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Nanjing

Nanjing truly is one of the wonders of China. This beautiful walled city is famous for the Confucius Temple and many important storehouses of Chinese historical treasures. It is also quickly modernizing, with skyscrapers, shopping malls, and nightlife aplenty. It is a wonderful mix of old and new and a worthwhile destination for all traveler to China.

Tours and activities in Nanjing

Nanjing is a lively mix of old and new with plenty of attractions to visit. Trying to fit it all in and sort out transportation can be stress you don’t need, so consider booking one of our affordable tours of Nanjing to make the most of your time there.

From two-hour market tours to whole day excursions, we can cater for most needs and budgets. Our local tour guides will help bring the history and culture of this city to life and can help you secure tickets for shows, events, and attractions. See our selection of Nanjing tours below, or get in touch to find out more.

Best time to visit

Nanjing is one of the three hottest cities in China and you’d be advised to avoid traveling in mid-summer. Temperatures occasionally reach up to 40°C so it can be uncomfortable for people coming from colder regions of the world. The best time for visiting is from October to mid-November when the weather is cool.

Top Attractions in Nanjing

The city is ideal to make unforgettable memories, it has all that a traveler would have wished for. Boredom is something not mend for this city. The more you roam around the more you will love it. 

Confucius Temple
1. Confucius Temple
Landmarks and icons

The famous Confucius Temple, named after the legendary philosopher and educator of Ancient China, is a must-see on your trip to Nanjing. Constructed in 1034 it has been rebuilt many times, most recently in 1937. The Dacheng Hall within contains the largest statue of Confucius ever built, cast in bronze, as well as jade, gold and silver panels detailing the philosopher’s life.

Nanjing Museum
2. Nanjing Museum
Museums, galleries and exhibitions

Nanjing Museum is a large building located inside the Zhongshan Gate and houses over 2,00 cultural and historical artifacts, including calligraphies, paintings, and ancient books. If you’re interested in Chinese history, this wonderful venue covers everything from the 1st century BC onwards.

Nanjing Presidential Palace
3. Nanjing Presidential Palace
Museums, galleries and exhibitions

You can also take in the Nanjing Presidential Palace, home to the biggest modern history museum in China, or the Xiaoling Mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty, one of the largest imperial tombs in the country.

Mochou Lake Park
4. Mochou Lake Park
Nature, parks and outdoors

Mochou Lake Park is a fabulous outdoor venue containing ornamental ponds and fountains. It also has traditional pavilions, paintings, and calligraphies from famous artists and Youjin Hall, an incredible piece of architecture divided in two by a lily pond. The park also hosts dragon boat races each year. Admission fee is ¥35.

Purple Mountain (Zhongshan Mountain National Park)
5. Purple Mountain (Zhongshan Mountain National Park)
Nature, parks and outdoors

Other natural sites include the Purple Mountain (Zhongshan Mountain National Park) with its stunning observatory, Qinhuai River and Yangtze River Bridge. In fact, Nanjing is packed full of natural landscapes and outdoor attractions; it’s worth booking some tours to make sure you see it all.

Nanjing Palaeontology museum
6. Nanjing Palaeontology museum
Things to do with kids

Little explorers will enjoy the Nanjing Palaeontology museum, which contains a 22m long skeleton of a Mamenchisaurus. Although most of the signs are in Chinese, many of the exhibits are enjoyable all the same, or you can book a guided tour to get more out of your visit.

Hongshan Forest Zoo
7. Hongshan Forest Zoo
Things to do with kids

Other kid-friendly activities in Nanjing include the Hongshan Forest Zoo. You can see various animals here some of which are near to extinction. A beautiful garden, play areas, and food vendors will surely make you smile the whole day.  

Nanjing Underwater World
8. Nanjing Underwater World
Things to do with kids

Nanjing Underwater World and the sports facilities at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre are among the most lovely fun spots in town. 

Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre
9. Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre
Things to do with kids
Downtown area of Xinjiekou
10. Downtown area of Xinjiekou
Leisure and shopping

Nanjing has plenty of shopping districts, with one of the main ones being the downtown area of Xinjiekou, where you’ll find plenty of department stores and brand names. The Fuzimiao Market is a wholesale market but all customers are welcome and they have everything from clothes to toys and electronic goods.

Changjiang Lu Antique Market
11. Changjiang Lu Antique Market
Leisure and shopping

Changjiang Lu Antique Market is your best bet for historical treasures, but be aware that fake goods tend to be extremely convincing. Avoid spending money here unless you’ve done your homework.

Plum Blossom Festivals
12. Plum Blossom Festivals
Regular festivals and celebrations

Nanjing hosts a number of annual festivals, including the Plum Blossom Festivals which takes place around late February (depending on the weather).

The Duanqu Festival
13. The Duanqu Festival
Regular festivals and celebrations

Nanjing hosts a number of annual festivals, including The Duanqu Festival in June, sees lots of dragon boat races that you can watch – or join in with if you’re feeling adventurous.

The Confucius Temple lantern festival
14. The Confucius Temple lantern festival
Regular festivals and celebrations

The Confucius Temple hosts an annual three-week lantern festival every Chinese New Year where you’ll see local performances, neon-lit temples, and festive Chinese lanterns.

Getting here and getting around

Nanjing is a national transportation hub which makes it easy to get to and easy to get around. Nanjing Lukou International Airport is the third largest airport in eastern China, with flights to over 54 domestic cities and 20 international destinations. Shuttle buses take you into the downtown area of the city as well as nearby cities like Huai’an, Yanzhong, and Shuyang.

The city has two railway stations operating slow and partial high-speed trains from Nanjing Railway Station, and fully high-speed trains from South Railway Station. Long distance buses also link Nanjing with Shanghai, Hangzhou and other northern cities, and there is a sleeper service to Beijing which takes around 12 hours.

City buses cover the city and can take you to almost any attraction, with fares set at ¥1 for regular buses and ¥2 for air-conditioned buses. Seven subway lines are currently open with a number of others under construction and there are over 20,000 taxis in Nanjing. These are easy to flag down, with initial charges starting at ¥9. It’s worthwhile haggling for a flat rate if you are taking the taxi long-distance.

If you’re planning to stay in the city for a few days, it can be worth buying a Jinlingtong, which is a type of travel pass accepted on all city transport. Purchase it from any Huaxia Bank, metro station or bus station and enjoy cash free transport for the duration of your stay.

Eating and drinking

Nanjing is a fantastic city for food lovers, with plenty of local snacks. Adventurous travelers rave about Duck Blood Soup, while Gan Si (Shredded Bean-curd Sheets), Salted Duck Soup and Pressed Duck are all popular too.

The city has a number of food streets, the most famous of which is Fuzimiao Street. Here you’ll find loads of local delicacies and snack foods as well as restaurants serving dumplings.

The Kiuguangge Teahouse is a 100-year-old Muslim teahouse. This is a perfect place for sampling historic Chinese tea culture and is great for socializing. You’ll find hundreds of varieties of green, red and scented teas.

Lao Zhengxing Restaurant is ideal for sampling unique and traditional dishes from the entire Zhejiang Province of which Nanjing is the capital and if you’re looking for something spicy, the aptly-names Sichuan Restaurant is perfect.

Nanjing is a bustling night city too, and the number one area to go is Nanjing 1912. Here you’ll find western coffee shops side-by-side with Japanese restaurants, pubs, clubs, and spas. You’ll also find cinemas and theatres here too.

Getting a good night's sleep

For great views of the city and sheet luxury, Jinling Hotel is your best bet for accommodation. It has an indoor pool and 6 restaurants to choose from as well as gorgeous rooms. You can work out at the gym or relax with a spa massage.

An excellent mid-priced hotel is the Hotel Ibis Nanjing Zhonghua. It is located bang in the middle of the city center and has modern rooms with all amenities, an on-site restaurant and a lobby bar serving refreshments and light snacks.

If you’re watching your budget, check out the Fuzimiao International Youth Hostel located beside the Qinhuai River. You can choose from private rooms or dormitory accommodation. There’s a sun terrace for relaxing and this is a great place for meeting other travelers.