Changchun Travel Guide: Top 20 Things to Do in Changchun, China

Perched in the vast expanse of China’s Jilin Province, Changchun whispers tales of resilience, innovation, and natural splendor. It’s a city where history’s depth intertwines with the pulse of modern life, offering a journey that stretches beyond the ordinary. As your guide, I’ll walk you through the streets of Changchun, unveiling its layers and inviting you to discover the soul of a place where every corner has a story to tell.

Changchun lake forest and apartment views reflected in the water

Embracing History and Modernity

The Phoenix of the Northeast

Changchun’s past is a canvas painted with the broad strokes of empire and the intricate details of revival. Once the seat of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo, the city has risen from its complex history with a spirit that mirrors the phoenix. Today, historical sites like the Puppet Emperor’s Palace serve as poignant reminders of resilience, offering a window into a tumultuous past.

A Leap into the Future

But to linger only on Changchun’s past would be to miss the vibrant beat of its present. The city thrives as a hub of innovation, particularly in the automotive and film industries. Strolling through its bustling streets, you’re as likely to encounter the latest technological marvel as you are a quiet reminder of the past.

A Tapestry of Natural Beauty

The Lungs of Changchun

Changchun’s commitment to green spaces provides a lush counterpoint to its urban heartbeat. Parks like the South Lake Park are the city’s lungs, offering serene landscapes and recreational activities that draw families, joggers, and dreamers alike. It’s in these green havens that Changchun’s heart beats most peacefully, inviting visitors to pause and breathe in the beauty of nature.

Culinary Journeys and Cultural Celebrations

A Feast for the Senses

The culinary landscape of Changchun is as diverse as its history. From hearty Jilin dishes that warm the soul on cold nights to international cuisines that speak of the city’s cosmopolitan embrace, dining here is an exploration of flavors that are both familiar and thrillingly new.

Celebrating Changchun

The city’s calendar is dotted with festivals and events that showcase its rich cultural tapestry. Whether it’s the lantern-lit nights of the Spring Festival or the cinematic celebrations of the Changchun Film Festival, the city comes alive with the joyous energy of communal gatherings, inviting all to partake in the festivities.

Changchun invites you to discover the myriad ways in which a city can enchant and inspire.

Changchun Travel Guide: Things to do in Changchun, China

Changchun City Guide: A Brief History Of Changchun, China

Changchun’s narrative is a mosaic of moments, each colored by epochs and empires. This city, nestled in the heart of Jilin Province, whispers tales of ancient nomads, imperial ambitions, and a profound resilience that catapults it into the present as a beacon of modernity.

From Nomadic Pastures to Imperial Crossroads

Early Echoes

Changchun began as a whisper in the wilderness. Ancient nomads traversed its landscapes, leaving behind a tapestry woven with the threads of burgeoning cultures. It was a place of transition, of fleeting footprints.

The Imperial Imprint

As dynasties rose and fell, Changchun found itself cradled in the embrace of emperors. The Qing Dynasty, with its vast reach, cast a long shadow over the city. Changchun, quiet and steadfast, absorbed each influence, each shift in power.

The Twentieth Century: A City Reimagined

A New Capital

The 20th century unfurled, and with it, Changchun’s moment of transformation arrived. The Japanese occupation reshaped its destiny, turning it into the capital of Manchukuo. This era, fraught with complexity, left an indelible mark on the city’s heart and architecture.

Resilience and Rebirth

Post-World War II, Changchun emerged, battered yet unbroken. It reclaimed its identity, growing into a symbol of China’s resilience. The city became a testament to renewal, to the possibility of a new chapter written by its people.

Modern Changchun: Innovation Meets Tradition

The Leap Forward

Today, Changchun stands at the forefront of innovation. It’s a hub for the automotive industry, a city where technology and tradition blend seamlessly. Yet, it never forgets its past. History is treasured, preserved in museums and echoed in the streets.

A Cultural Melting Pot

Diversity thrives here. The city’s cultural festivals celebrate its rich heritage and the new narratives being woven into its fabric. Changchun is a place where the past and the future dialogue, crafting a story that invites the world to listen.

A Living History

Changchun’s journey is far from over. It’s a city on the move, embracing change while honoring its storied past. Its history is a reminder of the resilience and beauty inherent in transformation. Changchun is not just a place to visit. It’s a place to remember, to learn, and to marvel at the power of history to inspire the future.

Changchun north lake pagoda off in the distance in China

Changchun Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in China

Located in Northeastern China in Jilin province, Changchun is a city which languishes in the shadow of its more famous big brother, Harbin. Known primarily for its production of automobiles in the present day, it nonetheless has an interesting past as the capital of Manchuria, the puppet state set up by Japan after capturing this part of China in the 1930s.

Combine that with a few understated attractions and festivals, and this place may be a sleeper hit on your tour of Northeastern China.

Despite being in a corner of China rarely visited by foreigners, Changchun was once home to an emperor of China. Unfortunately for the Chinese, he was a toothless leader, as he was installed by the Imperial Japanese in 1931 not only after their successful invasion of Manchuria.

The palace in which Puyi lived during his ‘reign’ is now home to the Museum of the Imperial Palace of Manchukuo. Inside, you’ll find exhibits which showcase a variety of antiques from China and Japan, pottery, painting, calligraphy, and more.

The Salt Palace, arguably the fanciest structure in the complex, was never used by the emperor, as he believed the place to contain eavesdropping ‘bugs’, but its ornate decorations make it one of the attractive spots in the entire royal compound, so don’t miss it.

More Attractions

Looking for an under the radar surprise that will make you wonder why Changchun isn’t known more widely around the Earth? A visit to World Sculpture Park will do just this, as it contains sculptures created by sculptors from virtually every nation on the planet.

450 works are scattered across its 92-hectare expanse, which is being surrounded by the rapidly rising cityscape of Changchun as part of a densification plan to accommodate future population growth in a city known for being China’s Detroit.

Changchun is also known for being home to one of China’s top Buddhist halls of worship, the Huguo Prajna Temple . Established in the 1930s after a 1923 visit by a regionally revered monk by the name of Master Yanxu, it quickly gained a reputation among Buddhists in the country for being a temple home to wise abbots and monks.

As a foreigner, you may have trouble accessing the grounds at times, but if you are lucky enough to catch it when it is open to visitors from abroad, note that the temple closes at 3:30 pm – if possible, try to go in the morning.

Still haven’t got a handle on the cultural and historical background of the Changchun area? Spend a couple of hours exploring the halls of the Hongqi Culture Museum. Here, you’ll get an insight into the city’s long history as a place where cars have been manufactured.

Dedicated largely to showing off antique Hongqi brand cars, gearheads will enjoy the time they spend here – don’t miss seeing the state limousine that was custom built to transport none other than Mao Zedong.

Changchun modern buildings at night reflected in the water

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Changchun, China

Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Changchun for a day? Make a trip out to the Jingyue Pool Park. Situated 12 kilometres southeast of its downtown core, its centrepiece is a reservoir pond shaped like a crescent moon, from which it takes its name (Jingyue means clear moon in Mandarin).

In addition to this, there are plenty of forest trails to hike, and in winter, it is a great place to go skating or admire snow sculptures created by local artists.

Travelling with your family in the Changchun area? The Zoological and Botanical Garden of Changchun is another great place to take kids, as it is home to a variety of animals of domestic and exotic origin. Here, you will find lions, tigers, zebras, and monkeys in various enclosures which give residents plenty of room to roam.

The western part of the complex is home to a botanical garden, which hosts 41 different types of flora. One section mimics the plants found in the mountains of Northern China, while an enclosure contains a number of tropical species.

Other Attractions

Those wanting to learn a bit about the natural history of the area may want to make room in their schedule for the Changchun Geological Palace Museum. Within, this institution is divided into two halves – one is dedicated to rocks, the other to found fossils.

In the former hall, you’ll find various rocks, gemstones, and lava stones, while the latter contains dinosaur fossils which have been found in the region. From footprints to eggs to fully reconstructed skeletons, it is a wonderful way to kill time when the weather isn’t cooperating during your visit to Changchun.

While it isn’t as well-known as the Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival, the Ice Lantern Wonderland festival in Changchun makes for a good consolation prize if you can’t make it to the former celebration or an awesome supplementary visit if you can.

Held starting in mid-January most years, you’ll have plenty of intricate ice and snow sculptures to admire – about 100 to be exact. With many being lit up with LED lighting, it is a spectacular spectacle to catch – don’t miss out!

source: Sublime China on YouTube

Top 20 Things To Do in Changchun, China For Visitors

Here’s a list of the top 20 things to do in Changchun:

Changchun distinct city views in China

1. Visit the Puppet Emperor’s Palace (Wei Huang Gong)

The Puppet Emperor’s Palace, also known as the Puppet Manchurian Palace, was the residence of Puyi, the last emperor of China, during the Japanese occupation. This historical complex includes Puyi’s living quarters, gardens, and a museum detailing the puppet state of Manchukuo. The exhibits provide insight into this turbulent period of Chinese history. It’s a must-visit for history buffs interested in understanding the complexities of East Asian geopolitics.

2. Explore Changchun World Sculpture Park

Changchun World Sculpture Park features sculptures by artists from around the world, set in a beautifully landscaped area with lakes, gardens, and walking paths. The park combines art, nature, and culture, showcasing works in various styles and materials. It’s a peaceful place for a leisurely walk, offering both aesthetic pleasure and a global artistic perspective. The park also hosts cultural events and exhibitions, making it a lively spot year-round.

3. Wander Through Jingyuetan National Forest Park

Jingyuetan National Forest Park, often referred to as the “sister of Sun Moon Lake” in Taiwan, offers a vast expanse of forested areas, a large reservoir, and recreational facilities. It’s ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and boating. In winter, the park transforms into a popular skiing destination. The park’s serene environment and natural beauty make it a perfect escape from the city.

4. Learn at the Jilin Provincial Museum

The Jilin Provincial Museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts that narrate the history of Jilin Province and northeastern China. Exhibits range from ancient pottery and jade to imperial robes and historical documents. The museum’s architecture is a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese style, making it an interesting visit in itself. It provides a deep dive into the cultural heritage of the region.

5. Enjoy the Changchun Film Studio Museum

Changchun is known as the “City of Film” in China, and the Changchun Film Studio Museum celebrates this heritage. Visitors can learn about the history of Chinese cinema, explore film sets, and see props and costumes from famous Chinese movies. The museum also offers interactive experiences, including the chance to participate in filmmaking. It’s a fascinating visit for movie enthusiasts and families alike.

6. Relax in Nanhu Park

Nanhu Park, located in the heart of Changchun, is centered around a large lake, offering a tranquil setting for relaxation and leisure activities. Visitors can rent boats to explore the lake, stroll along scenic pathways, or enjoy tea in one of the lakeside pavilions. The park is especially beautiful in spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. It also hosts ice sculptures and activities in winter, making it a year-round destination.

7. Visit the Changchun Confucius Temple

The Changchun Confucius Temple is dedicated to Confucius and serves as a center for traditional Chinese culture and education. The temple complex includes beautifully maintained buildings, ancient trees, and stone steles bearing Confucian teachings. It’s a place of learning and reflection, offering insight into Confucian philosophy and its influence on Chinese society. The temple also hosts traditional ceremonies and cultural events.

8. Experience the Changchun Light Rail Transit

Riding the Changchun Light Rail offers a unique view of the city from above. It’s an efficient way to navigate Changchun, connecting major attractions and commercial areas. The light rail is a testament to Changchun’s modern infrastructure and commitment to public transportation. It provides a comfortable and scenic journey through the city, highlighting its development and urban landscape.

9. Shop at Chongqing Road

Chongqing Road is Changchun’s main shopping street, bustling with department stores, boutiques, and street vendors. It’s a lively area to experience the city’s modern consumer culture, offering everything from international brands to local handicrafts. The street is also lined with restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to sample local cuisine. It’s a vibrant part of city life, especially at night when it’s illuminated by neon lights.

10. Discover the Changchun Automobile Culture Square

Changchun’s history as a center for automobile manufacturing is celebrated at the Changchun Automobile Culture Square. The square features exhibitions on the development of the automotive industry, vintage car collections, and interactive displays. It’s an interesting visit for car enthusiasts and those curious about China’s industrial progress. The square also hosts auto shows and cultural events, emphasizing the city’s role in the automotive world.

11. Stroll Through the People’s Square

The People’s Square is the political and cultural heart of Changchun, surrounded by important government buildings and cultural institutions. It’s a vast open space where locals come to relax, fly kites, and participate in outdoor activities. The square’s central location makes it a focal point for city events and celebrations. It’s a great place to observe daily life in Changchun and enjoy the city’s public art and landscaping.

12. Visit the Changchun Geological Palace Museum

The Changchun Geological Palace Museum showcases the geological wonders of Jilin Province and beyond, with exhibits on minerals, rocks, and fossils. The museum’s collection includes a fascinating array of gemstones, meteorites, and dinosaur fossils. It’s an educational experience that highlights the natural history and geological diversity of the region. The museum is especially popular with families and school groups.

13. Explore the Zoological and Botanical Garden of Changchun

The Zoological and Botanical Garden of Changchun combines wildlife conservation with botanical research, offering visitors a chance to see a wide variety of animals and plants. The garden aims to educate the public about biodiversity and environmental protection. It’s a beautiful place for a leisurely walk among exotic flowers and trees. The animal exhibits, including pandas and Siberian tigers, are a highlight for children.

14. Attend the Changchun Ice and Snow Festival

The Changchun Ice and Snow Festival is a winter spectacle, featuring stunning ice sculptures, snow activities, and illuminated displays. It’s held annually at Jingyuetan Park, transforming the area into a winter wonderland. The festival includes ice skating, snowboarding, and cultural performances. It’s a celebration of winter’s beauty and a fun experience for all ages.

15. Climb the Changbai Mountain

While not directly in Changchun, a trip to the majestic Changbai Mountain is highly recommended. It’s a sacred mountain with stunning natural scenery, including the Heavenly Lake at its summit. The mountain is rich in biodiversity and offers several hiking trails. A visit to Changbai Mountain provides an opportunity to experience the natural splendor of northeastern China.

16. Sample Local Cuisine at Guilin Road Food Street

Guilin Road Food Street is the go-to place in Changchun for food lovers wanting to explore northeastern Chinese cuisine. The street is lined with stalls and restaurants serving local dishes like Guobaorou (sweet and sour pork), Harbin sausage, and Jilin cold noodles. It’s a lively atmosphere where you can enjoy authentic flavors and street food culture. The variety of options and the chance to mingle with locals make it a culinary adventure.

17. Enjoy the Changchun Children’s Park

Changchun Children’s Park is a family-friendly attraction with amusement rides, playgrounds, and interactive exhibits. It’s designed to provide a fun and safe environment for children to play and learn. The park also features landscaped gardens and water areas where families can relax. It’s a popular spot for local families, especially on weekends and holidays.

18. Visit the Eight Departments of Manchukuo

The Eight Departments of Manchukuo are a series of historical buildings that served as the administrative center of the puppet state of Manchukuo. These European-style buildings now house museums and cultural spaces, offering a glimpse into the architectural and political history of the era. The area is an important reminder of Changchun’s historical significance. Guided tours are available to provide deeper insights into the complex past of the region.

19. Take a Leisurely Walk Around South Lake Park

South Lake Park is one of Changchun’s most picturesque areas, featuring a large lake surrounded by walking paths, gardens, and traditional Chinese pavilions. It’s a popular place for boating, fishing, and picnicking. The park’s peaceful environment makes it an ideal spot for relaxation and enjoying nature within the city. Seasonal flower displays and cultural events add to the park’s charm.

20. Explore the Culture of the Korean Autonomous Prefecture

The Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, located near Changchun, offers a unique cultural experience with its blend of Chinese and Korean traditions. Visitors can explore Korean heritage through food, art, and festivals. The area is known for its Korean barbecue, traditional dance performances, and the annual Kimchi Festival. It’s a fascinating excursion that highlights the diversity of China’s ethnic minorities.

Changchun hot pot as a must try dish in China

What To Eat and Drink in Changchun, China

From hearty traditional dishes that warm you in the chilly winter months to refreshing beverages perfect for the city’s brisk springs and summers, here’s your travel guide to the must-try foods and drinks in Changchun.

Hearty Delights for Winter Warmth

Guobaorou (Sweet and Sour Pork)

A classic dish of the region, Guobaorou is a perfect blend of crispy pork slices coated in a sweet and tangy sauce. Its origins in Northeast China make it a must-try for any visitor to Changchun, offering a taste of authentic local flavor.

Dun Dun Noodles

These hand-pulled noodles are a testament to the simplicity and depth of Northeastern Chinese cuisine. Served with a variety of toppings, from simple vegetables to rich meats, they provide comfort and warmth on cold days.

Summer Refreshments

Lüdaorou (Green Bean Jelly)

A refreshing summer dish, Lüdaorou is made from mung bean starch and served cold, often with light sauces or vinegar. It’s the perfect antidote to the summer heat, offering a unique texture and refreshing taste.

Sour Plum Soup

This tangy beverage is not just a drink but an experience. Made from smoked plums, it’s both sweet and sour, serving as a delightful refreshment that stimulates the appetite and cools the body during hot weather.

All-Season Favorites

Chuan Chuan Xiang

A fun and communal eating experience, Chuan Chuan Xiang involves skewered meats and vegetables that you cook yourself in a boiling broth. It’s a social meal, perfect for experiencing the local dining culture.

Jiaozi (Dumplings)

No visit to Changchun would be complete without trying Jiaozi. These dumplings are filled with a variety of ingredients, from ground pork and vegetables to more adventurous fillings. They can be boiled, steamed, or fried and are often enjoyed with a side of vinegar or soy sauce.

Baicai Baozi (Cabbage-stuffed Buns)

A simple yet satisfying option, these steamed buns stuffed with seasoned cabbage (and sometimes meat) are a staple breakfast or snack item. They’re light, flavorful, and perfect for on-the-go eating.

Drinks to Savor

Soybean Milk

A traditional drink enjoyed across China, soybean milk in Changchun is often freshly made, offering a nutty and comforting start to the day. It’s commonly paired with youtiao (fried dough sticks) for a traditional Chinese breakfast.


For those looking to try a traditional Chinese spirit, baijiu is a potent grain alcohol that’s deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of China. Enjoy it responsibly to get a taste of Chinese hospitality and celebration.

Changchun river building in China

Tours For Visitors To Changchun, China

here’s a comprehensive list of tours that provide a deep dive into the essence of Changchun.

Historical and Cultural Tours

The Puppet Emperor’s Palace Tour

Dive into the intriguing history of the Puppet Emperor’s Palace (Wei Huang Gong), where visitors can learn about the Japanese occupation and the life of Puyi, the last emperor of China. This tour offers a detailed look into a complex period of Changchun’s past.

Changchun World Sculpture Park

An art and culture tour that takes visitors through the Changchun World Sculpture Park, showcasing sculptures from artists around the world. This outdoor museum not only highlights global unity and peace but also offers insight into contemporary art trends.

Nature and Adventure Tours

Jingyuetan National Forest Park Excursion

Explore the vast Jingyuetan National Forest Park, a haven of natural beauty just outside Changchun. This tour is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts interested in hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a day in nature. The park’s serene lake and forest trails provide a peaceful escape from the city.

Nanhu Lake Park Cycling Tour

Take a leisurely bike ride around Nanhu Lake Park, one of Changchun’s largest and most beautiful urban parks. This tour offers a refreshing way to enjoy the city’s green spaces while learning about local plant life and urban planning.

Food and Culinary Tours

Changchun Street Food and Market Tour

Delve into the flavors of Changchun with a guided street food and market tour. Visitors can taste local specialties such as Guobaorou (sweet and sour pork) and Chuan Chuan Xiang (skewered meats and vegetables), learning about the culinary traditions and ingredients unique to Northeastern China.

Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony Experience

Experience the tranquility and tradition of a Chinese tea ceremony. This tour offers insight into the ancient art of tea, teaching participants about different types of Chinese tea, brewing techniques, and the cultural significance of tea in China.

Industrial and Modern Changchun Tours

Changchun Movie Wonderland Tour

For film buffs, a tour of the Changchun Movie Wonderland provides a behind-the-scenes look at China’s film industry. Visitors can explore movie sets, learn about film production, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a movie being shot.

Changchun Automotive Industry Tour

Discover the heart of China’s automotive industry with a tour of Changchun’s major car manufacturing plants. Learn about the history and future of automotive production in China, including the rise of electric vehicles.

Nanhu Park in Changchun, China with greenery views

Changchun Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Whether you’re looking for luxury, comfort, or budget-friendly choices, this guide will help you navigate the best places to stay in Changchun, ensuring a comfortable and memorable visit.

Luxury Hotels

Shangri-La Hotel, Changchun

Situated in the city center, the Shangri-La Hotel offers an oasis of luxury and comfort. With its elegant rooms, top-notch amenities, including a spa, indoor pool, and several dining options, guests are treated to a world-class experience with a touch of local hospitality.

Hyatt Regency Changchun

Located in the vibrant Jiatai district, the Hyatt Regency boasts modern and spacious accommodations, complete with all the luxury amenities one could ask for. Its proximity to major attractions and business centers makes it an ideal choice for both leisure and business travelers.

Mid-Range Hotels

New Century Grand Hotel Changchun

Offering a blend of comfort and convenience, the New Century Grand Hotel features well-appointed rooms, excellent dining options, and a fitness center. It’s perfect for travelers looking for quality accommodations without the luxury price tag.

Holiday Inn Changchun Jingyue

With its modern rooms, friendly service, and convenient location near Jingyue Park, the Holiday Inn provides a comfortable stay for visitors. The hotel also offers facilities such as a business center, fitness area, and on-site dining, making it a great option for various travelers.

Budget-Friendly Options

Hanting Express Changchun Main Street

For those looking to stretch their yuan further, Hanting Express offers clean, basic rooms at an affordable price. It’s an excellent choice for budget-savvy travelers who prioritize location and convenience.

Changbai mountain day trip from Changchun, China

Day Trips From Changchun, China

Here’s a curated list of day trips from Changchun, each providing a unique glimpse into the region’s offerings.

1. Jingyuetan National Forest Park

Jingyuetan Park, known as the “Sister of Sun Moon Lake” in Taiwan, is a vast expanse of natural beauty, featuring dense forests and a serene lake perfect for boating and picnicking. It appeals to those seeking adventure with its hiking and mountain biking trails, and in winter, it transforms into a skiing haven. The park becomes a photographer’s paradise in autumn, with the foliage turning vibrant shades of gold and red. Additionally, the annual Ice and Snow Festival here showcases stunning ice sculptures and winter sports activities.

2. The Museum of the Imperial Palace of Manchukuo

Once the residence of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, this museum delves into the history of Manchukuo and the Japanese occupation era. With an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and personal items from Puyi’s life, it offers a comprehensive look at this tumultuous period. The architecture and gardens of the palace are not to be missed, providing a serene setting for reflection on the past. Guided tours enrich the visit, highlighting the social and political complexities of the time.

3. Changbai Mountain

Changbai Mountain, a revered natural wonder, is famed for Lake Tianchi, a crater lake known for its ethereal beauty and crystal-clear waters. The mountain’s trails cater to all levels of hikers, offering views of waterfalls, hot springs, and diverse wildlife, possibly including bears and deer. This destination, while a bit further away, is worth the journey for its breathtaking natural scenery and volcanic features. It represents a unique opportunity to explore the natural majesty and ecological diversity of the region.

4. Songhua Lake

Songhua Lake is a picturesque getaway, ideal for those looking to relax or engage in water sports like boating, fishing, and jet skiing. The lake area, surrounded by resorts and picnic spots, is perfect for a leisurely day out. In the colder months, it becomes a hub for ice fishing and skating, offering a distinct winter charm. The nearby Songhua Dam adds a touch of engineering marvel to the natural beauty, making for an intriguing visit for both nature lovers and technology enthusiasts.

5. Puppet Emperor’s Palace (Wei Huang Gong)

Visiting the Puppet Emperor’s Palace provides a deep dive into the life of Puyi during the Manchukuo era under Japanese rule. The complex, which includes his living quarters and administrative buildings, is meticulously preserved, offering visitors a glimpse into the past. The palace not only educates about the geopolitical tensions of the era but also showcases the blend of Chinese and Japanese architectural influences. It serves as a poignant reminder of a complex period in Changchun’s history, making it a must-visit for history buffs.

Morning view of Changchun city in China

Changchun Transportation Guide

Here’s a detailed travel guide to Changchun’s transportation system, ensuring you can move around the city with ease and comfort.

1. Metro System

Changchun’s Metro system is a fast, reliable, and cost-effective way to travel across the city. It currently has several lines in operation, connecting major districts, attractions, and business centers. The metro operates from early morning till late at night, with clear signage in both Chinese and English, making it accessible for international travelers.

2. Public Buses

The public bus network in Changchun is extensive, offering routes that cover the entire city and its outskirts. It’s an affordable way to get around, though it can be crowded during peak hours. Buses are frequent, and major routes offer service at regular intervals, connecting key areas and landmarks.

3. Taxis and Ride-Hailing Services

Taxis are readily available throughout Changchun and can be hailed on the street or booked via phone or app. Additionally, ride-hailing services like Didi Chuxing provide a convenient alternative, offering the ability to book a ride through a smartphone app, often with the option for English language service.

4. Bicycle Sharing

Changchun embraces the eco-friendly and health-conscious trend of bicycle sharing. Various companies operate docked and dockless bicycle-sharing systems, allowing users to pick up and drop off bicycles at numerous locations. It’s an ideal way to explore the city at a leisurely pace, especially during pleasant weather.

5. Long-Distance Buses and Trains

For those looking to explore beyond Changchun, the city’s bus stations and railway terminals provide connections to other cities in Jilin Province and across China. High-speed trains offer quick and comfortable travel to destinations like Beijing, Shenyang, and Harbin, while regular trains and long-distance buses offer more economical options.

6. Changchun Longjia International Airport

Serving as the gateway to the region, Changchun Longjia International Airport offers domestic and international flights. The airport is well-connected to the city center by airport buses, taxis, and a metro line, ensuring convenient transfers for arriving and departing passengers.

7. Car Rentals

For those preferring the flexibility of self-driving, several car rental agencies operate in Changchun. International visitors will need a valid driver’s license and a Chinese driving permit to rent a car. This option provides the freedom to explore Changchun and its surrounding areas at your own pace.

Harbin is a place to visit in China afterwards

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Changchun?

Here’s a list of places to visit after your trip to Changchun, each offering its unique allure.

1. Harbin

Famous for its stunning Ice and Snow Festival, Harbin is a winter wonderland that dazzles with its ice sculptures and snow activities. Beyond winter, the city’s Russian architecture and vibrant cultural scene make it a fascinating destination year-round. Visit the Siberian Tiger Park to come face-to-face with these majestic creatures. The blend of cultures here, from Russian to traditional Chinese, offers a unique culinary and artistic experience.

2. Shenyang

As the capital of Liaoning Province, Shenyang is steeped in history, home to the UNESCO-listed Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty. The city’s blend of historical sites and modern development showcases the dynamic evolution of Northeast China. Explore the Mukden Palace for a peek into the opulent life of Qing emperors. Shenyang’s bustling street markets and vibrant nightlife also offer a lively urban experience.

3. Jilin City

Not to be confused with the province of the same name, Jilin City is renowned for its stunning rime ice formations along the Songhua River, creating a mesmerizing winter landscape. The city’s Buddhist temples and the Meteorite Museum add layers of cultural and scientific interest. Jilin City serves as a gateway to the Heavenly Lake in the Changbai Mountains, offering nature enthusiasts breathtaking scenery. Its tranquil parks and historical sites provide a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of larger cities.

4. Dalian

Situated on the coast, Dalian is known for its beautiful beaches, lush parks, and a mix of modern and colonial architecture. The city is a hub for festivals, including the annual Beer Festival and Fashion Festival, reflecting its lively spirit. Visit the Dalian Forest Zoo to see pandas and other wildlife in well-designed habitats. Dalian’s seafood is unrivaled, offering fresh delicacies at every turn.

5. Beijing

The capital city of China, Beijing, is a must-visit for its historical significance and iconic landmarks, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square. Beijing seamlessly blends ancient history with the rush of modern life, offering an array of experiences from traditional tea houses to cutting-edge art galleries. The city’s culinary scene is vast, ranging from street food to high-end dining. Beijing also serves as a cultural hub, hosting numerous festivals, performances, and exhibitions throughout the year.

6. Qingdao

Famed for its Tsingtao Brewery, Qingdao offers a unique blend of German colonial architecture and beautiful coastal scenery. The city’s beaches are perfect for relaxation and water sports, while its hilly streets provide charming vistas. Qingdao’s beer culture is celebrated annually at the Qingdao Beer Festival, drawing visitors from around the globe. The nearby Laoshan Mountain offers hiking trails and Taoist temples, presenting a spiritual and physical challenge.

7. Shanghai

Shanghai, a global metropolis, dazzles visitors with its futuristic skyline, bustling markets, and rich colonial history along the Bund. The city is a financial and cultural powerhouse, offering endless shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Art lovers will find solace in the numerous museums and galleries showcasing contemporary and traditional art. Shanghai’s extensive public transport system makes exploring this vast city a breeze.

8. Suzhou

Known for its exquisite classical gardens and intricate canal system, Suzhou is often dubbed the “Venice of the East.” The city’s ancient gardens, like the Humble Administrator’s Garden, are masterpieces of Chinese landscape design. Suzhou’s silk industry is renowned, with museums and factories open to visitors interested in the craft. The historic Pingjiang Road offers a glimpse into the city’s past with its traditional architecture and teahouses.

9. Hangzhou

Hangzhou is celebrated for its natural beauty, centered around the tranquil West Lake, which has inspired poets and artists for centuries. The city is also a cultural treasure trove, home to the ancient Lingyin Temple and traditional tea villages. Hangzhou’s modern side is showcased in its thriving tech industry and contemporary arts scene. The cuisine here is not to be missed, featuring local specialties that highlight the region’s rich flavors.

10. Xi’an

As the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army, Xi’an is a city where history comes to life. The ancient city walls invite visitors to step back in time, offering panoramic views and a sense of the city’s storied past. Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter is a vibrant area full of street food stalls and markets, showcasing the city’s multicultural heritage. The nearby Mount Huashan offers one of China’s most thrilling hikes, with breathtaking views for the adventurous.

Changchun Nanun Park in China

Changchun Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

As our exploration of Changchun wraps up, we’re left with impressions of a city that seamlessly bridges history with progress. This northeastern gem, with its compelling narrative of resilience, invites a deeper appreciation with every visit.

Embracing the Past, Looking to the Future

Changchun’s past, marked by events that shaped its character, is vividly preserved in sites like the Puppet Emperor’s Palace. Yet, the city doesn’t dwell; it thrives, pushing towards the future with innovation and growth. It’s in the bustling streets and quiet parks that one finds the true heartbeat of Changchun — a rhythm of persistence and optimism.

Nature Meets Urban Elegance

From the tranquility of South Lake Park to the dynamic cityscape, Changchun offers a unique blend where nature and urban life enrich each other. The city’s green spaces are not just escapes but integral parts of its identity, offering peaceful havens amidst urban sophistication.

A Culinary and Cultural Journey

Changchun’s cuisine reflects its diverse heritage, offering a spectrum of flavors from hearty local dishes to international fare. The city’s cultural tapestry is equally rich, woven through with festivals that celebrate its history, art, and community spirit.

The Gateway to More

Remember, Changchun isn’t just a stopover. It’s a gateway to the vast wonders of Northeast China. Each visit peels back another layer, revealing more to explore, experience, and cherish.

Changchun neon views in the city in China

Ode To Changchun

In Changchun’s embrace, travelers find delight, A city where history and nature unite. With each step, a story unfolds, In streets paved with tales yet untold.

Amidst the charm of yesteryears, The Puppet Emperor’s Palace appears, Whispering secrets of bygone days, Echoing the legacy that forever stays.

The film studio’s magic fills the air, Where dreams are captured, beyond compare. Visions flicker on silver screens, Unveiling stories that ignite our dreams.

Jingyuetan’s tranquil beauty calls, A forested oasis where serenity enthralls. Lakes glisten with the moon’s gentle touch, As nature’s symphony weaves a hushed hush.

Changbaishan’s majestic peaks arise, Tianchi’s reflection paints the skies. Waterfalls cascade, a symphony of might, In nature’s canvas, a breathtaking sight.

Through Changchun’s streets, a journey unfolds, A symphony of cultures, vibrant and bold. Sample flavors, indulge in local cuisines, Where taste buds dance to exquisite scenes.

As language bridges may ebb and flow, Smiles unite hearts, a universal glow. With warmth and kindness, connections are made, In Changchun’s embrace, memories are laid.

So wander through this city’s embrace, Discover its essence, find your own space. Changchun beckons, an invitation profound, A traveler’s haven, where treasures abound.

In Changchun’s embrace, adventure finds its way, Leaving footprints on memories, forever to stay. A poem of exploration, a traveler’s delight, Changchun, a destination, shining ever bright.

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