Xuanwu Lake Park Tours – Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China

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Xuanwu Lake Park


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Gulou District , China, Jiangsu Province, Nanjing
Hours : 7:00am-9:00pm

About this place

Close to the city center and featuring 368 hectares of water and 104 hectares of land, Xuanwu Lake Park is a favourite getaway for locals.  Well before the sunrise and even after sunset, the park is bustling with visitors. Some come to walk, jog, or fly kites, others to practice Tai Chi, and many more just want to enjoy the scenery

To the east of Xuanwu Lake is Purple Mountain, to the north is Nanjing Train Station, and to the west and south Nanjing’s skyscrapers stretch high above the City Wall that was built during the Ming Dynasty.  Paved paths circle the entire perimeter of the lake and several forested islands within the lake that are linked by causeways.

The best time to visit Xuanwu Lake Park is during May and June.  By visiting the park in late Spring, Nanjing city will not have the opportunity to show you why it is famed as one of the three furnaces of China.




Taking a walk along the edge of Xuanwu Lake is an activity in itself, but if you seek something more specific read on.


For the serious jogger, Xuanwu Lake is a suitable place to jog year round.  There are still a few cars on the road, but compared with the busy city streets, it is far superior and safer.  The roads and street lamps were upgraded in 2006, so the park is an excellent place to jog after sunset.

During the summer, the best times to go for exercise are in the early morning and late evening, because that is when temperatures are the coolest. In fact, in the middle of the summer the morning is noticeably cooler than the evening.

See more about Nanjing’s climate

Paddle Boats

Four person paddle boats cost 25 yuan per hour and require a 50 yuan deposit.  Paddle boats can be rented to the east and west of Nanjing Train Station or to the north of the Xuanwu Gate.

Walk, Relax, Etc.

Xuanwu Lake Park is a popular place to take a romantic walk. In the evening Chinese couples fill up the benches overlooking Xuanwu Lake.  Some more adventurous couples park their cars (which include tinted windows, wink, wink) or set up tents.


The roads along Xuanwu Lake form the ideal setting for a ride around Nanjing.  Unfortunately it seems that cycling is not allowed as the guards often try to prevent people from taking bicycles within the park.  However, if a visitor is persistent, makes an excuse, or enters through a nearby gate, the guards usually let it slide.

The entire northeast side of the lake is not actually part of the park.  This means that there is no gate to go through if you just want to bike in that area, but it also means that if you want to bike around the entire lake, you may be hassled by guards twice (once to enter and once to re-enter).



During Chinese New Years Festival, hundreds, if not thousands of people flock to Xuanwu Lake to set off fireworks – some bring boxes of fireworks the size of refrigerators.  Be warned, setting off fireworks is far from safe.  In many countries, fireworks of this caliber are only legally used by professionals.


A popular fishing spot in Xuanwu Lake is on the north side, just to the east of Nanjing Train Station.  However, people can be seen fishing at many places around the outside of the lake and inside the inner islands. 



The Inner Isles of Xuanwu Lake

Open 7:00am-9:00pm
Entrance Fee: 20 Yuan.

Inside Xuanwu Lake are 5 isles that are suitable for a scenic walk and contain many small tourist attractions such as Lama Temple, small amusement park rides and the "Temple of Xuanwu Lake God."


How to Get There


Xuanwu Lake takes up a very large area and there are several places from which to enter the park.  Here’s a list of the busier entrances in clockwise order.

Xuanwu Gate

Xuanwu Gate (Xuanwu Men, 玄武门) is next to the Xuanwu Gate subway station at the intersection of Hunan Lu (湖南路) and Central Road (Zhonyang Lu, 中央路).  From the subway station, the park entrance is just a three minute walk east, passing by the convention center (南京市规划建设展览馆).  Xuanwu Gate’s appearance is also the biggest and most impressive.

North and East Sides

The official park does not stretch around the north and east edges of the lake. Still, there are several other places that allow you to reach the edge of the lake including Nanjing Train Station and Lovers Garden.  The southeast corner features Taiping Gate while Peace Gate is just to the west of Nanjing Station. Neither gate’s appearance is particularly significant.

View of Xuanwu Lake from the Nanjing Train Station

Jiefang Gate

Jiefang Men (解放门) is a couple blocks North of Beijing Dong Lu (北京东路) and the municipal government building.  You can get to the top of the city wall from this gate.


Xuanwu Lake is a popular spot to light fireworks during the Chinese New Years Festival.


8 User Reviews


User Reviews

Re: Xuanwu Lake Park

By Shaolu86,

Your professional, experienced, knowledgeable tour guide


Xuanwu park  is near the Nanjing Railway Station and Ji Ming Temple.
Re: Xuanwu Lake Park

By Nancy Magic Tour,

Datong Tour , Beijing Tour , Luoyang Tour


There are lots of local old persons are jogging in the morning and late afternoon during summer time.
Re: Xuanwu Lake Park

By Nancy Magic Tour,

Datong Tour , Beijing Tour , Luoyang Tour


The best time to visit Xuanwu Lake Park is in May and June.
Re: Xuanwu Lake Park

By Sisley,


Actually, we dont go inside of the park, we always have picnic near the city wall by the river, its so nice in the sunny days.
Happy 100 year birthday, Xuanwu Lake Park.

Xuanwu Lake was the most famous lake in Nanjing, and the lake park was built in 1909, and to this year, it1s 100 years old. So the lake`s gate was repaint, and all the green trees and sweet osmanthus trees attract many tours and local peoples.

October 1st, big fireworks show

We are visiting China for 3 weeks, and we are so lucky that we can join  Chinese National Holiday, we supposed to go to Beijing on October 1st, but, we were at Nanjing now, we kinda sad, but at that day, everything and every people in Nanjing, we can strongly feel the atmosphere, and we glad to know that at night, there will be a big fireworks show at Xuanwu Lake park, so we headed there earlier and watched the fantastic show, we love it a lot, and we really really lucky we can spent this e...read more
Mochou lake and Xuanwu Lake.

Mochou Lake and Xuanwu Lake are two famous lakes in Nanjing, local Nanjing people all know them.  Which one is better? Which one does local people like more?
I`ve been thinking about this for a long time, and i`ve been asking many people about this question, and the answer is Xuanwu Lake win.  Many people like Xuan Lake, and they also think Xuanwu Lake is famous and more interesting than Mochou Lake. An important factor that Xuanwu Lake can win is it have a around lake road for ...read more
Enjoy Xuanwu Lake!

I think Xuwu Lake is the largest and the most beautiful lake in Nanjing.
In the early morning,local people will come here doing exercises, like Tai chi,  Fan dance, Sword dance, and a group of young people they doing Yoga. And when you pass by you just can not be not attracted by this, how harmony the nature and people get along with each other. It make it more beautiful.
And you can rent a boat with your family or your friends during the Spring time, talking and let the wind ...read more

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