How to Plan a Tour of Hangzhou

How to Plan a Tour of Hangzhou

Welcome to Hangzhou - Paradise on Earth

Hangzhou, one of the seven ancient capitals in China’s history, enjoys the reputation of being Paradise on Earth, along with its neighbor Suzhou. “Hang”, literally means “ship”, and refers specifically to the ship which the legendary Dayu took while taming floods 4,000 years ago, which shows how ancient Hangzhou is. West Lake in the heart of Hangzhou is a must-see, and cultural sites such as the Lingyin Temple and the Pagoda of Six Harmonies should not be missed. If you are a lover of tea and silk products, educational visits to tea plantations or silk factories can be arranged.

Hangzhou Facts
  • English Name: Hangzhou
  • Chinese name: 杭州 háng zhōu
  • Province: Zhejiang
  • Location: Southeast China
  • Population (city):about 11.93 million
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Zip code: 310000
  • Tel code: +86 (0571)
  • Time zone: China standard (UTC+8)
  • International Airports: Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH)
  • Railway Stations: Hangzhou Station, Hangzhou East Station, Hangzhou South Station, Hangzhou West Station, Yuhang Station

Best Time to Visit Hangzhou

Hangzhou has a subtropical monsoon climate with four distinct seasons. It is hot and humid in summer, and cold and damp in winter. Spring and autumn stand out as the most comfortable seasons to visit the area. Try to avoid national holidays as it will be crowded in popular scenic areas.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean Maximum Temperature ℃(℉) 8 10 15 21 26 29 34 33 28 23 17 11 21
47 51 59 70 79 84 93 91 83 74 63 52 71
Mean Minimum Temperature℃(℉) 2 4 7 12 18 21 25 25 21 15 9 4 14
35 38 45 54 64 71 77 77 70 60 49 39 57
Rainfall amount ㎜(inch) 81 88 141 123 129 219 173 162 124 79 72 49 1438
3 3 6 5 5 9 7 6 5 3 3 2 57
Days with Rain(≥ 0.1 mm) 12 12 15 15 14 15 12 14 12 9 9 9 147
Mean Monthly Sunshine Duration hrs 102 97 116 141 165 137 213 193 144 145 129 129 1709

Top Things To Do and See in Hangzhou

West Lake, embraced on three sides by mountains, is a huge fresh water lake with an area of 6.39 sq.meters. The Lake is divided by Gushan Mountain, Baidi Causeway, Sudi Causeway and Yanggongdi Causeway, resulting in the landscape of one mountain, two pagodas, three islets and five lakes. A leisurely boat cruise on West Lake will take you into the heart of the Lake to visit the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon and the Mid-Lake Pavilion. Read more on How to Visit West Lake.

West Lake

Lingyin Temple, called the Temple of Soul’s Retreat in English, was firstly built in 326 A.D. by a preacher, Huili, from India. It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China. The biggest wooden Sakjamuni Buddha statue in China sits in the main temple of Lingyin. Learn more about Lingyin Temple.

Lingyin Temple

Fei Lai Feng, also known as the “Peak Flown from Afar”, faces Lingyin Temple and is famous for its lime rock carvings of Buddha completed in the Song and Yuan Dynasties.

Wuzhen Water Town, 80 km away from Hangzhou, is a distinctive water town with many rivers, bridges and beautiful houses from the Qing Dynasty. Wuzhen is divided into four parts, two of which are open to tourists - Dongzha (East Area) and Xizha (West Area). Dongzha maintains the original look with local residents living in the town while Xizha has been reconstructed to keep the ancient style and accommodate tourists with starred hotels and numerous shops.

Wuzhen Water Town

Recommended Hangzhou Tours

Private Half Day Tour in Hangzhou Half Day Tour of Southern Song Dynasty Culture Private Half Day Tour in Hangzhou View More
Water Town and City Tour in Hangzhou Water Town and City Tour in Hangzhou 3-Day Private Tour in City and to Nanxun Water Town View More
Hangzhou Educational Tour Hangzhou Educational Tour 4 Days Historic Heritage and the Present Life Style View More

How to get there

Hangzhou transportation - Domestic cities to Hangzhou
Cities Distance to Hangzhou (km) By Air to Hangzhou By High-Speed Railway to Hangzhou
Beijing 1591 3hrs 5hrs
Xi'an 1696 3hrs 8hrs
Shanghai 202 No direct flight 2hrs
Chengdu 2842 3hrs 14hrs
Suzhou 160 No direct flight 2hrs
Guangzhou 1251 3hrs 6-7.5hrs
Guilin 1350 2hrs 10m 8.5hrs

Recommended Hotels

Category Hotel Name Hotel Class Why Recommend Ranking on Trip Advisor
International Chain Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake 5-star
  • A world class five star hotel with beautiful garden right next to West Lake
  • Highly professional staff, taking care of every detail, genuinely welcoming and having a much better command of English
  • Chinese restaurant in the hotel is a must eat
Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Hangzhou 5-star
  • Staff are super friendly are willing to help in every way
  • Located at a strategic area which is close to the iconic West Lake (5 mins walk) and also near to eating places
  • Foreign staff work at hotel to offer service in different language
Hyatt Regency Hangzhou 5-star
  • Staff are polite efficient and anticipate ones every need
  • Rooms are modern with good technology and furnished comfortably
  • Facing West Lake, great to take a walk anytime
Best Value Courtyard by Marriott Hangzhou Wulin 5-star
  • Great location near Wuli Square for shopping and eating
  • Staff are welcoming, helpful and accommodating
  • Great value for money
Haihua Hotel Hangzhou 4-star
  • Good location, situated towards the Southern edge of Lijiang Old Town
  • Comprehensive and tasty Breakfast buffet
  • Excellent service and cosy rooms
Enjoyor Hotel 3-star
  • Great restaurant on the 2nd floor (european) and good chinese restaurant on the 3rd floor
  • Clean and modern rooms with great little additions like live plants and a fish bowl on the desk
  • Walking distance to shopping areas
Boutique Banyan Tree Hangzhou 5-star
  • Excellent service and friendly English speaking staff
  • Walking distance to Xixi National Wetland Park & Museum
  • Serene and peaceful scene with native plants adorning the surrounding villas, winding waterways, and cute stone bridges
Amanfayun 5-star
  • Guest rooms are constructed from the village houses for an original China experience
  • Food was superb and the ambiance was great
  • Quiet and religious atmosphere near Lingyin Temple to see monks passing by