The first thing coming to your mind when planning a Zhangjiajie tour is how many days to stay in Zhangjiajie. Zhangjiajie is a small city but has many things to see and do. Travelers are highly recommended to spend at least 3 days in Zhangjiajie and most of them would like to spend 4 days and some part of them may plan 5 days in this Avatar destination. So, how to plan a 3-day trip to Zhangjiajie? You should first figure out where you will come to, what to see and explore and then you may know clearly how to arrange 3-day trip for either 3 full days’ exploration or 2 full days’ visiting and one day for transfer. Get inspired by the following article.

Firstly, Know Main Cities to Connect with Zhangjiajie and How to Transfer

● Beijing: The Capital of China is usually the first stop in China. Travelers can take flight to Zhangjiajie at late afternoon and land in Zhangjiajie at night around 21:30. It is recommended to do half day tour in Beijing on the departure day.

● Xian: The 13 Ancient China Dynasties is the perfect representation of Chinese dynastic history and culture. Travelers can take the evening flight from Xian and land in Zhangjiajie around 23:00. On the departure day to Zhangjiajie, you can have full day Xian tour and then make the transfer.

● Shanghai: Another popular gateway city with western-meets-eastern culture. It is great to take the evening flight from Shanghai and arrive in Zhangjiajie during 22:30~23:00. You can do full day sightseeing in Shanghai on the departure day.

● Yichang: The ending point of downstream Yangtze River cruise from Chongqing to Yichang and most travelers would like to board the 5-hour normal train from Yichang to Zhangjiajie. Arrive in Zhangjiajie around 18:00.

● Changsha: The transit city with numerous flights and high speed train to Changsha from other destinations. Also, flights and normal trains are available from Changsha to Zhangjiajie.

● Guilin: Both are scenic paradise with amazing natural scenery. Not so convenient from Guilin to Zhangjiajie at present. The flights from Guilin to Zhangjiajie is not stable and sometimes you need to make a transfer which takes several hours.

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Secondly, Know What You Can See & Do in Zhangjiajie in 3 Days?

Zhangjiajie has become particularly well known for its striking surrounding surreal landscape. Before you plan a 3-day itinerary, I bet you know two things of Zhangjiajie, one is Wulingyuan National Forest Park where Avatar Mountains are located and the other is Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge over the Grand Canyon with amazing scenery. Your life will be amazing and full of surprise and challenge in Zhangjiajie.

The UNESCO-protected national park represents the main attraction in Zhangjiajie, with over 3000 quartzite sandstone columns providing one of the region’s most arresting natural sights. While, the Glass bridge experience is the standard for trilling and adventurous activity in China. Both of them are must-do sites. Actually, there are many other stunning tourist attractions in Zhangjiajie well worth your time for further exploration.

The attractions in Zhangjiajie is mainly divided into two areas, one is located in Wulingyuan Town and around, the other is located around Zhangjiajie downtown area, like Tianmen Mountain. Check the following attractions list and get a quick look at what to see and explore in Zhangjiajie in 3 days.

4 Days in Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie Attractions Map (Click to Enlarge)

Attractions Type Location Distance & Driving Time
(from Zhangjiajie Downtown)
Highlights Recommended Length of Visiting
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park National Park Wulingyuan Scenic Area 28KM, 40 mins’ driving Including Huangshi Village & Golden Whip Stream, hiking and photography 2 days or more
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Canyon East of Wulingyuan Town 60KM, 80 mins’ driving Experience the longest and highest glass bridge, hiking in the canyon Half day
Yuanjiajie National Park Wulingyuan Scenic Area 32KM, 50 mins’ driving Capture famous Hallelujah Mountains of Avatar, Bailong elevator 2 hours
Tianzi Mountain National Park Wulingyuan Scenic Area 54KM, 80 mins’ driving Sea of Clouds, whole and complete majestic view of Wulingyuan Scenic Area 2-3 hours
Yangjiajie National Park Wulingyuan Scenic Area 43KM, 1 hour’s driving Newly-developed scenic area with less crowds 2 hours
Tianmen Mountain National Park Downtown area 6KM, 10 mins’ driving Longest cable car experience, Glass skywalk, Tianmen Cave, 99 Turns toward Heaven Half day
Yellow Dragon Cave Underground Cave East of Wulingyuan Town 41KM, 50-60 mins’ driving Delicate underground palace with typically Karst landform 2.5-3 hours
Baofeng Lake Lake Wulingyuan Town 34KM, 50-60 mins’ driving Man-make lake surrounded by verdant forest and peculiar mountains with 30-minute boat experience 2 hours

Thirdly, Know How to Arrange the Attractions & Activities for 3-day Itinerary?

Option 1 (one day): Yuanjiajie + Tianzi Mountain

Features: Inspiration for shooting the movie Avatar where Hallelujah Mountain located; the must-see sites in Zhangjiajie no matter when you come

What to See & Experience: Yuanjiajie and Tianzi Mountain in one trip is the classic way to explore the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area. You’ll first take Bailong Elevator up to visit the whole Yuanjiajie to see the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain and appreciate hundreds of stone bamboo shoots growing in the deep valley at Puzzling Crag, enjoy the lush scenery of Natural Bonsai at Back Garden. After that, you’ll take the sightseeing vehicle to continue your visit to Tianzi Mountain at the northwest park of Wulingyuan Scenic Area to see the dense ancient primitive forest and its famous fascinating sea of clouds, waves of stones, and other wonders of nature. After the visiting, you can transfer to Zhangjiajie downtown area or still stay at Wulingyuan area for further exploration.

Option 2 (one day): Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Huangshi Village + Golden Whip Stream)

Features: Different angles to explore Zhangjiajie National Forest Park - reach up the biggest natural platform of Huangshi Village to view various shaped stone hills and hike along the deep valley to immerse in the primitive valley scenery. These two sites are the traditional way to visit the national park.

What to See & Experience: Travelers enter from Forest Park Ticket Station and enjoy a simple walk to take cable car up to Huangshi Village. “He who does not reach Huangshi Village does not pay a true visit to Zhangjiajie”. You can either enjoy the small circle visiting (1 km’s walking) and large circle visiting (3.8 km’s walking) to overlook stone hills with various shapes, like Five Finger Peak, Lovers Peaks, Natural Mural. After seeing the panoramic view of the national park, get down by cable car and move to Golden Whip Stream for a relaxing hiking journey. Golden Whip Stream is a 7.5-kilometer stream, flowing from Laomo Wan, Stream Winding around Four Gates and then to Suoxi Stream. You’ll hike 2 to 3 hours along this stream to enjoy the most essence part.

Option 3 (one day): Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon with Glass Bridge + Yellow Dragon Cave

Features: Real discovery with thrilling glass bridge experience and explore an “Enchanted Palace Under the Ground”.

What to See & Experience: Spend one day to the east of Wulingyuan Town to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon with both glass bridge experience and hiking journey in the canyon. You can enjoy the amazing surrounding valley scenery at different angles - on the longest and highest glass bridge or at the bottom of the valley. And then, drive to Yellow Dragon Cave for an interesting exploration to see miraculous maze under the ground to find a large number of naturally formed cave sediments that are millions of years in the making, including stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone flowers, etc.

Option 4 (one day): Tianmen Mountain + Zhangjiajie Downtown Visit

Features: Another popular attraction with fantastic experience after Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge.

What to See & Experience: Take the 7455-meter cableway to get up Tianmen Mountain and arrive at Tianmen Mountain upper cable station and choose west route to travel through Mixian Qijing Scenic Area and experience Cliff-Hanging Walkway and Glass Skywalk, visit Tianmen Temple; take Tianmen Mountain Peak Forest Sightseeing Cable Car from Cherry Bay to Yunmeng Xianding; reach upper escalator Tianmen Mountain to get down Tianmen Cave and visit the door to heaven; get down from Tianmen Cave to the parking lot and take sightseeing bus to experience 99 turns via Avenue towards Heaven.

Option 5 (one day): Yellow Dragon Cave + Baofeng Lake

Features: A deep nature break after your Wulingyuan National Forest Park visiting. The two sites combine into a relaxing itinerary to explore the east of Wulingyuan Town.

What to See & Experience: It is recommended to take a relaxing break after your Wulingyuan National Forest Park/Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon tour which involves with a lot of hiking. You’ll first take a boat experience on the emerald Baofeng Lake to appreciate the clear lake reflecting the peaks and the peculiar magnificent mountain scenery which is formed by strange peaks, waterfalls and lush trees. Later, reach Yellow Dragon Cave to spend around 2.5 hours walking in the cavernous caverns, marveling at stalagmites and stalactites and Sea-Suppressing Needle included.

Option 6 (one day): Baofeng Lake + Yellow Dragon Cave + Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Features: Three spots at the east of Wulingyuan Scenic Area with abundant and diverse experience.

What to See & Experience: Baofeng Lake, Yellow Dragon Cave and Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge can be visited in one day. It is recommended to do after the Wulingyuan National Forest Park visiting. This arrangement is suitable for those who don’t want to walk a lot but want to see more in Zhangjiajie. Skip hiking in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon for several hours and you’ll sail with a traditional Chinese boat on Baofeng Lake with amazing sceneries passing by and with a further exploration in Yellow Dragon Cave with underground miracles.

If you have three full days for exploration, you can go as following:

Travel Plan Itinerary Features Recommended Tour
Plan A Day 1: Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge + Yellow Dragon Cave
Day 2: Yuanjiajie + Tianzi Mountain
Day 3: Tianmen Mountain
Classic and most famous sites 4 Days Zhangjiajie Exciting Adventure with Glass Bridge
Plan B Day 1: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Huangshi Village + Golden Whip Stream)
Day 2: Yuanjiajie + Tianzi Mountain
Day 3: Tianmen Mountain
Two national forest park with exciting experience 4 Days Zhangjiajie Tour to Yuanjiajie & Tianmen Mountain National Park
Plan C Day 1: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Huangshi Village + Golden Whip Stream)
Day 2: Yuanjiajie + Tianzi Mountain
Day 3: Yellow Dragon Cave + Baofeng Lake
Most relaxing way 4 Days Zhangjiajie Classic Discovery Tour

(Note: the above travel plans exclude the arrival in Zhangjiajie one day ahead. While, the recommended tours include the arrival day.)

If you have two full days for exploration and one day for transfer, you can go as following:

Travel Plan Itinerary Features Recommended Tour
Plan A Day 1: Arrive in Zhangjiajie
Day 2: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Huangshi Village + Golden Whip Stream)
Day 3: Yuanjiajie + Tianzi Mountain & Leave
Focus on Zhangjiajie National Forest Park 3 Days Zhangjiajie Natural Beauty Tour
Plan B Day 1: Arrive in Zhangjiajie
Day 2: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Huangshi Village + Golden Whip Stream) + Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge
Day 3: Tianmen Mountain & Leave
Highlight of the highlights in Zhangjiajie Customizable & Contact Us

To get more plans and recommended itineraries for 3 days based on your likes and interests, you can feel free to contact our experienced travel experts to design the tour for you and your group. Please remember, we are here glad to help at any time.

And, If you Have 4 Days in Zhangjiajie

If you got 3 days, you can arrange you first day for arriving in Zhangjiajie City. On Day 2, head to take Bailong Elevator to see Avatar Hallelujah Mountain at Yuanjiajie and take the sightseeing bus to Tianzi Mountain. On Day 3, you can transfer to walk on the long glass bridge at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon and admire Yellow Dragon Cave. Also, you can arrange that day to take the long cable way to explore Tianmen Mountain, and then leave Zhangjiajie after touring. Learn more about How to Spend 4 Days in Zhangjiajie >>

If You Have 5 Days in Zhangjiajie

5 days is well enough to have a deep discovery of all Zhangjiajie highlights. The 1st day is also for arriving in Zhangjiajie. On you day 2 and day 3, make your in-depth exploration to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park to see Huangshi Village, Golden Whip Brook, Avatar Mountain at Yuanjiajie and Tianzi Mountain. On day 4, you can enjoy wonderful time at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon with the Glass Bridge and Yellow Dragon Cave. And on the last day, go to Tianmen Mountain to see things hard to find in the world, and then you can take your flight or train off Zhangjiajie. And if you would like to see more ancient and ethnic sites, you can arrange day 4 to Tianmen Mountain and then to transfer to Fenghuang Ancient Town and spend day 5 in the famous antique city and leave for your next destination or back home. Learn more about How to Spend 5 Days in Zhangjiajie >>

Zhangjiajie Travel Tips & Notes

1. Best time to Visit Zhangjiajie

It is suitable to visit Zhangjiajie at any time in a year. The best traveling seasons are Spring and Autumn with best comfortable weather. In Spring during March to May, all flowers there are blooming among the most verdant green mountain range, and the fresh air with singing of birds help to create your great traveling mood. In Autumn from October to November, foliage at Zhangjiajie turn into yellow and orange to dye the scenic are very beautiful, which is great for nice photography. In Summer, Wulingyuan National Forest Park has lower temperature to be a good summer resort to go, and it is good to walk along the streams and dense forest, however, since there a frequent rains usually during summer, you are suggested to prepare raincoats. Furthermore in winter, it is a good time to avoid crowds, besides, many places including the national forest park are covered by snow to change the attraction into a pure beautiful lady, which is awesome for a photography tour.

2. How to Get to Zhangjiajie

Convenient flights and trains are available in Zhangjiajie City. Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport, with 10 minutes’ driving distance to the downtown, has good air connection with 42 domestic cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Kunming, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Qingdao, etc. and international cities including Bangkok, Osaka, etc. Besides, Zhangjiajie Railway Station is also frequently used for reaching the city, which is rightly at the city downtown. It serves trains from Changsha (4.5-5.5 hours), Yichang (4.5-5 hours), Tongren (about 7 hours), Wuhan (10 hours), Xian (15 hours), Shanghai (20 hours), Beijing (23 hours), etc.

3. Where to Stay in Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie offers various luxury hotels and budget hostels and boutique accommodation for your stay during the trip. For your several days discovering Wulingyuan Scenic Area including Wulingyuan National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, etc., we suggest you arrange the hotel at Wulingyuan Town, which needs only 10 minutes to Wujiayu Ticket Station and 20 minutes to Forest Park Ticket Station by car. However, for your arrival day especially by a late flight or train and if you plan to visit Tianmen Mountain, it is suggested to stay in Zhangjiajie City downtown.

4. What to Wear during Trip in Zhangjiajie

For spring and autumn, light sweaters, long shirts and long pants are suggested. Temperature in Wulingyuan National Forest Park is about 5-10 lower than that in the city area, and the temperatures varies a lot from day to night. In summer, shirts and shorts are enough, besides, it is advised to prepare light coats for lower temperature in early morning and at night. In winter, it is a little cold in Zhangjiajie, and down jackets, sweaters, warm pants and socks, scarves, gloves, etc. are better to keep warm. Remember to wear comfortable shoes or sneakers, because you will have a lot of steps to walk around those natural scenic spots. Since it often rains in Zhangjiajie, you are highly suggested to bring your raincoats or umbrellas. Besides, bring sunblock, sunglasses and hat to protect your skin and eyes.

5. Toilets in Zhangjiajie

Most accommodations in Zhangjiajie offer Western toilets. However, in the scenic are, there are only a few Western types to suite foreign visitors, which can be found at some major toilet blocks. One more, remember to bring your own tissue.

6. Enjoy a Worry-free Trip with China Discovery

Wulingyuan National Forest Park is very large and has many ways, so it is complicated for people to travel independently to catch all the top highlights in an enjoyable and relaxing way. To help you enjoy a worry-free trip to Zhangjiajie, we suggest you travel with us, and our local guide and driver will escort you from your hotel to the scenic area and our guide will take you to the best sightseeing deck and give interesting introduction of the sites and stories to enrich your experience. All you need is to focus on the highlights. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us directly!

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.

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