Nanjing China – A Complete Guide to the Ancient Capital

There are many stuff to do in Nanjing that make for a very good forestall on any China itinerary. What, you have not heard of it? Well, you’re going to quickly!

Most vacationers cross all through Nanjing when touring from Shanghai to Beijing (or visa versa)  But after spending a couple of days finding Nanjing, we really feel this is a vacation spot in its personal proper and must be greater than a blip on other people’s China shuttle Radar.

Why Visit Nanjing China

Nanjing is an interesting town that has performed the most important roll in Chinese historical past for hundreds of years. With a inhabitants of 6 million, it used to be the former capital of China.


Today it’s the capital of the Jiangsu Province and is a thriving city of eight.three million other people.

Nanajing China buddah books

Nanjing used to be first named the capital town in 229 AD throughout the 3 kingdoms duration. It has been a capital town time and again over with its reign in any case coming to an result in 1949 when the capital used to be modified to Beijing.

Being the capital town throughout a tumultuous duration made Nanjing a goal and in 1937 it used to be targetted via Japan.

300,000 other people had been slaughtered in the Nanjing Massacre and the town used to be just about destroyed over a duration of six weeks.

This incident is contested via the Japanese pointing out that the numbers had been exaggerated, however there’s a museum in Nanjing this is value a seek advice from to examine first-hand accounts.

Regardless of the ultimate dying toll, an ideal tragedy came about right here.

Nanjing China Hall of Victims

Nanjing is a brief 1-hour educate trip from Shanghai. And as a result of it’s not on the neatly-trodden vacationer trail, there are many issues to see and do this have not begun to be overrun with Instagram stars taking selfies in the streets.

It’s a spot this is quite unknown to foreigners but very well liked by native vacationers. I’ve a sense Nanjing would possibly not stay a secret for lengthy.

There are many causes to seek advice from Nanjing and right here they’re!

Things to do in Nanjing

Things to do in Nanjing

Whenever Dave I am getting the alternative to shuttle to China, we bounce at it. China nonetheless has that attract of being unique and international.

We simply love stepping off the aircraft into its intoxicating mixture of a tradition placing on to historical traditions whilst their futuristic towns lead the international in generation.

We hadn’t recognized anything else about Nanjing earlier than going, however listening to that it used to be a well-liked vacation spot from Shanghai, we had been excited to discover it.

It seems,  Nanjing is a brilliant selection traveler’s to China.

1. Nanjing Niushoushan Cultural Park

Nanjing China Niushoushan Cultural Park

Usnisa Palace displays in the pool front

It might not be historical, however Nuishoushan Cultural Centre may be very spectacular and one in every of our favourite puts to seek advice from in Nanjing.

A trolley takes you to the best of the mountain the place you’ll be able to view the immaculate Buddhist Palace this is constructed into the facet of the mountain.

Opened in 2015 this is a advanced that proves new and fashionable will also be impressive.

Take a while to discover the grounds to see the Usnisa Pagoda and Temple.

And seek advice from the Usnisa Palace is a will have to.

The futuristic design is a stark distinction to the conventional pagodas, but it surely works.

The golden dome glistens in the mirrored image pool and upon front, you might be handled in a serene reclining Buddha.

Usnisa Pagoda in Nanjing

We idea that used to be all there used to be to see and had been inspired sufficient with the atmosphere and perspectives.

But quickly we discovered that the true deal with used to be within the palace after we took the escalator 60 tales underground to see the Thousand Buddhas Hall.

With a top of 28 meters, the golden corridor is really spectacular.

The Great Stupa of Usnisa is indisputably the megastar enchantment sitting in the center of the dome surrounded via five golden Buddhas.

Stupa Usnisa in Nanjing China

There is a superb vegetarian eating place on website and we extremely suggest taking a complete day to discover the Nuishoushan Cultural Centre to discover all the websites on the mountains.

There is a bamboo woodland someplace on the mountain however did not arrange to in finding it save for a small view via the washrooms part approach up. If you do, tell us!

Location: Jiangning District Hours
Hours: April—November (eight:30AM-four:30PM) December—March (nine:00AM-four:30PM)
Admission: 98 CNY (US $14.50)
Website: Niushoushan.internet

2. Confucious Temple

Confucious Temple Nanjing

We visited Confucious Temple at night time and it’s gorgeous. China at night time is unusual and transforms right into a exhibit of lighting and attractiveness.

The Confucious Temple is positioned on the Qinhuai River and is surrounded via a pedestrian space full of temples, gardens, retail outlets, and eating places.

Dating again to 1034 throughout the Song Dynasty, the temple used to be reconstructed in 1984.

The hottest enchantment in the space is a ship cruise alongside the Qinhuai River to soak up the perspectives.

At night time each temple is lit up and performers act out moments from historical past.

It may be very picturesque, however ensure your information is on the boat with you to give an explanation for what’s being mentioned over the loudspeakers.

Nanjing Boat ride at confucious temple


Location: Gongyuan Street

  • Dacheng Hall, 8AM–nine:30PM day by day;
  • Imperial Examination Hall, eight:30AM–10PM day by day

Admission: Confucius Temple grounds CNY 40 (US $6)
Cost of 50-minute Qinhuai River boat trip, CNY 60 (US $eight.90) sunlight hours / CNY 80 (US $12) night
Website: NJFM.internet

three. The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre via Japanese Invaders

Memorial hall of victims in Nanjing China

It is embarrassing to admit how little we learn about Chinese historical past.

Before visiting Nanjing, I had no thought it used to be the former capital of China, and I had no concept that it suffered very much throughout World War II.

But this is the reason we adore to shuttle such a lot. It is the perfect schooling and is helping one dig deeper into different cultures and historical past. It is helping us all perceive the international higher.

The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre via Japanese Invaders is a stirring show of the bloodbath of 300,000 other people via Japenese invaders.

Dave and I aren’t generally ones to seek advice from museums, however this museum is a gorgeous tribute to those that misplaced their lives throughout a 6-week profession in 1937.

Nanjing China Hall of Victims

The interactive show takes you thru a number of sections beginning with the memorial corridor appearing the sufferers of the bloodbath.

As you stroll thru the show, first-hand accounts, relics, and scenes from the duration are on show.

It takes you thru historical past all the approach up to the conflict crimes tribunal.

The solemn show off presentations bones of other people unearthed in excavations proving that the bloodbath came about.

There may be an intensive out of doors show off of sculptures and artwork.

Location: 418 Shuiximen Street, Jianye
Hours: eight:30 to 16:30 Tuesday to Sunday. (closed on Mondays)
Cost: The Nanjing Memorial Hall is unfastened to seek advice from.
Website: Nanjing 1937

four. Purple Mountain

Statues at Purple Mountain Nanjing

Considered one in every of the 4 well-known mountains in Southern China, Purple Mountain isn’t to be neglected!

And if the crowds of Chinese vacationers are any size of the way fashionable it’s, I would say they agree!

Covering a large space of 31 sq. km (12 sq. miles) Purple Mountain calls for an afternoon to see.

There are two primary points of interest at Purple Mountain, and we advise exploring one in the morning and the different in the afternoon.

Don’t concern, there are many puts to clutch lunch at the mall in between the mausoleums together with an overly busy KFC.

five. Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Ming Xiaolin Mausoleum Nanjing

We began our morning at Purple Mountain exploring the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum. It is one in every of the largest imperial tombs in all of China.

Taking 50 years to whole, the Xiaoling Mausoleum dates again to 1381 and homes the stays of the Ming Dynasty’s founding emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, and his spouse Ma, Queen of Xiao Ci of the Ming Dynasty.

The mausoleum is spectacular sufficient, however it’s the stroll inside of the grounds that had our consideration.

The Sacred Way is a spotlight courting again 600 years!

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a walkway covered with massive stone animal sculptures guarding the tombs.

There are 12 pairs of implementing creatures like elephants, lions, and camels status proud at the side of 4 pairs of stone warriors guarding the tree-covered direction to the emperors tomb.

With gardens, bridges, and ponds full of water lilies, this is a non violent position to spend a quiet morning considering the historical past that used to be lived inside of those grounds.

Location: Wengzhong Road, Xuanwu District
Hours: 6:30AM–5PM day by day
Admission: CNY 70 (US $10.60)

6. Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum

Sun Yat Mausoleum Nanjing

It used to be an overly other revel in when visiting Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum a brief distance away.

The huge crowds shaped on the stairs and we joined the throngs of other people strolling their approach to the best to pay respects to the Father of the Republic of China.

Our information instructed me that Dr. Sun Yat-sen will also be when compared to George Washington of the United States.

Even his monument jogged my memory of one thing I might see in Washington DC. 

The stairs at Sun Yat Mausoleum Nanjing

He used to be an important individual. It used to be in 1911 that he lead the approach to deliver down the corrupt rule of the Qing Dynasty that used to be in energy for just about 300 years.

He helped put an finish to the monarchy device that have been ruling China for two,000 years.

Location: Xuanwu
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, eight:30AM–5PM. Closed Monday
Admission: Free

7. Nanjing City Wall

City wall of Nanjing China

If you’re a wall lover like us, a go back and forth to the Nanjing City Wall is a will have to. It is the longest town wall in the international!

The unique wall used to be just about 22 miles lengthy as of late 15.five miles are nonetheless intact, and 6 sections are open to the public.

Having been to the Great Wall of China and to the Wall of Xi’an, this checked off a bucket record merchandise to spherical out every other vital wall of China.

Founder of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang,  ordered the construction of the wall to give protection to Nanjing from invaders.

The wall used to be made via the perfect brickmakers in the land and each and every brick has the inscription of beginning bearing duty for the high quality of bricks.

If they were not up to par, they in all probability misplaced their lives.

Watch our complete video of the Best of Nanjing

Visit the Nanjing City Wall

Location: Lanqi Street,
Qinhuai Hours:

  • Summer, 8AM – 6PM
  • Spring, Autumn and Winter, eight:30AM-5PM

*Shence Gate to Taiping Gate, together with the City Wall Museum, CNY 30 (US $four.50)
*Taiping Gate to Guanghua East Street, CNY 20 (US $three)
*East Water Pass to West Water Pass, together with the barbican of Zhonghua Gate, CNY 50 (US $7.60)
*Qingliang Gate – Guofang Garden, Free
*Dinghuai Gate – Yijiang Gate, Free
*Zhongfu Road – Central Gate, Free

eight. Calligraphy Class

Calligraphy class in Nanjing

Calligraphy is a big a part of Chinese heritage and when in China, we extremely suggest taking a calligraphy magnificence. If we had a large sufficient position at house, I might gladly have an artwork studio in my position to apply.

Calligraphy is enjoyable and I will see the way it used to be used for meditation and contemplation.

It is way more difficult than it appears to be like to grasp the Chinese characters and switch them into artworks.

Calligraphy is so fashionable in China, the ones nice artists can promote their works for tens of hundreds of bucks.

We took our magnificence at a faculty on the Nanjing Wall, however there are lots of puts to ebook a calligraphy magnificence.

nine. Porcelain Tower

The Porcelain tower used to be regarded as one in every of the seven medieval wonders of the international, however like many ancient structures in Nanjing, it used to be destroyed.

In 2015 the new tower used to be rebuilt and as of late guests can seek advice from the museum and witness excavations that came about in 2008.

It is assumed that the stays of Buddha had been discovered on those grounds.

A seek advice from to the best of the tower is a will have to for an overhead view of Nanjing. There is an elevator that can take you to the best.

The tower sits upon an excellent room of glistening gentle bulbs representing the idea of Buddhism.

  • Admission: 120CNY (USD $18)
  • nine:00 AM- five:00 PM

10. Nanjing Salted Duck

what to do in nanjing china | eat salted duck

Everybody has heard of Peking Duck, however Nanjing Duck is in reality extra ancient and really unique to Chinese historical past.

Nanjing used to be the former capital of China and it’s well-known for its boiled duck. When you seek advice from Nanjing, it’s as vital and fashionable to try to Peking Duck in Beijing.

When other people moved to Beijing, they introduced the geese of Nanjing with them to recreate their staple dish. But there wasn’t the room to roam freely like in Nanjing and the climate used to be a lot less warm.

Ducks changed into fatter in Beijing and boiling them changed into a blubbery mess. It used to be via finding out to fry the fats off the geese of Beijing that Nanjing Duck used to be changed into the Peking Duck everyone knows as of late.

Nanjing has caught to their unique recipe and in the event you ask any native, they’re going to insist that theirs is far better.

11. Traditional Incense Ceremony

Incense performs a big roll in Chinese custom and at the Porcelain Tower, we realized how to create an incense stencil to create an environment of peace and rest.

Following our teacher, we meditated earlier than finding out to pour the powdered incense right into a stencil growing the symbol of a lotus leaf.

There are many steps to take, and it’s carried out in a sluggish and planned movement to advertise serenity.

After a couple of tries, we controlled to produce a good replica and our masterpiece used to be in any case lit giving us a proud sense of feat.

12. Tea Ceremony

Each time now we have long past to China, now we have taken phase in a tea rite. While in Nanjing, we had no longer one, however two tea ceremonies and we drank numerous scrumptious tea.

After many journeys tasting tea in China, now we have come to the conclusion that tea tastes higher right here, no longer as a result of it’s recent and grown right here, it’s on account of the love and care that is going into serving it.

There are explicit steps to be taken from heating the glass to pouring out extra water, warming the rim and in any case letting the tea steep for the easiest period of time.

The tea is poured into tiny cups and frequently refilled into you in any case have to inform your server that you’re going to glide away when you’ve got every other brew.

If you actually need to immerse in custom, participate in a tea rite when visiting Nanjing.

13. Master Gao Pub

No go back and forth to Nanjing could be whole with no seek advice from to The father of China’s craft beer revolution, Master Gao.

Master Gao spent a number of years in the United States the place he watched the craft beer business develop in recognition.

When he returned to China in 2007, he opened his personal craft brewery and has grown into the biggest craft brewer in the nation.

Did you already know that China is the biggest shopper of beer in the international? They would possibly drink numerous beer, however till not too long ago, they’ve caught with the conventional lighter manufacturers like Tsingtao.

Master Gao has modified all that and now produces IPAs, Stouts or even brews like Jasmine Tea Lager.

He even invented the phrase for “Stout” in Chinese: shitao.

Master Gao will cross down as a legend in China bringing microbrews to the country. We tasted a number of of his mixes and will attest, they’re improbable!

  • Location: Master Gao Craft Beer Pub at 52 Taiping North Road

This is a brilliant space to spend the night whole with eateries and pedestrian-most effective streets. There ‘s even a type educate weaving its approach thru the crowds.

Recommended Nanjing Hotel

Grand Mansion Hotel in Nanjing

We stayed at the sumptuous Grand Mansion Nanjing. Part of the Luxury Collection Hotels in China, that is an excellent position to keep.

I don’t believe now we have ever had such an eclectic and sprawling breakfast buffet in all our travels. There used to be one thing to please each palette from round the international.

There is an indoor swimming pool, spa, and health club whole with a boxing ring!

But the megastar enchantment of the resort is the The Traveler Library and Tea Lounge full of conventional artwork, books, and comfortable nooks to experience a nightcap or to quietly learn your favorite novel.

Check out critiques and charges on CommuteAdvisor

How to Get to Nanjing

nanjing travel guide

You can fly into Nanjing by way of Nanjing Lukou International Airport.

Located simply 40 miles from the town middle, it’s simple to get a switch.

We suggest Viator for a non-public automobile switch. They wait up to two hours after your scheduled flight lands and they’re going to l be keeping an indication together with your identify on it making issues simple and handy.

There are 3 educate stations in Nanjing. We arrived by way of Shanghai and it used to be rapid, environment friendly and simple. The Nanjing Railway Station, Nanjing South Railway Station, and Nanjing West Railway Station attach to all of China’s primary towns.

We took the bullet educate from Shanghai and reached Nanjing in simply 90 mins. Beijing is solely three 1/2 hours from Nanjing by way of educate.

China Eastern Airlines provides direct carrier from LAX, and numerous different airways together with United, Delta, and Qantas supply connecting carrier from different primary airports.

Nanajing China buddah books

Traveling inside of Nanjing: Two subway strains with blank, fashionable trains perform greater than 50 stations all the way through Nanjing, priced at not up to US$1 according to trip.

It is most often simple to discover a taxi downtown, however ensure to take your resort’s card to give to the motive force as he maximum liely would possibly not talk English.

Unlike taxis in U.S. towns, drivers to be had for rent gentle their taxi lamps purple, whilst inexperienced manner the taxi isn’t to be had.

Internet Censorship and Cellular Data

You can not get right of entry to Google or social channels like Facebook or Twitter. We used KnowRoaming SIM playing cards on our telephones and it labored higher than our VPN on our pc.

The KnowRoaming SIM is hosted outdoor the nation providing you with get right of entry to to Gmail and all different social channels comfortably. PlanetD readers obtain 50% credit score when ordering with promo Code DDSave50: Visit KnowRoaming for main points. 

International Data Packages are simply $three.99 according to day!

If you do not use KnowRoaming, you will have to use a VPN to get right of entry to Google, Gmail, and social media in your pc and mobile phone. We discovered the VPNs a lot slower than KnowRoaming SIM Cards.

Enjoy all the issues there are to do in Nanjing China? Pin this newsletter to save for long run shuttle making plans.

things to to in nanjing china

Read More:

Where to Go Off the Beaten Track in China

five Tips to Travel China on a Budget

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