Hangzhou Travel Guide

Hangzhou is one of the most important tourist cities in China, famous for its natural beauty and historical / cultural heritages.

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All the info to prepare your trip to Hangzhou. How to get in, maps, activities to...
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Hangzhou lies in the southeast coast of China. Located at the southern end of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, it is widely known for its beautiful landscape of West Lake.

In the saying “Upper in heaven is the paradise, lower on the earth are Suzhou and Hangzhou”, is expressed ancient and modern people’s heartfelt admiration for this beautiful city. In Yuan Dynasty the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo referred to the city as “beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world”.

Hangzhou is renowned for its historic relics and natural beauty. It is known as one of the most beautiful cities in China, also ranking as one of the most scenic cities. Although Hangzhou has been through many recent urban developments, it still retains its historical and cultural heritage.

Today, tourism remains an important factor for Hangzhou’s economy. One of Hangzhou’s most popular sights is West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The West Lake Cultural Landscape covers an area of 3,323 ha and includes some of Hangzhou’s most notable historic and scenic places. Adjacent to the lake is a scenic area which includes historical pagodas, cultural sites, as well as the natural beauty of the lake and hills, including Phoenix Mountain. There are two causeways across the lake.

It’s worthwhile to know that it’s annoyingly humid in summertime, which is from early June to early September.

Famed for its natural scenery, Hangzhou and its West Lake (西湖; Xīhú) have been immortalized by countless poets and artists. The city was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty from 1127 until the Mongol invasion of 1276. The city’s population is estimated to have been as high as one million in those days, making it the largest city in the world at the time. Even Marco Polo claimed to have passed through, calling it beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world. Since June 2011, the West Lake Cultural Landscape has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

With the gradual silting up of its harbor, much of the city’s trade and industry passed north to nearby Shanghai, but the city still has a bustling population of 8.7 million and ranks as one of China’s most popular tourist attractions.

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GET IN

By plane

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) serves domestic and international flights. There are frequent services to Beijing and Hong Kong, but using Shanghai’s domestic Hongqiao or the international Pudong airports and connecting by bus or train is also a viable option. The only European destination is Amsterdam, through KLM. Asian cities that have service to Hangzhou include Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Osaka, Bangkok, Seoul, and Singapore. Flights from Kuala Lumpur can be obtained from AirAsia. The service to Bangkok is through Hainan Airlines. There is a direct service to Hangzhou from Singapore on Jetstar Asia.

Airport transfers

The airport is about 30km east of the city centre, taking between 30 minutes and 1 hour by taxi. A taxi to or from the airport from the city centre is around ¥90; on the way back, you should ask if the driver is willing to take you that far before just jumping in the car with all your bags. No additional fee is payable for travel to/from the airport, the normal metered fare applies.

A shuttle service (¥20) to/from the Xiaoshan Bus ticket office on Tiyuchang Road next to the KFC just west of Wulin Square. The shuttle bus also stops at the main railway station en-route. Buses run every 30 mins during the daytime and take about an hour; join the queue for your ticket at the booth just outside the exit before boarding the bus. And the departure times form airport is 07:30 — 09:30, every 30 minutes;09:30 — 17:00, every 15 minutes;17:00-21:00, every 20 minutes;after21:00, every 30 minutes.But “30 minutes”,”20 minutes” and “15 minutes” refer to waiting time from the first passenger boarding the bus. After all the seats are taken, the bus takes off within 30,20 or 15 minutes.

The Shangri-La Hotel also has a shuttle service to/from the airport for ¥50, inquire within.

Shanghai Airport

Alternatively, if flying into Pudong Airport in Shanghai, there are direct buses to Hangzhou. They leave from the 2nd floor parking lot across from Gate 15 of Pudong Airport. According to the Shanghai Airport website, http://www.shairport.com/, they depart starting 8:40AM, then every hour on the hour from 10:00AM till 8:00PM. It costs ¥100. These buses arrive at the Hangzhou Yellow Dragon Sports Center (football stadium), 3km to the west of the city centre.

The reverse trip from Hangzhou to Pudong Airport is also possible, the bus leave from the Yellow Dragon Sport Center as well as Hangzhou Xiaoshan Bus ticket office on Tiyuchang Road next to the KFC just west of Wulin Square. Also see below By BUS section.

By train

There are frequent high-speed trains connecting Hangzhou and Shanghai. The CRH train (train numbers starting with G or D) from Hangzhou to Shanghai’s Hongqiao Station is 50 minutes non-stop (app. ¥78). Some services have intermediate stops and take 55-60min. The trains have recently been limited to 300 km/h for safety reasons. Although the ticket machines offer English language booking, you need a Chinese ID for finishing the transaction as the tickets are ID bound (You also need to show your passport at the ticket office). If heading back to Shanghai, slower trains (Z, K, T and L) seem to be sold early, so consider booking the return ticket already on arrival.

In addition to Shanghai, Hangzhou Train Station serves trains from Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, and everywhere in between. For destinations further away, such as Kunming and Urumqi, you would first want to go to Shanghai or some halfway-point train station. There is an East Train Station as well, but it is not in such a smart part of town. Trains returning from Shanghai often only stop here rather than at the main station..

By bus

Hangzhou has four bus stations (N, E – “Jiubao” on Shengjia Rd, W, and S). Usually, the direction of your destination corresponds to the bus station’s name, eg if you are going to Shanghai, you will want the East Bus Station. If you are going to Huangshan, buses leave from the West Bus Station; Nanjing is served by a frequent service from the North Station, and so on. Wūzhen (90 mins by bus, frequent morning departures) is now serviced by Jiubao Bus station, no longer the defunct Genshan Xilu bus station. It costs ¥50 and 45 mins to get to Jiubao bus stn from the eastern shore of West Lake by Taxi. Bus K12 then bus K101 can also make the trip, allow 90 mins to arrive at the Jiubao bus stn, and another 90 mins to get to Wūzhen.

For travel to or from Shanghai, the high-speed ‘G’ train is now far more convenient and quicker than the bus, but book early for daytime weekend travel.
From Shanghai: Buses depart from the north bus station (Hengfen Lu), the PuDong bus station (Bailianjing, PuDong Nan Lu), and from Xujiahui Bus Station, tickets cost ¥58. These buses arrive at the north bus station of Hangzhou.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport : direct long distance bus from the Airport to Hangzhou on Tiyuchang Rd, avoiding transfer via Shanghai. From Arrivals in the Airport, follow the clearly marked signs to the Long Distance Coach Terminal (well after the Maglev Terminal) and take the elevator down one level to the concourse. Hourly depratures, on the hour in the evenings. Last departure is 9PM. Take cash for fare.

To Shanghai Pudong International Airport: There are buses between Yellow Dragon Stadium and Pudong Airport (direct) and Wulinmen Ticket Office and Pudong Airport (with a stop en route at Hongqiao). Tickets can be purchased at the area with all the buses in front of the Yellow Dragon Stadium or at the Wulinmen Ticket office near the KFC on Tiyuchang Rd. (100¥, 2.5 hour journey)

To Hongqiao Airport (direct),: Wulinmen Ticket Office near the KFC on Tiyuchang Rd (¥100).

By boat

The overnight boat service between Hangzhou and Suzhou/Wuxi has been discontinued. You can still take a ferry along the Hangzhou-Beijing Grand Canal to the north of Hangzhou proper (see “water taxi” section below).

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GET AROUND

By bus

Hangzhou has an extensive bus networks, and bus schedules, routes, and on-board announcements are all in Chinese. However, if you download and use the Google Maps app on your mobile phone, it is quite easy to find directions, track your movement, and navigate your way around the Hangzhou bus system. The routes and bus numbering shown in Google Maps are very accurate for Hangzhou. Hangzhou taxis are notoriously expensive in China, and using the public bus system will save you money.

There are a number of bus types:

  • Routes without a letter prefix generally have no air conditioning (though there are some exceptions, like route 900), and should therefor be avoided May-September. They are heated during the winter. These generally cost ¥1-2.
  • Routes with a “K” prefix are air-conditioned May-September, and heated December-February. These cost ¥2-3, except when both the AC and heat are off, during which time the fare is halved.
  • Routes with a “Y” prefix are designated tourist buses, and will take you to or from a tourist destination for ¥3-5. Use Google Maps to check whether your bus drives to your desired direction.
  • Routes with a “B” prefix are part of the new Bus Rapid Transit system. These are articulated buses that stop at dedicated BRT stations, which allow you to transfer to other “B” routes without paying an additional fare. The fare of ¥4 is paid on entering the station. These buses are roomier than the usual municipal buses, but are not much more rapid.
  • Night routes (which have blue signs and are numbered K2xx) are ¥2.5. Most start running at 9PM and end around 6AM.

For those arriving in Hangzhou by train, note that bus K7 goes from the Hangzhou Rail Station to the West Lake for ¥1.

Fares can be paid in cash (coins or bills, no change given), by using a dedicated bus card, or by tapping the same card used to rent bikes (see below). The fare will be displayed in Western numerals on the bus stop and on the farebox. Some buses just have metal boxes besides the driver where you throw in the money. It seems that nobody really checks how many coins you throw in there, they just trust that you know the fare.

You are expected to board via the front doors and leave through the rear (with the exception of the B routes). Buses have very little empty space even when they are not full (which is not common) so do not plan on bringing baby strollers or other cumbersome items. Be prepared at all times for fast turns and/or deceleration. The suspension usually is not up to modern standards, and the drivers are aggressive.

By taxi

Hangzhou has a large number of taxis which allow for quick and convenient travel within the city proper. Most of the city’s taxis are turquoise-green in color and easily identifiable by the word Taxi printed in both English and Chinese on the vehicles. Taxis for hire are marked by the green (or sometimes yellow-orange) light-up signs above the dashboard on each car.

Hangzhou taxi drivers almost always use the meter as required by law. Trips start at ¥11 and are priced by the kilometer, with surcharges for idling time and trips over 10km. It is advisable to take a receipt each time use you a taxi, should you wish to contact the taxi company or driver at later time to dispute a fare, recover a lost article, etc. Avoid the taxi touts at the train station and major tourist attractions, and instead, use the designated taxi queue or flag one off the street.

Few, if any, of the city’s taxi drivers speak English or any other foreign language. It is therefore important that you be able to point out your destination on a map, present the driver with the name of the destination (in written Chinese), or properly pronounce the name of the destination in either the local Hangzhou dialect or Mandarin Chinese. If you have a Chinese acquaintance whom you can reach by cell phone, you can allow him or her to speak to your driver through the phone to convey the desired information.

Hangzhou taxis are not allowed to carry more than four passengers, although you may be able to convince or bribe a driver to allow you to “hide” an extra passenger in the backseat. This can be worth the trouble or expense if it saves your group from needing to take two taxis.

It is also not unusual, especially at late or slow hours for the taxi driver to collect multiple fares to make the journey more worth their while. This will normally be explained in Chinese. This is uncommon at normal hours, however.

Taxis, like all public transportation, are difficult to come by during the tourist weeks (Chinese New Year, May Golden Week, and October National Week); also, taxis at 7:30AM-8:45AM and 4:30PM-7:00PM, and every time it rains, are difficult to flag, as they are always full or in the middle of a shift change. A taxi with an imminent shift change (usually ~ 3PM-5PM) will be showing a plate in the windscreen (Chinese characters of course) and will only take you if your route coincides with theirs. Being familiar with areas that taxis frequent or places where taxi passengers are likely to be dropped off at will aid you in finding a ride. Do not be visibly upset that your hailing position will be gazumped by a new arrival 20 metres up the road. The only rule is; it is the quick and the dead.

Taxi drivers will also negotiate for long distance trips, or full-day/half-day hiring. A trip to Pudong airport in Shanghai will be 600-1,000RMB depending on time of day or night.

In outer centres of Hangzhou, small five seater vans are usually available at bus terminals for onward transfers. These operate quite independently and the normal taxi rules do not apply. They will take you anywhere at a negotiated price.

By subway

A total of 8 lines covering over 200km have been planned. Line 1 opened in November 2012, and line 2 is scheduled next. The opening dates of the lines are “last”, which means that they can open earlier in case they pass the security checks quicker. For example, Nanjing’s new subway system was opened ahead of time, after safety checks were passed, and the same happened in Shanghai.

By “water bus”

Ferry down the Grand Canal takes 30 minutes but only makes 5 trips per day, the first at 7:30AM and the last at 6PM. It starts at Wulin Gate/West Lake Culture Plaza and ends at Gongchen Bridge, with one stop at Xinyifang Grand Canal Culture Plaza. The boats stop first at Xinyifang, then to the newly-developed Canal Culture Square, where you can see the Canal Museum, see if there are any events in the square, and check out the new Xiaohe Steet- a series of “historical” alleys with shops and restaurants similar to Hangzhou’s Hefang Street; the area’s renovation was completed in 2008. Cost is ¥3.

While really worth taking the trip, Hangzhou now has plans to connect a series of canals and streams throughout the city with the Grand Canal, West Lake, Yuhang River, and Qiantang River, making for increased water transport and a Venetian feel when completed.

There are also passenger boats running along the Grand Canal from near the Qiantang River

Getting to the islands on West Lake, you get to choose between tourist trap Dragon or “Gaily-painted” pleasure boats (¥45 and ¥35). There are also medium-sized power boats (¥25), or for ¥160 you can hire a driver to paddle you around for about an hour. The boats are available in Hubin #X (1, 3, 6) parks and other obviously marked areas all over the lake.

By bike

While traffic in Hangzhou may seem chaotic to some foreigners, the city is comparatively bike-friendly. All but small side roads have dedicated bike lanes, often divided from motor traffic by barricades or medians.

For stays in Hangzhou, making use of the city’s extensive public bike system can be a cheap and convenient way to experience the city. These fire engine red public bikes are ubiquitous on the street of Hangzhou, and the rental stations that dispense them are generously spread across the core of the city and around West Lake, stretching all the way up to the suburbs and down to the river near the Six Harmonies Pagoda.

To use the bikes, one will need to purchase a stored value card at one of 5 sites marked “Selling of Public Transport Coupon”, such as 25 Ding An Lu near Ding An Lu Metro station. As well, each bike station will give out free tourist maps including a bike map that shows all the bike stations around the city. To obtain a value card (aka IC card), one must present an ID (such as a passport) and pay ¥300, 200 of which is a deposit with the remaining 100 to cover rentals fees. Bikes may then be rented by tapping the card against one of the automated bike racks holding the bikes. A beep and the audible sound of the rack unlocking will indicate that the bike can be removed. One can use any of the available bike racks scattered about the city if he or she wishes to visit an attraction or get a new bike. The bike is free for the first hour, ¥1 an hour for the two hours after that, and ¥3 an hour thereafter. For example, if one rents a bike for six hours, he or she will return to the main bicycle “hub” and receive 289 of his RMB deposit back, which covers the ¥11 worth of bike riding.

IC Cards or the bike rental cards can also be used on local buses (9% discount on public buses). More than one person may use the same card for their bus fare. Simply swipe the card the number of times equivalent to the number of people getting on the bus.

Be careful to choose a bike with air in the front and back wheels, working brakes and appropriate seat height. However none of the bikes were designed for reasonably tall people, so if you have long legs you may end up chaffing your knees on the handlebars. During rush hour, local residents also actively use the bikes. Therefore, most bike stalls will be full and you might not easily find a station with empty racks to return your bike.

Bikes are returned by reinserting them into an empty bike rack and tapping one’s card against the top of the rack. Another beep, a solid green light, and the sound of the rack locking will indicate when the bike has been received successfully. Make sure the bike rack lock receives your bike; if it doesn’t, the bike won’t be registered returned in the system, and you will lose both your bike rental and deposit money and get no refund. The system opens for business at 6:00 a.m.; bikes not returned by 9:00 p.m. each night must be taken back to the Longxiang Qiao location (24hr), so keep an eye on the clock during evening rides.

It is perfectly alright to rent bikes and return it within the hour and then immediately rent another bike so you never have to pay a dime.

By walking

As a relaxing tourism city, there are several pedestrian streets around Hangzhou, especially around the West Lake.For example, the Hubin Road, Bai Di, Su Di. It is really an excellent experience to enjoy the wonderful view by taking a small walk. Besides, there are a lot of trees along the streets so that you need not to worry about the sunshine and hot weather.

Maps

Buy maps near the Train Station or Bus Station from street vendors or stalls when you arrive. Price is often marked on the maps themselves, if you are wondering how much to pay (under ¥10). Street-bought maps are usually written in simplified Chinese with no pinyin. You can find pinyin maps at foreign language bookstores and magazine stalls near the West Lake. The main foreign language bookstore in Yan An Road has a reasonable selection of maps as well as travel books.

There is a useful ‘what’s on’ magazine called More Hangzhou that has a good pull-out map in Chinese and English. The magazine is free and can be found in many hotels and bars.

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DO

  • Impression West Lake (印象西湖. Directed by the internationally-acclaimed Zhang Yimou, a love story performed with impressive special effects on the lake. There are two performances every night, and it is a spectacle not to be missed.
  • Early morning bikeride. Start on the north side of the lake, and head west towards Zhejiang University, then down Lingyin Road past the Botanical Gardens and into Longjing Village. Keep heading West and south through the tea villages, bamboo forest, and scenic valleys to the river and cut over towards Six Harmonies Pagoda. Go back to the south end of the lake via the road right next to Six Harmonies, past the zoo, through the tunnels. Cycling is banned directly alongside the lake for about half of the way, so walking may be better if you want to see the lake.
  • Walk around the lake. It will take you about 5 hours of slow walking. The lake is not very big and there are two shortcuts (causeways) through it. You can also hire small non-motor powered boats (¥120/hour for personal boat with driver, or use the ferry services) to take you around the lake and to the two islands, which feature some interesting sites.
  • Go Hiking in the Mountains. Truly Hangzhou has the most accessible and interesting hiking environments within walking distance of any city. Purchase a topographic map, not difficult to find. Suggestion 1. Start with the the climb up to the Baochu Pagoda from Beishan Road, the trail passes the pagoda and continues on with a rock scramble and great views to a series of stone paths that follow the ridge. Keep going and relax, you can’t get lost because this mountain is surrounded by main roads. There are temples, shrines and caves along the way with a sprinkling of tea houses. Stay with the high ground where you can and you should come out near the corner of Shuguang Rd and Beishan Rd. in an easy 2 hours, with plenty of opportunities for side explorations. You can walk back or return by bus (be brave, as long as the bus is going inbound it will take you somewhere central. The fare will be Y1-3 and services are frequent) or cab. Suggestion 2. Start at Wushan Square, at the southern end of Yan’an Rd, and walk south through the developed park land. Stay high, and pass the war memorial, stunning stone sculptures, down the large stairway to Wansongling Rd. Cross the road, turn left and 100 metres later enter the forest past a memorial garden. From here the stone paths lead inexorably south to Fenghuang Hill and then south west finally to Yuhuang Hill, the summit of which contains a large temple complex and boasts marvellous views over West lake and the Qiantang River. Descend to the west, but beware the tricky circular road, to Hupao Road and take a bus back from the Hangzhou zoo bus stop. It will take a slow 4 hours. You will at times be geographically challenged, but soon you will get the drift of it, and be better prepared to tackle the huge mountain, forest and tea village areas to the south west of the lake. The complete circuit from Xixi Rd to Wushan Square via Northern Peak, Shi Peak, Wuyun Hill, Jiuxi, HZ Zoo, Yuhuang, Fenghuang Hill will take a party of regular fitness, with stops, 10-12 hours. Then for a hike with a difference, hike out to Meijiawu and stay at a guest house, returning the following day via a different route.
  • Visit the temples and pagodas. The most popular ones are Baochu pagoda, which is the tower-like one on a hill on the north side of the lake. This hill is a great hike, with excellent views of the lake and city, several smaller temples of a variety of religions, and Huanglong Cave on the northern slope of the hill. 6 Harmonies Pagoda, located on the river, is the largest and most imposing. A fun hike after the pagoda leads from the shores of the river, behind the pagoda, and into the Longjing tea fields near the tea museum. Lingyin Temple, on the west side of the lake, is also a large complex with a surprisingly devout crowd of worshipers. This area also has many excellent hikes, as well as a cable car to the top of Beifeng Hill (with another temple at the top). Finally, Leifeng Pagoda has recently been rebuilt and has escalators and elevators, while all that remains of the foundation is on display on the main level. Despite its lack of ancient Chinese beauty, the benches and gazebo-like structures surrounding the area make for a nice place to sit in the breeze, and it also has an excellent view looking in the opposite direction as the Baochu area.
  • Go for a Run. The lakeside surrounds of gardens, parks, views and items of interest make a great backdrop to a run. Join the “Even If It Rains” running group of locals and laowei at 7.30PM on Tuesday nights from the Maya Bar (across the road from the stadium in Shuguang Rd, at the traffic lights where Shuguang Rd. bends). Socialise after; it’s a welcoming group. The local chapter of the Hash House Harriers is sadly in remission. The Vasque mountain race of approx 35km through the mountains, tea fields and lakeside is held around October and in November is held the Hangzhou marathon, half marathon and lesser distances.
  • Spend an afternoon at a tea house. A highlight of visiting Hangzhou is getting out to Manjuelong Village, (South of the lake on top of the hill) Longjin Village or Meijiawu Village, (west and further west of the Lake, respectively) to drink your tea. These villages have had a make-over in the last 2 or 3 years and while can be busy at weekends they are still great places to while away an afternoon watching the tea being picked. The tea houses all serve very local food – pickled vegetables, chicken broth etc – but often there is no menu; rather the owner will suggest what you should eat. Make sure you get a price for the dishes before you tuck in.
  • Shopping — see the “Buy” section for more info
  • The West Lake Golf Club near Six Harmonies Pagoda and Songcheng was designed by Jack Nicklaus.
  • Boating along the Hangzhou-Beijing Canal is becoming more popular.
  • Ice Skating. Hangzhou has a full Olympic size commercial ice skating rink located in the MIXC mall, new Central Business District near the Qintang River. The World Ice Arena is open 365 days a year at 10:30AM closing at 10PM. Weekdays have unlimited skating time for the entry price. Before 5PM, price is ¥50 and after 5:30pm is ¥60. Weekends are ¥70 for 2 hour sessions. All prices include the new Canadian rental skate, use of locker and all safety gear (elbow, knee, wrist and helmets). Professional coaching is availalbe at the school reservations desk. Pro shop has an extensive line of figure skating equipment and apparel as well some novelty items related to skating. Located on the 4th floor of the mall. Management and some general staff speak English and Chinese. Ice is resurfaced every 2 hours by a new electric model 552 Zamboni machine. The surroundings are elegant and clean. There is a small cafe inside for snacks. The rink keeps a doctor on duty at all times to assist with minor injuries. The rink’s entire refrigeration system is dramatically displayed with cool blue lighting and real time information can be viewed on an LCD screen.
  • Go to a book shop. Hangzhou has several book shops, Xinhua bookstore on Jiefang road near the JieBai department store is the oldest bookshop. Boku bookstore at the intersection of WenEr road and HanCheng north road. It’s a book lovers paradise. The PageOne bookstore in the MIXC mall also has a fairly sizable selection of English books.
  • Learn Tai Chi Chuan. Tai chi chuan is popular in China and as part of Chinese culture it has been highly evaluated by the whole world. But the problem is if you are from another country then the language would be a big gap. One tai chi instructor for you is James Xu. He is experienced in teaching foreigners tai chi (in English) and has his own web site at.
  • Visit Moganshan
  • Zhejiang University(浙江大学), Yuquan Campus. This university is the product of combining four formerly individual universities: Zhejiang University, Hangzhou University, Zhejiang Agricultural University and Zhejiang Medical University. The university offers 110 undergraduate, 264 masters and 181 doctoral degree areas. Tuition is extremely affordable from a Western perspective. Courses in Chinese language and culture are ¥18,000 (~$2,250 USD) a year, ¥9,000 a term, or ¥800 (~$100 USD) a week and are taught mostly in Chinese (with occasional English).
  • Hangzhou Normal University (HZNU) (杭州师范大学) is the only municipal comprehensive university of Hangzhou highlighted with the education and studies of art, literature, history and nature science. It is also the second prestigious university in Zhejiang province in the realm of humanities. The main campus of HZNU is situated in the west side of downtown Hangzhou, exactly at Cangqian Future Sci-Tech City Yuhang District, which is quite closer to Zijingang campus of Zhejiang University.
  • Zhejiang University of Science and Technology (ZUST).(浙江科技大学) ZUST is one of the most beautiful universities in Hangzhou. It is located in the Xiaoheshan high education district. You can visit the university by taking bus K193, K310, J12. If English-speaking people want to teach in Hangzhou, ZUST would be a good choice.
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Buy

  • Night Market (夜市)A bustling tent market just south east of intersetion of Yan’an Road / Pinghai Road (past Huansha Rd, along Renhe Rd) every night. Here you can find clothing of various (and interesting) Chinese designs, Mao memorabilia, jewelery, paper fans, pipes, lighters, eletronic accessories, luggage, handicrafts and other items that most Chinese cities have. Pirated DVDs and counterfeit handbags are for sale as well. You can also find a lot of those silk-screen printed paintings/embroidery things that the silk market also has. Bargain very hard; many stalls sell the same merchandise, so be prepared to walk away (although this traveler found it almost impossible to get cheaper prices). Be careful buying “antiques” because they are probably new, and pearls. Often the pearl culturing process has been very short, and in fact the “pearl” is a plastic marble with only the thinnest of cultured skin.
    Hangzhou China Silk Town on Tiyuchang Road. You can also get silk at other places in the city, but most of it will just be the fabric. It is open from 8AM to 5PM and is near the Zhejiang International Hotel. Bargain hard!

  • Electronics Markets(电子产品市场) – Running west-east in north-west Hangzhou on Wensan Road are several indoor, multistory electronics shopping centers offering all manner of electronics including desktop computers, laptops, computer software (licensed and un-licensed), cellphones, mp3 players, and hundreds of peripherals and storage media. Pirated DVDs and computer games are offered as well, and if you are obviously a foreigner, vendors will shout “DVD! DVD!” at you to urge you to browse their selection.
  • Bird and Flower Markets- Several in town, Gucui Rd and Wener West Rd in the west, another on Jichang Rd in north, the interesting one is next to Wushan Square, downtown. On 3 or 4 floors, this market is stuffed with pets and plants. Also sections selling Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with dried snake and seahorse, huge dried mushrooms and other strange things.
  • Tea – Dragon Well/Longjing tea is famous throughout China and worth getting if you like green tea. If you are staying with a Chinese host somewhere else in China after Hangzhou, bringing them a small box (or two) of higher-end Longjing Tea would make a great gift; however, bear in mind that these usually cost around ¥300/box (more at tourist stands). The Longjing village and tea fields area of Hangzhou (southwest of West Lake) are where Longjing tea is grown. Besides being worth a visit for the scenic sights alone, tea can be purchased here as well – fresh from the harvesters’ bags if so desired. Many places across the city also sell tea, such as informal vendors and small shops easily identifiable by the boxes displayed inside or store names such as “西湖龙井茶” (West Lake Dragon Well Tea), as well as grocery stores and supermarket chains. Because of the fame of Longjing tea, fake and low-grade varieties exist. If you have no experience buying tea, purchase from a reputable-looking establishment or ask the advise of a knowledgeable native.
  • Clothes – Hangzhou has literally hundreds of clothes and shoes stores. The largest concentration of these are on Yan’an Rd and especially Wulin Rd, making a straight line of clothes shops stacked on top of each other between Wushan and Wulin Squares. Another popular clothing spot is “Song Mu Chang” (松木场) just north of the lake on Shuguang Road. All of these places require bargaining and often have a lot of fake ripoff clothes. For the real thing, try the department stores (ie Hangzhou Tower across between Yan’an and Nanshan Roads). You can certainly find cheaper clothes stores scattered throughout the city as you get farther from the lake if you really like to buy clothes.
  • Landscape paintings – There are several places to buy Chinese landscape paintings in the city, especially near Wushan Square and around the south/east side of the lake.
  • Carrefour has a supermarket in the downtown area east of West Lake (on South Yan’an Lu). In addition its large selection of groceries, it carries a wider variety of Western foods such as cheeses and breads than most other grocery stores in the city. What this really means is a single aisle of Western brands and foods. Do not expect a large selection. This is also a good place to purchase western liquor. French Gin is as ltttle as ¥55 per litre, Captain Morgan rum about ¥75 and Cointreau ¥135. How these prices are about half of duty free escapes this contributor.
  • Trust-Mart (好又多) is a superstore chain Westerners may recognize as being similar to Wal-Mart. Located in the shopping center near the Yellow Dragon Sports Stadium north of West Lake and the Baochu Pagoda area, the store has a large grocery section that boasts fresh meats, seafood, and produce as well as the normal selection of packaged food.
  • Bicycles of all prices and qualities are available from bike shops scattered across Hangzhou. Bargaining is necessary at all but large chain stores, and generally one gets what he or she pays for (the cheapest bikes will begin to rust and break quickly). The indoor Electric Bike Market near the corner of Wener and Xueyuan Lu offers a huge assortment of electric bikes/scooters and batteries, and Trust-Mart (see above) also has a reasonable selection of bicycles and a small selection of electric bikes/scooters. Any bike, regardless of the value, will be stolen if left unattended and unsecured. Be sure to buy at least one lock (two for expensive scooters and bikes) to protect your purchase. Scooters may also require a locking frame to guard the battery from theft. A cycling club based in Hangzhou.
  • Mall the new MIXC mall located next to the Qintang River in the new Central Business District has an enormous collection of high-end luxury brands including LV, Armani, Ferragamo and the like, but also has Hangzhou’s best market for imported foods. “Ole” is located in the B2 level of the mall and be prepared to spend big. The cinema complex on the 3rd, 4th and 5th levels has 12 screens including the largest of the two IMAX theatre’s in the city. Also on the 4th floor is a full Olympic size ice skating arena open daily from 10:30AM to 10PM. Ticket prices range from ¥50 for unlimited skating time on regular weekdays (¥60 after 5:30PM) and ¥70 for 2 hour sessions on weekends and holiday. Price includes new Canadian rental skates, use of free locker and all safety gear (elbows, wrist and knee protectors and use of helmets). The rink is modern, clean and well trained and friendly professional staff. The skating school is reasonably priced and geared entirely for beginners. The 30m x 60m ice is resurfaced every 2 hours by a Zamboni machine.
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EAT

Hangzhou is one of the premier places to eat in China, and its local cuisine features dishes that consist more of pork and seafood rather than the beef and lamb, as those typically found in the north and west regions of China. Typical Hangzhou specialties include dongpo rou, an extremely fatty chunk of pork in a syrupy sauce, and cuyu, which is fish with a vinegar sauce. If you do not like Hangzhou’s cuisine, you can find plenty of excellent Sichuan, Shanxi, and Xinjiang restaurants throughout the city.

Budget

For budget restaurants, even near the lake, just head into an alley and get some food from a small restaurant or street-side stand. You should judge for yourself how sanitary the food is, but Hangzhou is generally fairly civilized in this respect relative to other Chinese cities. These restaurants are all quite similar.

If you like dumplings and have just come down the north side of Baochu hill (past the cave and in view of the soccer stadium), one option is to continue across Shuguang Road and up Hangda Road (0.5 blocks east and 1 block north) to Tianmushan Road. At the corner of Tianmushan and Hangda Roads are 2 decent dumpling restaurants with English menus available (one is upstairs from the other). They have many of varieties of dumplings, including all-vegetable. From 6 yuan to 18 yuan for a plateful.

  • Zhōngshān nánlù (中山南路) This is one of the great street food strips in China. It is a definite must-see/taste at nighttime. It begins at the Drum Tower, only a short walk from the end of Gaoyin ancient street.
  • Zhīwèiguān restaurant on Rénhé lù (仁和路) is well-known among Chinese in Hangzhou. It has a variety of cheap and traditional dishes. There’s no English, it uses floor-ticket ordering, and the atmosphere is bustling and noisy.

Mid-range

For American junk food, Hangzhou has many KFCs, several McDonalds, and an increasing number of Pizza Huts throughout town, especially near the lake. If you like Pizza Hut style pizza, but don’t want to pay Pizza Hut prices, there’s a much cheaper Pizza Hut ‘clone’ on You Dian Road, corner of Hubin Road, right near the lake.

Other restaurants that are good and aren’t as tourist-trappy can as Lou Wai Lou are located near the West Lake, usually to the East past Hubin Road in the Yan’an Road area.

For Xinjiang, try Jade Dragon Xinjiang Special Restaurant (龙翠阁新疆特色餐厅) inside the Handnice Hotel (Originally of Tiandu Hotel on Zhongshan Bei Road) at the east side of Hangzhou Yellow Dragon Sports Stadium. Some say the Xinjiang restaurant on the 5th floor of Sanrui Tower (三瑞大厦) on Qingchun Road is better and more authentic, and on the east side of town, Xinjiang Pamir Muslim Restaurant (新疆帕米尔餐厅) has many Xinjiang people dining there.

  • Chuan Wei Guan – For Hot Pot, this city-wide chain (5 restaurants throughout town) is best, and this hotpot place also has several good Sichuan dishes.
  • Grandma’s Kitchen (外婆家) has expanded to almost 20 locations in Hangzhou, each packed to the brim with customers. It has a comprehensive picture menu and reasonable prices. Not all locations offer the same selection or the same prices. One of the best is on Ma Cheng Road, between Tian Mu Shan and Wen San Roads, near to the Boku bookstore. Unfortunately, Grandma’s Kitchen suffers a bit from its own popularity, making a long wait inevitable and service haphazard (forgotten dishes and the like). It’s best to call ahead and try to make reservations to avoid the long wait.
  • Tianlutang (天祿堂) teahouse is located in Xixi Wetlands Park. Offers a variety of local dishes. Advance bookings required.
  • Zhang Sheng Ji (张生记), 33 East Qingchun Road. Out of the way but is also huge and now has branches all over China.
  • Green Tea (绿茶), 83 Longjing Lu, across from the back gate of the Zhejiang Bingguan. 0571-8788 8022. Just around the corner from the Tea Museum, this is one of Hangzhou’s most popular Chinese restaurants. A hit with the younger crowd, expect big lines, but the food is well worth it. And there’s something inexplicably charming about sitting above lily pads on wooden platforms while digging into the delicious iced desserts on a hot summer day.

Splurge

Chinese
  • Xi Hu Yin Xiang (西湖印象), Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Hangzhou,One of the best Chinese Restaurants in Hanghzou with the breath- taking West Lake view and the intoxicating moonlight. Address: No.555 Fengqi Road, Xiachang District, Hangzhou 310006, China
  • Lou Wai Lou (楼外楼), right on the lake on an island off Beishan Road. The most famous restaurant in Hangzhou and in existense for over 150 years. Lou Wai Lou also has a second establishment called “Shan Wai Shan” right on the Botanical Gardens. “West Lake sweet & sour fish” is a speciality of this place, and another dish to try is the Beggar’s Chicken, wrapped in fresh lotus leaves and baked on fire. The chicken meat is soft and tender and falls easily off the bones. The restaurant is full every night so a reservation is highly recommended.
  • Oriental Favorites Restaurant (彩云轩), Beishan Road (just past the Broken Bridge). A good replacement for Lou Wai Lou and has an equally good view with slightly cheaper prices (but it’s still expensive).
  • Hubin 28, Hyatt Hotel, 28 Hubin Road. One of the top Chinese restaurants in Hangzhou. Hubin 28 serves good food from all over China in a restaurant designed with a mixture of modern fittings and traditional furniture. It has received good reviews in many foodie magazines in Hong Kong. Dinner will cost more than ¥200 per person.
Japanese

There are lots of Japanese restaurants, many of which offer the “all you can eat and drink” deal for between 120 and 200 renminbi, which is a good deal when you consider sake and plum wine are included, and is a good way to start off a weekend night.

  • Fu Gang, Tiyuchang Road (near Wulin Square). Hangzhou’s most famous Japanese restaurant, although it does not offer an all-you-can-eat deal. It does have a sushi train and set meals though and the sushi is fresh and tasty.
  • Mu Zhi Lan, Nanshan Rd (next to the Bernini coffee shop) is one of the best, especially location-wise. The all-you-can-eat deal is around Y180, but the seating and views are excellent, as is the food.
  • Honglin Teppanyaki, 2/F Modern International Plaza, Yugu Road and Tianmushan Road. This newish Teppanyaki restaurant is clean and spacious, with large table around hotplates able to seat 10-20 people at a go. There is a one-price-gets-everything deal, including sake and beer.
  • Sawasdee Thai Restaurant, Best Thai food in town, located in a 5 star hotel next to the west lake. Fengqi Road 555 | Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Hotel – 2nd Floor, Hangzhou, China
  • Banana Leaf, Changsheng Rd (2 junctions north of the Hyatt on the east side of the lake). South-East Asian. Reservations are recommended on weekends. Although there is a pleasant atmosphere and good quality food, many customers find that the food is untraditional.
  • Curry Bistro, Wangtang Rd (just south of Wenyi Road, near the Wumei shopping center) is a small family run restaurant specialising in Hong Kong and Thai food.
  • Y&Y Cafe, 322 Wen San Xi Lu (Almost facing the entrance of Dang Gui appartments) is a small eatery serving asian dishes at budget price.
Western
  • Triple O’s, best burger in town, 277 Wulin Road, within the trendy Queen’s Garden, on this very popular street of fashion, is offering legendary burgers and shakes from Vancouver, Canada, founded since 1928, its the second store in China and 1st store in Hangzhou, quality and good service would sure hightlight your stay in Hangzhou, 10:30am-11pm.
  • Le Restaurant, 87 Siyanjing, Manjuelong Road, Xihu +86 0571 8971 2700. Located in the Xihu district, nestled in mountains. Italian and French cuisine; authentic Italian Pizzas baked in an Artisanal Wood Fired Oven. Also take advantage of their daily pizza specials and promotions.
  • The Vineyard, Zhongtian Mansion, 173 Yugu Road, +86 0571 8763 2388. Featuring a menu created by Chef Rueben Marley, Vineyard is a vaguely overpriced venue in Hangzhou serving American pub foods like Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, Bacon-Shroom-Melt burgers, and New York style pizza. Expect to pay too much for beer as well, with their (watered down) pints of Tiger going for 25 RMB.
  • Eudora Station, 101-7 Nanshan Road, +86 0571 8791 4760, 9AM-2AM. Situated on the bustling main drag of Hangzhou, Eudora Station offers top-notch Western food and a wide selection of beers displayed on English menus. Take advantage of their daily happy hour specials and nightly promotions.
  • L’Amour French Restaurant, 87 Shu Guang Lu (on the right of youtou bar), +86 57186592191. is a french brasserie serving strictly homemade food in a Shanghaï-Belle-époque themed environment. Closed every thursday.
  • Café at the Hyatt, Hyatt Hotel, 28 Hubin Road. Opened January 2005, considered to be one of the best values in upmarket buffet offerings in Hangzhou, a wide selection is available for about Y148++ lunch, and Y198++ dinner.
  • Y&Y West, 35 Jing Zhou Road (facing the entrance west of Shang shui ren jia appartments) is a small eatery serving lobster, seafish and steaks.
  • Provence, 1 Baishaquan Road, is a restaurant in Hangzhou, serving fresh French and Mediterranean food. Good selection of wines, liquors and cocktails available. Weekend all day brunch.
  • Angelo’s, on #2 Lane off of Baochu Road (across the street NW from 88 Club). New York-themed Italian style restaurant and bar serving pizza, pasta, burgers, and many other offerings.
  • Caribbean BBQ, Yan’an Road (near Wushan Square). It is not very authentic, but is a buffet-style restaurant that will probably at least leave you with a full stomach.
  • Peppino, Shangri-La Hotel. American style italian – pizzas out of the authentic brick oven, steaks, pasta.
  • L96 Guangxian Cafe, Pingfeng Road, (east of Zhongshan Zhong Rd), is a small restaurant in modern atmosphere serving well-prepared Italian food and home-made ice-creams.
Indian
  • Haveli, 77 Nanshan Rd . Indoor and outdoor dining. Expensive and small dishes.
  • Indian Kitchen, 63 Nanshan Road, All you can eat/all you can drink buffet on Saturday & Sunday nights. ¥98, excellent service and tasty food. Serves pretty good masala dosa.
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The drink of choice in Hangzhou is tea, as the local Longjing (龙井, also Lung Ching, literally “Dragon Well”) is the most famous green tea in China. Longjing is divided into seven grades, the two top being Superior (旗枪 qiqiang) and Special (雀舌 queshe), and the rest numbered from 1 down to 5. Prices for the very best stuff are extremely high— in 2005, a mere 100g plucked from Qing Dynasty emperor Qian Long’s personal trees sold for over US$17,000 — but a few cups in a local teahouse shouldn’t cost you more than a few dozen yuan. There is a wholesale market in Zhuangtang, however, most of the tea comes from trees outside of the “special” fields in Hangzhou. Prices are ¥15-1,000/500g depending on a multitude of variables.

Traditionally, tea from Longjing is best served with spring water from Hupao (虎跑, “Tiger Run”), which is located next to the West Lake. You might have to purchase the tea from the tea shop in Hupao, instead of bringing your own. It’s about 20 yuan per cup, but you get a thermal full of hot water with the purchase. Do consider mixing the leaves with bottled water, as construction project run off introduces chemicals other than water into the streams.

For bars, Nanshan Road all night every night should keep any visitor occupied. An up-and-coming part of town is on Shuguang Road has several old and new bars that are a little less hectic than those of Nanshan Road, including local expat hangout Maya Bar, packed-out local You To, rock music bar Travellers, and many more. Shuguang Road runs north from the north-west corner of the Lake. The Huanglong soccer stadium is full of dance / performance bars around the perimeter of the building.

Bars

  • JZ Club, 6 Liuying Road (Nanshan Road), is one of the most sophisticated bars in Hangzhou, with live jazz performances every night and a range of beers, cocktails and wines.
  • Cool Bar on West Lake Ave by Wushan Square has Budweiser for as low as Y5/bottle (the Wushan Square area also has several other bars).
    Maya Bar, 94 Baishaquan Rd and Shuguang Rd, is a popular expat watering hole with large servings of drinks and a simple bar menu.
    1944, Shuguang Rd. Good atmosphere with cheap beer and quiet live music.
  • You To, 85 Shuguang Rd, on the left of l’Amour french restaurant. One of the most successful bars in Hangzhou, run by a man who has made several bars popular. You To is busy every day with a local drinking crowd. Loud live music, busy atmosphere, and cheerful, friendly staff.
  • 7 Club, Shuguang Road. located behind the flower shop opposite Yellow Dragon Hotel, is small local pub popular with expats a foreign students alike. Normally contains a quieter atmosphere and specializes in hard-to-find imported bottle beers.
  • Shamrock Irish Pub, Jiefang Rd and Jianguo Rd. More a sports bar, but without the TVs. Good pub food on the menu some live music on weeknights.
    Casablanca, on the Westlake is a good, centrally-located place to hang out and feel at home.
  • Reggae Bar, an old Hangzhou favourite recently (June 2009) moved from Shuguang Road to Xueyuan Road, just north of Wensan Road. Big happy bar with lots of reggae music, a strong Jamaican motif and experienced staff.One Carlsberg draft beer is ¥22.

Cafes

  • Cafes in Hangzhou normally fit a Hangzhou norm and do not always resemble a cafe in the West. Places like Liangan and UBC serve Western food, which is pretty inedible to a Western palette. Coffee is expensive and usually made over a candle, more for novelty than for good coffee. Some of the more ‘international’ style cafes are listed here.
  • Costa Coffee, located in the West Lake Tiandi, serves coffee drinks, sandwiches and pastries in a suave atmosphere with free Wi-Fi. Try to score one of the incredibly comfortable couches.
  • Linglong Town, located on Nanshan Road to the west of most of the bars. Has large smoothies that are excellent for hot days. The restaurant also has many types of tea and good-tasting Taiwanese fare.
  • Jamaica Coffee, in West Lake Tiandi, is owned by a Spanish company and has high quality coffee and tea and some snacks.
  • Fotoyard, Nanshan Rd and Qianwangci, is managed by a bunch of photographers who are better at photos than managing a cafe, but the pizza is good, and the coffee by Illy. When the weather permits, it’s an open air cafe and quite nice in the spring time.
  • Starbucks, Wulin Square / Hangzhou Tower / Hangda Rd / Yanan Rd / West Lake Tiandi / Hyatt Hotel / Hu Shu Nan Rd / Hu Bin Rd / and others.
  • Chamate, Wulin Square / Yellow Dragon Stadium / West Lake Tiandi (south), is a Taiwanese version of Starbucks where tea replaces coffee as the beverage of choice. An excellent place to sample a wide variety of green and oolong teas from the comprehensive picture menu. Each tea is served in its own
    characteristic style teapot along with plentiful hot (mineral) water. If the tea isn’t enough, shaved ice red bean dessert, stinky tofu and Wi-Fi access are all available too.

Nightclubs

There are several large popular clubs in Hangzhou that cater to a generally un-sophisticated house music crowd, although they often have famous DJs visiting. Tables are hard to come by later on at night, and usually you cannot book. Tipping the server may help you find a table. Drinks may take a while to come, so perhaps ordering a bottle of liquor and mixers for the table would reduce the amount of time waiting for drinks. Clubs are generally safe, be safe and have fun ,check about the places before you go.

  • SOS, Huanglong Road and Tianmushan Road. The big boy of Hangzhou, and is truly massive, with advanced sound and light, and is always full. SOS has fewer regulars, and more out-of-town clubbers.
  • G+, in the Wahaha Building on Qingchun Road. The more sophisticated of the big clubs, catering to slightly better heeled 20-30’s crowd.
  • Coco, Wangtang Road and Wensan West Road. Smaller club on the West side that attracts many expats. Music is more alternative for Hangzhou, and usually there are foreign DJs.
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SLEEP

Budget

  • Hangzhou Hofang International Youth Hostel, No.67 DaJing Lane, Hangzhou, China (The hostel is in the pedestrian area, take a taxi to the historical gate/Gulou of the city, walk through the gate, turn left, walk 150m to No. 67). Popular with both Chinese and foreign travellers this extremely well located hostel provides those on a budget with clean rooms and comfortable beds aswell as friendly English speaking staff. Located on a beautiful pedestrian only lane just off Hefang old street and only moments to West Lake this is arguably the best backpackers in Hangzhou. $9-$14.
  • Hangzhou Garden Youth Hostel opened in 2006 on ZhaoGong Causeway near the Hangzhou Botanic Gardens on the western shore of West Lake. It is part of Hostelling International and consists of a beautifully restored historic courtyard building. Dorm rooms have very clean, upmarket ensuite bathrooms with 24 hr hot water. The hostel is very convenient for walking and sightseeing around West Lake but its biggest drawback is the distance to restaurants and nightlife. It is a 15 minute walk to the bar/tea house/restaurant strip on Shuguang Road.
  • Hangzhou International Youth Hostel, Nanshan Road (right on the east side of the lake and just off “bar street”, next to Qing Temple). Run by Hosteling International and has a friendly staff. Y40 w/membership, Y45 without membership, per night, 6 people to a room (you can get doubles as well for about Y200, including a lakeview double for Y250). All rooms and toilet/shower are extremely clean. Despite being literally a few paces from the clubs of Nanshan Road, this hostel is set back far enough to be relatively noise free and features a comfortable courtyard/patio with a pond. The lobby also has a boring bar and an all-right breakfast.
  • My Inn Hotel, (我的客栈), opened in 2007 on #264 of QiuTao Rd, ShangCheng District, near the South Bus Station or ChangDuQiCheNanZhan, (长途汽车南站). Comfortable rooms without TV, although has a computer in rooms with internet at Y20 (optional). Bathrooms are clean, there is a convenience store in the lobby, and laundry, kitchen and business facilities in the building. Phone 4008280082, plenty of bus routes can be taken at the hotel front street. Address in Chinese: 杭州市上城区秋涛路264号(长途汽车南站对面.)Y99 per night.
  • Pod Inn, (布丁酒店), several locations in Hangzhou, including two near West Lake. Similar in concept to My Inn with small, two person rooms starting at Y95 a night and larger rooms at higher price points.
  • West Lake Youth House, No 62-3 Nanshan Rd (At the southern end of West Lake). Excellent rooms, friendly staff. Y50 dorm, Y200 double. Phone 0086 571 87027027, Fax 0571 88030237.

Mid-range

You can find mid-range hotels all over the city, most of which will take foreigners. Try to bargain for a room. Ask how much they want for one night’s stay, then say “what if I stay for 3 nights?” or something to that extent and it will become cheaper.

  • Shenanbei Boutique Hotel 108 Manjuelong Road, Telephone: 86-571-89988558. This expat owned and run hotel has 16 elegant and artfully decorated rooms which reflect the colors of the seasons of Hangzhou. Situated in the mountains, has outdoor deck. Room service pizza’s from their Italian Restaurant. Western breakfast, Free wifi, complimentary minibar, exquisite bath tubs and extremely personalized service is what customers most talk about.
  • Enjoyor Hotel 65 Qingchun Road, Shangcheng District, Telephone: 86-21-61226688 Ext. 7800. This hotel has 168 rooms, and also offers hydropathy treatments, a variety of dining options, and helpful services.
  • Hangzhou Overseas Chinese Hotel ((杭州华侨饭店) Address: Hu Bin Road 15, Phone: 86-571-87685555. At the beginning of this pedestrian lakeside area, right next the Hyatt. If you get a lakeside room you have the same views and location as the Hyatt for one-quarter the price. Skip breakfast as it is all-Chinese, not very clean and full of other guests smoking their way through their meals. Otherwise, the rooms are clean and everything can be reached by foot. Also, taxis pass continuously in front of the hotel day and night, meaning that you never need to call for one. High-speed internet available on the 4th and 5th floor only.
  • Hangzhou Sunny Huansha Hotel Address: 17 Huansha Road, Shangcheng District. A 3-star hotel offering 100 aptly furnished rooms with smart amenities such as desktop computer with free internet access. Primarily a business hotel, it has a well equipped business center and multi functional hall that can accommodate up to 200 guests.
  • Redstar Culture Hotel, 280 South Jianguo Road, Shangcheng District, ☎ +86-571-87703888. A four star hotel next to the Hangzhou Railway Station Square. Maximize your reservation by attending a gala at its 900-capacity theater and enjoy a sumptous meal on their Chinese restaurant that offers Jiangsu, Sichuan, and Zhejiang cuisines.
  • SouthLine Hotel (Nanxian Dajiudian), tel. +86-571-8777-3939, e-mail [email protected] A small but clean, well-located and reasonably well-appointed mid-range hotel one-half block off the lake and right next to the Zhejiang Art Academy on Nanshan Rd. Prices range from US$40 per night to over $100. The friendly staff speaks limited English.
  • SSAW Hotel Hubin 221 Jiefang Road, Shangcheng District. 4-star hotel near Hubin Walk Street and Nanshan Leisure Avenue features elegant rooms, conference facilities, restaurant and bar, fitness center, and concierge and tour desks.

Splurge

  • Wyndham Grand Plaze Royale West Lake Hangzhou Excellent 5 star international hotel directly on the West lake/downtown. Unique customer service with many international and multilingual staff and comfortable rooms.Sumptuous breakfast buffet serving all international flavors and dishes. Number one hotel on Trip Advisor.Best Thai restaurant in town is also located on the 2nd floor of the hotel.Address: No.555 Fengqi Road, Xiachang District, Hangzhou 310006, China Phone Number:(86 571 8761 6888)
  • Braim International Hotel offers 5-star accommodation near the World Exhibition Center and West Lake. The hotel offers 297 rooms, restaurant and café, outdoor pool, and conference facilities. Address: 195 Jiaogong Road, Xihu District. Phone Number: 86-21-61226688 Ext. 7800.
  • Braim Seasons Hotel Hangzhou 166 Zhonghe Middle Road (junction of Zhonghe and Jiefang Roads), Shangcheng District. Email: [email protected] 4-star hotel with spacious rooms, free internet access, business center, and restaurant.
  • Culture Plaza Hotel Zhejiang Address: 38 Wen Er Road. Email: [email protected] 4-star hotel north of West Lake. It has 174 rooms with high-speed internet access and IDD phone. Facilities include the Super Book Market and the sprawling Wenhua Meeting Room.
  • Dragon Hotel Hangzhou 120 Shuguang Road Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, 310007. 5-star hotel with spacious rooms, free internet access, business and conference center, restaurants, shops, spa, etc. Names itself “smart hotel” because of several technological gadgets.
  • New Century Grand Hotel (杭州开元名都大酒店), 818 Middle Shixin Road,Xiaoshan Hangzhou. Hangzhou boasts the highest skyline of all premier hotels in
    Hangzhou with a height of 218 meters in 47 floors.
  • European Style Holiday Hotel, a four-star hotel right by the banks of the West Lake, near the railway station. Address: No. 18 West Lake Street, Shangcheng District. Phone number: 86-571-28937288, fax number: 86-571-28930799.
  • Friendship Hotel Hangzhou is a four-star hotel on Pinghai Road, Hangzhou’s central business district. Amenities include rooms with West Lake or city views, multicultural restaurants, versatile function halls, and meeting rooms. Address: No. 53 Pinghai Road, Shangcheng District. Secured reservations are instantly confirmed online.
  • Hangzhou Sunny Hotel 108 Jie Fang Road, Shangcheng District, Reservations contact: 86-21-61226688 Ext. 7800. More than 320 rooms, 7 restaurants.
  • Huachen-Tang Palace (25 Pinghai Road). Four star hotel that is 5 minutes walk to the West Lake and with a fabulous international buffet breakfast.
  • Hyatt Regency Hangzhou, 28 Hu Bin Road (right on the eastern shore of the lake), ☎ +86 571 8779 1234 ([email protected]). 5 star hotel with 390 rooms & suites. The hotel is part of a multi use complex including an upmarket department store.
  • Lakeview Hotel, 2 West Huancheng Road, Xihu District, ☎ 86-571-87078888. 4-star hotel with rooms equipped with cable TV, high-speed internet access, bathroom with tub, hair dryer, and mini-bar. Some of its amenities include Lakeview Hotel Shopping Center, hame rooms (for chess, card games, and billiards), and a swimming pool. CNY 368 and up.
  • Ramada (Haihua Binguan), Qingchun Road (near the West Lake). Located between Wulin Road and the West Lake, although lake-view rooms are somewhat limited and not very intimate.
  • Shangri-La, 78 Beishan Road. Shangri-La has a lush green grounds, and is essentially a self-contained private village.
  • Victoria Regal Hotel Zhejiang Address: 89 Yan An Road, Shangcheng District. Email: [email protected] 5-star hotel offering 200 rooms with handsome interiors. Leisure and business facilities include the Ban Dao Buffet Center and the Viscount Grand Ballroom.
  • Wang Hu/Lakeside Hotel, Hubin Road, cnr Qingchun Rd. Fabulous international buffet breakfast.
  • Xin Ding Garden Hotel Adress: 135 Yanan Road. Email: [email protected] 5-star hotel near West Lake with 118 rooms, business facilities, savory local and international cuisine, and free high-speed internet access.
  • Zhejiang Grand Hotel 595 Yanan Road, Xiacheng District, Tel: 86-21-61226688 Ext. 7800 307 rooms, no frills. It also has 9 function rooms for events. An entertainment club and spa are some of the recreational facilities.
  • Zhejiang Xizi Hotel Address: 37 Nanshan Road, Xihu District. Tel. No. 86-21-61226688 Ext. 7800. Near the historic Leifeng Pagoda in the West Lake area. Magnificent views, excellent facilities, and good service.
  • Zhejiang Narada Grand Hotel Address:122 Shuguang Road (Shuguang Lu) Located at the foot of Baoshi Mountain, the Zhejiang Narada Grand Hotel (Zhejiang Shimao
  • Junlan Dafandian) is a five-star hotel close to West Lake, Hangzhou’s premier tourist attraction.
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  • Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, 3 East Qingchun Road, named for the Hong Kong media mogul who funded its construction, SRRSH is one of the best hospitals in the city. VIP medical service can be purchased for ¥100, which includes an English-speaking nurse attendant and expedited service. Phone +86-571-86006613.
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  • Shanghai — Less than two hours away by train.
  • Suzhou — Around two hours away by bus. Buses leaves several times per hour from the bus station at northeast of city (Y68).
  • Tianmushan — For a weekend timeout.
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Hangzhou is in Zhejiang Province, China. It is one of the most important tourist cities in China, famous for its natural beauty and historical / cultural heritages and close to Shanghai by train.

Travel and tourism in Hangzhou. How to get in, maps, activities to do, where to eat and sleep. Download the Free Hangzhou Travel Guide.


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Michel Piccaya

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As a freelance travel photographer, Michel Piccaya has been on the road worldwide for more than 20 years, exploring the most incredible itineraries. He’s currently based in Brussels however never stays at home for a long time !

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