Sightseeing in Hangzhou
The centerpiece of Hangzhou is the famed West Lake, a picturesque expanse surrounded by hills on three sides and the downtown of Hangzhou on the other. There are barely a handful of must-see attractions in Hangzhou. The most pleasant way to spend your time in the city is exploring the different shores and the little surprises they hold. And, of course, sitting and contemplating the lake itself – perhaps even composing a verse as Chinese poets have done through the centuries.
West Lake Tourist Attractions
West Lake (西湖)
Information about the centerpiece of Hangzhou, West Lake, including information about boating on the lake visiting the various islands and the major attractions such as the Three Pools Mirroring the Sun… (Read More…)
Directions: Boats leave from several locations around the lake.
Gu Shan (Solitary Hill) (孤山)
Located near the north shore, Gu Shan is the other major island on West Lake. In fact it’s the biggest island and the only natural one, though it is linked to the shore by land bridges… (Read More…)
Directions: Entrance to Gu Shan is from Beishan Lu, via the bridges on either side of the island.
Tourist Attractions Around West Lake
Leifeng Pagoda (雷峰塔)
This pagoda was first built in 977AD, by the King of the WuYue Kingdom to celebrate the birth of his son, and it became a famous site of West Lake. Unfortunately, the tower collapsed in 1924… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥40. Open: 7:30-21 (15/03-15/11); 8-17:30 (16/11-14/03).
Directions: Located at 15 Nanshan Lu, on the south shore of West Lake.
Yue Fei’s Temple (岳王庙)
This temple and mausoleum isn’t worth visiting unless you’re a big fan of Yue Fei. Who was Yue Fie, you ask? He was a famous Southern Song Dynasty general… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥25. Open: 7:30-17:30.
Directions: On Beishan Lu (just west of the Su Causeway).
Tomb of King Qian (钱王祠)
This relatively small and new temple has a prime position on the east shore of the lake, just opposite the Academy of Art. Chances are you’ll be wandering by at some stage… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥15. Open: 8-17.
Directions: The Tomb of King Qian stands on Nanshan Lu, on the eastern shore of West Lake, directly opposite the Academy of Art.
Hills Around West Lake
Peak Flying From Afar and Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺)
Peak Flying From Afar Scenic Area features some 345 sculptures carved into the faces of the hill as well as the renowned, beautiful Lingyin Temple dating from 326 AD… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥35 for grounds; additional ¥30 for Lingyin Temple. Open: 7-17.
Directions: Tourist buses Y1 or Y2 from Nanshan Lu or Beishan Lu go here.
Jade Emperor Hill (玉皇山)
This is one of the nicest places to visit in Hangzhou – it’s interesting, scenic and doesn’t attract as many tourists as the other sights. Standing 239m high… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10. Open: 5:30-17:30.
Directions: The entrance to Jade Emperor Hill is from Yuhuangshan Lu.
Baoshi Hill (宝石山)
This is one of the nicest walks in inner-Hangzhou. Baoshi Hill, which stands at the very north shore of West Lake has good walking trails with little tourist fanfare… (Read More…)
Directions: There are a number of entrances to the hill, with the most convenient ones on Beishan Lu.
Wushan Hill (吴山)
Not nearly as interesting or scenic as Jade Emperor Hill, but more crowded and more expensive, is the 94m tall Wushan Hill. There’s not a lot to recommend about this place… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥30 Open: 7:30-22.
Directions: Behind Wushan Square, in the center of Hefang Jie.
Other Hangzhou Tourist Attractions
Hefang Jie (河坊街)
This newly refurbished pedestrian street teems with small arts and crafts stalls, souvenir shops and street food stalls along with a few restaurants. It’s a good place to grab some gifts… (Read More…)
Directions: Hefang Jie runs east from Nanshan Lu at the east shore of West Lake. The pedestrian strip starts at Wushan Square and heads east from there.
China National Silk Museum (中国丝绸博物馆)
The world’s largest museum about silk is right here in Hangzhou. The history of silk in China and how it spread to the rest of the world… (Read More…)
Admission: Free. Open: 8:30-16:30.
Address: 73 Yuhuangshan Lu. Website: http://www.chinasilkmuseum.com/
Directions: The China National Silk Museum is at the foot of Jade Emperor Hill.
Hangzhou Zoo (杭州动物园)
There’s no real reason to go to the Hangzhou Zoo, unless, perhaps, you want to see a panda and have yet to do so. Otherwise, it’s likely to simply be a depressing experience… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥15. Open: 7-17.
Address: 40 Hupao Lu (虎跑路40号). Website: http://www.hzzoo.com/
Directions: The Hangzhou Zoo is a couple of kilometers south of West Lake.