Nanjing is situated in the Yangtze River Delta region and is the capital of Jiangsu Province of China. It has a great historical and cultural significance in China, a city which tells many important historical stories about China. Nanjing has been recognized as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Famous for its historical monuments, sights, temples, gardens and of course, beautiful landscapes, Nanjing in the recent years, has also become developed and is counted among the most modern cities in China. Explore list best places to visit in Nanjing to make your Nanjing trip memorable.
Here's the list of Nanjing tourist attractions and 15 best things to do in Nanjing:
1. Know the history of Jinghai Temple
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Jinghai Temple is an ancient temple situated in the southwest of Shizi Mountain in Nanjing. The great Ming Yongle Emperor Zhu Di constructed the temple. In 1842, China’s treaty of Nanjing was decided at this temple. The Nanjing Treaty Historical Exhibition Museum was established in 1990 and after that Jinghai Temple became the Nanjing Jinghai Temple Memorial. It is an educational site which your kids should know about if you are traveling to Nanjing.
2. Visit the Nanjing Historical Confucius Temple
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The ancient Confucius Temple is located in the southern Nanjing. Visitors come here to worship and pay their humble respect to the legendary philosopher and educator Confucius. The temple was first built in the year 1034 during the Song Dynasty. The place is very rich in heritage.
3. A look from the Nanjing Purple Mountain
Purple Mountain Observatory is the most famous Observatory in China, which was built in 1934. It is also called the ‘Bell Mountain’. A small mountain spread over an area of 20 square kilometers, away from the polluted city and surrounded by forest which provides fresh and cool air. It is quite adventurous. If someone likes hiking then that can be done here with various others scenic spot that one can see.
4. Enjoy an evening walk near the Qin Huai River
The Qin Huai River is the largest river in Nanjing. It is one of the branches of Yangtze River. The river looks ravishing in the evening and it carries an essence of history and tradition. The Confucius Temple, Zhonghua Gate, Zhanyuan Garden are situated along the side of the river. Old stone bridges, display of lanterns on the street, plenty of shops where local visitors come and shop, all these have made the place perfect for an evening stroll. The evening does create an impressive and colorful scene which is worth a photograph. The whole area is lit up and people love to stroll, shop and eat. This is a place which a visitor must see and enjoy.
5. An Amazing tour of the Nanjing Museum
The Nanjing Museum exhibits one of the most extensive collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties in the world. It displays everything from the ancient civilization to the early days of the Republic. The museum has over 400,000 artifacts that depict the Chinese culture and its tradition over the decades. It is situated inside the Zhongshan gate and was built in 1933. It has an extraordinary collection of ancient calligraphy and painting masterpieces of some ancient Chinese dynasties. The Nanjing Museum is a treasure of art and culture. One mustn’t give it a miss. It is not only educational but also one can learn so much about the Chinese tradition and heritage.
6. One of the happiest spots is Lingu Temple
It is a Buddhist temple and is situated in the Purple mountain scenic area. It was built in 514 during the Liang Dynasty and it is considered as the ‘best Buddhist temple in the world’. The name Lingu temple was given by the emperor Zhu Yuanzhang of the Ming Dynasty. The architecture of the temple is unique and is famous. Visitors love to come here because of its peaceful environment. It is surrounded by large green trees and flowers. The temple has a great significance in the Chinese history. The place also lets you see the panoramic view of the Purple Mountain.This pace is popular for their vegetarian food. So, if you come here then don’t leave without having the meal. Shensong House is the only famous vegetarian restaurant in the temple. You will get the most amazing and delicious vegetarian food.
7. Don’t miss Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum
It is the tomb of the emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, who was the founder of the Ming dynasty and of Queen Ma. It is located in the south of Purple Mountain. It took 25 years to complete the construction and it is said that 100,000 laborers were involved. It started in 1381 and finished in 1405. The tomb represents the heritage of the Ming Dynasty. There are many carved animals like a Stone Lion in a sacred way and many others. Each animal signifies a meaning to state the royalty of the dynasty. Xiaoling Mausoleum in Nanjing is known widely for its architecture, design and for its beauty. It is also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Si te.
8. Experience Authentic Chinese and Local food
Chinese cuisine is ruling the world and it is obvious to get that opportunity of tasting the ancient and most authentic Chinese food here in Nanjing. Like its rich culture and heritage, the local food of Nanjing is also rich and delectable. There are few special Chinese dishes which one can only and truly experience here. The most popular among them is the ‘Salted Duck’ and the best restaurant to try this is the ‘Jinling Restaurant’. Who doesn’t love dumplings but ‘Pan-fried beef dumplings’ are the pride of Nanjing.
The food isn’t limited to these two but there are plenty of other options and it would be heaven for a Chinese food lover.
9. Spend some time at the Xuanwu Lake
Situated in the heart of Nanjing, it is a good idea to spend few hours by sitting and relaxing. It is a myth local people say that the there was a black dragon in the lake and so it gained the named ‘Xuanwu’. The lake is blessed with plenty of blossomed flowers like lilies, maples, and several others. A quiet place where people enjoy with family and friends amidst fresh air and beautiful lake view.
10. Photography lover go on an early morning tour
Photographers love to capture the historical and cultural richness of China. Many want to visit China once in their life to know their history and want to show their tradition through their work out in the world. Nanjing can offer amazing scenic landscape, monuments, architecture, and street as a subject for photography. An early morning walk along the riverside, and to the villages will definitely catch any photographer’s eye.
11. Visit the City’s Classical Chinese Garden
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Zhanyuan garden is one of the most famous Chinese gardens in Nanjing. It is the oldest garden and it is well-preserved. The architecture of the garden is the ancient Ming and Qing dynasties style which is magnificent yet complex. The inside of the garden is elegant, neat and clean. It is almost 600 years old and the first garden built during the Ming dynasty. The government has taken the responsibility of maintaining the garden. The architecture involves many layouts and made up of huge stones. A visitor must stop here and see the garden and learn why this garden is so precious in the Chinese history.
12. Enjoy the International Festivals in Nanjing
You won’t ever get bored in Nanjing. This place is so lively and vibrant during the festive seasons. The festival times are the busiest. One can have the pleasure of attending the gorgeous Qin Huai International Lantern Festival which held each year in the month of January. A traditional festival of Nanjing which is successfully running for almost 26 years.
There is also Plum Blossom Festival a festival of flowers.
Tangshan International Hot Spring Culture Tourism Festival.
These are the few but there are many more, that a visitor can consider spending and experience something new.
13. Awesome Nightlife for Party lovers
Nanjing is a very much alive city which can offer plenty of bars and nightclubs with music, dancefloor and beverages. If you are a party lover, want a Saturday night on the dance floor then the city will give you that.
14. A solo bullet train ride
A solo journey can be fun just take your backpack and roam around the world. Sounds good, isn’t it? Yes, a solo ride on a bullet train from Nanjing to Shanghai is worth of money. It will not only give you the freedom of traveling but also one of the most happening experiences of riding the bullet train.
15. Go for a walk or jog around the Nanjing City Wall
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An early morning or an evening walk around the longest Nanjing City Wall makes a great deal. This wall has a story indeed. The beautiful inscription has an important cultural relic. Again, a masterpiece of Chinese architecture.