Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Hangzhou

Plan your Hangzhou tour in autumn? Hangzhou is a garden city peppered with mesmerizing sights in four seasons, oft-lauded as ” Paradise on Earth”. Its world famous West Lake (Crowned as UNESCO World Heritage 2011) dominates the local “Psyche”.

As a city south of Yangtze River, Hangzhou’s fall foliage comes much later than the cities in the northern China such as Beijing (Mid-October – Mid-November).

Best Places for Leaf Peeping in Hangzhou ( Google)

The local leaf peeping time starts at the end of November and the best fall foliage time falls on the whole December. For the best places for fall foliage in Hangzhou, we are going to round up the top 10 spots for your quick guide.

1. Plane Trees Flanking Beishan Road 北山两旁的行道树-法国梧桐

Beishan Road is lined with the plane trees, which arch across the lake side road, providing great shades. On the south of the Beishan Road is the Northern Inner West Lake , separated from the main West Lake by the Bai Di Causeway bridged by Duanqiao Bridge (  Broken Bridge ), the Jindai Bridge , and Gushan Island linked to the Beishan Road by Xileng Bridge.

On its northern side is the Precious Stone Hill (宝石山) with the slender spire of Baoshu Pagoda on its top. Between the Beishan Road and the Precious Stone Hill ( Baoshi Hill) is peppered with the old mixed styles of west and Chinese villas and historical sites. Most of the structures are the former celebrity homes and residences from the military, the government and the business circle in the 1920s.

Plane Trees Flanking Beishan Raod

Local people habitually take the plane tree autumn leaves as the sign of the autumn arrival just as the old saying goes that “one leaf reveals autumn”. When autumn comes, the Beishan Road between the Broken Bridge and Xileng Bridge has magical autumn colors with the yellow leaves of plane trees that bounce off in a spectacular fashion. Strolling along Beishan Road is soul-recharging with much photogenic opportunities.

Best Time to Visit: Late November – December
Public Transport: Take Bus 7 or rent a bike.

2. Fall Colors at the Solitary Island (Gushan) 孤山赏银杏

The Solitary Island is a peninsula  projecting into the West Lake, once a temporary living palace for the imperial emperors who came to Hangzhou either for inspection or leisure sightseeing in Qing Dynasty.  The Solitary Island is connected to the Beishan Road by Xileng Bridge and Bai Di Causeway.

On the Solitary Island, you will find Zhongshan Park, Zhejiang Provincial Museum, Louwailou Restaurant, Xilinyinshe and other historical and scenic sites. T

here is also a patch of Ginkgo tree area that entices a consistent flow of visitors each year when it is getting colder in late autumn time. The yellow Ginkgo trees, red maple trees  and green camphor trees blanket the island, sharp contrast of colors shooting out stunning views.

Best Time to Visit: Late November and December
How to Get There: Walk from Xilleng Bridge or the Broken Bridge

Ginkgo Trees at Solitary Island
Ginkgo Trees at Solitary Island

3. Fall Foliage at Huagang Park 花港观鱼秋色

Huagang Park, also known as Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor. The Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor is a poetic and romantic name given to a large park in the southwest of West Lake.

Huagang Park is ringed by West Lake on its three sides with its west side connected to the West Hill,  a peninsula protruding into West Lake.

Fall Foliage at Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor

As its name suggest, the park is well known for the golden fishes of all sizes and colors, a varied splendor of plants and flowers.  The park is dissected into five areas – Red Golden Fish Pond, Peony Garden, Flower Harbor, Great Lawn and Forests. The park has much photo opportunities when autumns arrives with red leaves of maple trees mirrored on the lakes, a magnificent view!

Best Time to Visit: Late November and December
Public Transport: Bus K4, 504, Tourism Bus 1,2,3, and 5

4. Autumn Colors at Hangzhou Botanical Garden 杭州植物园秋色

Hangzhou Botanical Garden is located on the northwest of West Lake, spreading on a large hilly area between Yuquan and Lingyin Temple. The garden is classified into 9 exhibition areas and 4 experimental sections with over 3000 species of plants and over 50,000 specimens.

Fall Foliage at Hangzhou Botanical Garden

In addition to the scientific research, the garden is mainly designed for  appreciation and sightseeing. Whenever the season you visit Hangzhou Botanical Garden, you won’t be let down by the charming landscape  – endless flowering and magical colors brought by the plants at different seasons. When autumn comes, the maple area and Water & Mountain Area are the two best spots in the garden to view the fabulous fall foliage.

Best Time to Visit: Late November and December
Public Transport: Take bus Y6, 807,k27 and Tourism Bus 3 and get off at Hongchuqiao (洪春桥站), then walk 1 km to reach the garden.

5. Autumn Hues at Yang Gong Causeway 杨公堤

Yang Gong Causeway is located on the west of West Lake with six bridges. Yang Gong Causeway runs parallel with Su Causeway (also with 6 bridges)  to its east, hence the name of “12 Bridges on West Lake”.  

The causeway is 3.4 km long,  starting from Lingyin Road on its north and ends at Hupao Road on its south, a scenic road connecting a myriad scenic spots like Quyuan Lotus Park, Jinsha Harbor, Hangzhou Nursery Garden, Maojia Fu, Turtle Pond, Yuhai Bay and Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor.

Autumn Hues at Yang Gong Causeway 杨公堤

By the side of Yinxiu Bridge on Yang Gong Causeway, there is a lake known as “Turtle Pool”, where  dense couch grasses are grown. When autumn comes with temperature getting colder, the couch grasses turn from green to white, with the heads of flowers as white as snow, a spectacular autumn sight, enticing numerous visitors for taking pictures.

Best Time to Visit: Late November and December
Public Transport: Bus K1, K12, K80, Y 8

6.  Autumn Colours along Lingyin Road 灵隐路

The 4 km long Lingyin Road is one of the most scenic roads in Hangzhou, extending from Yuefei Temple to Lingyi Temple.  The road is lined with pine trees, soap berries and maple trees.

The yellow leaves soap berry trees and red leaves of maple trees are mingled along the scenic driveway,  presenting an awesome autumn color. If you happen to visit Lingyin Temple in the late November or December, it is preferable to take a stroll along for a while instead of sitting on the bus passing the marvelous scenic Lingyin Road.

Best Time to Visit: Late November and December
Public Transport: Bus K7

Red and Yellow Leaves along Lingyin Road
Red and Yellow Leaves along Lingyin Road

7. Fall Colors along Longjing Road 龙井路

The 4.5 km long Longjing Road is named after the world famous Longjing Tea ( Dragon Well Tea ) produced in Hangzhou. The road starts from Hongchuqiao ( near Lingyin Road) and ends at Longjing Village, where the Longjing tea trees are planted.

Fall Colors along Longjing Road 龙井路

In late 1970s, Chinese Sweet Gum Trees were planted along Longjing Road from Hongchuqiao to Longjing Village. The temperature here is a bit lower than the downtown Hangzhou. With the arrival of autumn and drop of temperature, the leaves receive less sunshine which change the color of the trees flank Longjing Road.  Longjing Road becomes a red and yellow dragon sleeping on the ground, a not to be missed autumn sight.

Best Time to Visit: Late November and December
Public Transport: Bus Y3 or 27.

8.  Autumn View at Nine Creeks in Misty Forest 九溪烟

Nine Creeks in Misty Forest is one of the new Top 10 West Lake Sights, also known as Nine Creeks and Eighteen Streams, indicating the confluence of the 9 creeks and 18 streams here.  It is located at the foot of Jiguan Hill on the mountains west of West Lake, linking Longjing Village on the north and Qiantang River on the south.

The mere sight of the name of “Misty Forest” will touch people’s hearts for a glimpse. The sight is known for its deep and mysterious natural beauty. Strolling along the zigzag slab paths, you will be gradually caught by its charm – the yellow needle leaves of metasequoia trees ( dawn redwood) and Chinese sweet gum trees. 

Best Time to Visit: Late November and December
Public Transport: Bus Y5

Autumn View at Nine Creeks in Misty Forest
Autumn View at Nine Creeks in Misty Forest

9. Ginkgo Trees at Zhaohui 朝晖银杏林

Hangzhou is dotted here and there with ginkgo trees. But local people are especially fond of one place known as Huanyuan Alley (华园弄). The narrow 600 m long alley is flanked with over 300 ginkgo trees. Huayuan Alley is located on the south side of Zhaohui Park on Shangtang Road.

It is said that the 300 ginkgo trees were planted by the same age children in 1980s, hence the name of same age trees. When autumn comes,  it becomes a sea of yellow color with the road blanked with yellow ginkgo leaves.

Best Time to Visit: Late November and December
Public Transport: Bus 30

Ginkgo Trees at Zhaohui
Ginkgo Trees at Zhaohui

10. Autumn Color at Xixi National Wetland Park 西溪湿地

It is said to be the only national level wetland park in China, located on the west of Hangzhou with an  area of 1,150 hectares.  The park is a spider web of watercourses which are peppered with various ponds, lakes and swamps.

It has a varied vegetation comprising  persimmon, pomegrante, willow, camphor, bamboo, mulberry, plum, peach, elm, nelumbo, maple, poplar, hibiscus and reeds. When autumn comes, the park is dotted with dancing reed flowers, and red persimmons.

Autumn Color at Xixi National Wetland Park
Autumn Colors at Xixi National Wetland Park

Tip:  Hassle-free Hangzhou Guided Tours

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

Hangzhou Tour
Hangzhou 4-Day Tour Package
Hangzhou 3-Day Tour Package
Hangzhou Private Tour
Hangzhou Theme Tour
Hangzhou Side Trips
Hangzhou Car Rental with Driver

Further Readings

Top 10 Attractions in Hangzhou
Top 10 Photography Spots in Hangzhou
Night View of West Lake in Hangzhou
The Best hiking trail in Hangzhou
The best time to visit Hangzhou
Hangzhou East Railway Station
Hangzhou Airport Arrival Hall
How to Visit Feilai Peak Grottoes in Hangzhou
Where to stay in Hangzhou
Hangzhou Bicycle Hire
Wushan Night Market in Hangzhou
Pedestrian Streets in Hangzhou
Hangzhou’s Best Bars & Nightclubs
Best Way to Visit Hangzhou from Shanghai
How to Visit Grand Canal Hangzhou
How to Visit Xiling Seal Engravers’ Society
How to Visit Liuhe Pagoda
Hangzhou Tea Plantation
How to Visit Leifeng Pagoda
How to visit Hupao Spring (Tiger Spring) Hangzhou
How to Visit Yellow Dragon Cave in Hangzhou
The Best Place to View Sunrise over West Lake Hangzhou

Any question, just drop a line.

6 thoughts on “Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Hangzhou

  1. I see you post about red and yellow leaves along lingyin road for 4km.can i walk there from west lake. I really want to see red beautiful. Can u suggest autumn best view around west lake. I will stay there. 2 minutes walk from xueshi park. Can u sggest another attraction around westlake by walk

  2. Hi Zul Ain,

    I suggest that you just walk along the West Lake, you will discover the motley colored leaves, but not necessarily maple leaves, they can be plane trees, ginggo trees and more.

  3. Can you suggest places that suitable for kids age between 3 -7? And where to get halal
    foods in Hangzhou? Thank you.

  4. Dear Diniey,

    1. There are some places suitable for kids. Just name some of them:

    1) Hangzhou Children’s Palace 杭州青少年活动中心
    Add: No.22, Zhaoqingsili Street 西湖边昭庆寺里街22号

    2)Hangzhou Underwater World 海底世界
    地址: No.147, Nanshan Road, Hangzhou, 南山路147号

    3) Children’s Park 少年儿童公园
    Add: No.15 Hupao Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou (满陇桂雨公园)虎跑路15号 与杭州动物园相邻

    4) Hangzhou Safari Park 杭州野生动物园
    Add: No.1 Jiulong Avenue Hangfu Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou 浙江省杭州市西湖区杭富路九龙大道1号

    2. Halal Food
    There are many restaurants offering halal food. Just name two of them listed below:

    1) Lamp Soup Restaurant 羊汤饭店
    Add: No. 64, Zhongshan Rod, Hangzhou 中山中路64号

    2) Phoenix Mosque General Restaurant 凤凰寺清真饭店总店
    Add: No.223 Zhongshan Road, Hangzhou 中山中路223号(西湖大道和中山中路交界处)

    Enjoy your trip!

  5. how are you madam,

    Im from Malaysia, im really want to see autumn season? if i and my group want to holiday and Disember autumn still there? please tell me what the best week in dicember i go holiday in hangzou

  6. Dear Esah,

    Welcome to Beijing!

    In December, you still can catch the last remaining autumn hues in Hangzhou. Have a nice time in Hangzhou!

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