Spend a fun-laden, action-packed day on the bank of the Yangtze River.
Kick-start your day with a hearty breakfast at Yinnianjin, one of the locals’ favorites for steamed dumplings. Each basket contains eight hot and adorable meaty pockets (RMB 12 or US$1.9)with boiling broth hidden inside.
Breakfast’s calories can be burned off with a stroll to nearby Xuanwu Lake. The massive park has a breathtaking landscape and a buzzing morning exercise scene.
There is a section of well-protected Ming City Wall next to the lake.
At Taicheng, visitors can walk atop the 600-year-old fortification and gain an impressive perspective over Xuanwu Lake or a striking view of Nanjing’s growing skyline.
Yinjinnian, No. 2, Shiziqiao, Hunan Lu, Gulou District 鼓楼区湖南路狮子桥2号 Xuanwu Lake Park, Various gates. Main one is Xuanwu Gate, near Metro Line 1 Xuanwumen Station Taicheng, 8 Jeifang Men, Xuanwu District玄武区解放门8号
The Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum is just a subway ride away from Xuanwu Lake. The metro station is right outside the main park gate, and the Muxuyuan (苜蓿园) station on Line 2 is the nearest stop to the spectacular memorial.
Alternatively, a metered taxi ride will cost around RMB 30 (US$4.8).
The Nanjing Impressions restaurant near the Muxuyuan station is a great pit stop to build energy for the long walk ahead. The Republic of China-themed space features staff in period costume, an open kitchen and plate after plate of mouth-watering local fare.
A shuttle bus links the metro station to the mausoleum, which is set in an incredible natural environment. You can enjoy lush forest on the way up, and after climbing the 392 stairs leading to the coffin chamber at the top, you will be rewarded with a stunning viewover the Zijin Mountain.
Nanjing Impressions, No. 2, Lingyuan Road, near Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, Xuanwu District 玄武区近中山陵陵园路2号 Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, Zhongshan Scenic Area,Qixia District 栖霞区钟山风景区
Another major Republican attraction is the President Palace, which is a 10-minute walk from Daxinggong station (大行宫) on Metro Line 2. The former Kuomingtang offices and the artistic gardens are kept in their original state from the 1940s.
To dig deeper into the city’s dramatic history, zip westwards to The Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre. Take a moment to commemorate the 300,000 victims of a six-week killing spree by the Japanese soldiers in December 1937.
Presidential Palace, 292 Changjiang Lu, Xuanwu District 玄武区长江路292号 Memorial Hall of Victims of the Nanjing Massacre, 418 Shuiximen Da Jie, Jianye District建邺区水西门大街418号
Xinjiekou, the city’s equivalent to Times Square, is a perfect spot to feel the glitz and glamour of modern Nanjing when the night falls. The blinding intersection is surrounded by luxury brand stores, gigantic shopping malls and towering five-star hotels.
Underneath, there is another labyrinth of subway stalls stretching for miles, selling the hottest eats and knick-knacks.
One of the best places to dine in Xinjiekou is the Plum Garden restaurant in Jinling Hotel. The elegant space serves the city’s best salted duck.
Xinjiekou, intersection of Hanzhong Road and Zhongshan Road 汉中路和中山路路口 Plum Garden (梅苑), 2/F, Jinling Hotel, 2 Hanzhong Road, Gulou District鼓楼区汉中路2号金陵饭店2楼
The night market at Fuzi Miao, or the Confucius Temple, provides the ultimate experience of Chinese folklore, especially around any Chinese festivals. It’s a great choice for an after-dinner walk with mind-blowing neon signs, local crafts and a never-ending sea of tourists.
As the Fuzi Miao bustle dies down, nightlife on Shanghai Road or in the 1912 complex is just beginning. These are the two main bar areas. The Shanghai Road neighborhood has a variety of venues from sports bar to underground live house while 1912 leans towards disco clubbing.
Round off the night (or embrace the dawn)by singing a few numbers at a KTV parlor, which is a typical way for Nanjingers to spend a wild night with friends. Popular venues include Milo Star and Windsor.
Fuzi Miao, Metro Line 1 SanshanJie Station, Qinhuai District 秦淮区父子庙, 地铁1号线三山街站 Milo Star KTV, No. 28, North Yunnan Road, Gulou District 鼓楼区云南北路28号 Windsor KTV, 3/F, No. 217, North Zhongshan Road, Gulou District 鼓楼区中山北路217号3楼
Best Nanjing hotels for travelers on a budget
From mid-range stays to backpacker hostels, these are the five most comfortable beds under US$120 per night