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Things to see in Hangzhou

Tourist Offices

Hangzhou Tourist Information Centre

Address: , 288 Yan'an Road, Hangzhou, 310003
Telephone:
Opening times: Website: http://www.facebook.com/gotohangzhou/

With a few branches around town, including one at the main train station, this official tourist centre is only mildly helpful. Visitors are better off getting information from their hotel or from one of Hangzhou's numerous youth hostels. You’ll find basic travel information, free maps and the offer of tours at Hangzhou Tourist Information Centre, although these will be aimed at domestic tourists.

Attractions

West Lake

Centuries of careful cultivation have turned what was originally a lagoon adjoining the Qiantang River into the most famous lake in China. One of the country's principal tourist attractions, West Lake is classical China at its mist-shrouded, willow-lined, pagoda-dotted best, and is almost everybody's primary reason for visiting Hangzhou. Three ancient, man-made causeways (Su, Bai and Yanggong) provide pleasant walkways across sections of the lake and are great places to begin your romantic strolls. Bai Causeway, accessed from the lake's northern shore, is perhaps the most interesting as it leads onto Gushan Island with its restaurants, museums and gardens. Cycling is a great way to navigate the area (there are bike rental kiosks everywhere), but boats can also be hired at dozens of places around the lake. West Lake was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 for having "influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries" and for reflecting "an idealized fusion between humans and nature".

Address: Xihu, Beishan Lu, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Three Pools Mirroring the Moon

In 1089 during the Song Dynasty, three stone pagodas were built in the deep waters of West Lake. Rumoured to be magically, they still stand tall today in a triangle formation. A truly scenic location admired by many and featured on the back of the one yuan bill.

 

Address: Xihu, , Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 0730-1630. 

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

 

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Xixi National Wetland Park

The Xixi Wetlands are recognised as a national wetland park with 26,000 acres of swamps, animals and vegetation. Many film crews come to get shots of the mysterious waterways and large cinematic houses that money cannot buy. Most of the park can be accessed for free, but travellers should be wary of mosquitos.

 

Address: Xihu, 518 Tianmushan Rd, Hangzhou, 310023
Telephone: +86 571 8810 6789
Opening times:

Daily 0730-1730.

 

Website: http://www.xixiwetland.com.cn/
Admission Fees:

 No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Lingyin Temple

Known locally as Lingyin Si (Temple of the Soul's Retreat), this is one of China's largest Buddhist temples. The entrance is magnificent, passing through shallow caves and grottos featuring over 400 Buddhist rock carvings, many dating from the 10th to 14th centuries. The incense-filled, working temple boasts four grand halls, each more lavish and colourful than the last. The stand-out is the 12m-high (39ft) Hall of the 500 Arhats, which features 500 human-sized sitting Buddhist saints, each holding his own symbol, arranged in the formation of a giant swastika. Located next to Lingyin Temple, is a cable car which wheels its way up North Peak and offers fabulous views across parts of West Lake and the surrounding tea plantations.

Address: Xihu, 1 Lingyin Lu, Hangzhou, 310013
Telephone: +86 571 8796 8665.
Opening times:

Daily 0700-1815 (temple); Daily 0700-1700 (cable car).

Website: http://en.lingyinsi.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Six Harmonies Pagoda (Liuhe Pagoda)

Close to the southwest of the lake, this 60m-high (197ft) octagonal pagoda, first built in 960 CE, overlooks the Qiantang River. It once served as a lighthouse, and was supposed to have magical powers to halt the tidal bore, which still thunders up the river twice a month. Behind the pagoda stretches a charming walk through terraces dotted with shrines. Taking the bus from Nanshan Lu to get within walking distance to the pagoda.

Address: Xihu, 16 Zhijiang Lu, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 0630-1730.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Baopu Taoist Temple

Located in leafy woods, on a hill overlooking the northern lakeshore, this splendid Taoist temple is peaceful, colourful and charming. The only Taoist temple in Zhejiang province, it features incense smoke drifting around the courtyards and ornate carved wooden facades, while its upturned grey slate roofs echo a China rapidly receding into history. That final point is a fitting metaphor for Ge Hong, the famous Chinese alchemist who resided here while he looked for immortality. He never found it, of course, though he lives on through a statue found inside the temple.

Address: , Baoshi Hill, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 0730-1730.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

China Silk Museum

This region was once the centre of China's silk industry and this museum, just south of the lake, charts the history of silk culture and the clothing products that helped make Hangzhou one of nation's wealthiest and most cultured cities. The story of silk unravels before your eyes with displays and historical context around China’s weaving, painting and embroidery techniques. The museum also welcomes a number of visiting exhibitions each year.

Address: Shangcheng, 73 Yuhuangshan Road, Hangzhou, 310002
Telephone: +86 571 87035150
Opening times:

Mon 1200-1700, Tue-Sun 0900-1700.

Website: http://www.chinasilkmuseum.com/index_en.aspx
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

China National Tea Museum

The only museum in China dedicated to tea, this place charts all aspects of Chinese tea-tasting customs as well as the provenance and history of several of the nation's most famous infusions. Visitors will find a broad selection of tea pots and drinking vessels on display and can take in the manicured gardens and surrounding tea plantations too. Naturally, there’s an opportunity to try (and buy) some green tea as well. Take bus Y3 from West Lake.

Address: Xihu, 88 Longjing Lu, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone: +86 571 8796 4221
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0830-1630.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Zhejiang Provincial Museum

This museum, located on Gushan Island, in the northern section of West Lake, counts a collection of more than 100,000 cultural relics and pieces from across the province. Among the artefacts, visitors will find decorated pottery, some of the oldest varnished bowls in the world and a great number of objects made from jade. There is also a hall dedicated to the works of the celebrated Chinese painter, Huang Binhong.

Address: Xihu, 25 Gushan Lu, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone:
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0900-1700. Closing starts at 1630.

Website: https://www.zhejiangmuseum.com/zjbwg/en/en.html
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Jingci Temple

Set against the hillside across the road from Leifeng Pagoda, this peaceful Buddhist monastery houses a vast effigy of Sakyamuni in the main hall and, in an adjacent hall, a magnificent 1000-arm statue of Guanyin. It is said this is where the Japanese monk, Nampo Jōmyō, learned about Zen before returning to Kyoto with his newly discovered knowledge.

Address: Xihu, 56 Nanshan Lu, Hangzhou, 310007
Telephone: +86 571 8797 5135
Opening times:

Daily 0630-1700.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Leifeng Pagoda

Standing proud over the southern lakeshore is the octagonal, five-storey Leifeng Pagoda. Originally constructed in 975 CE by king of Wuyue, Qian Hongchu, to celebrate the birth of a son, the structure was completely rebuilt in 2002 after collapsing in 1924. However, the uncovered brick ruins of the original building are open for viewing. Climbing to the top floor yields fabulous views across the lake, islands, bridges and gardens, plus the sprawling city beyond.

Address: Xihu, 15 Nanshan Lu, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone: +86 571 8798 2111
Opening times:

Daily 0800-2030.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No