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How to plan a trip to Hangzhou?

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Top Reasons to Visit Hangzhou

Paradise on Earth

Hangzhou enjoys the fame of real paradise on earth together with Suzhou. As what has been widespread for such a long time among folks, it is said that up above there is heaven, down below there are Suzhou and Hangzhou. Sceneries in Hangzhou and Suzhou best describe how it is looked like in Jiangnan Area, the mountains, lakes, ancient bridges, different pagodas, create a colorful Hangzhou.

Leifeng Pagoda

Traditional Tea Culture

Tea culture in Hangzhou may be dated back to the Tang Dynasty, the prosperity of tea culture kept the same pace with the development of Hangzhou. Longjing Tea, or Dagon Well Tea, is one of the most famous ten kinds of Tea in China, especially West Lake Longjing Tea, ranked the top on the list, which is named the Queen of Green Tea. A number of Chinese poems were written for the tea in Hangzhou, Longjing Tea has been popular among local people and it’s loved by many famous poets and literary men from ancient China.

Varieties of Food

As the capital city of Zhejiang Province, food in Hangzhou has its specific flavor, carries the main food style in Jiangnan Area. It is also the main part of Zhejiang Cuisine, which is one of the Eight Chinese Cuisines. A variety of famous and delicious dishes in Hangzhou are waiting for you to give a try.

Charming West Lake

West Lake is no wonder the symbol of Hangzhou, this charming lake provides all the tourists beautiful but different sceneries for all the four seasons, no matter how changeable the weather is, sunny or rainy, you could have a view of its beauty at every minute from morning to dawn. 

West Lake

Read more about Hangzhou facts.

Best Time to Visit Hangzhou

Located in the southeast coast of China, weather in Hangzhou has a distinctive difference from spring to winter, it’s hot and wet in summer, cold and dry in winter, with a long rainy season. The best time to visit Hangzhou is spring and autumn, usually from March to April and September to October. Summer in Hangzhou is really hot, not so comfortable for outdoor activities, but it’s the most beautiful time of lotuses in the West Lake.

Annual Temperature: 17.8 ℃

Rainy Season: April to September

Crowded Season: Late Jan. or early Feb. (Chinese Spring Festival);

                               first week of May (Labor Day);

                               first week of October (National Day)

Spring of Su Causeway


Better to avoid these periods since the price for hotel and transportation may be higher and it’s crowded everywhere.

Read more about climate and weather in Hangzhou.


Best Things to Do in Hangzhou

Go Cycling around West Lake

West Lake, being the symbolic landmark in Hangzhou, must be the first thing come to one’s mind when mention Hangzhou. Embraced by green mountains on three sides, the whole lake has been divided into five parts, with ancient pagodas, small islands, and three lake dykes around. The West Lake kindly offers tourists its fascinating charm from day to night, regardless of how changeable the weather is, you may always find something beautiful all year round. Different ways are available to best appreciate the beauty of the West Lake, you could rather take the sightseeing cart to travel around the lake, or get on a boat to get close to it, if you find it too boring for just sitting there, cycling may be a good choice for an ease trip around West Lake.


Visit Lingyin Temple

Lingyin Temple, built in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, is one of the top ten most famous ancient Buddhist monasteries in China, with a long history of more than 1600 years. Located at the northwest of the West Lake, sceneries in Lingyin Temple is regarded as one of the most famous Ten Views of West Lake, mysterious with its own tranquil glamor.


Have a Leisure Time at Wuzhen Water Town

Wuzhen Water Town is another typical water town in Jiangnan Area, situated 60 kilometers away from Hangzhou, has a splendid long history of more than six thousand years. Ancient architectures are all surrounded by water with The Grand Canal passing by, rivers, lakes join together with the colorful folk culture and historical civilization, showing tourists a unique picture of this charming ancient water town.


Explore Local Tea Village

Tea culture in Hangzhou is what we have to mention, as the Longjing Tea is the best green tea in China which is really popular among the local people and tourists. Except for tasting and buying some, another choice may provide a different experience for you. Go to the Meijiawu Tea Village if you are really interested in traditional tea culture, for it is one of the main plantations of Longjing Tea in Hangzhou.


Watch a Show at Night

Choose a show for relaxing may be the best way to maximize your limited time in Hangzhou, so as to extend your schedule and get closer to the glorious culture in Hangzhou. The Impression of West Lake Show or the Romance of the Song Dynasty Show may give you a great experience during your trip in Hangzhou.

Impression of West Lake Show


More attractions in Hangzhou.

Best Food to Eat in Hangzhou

Hangzhou dishes pay more attention to the fresh flavor, and that is what it famous for. Choose fresh seasonal ingredients and put only few seasoning and oil in order to keep the original taste of each ingredient, Hangzhou dishes have a perfect combination of sweet and salty flavor, palatable and delicate. Dishes below may give you some inspirations of what to eat in Hangzhou.

  • West Lake Fish in Sweet Sour Source, named Xihu Cuyu in Chinese, is the most famous dish in Hangzhou. The history of it may be dated back to Song Dynasty, really worth trying.
  • Dongpo Pork is named after a famous poet in Song Dynasty which is also a famous dish with sweet flavor,
  • Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea, a special course in Hangzhou, the idea of using West Lake Longjing Tea creates an amazing flavor of the fresh river shrimp.
  • Sister Song’s Fish Broth enjoys a high reputation among tourists. It’s a traditional dish in Hangzhou with a long history of more than eight hundred years.

Dongpo Pork


Read more about food in Hangzhou.

Where to Stay in Hangzhou

Eastern Area of West Lake

You may choose from all varieties of hotels around this area. Close to commercial area, it’s also convenient for eating, shopping and transportation. You can watch a musical fountain show near the West Lake.

Near Lingyin Temple

Not so noisy compared to the eastern part of West Lake, with a comfortable environment around. This area is with good conditions of eating and plenty choices of hotels. You can walk to Lingyin Temple and try the vegetarian food inside the temple, which is cheap and delicious for a try.

Xixi National Wetland Park

A good choice to experience the charm of Xixi Wetland, with fresh air and beautiful natural sceneries, leisure and quiet for slowing down your pace of life. But it’s a little bit far from the West Lake, so that it’s not so convenient to other attractions.


Siyanjing Area

With a number of hostels and characteristic shops, cheaper with fine conditions, very popular among solo travelers and backpackers. But it’s not so convenient to other attractions in Hangzhou. Better to book ahead of time, because this area is the hottest area for young people.


How Many Days to Stay in Hangzhou

Usually 2 to 3 days for main attractions inside Hangzhou, you may extend your visiting days according to your interests on other attractions outside the city. You can also consider a connecting trip with Shanghai, only one hour by high-speed train.

What to Do for 2-3 Days

  • Go around West Lake
  • Visit Lingyin Temple or Six Harmonies Pagoda
  • Choose a show to watch at night
  • Enjoy your time at Xixi National Wetland Park
  • Stoll around ancient streets to do some shopping
  • Taste delicious Zhejiang Cuisine

Qiandao Lake

Recommended Hangzhou Tours:

yes One Day Hangzhou Highlight Tour: West Lake, Huaxiang Guanyu, Lingyin Temple, Peak Flown from Afar

yes One Day Hangzhou to Wuzhen Water Town Tour: Wuzhen water town

yes 3 Days Hangzhou City Essence Tour: West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Meijiawu Tea Plantation, Chenghuang Pavilion, Hefang Street

yes 5 Days Shanghai and Hangzhou Tour: Jade Buddha Temple, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Nanjing Road, West Lake, Linyin Temple, Six Harmonious Pagoda, Qinghefang Street, Meijiawu Tea Village

Tailor-made your personal Hangzhou Tour: Free Online Tailor-made Tour

More information about Hangzhou tours.

How to Get to & Get around Hangzhou

By Airplane

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, located 30 kilometers away from the city center, is one of the largest international airports in China. This airport is available for flights from most of main cities in China and many international airlines. Shuttle bus in the airport is easily to take, and you can also take airport express to cities near Hangzhou, such as Suzhou, Shaoxing and Yiwu.

Beijing Xi’an Guilin Chengdu Guangzhou Kunming
2h 20m 2h 20m 2h 2h 30m 2h 3h

Shuttle Bus:

►Wulinmen: 20 yuan, 45 minutes.

►Pinghai Road: 20 yuan, 70 minutes.

►Hangzou East Railway Station: 20 yuan, 30 minutes.

By Train

You may take trains from most of cities in China to Hangzhou Railway Station or Hangzhou East Railway Station. Metro is available to take inside the station, and there are a lot of buses can get to train station as well.

Beijing Shanghai Xi’an Guilin Chengdu Guangzhou Suzhou
5-6 hours 1h 7h 8h 20m 14h 6h 1h 20m



To Hangzhou Railway Station: Metro Line 1; Bus No. 3, 7, 11, 21, 39, 49, 88, 90, 100, B3, 200, 222, 225 etc.

To Hangzhou East Railway Station: Metro Line 1/4; Bus No. 864, 320, 9M, B4, 215, 200, 227 etc.

Getting around in Hangzhou

Metro: Line 1, Line 2 and Line 4 are available to take currently, price starts from 2 to 8 yuan.

Bus: Normal bus for 1-1.5 yuan, bus with air-conditioner for 2 to 3 yuan, and BRT for 3-4 yuan, check the price on the station board. There are also special lines for tourism, around the West Lake and for the night time.

Water Bus: For tourism, connected to Xixi, Qiantang River and the Grand Canal, but only available during summer time and peak seasons, from 7:00 to 18:00.

Taxi: flexible for your time, but better to avoid the rush hour in the morning and afternoon.

Bike: Shared bikes are everywhere, you can also use the public bike in Hangzhou, free within 60 minutes,

Read more about Transportation in Hangzhou.

What to Prepare for a Hangzhou Tour

What to Prepare

  • Get ready for your Visa, and do remember your passport.
  • Prepare for your SIM card to make sure the internet use in China.
  • Take some medicine with you for emergency use.
  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and hats for the strong ultraviolet ray in summer.
  • Don’t forget your umbrella and rain gears during the rainy seasons.
  • Be aware of the weather change in Hangzhou, pack enough suitable clothes, a pair of comfortable shoes is needed since a lot of walking involved.

What to Know

  • Read some basic information about Hangzhou and China so that you could have a better experience there.
  • Choose a good time for most of attractions you want to visit may help you get a wonderful experience during your Hangzhou trip.
  • Consumption standard in Hangzhou is almost the same as in Beijing and Shanghai.

Read more about Hangzhou Travel Tips.

Basic Chinese You Might Need

Chinese Pinyin English
你好 Nǐhǎo Hello/Hi
再见 Zàijiàn Bye/See you
谢谢 Xièxie Thank you.
不客气 Búkèqi You’re welcome.
对不起 Duìbùqǐ Sorry
请问卫生间在哪里? Qǐngwènwèishēngjiānzàinǎlǐ? Excuse me, where is the restroom?
多少钱? Duōshǎoqián? How much?

Learn more about Survival Chinese Phrases.

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