Located in the northeast of Zhejiang Province, with a history over 2200 years,Hangzhou is now the political, economic and cultural center of Zhejiang. As one of the headstream of Wuyue culture, Hangzhou has a long-aged history and profound cultural accumulation, and most famous are silk culture, tea culture and the folk legends. Besides that, just as the old saying goes, “Up above there is Paradise, down here there are Suzhou and Hangzhou”, Hangzhou has always been praised by Chinese people for its elegant scenery. The city has many humanity and cultural relics: mountains, springs, lakes, bridges, pagodas and temples. The essence of Hangzhou is West Lake and most of the attractions in Hangzhou are spreading around West Lake.
144-hour Visa-free travel: From Jan. 30, 2016, qualified travelers of 51 countries could travel among Shanghai, Jiangsu Province (Suzhou included) and Zhejiang Province (Hangzhou included) for 144 hours (6 days) without visa. Learn more about 144 Hours China Visa Free Transit >>
Most of Hangzhou’s attractions are located near West Lake, like Lingyin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda, and Dragon Well Tea Plantation. Xixi Wetland Park and Thousand Islet Lake are not in the city center. Travellers can also pay a visit to Wuzhen Water Town, though it’s not in Hangzhou, it’s very close to it, less than one hour’s drive will take you to there. For more Hangzhou attraction information, please see All Hangzhou Attractions>>
Tranquil and elegant West Lake is the essence of Hangzhou, all kinds of attractions, like parks, bridges, pagodas, temples can be found in here.
With a history of nearly 1700 year, Lingyin Temple is the oldest and most famous temple in Hangzhou, remaining its charm with natural and cultural beauty.
Famous for Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea, Longjing Tea Plantations are wonderful places to see verdant view and know about the tea culture in China.
China National Tea Museum is a good place to go for learning the tea culture, tea history, enjoying tea, watching elegant tea ceremory and tea plantations.
With brilliant culture and long history, Hefang Street is regarded as a typical symbol of ancient Hangzhou Hefang Street. You can see many time-honored stores there.
Hu Qing Yu Tang is like a living classroom of traditional Chinese medicine to both have a good understanding about Chinese medicine and appreciate the hundred-year-old exquisite architecture.
It is the largest silk museum in the world. You can have full knowledge about 5000 years Chinese Silk history and the Silk Road, enjoy Chinese and Western fashion changes over the centuries.
With a long history of over 1000 years, Liuhe Pagoda is very popular among tourists with its ancient charm and the best viewing deck of Qiantang River.
Xixi National Wetland Park attracts lots of tourists to have a sightseeing and relaxation with its peaceful environment and beautiful waterscapes.
A classic water town of Jiangnan style, peaceful environment and ancient architectures, all make Wuzhen a very poetic and romantic place in China.
Xitang is a living ancient town with a history more than one thousand years. It is featured in 104 old bridges, 122 old lanes, long ceilinged corridors, Ming and Qing Dynasty architectures.
Qiantang River tidal bore is one the largest tidal bores in the world which reaches the most spectacular on the eighteenth day of the eight month on Chinese lunar calendar.
There are a lot of things to do in the City of Heaven. To make your day trip different, to best match your interests, you can photograph around West Lake for the sunrise and sunset, or bike around West Lake for a more leisure day, enjoy amazing night shows, like Impression West Lake, music fountain, light shows, etc. You are guaranteed the most memorable exploration in Hangzhou. For more activities ideas in Hangzhou, please see All Featured Activities>>
You can enjoy “Most Memorable is Hangzhou” to appreciate east-meets-west elements showed in G20 Summit night gala, the stunning musical fountain and amazing light shows, etc.
You can appreciate its exquisiteness and beauty with your eyes and record it by your camera. Popular photography sites include West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Liuhe Pagoda, etc.
Try short-distance biking trip (1 hour to half day) which offers you more freedom and leisure for exploration and more importantly, you are much closer to the beautiful nature.
Taking a boat sailing on the picturesque West Lake is an enjoyable, relaxing way to appreciate the beautiful scenery with islands, causeways, temples, pagodas and ornamental planting.
Hangzhou has a typical subtropical monsoon climate with a clear distinction among four seasons and abundant rainfall. Annual average temperature is 17.8℃ and average relative humidity is 70.3%. Summer is hot and humid, while winter is cold and dry. Spring and autumn is very comfortable and thus they are the tourism peak seasons.However, Hangzhou has different beauty in different season, and there are also many tourists visit Hangzhou in summer and winter.
Spring is warm and suitable to wander around West Lake and appreciate the green trees and red flowers. Summer is hot, however, it’s the best time to watch lotus flower in West Lake. Autumn is cool and refreshing, great time to appreciate osmanthus flower and full moon in Mid-autumn Festival. In winter, many people are come to Hangzhou to see the plum blossom and snowy scenery in West Lake. Learn more about Hangzhou Weather>>
Getting to Hangzhou
By Flight: Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, only 30 km from the city center, has over 160 international and domestic airlines, connecting Hangzhou to 86 domestic cities (including Lhasa), 35 foreign cities.
By Train: Hangzhou Railway Station and Hangzhou East Railway Station are useful for passenger transport. The two stations all have high speed trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Wenzhou, Tianjing, Suzhou, etc. It’s only 10 minutes’ drive from the Hangzhou Railway Station to West Lake.
The public transportation in Hangzhou is very convenient, and public bus, subway, BRT and taxi are all good choice. Sightseeing bus and cruise boat are preferred by many tourists when travelling to West Lake. Besides the above, a very special transportation tool in Hangzhou is public bicycle. Since the rent is very cheap and travellers can rent it from many sites, so travel the West Lake on bike is very popular among tourists. Learn more about Hangzhou Transportation>>
A metropolis like Hangzhou has all kinds of hotels and hostels, from the luxurious hotels, like JW Marriott, Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental, etc. to economic and youth hotels. Most of the five-star hotels are priced from ¥400 to ¥1000, while economic hotels are from ¥150 to ¥230, and a bed in youth hostels is normally around ¥50. In general, it’s advised to stay overnight near the West Lake or Wulin Square and Hubin commercial zone in the city center. The best location is West Lake Avenue, where has the most convenient transportation. Learn more about Hangzhou Hotels>>
There are some useful Hangzhou maps for you to know more about Hangzhou attractions and how to travel in the scenic spot. For more maps in Hangzhou, please see Hangzhou Maps>>
If you want to keep travelling after Hangzhou, there are some awesome destinations near Hangzhou for your exploration. You can pay a visit to the most developed Shanghai, exquisite gardens in Suzhou, stunning Yellow Mountain, and Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing.
Chinese Name: 杭州
Chinese Pinyin: Háng Zhōu
English IPA: ['hɑ:ŋ'dʒəu]
Population: 8.89 million
Language: Wu Dialect & Mandarin
Tel Code: 0571
Zip Code: 310000
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
Travellers will need about 2 ~ 3 days to explore Hangzhou’s highlights, including West Lake, Dragon Well Tea Plantation, and Wuzhen Water Town (though it’s not in Hangzhou, it’s very close, just one hour drive). Since Hangzhou is close to Suzhou and Shanghai, travellers can combine the three destinations into one itinerary, and normally, travellers will need at least 6 days to explore the highlights of the three cities. Huangshan is also a good choice to add into the itinerary, and travellers can choose these destinations according to actual plan.