Qinghefang Ancient Street in Hangzhou

Why is Qinghefang Ancient Street So Special?

  1. One of the most popular shopping district to do shopping and find local snacks, tea houses.

  2. With an area of 13 hectares (32 acres), the street is the only well-preserved part of the ancient city. As a miniature of the city’s long history, it is the best place to embody the historical and cultural character of Hangzhou.

Brief Introduction of Qinghefang Ancient Street

Qinghefang Ancient Street is the best-preserved historical street in Hangzhou and also it is one of the most famous place for shopping for tourists traveling to Hangzhou. The history of Qinghefang Ancient Street can be dated back to the Sui and Tang dynasties. Qinghefang Street was the most prosperous place in Hangzhou and was considered as the political, cultural and commercial center of Hangzhou in Qing Dynasty.

As the best-preserved historical street in Hangzhou, Qinghefang Pedestrian Street is a great place to see ancient architectures. Along this ancient street, there are buildings in Ming and Qing dynasties. Also there are many century-old shops, restaurants and teahouses in Qinghefang Ancient Street.

History of Qinghefang Ancient Street

Hangzhou was a refuge for the Song Dynasty clan when they fled the Jin Empire who conquered much area north of the Yangtze River. They made it their capital, and for a while, the city flourished and developed. Hangzhou became a center for technical innovation and scientific research. Song technicians made world-leading advances in several fields including chemicals and mechanical engineering. Luxurious residences and teahouses for the rich were built on the place where Qinghefang Ancient Street is now.

When the Mongols finally conquered the rest of the Song Empire, the city became opulently rich under the Mongol rule of the Yuan Empire. They inherited the extensive imperial architecture and Song urban planning, and the Mongols encouraged foreign trade in the city. It become a center for foreign trade in the Yuan Empire. The city prospered even more. It was so rich that the city astounded the widely traveled Marco Polo who described the city as the richest, most beautiful, finest, and noblest city in the world. Merchant ships traveled from the rest of Asia to dock in the harbor. There were a lot of foreign merchants living there.

After the end of the Qing Empire (1864-1912), there was warfare that razed whole sections of the city, and hundreds of thousands of people left the city or died. After Hangzhou became a Special Economic Zone open to foreign investment and foreign companies in the 1990s, there was very heavy foreign investment in the area, and a lot of factories and business opened. In the past 6 years, rapid growth of high-tech industries and tourism has more than doubled the little city’s GDP. Though it is much smaller than many other cities in China, it is China’s third-largest market for luxury goods and trails only the super-huge cities of Beijing and Shanghai in GDP. It also became well-known in China as the most livable city in the country for its wealth, relatively clean environment, and large parklands.

Highlights of Qinghefang Ancient Street

Huqingyutang Pharmacy

Built by the businessman Hu Xueyan in the Qing Dynasty (1874), Huqingyutang is now a major cultural relic under national protection. It has an area about 3,000 square meters (3,600 square yards) with a unique design. There are more than 160 pieces of cultural relics collected in it. It is not only a place to provide visitors with decoction of Chinese traditional medicine, but also a place for visitors to appreciate the features of ancient buildings.

Fanghuichun Pharmacy

Established in the sixth year of Shunzhi Emperor (1649), Fanghuichuntang Pharmacy ranked in the top six together with the other five pharmacies, namely Qingyu, Zhongde, Chengzhi, Tongtai and Taishan in the late Qing Dynasty. It was merged into Huqingyutang after 1955.

Fanghuichun Pharmacy

Established in the sixth year of Shunzhi Emperor (1649), Fanghuichuntang Pharmacy ranked in the top six together with the other five pharmacies, namely Qingyu, Zhongde, Chengzhi, Tongtai and Taishan in the late Qing Dynasty. It was merged into Huqingyutang after 1955.

Longquan Royal Kiln

Longquan Royal Kiln Porcelain Co, Ltd. is a share-holding company integrating traditional craftwork and modern technology. It mainly shows and sells celadon artwork, especially the artworks of Longquange Kiln which can be trace to Wudai (Five dynasties from the year 907 to 960).

Zhuangyuanguan Restaurant

Zhuangyuanguan Restaurant was established during the reign of Tongzhi Emperor in Qing Dynasty (1870) by Wang Shangrong of Ningbo. It has a literary quotation that Wang Shangrong once helped a skillful writer and the skillful writer wrote three words ‘Zhuang Yuan Lou’ as a return to him. After that it had the decorous name as Zhuangyuanlou. It now offers various cuisines such as Sichuan cuisine, Ningbo cuisine, Hangzhou cuisine, family-style cuisine, with reputation widespread all over the country.

Taiji Teahouse 

It was managed by the offspring of Zheng family which started teahouse business as early as late Emperor Qianlong Period of Qing Dynasty. Taiji Teahouse pays great attention to water quality, tea quality and tea preparation skills.

Shopping in Qinghefang Street

The culture of tea, medicine, food and various hundred-year old shops as well as folk artists and small stalls fully incarnated the lifestyle and habits of people in old Hangzhou. The Qinghefang Street has restored its history and culture: Chinese Medical Hall, Drug Store, Zhongdetang, Wanlong Ham Store, Wangxing Fan Store, Rongbao Bookshop. The newly introduced spots such as World Coins Museum, Classical Art Museum, Yafengtang Hall, Zhejiang Ancient Ceramic Collection Hall, tea houses, restaurants and Chinese wine cellars, etc.

Recommended Tour Packages

Best Seasons to Visit Hangzhou

  • Many people in China believe that spring and autumn are the two best seasonsto 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 Lakebecause all kinds of flowers are blossoming that time. In order: plum blossom, peach blossom, and cherry blossom.
  • Autumn is also very nice and my favorite because of the yellow and red leaves.
  • However, I suggest avoiding the last week of September and the first 2 weeks of October because that’s when the city becomes packed with tourists from the golden week holidays.

How to get to Qinghefang Ancient Street in Hangzhou

Travel with ChinaDragonTours (top recommended)

If you want to get out of the traffic and hassle of navigation, you can book a private tour package that includes visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local guide and driver will escort you to Qinghefang Ancient Street in Hangzhou in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.

Independent Traveler

1. Take Metro line 1 to Ding’an Rd and leave from Exit C. Walk south for about 10 minutes to the street.
2. Take Bus 8, 60, 127, 195, 208 or 216 to Qinghefang.
3. Take Bus 8, 13, 59, 66, 71, 127, 190, 195, 198, 208, 216, 230, 280, 295, 308, 315, 334, 352 or b3 to Gulou (Drum Tower) and then walk north for 5 minutes to Qinghefang Ancient Street.

Useful Travel Tips

  1. Avoid visiting during school holidays and Golden Week in October as there will be large numbers of local tourists.
  2. Accommodation
    There are hotels both inside and outside the scenic area. It’s close to West Lake. You can also choose to book a hotel near West Lake.
  3. It only takes about 10 minutes’ walking from Qinghefang Ancient Street to West Lake Scenic Area. If you want, if would very convenient to visit West Lake after Qinghefang Ancient Street.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Bella Ren/任新月