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City Guides / Guides

Top things to do in Hangzhou

By Yuewei Yang

June 28

As the saying goes, “Up above there is Paradise, down below are Suzhou and Hangzhou.” Hangzhou is a beautiful city with numerous “heavenly” attractions.

As the saying goes, “Up above there is Paradise, down below are Suzhou and Hangzhou.” Hangzhou is a beautiful city with numerous “heavenly” attractions.

Blessed by picturesque West Lake, Hangzhou has been a much-celebrated city in China for over 1000 years. This article gives you a quick peek at the top things to do in Hangzhou and will help you maximize your time when traveling there.

1/7  Wander in the wonderland of West Lake 西湖

West Lake [Image Credit: cfp]
West Lake [Image Credit: cfp]
West Lake has been the most famous sight in Hangzhou for 1000 years. No matter whether the weather is cloudy, rainy, snowy, or sunny, it always puts on a show of beauty. Walk along the paths by the lakeside or take a boat ride on the lake to enjoy China’s classic garden style.

2/7  Visit Lingyin Temple 灵隐寺

 Lingyin Temple [Image Credit: cfp/ Su Weizhong]
Lingyin Temple [Image Credit: cfp/ Su Weizhong]
Lingyin Temple, or the Temple of the Soul’s Retreat, is the oldest Buddhist monastery in Hangzhou with a history that spans over 1,700 years. Sheltered by forested hills on three sides, the temple is a quiet and secluded sanctuary when it is not thronged by tourists.

3/7  Qinghefang Old Street 清河坊古街

Qinghefang Old Street [Image Credit: cfp/ Billon]
Qinghefang Old Street [Image Credit: cfp/ Billon]
The epitome of historic Hangzhou, Qinghefang is the best preserved ancient block in Hangzhou. It is located at the foot of Wushan Hill (吴山), which adds natural charm to this area. It is now a lively pedestrian street with several museums and a huge variety of shops selling local snacks and handicrafts.

4/7  Six Harmonies Pagoda 六合塔

Six Harmonies Pagoda [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Liu Shaomin]
Six Harmonies Pagoda [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Liu Shaomin]
Six Harmonies Pagoda has 13 stories, each embellished with beautiful paintings and wall carvings. The pagoda stands by the Qiantang River (钱塘江) and was originally built to suppress the evil thought to cause the river’s tidal bore, which is one of the world’s largest tidal waves.

5/7  Taste Longjing Tea 龙井茶

Longjing Tea [Image Credit: cfp/ Jiang Lingguang]
Longjing Tea [Image Credit: cfp/ Jiang Lingguang]
Longjing Tea, a local product, is one of the most famous teas in China. Good quality Longjing Tea has a delicate taste and fragrance. Longjing Village (龙井村) is a large tea plantation where you can enjoy fresh air and taste authentic Longjing tea served by local families.

6/7  Visit Grandma’s Restaurant 外婆家

Grandma's Restaurant [Image Credit: dianping.com]
Grandma’s Restaurant [Image Credit: dianping.com]
Grandma’s Restaurant is recommended by almost everybody in town, so it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with a visit there. The restaurant has several locations throughout the city, but we recommend visiting the one on Hubin Road (湖滨路) that looks out over West Lake. They offer yummy local Hangzhou food at very reasonable price.

7/7  Shop for silk at the Hangzhou Silk Market 杭州丝绸城

Hangzhou Silk [Image Credit: cfp]
Hangzhou Silk [Image Credit: cfp]
Hangzhou has the biggest silk museum in the world, the Hangzhou National Silk Museum (中国丝绸博物馆), where you can learn about the history of the Silk Road and about how silk is made. If you would like to buy some, go to the Hangzhou Silk Market where many kinds of silk for a variety of uses are for sale. If you go there, make sure to bargain with the merchants in true Chinese fashion.

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