Top 10 Things to Do in Shenyang

Shenyang is the capital city of Liaoning Province in northeastern China. In 1636, the Qing Dynasty was founded here, and later the Sino-Japanese War also broke out in this city. Therefore, Shenyang has many historic and cultural relics. Besides, located at a high latitude, Shenyang has a long and cold winter, so it is also famous for winter recreational facilities. Recommended below are the top 10 things to do in Shenyang.

For those interested in the history of Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911), visiting Mukden Palace is a must. This attraction, along with the Forbidden City in Beijing, are the two most well-preserved palace building complexes in China. Here you can appreciate not only the ancient royal architecture, but also the precious imperial treasures. Walking through the Daqing Gate covered with glazed tiles, you can visit two famous scenic spots, Chongzheng Hall and Dazheng Hall. The former is where the emperor received foreign envoys and handled political affairs. Treasures such as gold lacquered screen and dragon-carved throne are presented inside. The latter is where the coronation ceremony and banquet were held in Qing Dynasty. Other relics and accessory buildings also show the august of royal family to the full extent.

Marshal Zhang’s Mansion

Marshal Zhang’s Mansion is the former residence of Zhang Zuolin, the last marshal of Beiyang Government (1912-1928), and his son General Zhang Xueliang. Here, tourists can admire lots of wax statues, stone carvings, wood carvings, murals and calligraphies of these two celebrities. Also, this mansion is famous for the architectures in different styles. Daqing Building is a typical Romanesque architecture. The exterior green bricks and the interior deluxe decoration will certainly impress you. Xiaoqing Building is worth visiting as well, which was built for Zhang Zuolin’s favorite wife Madame Shou. This building combines both Chinese and Romanesque style.
Zhaoling Tomb was built for Huang Taiji (1592-1643), who started Qing Dynasty, and his Empress Xiaoduanwen (1599-1649). This attraction is known for its perfect combination of royal mausoleum and scenery garden. Tourists can feel the imperial splendor when visiting Long’en Hall, Crescent City, Stele Pavilion, etc. These buildings are skillfully linked by peaceful lakes and lush pines. More than 2,000 age-old pines here provide tourists with a natural oxygen bar. Meandering through these pines can be the most relaxing thing to do in Shenyang. Besides, many performances of Qing folk culture and worship ceremonies are held in Zhaoling Tomb, which is good for learning Qing culture.
The International Ice and Snow Festival is Shenyang’s grandest festival and one of the top things to do in Shenyang. It is held every winter, usually from late December to next February. During the festival, tourists can go to temple fairs, enjoy lantern shows and join in the local Winter Fishing Festival. Special activities are also held for gourmets to taste local food. Nevertheless, the most famous parts of International Ice and Snow Festival can be the winter sports and sculpture displays. Tourists can enthusiastically go skiing or snowboarding. Don't worry if you don’t like doing sports, because numerous ice and snow sculptures glistening in the neon light can surely feast your eyes. By the way, the best way to end your day is to enjoy a hot spring spa.

Liaoning Provincial Museum

In Liaoning Provincial Museum, tourists can closely appreciate the treasures of different dynasties. There are bronzewares in Shang and Zhou Dynasties (17th century-256 BC), Chinese calligraphies and paintings from Tang to Yuan Dynasty (265-1368) and many woodcuts, jade articles and porcelains made in Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). Another feature of this museum is that it exhibits many relics of ancient ethnic nationalities in China, such as Qidan and Xianbei. Tourists can also admire the local folk embroideries and European glass art here.
Fuling Mausoleum was built for Nurhachi (1559-1626), who laid the foundations for the Qing Dynasty and his Empress Xiaocigao (1575-1603). Upon entering this mausoleum, tourists need to climb the 108-Step Staircases first. The higher position you are at, the more spectacular landscape you can enjoy. In addition, on both sides of the road, tourists can appreciate ornamental columns and the stone carvings in the shapes of camel, horse, lion and tiger. Everyone will be immersed in an august atmosphere when visiting Square City, lofty Long’en Hall and the mysterious Underground Palace. The royal worship ceremony is also held here every Qingming Festival in early April.
Another top thing to do in Shenyang is to visit the botanical garden, because it provides you with the beautiful background to take photos all year round! Tourists can smell the flagrance of tulip, azalea, orchid and cherry blossom from April to May. In May and June, peony and water lily are in full blossom. Lotus and lily are displayed in July, and August is a month especially for blue flowers! In October, you can appreciate various chrysanthemums. Besides, there are many floras from abroad like France, India and Singapore. Combined with characteristic statues, these international exhibition halls can bring you an exotic atmosphere. In the east of the botanical garden is an observation tower of more than 100m (358ft) height, where you can enjoy a breathtaking landscape.

Nanguan Catholic Church

In a typical Gothic style, Nanguan Catholic Church is known as one of the most beautiful churches in China. Tourists will be attracted by the church’s solemnity upon seeing the two cone-shaped spires, each with a Cross on the top. The decoration inside is also worth attention. 24 stone pillars and the huge dome with intricate patterns will surely draw your attention. Masses are held here every day. Besides, many new couples choose to take their wedding photos here.
September 18th, 1931 is the day Japan launched its incursion into China during World War II. Outside the museum is a gigantic stone carving in the shape of a piece of calendar, which engraved with September 18th, 1931. The carving of skeleton and bullet holes on it represent great lamentation for the victims. In the museum, visitors can know this history better through photos, archives, corpse cart, bacteria bomb and other historical proofs. The four units in the museum will enable visitors know how Japanese plotted the attack, conducted violence and human experiments towards Chinese and how Chinese people retaliated.

Qipan Mountain

Qipan Mountain is popular for not only natural landscapes, but also diversified recreational activities, thus it is among the top things to do in Shenyang. Wandering along the stretching hills and green trees can definitely relieve your stress. After enjoying the natural scenery, you can visit Guandong Movie City. The buildings inside will bring you back to the northern China in the early 20th century. You may even spot several movie stars here. Also recommended is Dinosaur Happy Valley, which is a good place to go camping and have a barbecue party. In winter, don’t miss the ski resort on Qipan Mountain. Ski tracks of different sizes can meet both the experienced and beginners’ needs.
- Last updated on Jul. 16, 2020 -
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