Changsha Attractions - Things to Do

Top Things to Do

 Mt. Yuelu
 Mt. Shaoshan
 Mawangdui Han Tombs 
 Hunan Provincial Museum
 Changsha Museum
There are some classic cultural sights to see in Changsha, although it is not a city that is all-encompassing when it comes to heritage and wonder. Some tourists choose Changsha as their transfer point when traveling on to Zhangjiajie, Yueyang, Hengyang or the famous Phoenix Town in the western part of Hunan, so here are some things to do and see whilst there.

Cultural Relics

 Mt. Yuelu - The famous Yuelu Academy, located at the foot of the scenic Mt. Yuelu on the west bank of Xiangjiang River, is a 'must-see' attraction in Changsha. Originally built in 976, it has a history of more than one thousand years. Either for its glorious past as a reputed feudal academic school in ancient times, or for being the site of Hunan University today, Yuelu Academy is a place in the city that both tourists and students like to visit while appreciate the charming natural vista of the surrounding mountains.
A walk across the No. 1 Bridge over the Xiangjiang River, just opposite the Yuelu scenic area is the Long Island (Juzi Zhou). In midstream of the Xiangjiang River, it runs almost the entire length of the city and gets the name for its long and narrow sandbank. It was said that Chairman Mao Zedong studied in the No. 1 Normal School here when he was young, and often went swimming in the river or took a walk with friends around the island. Today, a scenic park has been built with a marble monument in the middle with Mao's inscriptions and it is a good place for people to escape the summer heat.
 Orange Isle, about 1.2 miles (2 km) from the East Gate of Mt. Yuelu, is located in the center of Xiangjiang River. It is abundant with sweet and delicious oranges, so it is called Orange Isle, or Juzi Island in Chinese. It the biggest inland island in China and is honoured as the “First Island in China”. Going there, visitors can wander at the beach park, watch the fountain, statue and fireworks show, and enjoy the beautiful sceneries to relax themselves.
 Mt. Shaoshan, over 100 kilometers south-west of Changsha is a significant place for Chinese Communists for it was home to Chairman Mao Zedong. It is a good place to learn more about this great Chinese man. The old houses where he lived, a museum, a monument and other memorial spots are well preserved in the scenic area and create a kind of solemn atmosphere. Chinese come to pay their respects here during the memorial days.
 Huaminglou, Liu Shaoqi's Hometown: Liu Shaoqi is the former chairman and one of the founding fathers of the People's Republic of China. At Huaminglou you can not only see his bronze statue, memorial hall, and former residence, but also learn Chinese culture and history.

Historical Sites

The most fantastic historical relic of Changsha should be the well-preserved mummified remains of a Western Han Dynasty woman excavated from Mawangdui Han Tombs. The remains have lasted over more than 2000 years and the skins are still stretchy. Thousands of unearthed relics include silk products, paintings, lacquer works, potteries, bamboo slips used for writing, weapons, herbs, and so on. These are all exhibited in Hunan Provincial Museum.
Another history gift is the ancient porcelain kiln site of Tongguan from the late Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Many pottery and porcelain works decorated with painting and inscription decorations are excavated. It is recorded that these porcelains and pottery products were exported to neighboring Korean, Japan, Indonesia, Iran and even Egypt.
At the very north end of the city near the No. 2 Xiangjiang Bridge is a Buddhist temple called Kaifu Temple. It was originally built in 927 and is featured in the typical Chinese Buddhist temple architectural style.
There are several parks in the city including Wangyue Park at Jiaxiang Lu, Southern Suburb Park, Xiaoyuan Park to the east of the city center near the railway station and a zoo near the provincial museum.

 See also Top 10 Things to Do in Changsha

- Last updated on Jul. 21, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on Changsha Attractions
Asked by Bob | Sep. 24, 2018 21:35Reply
I plan to travel to Changsha, Three Gorges Dam (surrounding scenic spots)
And Zhangjiajie during the coming holidays. I want to know how many days are enough for Changsha, Zhangjiajie, and Yichang to see most of the scenic areas and enjoy well.

Kindly provide some suggestions. Thanks
Answers (2)
Answered by Phill from NEW ZEALAND | Sep. 24, 2018 23:04

I think 1 week is enough, and 2 days in Changsha, 3 days in Zhangjiajie and 2 days in Yichang.
Answered by Bob | Sep. 24, 2018 23:27

Thanks allot
Asked by ILESH PATEL from USA | Aug. 16, 2017 11:15Reply
Changsha to Zhangjiajie 72 hours visa free
I am US citizen and planning to stopover at CS. Get 72 hours transit visa. Fly to Doyong Airport (DYG), visit Zhangjiajie. Will it be possible or any suggestions.
Answers (1)
Answered by Tom from SINGAPORE | Aug. 16, 2017 21:14

Yes, your case is suitable for 72h visa free. You can fly to DYG and take a taxi to National Forest Park directly.
Asked by Mickey from SIM | Dec. 18, 2016 04:00Reply
Hi, please advise how to reach miyin temple at weishan township from changsha?
Answers (1)
Answered by Gloria from AUSTRALIA | Dec. 19, 2016 01:10

Hello, at the West Bus Station, direct buses to Weishan are available at 08:00, 11:20 and 14:00. It will take 2h or a little longer and cost CNY30 per person. After getting to the township, you can ask the locals about the way to the temple and directly walk there.
Asked by nizam from MALAYSIA | Dec. 30, 2015 20:28Reply
Hello, I going to Changsha coming Jan 6, 2016. Are the Glass Bridge at Shiniuzhai Geopark Open ?
Is is open for public during this time. How to get the by public transport. I will stay at Motel 168 Railway Station. Thank you in advance.
Answers (4)
Answered by Dwen from SINGAPORE | Dec. 31, 2015 01:41

Yes, it still opens at that time.
You can take a taxi to get to East Bus Station first. The cab fare is about CNY 15. Then take direct long-distance bus to get to Shiniuzhai. The schedules are 08:00 and 13:40. It takes around 2.5 hours on the way. The ticket fare is CNY 56 per person.
Answered by nizam from MALAYSIA | Dec. 31, 2015 04:06

tq Dwen, is it the bus direct to the bridge? what about return to changsha.
Answered by Sally from HONG KONG | Jan. 13, 2016 03:33

Sorry, this is too late for you. But I wanna share something I know here in case that other visitors need the info. I remember the bus arrive close to the Shiniuzhai Scenic Area. You need to walk for a while to the entrance and then towards the bridge.
Answered by xiaoheizi | Jul. 21, 2023 00:44

I know it's probably too late for you, but as a local, I wouldn't recommend heading here
Asked by claire from SINGAPORE | Nov. 01, 2015 17:31Reply
where is the best hotel to stay in changsha shopping district?
Where to buy porcelain beads and what is the best locally produce goods / food stuff? Whats the best buy there? Will be there for extra 3 days shopping trip this mid nov. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Angela from USA | Nov. 01, 2015 20:47

Hi, Claire. You may find stores selling porcelain beads on the Xiahe Street. Take subway line 2, get off at Middle Xiangjaing Road, and leave from Exit 2A. Walk south for about 328 yards (300 meters), and you will find the street.

The locally produced goods and food include embroidery, pottery, porcelain, Spicy Shrimps, Fried Stinky Tofu, and cured meat. You may find stores that sell them on the Pozi Street. Walk south from the Xiahe Street for about 109 yards (100 meters), and you will reach the Pozi Street.

Considering the short distance from the above streets, you are advised to stay in the Exotic Royal Hotel at no.18, 2 section, Middle Xiangjiang Road, Tianxin District. You may take subway line 2, get off at Middle Xiangjiang Road, and leave from Exit 2A. Then, walk south for about 108 yards (100 meters), and you will find the hotel.
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