Hangzhou Overview

Hangzhou Travel Overview introduces Hangzhou fast facts including the Basic Information, Population, Climate, Geography, Culture History, Economy, Natural Resources, Landmarks, Administrative Diversions.

Basic Information


Hangzhou is located in the north of Zhejiang province, and east to Hangzhou Bay. Its location at Qiantang River Basin and the southern edge of Yangtze River delta makes its complex and diverse terrain. The west of Hangzhou belongs to hilly area whose main mountain is Tianmu Mountain. Its east belongs to the Zhebei Plain so this area is low and flat land with dense river networks. Its special geography makes it have the characteristic of Jiangnan water town.


Hangzhou belongs to humid subtropical climate with four distinctive seasons, and it is characterized by long, very hot, humid summers and chilly, cloudy and drier winters (with occasional snow). The mean annual temperature there is 17. 8°C, with monthly daily averages ranging from 4.6 °C in January to 28.9 °C in July. The average relative humidity is 70.3%, and the annual rainfall is 1454 mm. For the sunshine, the annual sunshine hours are 1765 hours. Generally, it is affected by the plum rains of the Asian monsoon in June. In late summer (August to September), Hangzhou suffers typhoon storms, but typhoons hardly strike it directly. They influence the landfall along the southern coast of Zhejiang, and affect the area with strong winds and stormy rains.

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Best Time to Visit

Although each season in Hangzhou offers its unique scenery, spring and autumn are the best season to visit Hangzhou, 
specially late March-May and September-mid November. In these seasons, temperature is warm but not hot. Daytime temperature ranges from mid 10s to mid 20s centigrade, and night time temperature ranges from low 10s to low 20s
Spring is the best season to visit the West Lake because all kinds of flowers are blossoming that time, such as plum blossom, peach blossom, and cherry blossom.  Autumn is also very nice because of the yellow and red leaves.

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Administrative Division

Hangzhou comprises 10 districts, 1 county-level city, and 2 counties. Among these districts and counties, there are 75 towns, 23 townships, 597 communities and 807 administrative villages.On April 2, 2019, Zhejiang provincial government approved the establishment of Hangzhou Qiantang new district, covering 531.7 square kilometers. 

History of Hangzhou

Hangzhou has a history of more than 2,000 years. During the Spring and Autumn period, it became the boundary between Wu and Yue, which was dominated by Wu and Yue. In Sui dynasty, it got current name and developed well became of the Grand Canal. In Northern Song dynasty, Hangzhou became one of the famous economy and cultural center of China. In the early time of Yuan Dynasty, the Italian traveler Marco Polo visited Hangzhou, and he praised Hangzhou as “the most beautiful and elegant city in the world”. From Ming dynasty on, Hangzhou has always been the capital city of Zhejiang province. Having experienced a long history, Hangzhou adds more elements into its development so that you can see a both young and old Hangzhou if you stand on this wonderful land.

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Hangzhou is a city with splendid culture. There are main three peaks of Hangzhou’s historical and cultural development. The first one is Liangzhu culture—the light of civilization. The symbol of Lianghzhu culture, Jade Cong, is beautiful in appearance and exquisite in production. And its totem of “human, bird, and beast” embodies the harmony of “unity of human and heaven, unity of all things”, which shows the culture of tolerance. The second one is Wuyue kingdom, which laid the foundation of ideology and culture, political stability and social security and prosperous domestic commerce and foreign trade of Hangzhou. The third one is the capital city of Southern Song dynasty, Lin’Anfu. It was in B.C 1138 when the capital of Southern Song dynasty formally moved to Hangzhou that it started to service as the political, economic, cultural and technological center of China. At that period, there were foreigners from more than 40 countries, settling and engaging in economic, technological, cultural and religious exchanges, especially in silk weaving industry. It was a quite prosperous period for Hangzhou, which contributes to its current development.

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As a popular tourist destination, Hangzhou has convenient modern transportation facilities, tourists can travel to Hangzhou by air, by train and by long-distance bus.  Hangzhou transportation by air is served by Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, which is located in the east of Hangzhou, about 30 miles away from the city center. With more than 35 regular domestic flights, daily flights to major cities and bigger tourist cities in China, and 2 international flights to Korean and Bangkok, Thailand and 4 joint flights, now there are 8million passengers taking planes from this airport every year. It cooperates with Hong Kong International Airport since 2006. You can also take planes to and from Hong Kong and Singapore. Hangzhou railway is quite developed so that you can travel to Hangzhou by train conveniently. There are 2 major railway stations in Hangzhou which you may most likely to choose for high speed train travel : Hangzhou East Railway Station and Hangzhou Railway Station. Hangzhou is a city with perfect transportation system, with well built highway networks. Travel to Hangzhou by long-distance bus is also available if you depart from mainland cities such as Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Beijing, Henan, Shandong, Hubei and other places.

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Things to Do in Hangzhou

Tourism in Hangzhou develops well and has a promising future for there are splendid and special attractions that you can’t find in other places. You can visit both natural scenery spots like West LakeLongjing Tea PlantationXixi National Wetland ParkQiandaohu Lake and or so, and historical sites such as China National Silk MuseumQinghefang StreetChina National Tea MuseumSix Harmonies Pagoda(Liuhe Tower), Hu Xueyan’s former residence, ect. The following are some recommended attractions that you must pay a visit to if you have chances to be there for traveling.

Top Attractions in Hangzhou

Hangzhou is most famous for its natural scenery featuring southern China landscape. The top attractions such as West LakeXixi National Wetland Park and Qiandao Lake are among the must-visit places in Hangzhou.

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Festival & Activities

Because of its long and profound history, Hangzhou holds diverse festivals and activities every year, which offers perfect time for visitors to involve in and feel them in person. Activities and festivals of different level attract thousands of people from all over the China and the world. Activities and festivals show both modern elements and reflect Hangzhou’s specialties. You are recommended to be in involved in these festivals and activities such as the  Longjing (Gragon Well) Tea Festival , the West Lake Locus Festival, the West Lake Osmanthus Festival and China International Qiantang River Tidal Bore Festival, as well as events like the West Lake Mid-autumn Festival Evening and Hangzhou West Lake Expo, ect.

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As one of the seven ancient capitals of China, a key scenic tourist city and a famous historical and cultural city confirmed by Chinese State Council, Hangzhou has been a high frequency tourist city since ancient time.

As a tourist city characterized by leisure and holiday tourism, Hangzhou has its unique advantages in making daily activities and closeness of tourism activities come true. And it has become the pillar industry and new growth point of Hangzhou national economy.

According to Hangzhou tourism development planning, it’s reported that Hangzhou will form a new pattern of tourism in the next few years, and the tourism spatial pattern of “one axis with five wings and seven areas” will be determined. In the future, Hangzhou’s international position will be much marked. In order to offer better quality of tourism, Hangzhou is improving its tourism development in many ways. And because of the success of G20 Summit, Hangzhou is known by far more people in international community, which contributes to its future development of tourism.


Hangzhou economy takes tourism as the main line to drive the development of the tertiary industry, which is its main feature. Under the influence of the e-commerce giant, Alibaba, Hangzhou’s e-commerce plays a key role in its economy.

The emergencies of new industries such as electronics and information lead to the rapid development of the first and second industries. In recent years, Hangzhou is committed to build “Binjiang paradise silicon valley” and high-tech industry that’s dominated with information and new medicine, environmental protection and new materials has become one of the features of Hangzhou economy. As a capital city, Hangzhou’s economy ranks first in Zhejiang province.

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Natural Resources

Hangzhou is rich in natural resources and is known as the "land of fish and rice", "silk house" and "paradise on earth". It enjoy favourable agricultural production conditions, with a wide variety of crops, trees and livestock and poultry. More than 260 varieties of fruits, tea and flowers are planted in Hangzhou. Hangzhou sericulture and West Lake Longjing tea are well known at home and abroad. The city's forest area is 16.352 million mu, with a forest coverage rate of 64.77%.

There are 10 species of national first-class terrestrial wildlife and 64 species of second-class terrestrial wildlife living in Hangzhou, with 3 species of national first-class protected plants and 18 species of second-class protected plants. Mineral resources include large and medium-sized nonmetallic and metal deposits. Blood stones produced in Lin 'an and Changhua are treasures of stone collection and stone seals.

Edited by Brittany Tian/田春燕