[Important] China travel is reopening for expats! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & policies of each destination, and find the Best China Expats Tours »
Hohhot, means "green city" in Mongolian, is not only the capital of Inner Mongolia many museums, ancient temples, pagodas, tombs in downtown area where travelers can absorb the local history and minority culture, but also one of the important tourism distribution centers for visiting grasslands in the north, hiking though deserts, mountains and hills in the west, appreciating the magnificent Yellow River and ancient great wall in the south and traveling to Beijing and Tianjin in the east.
Here we have selected the top 10 attractions and things to do in Hohhot to help you find can’t-be-missed highlights and explore Hohhot and nearby in all perspectives. If you want to have some of them or some other experience included in your itinerary, feel free to tell us. We can customize a private Hohhot tour according to your own ideas and needs.
Huitengxile Grassland in Ulanqab
Xilamuren Grassland Between Baotou and Hohhot
• Type: Nature; Grassland
• Nearby Grassland & Desert: Xilamuren Grassland (1-1.5 hour' driving distance); Huitengxile Grassland (2 hour' driving distance); Gegentala Grassland (2.5 hour' driving distance)
"Between the vast sky and the boundless earth, flocks and herds appear as grass bends to wind". This sentence describes the classic scene of the grassland. It's also one of the main reasons for travelers to visit Hohhot and Inner Mongolia. There are many picturesque grasslands around Hohhot that are worth visiting. The closest grassland with the best facilities is Xilamuren Grassland (希拉穆仁草原), which takes only 1 hour by car from Hohhot downtown. For those who are looking for a more original and primitive grassland experience, they can head to Huitengxile (辉腾锡勒草原) and Gegentala Grassland (格根塔拉草原) in Ulanqab. Both are great summer resorts where visitors can explore freely on the vast fertile grassland and enjoy colorful and featured grassland activities and the Naadam Festival.
Check more about Grasslands near Hohhot >>
Whistling Bune Bay
Kubuqi Desert Hiking
• Type: Nature; Desert
• Nearby Deserts: Kubuqi Desert (3-3.5 hour' driving distance); Whistling Bune Bay (2.5-3 hour' driving distance)
If you want to enjoy the desert scenery, but don't have time to visit the Badain Jaran Desert (巴丹吉林沙漠), then Kubuqi Desert (库布齐沙漠) would be an excellent alternative near Hohhot. Although the scenery of Kubuqi Desert might not be as magnificent as Badain Jaran Desert and Tengger Desert, it has the only 5A desert scenic spot - Whistling Bune Bay (响沙湾) in China, more mature and highly engaged desert hiking trails and easy to reach. Besides, it also has the most abundant recreational resources, such as sand skiing, camel riding, desert surfing, ziplining and desert volleyball, etc. making it the best choice for family traveling with children.
Dazhao Wuliang Temple (大召无量寺)
The Eight Buddha Pagodas in Dazhao
• Type: Religious Sites, Sights & Landmarks
• Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hours
• Distance from City Center: about 3 km, which takes 10 minutes by car
• Address: No. 68 Xinhua Avenue, Huimin District, Hohhot (呼和浩特市回民区新华大街68号)
Built in 1580 during the Ming Dynasty, Dazhao Temple (大召) is the oldest and largest temple in Hohhot. The Qing Dynasty emperor Kangxi visited here. In respect to this imperial favor, from this time onwards the temple also became one of the few in the province that nullified the practice of choosing a new living Buddha after the old had passed away.
This temple is also well known for the impressive buildings, splendid statues, delicate murals, musical instruments and fine collections of Buddhist scriptures, among which the most notable are the “Three Marvelous Treasures” – the Silver Buddha (2.5 meter silver statue of Sakyamuni Buddha), the carved dragons on the huge golden pillars on either side of the statue and the mural commemorating the Emperor’s visit. So, the local people call it “Yinfo Temple”.
Outlook of Inner Mongolia Museum
The Golden Crown of Huns' King
• Type: Museums
• Recommended Length of Visit: 2-3 hours
• Distance from City Center: about 7 km, which takes 20 minutes by car
• Address: No.27 Xinhua East Street, Xincheng District, Hohhot (呼和浩特新城区新华东街27号)
The Inner Mongolia Museum (内蒙古博物馆) is a local comprehensive museum, boasting a good selection of Mongolia items and a historical lineage of this vast grassland. There are more than 100,000 sets of collections in the museum. Exhibitions of the flora and fauna and history of (Inner) Mongolia from the stone age until modern times, as well as on minerals and mining, space exploration, and dinosaurs. For the uniqueness of Inner Mongolia, the museum has a “grassland culture exhibition series” with the theme of “prairie culture” represented in both of the basic displays and thematic displays.
The Inner Mongolia Museum is indeed a large and great museum which fully shows you Mongolia history and culture. It is a window to see and know Inner Mongolia deeply.
Stone Carvings on the Five-Pagoda Temple
• Type: Landmarks, Religious Sites
• Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour
• Distance from City Center: about 3 km, which takes 10 minutes by car
• Address: Xiaozhao Front Street, Yuquan District, Hohhot (呼和浩特市玉泉区小召前街)
The Five-Pagoda Temple (五塔寺), also called Jingangzuo Dagoba, is a miniature temple built in Indian style. It is an important Tibetan Buddhist Temple and is composed of three parts: the base, the seat and the top. Compared with other pagodas, it is unique in at least two aspects: its special structure, pagodas over pagoda, and the green and yellow colored glazes on the short eaves and tops of pagodas. These make Five-Pagoda Temple quite special, a treasure of Hohhot City.
Travelers can climb to the top of the base to get a look at the pagoda themselves, or head to the back of the building where a carved screen includes a rare Mongolia astronomical map which illustrates the zodiac and positions of numbers of stars.
The Statue in Zhaojun Tomb
• Type: Museums, Statues, Historical Sites
• Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hour
• Distance from City Center: about 14 km, which takes 30 minutes by car
• Address: South Zhaojun Road, Yuquan District, Hohhot (呼和浩特市玉泉区南昭君路6公里处)
Situated 14 km away from Hohhot, Zhaojun Tomb (昭君墓) is a large and man-made earthen mound, which is 33 meters high. It is the resting place of Han princess, also one of the four most beautiful ladies in ancient China, who voluntarily married a nomad Hun chief to secure peace. She is attributed with the ability to perform miracles.
Zhaojun Tomb is also called “Green Mound”. The landscape surrounding the tomb is very beautiful and is always changing, meaning that it has been called a "green tomb supporting beauty". You won’t miss the Bronze Statues, Steles and Exhibitions in this area.
The Great Mosque
The Aiboyihe Palace
• Type: Ancient Ruins, Religious Sites
• Recommended Length of Visit: 1~2 hours
• Distance from City Center: about 2 km, which takes less than 10 minutes by car
• Address: No. 28 Tongdao South Street, Huimin District, Hohhot (呼和浩特市回民区通道南街28号)
First built in 1693, The Great Mosque (清真大寺) is the earliest and largest mosque among those eight mosques in Hohhot. The mosque is a strange mix of Chinese and Arabic architecture which is interesting not only for its insides, with its active worship, but also for the atmosphere that this whole area presents. The Grand Prayer Hall, Teaching Hall and the Muslim Baths are typical buildings here. And all of the buildings within bear Muslim characters, and especially noteworthy are the over 30 volumes of ancient Koran scriptures which are all written in Arabic.
Temple Fair in Xilintuzhao
• Type: Ancient Ruins, Religious Sites
• Recommended Length of Visit: Ancient Ruins, Religious Sites
• Distance from City Center: about 3 km, which takes 10 minutes by car.
• Address: north end of the Stone Lane, Yuquan District, Hohhot (呼和浩特市玉泉区石头巷北端)
Xilitu (席力图) is Mongolian, which means "chief" or "thrones". It is called "Yanshou Temple" in Chinese. The temple was built during the reign of Longqing and Wanli of the Ming Dynasty (1567-1619 AD) and has a history of nearly 500 years. It was named after the first living Buddha Xilitu, the teacher of the fourth Dalai Lama, who presided over the temple for a long time. Xilitu temple is located at the north end of Stone Lane in Yuquan District, Old Town of Hohhot. Sitting north and facing south, Xilitu Temple is separated by the road diagonally opposite to the Dazhao Temple. It is the largest temple in Hohhot, with a construction area of over 5000 square meters.
The building complex in Xilituzhao adopted the traditional layout of mainland China, that is, forming a central axis from the gate to the main hall, then symmetrically arranging halls, warehouses, stele pavilion, bell and drum tower on both sides. From the front gate to the back door, there are five rows of buildings. The main buildings in the temple are the White Marble Pagoda, the Tianwang Hall, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, and the Great Buddha’s Hall, etc.
The Panoramic View of Laoniu Bay
The Ruins of Ming Great Wall at Laoniu Bay
• Type: Landscape, Historical Site
• Recommended Length of Visit: Half a Day
• Distance from City Center: about 160 km, which takes nearly 3 hours by car.
• Address: Qingshuihe County, Hohhot (呼和浩特市清水河县)
Laoniuwan (老牛湾) is the only intersection of the Yellow River and the Great Wall. It is one of the most beautiful 10 grand canyons in China. Laoniuwan is located at the junction of Shanxi and Inner Mongolia. Taking the Yellow River as the boundary, to the south is Pianguan County of Shanxi, to the north is Qingshuihe County of Inner Mongolia, and to the west is Zhunger Banner on the Ordos Plateau. Laoniuwan is a place where three cities meet. The Yellow River enters Shanxi from here, the internal and external Great Wall intersects here, the Grand Canyon of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Mongolia begins here, and the vicissitudes of landform on the Loess Plateau of China manifests here. Paying a visit to Laoniuwan, visitors may not only appreciate the magnificent views of the flowing rivers, but also have a chance to hike through a section of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty. The whole Laoniuwan tourist area is composed of three bays and one valley, which are Baozita bay, Laoniu Bay, Sizuota bay and Yangjiachuan small canyon.
Suiyuan General Yamen
Interesting Statue in Suiyuan General Yamen
• Type: Historical Relics, Museum
• Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours
• Distance from City Center: about 2 km, which takes less than 10 minutes by car.
• Address: No. 31 Xinhua Avenue, Xincheng District, Hohhot (呼和浩特市新城区新华大街31号)
Suiyuan General Yamen (绥远将军衙署) was the military office of Suiyuan General in the Qing Dynasty who administered Guihua City, Monan Mongolia, Datong, Xuanhua and other places. It was built in accordance with the format of Yamen in the Qing Dynasty, with bricks and wooden structure, covering an area of about 30,000 square meters. After a number of repairs, the office generally maintained its original structure. There is a tall screen wall in front of the gate and with a pair of stone lions on its side. Inside the courtyard, there are three halls: the hall in the front is the decision-making center, the east and west officials’ working rooms, the mixed court is in the middle and the private residences of the general are in the back. There are overall 132 rooms in the government office.
Shengzhu Palace at Hasu Lake Scenic Area
• Type: National Park, Lake
• Recommended Length of Visit: 0.5-1 Day
• Distance from City Center: about 81 km west from Hohhot downtown, which takes 1-1.5 hours by car.
• Address: 70 kilometers west from Tumed Left Banner, Hohhot City (呼和浩特市土默特左旗西70公里)
Hasuhai (哈素海) lies at the confluence of alluvial plain at the southern foot of Daqingshan, Yellow River and Daheihe River. The core area of Hasu Lake covers an area of 90,000 mu, and the reserve covers a total area of 270,000 mu. There are 172 species of terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates and 227 species of plants reproducing and growing in the Hasuhai Wetland Nature Reserve. More than 20 species of birds such as white egrets, herons and grass herons migrate through this wetland every year. The wetland nature reserve was listed in the "Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Nature Reserve List" in 2008.
Hasu is a Mongolian translation, meaning “Green Lake”. The water is fertile, the reeds grow thick in the lake. The sky is unlimited for birds to fly at ease; as the lake is boundless for fish to leap at will. The pavilions along the shore are shaded by willow trees, and the clear water and green mountains set each other off, giving Hasu Lake a reputation of “the West Lake beyond the Great Wall”.
Inner Mongolia Hadamen National Forest Park
Hadad Highland Pasture
• Type: National park, Highland Pasture, Forest
• Recommended Length of Visit: 0.5-1 Day
• Distance from City Center: about 30 km, which takes about 1 hour by car.
• Address: Wuchuan County, Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia (呼和浩特市武川县)
Located at the southern foot of Daqing Mountain, Inner Mongolia Hadamen National Forest Park (内蒙古哈达门国家森林公园) is a national forest park with diverse landscapes including mountains, highland pastures, gorges and forests, etc. The topography of the forest park is composed of 11 deep gullies and girders between gullies, forming a terrain pattern of canyon, mountain and alpine platform scattered and distributed. The national park is mainly composed of mountain landscape area, peak forest landscape area and gully landscape area.
Hadad Highland Pasture is a grassland located in Inner Mongolia Hadamen National Forest Park. The main building inside is the resort of the nomadic ancient city of Darindhar, which adopts the layout of ancient nomadic palaces. Continue to head eastward, you can reach the Birch Forest. The Birch Forest Tourist Area is 1.2 km in total length. Down the 888 steps, you can enjoy the mountain scenery. There are also plants such as peonies, lilium pumilums, gentians and chrysanthemum flowers on both sides of the stairs. The scenery is most charming in autumn.
Usually, visitors spend 2~3 days to visit Hohhot, including one day to explore the highlights in the city, like Dazhao Temple and Inner Mongolia Museum, and 1~2 days to have fun at the nearby grasslands, like Huitengxile Grassland or Xilamuren Grassland.
If you have 1~2 days more day, you are highly suggested to add Kubuqi Desert into your trip. Kubuqi Desert is one of the best deserts in China. You can enjoy colorful activities there, like riding camels, hiking, playing sands, etc.
Feel not enough? You can spend one day more to Ordos to explore the legend of the great Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan, 1~2 days more to Xilingol to discover the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site - Site of Xanadu, 2~3 days more to Hulunbuir to meet the most beautiful grassland in China and visit Russian Nationality Villages. Have your preferences about Hohhot and Inner Mongolia? Please feel free to tell us your likes and let our experienced travel consultant customize a tour for you!
Hohhot and Inner Mongolia differ a lot with the classic China you know. And it is not an easy job to arrange the daily flight, train and car travel at this relatively vast land. Therefore, travel with a professional travel agency is usually the best way to visit there. We China Discovery know Hohhot and Inner Mongolia a lot and we are experienced in organizing tours to this region. If you need any help, please feel free to contact us! Private cars, one-to-one guide and travel consultant… Everything is only for you and your group or family! The tour is customized by your interest, budget, plan and every special need!
Top 3 Hohhot tours chosen by most customers to explore Hohhot in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Hohhot / Huitengxile Grassland / Resonant Sand Bay / Baotou
Hohhot / Xilamuren Grassland / Hohhot
Hohhot / Xilamuren Grassland / Resonant Sand Bay / Baotou / Hohhot
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.Customize a Trip
[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >