A complete one-day tour itinerary for Hangzhou
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Renowned for its historical and beautiful sites, Hangzhou has a lot to see and do, and it’s one of the best-known destinations to visit in China. The city encompasses the area around West Lake. A cluster of tiny islands, pavilions, temples and gardens enhance the attraction of the city. The surrounding scenery of beautiful green mountains will tempt you to go for long walks on lust fertile lawns. But there’s so much to see that if you’re only visiting for the day, you may struggle to fit it all in. So, the best thing to do is to plan your 24 hours in Hangzhou with this complete itinerary.
Go to downtown Hangzhou to start your day. Before you start exploring don’t forget to fill up your tummy with some delicious street foods. Also, you could wear a pretty outfit which you can get from Sandro to start your time in Hangzhou – perfect for your Instagram pics!
A lot of the most famous attractions are accessible on foot. Here’s a list of sites which you should add to your 24 hour Hangzhou itinerary.
Hefang Street is an old-fashioned but complete market street located in the south of downtown Hangzhou. It is not as varied as markets in other Chinese cities but if you want to pick up some souvenirs, its collection is unrivalled. It’s easiest to see the market first thing in the morning as it’s located just 15 minutes’ walking distance from the metro station. If you get to Hefang Street as early as possible, you’ll be able to beat the crowds of tourists that flock here. If you don’t fancy carrying the souvenirs you buy here throughout the day, you could head back in the evening on your way back to the airport or your hotel. Grab your breakfast from a street or outdoor food stalls at Hefang Street and try out some local flavours as well.
Liulang Wenying Park
After you finish your feast of local flavours, head west through Hefeng Street until you come across Liulang Wenying Park. It’s a Public Park that encompasses a stunning lake and is a beautiful scenic location – perfect for a wander. It’s a pleasant destination for long walks shaded by green willow canopies. Hefang Street and the park are two contrasting places. Where peace and tranquillity rules in Liulang Wenying Park, Hefang Street is bustling. While you head south, feeling the calmness at the nearby King Qian Temple is also a good option.
As you walk south of the park past the edge of the lake, you will be able to see the top of Leifeng Pagoda. It’s a five-story pagoda lined with a row of trees. It was originally built in 975AD but was discovered in 1924 and reconstructed recently. Today you can visit the top of the Pagoda by elevator. The views of the lake and the surrounding area from the top of the Pagoda are incredible.
Walk across the street and you’ll reach the Jingci Temple. Sitting on the foothills of Huiri Peak, Jingci Temple has become a prominent Buddhist temple. As you visit this huge temple, the just visited Pagoda can be seen to the north. If you have enough time, the serene Lingyin Temple is located nearby and is also worth a visit. Oh! you must be hungry by now. If so, try some food at the Jingci Temple restaurant.
Walk around the lake from the temple to Huagang Park. It is a scenic walk of 25 minutes that includes a church, a few pavilions and a fish nursery. You will notice that most of the time out of your 24 hours would be spent around the lake. Stop here and check out the Koi pond. The locals call Huagang Park “Viewing Fish in a Flowering Harbor”. As the name suggests, the surrounding harbour is full of different kinds of fish. This makes for a great escape from the busy streets for a visitor.
Three Pools Mirroring the Moon
From the park, cross a bridge over the west lake and take a boat trip to an island. This island is small but full of interesting spots to take photos at; gardens, pavilions and scenic views. Although there are some food stalls on the island, grab some snacks before the boat ride to save money. The “pools” mean pagodas situated in the water.
Yue Fei Memorial Hall
Travel back by boat and walk north and you’ll find Yue Fei Memorial Hall. It’s a tomb and a temple constructed to honour Yue Fei, a Chinese general. Through several renovations, the tomb has been well preserved. If you’re a history lover, you can spend time here exploring the history of the general and his Song dynasty. The middle tomb is for the general and the surrounding sculptures represent the four people who betrayed him which led to his death.
By now it must be getting late. Leave the Memorial Hall and head to the west lake Impression ticket office to buy tickets for the grand show. West lake plays a major role in this itinerary. The impression is a perfect choice to finish off your one day tour in Hangzhou with its spectacular dancers, performers and outdoor productions. If you have an extra hour or two before the show, enjoy a quick walk to Lingyin Residential district on the north of the Memorial Hall and buy some goods from its shopping strips.