Hangzhou Travel Guide

Written by Sally Guo Updated May. 25, 2022

As the capital of Zhejiang Province. Hangzhou is an important traffic hub in Southeast China as well as the second center city of the Yangtze River Delta Region. It is a city mixed with classic beauty and modern charm.

With its developed economy, Hangzhou has ranked second in China according to its GDP. Alibaba is one of the most recognized companies.

With a long history of over 2200 years, Hangzhou is one of the seven ancient cities in China. Known as "Heaven on Earth", Hangzhou has become a popular tourist city in China.

Top Things to Do in Hangzhou

If you like natural scenery or classical architecture, or if you are interested in Jack Ma's story and his Alibaba, Hangzhou is a must-see on your travel list. From an iconic boat trip on West Lake to a perfect side trip to Wuzhen water town, we've listed the 5 best things you should not miss out on when traveling in Hangzhou.

1. Boat on West Lake

The West Lake is a large lake with several causeways and verdant islets and has been nationally famous for the "Ten Scenes of West Lake" (ten famous scenic spots in West Lake).

However, most of them are seasonal and you can't see all of them at one time. The best way to see most sights of the lake is to walk along the path on a clear day, take a boat ride, or take a ferry to visit one of its islets.

>Boat on West Lake
Boat on West Lake

2. Greet the Carved Buddhas in Lingyin Temple

Located to the west of West Lake, Linyin Temple is the oldest temple in Hangzhou with a history of almost 1,700 years.

In front of the temple is Flying Peak. Along the way up you will be greeted by many different statues of Buddha carved into stones.

3. Savor Longjing at Meijiawu Tea Plantation

Renowned for planting and producing high-quality Longjing tea, Meijiawu Tea Plantation is a large and quiet place ideal for experiencing Chinese tea culture.

In Meijiawu, you can enjoy a cup of afternoon tea in a courtyard, pay a visit to the houses of local tea farmers, buy some authentic Chinese teas at reasonable prices, or more luckily, join in the work of producing tea.

4. Stay Overnight in Wuzhen Water Town

Only a 1.5-hour drive from Hangzhou City, Wuzhen Water Town is one of the best choices for travelers in Hangzhou who have one or two days for a side trip.

Blessed with well-preserved old buildings and charming night views, the over-1,300-year-old Wuzhen nowadays serves as a living water town museum with traditional workshops.

Night Scene in Wuzhen Water Town
Night Scene in Wuzhen Water Town

5. Visit Alibaba Campus

Besides West Lake and the water towns, Hangzhou is also the home to Alibaba, and "a city without cash" is its new name card.

One of Alibaba's huge successes is that they have built an ecosystem for a range of industries: Alibaba has set up a series of smarter and faster businesses including futuristic hotels, supermarkets, and bookstores in Hangzhou.

Best Time to Visit Hangzhou

Hangzhou enjoys a subtropical monsoon climate with four distinct seasons, which are warm and humid. Spring (March and April) and Autumn (September to October) is the best time to travel to Hangzhou. In Spring blossoms are in full bloom, and in Autumn it gradually turns cool.

The annual average precipitation is 1,500 mm, and the average temperature is 16.2℃. The average temperature in summer is 28.6℃ and 3.8℃ in winter, sometimes the temperature falls down to 0℃ in winter with heavy snow, West Lake is the best place to see snowy scenery.

How to Get to Hangzhou

Hangzhou has an extensive transportation network connected all over China. You'll find it very easy to get there from nearby cities, such as Shanghai, Suzhou, Ningbo, Nanjing, and Huangshan…

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