Nanjing Travel Guide

Written by Sally Guo Updated Oct. 13, 2021

As the provincial capital of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing is both a national famous historic and cultural city and an important political, military, science and cultural center of China. It’s the largest city of Jiangsu Province and the second-largest city of East China. With a long history of over 2,500 years, Nanjing is one of the four ancient capitals in China, and it used to be the capital of 6 dynasties in history including Wu, Qi, Liang, Chen, the Eastern Jin Dynasty and the Song Dynasty.

Located in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Nanjing enjoys the geographical advantage of connecting the eastern and western regions, which is an important gateway city of China. Nanjing is also an ecological livable city and has won the Special Honorable Award given by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Nanjing will hold the second Asian Youth Games in 2013 and the second Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2014.

Nanjing boasts a variety of tourism types, which mainly include meditating on the past of the 6 dynasties tour, famous historical sites of the Ming Dynasty tour, traces of Zheng He tour, buildings of the Republic of China tour, religious culture tour, featured tour by the Qinhuai River, science and education tour, landscape by the river tour, hot spring and vacation tour and rural scenery tour.

Recommended Tours

Meditating on the Past of the 6 Dynasties Tour

As it used to be the capital of 6 dynasties in history including Wu, Qi, Liang, Chen, the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and the Song Dynasty, Nanjing boasts a number of excellent historical sites, including Baima Stone Carving Park with numerous stone carvings of many dynasties, Jiming Temple which is one of the oldest temples of Nanjing, Linggu Temple which is the key Buddhist temple, Gulin Park built in the Liang Dynasty and Mount Qixia.

Famous Historical Sites of the Ming Dynasty Tour

In the year 1386, the emperor Zhu Yuanzhang chose Nanjing as the capital and established the Ming Dynasty. Nanjing was the national political, economic and cultural center during that period.

Strolling in the city at present, you will see a large number of the historical sites of the Ming Dynasty, such as Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (the tomb of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang and the world cultural heritage), the cultural village of the Ming Dynasty, Linggu Temple (the largest temple of the Ming Dynasty), the Imperial Palace remains of the Ming Dynasty which is the chief source of the Imperial Palace of Beijing, Gulou Park which is the holy land for holding important ceremonies in the Ming Dynasty and Zhonghuamen Gate which is the world’s No.1 barbican and one of the biggest gates of the Ming Dynasty.

Traces of Zheng He Tour

Zheng He was a great navigator of the Ming Dynasty and he commanded voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Somalia and the Swahili coast, which contributed to good-neighborly and friendly relations and cultural exchange between countries. Zheng He’s fleets of ships were organized in Nanjing and his first voyage was in Nanjing. Zheng He spent his remaining years in Nanjing.

At present, there are still historical remains of Zheng He, such as Jianghai Temple which was built for Zheng He and he spent his remaining years there, Tianfei Palace where Zheng He offered sacrifices before voyages, Longjiang Treasure Shipyard where most of Zheng He’s ships were built and Zheng He Memorial Hall.

Buildings of the Republic of China Tour

At present, there are over one thousand cultural relics of the Republic of China (1912-1949) in Nanjing. Nanjing is a typical representative of the culture of the Republic of China, featuring an architectural complex with a combination of Chinese and western elements. Besides, there is also Nanjing Museum which was the third-largest museum in China, Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and Nanjing Geological Museum which is one of China’s oldest natural science museums.

Religious Culture Tour

Due to the important geographical location, Nanjing features various folk customs and religious beliefs. The famous religious scenic spots include Jiming Temple, Xuanzang Temple, Pilu Temple, Linggu Temple, Baosheng Temple, and Huiji Temple.

Featured Tour by the Qinhuai River

Qinhuai River is the mother river of Nanjing, which contributes to the cultural accumulation of Nanjing.

Science and Education Tour

The nature tech scenic spots in Nanjing include Zhongshan botanic garden, Nanjing underwater world, Hongshan forest zoo, Nanjing paleontology museum, Nanjing geological museum, Nanjing Purple Hills Observatory, Jiangsu television tower and Nanjing Youth science and technology activity center. The cultural scenic spots include China’s modern history ruins museum, Wulongtan Park, Memorial Hall to the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre and the history museum of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.

Landscape by the River Tour

The most famous scenic spots along the river include Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, the 2nd Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, Nanjing Olympic Sports Center and Farmers Museum of Art which exhibits bottle gourd carving and bamboo wares.

The relaxation and holiday attractions in Nanjing include Tangshan Yishang hot spring which is one of China’s top 4 hot spring resorts, Tangshan hot spring, Daji hot spring holiday village, Zhongshan international golf club, Yinxinghu international golf club, the sun island club and Zhaofu international golf club.

Rural Scenery Tour

It’s a good choice to appreciate the rural scenery of Nanjing. The popular destinations include Niushou Mountain, Juhuatai Park, Jinling Carving Park, Jiangjunshan Scenic Area, Dashihu Ecological Tourism Holiday Resort and agricultural tourism village.

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