Home to China’s oldest library, Ningbo is a dynamic port city and cultural hub overlooking Hangzhou Bay. It’s renowned for its ancient Buddhist temples, as well as being home to a striking modern history museum designed by China’s first Pritzker Prize-winning architect.
Things to do in Ningbo
Explore one of the oldest libraries in Asia at the Tianyi Ge, founded in 1561 by Fan Qin. It was used as a prototype for the Wenyuan Chamber in the Forbidden City and contains an extensive collection of antique books, including rare Ming dynasty printed and hand-copied volumes.
Admire the nature-inspired architecture of the Ningbo Museum that was designed by renowned architect, Wang Shu. Browse artefacts belonging to Ningbo’s ancient people, stroll amidst the recreated buildings of a traditional commercial street, then see highly-prized bamboo artefacts in its bamboo gallery.
Make a pilgrimage to the 1,700-year-old Asoka Temple where the relics of Sakyamuni, Buddhism’s founder, are enshrined on Asoka Mountain. Wander through the Heavenly King Hall and see the golden glazed tiles of the Buddha’s Relic Hall, then step inside the seven-storey stone pagoda that houses the sacred relics.
Another must-see landmark is the Mahayana Buddhist temple of Baoguo, perched on the side of Lingshan Mountain. It exhibits a diverse range of architectural styles in its stone pillars and ornate halls, with the Grand Hall one of the oldest and best-preserved examples of wooden architecture in China.
Getting around Ningbo
Lishe International Airport is a 40-minute train ride from central Ningbo and there are trains to destinations across eastern China from the Ningbo Railway Station. Buses and a subway system serve the city and taxis are readily available for getting around.