Qinhuai River in Nanjing

The Qinhuai River (秦淮河) is a tributary of the Yangtze with a total length of 110 km. It flows through central Nanjing and is called “Nanjing’s mother river”. It is the “life blood” of the city. Qinhuai River is a river that once played an important role in the political, economic and cultural development of the ancient city of Nanjing. According to legend, Qinhuai River is a man-made canal that Qin Shihuang ordered to dig. Actually, the river existed a long time ago. Its ancient name is Longcangpu(龙藏浦,means the Chinese Long is hidding inside), and it was called Huaishui(淮水) in the Han Dynasty. It was called Qinhuai River since Tang Dynasty, due to the legend of Qing Shihuang(秦始皇).

Main Attractions of Qinhuai River

Qinhuai River Scenic Spot is located in the south of Nanjing. The Qinhuai River Scenic Spot starts from the Dongshuiguan(东水关) and crosses the Wendeqiao Bridge(文德桥) until the Zhonghua Gate Castle. For 1,800 years, it has always been one of the most prosperous places in Nanjing, known as the “Shili Zhulian(十里珠帘)”.

The scenic belt along the Qinhuai River meets with the Confucius Temple at the center and the river serving as a bond. The belt, featuring attractions such as Zhanyuan Garden, the Confucius Temple, Egret Islet, Zhonghua Gate as well as the sailing boats in the river and pavilions and towers on the riverbanks, is a blend of historic sites, gardens, barges, streets, pavilions, towers, folk culture and customs.

Confucius Temple

Nanjing Confucius Temple, namely Nanjing Fuzimiao(南京夫子庙) and Nanjing Wenmiao(南京文庙), is located in Gongyuan Street(贡院街) on the North Bank of Qinhuai River(秦淮河), Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province. It is the place for offering sacrifices to Confucius. It is one of the the four major Confucian temples in China. And it is China’s famous national 5A Tourist Scenic Spot.

Zhonghua Gate

Zhonghua Gate (China Gate) is the south gate of Nanjing City. As a cultural relic, it has the reputation of the biggest castle-style city gate in China and the most complicated castle structure in the world. It is the castle is also an important place in China’s military and architectural history.

Zhanyuan Garden

Zhanyuan Garden(瞻园) is located at No. 208 Zhanyuan Road, west of Confucius Temple in Nanjing. It was built in Ming Dynasty. It is the oldest private garden in Nanjing. It is known as the “First Garden of Jinling” and has been listed as one of the key cultural relics protection units in China. It is the oldest garden existing in Nanjing with the 600-year old history.

Qin Huai Ba Yan

The most prominent part of Qinhuai River Scenic area in history is famous as a residential area of Qin Huai Ba Yan (秦淮八艳; the eight Beauties of Qinhuai), eight famous courtesans during the Ming-Qing transition period. They were recorded in the book Banqiao Zaji (板桥杂记) by Yu Huai (余怀). They were Gu Hengbo (顾横波), Dong Xiaowan(董小宛), Bian Yujing (卞玉京), Li Xiangjun(李香君), Kou Baimen (寇白门), Ma Xianglan(马湘兰), Liu Rushi(柳如是) and Chen Yuanyuan(陈圆圆).

How to Get to Qinhuai River

Travel with China Dragon Tours (top recommended)

If you want to get rid of hustle of transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Qinhuai River Scenic Spot with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on travel.

Independent Travel

For Independent travelers you can get there

  • By Bus:
    Take Bus No.2 to Zhonghuamen (Zhonghua Gate) directly.
  • By Metro:
    Take Metro Line 1 to Zhonghuamen (Zhonghua Gate) directly.
  • By Taxi:
    It will cost you about 20 CN¥ from Nanjing South Railway Station to Zhonghua Gate.

Recommended Qinhuai River Scenic Spot Tours

Top 2 Nanjiing Qinhuai River tours chosen by most customers to explore Nanjiing Qinhuai River in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us. We provide some tour routes for tourists to choose.

2 Days Nanjing Highlights Tour

1 Day Nanjing City Highlight Tour

Nearby Attractions

Presidential Palace

Nanjing Presidential Palace(南京总统府), located at No. 292 Changjiang Road, Xuanwu District, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province(江苏省南京市玄武区长江路292号), is the largest and most complete architectural complex in modern China. It is also the important site of modern Chinese history. Now, it has been established as the Museum of Modern Chinese History(中国近代史博物馆).

Purple Mountain

Purple Mountain(紫金山) or Zijin Shan, Zhongshan Mountain, is located on the eastern side of Nanjing in Jiangsu province. Covered by verdant trees, the main peak of Purple Mountain is 448.9 meters above sea level. Its peaks are often found enveloped in mysterious purple and golden clouds at dawn and dusk, hence its name. It is a national 5A tourist scenic spots in Jiangsu, as well as a world cultural heritage. Priple Mountain is not noly full of baeutiful natural scenery but also rich in cultural.

Xuanwu Lake

Xuanwu Lake (玄武湖) is located in Xuanwu District in the central-northeast part of Nanjing, Jiangsu. It is designated a National Grade AAAA Attraction. It is near the Nanjing Railway Station. There are five islands within the lake are interconnected by arched bridges. Within the park are temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens, teahouses, restaurants, entertainment venues, a small zoo, and other attractions. Its main entrance is the Xuanwu Gate.

Useful Travel Tips

1. Best Time to Visit

March to May, September to early November. March to May is the Spring time of Nanjing, you may have a chance to catch a beautiful flower view. September to early November is autumn time, the weather is good for touring, mild with less rain.

2. Tickets

  • For Zhonghua Gate the ticket is 50 CNY (From Jiqing Gate集庆门to Dongshuiguan东水关), and its opening time is 8:30 to 20:00. 
  • For Confucius Temple, the entrance is free, and the opening time is the whole day.
  • For Zhanyuan Garden, the ticket is 30CNY for day, 70CNY for night, opening time: 08:30-23:00.