As one of the most attractive major cities in China, Nanjing (historically Nanking) is situated in the lower reach of the Yangtze River. Founded 2500 years ago, it sports an ancient heritage and has served as the capital of six dynasties. Nanjing was the capital of Ming China and the Republican government, thus is the longest serving capital in Chinese history and the birthplace of many of its emperors, hence the moniker "City of Emperors". Now the capital of Jiangsu Province, the city is enclosed by mountains and rivers and boasts picturesque scenery that blends natural landscape with towering buildings, integrating traditional styles with modern civilization.
Fun Fact - Kanye West spent a year living in Nanjing while his mom taught at Nanjing University.
Your local guide to Nanjing
DogTown Rooftop Skatepark
The Dogtown Rooftop Skatepark is located in Gulou District on Line 1 (Xuanwumen station).
China as a whole is a concrete jungle, a skateboarders paradise, but Nanjing is proudly one of China’s largest skateboard markets. In the pictures above and below is our very own Ross Oullette, an accomplished skater at the Nanjing Dogtown rooftop skatepark. The park alone is not very big, although what you can expect is some great views of Nanjing City Centre. On the ground floor of the mall is a skate shop which sells boards, trucks, wheels and burgers. Admission is free.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum
Covering an area of about 20 acres, Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum is located on Purple Mountain in the east suburb of Nanjing. With deep historical significance, magnificent architecture and beautiful scenery the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republic of China, is considered the holy land by Chinese people.
Nanjing City Wall
Nanjing City Wall is one of the key historical and cultural remains of the Ming Dynasty. It is a masterpiece of China's ancient architecture. With an original perimeter of about 35 kilometres, the City Wall has a height 14-21 meters (46-67 feet). The footing has a width of 14 meters (about 46 feet). Currently, the wall has a length of about 21 kilometres (13 miles). Nanjing is one of the few cities in China that still has its old city wall, which has been better preserved than some others, with most of it still remaining. Even though it has a history of about just 600 years it is still spectacular and of great value in terms of cultural relics’ protection.
Fuzimiao, or Confucius Temple, is located in southern Nanjing on banks of the Qinhuai River. The area is scattered with art, shopping and cultural and historical attractions. The Temple of Confucius was first constructed as a national school and it was later destroyed. In CE 1034, the temple was rebuilt on the former site of an imperial university, and was called Fuzimiao. It became the Imperial University again in 1365, in the early years of Ming Dynasty. The current buildings date from the 19th century, in Qing Dynasty, with additions made since then. The temple lost all financial support by the state as a result of the revolution of 1911. During the late 1920s until 1932 it was used as an army barracks for troops and was left in a dilapidated state. Some halls were used as picture galleries and it was finally restored in 1985.
Situated at the foot of Mt. Zhongshan in Nanjing, Xuanwu Lake is a beautiful scenic spot. As well as the lake, within the surrounding area are temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens, teahouses, restaurants and other attractions. Although geologists credit its formation to tectonic plates shifting, legend has it that Emperor Sun Quan had it created and filled with water after settling in Nanjing. The name of the lake has changed several times during its long history. It gained the name Xuanwu, meaning black tortoise, because a black dragon resembling a tortoise was said to be in the lake. There are five islands in Xuanwu Lake: Huan Isle, Ying Isle, Liang Isle, Cui Isle and Ling Isle. Admission is free.
Nanjing Massacre Memorial
Built in 1985, the newly renovated Nanjing Massacre Memorial serves in memory of the 300,000 victims who lost their lives during the Nanjing Massacre. The architecture, sculptures and videos inside illustrate the overwhelming atrocities committed by the Japanese forces during six weeks from December to January 1938. Covering an area of 28,000 square meters, the memorial consists of three major parts: outdoor exhibits, sheltered skeletal remains of victims, and an exhibition hall of historical documents. Admission is free.
Covering an area of 12.9 hectares, Nanjing Museum is situated inside Zhongshan Gate from which it takes its name. Proposed by educationist Mr. Cai Yuanpei it was originally established in 1933 and now boasts an extensive collection of some 2,000 first class treasures of national and cultural interest. Should you be fascinated by the long and detailed history of Nanjing and the Jiangsu area, Nanjing Museum is a must see when in Nanjing. Admission is free.
Rising to a height of 448.2 meters, the hike to the top of Purple mountain is easily doable in an afternoon. You could easily spend a day or more enjoying the surrounding area, which combines natural exploration and culture discovery and is perfect for getting away from the bustle of city life without travelling too far. More than 200 heritage and scenic tourist sites are now located in or around the mountain, including three national historical sites, nine provincial historical sites, and 33 prefectural historical sites. Located in or close to the hillside of the mountain, there are also about a dozen national research institutes and universities. The Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, the tomb of Sun Yat-sen, is located at the foot of the mountain.
Xiaoling Mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the biggest imperial tombs in China. It lies in the eastern suburbs of Nanjing City at the southern foot of Purple Mountain. Buried here is Hongwu Emperor, the founder and first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and his spouse Queen Maw. Construction of the mausoleum began during his reign in 1381 and was completed in 1431. It took 100,000 labourers to build the Mausoleum and the original wall was more than 22.5 kilometres long.
Opened in 2005, the Nanjing metro now boasts ten lines and 159 stations running to the edges of the city. The total length of the system ranks fourth in China, after Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. In 2017, the metro system carried a total of 977.4 million annual riders.
Lines in Operation
Line 1 (north - south): Maigaoqiao – China Pharmaceutical University (2005)
Line 2 (southwest - northeast): Youfangqiao – Jingtian Road (2010)
Line 3 (north - south): Linchang – East Mozhou Road (2015)
Line 4 (west - east): Longjiang – Xianlinhu (2017)
Line 10: Yushan Road – Andemen (2014)
Line S1: South Railway Station – Lukou International Airport (2014)
Line S3: South Railway Station – Gaojiachong (2017)
Line S7: Konggangxinchengjiangning — Wuxiangshan (2018)
Line S8 (west - east): Taishanxincun – Jinniu Lake (2014)
Line S9: Xiangyulunan - Gaochun (2017)
Upon opening the S9 Line on December 30, 2017, Nanjing became the first city in mainland China where every district is accessible by metro.
The Nanjing Metro fare system is distance based with any journey under 8 stations costing 2RMB.
By 2022, Nanjing Metro plans to have extended lines 1, 2 and S8 as well as open lines 5, 7, S4 and S6.
EF Nanjing Partnerships
Masters at Work
Steven, the owner and lead hairdresser at Masters at Work is trained in Australia where he had previously lived. Now with more than 18 years of experience he specializes in colour and all kind of balayage as well as beauty care, manicures, pedicures, waxing and laser treatment. Steven and his team at M.a.W cut the majority of Nanjing’s expat populations hair!
EF Teachers receive 10% off with EF Blue Card
All EF Teachers receive 5% off on all apple products with EF Blue Card
If ever you need to find someone on a weekend, we are probably here! Secco is run by Markus and Andrea – an awesome couple who have hosted many teachers’ birthday parties and events. Secco is home to the flamkukken, a delicious cream cheese based pizza, and many other “feels like home” meals. A few of the pleasures we enjoy at Secco include football matches, Game of Thrones, game nights, holiday feasts, pub quizs and more. Come join the never-ending fun! The EF family is waiting for you.
By Paige NJ2
Chaley’s, a place with delicious food, friendly staff and a cool atmosphere is Nanjing’s only African restaurant! Situated in the city centre in Xinjiekou, Chaley’s offers a huge variety of authentic and delicious meal options. A personal favorite is the lamb chops with jollof rice, however there are many more to choose from – ranging from a variety of soups to full course meals including either chicken, fish or lamb. There is also a full bar available if you’re up for some drinks. Better yet, the restaurant also has a PS4 with FIFA running all day. Are you craving delicious food and a drink? If so, Chaley’s is the place to go!
By Trent NJ1