24 Hours in Hangzhou: where to stay, what to do & eat

Marco Polo arrived in Hangzhou, at the end of 13th century. He said:

“In heaven there is paradise, on earth there is Suzhou and Hangzhou”

“The City of Heaven, the most beautiful and magnificent in the world”

Botanical Garden

Hangzhou Botanical Garden

Hangzhou, a city that located 200 km away from the bustling Shanghai, proud with their pretty lake named Xi Hu or “West Lake”.

This city is quite big for you to cover within 24 hours; the recommended time would be around 2 nights. But if you only have 24 hours to explore Hangzhou, and assuming you are coming from Shanghai in the morning, then our experience might be useful for you.


Day 1

After arriving from Shanghai, you may want to put your luggage in the hotel first. Hangzhou has many options to choose. Our recommendation is the ones near the West Lake such as: Hyatt Regency Hangzhou, Tea Boutique Hotel, Dragon Hotel, and Wyndham Grand Palace Royale

Have your lunch at Crystal Jade Garden that tucked within the picturesque tree-lined path, on the edge of West Lake, Xihutiandi. They serve Cantonese and Shanghainese food.

This is a perfect place for you to dine before walking around the West Lake.

Find Crystal Jade Garden Hangzhou at

Building 10, Xihutiandi, 147 Nanshan Lu, near Xihu Da Dao. Phone: +8657187026618, +8657187027887. Opening Hours: 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

West Lake

One corner of Hangzhou West Lake

Stroll around the West Lake, and enjoy its mesmerizing view. Especially when you visit the city during spring or fall season.

Get on the round-the-lake battery car (price CNY40) for a-70-minutes round the lake.

Make your way to a Cruise station, and then join other visitors on the boat cruising the beautiful lake. Recommended stops: Three Pools Mirroring The Moon and Leifeng Pagoda.

West Lake

The Cruise Station of West Lake

Reward yourself with a ticket to watch “Impression West Lake” – an award winning show on the West Lake at night, and Kitaro is the music director. The 1-hour show plays every 7pm except during winter (Jan – March). The stage was built 3cm below the water. So, you will see them walking, running, dancing on the water. Splendid!

Impression West Lake

The lights of Impression West Lake

It’s located opposite Shangrila Hangzhou, 82 Beishan Road, opposite to Yuefei Temple.

Find more info here: http://www.gotohangzhou.com/Impression-West-Lake.aspx

Impression West Lake

The lights of Impression West Lake

Have your dinner at Grandma’s Kitchen, a mid-range family restaurant that serves Chinese delicacies.

Find them at 8/F, Bldg. B, Hangzhou Tower, No. 1 Wuling Square, near Huancheng Bei Lu. Phone: +8657185175778. Opening Hours:11 a.m.-2 p.m. AND 4 p.m.-9 p.m

Day 2

 Don’t forget your breakfast at the hotel.

Today you can go a bit outside of Hangzhou, and enjoy the scenery of the famous green tea plantations such as: Mei Jia Wu and Longjing Village.

And of course, what’s the use of visiting a tea plantation without trying to sip a cup of tea

in one of the teahouses?

In Longjing Village, you can also visit the China Tea Museum; it opens from 8.30am – 4.30pm everyday.

For lunch, no need to think twice, head yourself to The Green Tea restaurant at Longjing Rd (the back door of Zhejiang Hotel), not far from China Tea Museum. The restaurant serves Cantonese dishes. During rush hour, it often has a long queue.

Now, time go back to downtown, then leave Hangzhou for Shanghai by train.


Interior of the High-Speed Train

How to Get to Hangzhou from Shanghai

From Shanghai Hongqiao Train Station, take the high-speed train to Hangzhou Train Station (usually train with code G or D), and it’s only 45-50 minutes ride.

From Hangzhou Train Station, get the cab to your hotel.

If Chinese language is not your expertise, make sure you have the hotel’s address in Chinese writing with you, and just show it to your taxi driver.

Yes, English speaking people will find difficulties most of the time, communicating with the locals in Mainland China.


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