Things to do in Hangzhou

Our most recommended things to do in Hangzhou

Private Ultimate Hangzhou Sightseeing Tour

1. Private Ultimate Hangzhou Sightseeing Tour

The day starts with the pick-up at 9:30 AM in Hangzhou city. Start with a 45-minute boat ride on tranquil West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site and perhaps Hangzhou’s most famous attraction. Relax amid enchanting scenery as your guide points out historic pagodas, Chinese-style arched bridges, tree-lined walkways, green islands and lush gardens. Move on to Huagang (Flower Harbor) Park Wharf. Stroll through a part of the 54-acre (22-hectare) park to see the many varieties, including a peony garden that blooms in April, and stop at Red Carp Pond - a popular spot for viewing fish. Next, you’re driven to Lingyin Temple (translated as ‘Temple of the Soul’s Retreat’), considered one of the ten most famous Buddhist temples in China. Listen as your guide discusses its pagodas and pavilions and introduces you to some of the 470 stone carvings of Buddhist figures on Feilai Peak, which date back to the 10th century. Have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant. Then experience a culinary adventure in a tea farmer’s house. The most delicious part of your day will be the meal of your choice served family style and you can enjoy the beautiful tea village while eating. Walk along a cobblestone pathway leading to Amanfayun Village, a restored Chinese village dating back hundreds of years and situated in a remote forest of camphor and bamboo.  Continue your tour to Meijiawu Tea Village, situated in the rural foothills of the West Lake district. Learn about the production of Xihu Longjing tea, also known as Dragon Well tea. There are many tea houses in the village, and you will have a chance to taste/try the local tea and get to know how the farmer produce the tea and recognize the quality of the Gragon Well tea. Your final stop is Song Dynasty Imperial Street, walk along this road that leads to the imperial palace of the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960–1127). At around 5:00 PM, you will be taken back to your hotel or Hangzhou railway station.

From Shanghai: Hangzhou, West Lake Cruise and Tea Plantation

2. From Shanghai: Hangzhou, West Lake Cruise and Tea Plantation

With its inviting views and outstanding scenery, Hangzhou is one of the leading tourist destinations in all of China. It is a city rich with history and was once the capital of China in the 12th Century. After a 3-hour drive, you will first cruise across the West Lake to view unforgettable scenery such as the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, the Bai Causeway and Solitary Hill. After a traditional Chinese lunch, you will visit Guo’s Villa, one of the best traditional private gardens in the city. Hangzhou is also famous for its Dragon Well tea and you can discover the history of Chinese tea and the traditional tea ceremony on a visit to the Meijiawu Tea Village. Before returning to Shanghai, you will enjoy a drive along the Qiantang River where you can view the Liuhe Pagoda, also known as the Six Harmonies Pagoda. On this tour, you can immerse yourself in the history of Shanghai with the assistance of your own personal guide.

Shaoxing Ancient Town Day Tour with Lunch from Hangzhou

3. Shaoxing Ancient Town Day Tour with Lunch from Hangzhou

Meet your guide at your hotel lobby and set out to Shaoxing which is 1-hour-drive away. Upon arrival, you will board a wupeng (black awning) boat, maybe the most comfortable and comprehensive way to learn this ancient city lining the grand canal. As the boat journey ends, proceed to a local restaurant for a relaxing Chinese lunch. Itinerary in the afternoon covers two attractions pertinent to famous figures in arts and literature in Chinese history. First you will visit Shen Garden. This private garden of a wealthy Shaoxing businessman is known among any other local gardens, not for its size, but as a set for the Song Dynasty poet Lu You’s tragic love story with his wife. Later you will be on to Lan (Orchid) Pavilion. This site has been feverishly sought after calligraphy enthusiasts since it is the place calligrapher Wang Xizhi in East Jin Dynasty wrote his masterpiece.   You tour concludes with coach drop-off to your original departure point in Hangzhou. Itinerary: 08:00 - 08:30  Hotel pick-up 08:30 - 10:00  Transfer to Shaoxing 10:00 - 11:30  Boat cruise along the town 11:30 - 12:30  Lunch time  13:00 - 15:00  Shen Garden 15:00 - 17:00  Visit Lan Pavilion 17:30           Back to your hotel Pick-up from below hotels in Hangzhou: 1. Sofitel Hangzhou West Lake 2. Holiday Inn Hangzhou 3. Culture Plaza Hotel Zhejiang 4. West Lake Golden Plaza Hangzhou 5. SSAW Hotel Hangzhou 6. Haihua Plaza Hangzhou 7. Grand Metro-park Hotel Hangzhou 8. Sheraton Hangzhou Wetland Park Resort 9. Hangzhou Hotel 10. Wuyang International Hotel 11. Oriental Deluxe Hotel Zhejiang 12. Hyatt Regency Hangzhou 13. Hangzhou Shangri-La Hotel 14. Hangzhou Amethyst Hotel 15. Four seasons Hangzhou 16. JW Marriot Hangzhou 17. Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Hangzhou 18. The Azure Qiantang, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hangzhou The above list represents the hotels most frequently picked up from. If your hotel is not in the above list, please provide your hotel name and address upon booking for a pick-up arrangement or please go to the following hotel to join in the tour. Sofitel West Lake Hangzhou 333 West Lake Avenue, Hangzhou Phone: +86 571 8707 5858 Pick-up time: 08:30AM

Hangzhou: Full-Day Picturesque Tour

4. Hangzhou: Full-Day Picturesque Tour

On this tour, you will visit Lingyin Temple, Meijiawu Tea Plantation, West Lake and Six Harmonies Pagoda. The local tour operator will reject your booking if you do not inform your hotel name for pick-up at time of booking. Lingyin Temple, whose literal translation means 'Temple of Soul’s Retreat,' is one of the largest Buddhist temples in China and also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hangzhou. At Meijiawu Tea Plantation, you will find one of the major production bases of the Dragon Well Tea variety. You will also experience profound local tea culture and local life here. Afterwards, continue on to West Lake formed from a shallow bay during ancient times from the Qiantang River which runs into the sea. It was formerly named Wulin Waters, Golden Buffalo Lake, Qiantang Lake and Xizi Lake. However, as it lies in the west of Hangzhou, it was later named West Lake. A 1-hour boat ride is inclusived after lunch. Six Harmonies Pagoda is a masterpiece of ancient Chinese architecture and a major tourist attractions in Hangzhou. It is also one of the best places to appreciate the impressive Qiantang tidal bores. 

From Hangzhou: Full-Day Wuzhen Image Water Town Group Tour

5. From Hangzhou: Full-Day Wuzhen Image Water Town Group Tour

Your day tour will start with a hotel pick-up between 08:00 and 08:30. Drive for 1.5-hours to the water town of Wuzhen. First, make your way to the Ancient Bed Museum, which is China’s unique display of antique beds with exquisite carving. This is a novel miniature of folk crafts in the local area. Later, you will move on to a local distillery where Sanbai wine is produced and distributed. If you like, try and take home some Sanbai wine at the front shop. The third stop of folk crafts will be at the Hongyuantai Indigo Fabric Dye House, where you can watch the complete cycle of making impressive indigo cloth. The Shadow Puppet Theatre is another can’t miss point for any visitor to Wuzhen. Here, you will not only feel the affection the veteran artists have for this art, but also a longing to return to a simple and slower way of life. After a Chinese lunch in a local restaurant, you will have a whole afternoon to your own arrangement. Whether you stroll on stone pathways, over time-worn bridges or go boating on the Grand Canal, find your own way to engage with the water town. As the tour ends, you will head back out to Hangzhou.

Frequently asked questions about Hangzhou

What top attractions are a must-see in Hangzhou?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Hangzhou

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What people are saying about Hangzhou

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 60 reviews

The guide was waiting in the lobby on time. With a comfortable car we drove to the West Lake. A tour with a ship on the lake enabled us to see the many treasures. Then we drove to the famous Buddhist temple to admire the caves with the figures cut out of the stone and the big temple area. We received a freshly prepared lunch from a local family in the tea village on a terrace, overlooking the tea plantation, just a few km from the West Lake. then we visited the green tea plantation. We received very interesting informations about green tea. In the late afternoon we visited the traditional old town. It was a really interesting tour. The guide spoke perfect English.

We were really lucky because we had a private tour with our amazing guide Grace to Hangzhou. Although the weather wasn't that good Grace made our tour a great experience for us. The West Lake where we had a 45 minute boat ride was beautiful. The lunch at a local restaurant was the best we had in and around Shanghai. It is a long drive to Hangzhou but totally worth it!

Our guide Tommy showed us many interesting attractions in Hangzhou and shared a great deal of history and information about life in the area. He was open and very helpful!

We had a great time. It was my 3rd trip to Hangzhou from Shanghai and I learned more from Grace, our Grayline guide, then I did with the other two trips combined!

Super citytour

Amazing guide, very helpful and knowledgeable. Great tour, I can only recommend to all.