Top Things to Do in Nanjing

Nanjing is a historical city with a lot of historical sites and relics. See below our top 6 things to do in Nanjing to help you plan your Nanjing trip

The Memorial of the Nanjing Massacre

It is the memorial place of 300,000 bodies and a place to learn from history. In 1937, half of the 600,000 helpless people living in Nanjing were slaughtered by the highly disciplined Japanese army when China fought against them in Shanghai for a period of over 6 weeks.

This is not to denigrate the Japanese; it’s to learn how mankind can sometimes be so terrible to others not unlike animals. There is an old saying, "Those that ignore or refuse to learn from history are forever bound to repeat it".

Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (Zhongshan Ling)

Dr.Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleumthe Dr.Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum

It is great to pay respect to Dr Sun Yat-sen, the creator of Communist China. The mausoleum is a great insight into China's history and it is very pretty. There are almost 400 steps to get to Dr Sun Yat-sen’s final resting place and statue at the top of the hill. It is easy to climb with benches on each platform to relax. The sight at the top is nice; you can enter the mausoleum and you can walk around his statue. There are also plenty of shady areas in which to simply sit and rest.

Xuanwu Lake

It is a nice place to unwind, being very tranquil and relaxing with lots to do and see. It is harmonious, quiet, clean and beautiful. Fresh breezes blow across the lake. Walking around the lake and spending time on the lake is a nice way to escape the loud and busy city. There are people dancing, doing exercises or simply walking. Alternatively, boating on the lake is a good way to enjoy great views of the city skyline.

Xiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty

Ming Xiao MausoleumXiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty

It is the joint tomb of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, and his queen. It represents the crowning achievement in architecture and stone-carving arts of the Ming Dynasty, and affected the building of tombs in the following dynasties. The statues on the sacred paths are wonderful, consisting of elephants, lions, and new leaves on trees.

Presidential Palace of Nanjing

It was the political center during the Opium War and the Liberation War from 1840 to 1949. It is the largest museum of modern history, also a typical South China classic garden with pavilions, trees and lakes. It is a nice place to learn history and relax.

There are three exhibition areas for tourists. In the middle is the national government office of the president and subsidiary bodies. The west area is the office of the temporary president, his secretary, Joint Chiefs of Staff and garden. In the east area, are the executive council, barns and gardens.

Presidential PalacePresidential Palace of Nanjing

Jiming Temple

It is a very nice Buddhist temple built in the Three Kingdoms period. It is close to Xuanwu Lake and a part of the city wall. The view from the city wall is gorgeous; you can go to the top of the wall from the temple and get good photos.

Inside the temple complex there are a few typical Chinese pavilions with Buddha images, awesome pictures, paintings, and sculptures to see.

Explore Nanjing with China Highlights

As Najing's major sights are centered on history so a knowledgeable  guide is very important to help you understanding the history behind these sights. See China Highlights' Nanjing tours  or tailor-made a Nanjing trip

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Hi, I'm Annie Wu
I updated this article on February 13, 2014
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