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Nanjing Attractions

What to See in Nanjing

Nanjing is known for its 2,400-year-old rich culture and beautiful landscape. The Ming, Song, Southern Tang, Chen, Liang, Qi, Eastern Jin, and Eastern Wu Dynasties have all made it their capital over the years. These eras have left notable tourist attractions behind them like the Confucius Temple, Ming City Walls, Ming Tomb, and the Linggu Temple to name but a few. Everywhere throughout the city you will witness glimpses of its ancient history. Nature, too, has bestowed beauty upon Nanjing. Natural lakes like Mochou and Xuanwu are placed right at the centre of Nanjing. Hills like the Purple Mountain, present great scenic views and plenty of cultural sites.

Nanjing’s attractions further got boosted with the grand opening of the Zifeng Tower (the world’s 7th tallest tower) in 2010. The construction of this 89-storey tower started in 2005 with an investment of five billion RMB. The engineering marvel is situated at Nanjing Gulou Square.

Some interesting but little-known attractions worth visiting are Swallow Rock (One of the three protruding rocks from Yangtze River) and the Heart of the River (A tiny island in the centre of the Yangtze).

Here are some popular attractions in the city

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All Attractions in Nanjing

Confucius Temple

The Confucius Temple in Nanjing is one of the most popular visited places in the country. Built during the Song Dynasty, this ancient temple preserves the memories and teachings of the great philosopher Confucius. Japanese invasion in 1937 left the temple completely destroyed but it was quickly reconstructed again by the Government. The present structure represents the Ming-era architecture.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 21:00
  • Address: 1 Gong Yuan Street, Nanjing
  • Tel: +86 25 8662 8639
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Drum Tower

Built in the year 1382, the drum tower was made for signaling the change of guards. The drum placed in the tower, marked the watch every two hours and gave the signal. At one point of time, the historic drum tower was Nanjing’s tallest point. It still provides an excellent view, and holds interesting artifacts and photographs of the city.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 17:30
  • Address: 6 Zhongyang Road, People’s Square, Nanjing
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Folk Customs Museum

The Folk Customs Museum is basically a huge compound built at the time of Qing Dynasty. Each section of the courtyard area depicts different aspects of life during that time. The artistic exhibits of Peking and Kunqu opera costumes are a major attraction. Nowadays, the puppet shows in the compound area brings a lot of people to this museum.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 - 17:00, Puppet Show Timings: 10:30 – 14:30
  • Address: 15 Nanbuting Road, South Zhongshan Road, Nanjing
  • Tel: +86 25 5221 7104
  • Train: Trains available from San Shan Jie
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Hongshan Forest Zoo

Hongshan Forest Zoo has a great collection of various animal species. It is known for its bird and reptile hall. However the white tiger, panda enclosure and the Asian elephants are its major attraction. The zoo is very near to the Xuanwu Lake and its hilltop pagoda presents a spectacular view of the lake. The 230 acre green surrounding is also a wonderful picnic spot.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:30 - 16:30
  • Address: 168, Hongshan Road, Nanjing
  • Tel: +86 25 8562 0178
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Linggu Temple

This 1500 year old temple was shifted to Nanjing during the reign of Ming dynasty. The temple’s Wuliang (Beamless) Hall was constructed without using wood and nail. In 1931, this hall was selected as a shrine for the thirty thousand dead soldiers of Northern Expedition War. The Linggu Pagoda close to the temple site is also worth your visit.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 17:30
  • Location: Linggusi Road, Zijin Shan, Nanjing
  • Tel: +86 25 8443 7786
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Ming City Walls

This ancient fortification is a must watch for all the tourists visiting Nanjing. The architecture of the Ming City Walls is completely different from the other walls in the country. It took twenty one years to build the Ming City Walls with the help of 200,000 labourers. According to the experts, the bricks of these historical walls were mixed with tung oil and glutinous rice. This mixture proved extremely strong, and is the primary reason of its existence even today.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 17:00
  • Location: Jiefang Gate, Jiming Si Road, Nanjing
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Nanjing Aquarium (Underwater World)

A day in Nanjing Aquarium can be great fun and learning experience for your kids. Entertainment shows and feedings of over two hundred interesting species are organised at regular intervals in the aquarium. However, the main attraction is the shark exhibit through an underwater tunnel. The aquarium offers a special discount in the entrance fee for the children. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 - 17:00
  • Location: Minhang District
  • Address: 2 Si Fang Cheng, Zijin Shan, Nanjing
  • Tel: +86 25 8444 1119
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Pearl Spring Park

Apart from the spring, this place also has a very small zoo and a circus with trained monkeys, bears, tigers and lions. The monkeys often take the centre stage with their pranks for entertaining the crowd. Fresh vegetables and frozen meat are available just outside the park for the visitors.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 to 12:00
  • Address: No.178 Zhenzhu Street, Pukou District, Nanjing
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Zhanyuan Garden

The Zhanyuan Garden of Ming era is one of the most popular gardens in Southern China. This garden is full of bridges and walkways. Unusual rocks and peaceful pools placed in between add to the beauty. The garden is an attraction for the crowd throughout the year. During fall, unusual hues of oranges and yellows from the foliage create an unbelievable beauty that cannot be described in words.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 - 17:00
  • Remarks: Next to the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Museum
  • Address: 128 Zhanyuan Garden Road, Nanjing

Zijin Mountain

This low rising mountain is located east of Nanjing’s downtown. It is known for its mysterious golden and purple cloud covering on the peaks at the time of twilight and dawn. The 4900 acre area constitutes important monuments like the recently made Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and the ancient Ming Xiaoling Tomb. Tourist buses like Y1 & Y2, runs through this mountainous terrain. Near the Zhongshan Gate you will also find a gondola taking the passengers to the mountain’s highest peak.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 17:30
  • Location: Zhongshan Gate, Nanjing
  • Tel: +86 25 8443 7786
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