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 Aug. 26, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Nanjing Travel
Asked by Serene Lim from SINGAPORE | Sep. 17, 2019 03:42Reply
Metro ride from XinJieKou to South Railway Station in NanJing?
I would like to take metro line from XinJieKou to South Railway Station. Should I travel on Line 1 or Line 3 to save travelling time?

Answers (1)
Answered by Atlas from NEW ZEALAND | Sep. 19, 2019 20:55

Metro line 1 can take you directly to train station. It takes around 20 minutes with CNY4.
Asked by Stanley Chua from SINGAPORE | Aug. 19, 2019 08:39Reply
Hi, looking to travel to Nanjing for about 5 days, Im from Singapore, do i need a VISA?
Or does the 15 Days visa-free apply?
Answers (3)
Answered by Fanny from USA | Aug. 21, 2019 18:46

If you go back Singapore after you visit Nanjing, then you need to apply for a visa.
Answered by Stanley Chua from SINGAPORE | Aug. 24, 2019 03:47

Hi sorry based on this:

Ordinary passport holders of Singapore, Brunei and Japan are allowed to enter China without visas for up to 15 days for tourism, visiting family or friends, or minor business purposes provided they enter through international ports open to foreigners. According to Mutual Visa Exemption, Qatar citizens with ordinary passports may stay in China for less than 30 days without visa. Armenian citizens who stay in China for no more than 90 days every 180 days are exempt from visas.

For nationals of these countries, a visa is required under following circumstance:
(1) Ordinary passport holder visits for tourism, business, visiting friends and relatives but stays for more than 15 days (30 days for Qataris, 90 days for Armenians).
(2) Ordinary passport holder visits for the purposes of study, work, official visit, settling down and interview.
(3) Japanese Diplomatic and Official passport holder.

So is there still a need for VISA?
Answered by Mike from USA | Aug. 26, 2019 22:32

Well, you are eligible for 15-day visa free policy.
Asked by Brooke from CANADA | Aug. 11, 2019 08:24Reply
I was wondering what the best way of travel to Nanjing shi rail station was?
From Pudong airport, can I take the metro to the train station or bus? I will be carrying big luggage, will this be okay?
Answers (1)
Answered by Landon from FRANCE | Aug. 13, 2019 00:14

Upon landing, you can take the direct shuttle bus line 5 to Shanghai Railway Station. Then you can take the high speed train to the destination. You can take the big luggage on the bus. Don't worry.
Asked by Jes from SINGAPORE | Jul. 31, 2019 19:36Reply
I will be travelling in late October to Nanjing and wuxi and need some advice on the planning:-
1. Which railway station has a shorter time to reach from shanghai to Nanjing? (Bullet train)
2.How to reach the railway station from Pudong airport?
3. How many days is require to stay in Nanjing? My main intention is to visit the buddhist temple, some shopping ,night/wet market ,food street and some tourist spot.
4. I intend to visit Niushoushan Cultural Tourism Zone. Is this place very far from the nanjing central/downtown? What is the transportation to reach this place and do I need to stay for a night?
5. Any recommendation of hotel for 3 of us which is easily access to the tourist spot?
6. How is the weather in late October?

Answers (1)
Answered by Lisa from USA | Aug. 07, 2019 02:19

1. Shanghai Railway Station / Hongqiao Railway Station to South Nanjing Railway Station.
2. You can take metro line 2 to Hongqiao Railway Station. To the Main Railway Station, you can take the direct shuttle bus line 5.
3. It depends on you. 3-4 days will be fine according to your plan.
4. Yes, it is in the suburbs. You can take bus G70、754、755 to it. You can stay one night or not.
5. What is your budget? Hotels that near the metro station will be fine. The surrounding transportation is convenient.
6. The temperature will be 15-25C based on the previous weather statistics. It will be cool and comfortable. You are suggested to prepare jackets, pants, jeans and sneakers.
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.
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