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Hangzhou Travel Guide

  • Chinese Name: 杭州
  • Chinese Pinyin: háng zhōu
  • Location: East of China
  • Time Zone: (UTC+8)
  • Area Code: 0571
  • Population: 6.83 million

Hangzhou, abbreviated to Hang, also called Lin'an, Qiantang and Wulin in ancient times, is located in the middle part of the south-east of China, near Shanghai.  It is the capital of Zhejiang Province, and it is in the north of this province. Hangzhou is one of the Four Garden Cities in China, along with Nanjing, Changchun and Kunming.

In the Yuan Dynasty, Marc Polo — an Italian traveler said Hangzhou was the "most beautiful and prosperous city in the world".

Hangzhou is one of the Seven Ancient Capital Cities, and people lived there over 8,000 years ago. 2,200 years ago, the Wuyue State in the Five Dynasties and the Northern Song Dynasty set their capital there. It has been famed as the "Heaven on Earth" since ancient times.

Located in the south of the Yangtze River Delta, west of Hangzhou Bay, in the lower reaches of the Qiantang River and at the south end of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Hangzhou is the vice center city in the Yangtze River Delta. It plays an important role in politics, economy, culture, transportation, communication, media and finance.

Hangzhou is one of the main exhibition cities in China. It is the city which permanently hosts the World Leisure Expo, the China International Animation Festival and the China International Micro Film Festival.

In 2016, the China University Games will be held in Hangzhou.

The 2016 G20 Summit will be held in Hangzhou on September 4 and 5, 2016. Hotels near West Lake have been booked out for the summit, and some tourist attractions might be closed in the period August 20 – September 10. We suggest you avoid this period for a Hangzhou tour to ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable time.


West Lake, HangzhouWest Lake, Hangzhou

Qiantang Tide-viewing Festival

Every year on the 18th day in autumn of China's Lunar New Year, the Qiantang Tide-viewing Festival is held in the Qiantang Tide-viewing Resort. Visitors can not only see the spectacular view of the tide, but can also take part in the series of cultural, sports and tourism activities.

West Lake Expo

Founded in 1929, the West Lake Expo is regarded as one of the Four Grand Ceremonies, along with the Chicago Expo founded in 1893, the Paris Expo in 1900 and the Philadelphia Expo in 1927.

Best Times to Visit

xitang water town Xitang Water Town close to Hangzhou

Hangzhou belongs to the subtropical monsoon climate. The average temperature is 17.5°C (63.5°F). The highest temperature in July is 33°C (91°F) and the lowest is 1°C (34°F) in January. The annual precipitation is 1,454 millimeters and the sunshine duration is 1,765 hours. Hangzhou is one of the new 'Four Ovens', along with Fuzhou, Chongqing and Nanchang.

It is hot in summer and cold in winter, so the best times to visit Hangzhou are in spring and autumn.

West Lake — the Legend of Hangzhou

west lake sunset West Lake sunset

It is located in the western part of Hangzhou, in the downtown area. It was called Wulinshui, Qiantang Lake and Xizi Lake. It has been called West Lake since the Song Dynasty.

It is famous for its stunning scenery and various historical sites. It is described as a paradise. West Lake was selected as one of the "12 superb sunset spots around the world" by CNN.

West Lake is gorgeous all year around. The spring flowers, the summer lotuses, the autumn moon and the winter snow, all make it so charming. The scenery around the Su Causeway and the Bai Causeway is also stunning.

Tour Hangzhou with China Highlights

hangzhou tea garden Hangzhou tea garden

If you are planning a Hangzhou tour, please see our recommended tours below for inspiration:

Not interested in the above tours? Just tell us your interests and requirements, and we will tailor-make your Hangzhou tour.