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Luoyang

Luoyang is well known as the cradle of Chinese civilisation. Once the capital of 13 ancient dynasties, it has many popular historical attractions, including the world heritage site Longmen Grotto. You can also visit the famous Shaolin Temple, a popular destination for travellers from all over the world.

Tours and activities in Luoyang

With so many sites to take in when visiting Luoyang, you should think about arranging some organized tours to get the most from your experience. If you are in the city for a limited time, having the experienced hand of a local guide will help you discover more and fit the maximum amount of enjoyment into your trip.

A local guide will provide you with significant historical and cultural background and can help you to book tickets for popular attractions like the Shaolin Temple too. Check out our offers here, or get in touch to find out more.

Best time to visit

Luoyang has a temperate continental climate with four distinct seasons. In April there are sandstorms, although these aren’t severe enough to be concerned. April is actually the best time of year to visit as the weather is pleasant and you can visit the Peony Festival, a flower show that fills the city up with color. October is also a good time to visit as the climate is humid and pleasant then.

Top Attractions in Luoyang

Roaming around the city is really fun, the bars, coffee shop, and local restaurants are lucrative and serve amazing food. The city is clean, well-organized, somehow nicely decorated and has everything a tourist like to visit and see. 

Longmen Grottoes
1. Longmen Grottoes
Landmarks and icons

Longmen Grottoes is 1,400 years old and contains tens of thousands of statues of Buddha. There are also Buddhist pagodas and stone horse stables and a system of caves. This world heritage site is also home to the White Horse Temple, said to be the ‘Cradle of Buddhism.’

The Shaolin Temple
2. The Shaolin Temple
Landmarks and icons

The Shaolin Temple, meanwhile, is perhaps even more well-known, especially to fans of martial arts. The Temple is also a world heritage site and was built in the year 495. There are many attractions here, including the Pagoda Forest, the Dharma Cave, and the Martial Art Training Centre.

Here Shaolin monks continue to practice King Fu and Chinese healing, and you can see performances that give you a glimpse of these masters at work.

Luoyang Museum
3. Luoyang Museum
Museums, galleries and exhibitions

Luoyang Museum was completed in 2009 and houses one of the best collections of historical artifacts and relics in China. Exhibits from different dynasties are on displays, as well as archaeological items including statues, pottery, jewelry, and clothing.

Luoyang is the perfect destination for enthusiasts of history and archaeology and is a must-see for any visitors interested in the long and wonderful culture of the Chinese. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to historical days out, from the Ancient Han Tombs museum to the Shangqing Gong.

The White Cloud Mountain
4. The White Cloud Mountain
Nature, parks and outdoors

The White Cloud Mountain (Baiyunshan) National Forest Park is an area of absolutely stunning beauty and natural features. It contains a primitive forest with rare and ancient flora and wildlife including giant salamanders and leopards. Here you’ll find the White Cloud Peak and Yuhuangding Peak which offer wonderful, fairy tale views and the Jiulong Waterfall Scenic Area which includes a bungee jump for the more adventurous traveler.

 

Longmen National Park
5. Longmen National Park
Nature, parks and outdoors

Another beautiful feature here in Luoyang is the Longmen National Park. Nestled on the banks of Yi River, this is one of the greatest sculptural treasure sites in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And don’t forget the 2.5km long China National Flower Garden, running from Luoyang Bridge to Mudan Bridge.

Sports, leisure and shopping
6. Sports, leisure and shopping
Sports and leisure

Luoyang is a thriving city with plenty of shopping areas for tourists. However, you’ll probably want to forego the department stores in favour of the local produce. In Luoyang, you can purchase Palace Lanterns made by local craftsmen which come in a variety of shape, including dragon heads, horses and butterflies. These fold flat, so they are perfect for transporting home.

You’ll also find locals making replicas of ancient bronze vessels like wine cups, chariots, and swords, although be careful about air travel rules around carrying replica weapons. Glazed pottery is also widely available – the Tang tri-colored pottery dates from the Tang Dynasty and is cast in red, green and yellow. Locals continue to make replicas of these, and they would make wonderful souvenirs.

The Peony Square
7. The Peony Square
Regular festivals and celebrations

Peony Square is home to regular performances by local actors, dancers, and musicians. These performances are truly unique and wonderful to behold, full of gorgeous music and lights. You’ll see six acts that tell you the ancient history of Luoyang.

Getting here and getting around

Just 10km north of downtown Luoyang is Luoyang Beijiao Airport, meaning the city is very accessible, with international and domestic flights from the likes of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. Further away destinations will require a connection via a major international airport such as Beijing.

Long distance trains run to Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, and more destinations, with Beijing about 11 hours away and Shanghai around 17. There are also high-speed train services, taking just four hours to Beijing and two hours to Xi’an. Check up to date timetables for connections and services.

City buses run from both the airport and the two train stations into the city center, making it easy to arrive at your hotel without a private transfer arranged. There are intercity buses too, although these are the slowest and most unreliable form of transport, with most locals and tourists preferring the train.

The subway system in the city is currently under construction, with the first lines due to open in 2019, but in the meantime, there are plenty of tourist buses available that can take you to the many wonderful attractions Luoyang has to offer.

There are more than 4,000 taxis in the city, and this is a very cost-effective way to travel. Fares start at ¥5 for the first 2km during the day and ¥6.5 at night. You can also ask for flat fares to some of the most popular tourist destinations.

Eating and drinking

Luoyang has a rich culinary history dating back thousands of years. Local specialties include Luoyang Shui Xi (Water Feast) which is a banquet involving 24 different dishes accompanied by soups and Liyu Yue Long Men (Carp Jumping over Dragon Gate) which is tender carp presented as pointing its head towards the dragon gate made of vegetables.

There are also plenty of local appetizers and snacks to choose from, including noodle paste, Pan Jinhe roast chicken and Zhang Family wontons. Your best bet for the full range of Luoyang cuisine is Luoyang Zhen Bu Tong Restaurant, located on East Zhong Zhou Road in the Lao Cheng District.

Nightlife thrives here in Luoyang, with karaoke bars, bathing houses and pubs, and restaurants across the city. Sit outside if you can so you can enjoy the street lamps designed to look like peony flowers, the symbol of the city.

Getting a good night's sleep

Luoyang has over 100 great hotels to choose from and for luxury, opt for the Hyatt Place in the busy Xigong District. With air condition, stunning rooms and views over the city, this hotel has every you need to enjoy your stay.

A great mid-priced hotel is the Yijia Youth Hostel located 5 minutes from Old Town Street where you’ll find a variety of food and drink sellers. Charmingly appointed and with a great restaurant and bar, this hotel is consistent reviews as being great value for money.

If you’re traveling on a budget, Luoyang As Home Youth Hostel is your best bet. This dormitory-style accommodation has a shared lounge and library making it a great place to relax and meet other travelers.