Top 10 Attractions in Nanjing, Top 10 Things to Do in Nanjing

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Plan your Nanjing tour?  We’ve made a list of the top 10 attractions in Nanjing, which may be useful for your planning your short trip to Nanjing.

Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu province, China, and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture. Located in the lower Yangtze River drainage basin and Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Nanjing has always been one of China’s most important cities.

Nanjing, which has been the capital of several Chinese imperial dynasties, is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. In Nanjing, you can see not only diverse historical and cultural buildings, such as ancient temples, and distinctive garden buildings, but also stunning scenic spots and areas like Qixia Mountain, Qin Huai River, and Xuanwu Lake.

No. 01: Dr Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum
Dr Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum is situated on Zhongshan Mountain in the eastern suburb of Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu province. It was built in January 1926 and was finished in 1929.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a great forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution and led by Dr. Sun the Chinese people brought down the corrupt rule of the Qing Dynasty and ended 2000 years of the feudal monarchy system, which led the Chinese peoples in to a new age.

The whole Mausoleum Scenic Area represents an alarm bell as seen from the air, symbolizing the noble spirit and heroic efforts of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s devotion to the Chinese people, fight of oppression and wining the independence of China.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 07:00-18:00
How to get there: take Buses Y1, Y2, No. 9 to the Dr Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum

Dr Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum

Dr Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum

No. 02: Confucius Temple
Nanjing Confucius Temple is for consecrating and worshiping Confucius, the great thinker and educator of ancient China. Nanjing Confucius temple was built in Song Dynasty and expanded in East Jin Dynasty.

The Confucius Temple once was rebuilt in Qing Dynasty but was serious fired and destroyed by the Japanese aggressor troops in 1937. In order to protect the old city, the Chinese Government appropriated funds to rebuild and fix the Confucius Temple.

Nowadays it has re-expressed its splendid civilization to the world and has been regarded the special scenery of Nanjing. In 1991, the Confucius Temple was elected the “Forty Best Scenery Spots”.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 08:00-21:30
How to get there: take Buses Y1, Y4, No. 1, 7, 31, 40 or 301 and get off at Fuzimiao Station; or take Buses No. 2, 4, 16, 33, 44 or 49 and get off at Changlelu Station.

Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple

No. 03: Qinhuai River
The Qinhuai River is the biggest river in Nanjing It’s also the birthplace of the age-old Nanjing culture. As such, it’s called “Nanjing’s mother river”. Qinhuai River is a branch of the Yangtze River, running about 110 kilometers, a major watercourse around Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province.

It was very famous in the history but lost its fame due to wars, which destroyed many buildings along both banks. The water became filthy and no sign of wealth could be found anymore. After repair and restoration in 1985, the river became a beautiful resort.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 08:00-23:00
How to get there: take Buses Y1, Y4, No. 1, 7, 31, 40 or 301 and get off at Fuzimiao Station; or take Buses No. 2, 4, 16, 33, 44 or 49 and get off at Changlelu Station.

Qinhuai River

Qinhuai River

No. 04: Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum
Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is the tomb of the Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming Dynasty. It lies at the southern foot of Purple Mountain, the east of the historical center of Nanjing.

The construction of the mausoleum began during the Hongwu Emperor’s life in 1381 and ended in 1405, during the reign of his son the Yongle Emperor, with a huge expenditure of resources involving 100,000 laborers. The original wall of the mausoleum was more than 22.5 kilometers long. The mausoleum was built under heavy guard of 5,000 military troops. Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum has a grand scale with stately buildings.

Entrance Fee: CNY 70
Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
How to get there: take Buses Y 2, Y3 or 20 to Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

No. 05: Presidential Palace
The Presidential Palace is located at 292 Changjiang Road, in the Xuanwu District of Nanjing. It is now a museum, the China Modern History Museum.

The Presidential Palace is currently serving as the Nanjing museum of Chinese contemporary history. The gate of the Presidential Palace is western style with meters-long guard stations in two sides, while the second gate is typical Chinese style.

Through the gate there is a long corridor, along which are hall, foreign guests reception room, lobby of president and some offices.

Entrance Fee: CNY 40
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30
How to get there: take Buses No. 2, 3, 5, 29 or 65 from the downtown area to Presidential Palace

Presidential Palace

Presidential Palace

No. 06: Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge
The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is the first bridge to be built across the Yangtze River in Nanjing, China. It was completed in 1968 and is the first double-decker, double-track highway and railway bridge.

It includes a bus stop and a museum. On the western side of the bridge, a new city is currently being developed. It is 6,772 meters long and has a span of 160 meters—it can take up to 15 minutes to cross during regular traffic periods. Supporters of the Cultural Revolution within China have cited the construction of the bridge as one of the positive legacies of the Revolution.

Entrance Fee: CNY 5
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: take Buses No. 12, 15, 67, 69 or 307 to Daqiao Garden, the Suburb Buses to Pukou and Dachang pass Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge

Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge

Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge

No. 07: Linggu Temple
Linggu Temple, originally called Jiangshan Temple, is a Buddhist temple in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. It was built in 514 during the Southern Dynasty as a burial site of the famous monk, Baozhi.

The buildings in Linggu Temple include Beamless Hall (Wuliang Hall), Linggu Pagoda, Depository of Buddhist Sutra and Memorial Hall of Xuanzang. Wuliang Hall, or Beamless Hall, was constructed in 1831, and is 22-meters-high and 53.8-meter- wide. The hall enjoys high reputation for its special architectural techniques. Linggu Pagoda was built in 1929 as a sign of remembrance for those soldiers.

Entrance Fee: CNY 15
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: take Buses Y3 or No. 9 to Linggu Temple; or take a taxi to get there

Linggu Temple

Linggu Temple

No. 08: Nanjing Museum
Nanjing Museum is located inside the Zhongshan Gate of Nanjing City. The complex of buildings represents an amalgamation of east and west, with the great hall copying the style of a Liao-dynasty palace.

With an area of 70,000 square meters, Nanjing Museum is one of the largest museums in China. The Museum currently holds some 400,000 objects in its collections, among which are some of the most famous objects in China. The Museum applies modern scientific methods of conservation, and is active in displaying its holdings, having mounted some 236 exhibitions.

Entrance Fee: CNY 20
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: take Buses Y1, Y2, No. 59, 29, 5, 9, 51 or 55 and get off at Zhongshanmen Station

 Nanjing Museum

Nanjing Museum

No. 09: Xuanwu Lake Park
Situated at the foot of Mt. Zhongshan in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, Xuanwu Lake is a beautiful scenic spot protected by China. It is also one of the three most famous lakes in Nanjing.

The history of Xuanwu Lake can be traced back to the Pre-Qin period. The lake covers an area of 444 hectares with a coastline of 15 kilometers in circumferences.

Xuanwu Lake is best seen in combination with the Ming city wall bordering the park to its east and south and the Ji Ming Temple just outside Jie Fang Men at Xuanwu Lake’s southwestern edge. There are five isles in the lake: Huan Isle, Ying Isle, Liang Isle, Cui Isle and Ling Isle. |

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 07:00-21:00
How to get there: take a boat at the opposite of Nanjing Train Station; or take Buses Y1, No. 3, 25, 30, 35 or 38 to Xuanwu Lake Park

No. 10: China Gate
China Gate was a ceremonial gateway in Nanjing, China. It is a renowned ancient city gate in China and the city gate with the most complex structure in the world.

As the gate looks like an urn, it was also initially called Urn Gate. It is the largest of 13 gates measuring 21.45 meters in height, 118 meters in length from east to west and 129 meters from north to south. The Zhonghua Gate records the dynastic cycle of this city. It shows both the prosperity and decadence of Chinese history.

Entrance Fee: CNY 20
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30

China Gate

China Gate

Tip:  Hassle-free Nanjing Guided Tours

06611If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Nanjing Guided Tours:

Nanjing Highlight Day Tour  from US$75 p/p
Nanjing 2 Day Highlight Tour  from US$190 p/p
Nanjing One Day Side Trip  from US$90  p/p
Nanjing Suzhou Hangzhou Shanghai 6 Day Tour  from US$560 p/p
Nanjing Car Rental

Further Readings


Nanjing Massacre Museum: The museum tells the overwhelming atrocities committed by the Japanese forces of aggression from December 13 to January, 1938.
Nanjing Presidential Palace:a must-visit sight if you are interested in the modern history of China
Ming Xiaoling Tomb:the burial site of the Hongwu Emperor, the first emperor and founder of Ming Dyansty ( 1368-1644 ).
Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum:Dr. Sun Yat-sen is considered to be the “Father of Modern China” who stablished the Republic of China.
Linggu Temple Scenic Area:The Linggu Temple was gradually built into a cemetery dedicated to the the National Revolutionary Army’s martyes.
Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge:Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is the first bridge over the Yangtze River designed and built by China’s own technical strength.
Fuzi Temple ( Confucius Temple ): A famous local walking area to touch Nanjing’s past and present.
Zhonghua Gate: a renowned ancient city gate in China and the largest ancient city wall gate in the world.
Taiping Heavenly Kingdom History Museum: The museum shows the maps, pictures and captions to tell the progress and history of Taiping Army.

Top 10 Attractions in Nanjing
Nanjing Taxi

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One Response to “Top 10 Attractions in Nanjing, Top 10 Things to Do in Nanjing”

  1. nanjing travel fan says:

    great post i really enjoyed it i am a huge fan of the chinese culture my dream is too visit all of it

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