CHANGZHOU TRAVEL GUIDE
Changzhou really is a local, growing city in China and a true taste of what a typical small city in China looks like. In this Changzhou Travel Guide, we share everything you need to know before visiting this developing city.
With a beautiful temple and pagoda, Changzhou is a growing city with a host of bars and restaurants to enjoy.
A trend of theme parks has risen in Changzhou, leading the resorts such as the Dinosaur Park and Joyland; a gaming-themed park with Disney and Universal Studio influences.
Hostel/Budget rates – ¥90 – ¥110 for double rooms; hostels are less common in a smaller city like Changzhou.
Midrange Hotel rates – ¥250 to ¥400 for double rooms.
Luxury Hotel rates – ¥500+ for more luxurious hotels.
Transport – Air-con buses cost ¥2 to ¥3 to travel around the city. Taxi and Didi’s (China’s Uber) will cost around ¥7 – ¥20 for journeys across the city centre and around ¥100 for longer trips (30 – 40 minutes) to the theme parks.
The average cost of food – Street and food markets serve up traditional dishes from ¥10, with local restaurants serving lunch and dinners from ¥30-¥200. Excellent upscale restaurants and western restaurants will charge upwards of ¥300.
Cost of Travel in China full guide
Best time to visit Changzhou
The best time to visit Changzhou is from the middle of April through to September.
Based near Shanghai, this city doesn’t get too cold in the winter and experiences a lot less pollution than the cities in the north. However, the best time to visit is the Spring and Summer months, when the weather is warm enough to explore the parks and temples and walk around the city at your own leisure. August can be very humid, however, so bring a refillable water bottle and sun protection.
Whilst planning your trip, you also need to avoid the Chinese national holidays – Golden Week runs during the first week of October and Chinese New Year lands around February, with a handful of long weekends throughout the year.
Where to stay in Changzhou
Meeting Youth Hostel is a popular and cheap option, with dorm beds costing ¥88 or you may choose to stay at the Jinjiang Inn Tianning Temple; double rooms cost around ¥120, it’s in a great location and is good value for money.
The Ramada chain hotels are great choices in China and the Ramada Changzhou North Hotel in Changzhou is one of my favourites with rooms costing around ¥300.
For a similar price, you can also stay at the Holiday Inn Express Changzhou Lanling.
The Sheraton is a luxury hotel in the city centre, with rooms starting at ¥640.
For those looking to splurge and have a relaxing time, the Meijie Mountain Hotspring Resort is a gorgeous choice in the mountains.
Save money in Changzhou
China is a relatively cheap place to visit in the world but there are still ways that you can save even more money in the country, allowing you to travel for longer.
- Bargain – When buying from vendors in both markets and small stores, negotiate a price with the seller. If they see you as a foreigner, you will be charged 4 times the actual price.
- Eat locally – Stick to the local food and restaurants in Changzhou. You can get a delicious meal in a restaurant for as little as 40RMB whilst Western meals will cost you 100+ RMB.
- Don’t tip – it is not expected in Changzhou
- Use Didi – When getting a taxi, use the Didi app. Most taxi drivers in Changzhou do not speak English, so the app makes communication easier.
- Avoid the Western chains – Whether you fancy a coffee or salad, opt for a local or Chinese brand over global chains such as Starbucks.
- Use CTrip – CTrip is an app and website which compares hotel prices. Generally, you can find cheaper prices on this app than any other comparison site for China.
- Use the train – From Shanghai, you can jump on a speed train and get to Changzhou in just over an hour. This is the easiest and fastest route. It is also only slightly more expensive than the bus but is still very affordable; 2nd class seats cost around 75RMB.
- Avoid the bars – Changzhou has very few expats, meaning there are not too many bars. We found drinks were expensive here so save the drinking for cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
Best things to do in Changzhou
- Tianning Temple and Pagoda
- Hongmei Park
- China Dinosaur Park
- Joyland Theme Park
- Yancheng Wild Animal World
- YanCheng ChunQiu Amusement Land
- Dino-Valley Hotspring
- Ocean World
- Global Harbor Dragon Eye Ferris Wheel
- Changzhou Antarctic Ice and Snow Park
- Changzhou Museum
How to get to Changzhou
Fly – Changzhou Benniu Airport is the nearest airport to the city and offers a few flights a day; mostly domestic.
Train – Use Ctrip to book a train to Changzhou; a short journey away from Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing. You can also catch a high-speed train from Beijing (5 hours) and Xi’an (6 hours).
Bus – You can catch a bus to Wuxi, Zhangjiagang, Suzhou, Kunshan and Yixing from Xinmen Lu Northern Bus Station.
How to get around Changzhou
Taxi’s or Didi’s are the quickest and most convenient way to get around Changzhou. Download the Didi app on your phone; it works similarly to Uber, is cheap and in English.
Metro – As of 2019, there is one metro line that runs from Forest Park in the North to Nanxiashu in the South of the city.
Bus – If you are moving to Changzhou, you may want to get your head around the BRT bus network. These offer frequent services around the inner city.