Xuanwu Lake


Free; Xuanwu Lake Park: RMB 20 off season, RMB 30 peak season


24 hours daily; Xuanwu Lake Park: 7am-9:30pm

How to get there:

Nanjing's Metro Line 1 runs close to the lake from the Gu Lou Station (Gǔ Lóu Zhàn, 鼓楼站) to the Nanjing Train Station. The lake's park is closest to the Xuanwu Gate Station (Xuānwǔ Mén Zhàn, 宣武门站), a short walk away from the eponymous city wall gate. Jiming Temple and the Taicheng City Wall sit near the lakes southern shore while the foot of Zijin Shan—where both the cable car and plank walk are located—marks the lake's eastern shore.

Xuanwu Lake (Xuánwǔ Hú, 玄武湖) is dotted by causeway-linked garden isles and surrounded by a large park next to Zijin Shan in the northern part of Nanjing.

When the weather is agreeable, Xuanwu Lake Park (Xuánwǔ Hú Gōngyuán, 玄武湖公园) comes alive with residents walking the lakeside paths, boating or exercising. Little vendors, teashops and refreshment stands abound around the lake.

A great place for kids, the park houses playgrounds and a small zoo in addition to the paddle boats. Xuanwu's diverse gardens and groves change with the season, making return visits a delight as delicate spring cherry blossoms give way to the riotous floral colors of summer, which in turn fade into the more subdued shades of autumn.

The lake once formed a natural barrier, hugging the Nanjing City Wall along the Taicheng City section. Originally an imperial getaway, the lake's island park opened to the public with the fall of the Qing Dynasty and establishment of the Republic of China in 1911.

The view of the city rising behind the lake provides for a great photo op from the Nanjing Train Station (Nánjīng Huǒchē Zhàn, 南京火车站).

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