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Overview

Located on the lower Yangtze River, Nanjing is second only to Shanghai among Eastern China's economic powerhouses. It has served as China's capital during many intervals, from the Han Dynasty to the founding of the Republic of China (1927-1949). There are numerous attractions here, many of a historical nature, but none are truly breathtaking, although the Ming Tombs are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The most popular tourist destination is Purple Mountain, a large park that features the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial, cable cars, and hiking and bicycling trails. Officially the safest city in China, Nanjing is well served by two subway lines. ...

Located on the lower Yangtze River, Nanjing is second only to Shanghai among Eastern China's economic powerhouses. It has served as China's capital during many intervals, from the Han Dynasty to the founding of the Republic of China (1927-1949). There are numerous attractions here, many of a historical nature, but none are truly breathtaking, although the Ming Tombs are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The most popular tourist destination is Purple Mountain, a large park that features the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial, cable cars, and hiking and bicycling trails. Officially the safest city in China, Nanjing is well served by two subway lines. Painted boat cruises on the Qin Huai River are a popular pastime. Nearby is the Confucius Temple, a museum surrounded by an immense street market, plenty of antique shops, gondola rides, the Gate of China (Zhonghuamen), and the remains of the Ming Dynasty city walls. Nanjing is a city of many museums, including one dedicated to martyrs of the World War Two Japanese occupation and massacre, another to the Taiping Rebellion (1843-1868), and a third to the Republican era of Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek. The renowned Kunqu Opera has its own theater, and the Nanjing Museum features eleven halls with priceless silk, pottery, and bronzes. Shoppers are drawn to Hunan Road and to the 1912 District, an upscale nightlife quarter of restored buildings, courtyards, cafes, and bars. Xuanwu Lake and Jiminmg Temple provide idyllic retreats, especially during the sweltering summers that make this one of the "furnaces of China."

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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J.D. Brown for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Jiangsu Province, 644 miles north of Beijing
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Currency: Chinese Yuan
  • Research: Nanjing | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Extremely hot and humid summers and sometimes freezing winters make spring and fall stand out as the most hospitable seasons for touring.