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

Picturesque South China Towns: 8 days of Shanghai - Hangzhou - Suzhou - Wuxi - Nanjing
Hiking Adventure          Bicycle Route

More China Tour Packages 

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 Dec. 24, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Nanjing Travel
Asked by Yibu from SAUDI ARABIA | Dec. 21, 2019 22:50Reply
One night in Nanjing where I must to go ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lisa from THAILAND | Dec. 24, 2019 18:35

It is recommended to go to Fuzi Temple-Qinhuai River area so you can appreciate the night view and taste local cuisine.
Asked by Jerry Ng from SINGAPORE | Dec. 19, 2019 23:43Reply
I wish to travel from Shanghai to Nanjing in early March.
Pls tell how far is Shanghai to there by car, by train. Jerry Ng, Singapore
Answers (1)
Answered by Mars from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 23, 2019 01:41

The distance is around 300km between these two places. The most common way is to take bullet train and it takes around 1.5-2 hours.
Asked by Leon from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 11, 2019 11:58Reply
What is the most efficient way to travel to Niushoushan from Nanjing city? Is there a dedicated bus?
Answers (3)
Answered by Jes from SINGAPORE | Nov. 12, 2019 19:13

I have just visited Nuishoushan and I am not able to book a taxi/cab from the hotel as most taxi will not travel to this location. The easiest way is by Metro and bus. You can take S1 to Hehai University West Focheng Road Station and ask the Metro staff which exit is near to the bus stop that goes to Nuishoushan. Once you have exit the Metro station, there is a bus stop directly in front of the Station and you can take bus G70 or 754 to Nuishoushan which is the last stop. There will be some taxi/cabs outside the Metro which can take you to Nuishoushan.

After visiting the place, if you are lucky, you can get a taxi/cab back to Nanjing city alternatively,
you can take the bus back to the Metro and back to the city. (Bus stop is on the opposite side).
Answered by Leon from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 13, 2019 19:32

Thanks for this. Do you think this is possible for someone who speaks no Chinese at all?
Answered by Liz from SINGAPORE | Nov. 14, 2019 17:17

To be honest, I'm not sure whether you can handle it. But it doesn't hurt to have a try.
Asked by Uthaiwan from THAILAND | Nov. 06, 2019 01:03Reply
Niushoushan Forestal Park
Where is in Nanjing? , and What is this place?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mason from GERMANY | Nov. 07, 2019 22:47

It is located at Niushoushan Scenic Area, Jiangning District, Nanjing City.
Asked by Siva from THAILAND | Nov. 04, 2019 00:12Reply
H, I’m a Thai citizen transiting from Vancouver Canada to Bangkok
but I have to change plane in Nanjing. My layover in Nanjing is 7 hours. Do I need to obtain a transit visa while passing through the city?
Answers (1)
Answered by Luke from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 05, 2019 23:28

No, you don't. You can enjoy the 24 hours visa free policy.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)