jurisdiction of Zhengzhou, there are 6 districts, 5 county-level cities (Dengfeng, Xinzheng, Gongyi, Xingyang…) and 1 county. The No.1 must-see is Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, southwest of Zhengzhou. The spectacular Mount Song and its architecture complex are also located in Dengfeng. In downtown Zhengzhou, you can visit Henan Museum, Zhengzhou Museum and some local parks to get close to local culture and history. Yellow River Scenic Area is in the north suburb. See more Zhengzhou Attractions >>

Zhengzhou Travel Guide
Shaolin Temple

This Zen Buddhist temple nestled in dense forest of Mount Song is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an international known ancestral home of Chinese Kung Fu (Martial Arts) and a Mecca for all Chinese Kung Fu fans.

Zhengzhou Travel Guide
Mount Song

Famed as one of the five great mountains in China, it is composed of Taishi Mountain & Shaoshi Mountain with 72 peaks and many ancient temples, pagodas. Here is the birthplace of Chinese Zen culture and Taoism and a vital barrier of ancient Luoyang.

Zhengzhou Travel Guide
Henan Museum

It is a national comprehensive museum exhibiting over 140,000 pieces of cultural relics and a good window to know the long history and diverse culture of Henna. Best treasures include bronzes Shang Dynasty, China’s only gold book of Tang Dynasty, etc.

Zhengzhou Travel Guide
Yellow River Scenic Area

It is a large-scale outdoor Yellow River culture park. Here has towering statues of Chinese ancestors - the Yellow Emperor & Yan Emperor, peak, tablet and over 40 spots showing the stunning landscape of Yellow River and origin of Chinese civilization.

Zhengzhou Museum

Zhengzhou Museum is a small local museum mainly introducing the ancient history and glorious culture of Zhengzhou. Different kinds of delicate bronze wares are the most attractive highlights to have insight of Zhengzhou’s previous status.

Erqi Memorial Tower

The 14-storey tower, located in the city center, is one of the landmarks in Zhengzhou. With a height of 63 meters, it is a unique ancient style siamesed twin-pagoda tower with distinctive Chinese traditional architectural designs.

Henan Geological Museum

Here is an excellent place to view massive natural wonders made by earth’s movement. Visitors can read unique geological data and explore in lots of exhibition halls of dinosaur, elephant, mineral resources, earthquake and tsunami.

Zhengzhou City God Temple

Built in Ming Dynasty, the temple is one of the largest and best-preserved Ming and Qing Dynasty ancient buildings in Henan. It was a local Taoist shrine worshiping the city guardian but now is a quiet building complex with pristine architectures & peaceful atmosphere.

Top Featured Activities in Zhengzhou

Besides visiting ancient architectures of Shaolin Temple, there are many local featured activities you can attend to make your Zhengzhou tour informative, entertaining and meaningful, such as watching a Shaolin Kung Fu show, join in a Kung Fu class to study some basic styles, taste the local unique food and so on. More about Shaolin Kung Fu Shows >>

Watch Shaolin Kung Fu Show

Watch Shaolin Kung Fu Show

With an entrance ticket, you can enjoy a free half an hour Shaolin Kung Fu show in the Shaolin Martial Arts Hall close to the Shaolin Temple. Different Shaolin Kung Fu will be performed by monks in front of you.

Learn Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu

Learn Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu

It is said that all martial arts in the world were originated from Shaolin. Chinese Kung Fu fans can study the Shaolin Kung Fu to strengthen your health and protect yourself. Duration and fee varies from each school.

Hike the Majestic Mount Song

Hike the Majestic Mount Song

Marvel at the harmonious coexistence of nature and culture on Mount Song. Climb the Taishi Mountain, visit Junji Peak, Zhongyue Temple, Songyang Academy and meet the thrilling mountain roads and special landform

Visit Different Zhengzhou Museums

Visit Different Zhengzhou Museums

Without any charge, museums in Zhengzhou are worth your exploration. You can view thousands of valuable ancient cultural relics in just one visit, catch a glimpse of the city’s previous refulgence.

Enjoy Shaolin Zen Music Ritual

This show is an outdoor landscape spectacle made up of five chapters. Over 600 actors present different stories to unlock the mysterious Zen culture under gorgeous stages and spirit-purifying chant of Zen.

Sample Local Zhengzhou Food

A Zhengzhou tour won’t be complete without tasting the local Henan food. You can try the Henan Cuisine to understand its food culture, lifestyle and environment. Classic dishes are Carp with Fried Noodles, Luoyang Water Banquet...

Zhengzhou Weather & Temperature - Best Time to Go

Zhengzhou has a Northern Temperate Continental Monsoon Climate with features of: distinct four seasons, short Spring and Autumn, hot, humid and rainy Summer and cold, dry and windy Winter. The annual average temperature of Zhengzhou is 15.6℃, and July is the hottest month when temperature rises up to above 34℃, while January is the coldest period with a mean temperature of only a few degrees Celsius. During late June to August of Summer, Zhengzhou receives lots of rains. The best time to visit Zhengzhou is April to May and September to November, because temperatures in these periods are pleasantly comfortable with high visibility, healthy air and more beautiful natural scenery. You can visit Shaolin Temple anytime, but early March to May, August to end of October with moderate temperature and nice weather are the best times for a Shaolin Temple tour.

See more details about Zhengzhou Weather, Temperature & Climate >>


How to Get to Zhengzhou

By Flight: Air travelers can fly to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport to start your Zhengzhou travel. The airport is a large national air transport hub in central China, operating over 200 airline routes to more than 110 cities at home and abroad. Conveniently, you can take flight to Zhengzhou from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xiamen, Kunming and many other Chinese cities, or from Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul , Cheju, (South Korea), Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Shizuoka (Japan), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bangkok, Phuket and Krabi (Thailand), Singapore, Jakarta (Indonesia) and Manila (Philippines) via international and regional flights.

>> Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport & Flights to Zhengzhou

By Train: Zhengzhou is also a railway transport center that serves both several major traditional railways and high speed railways (including the north-south Beijing Guangzhou High Speed Railway and east-west Xuzhou Lanzhou High Speed Railway). Currently, tourists can take high speed trains to Zhengzhou from Beijing (about 2.5-3.5 hours), Shanghai (about 4-7 hours), Guangzhou (about 5.5-6.5 hours), Xian (2-2.5 hours), Tianjin (4 hours), Taiyuan (4 hours), etc.

>> Zhengzhou Railway Stations: Location & Transportation

How to Get around Zhengzhou

Zhengzhou is the most important transport hub in Henna. From Zhengzhou, you can easily take a bus to Luoyang (Longmen Grottoes), Shaolin Templ, Kaifeng, Jiaozuo (Yuntai Mountain) and other destinations in Henan. It’s more convenient to take the fast intercity train from Zhengzhou to Kaifeng and Jiaozuo, and Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport to Zhengzhou Railway Station and Zhengzhou East Railway Station within half an hour.

Zhengzhou Accommodation: Where to Stay

Travelers can choose different area and standard of accommodation in Zhengzhou depending on your own needs. If you go to Shaolin Temple directly from Zhengzhou, the most recommended places to stay are in the downtown Dengfeng City and near the Shaolin Temple. For those who plan to stay overnight in Zhengzhou city, the best choice goes to Zhengzhou city center area which offers plenty of choices ranging from luxury brands to budget hostels. Here you can quickly find places for dining and shopping within walking distance and short ride. Also, you can book hotel near the airport and train station to catch your flight or train to next destination.

>> Where to Stay in Zhengzhou - Top Recommended Zhengzhou Hotels

Zhengzhou Maps

To help you better know the location, tourist attraction and transportation of Zhengzhou, we’ve collected many useful Zhengzhou maps for you. All are updated and downloadable. Check more Zhengzhou Maps here >>

Zhengzhou Attractions map

Zhengzhou Attractions Map

Shaolin Temple Tourist Map

Shaolin Temple Tourist Map

Zhengzhou Airport Map

Zhengzhou Airport Map

Zhengzhou East Railway Station Map

Zhengzhou Railway Station Map

Other Destinations near Zhengzhou

In Henan, besides Zhengzhou, there are more other nice destinations can be visited around. Go westward of Zhengzhou, you can visit Longmen Grottoes - a large-scale Buddhist grottoes cluster spreading by the riverside and China’s oldest Buddhist temple in Luoyang. Kaifeng in the east side of Zhengzhou is another ancient capital preserving abundant meritorious historical sites.

Other Popular Destinations in China

China is vast and diverse. You can choose your favorite destinations among more than 70 tourist destination and regions, like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, etc. Following are 4 popular destinations you may get interested in. Check all destinations in China.

Chinese Name: 郑州

Chinese Pinyin: zhèng zhōu

English IPA: /'dʒeŋ'dʒəu/

Area: 7,446 Square Kilometers

Population: 10,136,000

Language: Mandarin & Zhengzhou Dialect

Tel Code: 0371

Zip Code: 450000

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Logo: Chinese Rose

Plan Your Zhengzhou Tour

Most tourists make a one-day brief trip to Shaolin Temple via Zhengzhou and seldom stay long time in Zhengzhou city. After arrival by train or flight, you can directly get to Shaolin Temple, visit the main hall, Pagoda Forest and ancient architecture and watch a Shaolin Kung Fu show. Next, you may drive back to Zhengzhou for departure. Or you can transfer to Luoyang and spend one day viewing the Longmen Grottoes and White Horse Temple, if you’re interested in Chines culture and Buddhism.

If time allows, it’s also popular to extend Zhengzhou tour to more parts of Henan, such as the natural sights of Yuntai Mountain, mysterious Yin Ruins of Anyang and Kaifeng. A classic itinerary covers best highlights of Henan needs 5 to 6 days. Linking Zhengzhou with more major destinations in China, like Xian, Beijing, Shanghai is highly suggested to experience different culture and history of China. China Discovery provides popular Zhengzhou tour packages and customized service to design a unique Zhengzhou tour for you!

Travel with China Discovery

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