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Jilin Travel Guide

Jilin Travel Guide 2024

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Jilin city (125° 40′~ 127° 56′E, 42° 31′~ 44° 40′ N) is located in the central area of Jilin Province, in the northeast hinterland of Changbai Mountains. Jilin city is one of the birthplaces of the Manchu ethnic group in China. Its original name is "Jilin Wula", which means "city along the river" in the Manchu language. The city surrounded by the Songhua River deduces different customs in four seasons, and winter is its highlighting time. In winter, Jilin conceives undoubtedly beautiful snow scenery by the Songhua River. Under the blue sky and brilliant sunshine, it is a white undulating snowscape, and the flawless rime world makes the whole city a fairyland.

Why Visit Jilin:

  • Picturesque Rime Scenery - Rime is the winter icon of Jilin city. When the crystal iced hanging is formed on the trees, people are often infatuated with the typical northern scenery. Every year from the middle of November, to March, you can appreciate the rime scenery in Jilin, especially in the years with heavy snowfall and cold weather, and the most beautiful place to appreciate rime is Wusong Island. Every January, Jilin holds the annual rime ice and snow festival.
  • Skiing Paradise - There are many ski resorts in Jilin, which have complete ski facilities, excellent snow quality, professional ski tracks, high-end accommodation services, and professional ski coaches. The ski resorts are far away from the city downtown. They are very popular and open from November to March every year. Among them, the most famous are Beidahu ski resort and Songhua Lake ski resort.
  • Dazzling Fall Leaves - Besides snowy winter, the autumn leaves in Jilin are also very beautiful. The Red Leaf Valley in the suburbs of Jilin has attracted many tourists to capture the blazing red, yellow, and orange...
  • ...

Top Attractions to Visit in Jilin

Jilin is rich in snow resources. The most popular scenic spots are Jilin Wusong Island, Beidahu Ski Resort, and Songhua Lake Ski Resort in the suburban area of Jilin. Also, you can stay in the city downtown area appreciate the ancient treasures in Jilin Museum and experience the Jilin people’s lifestyle at Beishan Park. Check the following best must-visits to plan your Jilin itinerary.

Wusong Island

Wusong Island is a small island in the middle of the Songhua River formed by the impact of river flow. It is the top place to appreciate “one of the four wonders in China” - Jilin Rime. Hantun Village, Cengtongtun Village in and around the Island are the two best places to appreciate the rime. 

Beidahu Ski Resort

Located in the southwest of Jilin City, Beidahu is covered with a large amount of snow with picturesque scenery. There are also many luxury hotels such as Club Med and Holiday Inn, and many ski tracks for both beginners and the professional. It has become a popular resort for skiers from home and abroad.

Songhua Lake 

Songhua Lake has a vast water area and many Lake branches. Songhua Lake has 10 independent scenic spots, which are suitable for tourism all year round: enjoying flowers in spring, boating and swimming in summer, enjoying red leaves in autumn, and skiing in ski resorts in winter.

Beishan Park

Jilin Beishan Park is a temple landscape garden in the center of Jilin City. The main peak is 270m in the park. There are various traditional buildings in the park. The park overlooks Jilin City. During the traditional festival, there will be folklore performances.

Jilin Museum

Jilin Museum is a local comprehensive museum integrating natural science, human history, and art. It has the world-famous "Jilin No. 1 meteorite", which is a world-class resource entity. As of 2020, it has 18836 cultural relics, most of which are archaeological and meteorite specimens.

Red Leaf Valley

Red Leaf Valley is a valley of the remaining vein of Changbai Mountain, with a total length of more than 50 kilometers. In autumn, the mountain is full of red leaves, like sunset, which is very spectacular. The best season for enjoying red leaves is before the middle of October every year.

Jilin Weather & Temperature - Best Time to Go

The climate of Jilin city belongs to the typical sub-humid monsoon climate in the middle temperate zone, with four distinct seasons. It is dry and rainless in spring, warm and rainy in summer, cool and sunny in autumn, and long and cold in winter. The annual average temperature of the whole region is 3 ℃ ~ 5 ℃. Affected by the terrain, the temperature gradually decreases from west and northwest. The average temperature in January is the lowest among the year, generally, from -18 ℃ to -20 ℃, the average temperature in July is the highest, generally from 21 ℃ to 23 ℃, and the extreme maximum temperature is 36.6 ℃. The frost-free period is about 120 days. The annual rainfall is about 700 mm. The sunshine hours in the whole region range from 2400 to 2600 hours. 

Best Time to Go: Jilin is suitable for tourists in all seasons. Winter is the peak season in Jilin. Many tourists come here because of the beautiful rime and snowscape. The best time to appreciate rime every winter is from the end of December to the beginning of February.

Jilin Transportation

Get to Jilin

Currently, there is only a train station in Jilin City, and not any airport has been built in Jilin City yet. The nearest airport is Changchun Longjia Airport which is 84km from Jilin City. The flights there connecting most major cities in China is the transportation hub in Jilin Province and people reaching Jilin always land in Changchun Airport and transfer to Jilin City by high-speed train/car/bus.

By Train: Jilin Railway Station (吉林站) is the main railway station serving Jilin City as well as an important railway station in the railway networks of Northeastern China. It receives high-speed trains from Changchun (40 minutes), Yanji (1.5~2 hours), Harbin (2 hours), Dalian (4~5 hours), Shenyang (2~2.5 hours), Dalian (4~5 hours), Beijing (5~6 hours), Tianjin (6~6.5 hours), Jinan (8~8.5 hours), Qingdao (10 hours), Nanjing (10.5 hours), Shanghai (12 hours), etc. Taking a high-speed train is a favorable way to get to Jilin City.

Get Around Jilin

You can get around Jilin downtown by public bus to visit Jilin Museum, Beishan Park in the downtown area. But if you are going to attractions such as Wusong Island, Beidahu Ski Resort, Songhua Lake Ski Resort, it is more convenient to charter a private car for the long distance from the downtown area. But most taxi drivers in Jilin don’t understand English or other foreign languages and you need to write down your destination in Chinese in advance.

China Discovery’s Private Transfer is Top Recommended

As attractions in Jilin are scattered in different directions, traveling with a private vehicle and a local guide is quite helpful. To better acclimatize yourself to the local environment and get a better travel experience, it’s highly advised to get around Jilin by private car. Please feel free to contact us for transportation help.

Jilin Accommodation: Where to Stay in Jilin

In general, the accommodation condition in Jilin can not measure up to hotels with the same star rate in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Changchun. But known for the ski resorts, you can find several luxury and comfortable-starred hotels in Beidahu Ski Resort and Songhua Lake Ski Resort. When you are traveling to Jilin in winter, it is recommended to stay in Wusong Island to experience the farm stay with authentic local vibes. If your journey in Jilin is not during the wintertime, Jilin downtown area is a good choice with convenient transportation and various hotels. What's more, if you want to stay close to Jilin Railway Station, it is also in the downtown area of Jilin.

Recommended Hotels in Jilin Downtown: Ibis Jilin Beishan Park Hotel 宜必思酒店吉林北山公园店, Hanting Hotel Jilin (Jilin Main Street) 汉庭酒店吉林大街店, Jilin International Hotel 吉林国际大酒店

Recommended Hotels Around Wusong Island: Rime Island Manzhaosongju Inn 雾凇岛满照凇居客栈, Wusong Island Manzu Farm Stay 吉林雾凇岛满族庄稼院

Recommended Hotels Around Beidahu Ski Resort: Club Med Beidahu 北大壶地中海俱乐部, Jilin Beidahu Holiday Inn 北大壶假日酒店, BDH Beimei Shiguang Apartment Hotel (Perfect Time) 北大湖北美时光公寓酒

Recommended Hotels Around Songhua Lake Ski Resort: Lake Songhua Seibu Prince Hotel 松花湖西武王子大饭店, Qingshan Holiday Hotel 吉林青山假日酒店

Useful Jilin Travel Map

To help you have a brief understanding of Jilin, we collect some of the most useful Jilin maps for you. You can read the map to know its location in Jilin and nearby destinations to plan your Jilin tour. Also, the following Jilin Tourist Map shows you the location of Wusong Island, Beidahu Ski Resort, and highlights to explore in Jilin. The maps have recently been updated and are free to download. Check more Jilin Maps.

Jilin City Tourist Map

Jilin City Tourist Map

Changchun to Jilin Transfer Map

Changchun to Jilin Transfer Map

Jilin Changbai Mountain Transfer Map

Jilin Changbai Mountain Transfer Map

Other Popular Destinations in Jilin Province

Jilin is a city full of winter charms. Apart from Jilin, there are some other very “hot” traveling destinations to enjoy your winter holiday, such as the gorgeous snowscape, high-end ski resorts, pleasantly warm weather with sea sightseeing in the south, etc. Discover the most classic Top 10 Winter Destinations in China below.

Other Popular Destinations in China

China is so vast. There are more fascinating destinations to explore, including Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guilin, Zhangjiajie, etc. You can choose your favorite destination among more than 70 tourist destinations and regions. Following are 4 popular destinations you may get interested in. Check all destinations in China.

Jilin Map

Chinese Name: 吉林市

Chinese Pinyin: jí lín shì

Area: 27,166.37 km2

Population: 4,413,517

Average Altitude: 663′

Language: Mandarin Chinese

Tel Code: 0432

Zip Code: 132000

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

How to Plan A Jilin Tour

Changbai Mountain is the premier sight of Jilin Province. Generally, a classic Changbai Mountain tour needs at least 3 days including arrival and departure days. Many travelers spend 1 day visiting North Slope or West Slope, and half a day traveling Mojie Scenic Area. And some travelers wanting to see Heavenly Lake may spend 2 days visiting both slopes. If you are interested in a winter holiday around Changbaishan, it takes another 2 days to enjoy skiing in Wanda Changbaishan Ski Resort and other winter activities.

Want an in-depth discovery? We suggest you spend more days taking a view of different perspectives of Jilin Province. It takes 1 day to visit Wusong Island and other highlights and in Jilin City, 1 day to explore the Puppet Emperor's Palace - the official residence of Puyi and other featured architectures in Changchun, 1 day to discover Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom in Ji'an, and 1 day to watch the amazing spectacle of winter fishing in Chagan Lake if you travel in winter..

For travelers with more time, travel China's Dongbei (northeastern area) including Liaoning Province, Jilin Province and Heilongjiang Province together is strongly recommended. You can extend your tour to Harbin and China Snow town for the breathtaking world of snow and ice, Shengyang to witness establishment and collapse of China's final imperial dynasty, and Dalian to appreciate the fresh air and nice beaches.

Recommended Jilin Tours

Hiking Experience in China Snow Town
6 Days In-depth Harbin Tour with China Snow Town & Yabuli Skiing

Harbin / China Snow Town / Yabuli Ski Resort / Harbin

Changbai Mountain Heavenly Lake Summer View (West Slope)
6 Days China Snow Town & Changbai Mountain Tour from Harbin

Harbin / China Snow Town / Changbai Mountain

Dive Performance off Diaoshuilou Waterfall at Jingpo Lake
7 Days Amazing Northeast China Winter Tour with Changbai Mountain & Wusong Island

Harbin / China Snow Town / Jingpo Lake / Dunhua / Changbai Mountain / Jilin


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