Nanjing (南京; Nánjīng), historically also Nanking, is the capital city of Jiangsu Province in China. At more than 8 million inhabitants (of which 6 million live in the city proper), it is one of China's largest cities.
It is in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and is the central city of the lower Yangtze Basin.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Nanjing is a renowned historical and cultural city, and it was the capital of several dynasties over the course of Chinese history. Its name means "southern capital" (Beijing is "northern capital"). It has many historical sites including the tomb of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty that is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was the capital of the Republic of China under the Kuomintang, from 1927 until their retreat to Taiwan in 1949.
- 1 Lukou International Airport (NKG IATA) (35 km (22 mi) from the city center). has connections to most Chinese cities and a few international flights from Japan, South Korea, South East Asia, Los Angeles, Finland and Germany. There is also an evening flight every day from Shanghai Pudong International Airport for international connections.
There is a subway connection between the airport and Nanjing South Railway Station called the S1 line which takes half an hour and costs ¥6. Be prepared for a rather long walk between lines 1 and S1 at the South Station interchange. A taxi ride to the downtown area will take the same time but cost around ¥100.
There are two express-bus routes from the airport to downtown Nanjing - one terminates at the North Railway Station and one terminates at the South Railway Station and connect with the subway and local city buses. The services run at 30 minute intervals, it takes more than an hour to arrive at the North Railway Station. A one-way ticket costs ¥20 and can be purchased from the kiosk outside the arrivals hall.
If you're flying into Shanghai then it is best to catch a high-speed G train from Shanghai Hongqiao train station that takes 75 minutes and costs ¥139.50 (2nd class). There is a slower bus that runs four times a day from both Shanghai airports; it starts at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, makes a stop at Hongqiao Airport and then goes on to Nanjing Zhongyangmen. It costs ¥136 from Shanghai and the trip takes about five hours.
- Also see High-speed rail in China
There are two main train stations, 1 Nanjing Station (sometimes referred to locally as Nanjing North, on the north shore of Xuanwu Lake and is also very close to the Zhongyangmen long-distance bus station) and 2 Nanjing South Station. Both are very large and look more like modern airports, serving many destinations with high-speed rail links. Both are designed to have arrivals come through the basement and departures from the second floor. Nanjing South is the main station for long-haul high-speed trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Xuzhou, Zhengzhou, Jinan, Tianjin, Wuhan, Hefei and other destinations. For nearby destinations like Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, Danyang, Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou, Kunshan, you may find Nanjing (North) Station is more convenient. A trip to Hefei takes around one hour, and Wuhan 3½-4 hours. A ride to Beijing usually take 4 hours on a G-series bullet train.
From Shanghai here are many daily departures to and from Shanghai Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Station, which is 75 minutes away by High Speed train (¥139.50 for 2nd class and ¥230 for 1st class) and depending on the route, trains stop at Wuxi and Suzhou. Beijing is about 4 hours away by high-speed train.
The slower "conventional" trains (which include overnight services to nearly everywhere in China) all use the older Nanjing Station.
Nanjing West Station, which you may see mentioned in older guidebooks, has been closed permanently. The former terminal station just west of the downtown area was built in 1908 and it will be converted into a railway museum. Nanjing East and Nanjing North, which your map may show, don't have any passenger service either.
Nanjing is well connected to Shanghai, Hangzhou and most destinations within Jiangsu, Anhui and northern Zhejiang provinces by bus as well as longer overnight sleeper services to Beijing (12 hours) and Guangzhou (24 hours). Most services depart from Zhongyangmen bus station, a large, clean modern terminal in the north of the city approximately 10 minutes walk to the west of the main train station. The station has English signange and announcements but the ticket clerks generally cannot understand English. Some services into Anhui province depart from Nanjing South (Zhonghuamen) station, which is adjacent to Zhonghuamen metro station. There are also bus stations serving nearby destinations at Hanzhongmen, Nanjing East (to the north of Purple Mountain) and Nanjing North (on the west side of the Yangtze River) although they are less useful to travellers.
- Also see Driving in China
There is a modern highway system between Shanghai and Nanjing, which can allow you to travel quite quickly from city to city. Beware of traffic in the morning and evening rush hours. If you're just one person, it may be much cheaper to travel by train, but if you're in a larger group, sharing a car service can be cheaper. Keep in mind that you need to be a very experienced driver to handle Chinese traffic, so you may be better served using trains and buses between the cities and taxis in the cities, unless you're really on for a challenge.
Nanjing is on the Yangtze river. Scheduled passenger liner service is available along the Yangtze river between Shanghai downstream and Wuhan in the Hubei province upstream, although, the river is mostly used for transport of goods.
There are also frequent ferry services across the river, in particular from Zhongshan Wharf (near Nanjing West Railway Station) to Pukou.
If you're staying more than a few days it's worth buying a Jinlingtong (also known as IC-tong). These are available from any subway station, most bus termini and from any branch of Huaxia Bank (look for an information window displaying the letters 'IC'). The card costs ¥75 and contains ¥25 refundable deposit and ¥50 credit, and can be topped up at the aforementioned locations. The card can be used on the subway, all city buses (but not all suburban buses), cross-river ferries, taxis (although drivers are reluctant to accept them and may tell you the scanner is broken) and in some Suguo convenience stores.
Taxis are a great way to get around and most trips will cost less than ¥25. The cab driver should start the meter as soon as you are picked up (all meters start at ¥9 + ¥2 service fee); if the cab driver doesn't start using the meter and if you don't say anything they may assume you don't know any better and overcharge you. Ask for a printed receipt detailing the cab number, kilometers traveled, times, and money exchanged from the driver upon exiting the cab. Don't expect to get a cab during both the morning and afternoon rush hours; demand is high and the drivers make their shift changes around these times. Tipping is not expected in cabs in China, so the price on the meter is the price you should pay along with a two yuan gas tax fee (There is an additional receipt for this fee.). Unlike cabbies in Beijing or Shanghai (who frequently shuttle foreigners around and may be accustomed to gratuity under the table) tipping in Nanjing is an alien concept. You are likely to befuddle but please a driver by insisting that they accept additional 'free' money. As with anywhere else in China, you are very unlikely to get a driver who speaks any English, so unless you speak Mandarin, remember to get your hotel's business card, and get hotel staff to write down your destination names in Chinese to show your taxi driver before you set off.
The Nanjing Metro is a clean, cheap, safe and fast way of getting around. The system has 5 urban and 5 suburban lines, with more under construction. It covers most of the central city, and links two railway station and the airport. The lines are as follows:
- Line 1 runs from Maigaoqiao in the north to the China Pharmaceutical University (CPU) in the south, via Nanjing Railway Station and Nanjing South Railway Station. There are 3 interchanges: to Line 2 at Xinjiekou stations in the city centre, to Line 10 at Andemen Station, and to Line S1 at Nanjing South Railway Station. Services between run every 3 minutes.
- Line 2 runs from the Olympic New Town area in the west and follows Hanzhong Lu and Zhongshan Donglu to the east, terminating nearby the Purple Mountain scenic area. Trains run every 6 to 8 minutes. There are interchanges to Line 1 at Xinjiekou stations in the city centre, and to Line 10 at Yuantong station.
- Line 3, that runs parallel to line 1 more or less north–south, runs from Linchang to Mozhou Lu via North Railway Station/Fuzimiao/South Railway Station. There are interchanges with line 1 at Nanjing Railway Station, Nanjing South Railway Station and with line 2 at Daxinggong.
- Line 4, runs east–west.
- Line 10 runs from Andemen, via the Olympic New Town area around the Olympic Sports Centre, crossing the Yangtze River to the west, terminating the Yushanlu station in Pukou area. There are interchanges to Line 2 at Yuantong stationt, and to Line 1 at Andemen stations.
- Line S1 is also called airport line, runs from the Nanjing South Railway Station to Nanjing Lukou International Airport. Trains run every 10 minutes. There are interchanges to Line 1 at Nanjing South Railway Station.
- Line S3 runs from the city center to the west.
- Line S7 runs in the south suburbs.
- Line S8 runs from Taishanxincun to Jinniuhu, is an urban metro in Jiangbei area (the area north of Yangzte River).
- Line S9 runs in the south suburbs.
Trains run from approx. 05:00-23:00. Single-journey tokens cost ¥2-9 depending on distance and can be purchased from vending machines in the station. Stored-value tickets are also available (see above) and give a 5% discount.
As in most Chinese cities, you need to scan any luggage/bag in an X-ray machine before entering the metro.
Buses are handy for getting around - particularly places that are inaccessible by subway, although Nanjing's bus system feels a little aged compared to Hangzhou and Shanghai and has no English information. Google Maps displays bus services for Nanjing and some tourist maps such as those sold around the train station will have bus routes. However, as metro construction advances, bus lines are constantly re-organized to fit changed demands, so that any printed information you receive may be outdated.
Buses running within the city proper will carry a route number displayed on a red placard below the front windscreen next to the entrance door. Low-numbered routes (1-100) follow major thoroughfares and link major shopping, residential and transportation hubs. 3-figure route numbers follow indirect routes and run around quieter residential streets and are less handy for travellers, but can be an interesting way of seeing Nanjing's ordinary working-class neighbourhoods. Routes displaying the Chinese character 游 (you, "travel") are primarily aimed at tourists and link all the major tourist sights. Routes numbered '8XX' e.g. 801, 806, 813 etc. are night buses which run approximately twice an hour 23:00-05:00 when the regular service ends. Buses heading to surrounding suburban towns depart from hubs on the edge of downtown such as Nanjing Train Station (North/East), Changjiang Daqiao (Yangtze River No.1 Bridge - going north-west), Hanzhongmen (West) and Zhonghuamen (South/East). These services display the name of the suburb/town that they serve in Chinese characters and have no route number.
Fares are a flat ¥2 on numbered services except for some routes which run older non-airconditioned buses which charge ¥1 - no change is given so have some coins ready. For suburban routes, fares are charged by distance and a conductor collects the fares. There's a discount of 20% for IC card users. Many bus stops are some distance apart (often 3-4 blocks) so keep an eye out for your stop and an ear out for the stop's name on the PA announcements (which are only in Chinese). If the bus is quiet then press the buzzer next to the door to signal to the driver that you want to alight.
Nanjing has a two-line tram system, opened since 2014. One line operates in the southwest of the city. The second one is in Qilin Town, on the east side of Nanjing. It doesn't use a continuous overhead wire for power supply, but rather the vehicles carry batteries/capacitors, which are recharged at the stops.
Nanjing is fairly cycle-friendly with segregated bike lanes on most busy roads - however there are a lot of bikes on the road so care should be taken. Generally, the pace is quite slow, and some of the hills in the central-west part of the city can be tiring to climb (but fun and a little scary to descend). Although it's possible to cycle up the Purple Mountain, it should be tackled in the early morning as the roads will be crammed with fast-moving bus and taxi traffic for most of the day, and the roads are narrow with no bike lanes. The bike/pedestrian path around the edge of Xuanwu Lake is a popular place for cyclists, as well as a popular racing ground for local motorcyclists - take care on the many blind corners.
Bikes can be rented from most youth hostels - but ensure that the tires are pumped up and the brakes work before setting off.
Buying a bike is relatively easy and cheap - the cheapest option is to get a good quality used (possibly stolen) bike from the bike markets around Tangzi Jie (behind the Sheraton hotel) for ¥100-200. However, buying a bike at a low price on Tangzi Jie sends a wrong message to thieves and it is a sure way to make criminal activities worse — and if that doesn't trouble your conscience, consider that if your "second-hand" bike is found by its real owner, you will lose it. The cheap bikes sold in department stores and supermarkets are very poor quality and shouldn't be relied upon. For higher-quality, higher-performance bikes: Giant, Trek and Specialized all have stores in Nanjing. Remember to carry a strong lock - bike theft is common.
The city pass can be bought for ¥100 at the entrance to any of the big parks in the city, such as the zoo or Yuhuatai Memorial Park and provides you with free entry to 21 different locations. You need to provide a passport photo for each pass and they are valid for one calendar year.
Parks and nature
- 1 Hongshan Forest Zoo (红山森林动物园), 168 Heyan Road, Xuanwu District (玄武区和燕路168号) (Hongshan Zoo Station, Metro Line 1), ☏ . 07:30-18:00, no tickets sold after 16:30. ¥40 (adults), ¥20 (students and children over 1.4 metres in height). Children under 1.4 metres in height and adults over 60 may enter for free.
- 2 Qinhuai River (秦淮河). Qinhuai River, a tributary of the great Yangtze River, is 110 km (about 68 mi) in length and covers a drainage area of 2,631 km² (about 1,016 sq mi). The river used to be called Huai River, and it is said that the river was channeled to the city of Nanjing during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, so it was named Qinhuai River from then on. Qinhuai River is the largest river in the Nanjing City area, other than the Yangtse, and is the 'life blood' of the city. There are many sites of interest along its banks, including Zhanyuan Garden, Zhonghua Gate, and the sights along the Taoye Ferry ride to Zhenhuai Bridge. Taking the painted boats to cruise on the Qinhuai River, visitors can not only admire the sights along the river but can also experience the traditional culture of Nanjing. Visitors can take boats at different wharfs to admire the scenery along the river.
- 3 Xuanwu Lake Park (玄武湖公园), 1 Xuanwu Lane, Xuanwu District (玄武区玄武巷1号) (The park's main entrance is a short distance east of Xuanwumen Station on Metro Line 1), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The Huanhu Road Area (环湖路区域) is open 24 hours a day. The Wuzhou Area (五洲区域) is open from 05:00 to 22:00 in summer and 06:00 to 21:00 in winter. One of Nanjing's lakes. Has three islands in the middle all linked by causeways, complete with a amusement park for kids, a small zoo, and lots of great views of the city and Purple Mountain. Paddle boats can be rented as well. The picturesque nature of this lake is a nod to the high esteem held within China of Nanjing's beauty. Free.
- 4 Yuhuatai Scenic Area (雨花台风景名胜区), 215 Yuhua Road, Yuhuatai District (雨花台区雨花路215号) (to get the east gate, take bus no. 26, 304, or 764. To get to the north gate, take bus no. 26, 304, 707 or 764 to get to the north gate. To get to the south gate, take bus no. 33, 202, 204, 304, 305, 513, 515, 702, 707, 710, or 754, or Route 2 of the Old City Sightseeing Bus), ☏ . 08:00-17:00. The park contains a number of different sights, the best known of which is perhaps the Yuhuatai Matyrs' Cemetery (雨花台烈士陵园), which contains the remains of soldiers who fought in the Red Army during the Chinese Civil War. Sightseeing cars are available to take visitors around the park for ¥10. General admission is free but some sights within the park charge a fee ranging from ¥5 to ¥10.
Art and design
- 5 Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts (AMNUA) (南京艺术学院美术馆), 15 North Huju Road, Gulou District (鼓楼区虎踞北路15号) (700 m north of Caochangmen Station on Metro Line 4), ☏ . 09:00-17:30, closed on Mondays. Free.
- 6 Jiangsu Art Museum (New Branch) (江苏省美术馆新馆), 333 Changjiang Road, Xuanwu District (玄武区长江路333号) (about 450 m east of Daxinggong Station at the intersection of metro lines 2 and 3), ☏ (customer service), (exhibition enquiries). 09:00-17:00, no entry after 16:30, closed on Mondays. Free.
- 7 Jiangsu Art Museum (Old Branch) (江苏省美术馆老馆), 266 Changjiang Road, Xuanwu District (玄武区长江路266号) (about 200 m north-northwest of Daxinggong Station at the intersection of metro lines 2 and 3), ☏ (customer service), (exhibition enquiries). 09:00-17:00, no entry after 16:30, closed on Mondays. Free.
- 8 Jinling Art Museum (金陵美术馆), 50 Jianzi Lane, Qinhuai District (秦淮区剪子巷50号) (900 m west of Wudingmen Station on Metro Line 3), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00-17:00, no entry after 16:30, closed on Mondays. Free.
History and culture
- 9 Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall (侵华日军南京大屠杀遇难同胞纪念馆), 418 Shuiximen Street, Jianye District (建邺区水西门大街418号) (next to Yunjinlu metro station on Line 2), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Su 08:30-16:30. A memorial for the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who died at the hands of Japanese troops in Nanjing during World War II. Two partially excavated mass-burial sites reveal victims remains in situ, accompanied by insightful information boards around the walkway. The elongated sites sympathetically restrained architecture and beautifully maintained gardens are interspersed with sculptures, murals and other artworks that inspire solemn meditations. Close to the entrance is the museum exhibiting multitudes of photos, videos and objects to tell the full story, somewhat even-handedly, that can easily occupy you for hours. Captions are in English, Chinese, and Japanese. Entrance lines can be long, so plan accordingly. Free.
- 10 [dead link] Nanjing Municipal Museum (南京市博物馆), No. 4 Chaotian Palace, Wangfu Street, Qinhuai District (秦淮区王府大街朝天宫4号) (about 840 m west of Zhangfuyuan Station on Metro Line 1 and about 920 metres south of Shanghai Road Station on Metro Line 2. Bus routes 43, 302 and 306), ☏ , . 09:00-18:00, no entry after 17:00, closed on Mondays. The entry fee for the museum is included with the ticket for Chaotian Palace, which costs ¥25.
- 11 Nanjing Museum (南京博物院), 321 Zhongshan Road East, Xuanwu District (玄武区中山东路321号) (next to Zhongshan Gate, about 500 m east of Minggugong metro station on Line 2), ☏ . Tu-F and most public holidays 09:00-17:00, M 09:00-12:00, no entry in last 60 minutes, closed on the first day of Chinese New Year and on Chinese New Year's Eve. Eleven exhibition halls display a mixture of poetry, bronzes and silk artifacts interspersed with cultural displays. Worth pondering over are a jade burial suit and an arched door from the Ming era Porcelain Pagoda. A great place to spend humid or rainy days. Free.
- 12 Nanjing Non-Government Museum of the War of Resistance Against Japan (南京民间抗日战争博物馆), 48 Andemen Street, Yuhuatai District (雨花台区安德门大街48号) (about 650 m south of Tianlongsi metro station on Line 1), ☏ , ✉ Kz1937@163.com. 09:00-16:00, closed on Mondays. A privately-run museum dedicated to the Second Sino-Japanese War. Free.
- 13 Taiping Kingdom History Museum (太平天国历史博物馆), Zhanyuan Garden, 128 Zhanyuan Road, Qinhuai District (秦淮区瞻园路128号瞻园内) (about 400 m from Sanshanjie metro station on Line 1), ☏ . Daily 08:00-17:30, 17:30-20:30. A small museum focusing on the Taiping Rebellion (1843-1868), a piece of history not well known in the West. This was one of the bloodiest conflicts in recorded history — some estimates put the death toll higher than for World War I, and it was certainly much worse than the American Civil War at about the same time, even though the Chinese used more primitive weapons. It was a crucial moment in China's relationship with the West, modernity, and its relationship to its own imperial history. It was partly a religious movement; the leader claimed to be God's second son, Jesus' younger brother. The quasi-Christian, peasant-led rebellion overran an area greater than Texas with Nanjing as its capital. At different times it threatened both the foreign settlements in Shanghai and the Qing government in Beijing, though it did not take either. On exhibit are documents relating to Taiping history and the grinding reduction of their movement by enterprising Qing generals and their European auxiliaries, culminating in the siege of Nanjing. Next door are the beautiful Zhanyuan Gardens. ¥30 (day time), ¥70 (night time, with tour guide). Fees are waived for children and persons over 70. Visitors aged between 60 and 69 pay half price.
- 14 Yangtze River Crossing Campaign Victory Memorial Hall (渡江胜利纪念馆), 1 Dujiang Road, Gulou District (鼓楼区渡江路1号) (2 km north of Longjiang metro station on Line 4; the nearest bus stop is Zhenghe Road South (郑和南路), which is served by bus routes 91, 104 and 133), ☏ . 09:00-17:00, no entry after 16:30, closed on Mondays. A museum about the capture of Nanjing by Communist forces in 1949. Free.
Science and technology
- 15 Nanjing Geological Museum (南京地质博物馆), 700 Zhujiang Road, Xuanwu District (玄武区珠江路700号) (about 800 m north of Xi'anmen metro station on Line 2), ☏ . 09:30-16:30 (Wednesday to Friday), 09:00-16:30 (Saturday and Sunday), closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Free.
- 16 Nanjing Museum of Paleontology (南京古生物博物馆), 39 Beijing Road East, Xuanwu District (玄武区北京东路39号) (about 300 m northwest of Jimingsi Station at the intersection of metro lines 3 and 4), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. On weekdays, the museum is only open to groups who are required to make an appointment at least one day in advance. Solo visitors may visit the museum between 09:00 and 17:00 on weekends and public holidays. ¥20.
- 17 Nanjing Science and Technology Museum (南京科技馆), 9 Zixinghua Road, Yuhuatai District (雨花台区紫荆花路9号) (about 1 km north of Huashenmiao metro station on Line 1; bus routes 19, 33, 98 and 737 stop near the museum's northern entrance), ☏ . 09:00-17:00, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Free.
- City Wall of Nanjing (城墙). The City Wall of Nanjing was designed by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (r. 1368-1398) after he founded the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and established Nanjing as the capital. To consolidate his sovereignty and keep out invaders, he adopted the suggestions of advisor Zhu Sheng to build a higher city wall, to collect grain and to postpone the coronation. Building the wall took 21 years, and involved 200,000 laborers to move 7 million m³ of earth. The city wall is the most complete one in China, after decades of erosion, vandalism and destruction.
- 18 The Gate of China (Zhonghuamen) (中华门), 8 Jiefeng Gate, Zhonghuanan Lu (take subway line 1 to Zhonghuamen station and get out at exit #2, cross the highway and turn right, keep walking till you get to Yuhua lu, turn left and head straight to the gate), ☏ (Support Hotline), (Ticket Information). The southern gate of Nanjing's city wall; this massive gate is one of the best preserved parts of Nanjing's city wall, and one of the best remaining examples of early Ming defensive architecture extant anywhere. The wooden castle at top was destroyed by fire, but the immense masonry (each complete with the mason's name and home province by order of the emperor) substructure remains. Two courtyards contain an archery range and vegetable gardens. The main gate has three immense depots within where, long emptied of provisions, you can find some scale models and exhibits about the gate. In one depot you can find an air raid siren used during the Japanese attack on the city. ¥50 to enter.
- 19 Drum Tower of Nanjing (南京鼓楼), 1-2 Beijing West Road, Gulou District (鼓楼区北京西路1-2号) (just outside the Gulou (Drum Tower) Metro Station at the intersection of Lines 1 and 4), ☏ . 08:00-17:00, no entry after 16:45. One of the city's major historical landmarks, the drum tower was first built during the Ming Dynasty and rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty. It is now the centerpiece of a small park called Drum Tower Park. Free.
- 20 [formerly dead link] Gan Family Compound (Gan's Grand Courtyard, 甘家大院, 甘熙宅第, 甘熙故居 Gan Xi's former residence), No. 15 Nan Bu Ting, Nanlijiequ, 400 Zhongshan Road South, Qinhuai District (秦淮区中山南路400号熙南里街区南捕厅15号) (about 360 m north of Sanshan Street Station on Metro Line 1), ☏ . 09:00-17:30, no entry after 17:00, closed on Mondays. Built during the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor (1796-1820), this is the former residence of Gan Xi, a famous scholar and civil servant. It is said to be the largest traditional private residence in Nanjing and has over 300 rooms. The residence is administered by the Nanjing Folk Museum (南京市民俗博物馆) and has many exhibits on traditional Chinese culture. ¥20.
- 21 John Rabe's former residence (拉贝旧居，拉贝故居, 拉贝与国际安全区纪念馆 John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall), No. 1 Xiaofen Bridge, Guangzhou Road, Gulou District (鼓楼区广州路小粉桥1号) (on the eastern side of Nanjing University Campus, less than 100 m from Exit 1 of the Zhujiang Road Station on Metro Line 1), ☏ (bookings), (enquiries), ✉ email@example.com. 08:30-16:30 (Monday to Friday). Visitors can also visit on the weekend if they make a booking in advance. John Rabe (1882-1950) was a German businessman and Nazi party member who is widely celebrated in China for his efforts to protect civilians during the Japanese occupation. This house was his residence from 1932 to 1938. It is now a museum dedicated to telling the story of Rabe's life and the Nanjing International Safety Zone that he helped to establish and which is credited with saving thousands of lives. Free.
- 22 Liji Alley Comfort Station Site (利济巷慰安所旧址), 2 Liji Alley, Qinhuai District (秦淮区利济巷2号) (about 600 m southeast of Daxinggong Station at the intersection of Metro Lines 2 and 3), ☏ . 09:00-16:30, closed on Sundays and Mondays. The term 'comfort station' was a euphemism used by the Japanese army in World War II to refer to a brothel where so-called 'comfort women' were held captive and forced to render sexual services to Japanese soldiers. This particular comfort station was one of the largest in Asia. It is now a museum run by the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. Entry is by appointment only. Visitors are required to make an appointment at least one day before visiting and cannot visit more than twice a month or more than 10 times a year. Due to the adult content of the exhibitions, children are not permitted inside the building. Free.
- 23 Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (南京长江大桥). This 6-km bridge over the Yangtze has sculptures that are classics of Chinese sociallist art; with workers and farmers carrying tools, soldiers carrying weapons, and all of them holding books, most likely Quotations of Chairman Mao Zedong (better known as The Little Red Book). The bridge was built after Soviet advisors left China during the Sino-Soviet Split of the 1960s, and is therefore the first major project built entirely by Chinese, without foreign help. A new town is being constructed on the other side, which may include a direct subway connection in the future.
- 24 Presidential Palace (总统府), 292 Changjiang Lu (walk out from Daxinggong (大行宫) metro station, turn into Changjiang Lu, it will be on your left), ☏ . Daily 08:00-18:00 in summer, 08:00-17:00 in winter. Spend half a day exploring the headquarters of past emperors and the Nationalist government. The Palace includes the former offices of many top governmental officials, including Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat-sen, as well as the former residence of Sun Yat-sen. It is one the few places in mainland China where the flag of the Republic of China still flies. Informational placards around the palace are partly in English. Closed on Mondays. ¥40.
- 25 Ruins of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Palace (明故宫遗址), ZhongshanDong Lu (directly above Minggugong subway station on line 2). The palace was built by the first Ming Emperor in 1366 and stretched 2.5 km in length. It was completely destroyed in the Qing Dynasty and what remains today barely hints at its size. In the tree shaded southern half are the small section of wall holding the huge arches of the Meridian Gate, five stone 'Outer Dragon' bridges and a array of megaliths, some baring fragments of carvings. The site was effectively a prototype of Beijing's Forbidden City as the layout was copied by the Emperors grandson when he moved the capital northwards in 1421. Free.
- 26 Caoqiao Mosque (草桥清真寺), No. 26-32, Ganyu Lane, Qinhuai (walk west from Zhangfuyuan Station of Nanjing Metro). The mosque traced its origin during Qianlong Emperor of Qing Dynasty.
- 27 Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao (夫子庙)). Once an imperial examination testing center for the entire Jiangsu region, this museum comprises a tiny fraction of the once-massive original buildings. The rest of the site is a massive, labyrinthine market; a top tourist draw in Nanjing and a place where you can get all your haggling out of your system. Get your picture taken with the Confucius sculpture and grab some tea on one of the gondolas on the canal. On the southern side of town next to Zhonghua Gate and the Taiping Museum.
- 28 Former site of Japanese Shinto shrine (日本神社旧址), 1-3 Wutaishan, Gulou District (鼓楼区五台山1-3) (in the middle of a housing estate just east of the Jiangsu Sports Hotel (江苏体育宾馆); the nearest bus stop is the Yongqing Lane (永庆巷) bus stop, which is served by routes 3, 43, 60, 68 and 302). Built in 1939 by the Imperial Japanese Army during their occupation of the city. The shrine, officially known as the Nanjing Shrine (南京神社), was one of the largest Shinto shrines the Japanese built on Chinese soil. It was also one of the very few that was not demolished after the war. Today the site is being used as an activity centre for retired Communist Party cadres, so you might not be able to enter the building, but viewing it from the outside should be okay.
- 29 Great Bao'en Temple Ruins Park (大报恩寺遗址公园, 大报恩寺遗址景区), 1 Yuhua Road, Zhonghuamenwai, Qinhuai District (秦淮区中华门外雨花路1号) (bus routes 2, 16, 63, 202, 701, 706, d58, y2 night bus, y14 night bus, y20 night bus and sightseeing bus 2; the nearest metro station is the Zhonghuamen metro station on Line 1, which is about 800 m to the southwest), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00-17:30. Once one of Nanjing's greatest Buddhist temples, the Great Bao'en Temple was destroyed by the Taiping rebels when they occupied the city in the mid-19th century. There is now a museum at the site. The Porcelain Tower, which is said to have been one of the seven wonders of the medieval world, has been reconstructed and affords great views over the city. ¥120 (discounted to ¥80 if you buy the ticket on the website).
- 30 Jiming Temple (鸡鸣寺), No.1 Ji Ming Si Road (near Xuanwu Lake, there are several bus stops nearby with over 20 buses pass such as no. 3, 11, 20, 31; also accessible by Metro Line 3 at Jimingsi Station), ☏ . Jiming Temple is the most popular temple in Nanjing and it is located convenient to downtown. Tickets are ¥10, which includes 3 free incense with every ticket. Price may rise during popular seasons (e.g., Spring Festival).
- 31 Jinghai Temple Museum (静海寺纪念馆), 288 Jianning Road, Gulou District (鼓楼区建宁路288号) (there is a bus stop of the same name which is served by bus nos. 10, 12, 21, 54, 539 and 550), ☏ . 08:30-17:30, no entry after 16:30, closed on Mondays. Originally built in 15th century to commemorate the voyages of Zheng He. In 1842, following China's defeat in the First Opium War, the Jinghai Temple was famously used as the venue for discussions between the British and the Qing government over the terms of the Treaty of Nanking. It was later rebuilt twice due to being destroyed in both the Taiping Rebellion and the Second World War. The current structures date from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. There are exhibitions about both Zheng He's voyages and the Treaty of Nanking. Free.
- 32 Jinjue Mosque (净觉寺), No. 28, Shengzhou Road, Qinhuai (walk northeast from Sanshanjie Station of Nanjing Metro). The mosque traced its origin during the Hongwu Emperor of Ming Dynasty in 1388.
Viewpoints and observation decks
- 33 Nanjing Yuejiang Lou (南京阅江楼). One of the best viewpoints in the city. 40元
- 34 Zifeng Tower (紫峰大厦) (Gulou metro station), ☏ . The tallest (450-metre, 89-story) building in the city and the seventh tallest building in the world. Hosts an expensive restaurant and a bar at 78th floor. Also there is a public observatory at the 72nd floor. Observatory entrance ¥10,000 (Nov 2016).
Purple Mountain 紫金山
Some say that Nanjing is all about Tombs. Plan an entire day just exploring the mountain and surrounding areas. The park has a shuttle "train" you can ride and is included in the price of certain tickets. There is also a cable car going up the hill for ¥25 one-way and ¥45 round-trip, or you can walk. The area is home to the tombs of three very important historical figures:
- 35 Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (明孝陵). The most famous Ming-era site of Nanjing, Ming Xiaoling is the mausoleum complex of Zhu Yuanzhang, also known as the Hongwu Emperor, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Most of the monuments are lined up along the mile-long Sacred Way (shendao), which runs from the Square Pavilion (Sifangcheng) with its giant bixi turtle to the artificial hill under which is the emperor's burial chamber. Look out for the stone camels and elephants of the sacred way, as well as for the site's second turtle - homage of the Kangxi Emperor, the greatest emperor of the Qing dynasty, to his Ming predecessor. The site's third turtle - the least known of the three, but the biggest and most mysterious - was found in a nearby ravine in the late 20th century, and is now installed in the Red Chamber Culture Park (红楼艺文苑, Honglou Yiwen Yuan), which is located just east of the main Ming Xiaoling complex, and can be visited on the same ticket. 70元, open on Monday
- 36 Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (中山陵). Resting place of the leader of the 1911 revolution and first president of China. A beautifully designed complex that features a fusion of traditional Chinese and Western architectural styles. Closed on Mondays. Free.
- 37 The tomb of Sun Quan (孙权墓). Tomb of Sun Quan, a late Han Dynasty general and leader of the state of Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. The presence of his tomb is the reason why the Sacred Way of the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is not straight.
- Meihuashan (formerly known as Wu Wangfen, but after Wang Jingwei was buried here it got renamed to Meihuashan). ¥70 area ticket which includes the Ming Tomb, Plum Blossom Hill, PlumValley Arts Building Red, Purple Cloud Lake 5 attractions..
- 38 Nanjing Underwater World (南京海底世界), 8 Sifangcheng, Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum Park, Xuanwu District (玄武区中山陵园四方城8号), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 08:30-17:00 (February 26th to November 25th), 09:00-16:30 (November 26th to February 25th). ¥150 (adults and children over 1.5 metres in height), ¥120 (children between 1.2 and 1.5 metres in height), ¥75 (persons aged between 60 and 69). Persons aged over 70 are granted free admission.
- 39 Nanjing Memorial Hall to Aviation Martyrs Killed in the War of Resistance Against Japan (南京抗日航空烈士纪念馆, Nanjing Anti-Japanese Aviation Martyrs Memorial Hall), 289 Jiangwangmiao Street, Xuanwu District (玄武区蒋王庙街289号) (on the north side of Purple Mountain, about 900 m east-north-east of Wangjiawan metro station on Line 4), ☏ . 09:00-16:30, closed on Mondays. Dedicated to all those who fought and died during the aerial battles that were fought against the Japanese during the Second World War. The memorial hall is close to a cemetery where around 3500 aviation martyrs are buried, including 870 from China, 2197 from the US, 237 from the Soviet Union and 2 from Korea. Free (this site is not inside the park).
- 40 Meiling Palace (美龄宫), No. 9 Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, Xuanwu District (玄武区中山陵9号) (about 600 meters southwest of the Purple Mountain Visitor Center), toll-free: . 07:30-18:00, no tickets sold after 17:30. A stately mansion named after Chiang Kai-Shek's wife Song Mei-ling. This was one of Chiang Kai-Shek's official residences in the 1930s and 1940s. The building has been fully restored and is open to the public. There is a book store and cafe on the second floor. The basement level displays paintings made by Song Mei-Ling. ¥30.
A Purple Mountain pass might be worth buying if you plan on visiting 2 or 3 of the parks on the mountain. The Purple Mountain pass can be bought for ¥100 at the entrance to Sun Yat-sen's Memorial (and possibly at any of the other parks on the mountain) and provides you with entry to nine parks.
- 41 Pearl Spring Scenic Area (珍珠泉风景区), 178 Zhenzhu Street, Pukou District (浦口区珍珠街178号) (take bus no. d58 from the Gate of China or bus no. 694 from outside the Liuzhou East Road Station on Metro Line 3; get off at the West Gate (珍珠泉西大门)), ☏ . 08:00-17:00 (main scenic area), 08:00-16:00 (wildlife park), 10:00-18:00 (Water World), 09:00-16:30 (Ice World). A tourist resort area featuring a variety of natural and manmade attractions, including a walkable replica of a section of the Great Wall of China. Accommodation is available on site. ¥40 (general admission), ¥60 (wildlife park), ¥60 (Ice World), ¥100 (Water World), ¥80 (cable car ride), ¥100 (cable car ride + Great Wall).
- 42 Qixia Temple (栖霞寺), 南京市栖霞街88号 (from Nanjing, take bus 206 to the village of Qixia (栖霞), fare: ¥3, expect 1 hour; the bus starts from the Northern Station Square, but it is best boarded at Xinzhuang Guangchang Dong (新庄广场东, metro line 3); en route the bus passes through a village then back onto the highway, where it runs parallel to the train viaduct; get off when it gets to the next village and stops on a bridge; it will pass in front of the temple's car park and entry gate; Qixia Temple is back toward the village centre), ☏ . 07:00-17:00. A one-time retreat for Emperor QianLong, the temple at the foot of maple forested hillside now draws hoards of less exulted visitors to clamber along the network of trails connecting fancifully named pavilions, ponds, tombs and natural stone features. The temple itself is not extensive, having only a pair of identical looking bell and drum towers in front of an austerely large hall, embedded with elegant lacquer-red window frames, containing a relatively contemporary, yet gracefully benevolent looking gigantic Buddha seated on a golden lotus. At the rear of the hall is a pair of intricately carved cabinets of a more impressively authentic vintage housing stone Buddha and Guanyin statues. The temple allegedly has an ancient bone relic purported to be from the historical Buddha, though it is kept well hidden. Further up the hill is a cluster of stone formations bifurcated by a steep canyon, believed to have been split in antiquity by mystical forces, that enables accent up a stair way to a pavilion and a high view over the valley. Higher up the hill are the crumbling remnants of group of buildings used by Qianlong’s army. The best time to visit is during autumn when the maple trees are radiating orange or Spring when the peach blossoms are loaded with pink and white flowers. ¥40.
- 43 [dead link] Sifang Contemporary Art Museum (四方当代美术馆, Sifang Art Museum), 9 Zhen Qi Road, Pukou District (浦口区珍七路9号) (take bus no. d58 from the Gate of China or bus no. 694 from outside the Liuzhou East Road Station on Metro Line 3; get off at Pearl Spring (珍珠泉) where both bus routes terminate; from there, walk 1.3 km in a southwesterly direction until you get to the museum), ☏ (extension 8230), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00-17:00, no entry after 16:30, closed on Mondays. ¥80 (including museum and art lake), ¥30 (lake only).
- 44 Yangshan Quarry (阳山碑材) (the Nanjing-Tangshan Line (南汤线, Nan-Tan Xian) bus from the Nanjing Railway Station.). The three sections of a gigantic stele, which the Yongle Emperor commissioned for the mausoleum of his father the Hongwu Emperor can be seen here in situ. The project was never completed, as the Ming engineers realized that there is no way the stone monoliths could be moved out of here to Ming Xiaoling.
- 1 Gingko Lake Pleasure Park (银杏湖乐园, 银杏湖游乐园 Gingko Lake Amusement Park, 银杏湖休闲度假景区 Gingko Lake Holiday Resort), 520 Yinxing Hu Avenue, Jiangning District (江宁区银杏湖大道520号) (take bus no. 870 from outside Jiyindadao metro station on Line S1. Get off at Guanyin Hall (观音殿); you can also get a free shuttle bus from the Zhengfangzhonglu metro station on Line S1; on weekdays, these shuttle buses depart only at 09:00 and 10:00; however, more frequent services are available on weekends and public hoiidays; there is also a free shuttle bus departing from Sasseur Outlets near the Mozhoudonglu metro station on Line 3; it departs at 10:00 only on weekdays but more frequently on weekends and public holidays), ☏ , toll-free: . amusement park: 09:30-17:00 (09:00-17:30 on public holidays), golf course: 05:30-17:00. Includes an amusement park, a golf course, a nature park, a shopping area and a hotel. ¥260 (adults), ¥170 (students), ¥125 (persons over 60 and children between 1.2 and 1.5 metres in height). Children under 1.2 metres in height can get in for free.
- 2 Royal Tangshan Hotel - Hot Spring & Spa (汤山御庭臻品酒店), 8 Quanyun Road, Tangshan Subdistrict, Jiangning District (江宁区汤山街道泉韵路8号) (express buses to Tangshan depart from Nanjing South Railway Station. The bus route includes a stop at the Nanjing Tangshan Easpring Resort, which is about 1.5 km by road from this resort), ☏ , toll-free: 400 115 3388 (domestic), fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Tangshan is a historical natural hot springs area in Nanjing and known as one of the popular places to enjoy great vistas of the mountain and it is surrounded by tranquil forests and lake. Royal Tangshan Hotel offers private hot springs room coupled with spa treatments to follow. With easy access from Huning Highway that provides accessible public or private transportation, Tangshan is the perfect place to enjoy the relaxing pleasures offered by the natural hot springs.
- 3 Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts (JCPA) (江苏大剧院), 181 Mengdu Avenue, Jianye District (建邺区梦都大街181号) (about 1 km northwest of Olympic Stadium Station on Metro Line 10; bus no. 166 terminates at a bus stop near the east gate), ☏ , . 09:00-20:00.
- 4 Jiangsu Province Kunqu Theatre (江苏省昆剧院), No. 2 Chaotian Palace, Qinhuai District (秦淮区朝天宫2号) (about 840 m west of Zhangfuyuan Station on Metro Line 1 and about 920 m south of Shanghai Road Station on Metro Line 2; bus routes 43, 302 and 306), ☏ . This highly-regarded theater company in Nanjing will give you a chance to see Kunqu Opera, a traditional Chinese art form, firsthand. Expect the dialogue to be sung in ancient Chinese, but LED subtitling in English and contemporary Chinese characters is provided.
All of the universities and various other schools hire language teachers. See Teaching English for ideas on how to find a job teaching English overseas.
Locally, jobs - including frequent requests for native speakers of less widely taught languages such as Italian and German - are often advertised on the bulletin board at Skyways; see the "Eat" section for its location.
- 1 Xinjiekou. Nanjing's fashion district, the cosmopolitan, fast-paced heart of the city bathed in neon. It's the closest thing Nanjing has to Tokyo or Times Square. All the major retail is centered on this area, which despite its complexity is only a couple of square blocks in size. There are giant department stores including Wal-Mart, Watsons, Suning, and "Fashion Lady"—a bewildering, subterranean complex of clothing boutiques and vendors that looks like a video game come to life. On the outskirts of Xinjiekou are some higher-end establishments selling everything from single-malt scotch to MINIs. The eight-floor Deji Plaza has a number of retailers such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Ermengildo Zegna, Coach, Guess, Versace, Vasque, Crocs, Toys R Us and so on. At DongFang Shopping Centre there's Gucci, Fendi, Celine and so on. While you might be able to get away with haggling at the Fashion Lady don't expect any in Deji Plaza.
- 2 Hunan Road. A slightly more low-key version of Xinjiekou, running between Xuanwu Lake and Zhongshanbei Lu. It has most of the same stores including the Phoenix International Bookstore which has a whole floor of English-language books. There is also a small pedestrianised street running south from Hunan Road which is lined with pretty much every variety of restaurant imaginable, including the usual KFC and McD's, several cheap jiaozi and noodle places, some more upmarket Chinese places and a handufl of international restaurants incluing a Thai and Indian restaurant.
- The area around the Confucius Temple. in the south of the city has a lot of shopping, especially clothing and tourist items. It is a maze of tiny individual shops, and fun to explore even if you are not buying. If you are interesting in buying, bargaining over prices is the name of the game here. If you are skilled in the art of bargaining you can easily get an asking price of ¥380 reduced to ¥80 without breaking a sweat. The streets outside the temple area provide more shopping opportunities, as does the underground mall. The entrance to this mall is sandwiched between two shops but the neon lights provide a clue. This is a Nanjing shopping experience you will want to return to again and again. Opposite Confucius Temple there's Aqua City Shopping Centre with retailers like H&M, Uniqlo, Zara, Mango and so on. While you are there, take a stroll through the temple, and over the historic bridge which offers great photo opportunities. If it's a cup of tea that interests you check out the little gold-roofed floating tea houses on the canal.
- Chaotiangong (朝天宫). Daily 11:00-17:00. For antique lovers, this place is a small market hosted next to the Confucius Palace. You can find all sorts of small and big objects there, some are real antiques, others are fake. If you want to buy something, be prepared to negotiate the price! This place is fun to stroll around seeing both things to sell and sellers as the environment is quite charming.
Local specialties include xiaolongbao (小笼包), thin skinned dumplings filled with soup and meat, that are served steaming hot in baskets and tangbao (汤包), which are similar, but much larger and filled with crab meat and soup. The soup in these is drank with a straw. Another local specialty is salted duck (盐水鸭 yán shuǐ yā), which is a whole duck that is pickled, boiled and then served cold. Restaurants serving these can be found all over Nanjing usually in small hole in the wall restaurants or dining halls (餐厅) for cheap. You'll usually be able to find them served alongside yaxue fensi duck blood noodles (鸭血粉丝) another local specialty.
- Nanjing has dozens of small noodle (miantiao), wonton (hundun), and pot sticker (jiaozi) shops on many of its streets. Qingdao Lu, a secondary street running northbound before the intersection of Shanghai Lu and Guangzhou Lu has a few excellent miantiao shops, including a Hui restaurant (Hui are a Chinese ethnic group that practices Islam), which serves only mutton and beef. Here, a massive bowl of hot soup and noodles will only cost you about ¥8. The area closer to Nanjing University has plenty of good, cheap eats, including a series of jiaozi vendors. At most Jiaozi shops you order and pay at the cashier desk by the entrance and you'll be given a ticket which you must take to the serving window. There are so many of these shops that it's not worth mentioning specific ones; just walk around and go into anywhere that looks good.
- If it's late-night munchies you're after, just head down any small backstreet and follow your nose and you're sure to find a small BBQ joint. These smokey little restaurants offer spicy meat kebabs (usually beef or lamb) along with BBQ'd vegetables, bread, fish and even sticky-rice balls and also serve beer starting at about ¥4 per bottle. Look for 真火烧烤 on baidu maps for a cheap and authentic chinese BBQ experience, or 丽哲韩式烧烤 in the alley across from the gas station near the east gate of Nanjing Normal University for a more upscale Korean version.
- Street food is safe, cheap, and tasty. Just walk around the streets after 22:00 and you'll inevitably find some barbecue, wonton, fried noodles, or fried rice. In the Nanjing University Gulou Campus area, three great spots are on the intersection of Ninghai Road and Hankou Xi Road (宁海路和汉口西路) near the east gate of Nanjing Normal University, at the south gate of Nanjing University on Guangzhou Road (南京大学鼓楼校区广州路校门), and on Hankou road (汉口路) between the two gates of Nanjing University. Anywhere with more than 4-5 carts should have some tables to sit at and some bottled beer.
- If you can't read Chinese and you're a bit picky on what you eat, there's an excellent restaurant called A Simple Diet, located just off Hunan Road (next to McDonald's). Here they have taken the Japanese innovation of recreating the menu items in plastic so that you can simply point and order. You'll be given a card upon entry - when you order, hand it to the staff who will stamp your card. When you leave, take your card to the cashier's desk to pay.
- You can find inexpensive, Western-style sandwiches at the popular American sub shop Subway, which has four stores in Nanjing; two in the Carrefour stores, one in the Golden Wheel shopping mall, and one in the popular Da Yang department store. The Walmart (wa-er-ma) in Xinjiekou has an extensive grocery and live foods market on the basement level. McDonalds has a number of restaurants in the city, if you're interested in their ¥7 menu (the Chinese equivalent of the Dollar Menu).
- If you want to self-cater of just stock up on snacks/drinks then Nanjing has plenty of supermarkets and convenience stores. The main supermarkets in the central area are Times Extra (on Zhongyang Lu close to Xinmofan Lu subway station), Lotus (near Zhongyangmen Bus Station), Walmart (on the 2nd floor of Wanda Plaza Mall in Xinjiekou) and Carrefour (on Zhongshan Dong Lu). There are also many Suguo CVS convenience stores which are similar to 7-Eleven and stock drinks, snacks, instant noodles and cigarettes. Most Suguo stores accept payment using the IC transport card. There's a high end BHG supermarket on the basement (food court) level of Aqua City mall.
- Soul Mate, Nan Xiu Cun 15-1 (near Shanghai road), ☏ . Western-style restaurant and coffee bar owned by French expats, with homemade pizzas, burgers, salads and French dishes for reasonable prices. It's a good place to have a few drinks and food in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
- Nanjing Da Pai Dang [dead link] (南京大牌档) (鼓楼区中央路1号紫峰购物广场F5, 秦淮区建康路3号水平方F6, and many locations other around Nanjing. Search for it on Baidu Maps) A chain restaurant with an old-style Chinese atmosphere and menu with English. They serve a lot of old-style Nanjing specialties such as Jinling Roast Duck, lotus root, and Lions Head Meatballs. This restaurant is a chain that can be found in cities around China and beyond, but it still provides a comfortable and authentic introduction to Nanjing cuisine -- especially for foreign tourists. Average cost per person would be ¥50-80.
- Les 5 Sens (乐尚法国餐厅), 52-1 Hankou Lu (near Shanghai road), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 11:30 to 22:00. French restaurant with a French chef and a cosy atmosphere, providing traditional and family homemade French dishes. ¥38-119.
- Yunzhong Xiaoya (云中小雅餐厅), 55F, 49 Zhongshan Nanlu, ☏ , . 10:00-23:00. The restaurant is located on the 55th floor with absolutely stunning views over the city, it also rotates around an axis. Offers Cantonese and Huaiyang cuisine. Not that particularly tasty but the views are well worth the visit. ¥20-150.
- Old Place (老地方), 金银街 (on Jinyin Jie, across from the Nanjing University International Student Dormitories off of Shanghai Lu). Has reasonably priced Chinese food with English translations, most fun in a group of 4 or more. Try the pineapple pork! ¥10–30.
- Skyways Bakery (also known as the German Bakery). Owned by a German/Belgian couple. Their sandwiches are of good quality and quite large and include a drink. They also have good salads and coffee at reasonable prices. Check out the bulletin board for employment opportunities in the city.
- Skyways Bakery location 1, Shanghai Lu (just south of Bejing Xi Lu), ☏ . Mostly baked goods, cakes, and chocolates. A few tables outside on the sidewalk, perfect for a relaxed day. About ¥45 for a pastry and coffee.
- Skyways Bakery location 2, Xianlin Location: A18, Yadong Commercial Plaza, 12 North Xianyin Road (from subway Line 2, exit Xueze Lu Subway station; walk west 1 block to Xianyin Bei Lu, turn right; walk along Yadong City complex about 2 blocks, and Skyway will be on your left), ☏ .
- German Bread Store. If you're missing some taste from home, or just looking for good bread and sandwiches, try this cafe next to Nanjing Normal University. They serve sandwiches, drinks, and various styles of original German bread. You'll probably find foreign visitors here are all hours, with lots of customers speaking various European languages. ¥20.
- Kung (main gate of the Mei Hua Shan Zhuang compound). A Korean-owned restaurant, very popular among Nanjing's Korean community. Kung serves a wide variety of traditional Korean dishes such as bulgogi and kimchi (in all its colorful variations). Order a selection of dishes and split them over four or five friends. ~¥150 for four.
- There is an extensive food court underneath Xinjiekou off of Fashion Lady shopping mall with lots and lots of options. Included is a Dairy Queen.
- [formerly dead link] Yi Palace (如意轩), E5, No 388 Yingtian Street, Qinhuai District (Chenguang 1865 Technology Park) (from Ying Tian Street, make a right on Jiang Ning Road and go straight for 50 m and you will arrive at Regalia Resort & Spa), ☏ , toll-free: 400 115 3388 (local rate), fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 11:00-22:00. Yi Palace is in Regalia Resort & Spa, and has a private setting with windows overlooking the beautiful Qing Huai River. There are 6 private VIP dining rooms with contemporary Thai and Chinese décor and offering the best Chinese cuisine.
- [formerly dead link] Lotus Restaurant (莲轩餐厅), E5, No 388 Yingtian Street, Qinhuai District (Chenguang 1865 Technology Park) (from Ying Tian Street, make a right on Jiang Ning Road and go straight for 50 m and you will arrive at Regalia Resort & Spa), ☏ , toll-free: 400 115 3388 (local rate), fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 07:00-24:00. The Lotus Restaurant, in Regalia Resort & Spa, offers a stunning view of Qinhuai River and authentic Thai and Chinese cuisine, while the Outdoor Cafe pays a delicious homage to delectable fusion cuisine that will surely entice your palate.
- Omax Restaurant, 5th floor, Bangkok Yatai Plaza (in the Xinjiekou District). Offers a good steak, for ¥68, and other "western-style" meals as well as Chinese dishes. The owner and hostess speak fairly good English and there is often a piano player.
- Skyways Bakery. Lots of relatively expensive baked goods. The apple pies, tarts, and cheesecake are all excellent. They also have cinnamon rolls, croissants, muffins and cookies. Nice, though small, selection of ice cream too.
- Jack's. Barely passable Italian food, but decent enough if you have been in China a few years. Some staff have good English and many of the customers are expats. Pasta or pizza is around ¥40-60, while good steaks start around ¥70.
- Tairo. Japanese "teppanyaki" restaurant in the Nanjing 1912 district. Excellent food, and a decent option if you have a lot of extra yuan burning a hole in your pocket. This chain of teppanyaki places has consistently good food prepared right before you, and it's eat till you drop. May also have an all-you-can-eat Haagen Dazs ice cream option for extra. If you're feeling brave, try the snake pancakes! ¥150
- New Cafe (Sculpting in Time), Corner of Qingdao and Hankou Lu (next to Nanjing University). Self-consciously contemporary restaurant/lounge with a fairly extensive selection of western brunch fare: waffles, omelets, French toast, paninis. They also have a good selection of coffee, tea, and rather decadent desserts. The food here - sort of continental American with the inevitable anomalies - is good, particularly in the presentation; however, beware of the service. If you just want to have a sundae or French toast and don't mind having to hunt down a server, this is a great place. Wireless access here if you have a China Mobile or China Unicom account. At least ¥50 per person for tea and a pastry, but you should probably plan on ¥80, with a full breakfast or lunch even more.
- Prime, Intercontinental Hotel (Zifeng Tower) 78th floor, 1 Zhong Yang Road, Gulou District, 210008. 17:00-22:00. The tallest bar, lounge and restaurant in Jiangsu Province, Prime offers a spectacular view of Nanjing in a western setting with superior service and gourmet international cuisine. The Cigar lounge features a live music stage (western jazz musicians play irregularly) and a fully-stocked bar with a large selection of wines, beer, and over 100 specialty cocktails.
- If you have some time to explore, check out a few other options in Nanjing, including the two restaurants in the upscale shopping area of Deji Plaza on the 7th floor as well as a cafe on the 3rd floor. All three are good stopping points after a hard day's shopping at Louis Vuitton, or just before hitting the arcade or cinema. Near the New Cafe on Qingdao Lu is a small German cafe inconspicuously tucked away. Very good coffee in a cozy Bavarian/Thuringian environment. Expect to pay at least ¥25 for a good cup of coffee (which is the same as anywhere in Nanjing). Also worth checking out is a restaurant on the outskirts of Confucius Temple that offers a 14 course dinner; it might best be described as Chinese tapas. This is a very good way to sample dishes that you might not want to purchase entree-sized portions of anywhere: coagulated duck's blood soup, tofu, and so on. A fun way for more finicky groups to experience real Chinese food.
Nanjing's bar scene is constantly changing. If you are visiting Nanjing, it is best to talk to locals or expats who can show you the best places to go in the moment. There is a government order is in place to shut down all bars and clubs at 02:00. Some places remain open, however, so it is best to meet people who can take you there.
Night life in Nanjing is very much alive, and you can find the epicenter in Nanjing's 1912 District, which is comparable to Shanghai's Xintiandi. It is roughly a city block of two and three-story buildings, with paved courtyards between. Almost all are restaurants, bars or nightclubs, with a few spas and upmarket clothing shops in the mix. Many of the buildings look like they might have been around since 1912, and the newer ones match the style of the older ones. The location is great; right downtown just west of the Presidential Palace. There is underground parking for cars and extensive outdoor parking for bikes and motorcycles on the North side of the complex. The best way to experience this is to get there and hop between bars and clubs, buying some beer from convenience stores, and making friends along the way. Some more chinese-style clubs will have free drinks for foreigners, but this free alcohol is low-quality or fake.
To get here, tell a cab driver to take you to 1912 (yi jiu yi er), or take the subway to the Fuqiao stop on line 3 (浮桥地铁站) and go a few blocks south. The area is south of the intersection of Zhu Jiang Lu and Tai Ping Bei Lu (珠江路 and 太平北路) across the river.
- Blue Marlin (around 1912 District Alley 11, west of 太平北路) Sports-bar style first floor, club on the second.
- Ellens (around intersection of 笼子巷 and 啤亭巷, one block west of 太平北路) An always-popular and chaotic expat bar, usually with African DJs. Although there's no dance floor there's many people dancing between tables and in any open space.
The area around Shanghai Lu, which runs between Nanjing University and Nanjing Normal University, has quite a few expats - mainly foreign students or English teachers from the two universities - and some places that cater to them.
- Blue Sky (moving to the 1912 district). An Aussie-owned bar with a free pool table. Likely the most authentic western bar in Nanjing and a meeting place for local expats. A great place to watch football matches with other expats. As of September 2018, it has closed and will relocate to the 1912 district.
- Behind-the-Wall Cafe (North of Blue Sky and Brewsell's). Reasonable Mexican food and drink.
- Ellen's bar (intersection of Shanghai Lu and Guangzhou Lu). A dive bar popular with foreign exchange students. It is a western-style restaurant during the day and transitions into a bar around 20:00 every night. It fills up every night with expats and foreign students, as well as plenty of young locals. Most are drawn because of the atmosphere, music, and nightly drink specials. The drinks are plentiful. A whiskey and Coke "bucket" is ¥25, and for many people contains enough alcohol to last the night. Make sure to get there early for a table, write your name on the wall, and say hi to Xingxing.
- Talking Bar 2 (Talking酒吧 2) 158 Shanghai Rd (上海路158号2-101) Being a one-minute walk from the international student dorms of Gulou University and serving cheap drinks, this is a dive bar that attracts many foreign students and expats. The bar itself is small (5-6 seats at the bar and about 7 tables) but it's one of the only bars in Nanjing you can come to alone and chat with strangers. There's a dirty bathroom, unfriendly staff, outdated and repetitive pop music, and there's been uncountable stories of rowdy people (usually Chinese) throwing bottles at people or getting in fights. Get on the staff's good side by buying beer in bulk or tipping them a bit, and duck if you hear a commotion to avoid flying bottles. Assume all alcohol not sold in a bottle is fake, but the tap beer is usually safe. Even with all these problems, you can't beat the price and it's definitely worth a visit. The BBQ cart guy across from the bar is a friendly guy and an icon of the location. Usually stays open until 02:00-04:00. A pint of Tiger beer is ¥10 before 01:00, but Chinese pay normal price.
- Talking Bar 3 and 5 (A short walk east or west from Talking Bar 2) Jinying Street has three versions of Talking, and number 3 and 5 are both more Chinese-style people compared to number 2. These two are much quieter, and sometimes have amateur musicians or karaoke. Both are designed for groups to come and buy many bottles of beer at once.
- Bassment Bar (On the southeast side of 鼓楼区广州路140号随园大厦 on the northeast corner of Shanghai Road and Guangzhou Road. To the left of the BBQ place) Live music almost every night and a good atmosphere, very spacious. A lot of expats will perform here. There's a dance floor, pool, and some arcade cabinets. People mainly sit at tables, but the bar has seating. A healthy mix of Chinese and expats. Beers start around ¥30-40 and mixed drinks are alright. (Live music has now stopped at Bassment)
- Clockwork (Heading east on Guangzhou Lu, 100 meters from Bassment). Fashionable with the young, hip Chinese crowd and getting more popular with the expats. They play funk, pop and hip-hop music depending on the night you go there. Live music is common daily, with the occasional performance by foreign bands. Draft beer from 30¥ and cocktails as expensive as you like.
- Club Future Lasa Road, Wutaishan Athletic Field 5th Entrance (拉萨路五台山体育馆5号入口) Opened in the summer of 2018, this is a massive mega-club that caters mostly to out of town Chinese looking to have a good time in the city and spend money. They've solved the issue of foreigners not liking Chinese club music by having a special "Club Cool" that has mainstream hip-hop and pop music in a sideroom, and entrance is free if you are not Chinese. It's entirely possible to go here without paying any money, but you'll have to pay lots to get a table and drinks start at ¥60. People are friendly and it's a good place to go if you like clubbing and want to meet other clubbing types.
- 61 Club (61酒吧) Gulou District, 61 Hankou West Road (鼓楼区汉口西路61号) Just finished renovations in late 2018, known for being one of the best venues for indie artists. A small, underground music club usually catering to electronic music. Sometimes has theme nights like LGBTQ or halloweeen. Grab some cheap drinks at the street stalls south of the entrance to start the night right.
Other expat drinking spots
- [formerly dead link] Finnegans Wake Irish Bar, 400 ZhongShan South Road just north of ShengZhou Road (exit Sanshan Street subway station via exit 2. Walk 200 meters north. Turn left into the pedestrian mall at the underground car park entrance/Wang Steak. Walk 30 m. Quickly you’ll see that familiar Guinness sign on your left), ☏ . An authentic Irish bar with excellent food (meals are in the ¥100 range) which use ingredients sourced from Ireland and there is a good choice of drinks including Kilkenny and Guinness (¥70 a pint). Good news if your tab gets too high - they take Visa cards!
- [formerly dead link] Bloom's, 6 Cinnalane, S. Zhongshan Rd (above Finnegans Wake), ☏ . 17:00-23:00.
A cup of black coffee or a latte is typically between ¥10-25. As many Chinese do not like coffee, these stores are a popular spot for foreigners or international-minded Chinese to hang out or study. While Nanjing University Gulou Campus and its surroundings has a fantastic coffee culture, it shouldn't be hard to find in other areas: Just look for "咖啡". A black coffee is 美式咖啡 (meishi kafei) and a latte is 拿铁 (na tie).
- Asir Coffee (啊sir咖啡) Gulou District, 6-3 Tao Gu Xin (鼓楼区陶谷新村6-3号). Very popular coffee shop among students with well-priced coffee and a good atmosphere with people's graffiti and art all over the walls. A large latte is ¥14.
- Fengji Coffee (凡几咖啡) Gulou District, 48-1 Hankou Road (鼓楼区汉口路48-1号). Look for the simple black and white "COFFEE" sign. Cozy coffee bar that's popular with Chinese and local students. People are usually up for a conversation at the bar or tables outside. Serves beer and coffee at reasonable prices, plus sometimes has movies and poetry nights. Pick up a book at the used book store directly next door!
- Nannar Cafe (南哪儿咖啡) Gulou District, 42 Hankou Road (鼓楼区汉口路42号). A stylish, cute, and comfy coffee shop you could take a date. Has well-presented food, good music, clean bathrooms, and books all over. However it is comparatively expensive at ¥25 for a normal black coffee.
- 7/11 or Family Mart/全家. These are all over and should have a cheap cup of gas station coffee somewhere behind the counter for ¥7-10, and sometimes have a 'buy one get one half off' deal.
Many accommodation providers, especially those in the sub-¥180/night category, do not accept foreigners. The yellow-exteriored 7 Day Inn chain, for example, will not accept foreigners in Nanjing even though this hotel chain is a good option in the ¥160/night range in most other Chinese cities.
- Jasmine International Youth Hostel, No 7 Hequnxincun, Shanghai Road, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Clean place, very friendly staff and guests with decent levels of English; you might find only Chinese patrons here and most seem to come just because they like the hostel as opposed to the city. Free Wi-Fi on the ground floor and in the entertainment room. Bar and small menu if you want a quick bite without venturing outside. Bathrooms are all shared, however, and towels are available for purchase. Centrally located, (less than 5 km to most sites in all directions) close to Nanjing University and Grand Hotel. ¥45 for a bed in 6 bed dorm + ¥100 deposit returned upon check-out.
- Nanjing Fuzimiao International Youth Hostel (南京夫子庙国际青年旅社) 68 Pingjiangfu Rd, Qinhuai District (秦淮区平江府路68号). A very good location right next to the most popular tourist street in Nanjing and is in the middle of the city. Very quaint; has a lot of nooks and crannies plus a bar area overlooking the river with a piano. A bed in a 8-person dorm room goes for ¥50.
- Nanjing Danfeng International Hotel (丹凤国际青年旅館), 59-1 Yushi Street, North Floor 6 (三十路鱼市街站旁的华诚超市六楼), ☏ . Private rooms are spotlessly clean, and excellent size for the money. Although their listing on numerous websites says it is "wireless", each room is equipped with wired Internet connections (you can borrow an Ethernet cable from the reception desk). Those without can share the communal computer for free. Don't share a private room with anyone you don't want to see naked, as the bathroom/toilet is housed inside a strange transparent glass enclosure. Small dorm rooms (3 people/room) from about ¥50, larger single & double rooms from about ¥160.
- Nanjing Longlong Hotel (Jinglong International Apartments), 253 Jiankang Rd, ☏ .
- International Conference Hotel Nanjing (南京国际会议大酒店), 2 Sifangcheng Zhongshanling, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Claimed 4-star with views of Purple Mountain. ~¥498.
- White Palace Hotel (南京白宫大酒店 (Baigong Dajiudian)), 1 Longpan Road (Longpan Lu) Xuanwu, ☏ . Near Nanjing Railway Station.
- Somerset Youth Olympic Nanjing, No. 9 Qing’ao South Rd, Jianye District, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The property, requiring a minimum of 30 days stay, is equipped with three bedroom apartments. It offers complimentary Wi-Fi, a sauna and steam room and a yoga room.
- Holiday Inn @Aqua City (水游城/Shuǐ yóu chéng), No.1 Jiangkang Road at Zhonghua Road (corner of Jiangkang road and Zhonghua Road, near Sanshanjie subway station on line 1), ☏ . Great quality Holiday Inn hotel adjacent to Aqua City shopping center. Very convenient access to restaurants, shopping, and free water fountain entertainment for the kids. Walking distance to Fu Zi Miao (confucious temple). approx ¥600-700.
- Kayumanis Nanjing Private Villa & Spa, No.12 Hot Spring Road, Tangshan Town, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 21 contemporary villas with private pool and hot-spring jacuzzi, fully-equipped gourmet kitchen and 24-hours butler service.
- Grand Metropark Hotel Nanjing, 319 East Zhong San Road, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. The former site of the Hilton has reopened; still in the city but a little bit farther away from the center. Good if you want to make business in the east of the town. Great if your main reason for visiting Nanjing is seeing the Purple Mountain and Xuanwu Lake (both are reasonably walkable from here) or seeing the Nanjing Museum which is literally on the other side of the parking lot.
- 1 Sheraton Nanjing Kingsley Towers, 169 Hanzhong Road, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Right in the middle of the town and offering you all the service you're used to have in a 5-star hotel. If you've a good guide you should get the rooms for around ¥400-500 per night, including breakfast. ~¥750.
- Jinling Hotel (金陵饭店 Jin Ling Fangdian), Xinjiekou Square, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The first modern high-rise hotel in Nanjing, and sort of an anchor for Xinjiekou. Good, central location for exploring the Xinjiekou; the Confucius Temple is an easy walk from here as well.
There have been many instances where foreign guys accompanied by Chinese girls in bar areas have been harassed or even stabbed and killed in fights. You are generally safe if you avoid conflict, even if this means swallowing your pride and walking away from someone insulting you or your girlfriend. There is little to gain by escalating a conflict instead of running away, especially in China where police will commonly side with Chinese citizens. Most crime happens late at night with at least one person under the influence of alcohol, and armed robbery is unheard of. However, unsecured possessions may be stolen at night such as unlocked mopeds.
Pickpocketing is a problem in Fuzimiao as well as on crowded buses, the subway and around the main transport hubs. Because Nanjing has a relatively small number of foreigners for a city its size, the common scams seen in Shanghai and Beijing are almost non-existent, however you may still see the occasional dodgy salesman selling counterfeit goods in Fuzimiao.
Be careful if taking the bus to the airport from Zhonghuamen bus station as many touts claim to be the official bus service, however there is a strong risk of being overcharged or driven to a location several kilometres from the actual airport. The official bus departs from Gate 7 and tickets should be paid for at the gate. Bus tickets are ¥20 as of July 2012. Also be careful of fake taxis operating from the bus stations and occasionally the railway station - always use the official taxi stand and ignore any taxi touts.
Although traffic is slightly calmer than most Chinese cities it can still be much more manic than most Western countries - take the usual precautions when crossing the road and also remember that right turns on a red light are sometimes legal in China (however in Nanjing most of the case there should be a dedicated right turn signal for right turn lane) so people driving across the crosswalk while the 'walk' sign is showing aren't actually breaking the law. Also be careful of motorbikes and bicycles driving on the pavement.
Many Nanjingese may have a resentment towards the Japanese because of the events during World War II. If you are Japanese, don't let this put you off visiting as the locals will still be very welcoming, however it's recommended not to appear too conspicuously Japanese and keep any opinions to yourself. The Nanjing Massacre killed and displaced such a large number of Nanjingnese people that most of the people living there now are descended from those that arrived within the last few decades to repopulate the area. Younger Nanjingese are more open and will often be more than happy to discuss the war.
- Lake Tai is reasonably close, a common weekend getaway for Nanjing residents.
- Zhenjiang is directly bordering Nanjing to the west and accessible by train or bus.
- Suzhou, known its gardens and canals, is less than two hours away by fast train to the east on the way to Shanghai.
- Hangzhou, one of China's most popular tourist cities, is about two hours away by fast train to the south.
- Yangzhou is about one hour away by slow train from Nanjing.
- Huangshan or Yellow Mountain is a national park on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is 7-8 hours south of Nanjing by slow train.
- Hefei, an aggressively boring city known for not being a tourist destination, is a short train ride east of Nanjing.
|Routes through Nanjing|
|Beijing ← Bengbu ←||N E||→ Zhenjiang → Shanghai|