The city's name was Dayong until 1994, when it was renamed to link it to the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (itself named after a tiny village now known as Zhangjiajie village or Zhangjiajie Cun).
Zhangjiajie is about 155 miles northwest of Changsha.
- By plane: The local airport is Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport (DYG IATA; formerly named Dayong Airport). It has direct flights to many domestic locations, as well as Taiwan and South Korea. Flights are relatively scarce - about 25 per day total.
- Warning: Be careful with the taxi drivers in the airport parking lot. They are likely unwilling to use the meter. They may claim that your destination is very far and attempt to charge you a "parking lot fee". Call your hotel/hostel to find out how much the trip should cost and ask them to speak with a taxi driver for you. It should cost only ¥20-40 total for a trip from the airport to Zhangjiajie city.
- By train: You can take a train from Changsha, about 4 hours, or Huaihua, about 4 hours.
- By bus: Intercity buses from Changsha take 4 hours, and are boarded at the Changsha West bus terminal (a fancy new building which resembles a shopping mall, next to the Wangchengpo subway stop). These buses run approximately hourly.
Taxis are cheap so they are probably your best bet within the city. A bus can take you out to Wulingyuan.
There are numbered city buses, but they are unlikely to be of use to visitors.
Though Tianmen Mountain and Wulingyuan are major tourist attractions, perhaps 99% of their visitors are native Chinese. So you will find it surprisingly difficult to change foreign currency. There appear to be no currency exchange stores. Perhaps the only place to change money is a bank, such as the Bank of China (follow the main road north of the bus/train station area, it is at the first major intersection north of the river, about a 15 minute walk from the bus/train stations).
Wulingyuan, however, is rumored to have currency exchange stores.