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Hangzhou Travel

Hangzhou Travel Guide 2021

Hangzhou, the capital and transportation hub of Zhejiang Province, is located in the southern wing of China's Yangtze River Delta, only 1~2 hours away from the world-famous Shanghai by high speed train.

"Up above there is Paradise, and below are Suzhou and Hangzhou". The beautiful Hangzhou City has long been eulogized by poets. The early visitor Marco Polo also declared it "The City of Heaven, the Most Beautiful and Magnificent in the World". The essence of Hangzhou is the enduringly popular West Lake and most of the city's attractions are spreading around it. With a long history of over 2,200 years, Hangzhou is also no lack of historic treasures, traditions and legends, with nation-level museums dotting everywhere of the city. It is also the hometown to the first-class Dragon Well Tea and a prosperous city where the dreams of high-tech enterprises like Alibaba begin and develop.

Why Visit Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China?

  • Picturesque West Lake - Everyone that has been to the West Lake loves it. Its transcendent fog-shrouded water crisscrossed with elegant pagodas and willow-heavy causeways, islands and gardens is really a big draw. Different possibilities of visiting it make it more appealing, including biking, cruising, hiking, walking, etc.
  • Hometown to Dragon Well Tea - Dragon Well Tea, also known as Longjing Tea, tops the list of 10 Most Famous Teas in China. And its locality of growth is right here. In Hangzhou, you can get close to the Longjing Tea Plantations to know how the Dragon Well Tea is grown and processed!
  • Long History & Diverse Culture - Over 2,200 years’ long history and once being the capital of 2 dynasties in Chinese history endows Hangzhou unique historical atmosphere and diverse cultures, including the West Lake Culture, Tea culture, Liangzhu Culture, Silk Culture and so on. Nowadays, visitors can visit its various museums, Grand Canal, ancient streets and workshops to trace its ancient prosperities.
  • Vibrant Modern Charm - Even though you may not know much about Hangzhou before, you must know the Chinese tech giant Alibaba. Its headquarters is right located in Hangzhou. However, Alibaba is not the all that Hangzhou boasts. While well keep its stunning traditions, Hangzhou City is never stop its steps of pursuing development. It is now also one of the new-first tier cities in China!

Latest Hangzhou News: Hangzhou applies to the 144 Hour Visa Free for entering from 8 permitted ports of enter (including Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport) and staying in the administrative region of Zhejiang, Shanghai and Jiangsu within 144 hours (6 days). Feel free to contact us for more details.

Top Attractions in Hangzhou, Zhejiang

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 >>

West Lake
West Lake

Tranquil and elegant West Lake is the essence of Hangzhou, all kinds of attractions, like parks, bridges, pagodas, temples can be found in here.

Lingyin Temple
Lingyin Temple

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.

Longjing Tea Plantations
Longjing Tea Plantations

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
China National Tea Museum

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.

Hefang Street
Hefang Street

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.

Hangzhou Attraction
Hu Qing Yu Tang

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.

Hangzhou Attraction
China National Silk Museum

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.

Liuhe Pagoda
Liuhe Pagoda

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
Xixi National Wetland Park

Xixi National Wetland Park attracts lots of tourists to have a sightseeing and relaxation with its peaceful environment and beautiful waterscapes.

Wuzhen
Wuzhen Water Town

A classic water town of Jiangnan style, peaceful environment and ancient architectures, all make Wuzhen a very poetic and romantic place in China.

Hangzhou Attraction
Xitang Water Town

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
Qiantang River Tidal Bore

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.

Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City

Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City

Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City (良渚古城遗址), which were inscribed to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in July 2019, is a must-visit for history lovers who want to trace the Chinese civilization 5,300 years ago.

Former Residence of Hu Xueyan

Former Residence of Hu Xueyan

The Former Residence of Hu Xueyan (胡雪岩故居) gets its reputation for its exquisite design and decorations featured with both traditional Chinese characteristics and Western styles. Every corner of this mansion is beautiful.

Qiandao Lake
Qiandao Lake

Qiandao Lake (千岛湖), or called Thousand Island Lake, is an ideal vacation site to get away from the bustle and bustle of the vities. Here, you can appreciate fresh and beautiful lake sceneries, enjoy biking and hiking…

Featured Hangzhou Activities

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 Hangzhou Activities >>

West Lake Cruise
West Lake Cruise

Taking a boat sailing on the picturesque West Lake is an enjoyable and relaxing way to appreciate the beautiful scenery with islands, causeways, pagodas and ornamental planting... There are multiple kinds of boat types for you to choose.

Visit Tea Plantations
Visit Tea Plantations

Heading to the tea plantations of the first-class Dragon Well Tea is a must-do for all Hangzhou tourists. And you can enjoy drinking tea and picking tea leaves there. Longjing Village and Meijiawu Village are the top 2 tea plantations to visit!

Biking in Hangzhou
Biking

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. There are 5 best hiking routes in Hangzhou.

Explore Hangzhou Museums
Explore Hangzhou Museums

Hangzhou has over 130 museums, including many state-level museums in China! Most of the Hangzhou Museums are located at or not very far away from the West Lake, like China National Silk Museum, China National Tea Museum, etc.

Night Shows in Hangzhou
Enjoy Night Shows & Cruises

You can enjoy famous Enduring Memories of Hangzhou Show, admire Hangzhou Musical Fountain & Light Shows, take Grand Canal Night Cruises and Qiantang River Night Cruises, hit Hangzhou bars…

Photography in Hangzhou
Photography

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.

Hiking
Hiking

Hiking up to the tea plantations hidden in the forests is really a great experience. On the way, you may meet with locals picking tea leaves in the fields and be rewarded with amazing vista of the West Lake!

Savor Hangzhou Food
Savor Hangzhou Food

Hangzhou is also a paradise for foodies! Popular Hangzhou dishes and snacks include Braised Dongpo Pork, West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy, Fried Shrimps with Long Jing Tea, Aunt Song Fish Broth, etc.

Take Art Classes

Take Art Classes

In this "City of Handicrafts", there is a special Hangzhou Arts & Crafts Museum Cluster, where you can take plenty of interesting art classes, like parasol painting class, round fan painting classes, embroidery class, etc.

Take Side Trips to nearby Watertown
Take Side Trips to nearby Watertown

In about 1.5~3 hours’ drive, you can travel from Hangzhou to many famous water towns in Jiangnan Area, like Wuzhen Water Town, Nanxun Water Town and Xitang Water Town. Why not add the one you prefer to your Hangzhou tour?

Watch Qiantang River Tidal Bore
Watch Qiantang River Tidal Bore

Qiantang River Tidal Bore is one of the most spectacular tidal bores in the world. The best places to admire the water walls rushing up to the air are Liuhe Pagoda, Qiantang River Bridge and the nearby Haining City.

Hangzhou Weather & Best Time to Visit

Hangzhou Weather

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.

Best Time to Visit Hangzhou

Hangzhou is suitable to be visited all year around! And the spring and autumn are considered to be the best and most popular time to visit it. 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 >>

Hangzhou Transportation: How to Get to/around Hangzhou

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport Hangzhou East Railway Station West Lake Biking West Lake Cruise Hangzhou Private Transfer Service

How to Get to Hangzhou

By Flight

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport connects Hangzhou with over 100 cities in China including Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, etc. and 40 international cities (regions) such as San Francisco, Amsterdam, Madrid, Sydney, Hong Kong, etc.

By Train

Hangzhou has 3 major used bullet train stations, including Hangzhou Railway Station, Hangzhou East Railway Station and Hangzhou South Railway Station. Visitors can easily ride a high speed train to get to/from Hangzhou to Beijing (4.5-6.5 hrs.), Shanghai (1-1.5 hrs.), Xian (7-8.5 hrs.), Guangzhou (6-7.5 hrs.), Suzhou (1.5-2.5 hrs.), Huangshan (1.5-2 hrs.), etc. Besides, visitors can also make efficient transfers from Hangzhou to other tourists cities in Zhejiang Province, like Shaoxing (15-25 mins.), Ningbo (1-1.5 hrs.), etc. Check more about Hangzhou High Speed Train >>

Getting Around Hangzhou

In Hangzhou downtown, it is very easy to travel around by metro, taxi and bike. Sightseeing boasts are preferred by many tourists when travelling to the West Lake, Xixi National Wetland Park, Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and Qiantang River. Besides, independent travelers also like the vast city bus system.

Check more about Hangzhou Metro >> | Hangzhou Biking >> | West Lake Cruise >> | Hangzhou Bus

From Hangzhou Airport to City

Usually, it takes 1 hour around by car to get from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport to the Hangzhou downtown area. Visitors prefer to travel between these two places by metro line 1, line 7, taxi, airport shuttle bus or private car.

Check more about Hangzhou Airport to City >>

Travel Hangzhou with China Discovery

To get rid of the troubles of making busy transfers at the large Hangzhou city, you are highly suggested to use our private transfer service. Once you travel with us, our local driver can escort you from the airport/train station/hotel to the tourist sites in Hangzhou in ease and convenience. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.

Know more details about Hangzhou Transportation >>

Hangzhou Accommodation & Where to Stay in Hangzhou

Hangzhou Hotels

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. All the hotels can meet you basic needs, while the luxury ones can offer you better facilities and give you more excellent service.

Where to Stay in Hangzhou?

In general, tourists stay overnight in hotels near the West Lake Scenic Area, and the most popular places to stay in Hangzhou are Hubin Road and Xihu Avenue on the east shore of the West Lake. Other hot places include Wulin Square, Hefang Street, Lingyin Temple region and Manjuelong Village. Hotels near Xixi National Wetland are the best choices for those who are looking for high-end resorts.

Learn more about Where to Stay in Hangzhou >>

Useful Hangzhou Maps

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 West Lake Maps | Hangzhou Maps 2021>>

Hangzhou City Map

Hangzhou City Map

Hangzhou Attraction Map

Hangzhou Attraction Map

Hangzhou Tourist Map

Hangzhou Tourist Map

Other Destinations Near Hangzhou

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.

Hangzhou Map

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)

Plan Your Hangzhou Tour

Usually, tourists spend 2~3 days in Hangzhou to explore its amazing natural beauty and historical charm at the West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Longjing Tea Plantations, China National Silk Museum, etc. Some visitors also spend another half day or one day to visit the Xixi National Wetland Park or Thousand Islands Lake.

For most visitors, they extend their Hangzhou trip to visit one or two nearby water towns, like Wuzhen Water Town, Nanxun Water Town, Xitang Water Town for 1 day or so.

Taking 5~6 days to visit Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou together is extremely popular. Some visitors also enjoy a 5-day high speed train Hangzhou Huangshan Tour to visit the world-famous Yellow Mountain.

Besides, it is also a good idea to travel Hangzhou and other popular destinations in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Yangtze River, Xiamen, Changsha, Chengdu, Kunming, etc. All our tours can be customized according to your interests, group size, needs, travel time, budget, etc. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us for a personal Hangzhou tour 2021/2022!

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[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 >