Ningbo lies on the south edge of the populous Yangtze Delta region and faces the East China Sea to the east. It has two main mountains within the prefecture boundaries, Siming Mountain and Tiantai Mountain. The Yuyao, Fenghua and Yongjiang rivers flow through the city area. Nearby Mount Putuo is an island with a major Buddhist temple on it that has been declared a national park and attracts both pilgrims and tourists.
The people of Ningbo have throughout their history had a deep affinity for the ocean. Two thousand years ago, Xu Fu, a necromancer of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BCE), led a fleet from here, thus becoming the first to commence China's exchanges with other countries. In the early 20th century "Hong-band" tailors from Ningbo traveled extensively throughout China making their living.
Portuguese sailors reached the Ningbo area in the first half of the 16th century. For a while, the city was the easternmost point of Asia known to Europeans. Portuguese attempts to establish a trading colony in the area failed, after which they turned their attention to Macau.
After the Opium Wars in the 19th century, China was forced to open five Treaty Ports for foreign trade, including Ningbo. The others were Guangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Shanghai. As in all the other Treaty Ports, this brought a boom in Ningbo.
The Hangzhou Bay Bridge, completed in 2007 to link the municipalities of Ningpo and Shanghai, has increased foreign investment and economic integration between Ningbo and Shanghai.
Ningbo is not only a very important port city but also the engine of the economy on the east coast of China. Ningbo started foreign trade in the 7th century and has since become a major exporter of electrical products, textiles, food, and industrial tools in China today.
Ningbo enjoys a subtropical monsoon climate featuring high relative humidity and distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, so plan outdoor activities for early morning or evening. July is the hottest month (average daily temperature 29°C) and January the coldest (4°C). The annual precipitation averages 1,300–1,400 mm.
- Haishu 海曙区
- Jiangbei 江北区
- Yinzhou 鄞州区
Outer districts include Cixi 慈溪, Yuyao 余姚, Zhenhai 镇海区, Beilun 北仑区, Fenghua 奉化区, Ninghai 宁海县 and Xiangshan 象山.
From Hangzhou there are frequent high-speed "D" and "G" trains from Hangzhou East Station (杭州东站) to Ningbo Railway Station, taking 1-1½ hours. Perhaps another dozen "K", "T", and "Z" trains travel to Ningo from Hangzhou or Hangzhou East Station daily, taking as long as 3½ hours. The high-speed line from Hangzhou through Ningbo continues through Wenzhou, Fuzhou, and Xiamen to Shenzhen, and there are several high-speed ("D") sleeper trains each evening from Shanghai via Ningbo to Shenzhen and Guangzhou (although most do not stop at Ningbo on the return journey).
From Shanghai there are frequent high speed trains to Ningbo via Hangzhou East Station. Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station 上海虹桥站 is the main high-speed railway station in Shanghai. Shanghai South Station 上海南站 also has trains to Ningbo.
- 1 Ningbo Railway Station (宁波站), East Nanzhan Rd 南站东路. Sometimes referred to as the south station, its former name. Main station in the center of the city with a metro station under it and two major bus terminals on both sides. All trains stop at this station. High-speed (160 km/h) "S"-train commuter service to Yuyao Station in Yuyao is also available.
- 2 Zhuangqiao Railway Station (庄桥站). Can be found downtown and most hotels are a short taxi ride away. Trying to get a taxi outside the station is virtually impossible. The tickets office is open from 06:15-19:45 to the right side of the station.
- 3 Ningbo South Bus Station (汽车南站), 408 Mauan Rd 马园路408号, ☏ . 5:20AM-8PM. It takes about 2.5 hours to reach Shanghai using the Hangzhou Bay Bridge. It takes about 4 hours travelling via Hanghzou.
- 4 Ningbo central coach terminal (宁波汽车中心站), ☏ . Buses to most destinations in the south and west leave from this station.
- 5 Ningbo Lishe Airport (宁波栎社机场, NGB IATA) (Downtown Ningbo is about a 20 min drive spanning 11 km (6.8 mi). The taxi fare is ¥45-60. Metro service begins at 06:00 and the last train leaves Lishe International Airport Station at 22:00P A frequent free shuttle bus covers the 600 m between the existing airport terminal and the metro station; it runs every 8 minutes, 60:15–21:43. Alternatively, a bus (¥10) runs every hour until 18:20 to Ningbo Railway Station.). Flights to many mainland Chinese cities as well a a few in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Cambodia, and Thailand. As of mid-2018, the construction of a much larger terminal is well underway, immediately north of the metro station. The airport has free but unreliable Wi-Fi.
The main international hub for the region is Pudong Airport in Shanghai; there are direct buses to Ningbo. The closest major international airport to Ningbo is Hangzhou; the most convenient is probably Shanghai Hongqiao since it is integrated with Hongqiao Railway Station, which has fast trains to Ningbo. All have many domestic flights and some international connections.
Ningbo is so much bigger than the small downtown area, staying downtown can fill a few days but its just like any major city. To really see some jaw dropping parts of Ningbo you have to adventure into the outer districts. There are breathtaking mountain ranges steeped in a deep and meaningful history that has been relatively undisturbed.
- Metro: Like many Chinese cities, Ningbo is rapidly expanding its Metro system. Line with 29 stations opened in early 2014. Line with 22 stations opened in 2015. Line with 15 stations opened in middle 2019. Lines (2020), and (2021) are scheduled to join them.
- Taxis are ¥10 for the first 3 km plus ¥2 fuel tax.
- Buses are ¥1 (¥2 with air conditioning).
- Rental Cars: Are available at Ningbo Lishe International Airport.
- Motor Bikes: Although Downtown Ningbo does not permit motorbikes a bike can be rented outside of downtown and can make an enjoyable way of reaching the outer districts.
Historical sites and monuments
- 1 Baiyun Manor (白云庄), Guan River Bank, West of Haishu District, Haishu District (Metro: line Zemin Station). 08:30-16:30. A home from the 1300s, which the family turned into an exclusive school in the 1600s. Wooden plaques provide details on family members and students in Chinese and English. It's in a quiet area, behind a park, ringed by a garden, with canals on two sides, and gets 5-10 visitors per day so it can be a tranquil escape from the city, but is otherwise unremarkable if you don't recognize the names. Free with sign-in.
- 2 Drum Tower (鼓楼) (Metro: lines and Gulou). A symbol of Ningbo and an entrance to a pedestrian shopping district, this tower is a mix of architectural styles.
- 3 Fufu Shi (伏跗室), 鼓楼街道孝闻街91号 (Near metro line Ximenkou station). 08:30-11:30, 13:30-16:30, closed Mondays. Another old house that gets 5-10 visitors per day, this one displays a literature collection. Free with sign-in.
- 4 [formerly dead link] Hemudu Site (河姆渡遗址, Hémǔdù Yízhǐ) (Bus 333 from Ningbo, 06:00-17:00). 08:00-17:00. In the outer district of Yuyao about 90 minutes by road from down own Ningbo in the flourishing countryside. At Hemudu, archeologists discovered artifacts dating back thousands of years to prehistoric China, and there is a small but good museum with signs in English. Displayed are still playable 6-7,000-year-old bone flute, rice, plough shares, weaving, inlaid-bone and wood carvings, and jade ornaments. A replica of the archeological site itself is nearby. Free.
- 5 Ningbo Banking Guild Hall (钱业会馆) (Metro line Dongmenkou), ☏ . 08:30-11:30,13:30-16:30. Former guild hall for banking and foreign exchange, which was important in Ningbo due to significant foreign trade. Closed down when the banks were closed in 1949, it now houses an impressive coin museum 10¥.
- 6 Qing'an Guild Hall and Anlan Guild Hall (庆安会馆, 安澜会馆) (Near metro line Jiangxiaqiao East), ☏ . 08:30-16:30. Guild halls for the formerly-adjacent shipyard, including a temple for Matu, the goddess who protects sailors. Dating to 1191, demolished several times including in 1949 and the 1960s, and rebuilt 1997-2001, they now also serve as a museum covering shipbuilding in Ningbo dating back to the Neolithic period, and have been listed as part of the Grand Canal UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. ¥10.
- 7 Shanglin Lake Kiln Site (上林湖越窑遗址). Shanglin Lake Kiln Site is situated in the area near Shanglin Lake, Cixi City. It is a national key cultural protection unit. The celadon produced by the kiln is famous for its color and quality. Shanglin Lake is an important source and base for celadon in China. The ancient kiln from Han Dynasty to Song Dynasty number more than 100.
- 8 TianYi Pavilion (天一阁), Tianyi Street No. 5, Haishu District, (浙江省宁波市海曙区天一街5号, China) (Metro line Ximenkou, or bus Route: 2, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 19, 821), ☏ . Tianyi Pavilion is the oldest private library in existence in China. A complex of gardens and small buildings, Tianyi Pavilion was built in 1561 in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The Tianyi Pavilion is not only world famous for its wide collection of books, but also for its unique architecture and elegant landscape. The Tianyi Pavilion has a flush gable roof, and is six bays wide and deep, with a corridor extending from the front to the back. In front of the pavilion is a pond that stores water for fireproof. Fan Wenguang, Fan Qin's great-grandson, rebuilt the pavilion by laying rockery around the lake, building kiosks and bridges, planting flowers and grass in the fourth year (1665) of the Kangxi reign in the Qing Dynasty. The whole pavilion and the milieu feature the style of private gardens south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. During its rebuilding in 1933, the Zunjing Pavilion of Confucian Temple in Ningbo was moved to the backyard. Steles from the Song (960-1279) to Qing Dynasties in Ningbo City were also put there. These steles and the Zunjing Pavilion are called the Stele Forest in Mingzhou.
- 9 [dead link] Ayuwang (Ashoka) Temple (阿育王寺) (Metro: line Baozhuang Station). 06:00-16:30. Legend says the Sheli Pagoda here wasn't built, but rose from the ground. This active monastery 20 km (12 mi) from Ningbo houses a bone fragment of Sakyamuni, Buddhism's founder, as well as artifacts, paintings and calligraphy - some personally written by Chinese emperors. Legend has it that the monk who found it was looking for one of the many Sheli pagodas that the Indian ruler Ayuwang (Ashoka) had established throughout the world. The monk was walking in the area and heard a bell ringing from underground. He sat down and prayed for three days and three nights, at which point the pagoda came surging up from beneath the ground. Established in 282, temple was eventually completed on the site in 522 and named. The temple plays an important role in the Sino-Japanese culture exchange in the Buddhist history. Immediately outside the west entrance, a vegetarian restaurant serves buffet lunches from 11:00-13:00 for ¥10. Free.
- 10 Baoguo Temple (保国寺) (Bus Route: 332 from metro line Nijiayuan Station (30-40 minutes, every 10-40 minutes 06:20-19:00)). 08:30-16:30. Baoguo Temple is seated on the mountainside of Lingshan Mountain, about 15 km (9 mi) away from downtown. As a cultural relic spot under state-level protection, it was initially established in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) and rebuilt and expanded in later dynasties. Now a museum, the present Baoguo Temple is a mixture of constructions made by various dynasties. Its wooden main hall is over 1000 years old, and is one of the oldest wooden buildings in China south of the Yangtze River. ¥20.
- 11 Cathedral of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows (江北岸圣母七苦主教座堂).
- 12 Tianfeng Pagoda (天封塔) (near metro line Chenghuangmiao station). Tall pagoda in a small park, can be climbed for a view.
- 13 Tianning Temple Pagoda (天宁寺塔) (near metro lines and Gulou station, or line Ximenkou). Ancient brick pagoda from a former temple, marooned between a sidewalk and the road
- 14 Tiantong Temple (天童寺) (Bus 55 leaves 8 times per day 06:50-18:30 from exit C of line Baozhuang Station, or bus 162 stops every 7-15 minutes 06:30-19:00 on the other side of the railway tracks, 300 m east). Tiantong Temple, 25 km to the east of Ningbo, situated in the national Forest Park of Tiantong. Tiantong Temple was built in 300 A.D. so it is over 1660 years old. The temple has more than 20 ancient buildings. As a holy place of Buddhism, Tiantong Temple is not only an important temple of Linji Sect but also the father of Soto (Caotong in Chinese Sect) in Japan with 8 million disciples in 33,000 temples. It plays an important role in the cultural exchanges between China and Japan and it is well known in the southeast Asian countries. free.
Museums and galleries
- 15 China Port Museum (中国港口博物馆), 6 Gangbo Road, Chunxiao Town, Beilun District (北仑区春晓港博路6号) (Take a train to Changjiang Road Station on Metro Line , then take bus no. 721 to the Yangshashan Scenic Area (洋沙山风景区). Alternatively take the train to Daqi Station, then transfer to bus no. 790 and get off at the Ziyang Road Intersection of Chunxiao Avenue (春晓大道紫阳路口)), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. A major national-level maritime museum in the city's busy harbour district. The main exhibition halls are free. A fee of ¥30 is required to access the Harbour Science Exploration Centre and the Digital Ocean Experience Centre.
- Modern Art Gallery, 60 Fuqiao Jie, 府桥街60号, ☏ . A shop with paintings in various styles around the corner from the shopping area of Fuqiao Jie.
- 16 Ningbo Bang Museum (宁波帮博物馆), 255 Siyuan Road, Zhenhai District (Near metro line and future Sanguantang and line Ningbo University stations), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-16:00. Displays the long and proud history of Ningbo's mafia-like groups.
- 17 Ningbo Historic Museum (宁波博物馆), 1000 Shounan Zhong Lu, Yinzhou, Ningbo, Zhejiang (宁波市鄞州区首南中路1000号) (Near metro line and future Yinzhou Government station), ☏ . closes 17:00. Ningbo Museum designed by Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture Studio, is a massive sculptural form, referencing the nearby mountains, with a facade formed of salvaged bricks from demolished buildings. The building has been cut through with large voids and chasms, creating a roof-scape with the scale of a traditional village, in contemporary architectural language. The exhibits are nothing special, but the architecture of the museum is outstanding. free.
- 18 Ningbo Museum of Art (宁波美术馆), 122 Renmin Road, Jiangbei District / 浙江省宁波市江北区人民路122号 (Metro: Waitan Bridge Station Bus: 外滩 / LaoWaiTan), ☏ . Ningbo Museum of Art, opened 2005, designed by WANG Shu & LU Wenyu of Amateur Architecture Studio. The striking building features large operable panels that allow the entire upper-level gallery space to be opened to the elements; the materials and the entry bridges make reference to the old docks along the Ningbo Bund. Located immediately to the north of the Old Bund / LaoWaiTan area.
- Showsy Gallery, 69 Huayan Jie; 华严街69号, ☏ . Beautiful art gallery and coffee shop, original artworks at reasonable prices.
Zoos and aquariums
- 19 Ningbo Ocean World (宁波海洋世界), 936 Sangtian Rd, Jiangdong (Near metro line and Children's Park Station, next to the Children's Park). M-F 09:00-17:30, Sa Su 08:30-18:00. It is one of the most striking large-sized aquariums in China. Adults ¥130, children ¥50, Tour ¥70.
- 20 Ningbo Youngor Zoo (宁波雅戈尔动物园), Ningbo Dong Qian Lake, ☏ . May-Oct 08:00-16:30, Nov-Apr 08:30-16:30; Ticket selling hours: May-Oct 07:45-15:30, Nov-Apr 08:15-15:30. The zoo has over 10,000 animals, dozens of routes to walk, and beautiful panoramic views of the entire zoo from atop man-made mountains.
- 21 Qiantong ancient town (前童古镇) (About 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Ninghai, it is straightforward to get to because the G15 highway from Ningbo heads directly there with an off-ramp nearby. If you have a car, driving is the best way, it takes about 75-90 minutes to get there. There is a direct bus from Ningbo South bus station at 09:20. It is also possible to take a bus from the Nanmen Daqiao bus stop in Ninghai (the 新路 bus takes 20 minutes on the new road, or 老路 takes 30 minutes or so on an older road). Buses from Ningbo to Ninghai arrive at the Ninghai train station, but take more than twice as long as the adjacent trains and cost ¥34 vs ¥26 for the train. From Ninghai Station to Nanmen Daqiao, take bus 102.). 07:30-17:30, to 17:15 October to April. Qiantong, Ninghai is an ancient town south of the Yangtze River. Among the 2000 household in Qiantong 80% of them have “Tong” as the surname. Since it is located in front of the Baixi river, it is named Qiantong (“Qian” meaning “before” or "in front of"). The town has been around more than 760 years, successive generations of Tongs choosing to remain here. If you've been to other "ancient towns" in China, you will know that they run the gamut of being fully functioning towns just as they were hundreds of years ago, to tourist dumps with nothing but trinket shops and unwashed hordes. This town receives about 300 to 500 tourists a day (according to the locals) and is large enough that you can spend about an hour wandering around. The level of preservation is still very good, although there were a few buildings being rebuilt in the "old style". This town strikes a decent balance between having some tourists, while maintaining its role as a functioning village. It seems like they've built up the infrastructure to really push more tourism though, despite relatively few making the trip out, so you might want to check the place out now in case it eventually becomes overrun. The most interesting attraction, and the only one that reliably checks tickets (aside from the main entrance to the town) is the Zesi residence, in which almost every beam is an intricate carving. The parking and 22 ticket office are about 700 m southwest of the old town, with electric golf carts available to shuttle people to the entrance for ¥5. 70¥.
- 23 Shipu Harbor (石浦镇) (You may get to China Fishing Village directly by taking Fishing Village luxury bus at Ningbo South Coach Station or reach Xiangshan first and then take Shipu passenger vehicle there. The bus ride from Ningbo to Shipu (¥48) is just under 2 hr, with buses every 30-60 minutes, and there are a few buses per day from other major cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Wenzhou. From Shipu East bus terminal, buses 501 and 502 go to the ancient town's entrance (3 km, ¥1)). Located in the outer district of Xiangshan, Shipu is an ancient Town and Fishing Harbor. The ceremony of China Fishing Festival is held here and thousands of fishing boars setting out to the sea from the harbor constitutes a spectacular scene. The Shipu Harbor is now one of the four multitude fishing harbors in the country, a window to get contact with Taiwan and the second-class opening port of the country. The ancient town is a long, winding street of old buildings, some of them museums and many of them shops for tourists. It's quite pleasant, isn't overly crowded, but isn't completely original either. It takes an hour or two to visit, with most people returning via a more modern parallel street. ¥60 (ancient town).
- 24 Cicheng ancient town (Bus 26, 331, 337 or metro line ). Cicheng is formerly the administration center of Cixi County. As administrative division changes in middle 20th century, the town is now part of Jiangbei District, and the layout and historic details of the town is well preserved. The preservation of the town is honored Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation by UNESCO in December, 2009. The most convenient way to take a tour around the town is to take a manpower tricycle. In the town you can see a well-preserved Confucian Temple and many traditional residences, mostly built more than 100 years ago.
Parks and nature
- 1 Dongqian Lake (东钱湖) (Buses 106, 109, 358, 620, 621, 629, 901, 902, 906, 960. Buses 961 and 966 go around the lake. Dongqian Lake station is the southeastern terminus of metro line ). The largest natural lake in Zhejiang, and a popular spot for locals to visit. It's possible to rent tandem or triple bicycles, or boats, to see the lake. Several scenic spots charge admission, including a causeway through the middle of the lake (¥30) to Xiayu Temple (霞屿禅寺) and "small Putuoshan". A variety of very old buildings overlooking the lake have been turned into tea shops. 25 Hanling old street (韩岭老街) is near the southern end of the lake. A park is built with stone carvings collected at tombs built in Southern Song Dynasty around the lake. 26 The Stone Carving Relic Park of the Southern Song Dynasty (南宋石刻公园) is near the eastern side of the lake.
- 2 Hua'ao Stone Forest (花岙石林) (There is no bus service to Hua'ao Island. From Shipu East Bus Station (see Shipu Harbour above), several buses go to Shipu West Bus Station (¥1), from where the 376 or 381 will take you to the bus terminal on Gaotang Island (高塘岛: ¥3, every 20 minutes). There, you can hire a car to the Hua'ao ferry for ¥10-15. The ferry is ¥10 return per passenger or ¥70 for a vehicle (hourly, last return 17:10, or 16:10 in winter), and the rocks are 5.5 km away at the other end of the island. A guesthouse 100 m from the ferry dock will offer to drive you there and back for ¥10), ☏ . Large area of coastal columnar-jointed tuff cliffs, islands, and towers, on an island in southern Xiangshan district, protected in a provincial geopark and not on the main tourist track. Spectacular and comes with a rocky beach, but only takes an hour to visit. The island is mostly natural and has a well-developed trail network accessing a variety of other natural attractions and old buildings, but note that the trails are not maintained to the same standard as in more-popular tourist areas. 40¥.
- 3 Moon Lake (月湖, Yuèhú). A crescent-shaped lake surrounded by a park with traditional plazas and pagodas. It's a lively area – at some times of day the park is full of residents dancing or doing tai chi. Boat rides in the lake are possible, or just take a stroll around it. Free.
- 4 Nanxi Hot Spring (南溪温泉). Nanxi Hot Spring lies in the outer district of Ninghai, Nanxi Village of Shentianchuan Township, 76 km (47 mi) to the downtown of Ninghai County. With a forest resource of 9,627 hectares, the scenic area was approved by the State Department of Forestry in 1991 as a national forest park, and thus it became one of the ten best scenic spots in Ningbo. As a well-known hot-spring resort in Zhejiang, the park is featured in its peaceful mountains, clear waters and dense forests.
- 5 Ningbo Five Dragon Pool (五龙潭), Wulongtan Scenic & Historic Site, ☏ . 07:30-16:00. This park has a small waterfall, several hundred year old temple, and scenic hiking trails alongside the mountains. A taxi service is available for those that are not interested in hiking to the top, but want to see the mountain ranges in a convenient setting. ¥40.
- 6 Songlan Mountain Beach (松兰山海滨). There are many such beaches along the coast of the outer district Xiangshan as well as a great many islands, while Songlan Mountain is the first major developed marine tourism scenic area and has been built into a provincial seaside resort. An on-sea activities center, Songlan Mountain City, and Provincial Sailboat Training Base and Wildlife Park have been completed. The coastal sightseeing road has also been opened from the Songlan Mountain to Baisha Bay beach and Zhao Wuniang Temple. The promotion of characteristic tourist items such as beach leisure activities, on-sea sport, hunting on sea island will make you experience the pleasure of marine tourism.
- 7 Sun Lake (日湖公园) (Nijiayan station, metro line ). The yang to Moon Lake's yin, this newer park has a large lake, ponds, fountains, forest, playgrounds, and plazas. Free.
- Tiantong National Forest Park (天童森林公园). Located in Taibai Mountains, 25 km (16 mi) from Ningbo City proper, the Tiantong National Forest Park covers an area of 334 hectares, with green peaks rising one higher than the other. The park is home to nearly 1,000 species of plants, including a large number of fine tree species, such as Henry emmenopterys, ginkgo trees, Henry ormosias and Tianmu Mountain lily magnolias, in addition to some rare medicinal herbs, such as five-leaf gynostemmas, glabrons sarcandras, fortune plumyews, many-leaf paris and diverse leaf jack in the pulpits. A total of 119 Chinese herbal medicines found here are included in the China Pharmacopoeia. For this reason it bears the name "natural botanical garden in east Zhejiang Province."
- Wild Crane Pool. The scenic area of Wild Crane Pool has rich natural landscapes, of which there are steep and exotic sights of waterfall and pool which is as long as 2.5 km (1.5 mi) and rich animal and vegetable resources. There are also ravines extending vertically and horizontally, luxuriant woods, rich medicinal materials, clean and quiet environment, fresh air, cool and pleasant climate, graceful and beautiful landscape.
- 8 Xuedou Mountain (雪窦山). Xikou Xuedou Mount Scenic Spot located in the outer district of Fenghua, labeled as the abode for immortals on the sea, is 35 km (22 mi) away from the downtown area. It is made up of Xikou town, Xuedou Mountain and Tingxia Lake. It covers an area of 85 km² and has over 60 scenic spots. To enable a better appreciation of the natural beauty of the Xuedou Mountain of Xikou, Fenghua, a sightseeing train that costs ¥60 million has been built and will be put to use soon. The train has six cars, being able to accommodate 36 people.
- 9 Zhaobaoshan (招宝山), 10 Zhaobaoshan Road, Zhenhai District (镇海区招宝山路10号) (Bus 541 from Ningbo Station or Qingshuipu, both on line ), ☏ . May–September: 05:00-16:30, October–April: 05:30-16:00. A large forested hill where the Yong River empties into the ocean, it has several rebuilt temples, a 57.6m-tall pagoda you can climb since the elevator seems to be broken, Sanskrit inscriptions on exposed rock, a grotto, and remnants of multiple small defensive walls. Adjacent museums cover local naval history and military hardware. Don't expect tranquillity - a freeway tunnels through the centre of the hill. ¥60, or ¥30 for Ningbo residents, children, seniors 60-69, and students. Three nights a year it is open 18:00-06:00 for ¥20.
- 10 ZheDong Grand Canyon (浙东大峡谷), 315-606 China Ninghai County Baixi Village, Chakou Town, ☏ . Huge sweeping views of lush green countryside, water runs through the canyon as you follow a rough and ready trail.
- Ningbo Delson Green World Golf Club, ☏ . 18-hole golf course with 6 artificial lakes, par 72, 7200 yards. Visitors welcome.
As a foreigner, you can exchange your money at all major banks. A maybe wiser alternative is to use your foreign debit card. International ATMs (Plus/Maestro) can give about ¥2,500 out of each ATM at every transaction, up to a total maximum of ¥5,000 each day depending on your bank, which should be sufficient. International ATMs can be found all over the place and often have an English language option available before you insert your card.
- 1 Cheng Huang Temple, Commercial Street 城隍庙商业步行街 (Metro: Chenghuangmiao Station). 09:00 til 20:30. Lots of small stalls selling mostly clothes, a great place to find cheap gifts to take back home
- 2 Gu Lou, Haishu District, Fu Qiao Street 海 曙区府桥街. 08:00 til 21:00. Lots of little shops selling artwork to nik naks
- Little Goods Market, Guotai Jie 国泰街. 09:00 till 20:00.
- In Time, 238 Zhongshan Dong Lu, ☏ .
- 3 In Time, Tian Yi Square 天一广场, ☏ .
- Golden Centre, 279 Zhongshan Dong Lu 中山东路279号, ☏ . A lot of watch shops and international brands on the ground floor.
- International Shopping Center, 166 Zhongshan Dong Lu 中山东路166号, ☏ . International brands at crazy prices.
- New World Department Store, 137 Zhongshan Dong Lu 中山东路137号, ☏ .
- New World Department Store, 269 Zhongshan Dong Lu 中山东路269号, ☏ .
- Oriental Department Store, 151 Zhongshan Dong Lu 中山东路151号, ☏ .
- Metro (麦德隆超市), 1 Maidelong Rd, ☏ . This is a wholesale store for restaurants and caterers, but shelves do stock smaller quantities of most items. In addition to food items, you can for example, buy reliable quality underwear, shoes and jackets, etc. Stock is sometimes unreliable. But given the opening hours of the store which are appropriate for caterers and restauranteurs (early in the morning to late at night) it's possible that some items are simply sold out and that day. There is a massive car park. There are not many immediately obvious places to eat out near Metro. So don't go on an empty stomach or be prepared to snack on some of your purchases. You will need a Metro card to purchase, but obtaining one is free and easy. If you are not prepared to sign up for one or are in a hurry - other shoppers will often lend you their card.
- Sanfo is the leading outdoor gear stores in China and their store in Ningbo is located at 1227-1229 Baizhang Dong Lu, Jiangdong District
- CenturyMart (Tongtu Lu and Zhongxing Lu). Three-story hypermall: 1) department store, 2) grocery, 3) household goods. Decent section of foreign foods: Walkers Shortbread, Lindt and Toblerone chocolate, olive oils, wine, etc.--even Chinese versions of Spam! More orderly grocery area than Carrefour. CenturyMart card gets you slight discount, but not required.
- EMart, 66 Xingning Lu兴宁路66号, ☏ .
- A-Best, 80 Hutong Jie 呼童街80号, ☏ .
- Trust Mart, 671-679 Zhongxing Lu 中兴路671-679号, ☏ .
- Tesco, 80 Rixin Jie 日新街80号, ☏ . Tesco can also be entered from Tian Yi Square by entering HiMall then taking the escalator upstairs
- Carrefour, ☏ . (家乐福超市), 248 Zhongxing Road, Ningbo City,宁波中兴路248. With parking lot.
- Carefour, 28 Dashani Jie 海曙区大沙泥街28号, ☏ .
- Auchan, 160 Cuibai Lu 翠柏路160号, ☏ . The floor layout can get confusing, first you have to go to the top floor, then find the escalator back down to get to the food hall
- Auchan, 1188 Baizhang Dong Lu 百丈东路1188号, ☏ .
- Ole Supermarket. Loads of imported products, and good chicken breasts.
- O'Reilly's (爱尔兰酒吧). 46-9 North Caihong Rd near the Portman Plaza (市江东区彩虹北路46-9号, 波特曼大街上). Steaks, burgers, appetizers, all day breakfast, and low priced sub sandwiches (¥25/6 inch; yen;35/12 inch). Beer selection is good, and although the imported beers are a bit pricey, before 20:00 most draft beers are buy one get one free, and after 20:00 buy two get one free. Waitresses speak excellent English and Chinese.
- Mezzos on 2 (东港波特曼大酒店2楼), Caihong Bei Lu 50 Hao, Donggang Boteman Da Jiudian 2 Lou (2F) (Yaohang Jie-Baizhang Lu Shopping Area). Swanky Italian with 5-star interior decoration.
- Picanha Brazilian BBQ (比卡亚巴西烧烤), No.1-4 Lane 230 Jiefang South Road, 2nd Floor of Century Plaza(宁波市解放南路230弄1-4号大梁街口世纪广场二楼), ☏ . Pretty good Brazilian BBQ, buffet style. Can be pricey depending on the option, the food is good and chefs are actual Brazilians. If meat is what you desire, then this is the place. ¥228 for meat/buffet/unlimited beer or ¥128 for meat/buffet.
- Banana Leaf Curry House (老外滩中马路69号), Zhongma Lu 69 Hao, Lao Waitan, ☏ . Opposite the Shamrock Irish Pub. The English-speaking staff gladly advises on their offerings and more than gladly surprise you with a selection of their meals.
- Pizza Pino, 1041B, Zone C, Heyi Avenue Shopping Center, 66 Heyi Lu 和义路66号和义大道购物中心C区1041B, ☏ . The only place in Ningbo with a wood-fired oven but ruins the pizza by not using buffalo mozzarella.
- Da Bossi Ristorante, 139 Zhongma Lu, Lao Waitan 老外滩中马路139号, ☏ . A very fine and fancy Italian. Get a group together and enjoy an open fire in a private dining rooms on the 3rd floor. Book ahead as it gets busy.
- Ganesha Indian Restaurant (葛尼沙印度餐厅), 336 Zhenming Road, Haishu District (海曙区镇明路336号镇明小区), ☏ . 11:00-23:00. Delicious, authentic Indian cuisine. ¥80.
- Gino Cafe, 46-2 Caihong Bei Lu 彩虹北路46-2号, ☏ . 09:30-23:00. This is a below average Chinese style Italian.
- Bullfighter, 72 Zhenming Lu, King’s Plaza 镇明路72号, ☏ . Western style beef restaurant selling Chinese beef. The service is frustrating, there is no air conditioning and the food is tough and bland.
- Spices, 28 Yangshan Lu, LaoWaitan 老外滩扬善路28号, ☏ . Indian food, a huge menu. The decoration is appealing and the service is a bit slow but still they have a very good menu with nice pictures to select from. You can order a delivery as well with them.
- Amore's, 109 Jiangdong Nan Lu 江东南路109号, ☏ . 11:00-14:00 and 18:00-22:00. Decent home made Italian food, available for delivery.
- Casa Maya, 39 Yangshan Lu, Lao Waitan, ☏ . Mexican food, now with a new chef the food tastes authentic and no more concerns over food poisoning!
- Lebanese Restaurant, 320 Zhenming Lu 镇明路320号, ☏ . 11:00-23:00. Authentic Lebanese food that's also available for delivery. The whole leg of lamb is a favorite.
- Papa John’s, 86-2 Baizhang Dong Lu 百丈东路86-2号, ☏ . American pizza restaurant.
- Gekiuma Ramen, 99 Caihong Bei Lu 彩虹北路99号, ☏ . 10:00-01:00.
- Ajisen Ramen, Tianyi Square 中山东路188号天一广场6号门.
- Ajisen Ramen, 33 Xianxue Jie 县学街33号 药行街路口, ☏ .
- Inakawa, 79 Qianlong Lu, ☏ . Great for parties as they have an eat and drink as much as you can.menu.
- Flower Moon, 26 Baizhang Lu 百丈路26号, ☏ .
- Akitaya, Caihong Bei Lu 50 Hao, Donggang Boteman Da Jiudian 2 Lou (2 F), ☏ . 11:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00. Top class Japanese with English speaking staff.
- Mai Sui Ting, 2F, New Century Grand Hotel, 666 Shounan Zhong Lu, Yinzhou District 鄞州区首南中路666号, 开元名都大酒店二楼, ☏ .
- Nasubi, 2F, New Century Grand Hotel, 666 Shounan Zhong Lu, Yinzhou District 鄞州区首南中路666号, 开元名都大酒店二楼, ☏ .
- Kyoto, 117 Leigong Lane, Caihong Bei Lu 彩虹北路雷公巷117号, ☏ .
- Kyoto, 265 Liuting Jie 柳汀街265号, ☏ .
- Kintanaga, 336 Zhenming Lu 镇明路336号, ☏ .
- Mangetsu, 3-5 Yingchun Jie 迎春街3-5号, ☏ .
Ningbo's local seafood style is called "Yong cuisine".
- TianXiang YuanKongZhong ShiShang CanTing (Revolving Restaurant), 35/F, 181 Zhongshan Dong Road. They are open most of the day, but evening is best. They close at 21:00, so go at least before 19:00. Book in advance if you want a window seat. Reservation Telephone : 0574-8725-7177 – 0. Two of you can eat a basic meal for about ¥100-200, though if you want to splurge and try out the delicacies on their rather large menu be prepared to pay more.
- Shipu Restaurant. (石浦大酒店). Two locations, 60 Yangyue Jie (tel:8732 8777) at Moon Lake, and 7 Gongqing Road (tel:8730 7470) at Tian Yi Square. Considered one of the best restaurants in Ningbo.
- Feast Modern Restaurant, ☏ . 87 Huaishu Lu 槐树路87号 Probably the best Chinese decor in Ningbo. Located in a 200-year-old Qing Dynasty merchant house which has been totally renovated, the restaurant offers early twentieth century Shanghai furniture style. The dishes offered are mainly from the region but tend to be more sophisticated than the usual fare found in the city, in general it is excellent. The menu is in Chinese but there are a lot of pictures. Located downtown, 5 minutes or less by taxi from Tianyi Square and Lao Wai Tan.
- Ba Yu Xiaozhan (巴渝小栈). 30 Jicao St. (宁波市箕漕街30号). A nondescript Sichuanese restaurant with excellent and affordable food. Grilled fish, Kungpao Chicken, and other spicy cuisine. Fairly clean with modest interior. Located near Baizhang Road, and within walking distance from the Portman/Sheraton.
- Waitan Huiguan (外灘会馆), Waimalu (外马路) 17. Ningbo. Reservations: 5 74 – 87 35-16 38, Fx: -13 38, 87 35 09 38. Clean Teppanyaki place. Their pricing is also somewhat spectacular - a dinner for two relieves you of about ¥1,200. Nevertheless, the food is quite well prepared. Service was also quite attentive.
Beer at cheaper restaurants is quite weak and bland, and often not very cold. Foreign and more expensive Chinese restaurants have export-quality Tsingdao and European or Japanese beers.
All over Ningbo many bars often have happy hour specials with buy-one-get-one until 20:00 or buy-two-get-one after 20:00 on select beers, just ask before you order. In the Lao Wai Tan area there are many bars yet they're always empty and over priced as the competition is fierce. Home to Le Cargo the late night sleazy disco that normally end up in a fight and the police being called.
There are a few bars by the side of the Sheraton attract the new business men in town who like to rub shoulders and tell each other the stories they've read in the China guide books, or start offering each other shares in an idea! before running back to safety of their hotels. You will also find some foreign students trying to cross over into business around here too.
Business men at one time or another will trade from the outer district of Beilun. Many bars have been springing up to cater to them before they make the short trip back to downtown, alternatively next to every bar area you can find a cheap hotel if you don't have a driver and fancy a few more drinks.
If your staying in a hotel get a business card or two before leaving the hotel so you can always get a taxi home by showing the card to your driver no matter how late it is!
- "The Office", in Lao Waitan. Where all the foreigners go nowadays. Taco Tuesdays ¥100 for all you can eat tacos. Tons of other specials, good food. Always someone to talk to.
- Legends Bar, 141 Leigong Xiang 雷公巷141号 (down a small street opposite the Sheraton Hotel), ☏ . One of the infamous girlie talking bars where unsuspecting tourists or business men buy rounds of drinks for the girls with the expectation of a little more change at the end of the night than they actually get. Do not run a tab and pay for the drinks as you get them. Experience the most stinky bathroom in Ningbo.
- Z Rocks, 43-47 Zhongma Lu, Lao Waitan 老外滩中马路43-47号, ☏ . Getting a drink is not easy as the bar staff do not speak one word of English, terrible Chinese band tries their best, often empty. Very Expensive.
- The Garden, Lao Waitan (just next to the river), ☏ . A great place when the weather is not too hot and not too cold, outdoor seating next to the river with super cheap drinks and student music makes this the choice place for students and those on an extreme budget. Budget.
- Harley Bar, 18 Ma Yuan Rd (just a bit further out of the center of town), ☏ . Has a great feeling about the place, pool table, decent food, live music, clean American style bar. nice but always empty
- Legends Bar, 141 Leigong Xiang 雷公巷141号 (down a small street opposite the Sheraton Hotel), ☏ . One of the infamous girlie talking bars where unsuspecting tourists or business men buy rounds of drinks for the girls with the expectation of a little more change at the end of the night than they actually get. Do not run a tab and pay for the drinks as you get them. Experience the most stinky bathroom in Ningbo.
- Barfly, Tian Yi Sq, No. 7 gate, 11C area, 3F 宁 波天一广场7号 门11C区3楼, ☏ . The young and beautiful with stacks of cash flock to this bar. Great shows here. But expensive. Extreme prices.
- Bass Clef Bar, 168 Zhongma Lu, Lao Waitan 老外滩中马路168号, ☏ . One of the better bars in Lao Waitan, a small intimate bar that is well lit with a mini stage for live music.
- Elsa's bar, Leigong Xiang 雷公巷. Young yet not so local girls talk to older western business men until the early hours for increasingly expensive drinks, beware nothing else is available in these kind of talking bars, do not run a tab and pay for each drink as and when it is served and in your hand.
- Bourbon Street (中马路86弄5号), Zhongma Lu 86 Long 5 Hao (Lao Waitan), ☏ . Latin music bar with live band that starts at 21:30. It has a superb Latin sound and feel.
- Shamrock Irish Pub (中马路72号), Zhongma Lu 72 Hao (Lao Waitan), ☏ . 11:00-02:00. A typical Irish bar, with Guinness and a friendly bunch of visitors.
- Red Lion Pub (北仑岷山路273-277号里仁花园), Minshan Lu, 273-277 Hao, Beilun, ☏ . 17:30-02:00. The best bar in Beilun, outdoor seating, large wine selection and German beers on tap. Very Busy on Friday nights.
- Italy Bar (明州路 576 号), Mingzhou Lu 576 Hao, Beilun, ☏ . 17:00-00:00.
- The Hemingway (姚江路4号), Yaojiang Lu 4 Hao, Xinqi Area, Beilun, ☏ . 16:00-02:00. Small but nice and right next door to the Marco Polo.
- Marco Polo, Yaojiang Lu 3 Hao, Xinqi Area, Beilun, ☏ . 16:00-02:00. In the outer district of Beilun Marco Polo offers a friendly talking bar where foreign guys and local girls talk the night away.
- Only Pub, Yaojiang Rd No 20, Beilun, ☏ . 18:00-. On the busiest bar street with well over 20 bars, Only Pub is run by a tight group of young fun loving people. A simple bar with little choice but a sound start for a good night out
- Ocean Pub (北仑岷山路171号里仁花园对面), Minshan Lu, 171 Hao, Xinqi Area, Beilun, ☏ . 17:30-02:00. Another small Beilun bar with attractive staff selling Erdinger for ¥25.
- Skyey Pub (姚江路5号), Yaojiang Lu 5 Hao, Xinqi Area, Beilun.
- Jax Pub (北仑中河路念慈园), Nan Ci Park, Zhong He Lu, Xinqi Area, Beilun, ☏ . 18:00-02:00.
- Black King, 1 Yaojiang Rd, Xinqi St (Beilun), ☏ . The first of many bars on Beilun's main bar street.
- No 16, 16 Yaojiang Road, Xinqi Lu (Beilun).
- Badi, 528 Mingzhou Road, Beilun, ☏ .
- Starbucks (中山东路188号天一广场VB区), Zhongshan Dong Lu 188 Hao Tianyi Guangchang VB Qu, ☏ . M-Th Su 09:00-23:00, F Sa 09:00-23:30.
- C2 Cafe, No. 115 Portman Jie, Caihong Bei Lu (next to Starbucks, to the side of the sheraton). Real Italian Lavazza Coffee, tables outside in the summer and smoking upstairs in the winter, the only place to get a perfect espresso
- Randys Cafe, 82 Qian Long Rd (江东潜龙路82号) (Just behind the Sheraton Hotel), ☏ . Western style cafe with an extensive western and Chinese menu, coffee, juices, and a good beer selection. Western breakfasts on the weekends.
- Sunparty Coffee (圣巴里). Starbucks clone, but serves food. Multiple locations
- Club TNT (潮人会所), 月潮盛园街区盛园巷95号, ☏ . The top dance club for Ningbo's locals with money to burn, occasionally you can find a few foreigners. Girls dancing on podiums, live DJ's, table service, drinks by the bottle. ¥1200 table.
- Soho Bar (苏荷酒吧), 宁波市海曙区解放南路97号, ☏ .
- Vogue Dentists - 1F, Portman Tower, 48 Caihong Bei Lu 彩虹北路48号波特曼大厦1楼 Tel:0574-8737-8333
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
- Ningbo Home Inn, Zhenming Lu, Zhangqi Xiang 21 Hao (near Moon Lake).
- Ningbo Lizhai International Youth Hotel, 77 Gongqing Rd (near Moon Lake). 4 bed dorms ¥45, singles ¥80-120.
- Crowne Plaza City Center, 129 Yaohang St, ☏ . ¥500.
- Nanyuan Hotel, 2 Lingqiao Rd, Haishu District, ☏ . Offers 429 guestrooms, all of which have fully-air conditioned, virtual telecommuting system, and free high-speed Internet. Some of its amenities include Health Club (spa, sauna, steam bath, heated pool, and exercise gym), outdoor tennis court, and barber shop and beauty salon.
- Ningbo Hotel, Ma Yuan Rd 251. Though it is a rather old hotel, it was renovated in 2005. It is not far away from the city center. ¥240.
- Ningbo Kylie Hotel, Jicao Jie 76 Hao (downtown Jiangdong District near Sheraton).
- [dead link] Ningbo Sunny Hotel, 158 Xihe Rd, Haishu District. A 3-star business hotel with 105 tastefully appointed rooms. Impressive facilities include a well-equipped business center, conference rooms, and recreational facilities such as a spa and sauna. The hotel also serves sumptuous seafood fares in its Chinese restaurant.
- 1 The Study (宁波书房酒店, Níngbō shūfáng jiǔdiàn), 47 Shengyuan Alley, Haishu District 海曙区盛园盛园巷47号, ☏ . A distinctive local book-themed hotel. There's a little library downstairs, and you get into your room by swiping your card against the spine of a book on what looks like a bookshelf but is actually your door. Breakfast is free, though not especially good. Free wifi and soft beds. They have English-speaking staff.
- Howard Johnson Hotel, Liuting Jie , 230 Hao (near Moon lake).
- Ningbo Marriott Hotel, 188 He Yi Rd. The view from the top floor is nice, and they serve free drinks for guests. Great room - all of them have a view of the river
- Hanya New Jingdu Hotel (汉雅新晶都酒店), 1088 Baizhang East Road 百丈东路1088号, ☏ . New Jingdu Hotel is a 4-star hotel lies along East Baizhang Rd. All rooms are air-conditioned and has an en suite bathroom, cable/ satellite TV, safe, hair dryer, free high-speed Internet access, and IDD telephone. Best rates on official website start at ¥443+.
- Ningbo Nanyuan Hotel, No. 2 Lingqiao Rd (Haishu District), ☏ . A five-star hotel along Haishu District.
- Shangri-La Hotel, 88 Yuyuan Jie 豫源街88号. *Marriott Hotel, 188 He Yi Road, Haishu District. This place is palatial, by far the best hotel right in the middle of town, all restaurants and bars are within walking distance of this hotel.
- Sheraton Hotel, 50 Caihong Rd N, ☏ . Free bus to Sheraton in Shanghai for guests.