Located just 90 minutes from Shanghai via high-speed train, Nanjing is a must-visit city for those seeking to immerse themselves in China’s fascinating past while enjoying modern luxuries. Travelers considering a visit before the end of the year should be sure not to miss these seasonal highlights:
September in Nanjing
For starters, September marks the beginning of “hairy crab season,” one of the highlights of Nanjing’s culinary calendar. These lake harvested delicacies, known for their rich golden roe, are named for their furry claws that resemble mittens and only available for a few months each year. Gucheng Lake in Nanjing’s southern suburbs breeds some of the tastiest hairy crabs in China, but they can be found on menus of hotels and restaurants throughout Nanjing. Nanjingers enjoy them steamed, cracking open the shells and dipping the meat in vinegar.
Autumn foliage is relatively short and comes a bit later in eastern China than in North America, but those visiting Nanjing from late November to mid-December are in for a treat. Vibrant red maple leaves color the landscape, especially in scenic areas like Purple Mountain, where travelers can also visit historical sites like the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republic of China, and the Xiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty, a 600 year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site guarded by four life-sized pairs of stone warriors and 12 pairs of mythical creatures. Approximately 14 miles northeast of Nanjing’s city center lies Qixia Mountain, one of China’s top spots for viewing fall foliage and a fascinating place to see Buddhist culture up close at Qixia Temple, Sierra Pagoda, and Thousand Buddhas Cliff.
Make it the Ritz
Nanjing’s newest luxury hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing, is set to open by the end of 2019. The hotel is located in the heart of the city’s Xinjiekou business district, just 30 minutes from Nanjing Lukou International Airport and within walking distance of a number of historic attractions including the Presidential Palace and Nanjing Library. The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing complements its cosmopolitan surroundings with a grand hotel featuring 295 guest rooms, 32 luxury suites and an elegant collection of event spaces. Local cuisine is celebrated at the signature restaurant, one of five dining options, and well-being is prioritized with an indoor pool, fitness center, and the signature Ritz-Carlton Spa.
Best about Nanjing is great value available to international travelers due to affordable roundtrip flight and hotel prices, average daily meal and sightseeing expenditures, and the number of highly rated attractions available for visitors to enjoy. In addition to those noted above, other top attractions include the Qinhuai Scenic Area, which offers a look inside the Confucius Temple and the Imperial Examination Hall, along with traditional boat rides on the Qinhuai River, Colorful shopping and street food fun; the Nanjing Cloud Brocade Museum, exhibiting craftmanship recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO; and Nanjing Niushoushan Cultural Park — a centuries-old sacred Buddhist site that is home to an opulent and a meticulously detailed Buddhist palace built into the side of the mountain. The city’s more solemn memories are honored at the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre where visitors can learn more about the 1937 attack by Japan that resulted in the loss of approximately 350,000 lives.