nanjing

Travel Guide

Overview

With a sorrowful past, Nanjing is a fascinating city with an interesting history. We share everything you need to know in this Nanjing Travel Guide.

Not far from Shanghai, Nanjing is often overlooked by tourists visiting China but it’s dynamic skyline and eclectic culture, Nanjing shouldn’t be missed whilst visiting China.

Typical costs

Accommodation

Budget:¥90+ for a dorm bed and ¥200+ for budget hotel rooms.

Midrange: ¥450+ for double rooms in the city centre.

Luxury: ¥600 – ¥1200 for more luxurious international hotels in Nanjing.

Transport: Taxi’s and Didi’s (China’s Uber) will cost around ¥9 – ¥40 for journeys across the city centre whilst buses cost between ¥1 – ¥3.

Average cost of food:

local dishes cost around ¥30 whilst a sit-down meal for two with alcohol will cost around ¥400.

Limited western dishes are available, costing ¥100 – ¥150 per dish. If you are missing western food, you can find international chains all over the city.

Cost of Travel in China full guide

Best time to visit Nanjing

Located near Shanghai, Nanjing is best to visit in the Spring and Autumn months. Summer is also find but it can be incredibly warm during August. 

There are lots of outdoor activities in Nanjing, so visiting after March will help you avoid the cold and rain. 

Rainy season is in June and July so avoid these months. 

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 Nanjing

Budget:

Mork House Hostel Nanjing is a fashionable hostel in the heart of Nanjing, with dorm beds starting at ¥100 whilst double rooms at Nanjing Confucius Temple International Youth Hostel, start from ¥161.

Midrange:

Gudu Wenhua Hotel is one of our favourite little hotels, in a great location right next to the  Nanjing’s Zifeng Tower and rooms costing around ¥225.

For those looking for a recognisable chain, the Holiday Inn Nanjing Aqua City is a good choice, with prices starting at ¥490.

Top End:

Nanjing Suning Auraya Suites offer executive suites from ¥560; perfect for families visiting Nanjing.

The InterContinental Nanjing can be found in the Zifeng Tower and offers 5-star luxury in the heart of the city, with prices starting at ¥1100.

Save money in Nanjing

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.

  1. Visit off peak – As we mentioned above, the Winter is cold so we would avoid it. However, you can save some money visiting here, hotels are quiet so they offer better walk-in deals. 
  2. Eat locally – Stick to the local food and restaurants in Nanjing. You can get a delicious meal in a restaurant for as little as 15RMB whilst Western meals will cost you 100+ RMB. 
  3. Don’t tip – it is not expected in China. 
  4. Avoid the Western chains – Whether you fancy a coffee or salad, opt for a local or Chinese brand over global chains such as Starbucks. 
  5. 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.
  6. Use the public transport – Taxis are cheap but you can save even more money by taking the bus or metro around the city. 
  7. Park pass – If you plan on visiting the different parks in Nanjing (there is 45 in total), get yourself an Annual Naning Park Pass. It costs 260RMB but saves you money when visiting 4 or more parks; these include the Presidential Palace, Zhonghua Gate, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum and Lingu Temple. 

Best things to do in Nanjing

Nanjing Massacre Memorial

Nanjing Museum

Zifeng Tower

Purple Mountain (Zhongshan)

Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum

Linggu Temple

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Usnisa Palace and Niushou Mountain

Ming City Wall

Xuanwu Lake

Confucius Temple

Presidential Palace 

How to get to Nanjing

Fly – Nanjing’s Lukou International Airport is the local airport for Nanjing, with the Subway Line (S1) whizzing you straight to the city centre or a taxi costing around ¥100.

Train – The high-speed train serves Nanjing Station from Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Wuxi.

Coach – Nanjing is well connected to other cities inside Jiangsu Province. You can also get a long-distance bus from Beijing and Guangzhou but expect a long day in a bus. 

Bus – You can catch a bus and arrive within a few hours from Shanghai, Hefei, Huangshan, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Zhenjiang, Wuxi and Yangzhou as well, but the speed train is much more efficient and often works out cheaper too. 

 

How to get around Nanjing

Most taxi or Didi trips around the city will cost you less than ¥25 – we highly recommend using the Didi app in Nanjing. Locals speak very little English so it can be hard to share your destination with a taxi driver. 

The Nanjing metro is also a great way to get around the city. It runs from 5am to 11pm and costs between ¥2 – ¥12.

The city also offers an Orange Bike borrowing scheme. Pick up a card at the District Service Centres in Gulou and Xuanwu; you will need to take a passport with you. Once you have the card, you can swap the card to hire a bike around the city; hiring for the first two hours in free and then costs ¥1 for the third hour and ¥3 per hour thereafter. 

Pick up a map from your hotel or hostel to get around by bus – maps often include the bus routes. Bus Y1 takes you to the Presidential Palace and Ming Palace Ruins, Bus Y2 takes you to Martyrs’ Cemetery and on to Zijin Mountain. Bus Y3 takes you to Ming Xiaoling Tomb and Linggu Temple. 

There are also some hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses that takes you directly to the sites. 

Nanjing essentials

Video travel guide