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Ningbo Attractions | 13 Things to Do in Ningbo 2021

Ningbo, referred to as "Yong (甬)", is located at the meeting point of China's Grand Canal and Maritime Silk Road in the middle of China Eastern Coastal. As the fourth largest port city in the world, Ningbo is not only one of the "five major treaty ports" in modern China, but also has been in close contact with foreign countries (like Japan and Korea) since ancient times.

Ningbo has a rich history and culture. Since the founding of the city in the Tang Dynasty, it is home to Tianyi Pavilion, the first private library in China, and has a number of influential Buddhist temple. There is also the Old Bund, which is even older than the Bund in Shanghai and many typical historical blocks and museums, which are designed by the winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Besides, Ningbo also has many of the best scenery in the east Zhejiang.

Now, take time to check out the Top 13 attractions & things to do in Ningbo and plan your Ningbo tour in 2021.

No.1: Tianyi Pavilion - Visit the Oldest Existing Library in Asia

Collection of Tianyi Pavilion

Collection of Tianyi Pavilion

Qin Ancestor Hall

The Stage of Qin Ancestor Hall

Type: Historical Site, Ancient Private Library, Architecture

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Opening Time: 8:00-17:30 (April 21 - October 21); 8:00-17:00 (October 22 - April 20); Opening hours of ancient books reading room 8:30-11:00 in the morning, 14:00-16:30 in the afternoon.

Address: No.10, Tianyi Street, Haishu District, Ningbo (宁波市海曙区天一街10号)

Tianyi Pavilion (天一阁) is the oldest existing private library in China and the top highlight in Ningbo city. Originally built in 1566, Tianyi Pavilion still has a collection of more than 300,000 volumes, most of which are editions and transcripts from the Ming Dynasty. Many of them are the only ones in China, which cannot be found elsewhere. There are ancient books and book cases in the building, filled with thick book smells everywhere, and you can also see old collection of books displayed by glass cabinets and bookcases in Baoshu Building (宝书楼).

The architecture of Tianyi Pavilion is also quite interesting, integrating wood carving, brick carving, stone carving, gilding and other traditional folk crafts, with rich themes and beautiful shapes. It is a masterpiece of residential buildings in Ningbo, and the typical building is the stage of Qin Ancestor Hall.

Besides the book collection, Tianyi Pavilion also has a typical Jiangnan garden. You can walk in the ancient brick and wood corridor, feeling the quiet environment. There is also an interesting Mahjong Museum in Tianyi Pavilion, which displays various materials and patterns of mahjong from all over the world, as well as the now gone Huapai.

Recommended Tianyi Pavilion Tour: ✔ 2 Days Classic Ningbo Tour

No.2: Ningbo Museum - Admire the Amazing Architecture

Ningbo Museum

Magnificent View of Ningbo Museum

“Allah” Old Ningbo Folk Exhibition

“Allah” Old Ningbo Folk Exhibition

Type: Museum, Architecture

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Opening Time: 79:00-16:00, close on Monday

Tickets: Free

Address: 1000, Shounanzhong Road, Yinzhou District, Ningbo (宁波市鄞州区首南中路1000号)

The Ningbo Museum (宁波博物馆) itself is an artwork and "modern" exhibit, designed by the famous designer Wang Shu, who is the first Chinese citizen to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The construction of Ningbo Museum uses a large number of blue bricks removed from the old buildings in Ningbo, which are modern and full of traditional charm.

The exhibits focus on the local culture and customs. The exhibition hall is divided into three floors, with the first floor for temporary special exhibitions and the second and third floors for free regular exhibitions. The theme display on the second floor, Oriental "Shenzhou" - Ningbo Historical Display, is the highlight in the museum. The third floor is a special display of bamboo carvings and Ningbo folk customs. The “Allah” Old Ningbo Folk Exhibition is more vivid than the exhibition on the second floor. In the exhibition hall, you can walk in the restored old Ningbo streets, as if you were traveling through times and back to the beginning of the last century.

Across the street from the museum is the free Yinzhou Park, which is being praised as the "Central Park” of Ningbo. With its lush trees and unique architecture, the park is a place for locals to relax.

Recommended Ningbo Museum Tour: ✔ 2 Days Classic Ningbo Tour

No.3: Xikou Town - Visit Mr. Chiang Kai-shek's Former Residence and Xuedou Mountain

Mr. Chiang Kai-shek's Former Residence

Mr. Chiang Kai-shek's Former Residence

Maitreya Buddha in Xuedou Mountain Scenic Area

Maitreya Buddha in Xuedou Mountain Scenic Area

Type: Historical Site, Nature

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 Day

Opening Time: 8:00~17:30

Tickets: Chiang's Former Residence, CNY 120/person; Xikou Xuedou Mountain Scenic Area, CNY 150/person (including sightseeing buses)

Address: Xinan Road, Xikou Town, Fenghua District, Ningbo (宁波市奉化区溪口镇溪南路)

Xikou (溪口) is a small town in Fenghua District, Ningbo with beautiful scenery and surrounded by water and mountains, but it is famous overseas for being the hometown of Chiang Kai-shek. Jiang's birthplace, former residence villas, ancestral tombs and halls, home nunnery and other relics are orderly scattered on the side of Wuling Street in Xikou Town. Besides, Xikou Xuedou Mountain Scenic Area is famous for the Shanxi River, ancient temples and valley waterfalls. As early as in the Han Dynasty, it had the reputation of "Fairyland of Penglai".

Xikou town is the former residence of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-guo. It is an important historical site in modern times. The former residence contains a group of buildings where the Chiang family lived in the past. Visiting Chiang's Former Residence (蒋氏故居), you can have a general understanding of the history of the Chiang family and the life trace of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo before 1949.

Xuedou Mountain (雪窦山) was the favorite place of Chiang Kai-shek when he lived in Fenghua, and it was also the dream mountain of the Emperor Renzong in the Northern Song Dynasty. The scenery of Xuedou Mountain is exquisite and the air is fresh. The Three Hidden Pools, Miaogaotai, Qianzhangyan Waterfall and Xufuyan Waterfall Stream along the way are all worth a visit. In the Xuedou temple, the open-air Maitreya Buddha is the most eye-catching spot.

Recommended Xikou Town Tour: ✔ 6 Days Zhejiang Highlights Tour from Hangzhou

No.4: Dongqian Lake - Immerse Yourself in the Largest Freshwater Lake in Zhejiang

Dongqian Lake

Dongqian Lake

Dongqian Lake Sunset

Dongqian Lake Sunset

Type: Lake, Nature

Recommended Length of Visit: half a day

Opening Time: 8:30 ~ 17:00

Tickets: Xiaoputuo Scenic Area tickets CNY 30/person, ship ticket 20/person

Address: Dongqianhu Town, Yinzhou District, Ningbo. (宁波市鄞州区东钱湖镇)

Compared to West Lake in Hangzhou, Dongqian Lake (东钱湖) may not be as "well-known". But as the largest freshwater lake in Zhejiang province, the beauty of the lake is hard to hide. Four times the size of West Lake, but with less than half the visitors, Dongqian Lake might provide a more pleasant travel experience. The Taogong Causeway divides the lake into two parts. There are many scenic spots along the lake, such as Small Putuo, Taogong Island and Stone Carvings Park of the Southern Song Dynasty, etc. There are also a variety of high-end hotels where you can savor the beauty of the mountain and lake. If you're energetic, renting a bike and riding around the lake will definitely highlight your trip.

Top 5: Ningbo Old Bund - Enjoy the Splendid Night View of World Architecture

Ningbo Old Bund

Ningbo Old Bund

The Catholic Church on Ningbo Old Bund

The Catholic Church in Ningbo Old Bund

Type: Sights & Landmarks,Ancient Street

Recommended Length of Visit: 2-3 hours

Tickets: Free

Address: Hefang Street, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou(杭州市上城区河坊街)

The Old Bund (老外滩), is the earliest treaty port among the "Five Trade Exports". It became the treaty port in 1842 after the sign of the Treaty of Nanjing, even 20 years earlier than the Bund in Shanghai. It is also one of the few remaining bunds with a history of one hundred years in China. Today, Ningbo Old Bund still retains a large number of beautiful old European buildings. The heavy wooden doors creak when pushed open, the rusty iron fence is silent counting the passing of time, and the beautifully carved stone tells the old stories to passing-by visitors.

Along the river, foreign consulates, Catholic churches, banks, and ship docks line up, recording the entire history of Ningbo's opening. These buildings have at least 100 years of history, and nowadays preserved historical and cultural architecture are included: the British consulate, Police Station, the Catholic Church, Jiangbei Holy Church of Jesus, there are some private residences like the merchant house "Yan Family Villa", "Residence of Zhu Family", etc. Buildings at the Old Bund have full-bodied European architecture style, showing architectural styles of English, French, German, Dutch and other cities in Europe.

Recommended Old Bund Tour: ✔ 6 Days Zhejiang Highlights Tour from Hangzhou

Top 6: Ningbo Moon Lake - Take a Leisure Stroll around the Park

Panoramic View of Ningbo Moon Lake

Panoramic View of Ningbo Moon Lake

Boating on the Moon Lake

Boating on the Moon Lake

Type: Park, Museum

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Tickets: Free

Address: Zhenming Road, Haishu District, Ningbo (宁波市海曙区镇明路)

Moon Lake (月湖公园) to Ningbo is just like West Lake to Hangzhou. Located in the center of Ningbo, the Moon Lake is the best embodiment of the Jiangnan character of Ningbo. Moon Lake is divided into the north and south park by Liuting Street. The north garden is like a small courtyard of Jiangnan, and the south garden is more like a modern park.

Courtyards and old mansions dot the shores of the Moon Lake, many theme museums and scenic spots worth paying a visit, such as Ningbo Costume Museum, a large costume museum with the theme of Chinese costume culture and history. There is also the Exhibition Hall of the History of Mingzhou and Korea, Ningbo Tea Culture Museum and Yintaidi Governor's Residence Museum, etc. On Liuting Street in the middle part of the Moon Lake, there are 3 religious buildings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist distributed from west to east, known as the "Three Coherent Sites on Liuting Street". They are respectively the Zan Mi Prison Temple, the Buddhist JushiLin and the Guandi Temple.

No.7: Nantang Old Street - Taste Local Snacks

Nantang Old Street

Nantang Old Street

Sweet Dumplings with the Aroma of Osmanthus

Sweet Dumplings with the Aroma of Osmanthus

Type: Old Street, Food Street

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Address: Chuanbu Alley, Haishu Dostrict, Ningbo City (宁波市海曙区船埠巷)

Hundred years’ stone path, thousand years’ Nantang river, 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. On the short street, brings together the most traditional Ningbo food. Sweet dumplings (Glutinous Rice Ball) with the aroma of osmanthus flowers, Steamed Meat Wonton, Steamed Rice Cake, Youzanzi (Deep-dried Dough Twist), Noddle Knots Soup, Seafood Noodle and Yellow Croaker Noodle, etc. Here are some recommended 100-year-old on Nantang Street: Nantang Youzanzi (南塘油赞子), Zhaodayou (赵大有, selling delicious pastries), Sanbei Soybean-made Crunchy Candy (三北豆酥糖), Sixteen Squares Wonton (Chain snack bar with Ningbo traditional flavor)

No.8: Explore the World Heritage Site and Learn the Essence of Ningbo Culture - Qing'an Guide Hall

Qing'an Guide Hall - Front Door

Qing'an Guide Hall - Front Door

Qing'an Guide Hall Inner

Qing'an Guide Hall Inner

Type: Historical Site, Cultural Site, Guide Hall

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Opening Time: 8:30-16:30

Tickets: CNY 10/person

Address: No. 156, North Jiangdong Road, Jiangdong District (宁波市鄞州区江东北路156号)

Ningbo Business Group is the largest business group in modern China and one of the ten business groups in Chinese history. In 2014, Qing'an Guild Hall (庆安会馆) was inscribed on the World Heritage List as a heritage site in the Ningbo section of the Grand Canal of China, which is also the first World Cultural Heritage site in Ningbo.

• Qing’an Guild Hall, also known as East Zhejiang Maritime Folk Museum, was built in the Daoguang Period of the Qing Dynasty. Qing’an Guild Hall was an important office and entertainment place for merchants whose work is related to commercial and shipping industries. It is not only one of the 7th guild halls and the 8th Tianhou Palace in China, but also the only existing ancient building complex in Jiangnan area that integrates the Tianhou Palace and the Guild Halls. There are more than 1000 pieces of bright red golden wood carvings and over 200 pieces of brick and stone carvings on the building, adopting the traditional carving technique of Ningbo, which fully reflects the level of carving art in eastern Zhejiang in the Qing Dynasty.

No.9: Asoka Temple - Pay a Visit to the Only 1000-year-old Temple Named after Ashoka

Asoka Temple

Tianwang Palace in Asoka Temple

Asoka Temple

Buddhist in Asoka Temple

Type: Temple, Historical Site

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Opening Time: 6:00-16:00

Tickets: Free

Address: Baozhuangminglun Village, Wuxiang Town, Yinzhou District, Ningbo (宁波市鄞州区五乡镇宝幢明伦村)

Ashoka Temple (阿育王寺) is the only existing 1000-year-old temple in China named after Ashoka. First built in the Western Jin Dynasty, known as six shu wins eight auspicious land, always has a place in the Top 5 zen Buddhism mountains. There is a world-famous Buddha's Sarira Pagoda in the temple, enshrining the Buddhist relics of Sakyamuni. Besides, Ashoka Temple also has the province's only remaining two pagodas from the Yuan Dynasty, tablet Inscriptions from the Tang, Song, Ming, Qing, Republic of China, among them “Tablet of Ashoka Temple Resident Field”, “The Inscription of Chenkui Pavilion” and “Miao Xi Quan Ming” are the most precious.

No.10: Tiantong Temple - Trace back the History of Buddhism Pure Land

Enduring Memories of Hangzhou

Tiantong Temple in Summer

Enduring Memories of Hangzhou

Tiantong Temple in Autumn

Type: Temple, Religious Site, Historical Site

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Tickets: Free

Address: Foothill of Taibai Mountain, Yinzhou District, Ningbo (宁波市鄞州区太白山麓)

Tiantong Temple (天童寺) was built in the Western Jin Dynasty. It is one of the four forests of Zen Buddhism in China. It has been listed as the second of the five mountains of Zen Buddhism in China, and is respected as the ancestral court of by the Japanese Cao Dongzong. The oldest buildings in the temple are the Buddhist Hall rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty and the Hall of the Abbot.

The Hall of the Abbot is simple and solemn. There is a plaque of "Endowed with Mercy Cloud (慈云密布)" written by the Yongzheng Emperor. Dhamma Hall The hall enshrines a gilt bronze statue of a pharmacist bestowed by Emperor Shunzhi. The Tiantong Temple, built on Taibai Mountain, has a unique layout. All temples and halls are built in accordance with the ancient traditional architectural form of our country, with double eaves and stacked pavilions, painted buildings and carved beams, giving visitors a simple but solemn feeling. Tiantong National Forest Park is next to Tiantong Temple, which can be visited together.

No.11: Ningbo Drum Tower - Explore Ningbo Historical Blocks

Ningbo Drum Tower

Ningbo Drum Tower

Pedestrian Street around the Tower

Pedestrian Street around the Tower

Type: Historical Site, Architecture, Pedestrian Street

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hours

Tickets: Free

Address: Zhenming Road, Haishu District, Ningbo (宁波市海曙区镇明路)

Ningbo Drum Tower (宁波鼓楼), also known as "Haishu Tower", was built in the Tang Dynasty. The Haishu District in Ningbo City is named after the Drum Tower. The Drum Tower is the only remaining ancient city tower in Ningbo, but it has a different appearance compared with ancient towers in other cities. In the period of the Republic of China, a western chiming bell tower was added on the basis of the original Drum Tower. Therefore, the outlook of Ningbo Drum Tower is peculiar and has become the one and only typical ancient tower in China.

Now the drum tower and its surrounding areas have developed into a distinctive pedestrian shopping district in Ningbo. The road is lined with shops in the style of Ningbo traditional architecture. There are two ancient stone memorial archways at the entrances of the east and west ends, as well as the city wall ruins, stone steles of the historical changes of the city, and Yongfengku Ruins Park near the Drum Tower, where you can enjoy the history of Ningbo. It’s also one of the best places to enjoy the splendid nightview of Ningbo City.

No.12: Tianyi Square - Have fun at the Modern and Prosperous City Centre

Tianyi Square

Tianyi Catholic Church

Tianyi Catholic Church

Type: City Center, Business Center

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hours

Address: No.188 Zhongshan East Road, Haishu District, Ningbo (宁波市海曙区中山东路188号)

Tianyi Square (天一广场) is the most bustling city center with shopping, entertainment and delicacy. There are not only high-end international shopping malls, like Yintai Mall - the most popular shopping mall in Ningbo, but also the Kugou Mall where niche brands gather. What’s also worth seeing is Asia's First Music Fountain and massive water curtain film.

On the outskirts of the square, Chinese and western buildings complement each other, like the lofty Gothic church - Tianyi Catholic Church (天一天主教堂) and Yaohuang Hall (药皇殿), which has an important position in the history of Ningbo medicine.

Top 13: Tuoshan Weir - Appreciate the Ancient Water Conservancy Project

Tuoshan Weir

Tuoshan Weir

Ancient Water Conservancy Project - Tuoshan Weir

Ancient Water Conservancy Project - Tuoshan Weir

Type: Ancient Water Conservancy Project

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Opening Time: 8:00~18:00

Tickets: CNY 5/person

Address: Yinjiang Ancient Town, Haishu District, Ningbo (宁波市海曙区鄞江古镇)

Tuoshan Weir (它山堰), a World Irrigation Engineering Heritage, was built in the Tang Dynasty and is one of the famous ancient water conservancy projects in our country. It is comparable to the famous ancient water conservancy projects in China such as Zhengguo Canal Irrigation System, Lingqu Canal and Dujiangyan Irrigation System.

The surface of the weir is all made of ashlar. The weir body is a wood-stone structure that has not rotted for more than a thousand years. The inclination of the weir body, the clay intercalated rock layer, the layout of the weir surface, and the multi-level energy dissipation and scour prevention methods have created a miracle of ancient water conservancy projects.

The Yinjiang Ancient Town (鄞州古镇) where Tuoshan Weir is located was built in 401 AD and is one of the oldest ancient towns in Ningbo. Besides Tuoshan Weir, there are many buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasty to the Republic of China. The town is surrounded by mountains on three sides, the Yin River and Zhangxi River pass through the town.

How to Plan a Ningbo, Zhejiang Tour?

Things to Do in Ningbo: Tianyi Pavilion, Ningbo Old Bund, Ningbo Museum, Xikou Xuedou Scenic Area, Former Residence of Chiang Kai-shek, Tiantong Temple…

How to Get to Ningbo: International flights from Singapore (6.5 hrs), Tokyo (3 hrs), etc., 2-3 hrs' domestic flights from Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, etc., or high speed trains from Hangzhou (1 hr), Shanghai (2~2.5 hrs), Suzhou (2.5~3.5 hrs), etc.

Best Time to Visit Ningbo: Spring and Autumn

Tourists usually take about 1-2 days to explore Ningbo. The scenic spots in Ningbo downtown are relatively concentrated. You may visit the Tianyi Pavilion, Ningbo Old Bund, Tianyi Square, etc. within 1 day. If you would like to spend more days exploring the suburbs and countryside, you may visit the Former Residence of Chiang Kai-shek and Xuekou Mountain Scenic Area or Tiantong Temple, Asoka Temple and Dongqian Lake.

2 Days Classic Ningbo Tour

Ningbo is one of the best transfer places to reach Putuoshan. Most visitors prefer to visit Ningbo and Putuoshan together. It usually takes about 2 days to have a lifetime spiritual pilgrimage in Putuoshan. Then they may extend the “Heaven on Earth” - Hangzhou (2-3 days), the representative Wuzhen Water Town (1-2 days). A classic Zhejiang trip with Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wuzhen and Putuoshan usually takes 6-7 days. Also, you can extend to Anji bamboo forest or Moganshan resort in Huzhou (2-4 days), etc.

6 Days Zhejiang Highlights Tours from Hangzhou

Besides, compared with just travelling Ningbo, Zhejiang, most visitors prefer to travel to the metropolis Shanghai, Suzhou Gardens, Hangzhou Lakes, Huangshan Mountains more nearby hot cities in One Go! Such an amazing tour will take 7~8 days.

3 Days Hangzhou & Suzhou Beauty Tour by High Speed Train

5 Days Shanghai Hangzhou Suzhou Highlights Tour

5 Days Yellow Mountain Tour from Hangzhou

Have your preferences? Please feel free to tell us your likes and let our professional travel consultants customize a personal tour for you!

Best Ningbo Tour with China Discovery Putuoshan Best Ningbo Tour with China Discovery Our Customers visited Meijia Dock Longjing Tea Plantation, Hangzhou

Travel Ningbo with China Discovery

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation, best visiting time and other troublesome tour planning, you can take a private tour package which covers sightseeing, night shows and activities, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to any destinations with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

If you have more questions about Ningbo and Ningbo tours, please feel free to contact us and our professional travel consultants are here ready to help!

Recommended Ningbo Tours

Top 3 Ningbo tours chosen by most customers to explore Ningbo in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

The Mercy of Goddness
4 Days Hangzhou Putuoshan Brief Tour

Shanghai / Putuoshan / Hangzhou

Tianyige Museum - Precious Private Library Over 400 Years Old
2 Days Classic Ningbo Tour

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Relax at Dragon Well Tea Plantation
6 Days Zhejiang Highlights Tour from Hangzhou

Hangzhou / Wuzhen / Hangzhou / Ningbo / Putuoshan

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