Are all modern Chinese cities planned by one and the same architect? That is a feeling you sometimes get when walking around in them. Hangzhou's more modern areas are no exception, which is a real shame as this is a city with a prominent spot in Chinese history (in the 13th century Marco Polo visited the city and described it as "greater than any other in the world"). If you can deal with the generic modern architecture, and can deal with the crowds that come along with being a domestic tourism favourite in China however, Hangzhou is a real gem.
The top spot in Hangzhou is taken by the West Lake (西湖 or Xi Hu). Walking around there makes you understand where Chinese water colour painters get their inspiration. Land of misty hills, pagodas, bridges, pavillions and small rowing boats, this area is very scenic and really nice to just stroll or bike around. Taking a boat tour on the lake is also an option. Whether you then take a break from that by entering a Chinese tea house or a Starbucks, is of course entirely up to you.
Away from the West Lake Hangzhou has some other not-to-be-missed attractions. Lingyin temple is one of the most famous temples in all of China and the Six Harmonies Pagoda overlooking the lake and Qiantang River is our top pick from all the pagodas if you must choose one!
Although we started the article on a cynical note about the exterior of Chinese cities, there are of course also some positives to note. For instance that eating, shopping and partying in the downtown in many ways can compete with nearby Shanghai. [Review by travelindicator]
You can find the best hotel deals in Hangzhou here.
- Hangzhou is a city in China's region of Zhejiang. It has a population of 6,241,971, is situated at an altitude of 62ft and the best airport to fly into is HGH (Hangzhou, Hangzhou)
- The currency used in China is the Chinese yuan renminbi (RMB) (CNY)
Other cities in the region (Zhejiang, China)
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Hangzhou Attractions (Foursquare)
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Jinan, Wenzhou, Shanghai, Shaoxing, Xian, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Jiuzhaigou, Beijing, Wuhan, Urumqi, Xiamen, Hainan, Lhasa, Nanjing, Chengdu, Yangshuo, Mount Huangshan, Hongcun, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Changsha, Qingdao, Harbin, Tibet, Kanas Lake, Lanzhou, Leshan, Fenghuang, Kunming, Lijiang, Shenzhen, Datong, Moganshan, Yushu, Changchun, Zhengzhou, Beihai, Yabuli, Mount Kailash, Fuzhou, Hohhot, Nanning, Guiyang, Dunhuang, Shenyang [Browse all]