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Hangzhou National Silk Museum — Discover the History of Silk

China National Silk Museum is located at the southern bank of West Lake in Hangzhou City. It houses many historical silk relics.

There are textiles of the Han and Tang dynasties, which have been excavated from along the route of the Silk Road, costumes from areas south of the Yangtze River in the Song Dynasty, modern cheongsams, and traditional weaving machines of all ethnic groups.

Why You Should Visit

China was the first to engage in sericulture, filature, and making clothes with silk. The museum is a great visit for those wanting to know the history and culture of silk and silk development in China during the various dynasties since the Neolithic Age.

silkworm caterpillars Silkworms

Learn about the influence of silk on China and global cultures, about silkworm care and biology, and silk manufacture and silk production technologies in China. See how silk fabrics are made from natural yarn.

The museum also exhibits evidence about the famous Silk Road, the world's oldest and most historically important overland trade route.

Main Attractions

There are three buildings. The museum covers three floors of the first building. The second building covers silk worm biology, while the third covers the earliest silk technology or silk hand looms.

Preface Hall

This hall exhibits the history of silk and silk culture, which dates back to about 3,000 years ago. It exhibits evidence about the Silk Road and evidence that China was the first country to engage in sericulture and making of clothes from silk.

Relics Hall

The hall exhibits preserved ancient silk relics from all dynasties of ancient China. 

An example of the exhibited relics is the oldest silk ever discovered in the country, which is a piece of fragmentary brocade that dates back 5,630 years.

The hall also exhibits pictures that explain Chinese silk culture. The relics are sourced from various districts around China.

Examples include relics excavated along the Silk Road. Other relics were excavated from grasslands in the northern regions and south of the Yangtze.

Costume Hall

The hall combines silk costumes with miniatures of garment character models, drawing boards, and symbolically restored scenes. It vividly interprets the function of silk in the ancient society, and displays the daily-use embroideries and fine royal clothes, such as coats, skirts and gowns popular between the Warring States Period and the Qing Dynasty, mending clothes and dragon robes.

Dyeing Hall

The hall vividly demonstrates the process of silk weaving and dyeing in ancient China.

Weaving Hall

The hall displays working ethnic and folk weaving machines, and restored ancient weaving machines.

Travel Essentials

  • Buses 12, 31, 42, 87, and 133 go to the Silk Museum stop.
  • Free to visit
  • Open: Monday: 12.00 noon to 5.00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday: 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
  • Facilities: There are facilities such as a coffee shop where visitors can buy drinks and cakes.

Nearby Attractions

West Lake

West Lake is a man-made lake and the most famous attraction in Hangzhou. It is a great place for those who love garden-style parks and recreation.

Hangzhou National Tea Museum

Hangzhou National Tea Museum is just about 5 km from the Hangzhou National Silk Museum. It is known as the epicenter of knowledge and appreciation for China's favorite beverage.

Taiziwan Park or Prince Bay Park

Taiziwan Park is located 3 km from Hangzhou National Silk Museum. It is a very big park with beautiful tulips and sakura, flowers garden and birds. It is a calm place to relax.

Zhejiang Art Museum

Just adjacent to the west Lake and 1 kilometer from the Hangzhou National Silk Museum, Zhejiang Art Museum covers a total area of more than 35,000 square meters and is China's biggest museum. It is free to access and exhibits fine art from all areas of China.

Visiting Hangzhou and Discovering Silk History in China 

tea plantation in HangzhouVisit a tea plantation and experience tea culture in Hangzhou.

You can let us know your requirements and we will create your own unique trip or choose one of the itineraries below as a starting point:

Further Reading