Hangzhou city, a city of timeless beauty, consists of eight districts: Xihu, Gongshu, Jianggan, Xiacheng, Shangcheng,Binjiang, Xiaoshan and Yuhang. Among which, the former five constitute the urban area.
Downtown Hangzhou: a Fashion Haven
Hangzhou downtown is formed by two main districts, Shangcheng and Xiacheng as well as the surrounding areas of the famous West Lake. The tranquility of the lake alongside the buzziness of the city makes it the perfect backdrop to a thriving fashion center with a multitude of amenities.
From grandiose shopping malls and inviting restaurants to modern day cinemas and ancient walk ways, Hangzhou Downtown strives to enthrall, entertain and enchant those who set foot in it.
A fashion paradise, laden with the latest brands, accessories and designs and home to a number of boutiques, department stores and shopping malls. Whether you choose Hangzhou Tower, Intime, Hubin or Wulin Road buying in Hangzhou has never before been so fashionable.
Buy Prada or Amani in Hangzhou Tower Mall, or select some trendy street fashion in nearby Intime Department Store. Whether you go on a one-stop shopping spree in Hangzhou Department Store, or bargain hunt in Wushan Night Market, or select a piece of clothing for yourself in Wulin Women’s Fashion Street, you will come home satisfied, apart perhaps, from a shrinking wallet. (Other famous shopping streets including Hubin Road, Yan’an Road, Jiefang Road are places to explore if you have enough time.)
For movie lovers, there are a number of locations in which to watch the latest films and any one of the following is bound to catch your eye: Hangzhou Theater, The Moulin Rouge, OSCAR Movie World, Qingchun Movie World, Xinyuan International Cinema, West Lake Culture Plaza and Xinhua Cinema.
For book worms, visit Zhejiang Foreign Language Bookstore and the Chinese and Foreign Language Book Store, the largest in China. With an abundance of literature as well as newspapers, videos and foreign books, these two bookshops are bound to blow your mind.
For art collectors visit Yuewang Art Market located on Renhe Road.
If you want to buy a cell phone, head to Shaoxing Road Automobile Market directly.
If you want to do sightseeing, dining and shopping in one place, Hefang Street, with its living history, will knock you out with exceptionally fascinating wares, delicacies and cheery people brimming with smiles.
Explore the Ancient Lanes and Streets
Qinghefang Historical Street (河坊街): Most of the Hangzhou specialties, such as Wang Xing Ji Fans, Zhang Xiaoquan scissors and Wanlong Ham, as well as several time-honored restaurants can be found in this old street.
Hubin road (湖滨路): Window shopping here feels like being at a wine party. You will find it hard to resist the temptation from behind the windows.
Yan’an Road (延安路): It is shopping heaven, especially for fashion-conscious girls.
Jiefang Road (解放路): One of the busiest commercial streets in Hangzhou. Within its confines, Jiefang Road Department Store and New World Shopping Mall dwarf the crumbling living quarters at its feet.
Wushan Night Market (吴山夜市): You can choose from a dazzling variety of intriguing things in the oldest and busiest night market in Hangzhou.
Nanshan Road (南山路): The most chic road in Hangzhou is forever perfumed with the fragrance of music and coffee beans.
Wulin Women’s Fashion Street (武林女装街): This is the ground zero of the Hangzhou’s women’s fashion scene. The boutique shops here are visited by tens of thousands of women on a daily basis. It is a paradise for the more savvy and intrepid shopper to weed out the specials.
Shaoxing Road Automobile Market (绍兴路): Your car purchasing experience at the automobile market on Shaoxing Road will be a pleasant one, with most of the dealers here offering outdoor seating where you can chat with 4S store salesmen over a cup of tea of coffee.
OSCAR Movie World
Add: No.38 Longyou Rd
Qingchun Movie World
Add: E Tower, Dongqing Mansion, No.60 Qingchun Road
Tel: 86-571-87219585 East Hangzhou: New Rising Star
The core of the new urban expansion in the eastern part of the city is the Qianjiang New CBD where one can marvel at the future modernity of Hangzhou. For more merry-making, the Qingchuan Road CBD fulfills every city dweller’s needs.
Qianjiang New CBD (钱江新城): The development of the new CBD aims to combine the refined elegance of West Lake with the grandeur of the Qiantang River. The cosmopolitan milieu of the CBD is enhanced by a growing number of landmarks, such as Citizen Center, Hangzhou Grand Theatre, Hangzhou Library, and Hangzhou International Conference Center.
Wine and Dine
Qingchun Square: One can enjoy a one-stop experience of entertainment, shopping, gourmet and leisure
Sijiqing Clothes Block: It is Hangzhou’s biggest women’s clothing wholesale market. With over 900 brands from over 1200 fashion companies and factories, you will be spoiled by so many choices. If you want to buy brand clothes, visit the third floor.
West Hangzhou: a Cultural and Educational Hub
The western part of Hangzhou, often referred to as “chengxi”, serves as a cultural and educational hub, as well as a hatch of IT and electronic tycoons. (Alibaba initially set its headquarters here before it moved to Binjiang, in south Hangzhou). In this area, the skyline is graced by cascading business floors towering over sprawling living communities. Schools, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, cafes, and bars come in great variety and are within walking distance.
In comparison to eye-dazzling downtown, which can be characterized as a drama queen, West Hangzhou bears an air of serenity, intelligence and grace, like a well-educated lady with distinguished background. This, can be attributed to its eclectic icons: Zhejiang University, Xixi Wetland Park and Wensan Road Electronic Information Street.
Zhejiang University (浙江大学): It is one of China's oldest institutions of higher education. For those who have more than one week to explore this city, it offers a glimpse into the campus life of China’s most talented students. The library, stadium and in-door swimming pool are all open to the public.
Xixi Wetland Park(西溪湿地): It stands out as Hangzhou’s only existing example of a water town, and is crowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unrestrained and rustic in appearance, Xixi is romantic in nature. The dying art of Dragon Racing can be appreciated here each May 5 (lunar calendar).
Wensan Road Electronic Information Street: Dubbed as the Hangzhou version of Silicon Valley, the street has many IT malls featured by EGO Digital Plaza, Xixi Digital Market and BuyNow Computer Town.
Shuguang Road (曙光路): Boasting the largest number of bars in Hangzhou, Shuguang Road is the Mecca for night life aficionados.
Wine and Dine
Baochu Road Food Street: Bordering West Lake to the north, Baochu Road Food Street is the place to enjoy a dazzling variety of gourmet foods.
North Hangzhou: Grand Canal Frozen in Time
Though outshone by the classic beauty of West Lake Scenic Area and the prosperous downtown, North Hangzhou has a sense of grandeur, innovation, history and serenity which are too obvious to ignore. Once the least developed, it now ranks as the most promising.
Strolling along Qiaoxi Historic Block, you will be plunged into an ancient world crammed with remnants ranging from one-century to several-thousand-years old. The past glory still lingers here, and is manifested in forms of millennium-old arched stone bridges, old silk factories, historical streets, nostalgic tea houses, a Traditional Chinese Medicine pharmacy as well as museums.
All of them, however, will pale in comparison with the Grand Canal (京杭大运河), a feat of engineering and a cultural symbol frozen in time. Its timeless beauty can either be savored by walking leisurely along the banks, cruising past in luxurious or plain boats, as well as enjoyable cycling. To read its history and culture, you can head to Grand Canal Museum, which adjoins a five star hotel, an underground supermarket, the 1000-year-old Gongchen Bridge (拱宸桥), Hangzhou Fan Museum (杭州扇子博物馆), Scissors Museum, Blade and Swords Museum (杭州刀剑剪博物馆).
This area also boasts the biggest number of gourmet-themed streets, such as Xinyifang Walking Street featuring typical Jiangnan flavor, and Shengli River Food Street, featuring red lanterns, local specialties and Taiwan snacks. In addition, Dadou Road Food Street houses the most popular restaurants.
This area is not as deserted as it used to be. To spice up your cultural immersion tour, head to Guashan Bar Street (瓜山酒吧一条街), which is around a15-minute drive from the Grand Canal Museum (京杭大运河博物馆). With a wide selection of bars, you will spend some memorable time here. If you want to know how innovative the local artists are, just head for Silian 166 Cultural Innovation Industrial Park. More modest than those in New York, Shanghai and Beijing, but you can still get surprised and inspired in various degrees.
South: a Riverside View
The southern part of the shores of the Qiantang River presents a different view from the upper reaches.
White Horse Ecological and Innovative Town(白马湖创意园区): Surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers, it incorporates profound cultural legacy and is an emerging powerhouse of the city’s cartoon and animation industry.
Avenue of Stars
It is a shopping mall that also serves as a tourist destination. Here you can see the fingerprints of many film celebrities, such as Jackie Chan, Zhou Xun, Chen Kun and Feng Xiaogang.
Wine and Dine: Garbage Street
What you will find here is not garbage but a dazzling variety of tasty, dirt-cheap street food such as grilled squid, chicken kebab, ice cream and “Eight Treasure Porridge”.
Spring is here and so is the 2017 “Intoxicating Springtime” – Hangzhou Outdoor Leisure Season which, in the following three months, will provide the city with over 50 springtime outdoor experiences and tour itineraries. With six themes to choose from such as child-parent, flower viewing, games and sports, spring couldn’t be livelier.
The annual time for picking Longjing green tea leaves, one of the top ten renowned teas of China, has begun in Hangzhou and everywhere tea farmers are now busy picking and hand frying the famous leaves. If you wanted to take a sneak peek at how the farmers meticulously pick their verdant leaves from bushes nestled in undulating hills, or if you wanted to sample, at first hand, this year’s Longjing variety, then head to the following three tea villages which are known for their tea, tea culture and tea-related tourist attractions.