Nanjing Travel Guide

Nanjing Travel Guide

Nanjing Facts

Nanjing map

Lying on the south bank of the Yangtze River, Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, is one of the most delightful destinations in China. Known as the capital city of six or ten dynasties in ancient Chinese history, it has a brilliant cultural heritage.

Yuecheng, the first recorded military defense constructed in early 472 B.C., opened the long history of Nanjing. In the following years, the city reached its height of splendor at various times. In 229, Sun Quan, one of the three heroes in Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280), to strengthen his influence in the middle valley of the Yangtze River, moved the capital of his kingdom here and named it Jianye. From that time on, the city served as the capital for several dynasties in history. In 1356, in a peasant rebellion, Zhu Yuanzhang, later the Emperor Taizu of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), conquered the city and renamed it Yingtian Fu. In 1368, Zhu established the Ming Dynasty - the last feudal dynasty ruled by the native Han people - and gave Yingtian Fu the new name of the city. Ten years later, the emperor made it the capital of the country. The Mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, usually known as Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty, is perching on the southern slope of the Purple Mountain in the northeastern part of the city.

Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty
Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty
Following officials' advice of "building walls and producing grain to consolidate the rule", the emperor ordered the construction of city walls. Today's majestic walls in the city, the longest of its kind in the world, are the result of that phase of construction. Zhonghua Gate, simply meaning 'Chinese Gate', is a noted attraction for visitors in the present city center.

In spite of its glorious times, the city also witnessed the hardest moment of this nation. In 1839, the Opium War burst out after Lin Zexu, an assiduous official, burnt twenty thousand boxes of opium in Humen. On a battleship in Xiaguan of the city, the corrupt Qing government, under threat by Britain troops, signed the notorious Nanjing Treaty, the first of the 'Unequal Treaties' which ceded Hong Kong away from China for more than hundred years. Following this treaty, invasions and colonial rule of the western countries intensified and China sank into a harder and darker time.

Peasant groups of Taiping rebelled against the Qing government in 1853 and established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in this region, the name of the metropolis at that time, and formed an army. Unfortunately, the peasant regime was short-lived and in 1864, troops of Qing government won the city back. Nowadays, in Xuyuan Garden, which is within the Presidential Palace, one can still see part of the former residence of the Heavenly King of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.It was the Revolution of 1911, the Chinese bourgeois democratic revolution led by Dr.Sun Yat-Sen that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. On the first day of 1912, Dr. Sun Yet-sen gave his simple but sublime address on the inauguration held of the new Republic of China. Today, a memorial hall in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Mausoleum, houses a statue of Dr. Sun sculpted out of white marble.

On April 18th, 1927, Chiang Kaishek launched the counter-revolutionary 4.12 Coup and established his power in the city. Also, in 1937, the inhuman Nanjing Massacre happened. In six weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese people were killed including women and children.No atrocity can go unpunished. In 1945 the Chinese people eventually drove the barbarous Japanese army out of China and the war criminals got what they deserved. However the atrocity left a deep scar on the city. Pictures of Japanese soldiers taken by Japanese photographers are exhibited in the Memorial Hall to the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre.

Historical Sights


Cultural Sights

In addition to historical sights, memorials, museums and cultural sights also attract thousands of visitors. The famous Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) is not only a memorial place for the Great Sage but has a surrounding area bustling with shops, restaurants and a snack street housed in traditional architectural buildings. The nearby Imperial Examination Museum of China (Jiangnan Examination Hall) and Former Residence of the Wang and Xie Families have seen their best days in ancient times. In the city center, Nanjing Museum is a must for visitors with a collection of more than 420 thousand pieces, including about 2,000 that are rare and valued. The Zijinshan Observatory (Purple Mountain Observatory) to the east of the city center was the first modern observatory built in China.

Qinhuai River
Qinhuai River
Dr. Sun Yat-sen
Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum

Qinhuai River, in the southwest of the city, extends one hundred kilometers. The river used to be the most flourishing part of the city in the old days. In many Chinese novels, it is renowned as a place which nurtured beauties and romance. Today, it is a place for people to recall the old splendor of this historical city. Like all sights here, it tells the story of past, present and future of the city.

Other Attractions

Zhanyuan Garden
Zhanyuan Garden
Confucius Temple
Confucius Temple

Nanjing Tours

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Like most major cities in the country, Nanjing is developing rapidly. Great changes have taken place in the city. Modern highways and railways connect the city with most major cities throughout the country and it is becoming a sparkling metropolis akin to Shanghai and Beijing with skyscrapers, luxury hotels, fashion shopping malls, supermarkets and highly-developed economic zones throughout the city. Transport in the city is very convenient with the new metro service in addition to taxis, public buses, tourist special lines and other means of transport. Modern amenities in luxury hotels make your stay a comfortable one. Dazzling shopping malls and department stores can be found in the commercial areas of the city with stocked plenty of international brand names. The city is also home to several colleges and universities and a large foreign population. The city is become an international metropolis with new faces every day.

 Since Jan. 30, 2016, the 144-Hour Visa-Free Policy has been implemented in the city to facilitate passport holders of 53 countries and regions to enjoy a visa-free stay up to 144 hours when taking an international transfer via Lukou Airport, and passengers can travel to Shanghai and Zhejiang as well.
Read details about 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit.

- Last modified on Mar. 26, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Nanjing Travel
Asked by randy p from USA | Jul. 17, 2019 15:06Reply
can a us citizen transit through nanjing airport 7 hours traveling to Pudong Shanghai airport
and return through Nanjing airport 12 hours without a visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Tomas from USA | Jul. 18, 2019 20:09

Yes, no problem. You can enjoy the 144 hours visa free policy.
Asked by DC from USA | Jul. 02, 2019 12:11Reply
Do Nanjing taxis take credit cards?
Answers (1)
Answered by Moria from USA | Jul. 02, 2019 20:51

No, they only accept Alipay, Wechat payment and Chinese cash.
Asked by Vinay from INDIA | Jun. 26, 2019 08:15Reply
Staying at Nanjing Novotel suning hotel. Wish to travel to Dr.Sun yet mausoleum.
Which metro to take and which exit. From there, want to go to zoo and the massacre site followed by city Wall . Can anyone suggest metro or bus route to cover all the above? Thanks.
Answers (2)
Answered by Jesse from USA | Jun. 27, 2019 01:30

You can take Metro Line 4 from Suning Xuzhuang to Jinmalu and transfer to Metro Line 2 to Xiamafang. Get out of the Exit 2 and then walk north 300m to take Bus Line 34 to the mausoleum.

From there to zoo, you can take Bus Line 34 to Zhongshan Road, Zhujiang Road North and transfer to Metro Line 1 to the zoo. From the zoo to the massacre site, you can take Metro Line 1 to Xinjiekou and transfer to Metro Line 2 to Yunjinlu. Get out of the Exit 2 and walk southwest about 800m to the site.
Answered by Vinay from INDIA | Jun. 27, 2019 09:34

Thank you so much.
Asked by Michelle from AUSTRALIA | Jun. 23, 2019 19:28Reply
How many exits at Zhujianglu station on Metro Line 1 in Nanjing
I need to walk to my hotel at 132 Zhongshan Road from the Zhujianglu Metro station
Answers (1)
Answered by Moria from AUSTRALIA | Jun. 25, 2019 01:21

You can get out of the Exit 4 and walk south about 550m to your destination.
Asked by Dinesh R. Hirani from KENYA | Jun. 06, 2019 04:48Reply
Hi. I am staying at Nanjing ZTE Hotel near ZTE's Cloud Computing Centre.
I am keen on exploring natural attractions around this area including any hikes. Could you please suggest some?

Dinesh, Kenya
Answers (2)
Answered by Christina from USA | Jun. 11, 2019 23:04

Maybe you can go to Qingliangshan Park, which is located in No.83, Qingliangshan Road, Gulou District.
Answered by Dinesh from KENYA | Jun. 12, 2019 04:50

Thanks for your recommendation. However, I have left China now and will certainly consider your suggestion on my next visit.
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