Ningbo (宁波; Níngbō) is a port city in Zhejiang province, a thriving prosperous city and a popular tourist destination.


Ningbo Drum Tower

Ningbo lies on the south edge of the populous Yangtze Delta region and faces the East China Sea to the east. It has two main mountains within the prefecture boundaries, Siming Mountain and Tiantai Mountain. The Yuyao, Fenghua and Yongjiang rivers flow through the city area. Nearby Mount Putuo is an island with a major Buddhist temple on it that has been declared a national park and attracts both pilgrims and tourists.

The people of Ningbo have throughout their history had a deep affinity for the ocean. Two thousand years ago, Xu Fu, a necromancer of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.), led a fleet from here, thus becoming the first to commence China's exchanges with other countries. In the early 20th century "Hong-band" tailors from Ningbo traveled extensively throughout China making their living.

After the Opium Wars in the 19th century, China was forced to open five Treaty Ports for foreign trade, including Ningbo. The others were Guangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Shanghai. As in all the other Treaty Ports, this brought a boom in Ningbo.

The recently completed Hangzhou Bay Bridge, linking the municipalities of Ningpo and Shanghai, has increased foreign investment and economic integration between Ningbo and Shanghai.

Ningbo is not only a very important port city but also the engine of the economy on the east coast of China. Ningbo started foreign trade in the 7th century and has since become a major exporter of electrical products, textiles, food, and industrial tools in China today.


Ningbo enjoys a subtropical monsoon climate featuring high relative humidity and distinct seasons. July is the hottest month (average daily temperature 29°C) and January the coldest (4°C). The annual precipitation averages 1,300- 1,400 mm.


Subdivisions of Ningbo

Downtown districts

Outer districts

Outer districts include Cixi 慈溪, Yuyao 余姚, Zhenhai 镇海区, Yinzhou 鄞州, Beilun 北仑区, Fenghua 奉化, Ninghai 宁海县 and Xiangshan 象山.

Get in

By train

From Hangzhou there are about 10 "D" trains (fast trains, or 动车) run from Hangzhou South Station (杭州火车站) in Xiaoshan to Ningbo daily, and take about an hour and a half. An additional 10 trains run from Hangzhou Station (the "City Station," or 城站) to Ningbo daily and average slightly longer travel times. Perhaps another dozen "K" and "Z" trains travel to Ningo from Hangzhou South Station and Hangzhou Station daily, taking as long as 4 1/2 hours.

From Shanghai there are frequent high speed trains to Ningbo. All trains from Shanghai to Ningbo go through Hangzhou. Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station 上海虹桥站 is the main high-speed railway station in Shanghai. Shanghai South Station 上海南站 also has trains to Ningbo.

By bus

If you stay a night in the Sheraton in Shanghai you can make use of their free luxury coach service to bring you to the Sheraton in Ningbo.

By air

Ningbo Lishe Airport (宁波栎社机场 IATA: NGB) has flights to many mainland Chinese cities as well a a few in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand.

Downtown Ningbo is about a 20 min drive spanning 11 km (6.8 mi). The taxi fare is ¥45-60. Alternatively a shuttle bus (¥10) runs every hour until 6:20PM and stops at the South Ningbo Railway Station.

The main international hub for the region is Pudong Airport in Shanghai; there are direct buses to Ningbo. The closest major airport to Ningbo is Hangzhou; the most convenient is probably Shanghai Hongqiao since it is located next to Hongqiao Railway Station which has fast trains to Ningbo. All have many domestic flights and some international connections.

Get around

Ningbo is so much bigger than the small downtown area, staying downtown can fill a few days but its just like any major city. To really see some jaw dropping parts of Ningbo you have to adventure into the outer districts. There are breathtaking mountain ranges steeped in a deep and meaningful history that has been relatively undisturbed.

Ningbo Metro Map


Historic Monuments

TianYi Pavilion (天一阁)
Baoguo Temple (保国寺)
Tiantong Temple (天童寺)
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows (江北岸圣母七苦主教座堂)
Tianfeng Tower (天封塔)


Old towns


There are also ravines extending vertically and horizontally, luxuriant woods, rich medicinal materials, clean and quiet environment, fresh air, cool and pleasant climate, graceful and beautiful landscape.


As a foreigner, you can exchange your money at all major banks. A maybe wiser alternative is to use your foreign debit card. International ATMs (Plus/Maestro) can give about ¥2,500 out of each ATM at every transaction, up to a total maximum of ¥5,000 each day depending on your bank, which should be sufficient. International ATMs can be found all over the place and often have an English language option available before you insert your card.


Department Stores



Western Food

Japanese Food

Chinese Food

Ningbo's local seafood style is called "Yong cuisine".



Beer at cheaper restaurants is quite weak and bland, and often not very cold. Foreign and more expensive Chinese restaurants have export-quality Tsingdao and European or Japanese beers.

All over Ningbo many bars often have happy hour specials with buy-one-get-one until 8PM or buy-two-get-one after 8PM on select beers, just ask before you order. In the Lao Wai Tan area there are many bars yet they're always empty and over priced as the competition is fierce. Home to Le Cargo the late night sleazy disco that normally end up in a fight and the police being called.

There are a few bars by the side of the Sheraton attract the new business men in town who like to rub shoulders and tell each other the stories they've read in the china guide books, or start offering each other shares in an idea! before running back to safety of their hotels. You will also find some foreign students trying to cross over into business around here too.

Business men at one time or another will trade from the outer district of Beilun. Many bars have been springing up to cater to them before they make the short trip back to downtown, alternatively next to every bar area you can find a cheap hotel if you don't have a driver and fancy a few more drinks.

If your staying in a hotel get a business card or two before leaving the hotel so you can always get a taxi home by showing the card to your driver no matter how late it is!


Beilun bars


Night clubs


Stay Healthy


This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget <¥200
Mid-range ¥200-600
Splurge ¥600+




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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, December 30, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.