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Nanshan Road

Hangzhou's Vibrant Nightlife Area

Nanshan Road stretches along the eastern bank of West Lake. A favorite late-evening hangout for expatriates, the road is Hangzhou’s take on Shanghai’s booming nightlife strip - Hengshan road. Nanshan road is an axis of high-end leisure and entertainment, boasting the China Academy of Art, numerous high-end restaurants and classy bars. The road’s location is convenient, with all the views and attractions of West Lake at your side. It links to the busy West Lake Avenue, ‘boutique central’ Hubin Road and tourist-crowded Hefang Street. The southern tip of Nanshan Road approaches Wansong Ridge and other mountains below West Lake. Nanshan means “southern mountain” in Chinese, and thus refers to these mountains.


  • Attraction Type:Night Life, Shopping
  • Best Time to Visit:Mar. Apr. May Jun. July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov.

History and Facts

Despite being located in the heart of the city’s traditional metropolitan area, Nanshan Road is defiantly cosmopolitan. Under tall Chinese parasols, the boulevard is dotted with bars, cafes restaurants and tea houses to suit all tastes Chinese and International. Art galleries and the China Academy of Art add an element of higher culture to the road’s atmosphere. The road attracts visitors from all over the globe.

According to historical records, for a period of roughly one-thousand years (spanning the ages of the  Wuyue Kingdom, Southern Song, late Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties), Nanshan Road laid in the shadow of ancient Hangzhou’s western city wall. Opening onto West Lake were a number or gates, including Qianhu, Qingbo and Yongjin which opened directly towards the lake. Qiantang and Wulin gates sat to the north of these. Today these names are still associated with areas throughout downtown Hangzhou.

During the Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279) Hangzhou was the capital of China - then called Lin'an. The imperial palace occupied the land between the mountains Fenghuang and Wansong. In line with tradition, the imperial palace of old Hangzhou was moved to the north of the Qingbo Gate, this time constructed on the old foundation of a collapsed Buddhist monastery. From this early time the Nanshan Road and Wushan area have always been prosperous hubs of activity – a center of politics and economy of Song China.

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