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Hangzhou top things west lake

Top Things to Do in Hangzhou

Hangzhou, a charming city which has enjoyed a world reputation from ancient times thanks to Marco Polo's description "the City of Heaven, the most beautiful and magnificent in the world".
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No matter your reasons for visiting this city, it will be sure to have something suiting your every fancy. Admirers of natural beauties will lose themselves in the picturesque scenery of West Lake, history buffs will be delighted by various time-honored stores on Qinghefang Historical and Cultural Block, enthusiasts of regional culture and life will enjoy the time in surrounding water towns boasting centuries-old customs and cultural heritages, foodies' stomach will be best satisfied by the fresh and crisp taste of Hangbang cuisines… Read on the following guide to draw your inspiration of what to do in Hangzhou!
Ride a boat on the heavenly West Lake
Hangzhou West Lake

An enduring symbol of Hangzhou, the West Lake highlights utterly picturesque landscape being adorned with stone bridges, willow-heavy causeways, classical pavilions, historic pagodas and tranquil water with dreamy reflections. It is expected to put on different mesmerizing sceneries according to the change of time and weather.

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With many paths for biking and strolling, yet riding a boat on the Lake is still the most recommended way to admire its beauty at leisure. It will create you a feeling of stepping into a Chinese watercolor as your boat drifting slowly on the still water and passing through a number of scenic sites like the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, Su Causeway, etc.


Hot tours including the West Lake:
1 Day – Classic Hangzhou Private Tour
1 Day – Two Hangzhou UNESCO Sights in One Day
2 Days – Best of Hangzhou
3 Days – Best of Hangzhou & Wuzhen Water Town

See more tours at Hangzhou Tour

Discover the flourish of Buddhism at Lingyin Temple and Feilai Peak
Hangzhou Lingyin Temple
Hangzhou Feilai Peak

Because of its long and flourishing history of Buddhism, there are numerous Buddhist treasures and heritages in Hangzhou deserving your exploration. Very near from the West Lake, Lingyin Temple and Feilai Peak are two most visited Buddhist sites in Hangzhou.

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Sitting on the west side of West Lake, Lingyin Temple is one of the ten most famed and significant Buddhist temples in China, featuring serene natural beauties, time-honored pagodas and halls, and numerous Buddha statues. Located next to Lingyin Temple, Feilai Peak is the magnum opus of excellent grotto art in Southern China, highlighting the 470 Buddha statues carved on limestone face and caves, and a variety of peculiar stone figures.

Visit antique streets
Hangzhou Qinghefang Historical and Cultural Block

Want a discovery of old Hangzhou's prosperity and character? Then strolling on the antique streets here must be involved on your list.

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Among the many antique streets in Hangzhou, Qinghefang Historical and Cultural Block is always first chosen for housing numerous local snacks, handicrafts, typical ancient buildings and time-honored brands like Zhangxiaoquan Scissors, Wangxing Ji Fans and Huqingyutang Chinese Medicine Museum. A stroll here will provide you a vivid picture of ancient Hangzhou street culture. Continue walking to the east of the street, you'll reach the Southern Song Imperial Street which is well known for the distinctive architectures of South Song Dynasty style.

Sample Hangbang (Hangzhou) Cuisine
Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea Leaves

Emphasizing on light taste of salt with a little bit sweetness, Hangbang cuisine is ranked as one of the eight distinguished regional cuisines in China.

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In Hangzhou, delicacy aficionados will easily satisfy their stomach with restaurants or food stalls on every corner serving authentic Hangzhou snacks and dishes of affordable prices.


For details about Hangzhou food and restaurants, please click here.

Tour the water towns around
Hangzhou Wuzhen Water Town
Hangzhou Zhouzhuang Water Town

Hangzhou is nearby several water towns which will amaze you with well-preserved architectures, customs and lifestyles. Among them, the three top rated ones are Wuzhen, Xitang and Zhouzhuang.

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Wuzhen – an ancient water town boasting rich historical scenery brought by its ancient architectures, stone bridges, and time-honored workshops. Here, you will get a chance to touch the centuries-old customs and be delighted by the vivid folk performances. Xitang – a less developed water town features many bridges, alleys, corridors, and ancient residences. It enjoys a very quiet natural environment and is more and more popular among young people for the various bars and pubs here. Zhouzhuang – being endowed with profound cultural heritages, Zhouzhuang will enable you to step back to the vigorous life of more than 900 years ago as your wooden boat drifting slowly through the hundreds of antique buildings.

Taste Dragon Well Tea
Hangzhou Dragon Well Tea

The home of Dragon Well tea, Hangzhou is frequently associated with its profound tea culture which has become one of the reasons for its international reputation. Renowned for yellow-green color, gentle aroma, and rich flavor, the locally produced Dragon Well tea is another must that should be listed on your Hangzhou itinerary plan.

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Plantations on hills around West Lake are ideal places to taste the authentic Dragon Well tea and explore the tea culture, among which, the most recommended ones are Meijiawu Tea Village and Longjing Village.


Visit tea plantations with us on:
1 Day – Classic Hangzhou Group Tour
2 Days – Best of Hangzhou

Enjoy the live performances
Impression West Lake
The Romance of the Song Dynasty

When travelling Hangzhou, enjoying the live performances is one of the most recommended night activities to appreciate Hangzhou's charm. Enduring Memories of Hangzhou (Impression West Lake) and the Romance of the Song Dynasty are two of them you cannot miss.

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The Enduring Memories of Hangzhou is a unique outdoor performance on stunning West Lake. With distant temples and pagodas as the backdrop, and with hundreds of actors involved, the show vividly tells the history and stories of this ancient capital city. The Romance of the Song Dynasty is an indoor large stereoscopic musical drama being composed of five parts in one hour. The show offers a huge review of glorious history and culture of Hangzhou by perfectly mixing various acrobatics performances, action scenes and dances.


View more night activities in Hangzhou at Hangzhou Nightlife.

Shop for silk articles
Hangzhou silk articles

Being praised as the Home of Silk, Hangzhou boasts the beautiful and high-quality silk articles which are gentle in texture, bright in color, and with various patterns. The silk clothing, handbags, scarves and some embroidered works are always the favorite souvenirs for most visitors. You won't go wrong to choose some silk articles as gifts for your families or friends.

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China National Silk Museum in Yuhuangshan Road and China Silk City located in Xi Jiankang Road are most recommended for shopping silk articles.

Learn about the traditional Chinese medicine
Hu Qing Yu Tang Chinese Medicine Museum

With several time-honored pharmacies well preserved, Hangzhou is an ideal place to discover the splendid history and culture of traditional Chinese medicine.

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If you are interested, Hu Qing Yu Tang, Fang Hui Chun Tang and Ye Zhong De Tang scattering on Qinghefang Block are three cannot miss pharmacies where you can explore all sorts of Chinese medicine, see how they are processed and even try your own hand at making medicine.

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