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Ningbo Guide

Ningbo Travel Guide 2021

Ningbo (宁波), situated in the eastern part of Zhejiang province(浙江省), is a national famous historic and cultural city as well as one of the three economic centers in Zhejiang. It will show you the very modern and prosperous scene that is due to the important status as a major harbor city in China, the long history of more than 7000 years since the Hemudu Culture (河姆渡文化) which demonstrates the truth that Chinese people have planted the rice by themselves from the ancient time, rich culture of Buddhism which can be felt in the famous temples, the various types of buildings of foreign styles that tell the colonial story of this city. Besides, Ningbo also has the oldest private library in Asia, multiple charming natural attractions, and so on. Besides, the tasteful snacks in Ningbo make visitors marvel at this harbor city with water town charm.

Why Visit Ningbo, Zhejiang, China

  • Rich Culture of over 7000 Years: Ningbo has experienced rise and fall for over 7000 years, from the original place of Hemudu Culture, the exchange with foreign cites, one of the start place of the Maritime Silk Road, a trading port after the Opium War, and you can see its diverse profound culture from many aspects.
  • Rich Buddhist Culture: After the introduction of Buddhism from India, Ningbo has been gradually rich in Buddhist temples like the 1700-year old Temple of King Asoka, Baoguo Temple, etc., which gives a great chance to know about the Buddhist culture in Southeast China.
  • The Literary Atmosphere Passing down for 1000 Years: The iterary atmosphere of Ningbo has been passing down since ancient times. Tianyi Pavilion, the earliest private library in China, where ancient books and records are placed, was furnished with a scholarly atmosphere. Profound Confucian scholars like Fang Xiaoru, Wang Yangming and Huang Zongxi were all born in Ningbo. In modern times, creative blocks such as 1844· Heyi Art & Life Center and Puss Town have sprung up in Ningbo. There are also bookstores, inns and cafes with the theme of "reading".
  • Astonishing Nature Scenery in Xikou and Chiang’s Hometown: Xikou is famous for the hometown of Mr. ChiangKai-shek at home and abroad. The small town is surrounded by mountains and rivers, borders Wuling Mountain in the east, Liuxi River in the south, and Xuedou Mountain in the north. Time has blown away the bustling noise on Xuedou Mountain, leaving only the leisure green hill and gurgling water; The strong sense of the Republic of China period in Chiang’s Former Residence brings you back to the past. The countless allusions conceal the life story of Mr. Chiang Kai-shek.

Top Attractions in Ningbo, Zhejiang

To discover the natural, historic and cultural beauty of Ningbo, you can go to a series of famous attractions. Check details at Ningbo Top 13 Attractions and Things to Do >>

Tianyi Pavilion

Tianyi Pavilion

Tianyi Pavilion (天一阁) built during 1560s in downtown Ningbo is the oldest library in Asia, one of the three world earliest family libraries and the now existing earliest private library in China. More than 300 thousand ancient books of diverse fields gives visitors a good chance to feel the profound culture and long history of Chinese nation.

Ningbo Old Bund

Ningbo Old Bund

Ningbo Old Bund (老外滩) in the downtown is even 20 years older than the Bund in Shanghai. A series of buildings of western styles were gradually set up after the Opium War, so you can appreciate the beautiful historic buildings with Chinese and Western features and spend leisure time in the bars and restaurants.

Ningbo Museum

Ningbo Museum

Ningbo Museum (宁波博物馆), officially opened to the public at the end of 2008, was designed by the famous designer Wang Shu, who is the first Chinese citizen to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Therefore, besides the rich collection of historical relics and local culture, the building itself is also one of the biggest highlights of the museum.

Xikou

Xikou

Xikou (溪口) Scenic Area has long been regarded as the “Abode of Immortals on the Sea”, where appealing natural beauty of ravine, streams, waterfalls, pavilions, etc. are available in Xuedou Mountain that is one of the five famous Buddhist mountains in China. Also, you can get close to see the hometown of Jiang Jieshi and imagine life of this famous family.

Dongqian Lake

Dongqian Lake

Dongqian Lake (东钱湖) about 15 km east from Ningbo downtown is advantageous with charming sightseeing, like glorious sunset, morning bell sound, lush trees on the surrounding mountains, etc.. Historic buildings, cultural relic places, Buddhist sites, and colorful festivals make it a not-missing attraction for visitors in Ningbo.

Ningbo Baoguo Temple

Baoguo Temple

Baoguo Temple (保国寺) was first built in East Han (25-220 AD) and is famous for its well-preserved timber architecture that is one of the most ancient ones at the south of Yangtze River. Moreover, typical and fancy historic buildings of Han, Tang, Song, Ming, Qing, Republic of China, etc. gather here to exhibit the constructions in China.

Ningbo Drum Tower

Ningbo Drum Tower

Ningbo Drum Tower (宁波鼓楼), also known as "Haishu Tower", was built in the Tang Dynasty. Compared with ancient towers in other cities, Ningbo Drum Tower has a western chiming bell tower built on the basis of the original Drum Tower, which makes it become the one and only typical ancient tower in China.

Nantang Old Street

Nantang Old Street

Nantang Old Street (南塘古街) is a pedestrian street dominated by time-honored food stores, which makes it the best place to explore local food and snacks. Visitors may try delicious local snacks like Sweet dumplings, Youzanzi, Steamed Rice Cake and Steamed Meat Wonton, etc at famous local snack bar.

Qing'an Guide Hall

Qing’an Guide Hall

Qing’an Guide Hall (庆安会馆) is not only a temple for worshiping goddess Mazu, but also a place for industry gatherings. Traditional Ningbo crafts such as brick carving, stone carving and Zhujin wood carving were applied here to create this masterpiece guide hall. The style of ancient Chinese mansions is fully displayed here.

Asoka Temple

Asoka Temple

Asoka Temple (阿育王寺) is over 1700 years old and reputed as the “Buddhist land in Southeast China”. This temple is famous for its precious Sarira of Skyamuni worshipped in, delicate dagoba, and a lot of cultural relics. Besides, it is China’s only temple named after the Indian King Asoka.

Tiantong Temple

Tiantong Temple

Founded in the Jin Dynasty, Tiantong Zen Temple (天童禅寺) has a history of more than 1,700 years. The bustling Ningbo city, perhaps only here, can give you a moment of peace. With a superb geomantic omen and quaint and stately architecture, the temple blends into Taibai Mountain perfectly.

Hemudu Ruins Museum

Hemudu Ruins Museum

Hemudu Ruins Museum (河姆渡遗址博物馆), which was excavated in 1973, is one of the earliest cultural sites of the Neolithic Age discovered in China. The museum is mainly composed of the cultural relic exhibition hall and the ruins exhibition area, where you can view and admire the unearthed cultural relics.

Featured Ningbo Activities

As a famous cultural city for many years in China, Ningbo offers many interesting activities for you to have fun. Let’s start to play high!

Qiandong Lake - Cycling

Cycling

Riding a bike to tour the Dongqian Lake is super relaxing and pleasing. Around the lake, you can admire the terrific natural scenery of rich kinds from day to night and do not have to worry about too many visitors in the tourist area. Tricycles for rent and bikeway around the lake are very professional.

Ningbo - Night View

Night View

Ningbo as a famous harbor city has its special charm, especially at night. Wander in this city, especially the Sanjiangkou (三江口) part, at night when all the colorful lights shining prosperously and the reflections on the running water, you can feel that time has ceased and life is really good!

Ningbo - Local Food

Local Food

Ningbo has a lot of delicious food for you foodies. You can try the Ningbo stuffed lard and sesame rice dumplings, steamed pork with rice flour in lotus leaves, etc. to be pleased by the Ningbo food. If you want to try the snacks, the City God Temple is a good place to go. Also, you can enjoy the seafood to get more Ningbo flavor!

Architecture & Museums

Architecture & Museums

Ningbo, a city of more than 7000 years history, nourishes diverse cultures and arts. Architecture is one of the best ways to present local culture and art. Visit Ningbo Museum, Drum Tower, Ningbo Art Gallery, Tianyi Pavilion, etc. to feel the combination of simplicity and modernity in Ala and Ningbo.

Ningbo Weather & Best Time to Visit

Ningbo Weather

Ningbo belongs to the subtropical monsoon climate area, enjoying moist and warm weather with four distinct seasons, which provides diverse enjoyment for visitors to Ningbo. It has an average annual temperature of 16℃,average temperature of over 28℃ in summer, 4℃ in winter, and 10-22℃ in spring and autumn. Usually, the spring begins in the late March, summer in June, autumn in late September, and winter in late November. The average annual rainfall of Ningbo is about 1480 mm, among which it covers about 60% from May to September.

The best seasons to visit Ningbo are spring and autumn, when the temperature is warm and the UV is not so strong. However, it is recommended to take your rain gears if you visit Ningbo during May and September, and sunglasses as well as sun cream in summer. Learn more about Ningbo Weather >>

Ningbo Transportation: How to Get to/around Ningbo

Ningbo Airport Ningbo Railway Station Ningbo - Highway Ningbo - Ningbo to Putuoshan Ningbo - Private Car Service

How to Get to Ningbo

By Flight

Ningbo Lishe International Airport (宁波栎社国际机场) about 12 km from the downtown is the only airport in this city, which has many daily flights between Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, Zhengzhou, Changsha, Chongqing, Shenzhen, etc. Also, international flights from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Singapore, Jeju Island, Osaka, etc. are available for you to get to Ningbo.

Besides, you can first take a flight to Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (杭州萧山国际机场) in Hangzhou city, about 130 km away, and transfer to Ningbo by other vehicles.

By Train:

You can take a bullet train from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Hangzhou, Guiyang, Chongqing, Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Nanchang, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Wenzhou, Wuhan, etc. to get to Ningbo. Besides, fast trains from Chengdu, Guangzhou and other cities to Ningbo are also available.

Ningbo Railway Station (宁波站) usually for bullet train is located at the downtown area and you can transfer to your hotel or attractions by car, taxi or the Subway Line 2.

Check more about Get from Shanghai to Ningbo >>

Getting Around Ningbo

Bus, subway, taxies, and other city vehicles are very convenient to take you to where you want to go here in Ningbo.

Ningbo to Putuoshan

From Ningbo Airport:

Take the airport coach to Zhoushan and transfer to Mount Putuo by speedboat, which needs about 4 hours.

From Ningbo downtown:

Visitors can take a car (1 hour’ driving) to Baifeng Wharf (白峰码头) in Beilun District and then transfer to a speed boat (about 1 hour) to Putuoshan. Or you can take a car or bus (1.5-2 hours’ driving) to Zhujiajian Wharf (朱家尖码头) or Banshengdong Wharf (半生洞码头) in Zhoushan. Then transfer to a ferry (10-20 minutes) to Putuoshan.

Travel Ningbo with China Discovery

To get rid of the troubles of making busy transfers at Ningbo 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 Ningbo in ease and convenience. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.

Know more details about Ningbo Transportation >>

Ningbo Accommodation & Where to Stay in Ningbo

Ningbo Hotels

Ningbo has a great number of hotels and hostels of different standards for you to stay. You can accommodate at a luxury 5-star hotel, like Shangri-La Hotel Ningbo, Sheraton Ningbo Hotel, and so forth to get the super good service and environment. Comfort hotels like New Century Hotel Ningbo, and so forth provide very cozy rooms and hospitable services. Besides, typical inns, resorts and hostels near the attractions, subway stations, railway stations, etc. are very easy to be found and offer good services, clean rooms, tasteful food, free Wi-Fi, hot water, and so on.

Know more details about Ningbo Accommodation & Where to Stay in & around Ningbo >>

Useful Ningbo Maps

Here we list some very useful maps about Ningbo City for your reference. You can feel free to use them when you want to know the attractions, location. Know more details about Ningbo Maps | Ningbo China Map >>

Ningbo Map - Ningbo China Map

Ningbo China Map

Ningbo Map - Ningbo Tourist Map

Ningbo Tourist Map

Ningbo Map - Ningbo Transportation Map

Ningbo Transportation Map

Other nearby Destinations

After a Ningbo tour, you can take a bullet train to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Huangshan, Suzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, Yuyao to find more interesting attractions. Also, you can go to the sacred Putuo Mountain in Zhoushan to feel rich Buddhist culture. Discovery now!

Ningbo Map

Chinese Name: 宁波

Chinese Pinyin: níng bō

English IPA: /' nɪŋ ' bɔː /

Population: 7825 thousand

Language: Mandarin & Ningbo Dialect

Tel Code: 0574

Zip Code: 315000

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Plan Your Ningbo Tour

You can spend 1-2 days to see all the classic attractions in Ningbo, like the Tianyi Pavilion, Xikou Scenic Area, etc. If you have more time, you are recommended to spend 1-2 days at Putuoshan in Zhoushan Islands.

Besides, taking 5~6 days to visit Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou together is extremely popular. Therefore if you have enough time, you may enjoy top destinations in the Yangtze River Delta in one go before or after your Ningbo tour. Visitors may also extend the tour to famous nearby water towns for 1 day and the Yellow Mountain for 2-3 days.

Moreover, it is also a good idea to travel Ningbo and other popular destinations in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Yangtze River, Xiamen, 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 Ningbo tour 2021/2022!

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