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—  Sub-provincial city  —
Clockwise from top: Nanjing city night panorama, the former Presidential Palace of ROC, Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, Jiming Temple, City Wall of Nanjing, Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall
Nickname(s): The Southern Capital
Nanjing's location within Jiangsu province
Nanjing is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 32°03′N 118°46′E / 32.05°N 118.767°E / 32.05; 118.767
Country China
Province Jiangsu
County-level divisions 13
Township divisions 129
Settled 495 BC
 - CPC Nanjing Zhu Shanlu
Committee Secretary
 - Mayor Ji Jianye
Area (ranked 29th)
 - Total 6,598 km2 (2,547.5 sq mi)
Elevation 15 m (50 ft)
Population (2009)
 - Total 7,713,100
 Density 1,123.5/km2 (2,909.9/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Postal code 210000 - 211300
Area code(s) 25
License plate prefixes 苏A
GDP (2009) ¥423 billion
GDP per capita ¥55,290
Website City of Nanjing
City trees
Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
City flowers
Méi (Prunus mume)

About this sound Nanjing (Chinese: 南京; Romanizations: Nánjīng (Pinyin), Nan-ching (Wade-Giles), Nanking (Postal map spelling)) is the capital of China's Jiangsu Province, and a city with a prominent place in Chinese history and culture. The different spellings 'Nanjing' or 'Nanking' bear the same Chinese name '南京' - meaning 'Southern capital' - Nanking was widely used until the Pinyin language reform after which Nanjing is the international standard spelling of the city's name.

Located in the lower Yangtze River drainage basin and Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Nanjing has always been one of China's most important cities. It served as the capital of China during several historical periods and is listed as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Nanjing was the capital of the Republic of China before the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Nanjing is also one of the fifteen sub-provincial cities in the People's Republic of China's administrative structure, enjoying jurisdictional and economic autonomy only slightly less than that of a province. Apart from having been the capital of China for six dynasties and of the Republic of China, Nanjing has also served as a national hub of education, research, transportation and tourism throughout history. It will also host the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.

With an urban population of over five million (2006), Nanjing is the second largest commercial center in the East China region, after Shanghai. It has been ranked fourth by Forbes magazine in its listing of "2008 Top 100 Business Cities in Mainland China", seventh in the evaluation of "Cities with Strongest Comprehensive Strength" issued by the National Statistics Bureau, and second in the evaluation of cities with most sustainable development potential in the Yangtze River Delta. It has also been awarded the title of 2008 Habitat Scroll of Honor of China, Special Award of UN Habitat Scroll of Honor and National Civilized City.[1]



Remnants of the stone city wall built by the State of Chu in 333 BCE
Sculptures at Xiao Xiu's tomb (photo from 1917)
The City Wall of Nanjing, the world's longest, built in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)

Nanjing was one of the earliest established cities in the southern China area. According to the legend, Fu Chai, the Lord of the State of Wu, founded the first city, Yecheng (冶城) in today's Nanjing area in 495 BCE. Later in 473 BCE, The State of Yue conquered Wu and constructed the city of Yuecheng (越城) on the outskirts of the present-day Zhonghua Gate. In 333 BCE, after eliminating the State of Yue, the State of Chu built Jinling Yi (金陵邑) in the northwestern part of present-day Nanjing. Under the Qin and Han dynasties, it was called Moling. Since then, the city has experienced destruction and renewal many times.

Nanjing first became a capital in 229 CE (公元), where Sun Quan of the Wu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Period relocated its capital to Jianye (建鄴), a city he extended on the basis of Jinling Yi in 211 CE. After the invasion of the Five Hu, the nobles and wealthy families of the Jin Dynasty escaped across the Yangtze River and established Nanjing as the capital, which was then called Jiankang (建康). Thereafter, Jiankang remained as the capital of Southern China during the North-South Division period. Possibly the best preserved monument of that era is the ensemble of the Tomb of Xiao Xiu (475–518), a brother of Emperor Wu of Liang, located in today's Qixia District on the eastern outskirts of the modern Nanjing.[2][3] The period of division ended when the Sui Dynasty reunified China and destroyed almost the entire city, turning it into a small town.

The city was reconstructed during the late Tang Dynasty. It was again named capital (then known as Jinling (金陵) during the short-lived Southern Tang Kingdom (937–975) (who renamed it Xidu), who succeeded the Wu Kingdom.[4] Jiankang's textile industry burgeoned and thrived during Song Dynasty despite the constant threat from the northern foreign invasions. The Mongolians, the occupiers of China, further consolidated the city's status as a hub of the textile industry under the Yuan Dynasty.

The Ming capital

The Spirit Way of Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum complex, located in Eastern Suburb Scenic Area

The first emperor of the Ming Dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang (the Hongwu Emperor) who overthrew the Yuan Dynasty rebuilt this city and made it the capital of China in 1368. He constructed what was the longest city wall in the world at that time. It took 200,000 laborers 21 years to finish the project. The present-day city wall of Nanjing was mainly built during that time, and it is the longest surviving city wall in the world.

Jiming Buddhist Temple

Nanjing remained the capital of the Ming Empire until 1421, when the third emperor of the dynasty, Zhu Di, relocated the capital to Beijing. It is believed that Nanjing was the largest city in the world from 1358 to 1425 with a population of 487,000 in 1400.[5]

Besides the city wall, other famous Ming-era structures in the city included the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (still one of the most famous sites of the region) and the Porcelain Tower (destroyed by the Taipings in the 19th century).

As the center of the empire, early-Ming Nanjing had worldwide connections: it was home of admiral Zheng He, who went to sail the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and it was visited by foreign dignitaries, such as the sultan of Brunei Abdul Majid Hassan, who died during his visit to China in 1408. The sultan's grave, with a suitably royal bixi stone tortoise monument, was discovered in Yuhuatai District south of the city in 1958.[6]

The Qing period

The Porcelain Tower

Two and a half centuries after the removal of the capital to Beijing, Nanjing was destined to become the capital of a Ming emperor one more time. After the fall of Beijing to the Li Zicheng's rebels and then to Manchu Qing invaders, and the suicide of the last "real" Ming emperor Zhu Youjian (the Chongzhen Emperor) in the spring 1644, the Ming prince Zhu Yousong was enthroned in Nanjing in June 1644 as the Hongguang Emperor. His short reign was described by later historians as the first reign of the so-called Southern Ming Dynasty. Zhu Yousong, however, fared a lot worse than his ancestor Zhu Yuanzhang three centuries earlier. Beset by factional conflicts, his regime could not offer effective resistance to Manchu troops, when the Manchu army, led by Prince Dodo approached Jiangnan the next spring.[7] Days after Yangzhou fell to the Manchus in late May 1645, the Hongguang Emperor fled Nanjing, and the imperial palace was looted by local residents.[8] On June 6, Dodo's troops approached Nanjing, and the commander of the city's garrison, Zhao the Earl of Xincheng, promptly surrendered the city to them.[9] The Manchus soon ordered all male residents of the city to shave their heads in the Manchu way, requisitioned a large section of the city for the bannermen's cantonment, and destroyed the former imperial palace, but otherwise the city was spared the mass murders and destruction that befell Yangzhou.[10]

A bixi-based stele commemorating the Kangxi Emperor's visit to Nanjing in 1684, in the city's Drum Tower

During the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), the Nanjing area was known as Jiangning (江宁) and served as the seat of government for the Liangjiang Viceroy. It had been visited by the Kangxi and Qianlong Emperors a number of times on their tours of the southern provinces.

Nanjing was invaded by British troops during the First Opium War, which was ended by the Treaty of Nanking in 1842.

Nanjing was the capital of the Taiping Kingdom[11] in the mid-19th century, being renamed as Tianjing (天京) (lit. Heaven's Capital).

Both the Qing Viceroy and the Taiping king resided in buildings that would later be known as the Presidential Palace. As Qing general Zeng Guofan retook the city in 1864, massive slaughter occurred in the city with over 100,000 committing suicide or fighting to the death.

After 1911

The President House of the Republic of China, when Nanjing was its capital

The Xinhai Revolution led to the founding of the Republic of China in January 1912 with Dr. Sun Yat-sen as the first provisional president, and Nanjing was selected as its new capital. However, the Qing Dynasty still controlled the northern provinces, so revolutionaries asked Yuan Shikai to replace Sun as president in exchange for the emperor's abdication. Yuan demanded the capital be at Beijing (closer to his power base).

In 1927, the Kuomintang (KMT) under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek again established Nanjing as the capital of the Republic of China, and this became internationally recognized once KMT forces took Beijing in 1928. The following decade is known as the Nanjing decade, as they used the Presidential Palace in Nanjing as their headquarters.

World War II

In 1937, the Japanese army invaded and occupied Nanjing, the capital city of Republic of China, and carried out the systematic and brutal Nanking massacre. The total death toll could not be confirmed, since no official records were kept. Though often contested, most estimates, including those made by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal, put the number of dead between 200,000 and 350,000.[12] The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall was built in 1985 to commemorate this event.

After the conquest of the city, the Imperial Japanese Army established the bacteriological research Unit 1644, a section of Unit 731, where Japanese doctors experimented on humans.[13]

Many of the atrocities of the massacre were documented in the diaries of John Rabe, a German businessman who created a "Safety Zone", an area whose borders were Sikang Street to the west, Hanchung Men Gate to the south and ironically the Japanese Embassy to the east. Rabe's own house, the German & US Embassies and Nanjing University were all encompassed within the Safety Zone. Many took refuge within his walls, Rabe in many instances exploiting Germany's alliance with Japan to stop Japanese soldiers from entering the compound to rape and slaughter the many women and children inside.

A Japanese-collaborationist government known as the "Nanjing Regime" or "Nanjing Nationalist Government" led by Wang Jingwei was established in Nanjing as a rival to Chiang Kai-Shek's government in Chongqing. After the Surrender of Japan, the KMT relocated its central government back to Nanjing.

After 1949

On April 23, 1949, The People's Liberation Army conquered Nanjing. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Nanjing was initially a province-level municipality, but very soon became, and today remains, the provincial capital of Jiangsu.

The Ministry of Interior of the Republic of China, as well as textbooks published in Taiwan, refer to Nanjing as the official capital of the Republic of China, while Taipei is just its provisional capital.[14]

It had long been rumored that Nanjing might be split from Jiangsu Province in future years and become its own municipality, but the rumour was never officially confirmed.

Geography and climate

Nanjing Area - Lower Yangtze Valley and Eastern China

Nanjing, with a total land area of 6,598 square kilometers (2,547.5 sq mi), is situated in one of the largest economic zones of China, the Yangtze River Delta, which is part of the downstream Yangtze River drainage basin. The Yangtze River flows past the west side of Nanjing City, while the Ningzheng Ridge surrounds the north, east and south side of the city. The city is 300 kilometers (186 mi) west of Shanghai, 1,200 kilometers (746 mi) south of Beijing, and 1,400 kilometers (870 mi) east of Chongqing.

Nanjing has a humid subtropical climate and is under the influence of the East Asia Monsoon. Seasons are distinct in Nanjing, with usually hot summers and plenty of rainfall throughout the year. Along with Wuhan and Chongqing, Nanjing is often referred to as one of the "Three Furnacelike Cities" along the Yangtze River (长江流域三大火炉) for the perennially high temperatures in the summertime.[15] The average temperature during the year is 16 °C (61 °F). The average high temperature in January is 7 °C (45 °F) while the average low is −1 °C (30.2 °F); the average high in July is 32 °C (90 °F) with an average low of 25 °C (77 °F).[16] The highest recorded temperature is 40.7 °C (105 °F) (Aug 22, 1959), and the lowest −14 °C (7 °F) (Jan 6, 1955). On average it rains 117 days out of the year, and the average annual rainfall is 1,106.5 millimetres (43.6 in). The time from mid-June to the end of July is the plum blossom Meiyu season, during which the city experiences a period of mild rain as well as dampness.

Climate data for Nanjing(1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.0
Average low °C (°F) -1.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 37.4
Sunshine hours 129.1 123.3 136.1 168.1 194.0 171.9 205.6 214.7 167.2 169.1 153.5 150.2 1,982.8
% Humidity 76 74 74 73 74 78 81 81 79 77 76 74 76
Source: 中国气象局 国家气象信息中心 2009-03-17

Nanjing is endowed with rich natural resources, which include more than 40 kinds of minerals. Among them, iron and sulfur reserves make up 40 percent of those of Jiangsu province. Its reserves of strontium rank first in East Asia and the South East Asia region. Nanjing also possesses abundant water resources, both from the Yangtze River and groundwater. In addition, it has several natural hot springs such as Tangshan Hot Spring in Jiangning and Tangquan Hot Spring in Pukou.

Surrounded by the Yangtze River and mountains, Nanjing also enjoys beautiful natural scenery. Natural lakes such as Xuanwu Lake and Mochou Lake are located in the center of the city and are easily accessible to the public, while hills like Purple Mountain are covered with evergreens and oaks and host various historical and cultural sites. Sun Quan relocated his capital to Nanjing after Liu Bei's suggestion as Liu Bei was impressed by Nanjing's impeccable geographic position when negotiating an alliance with Sun Quan. Sun Quan then renamed the city from Moling (秣陵) to Jianye (建邺) shortly thereafter.[17]


Nanjing Municipal Hall

The full name of the government of Nanjing is "People's Government of Nanjing City". The city is under the one-party rule of the CPC, with the CPC Nanjing Committee Secretary as the de facto governor of the city and the mayor as the executive head of the government working under the secretary.

Nanjing currently consists of thirteen county-level divisions, of which eleven are districts, and two are counties. The districts are the urban areas of Nanjing while the counties are the rural areas governed by the city.

Administrative divisions

The sub-provincial city of Nanjing has direct jurisdiction over 11 districts (区 qu) and 2 Counties (县 xian):

Map Subdivision Hanzi
Subdivisions of Nanjing-China.png
Nanjing City Proper
Xuanwu-qu 玄武区
Baixia-qu 白下区
Qinhuai-qu 秦淮区
Yuhuatai-qu 雨花台区
Xiaguan-qu 下关区
Gulou-qu 鼓楼区
Nanjing Suburban and Rural
Pukou-qu 浦口区
Luhe-qu 六合区
Qixia-qu 栖霞区
Jianye-qu 建邺区
Jiangning-qu 江宁区
Lishui-xian 溧水县
Gaochun-xian 高淳县

The current partition of districts of Nanjing might change in the future. There was a rumor that Lishui County would be designated as a new urban district in the near future.

Organization Structure


Population trend
Year Residents (in million) natural growth rate (%)
1949 2.5670 13.09
1950 2.5670 15.64
1955 2.8034 19.94
1960 3.2259 0.23
1965 3.4529 25.58
1970 3.6053 20.76
1975 3.9299 9.53
1978 4.1238 8.84
1980 4.3587 8.08
1985 4.6577 4.56
1990 5.0182 9.18
Year Residents (in million) natural growth rate (%)
1995 5.2172 2.62
1996 5.2543 2.63
1997 5.2982 2.16
1998 5.3231 1.00
1999 5.3744 2.01
2000 5.4489 2.48
2001 5.5304 1.60
2002 5.6328 0.70
2003 5.7223 1.50
2006 6.0700 6.11

According to the Fifth China Census, the total population of the City of Nanjing reached 6.24 million in 2000. The statistics in 2008 estimated the total population to be 7.7 million, while the registered population was 6.3 million. The birth rate was 8.86 percent and the death rate was 6.88 percent. The urban area had a population of 5.5 million people.

As in most of eastern China the ethnic makeup of Nanjing is predominantly Han nationality (98.56 percent), with 50 other minority nationalities. In 1999, 77,394 residents belonged to minority nationalities, among which the vast majority (64,832) were Hui nationalities, contributing 83.76 percent to the minority population. The second and third largest minority groups were Manchu (2,311) and Zhuang (533) nationalities. Most of the minority nationalities resided in Jianye District, comprising 9.13 percent of the district's population.

In 2003 the sex ratio of the city population was 106.49 males to 100 females.


Early Development

Since the Three Kingdoms period, Nanjing has become an industrial center for textile and mint owing to its strategic geographical location and convenient transportation. During the Ming Dynasty Nanjing's industry was further expanded, and the city became one of the most prosperous cities in China and even the world. It led in textile, mint, printing, shipbuilding and many other industries, and was the busiest business center in the Far East.

Into the first half of the twentieth century, Nanjing gradually shifted from a production hub into a heavy consumption city, mainly because of the rapid expansion of the wealthy population after Nanjing once again regained the political spotlight of China. A number of huge department stores such as Zhongyang Shangchang sprouted up, attracting merchants from all over China to sell their products in Nanjing. In 1933, the revenue generated by the food and entertainment industry in the city exceeded the sum of the output of the manufacturing and agriculture industry. One third of the city population worked in the service industry, while prostitution, drugs and gambling also thrived.

In the 1950s, the CPC invested heavily in Nanjing to build a series of state-owned heavy industries, as part of the national plan of rapid industrialization. Electrical, mechanical, chemical and steel factories were established successively, converting Nanjing into a heavy industry production center of East China. Overenthusiastic in building a “world-class” industrial city, leaders of Nanjing also made many disastrous mistakes during the development, such as spending hundreds of millions of yuan to mine for non-existent coal, resulting in the negative economic growth in the late 1960s.


Nanjing downtown
Typical street in Nanjing

The current industry of the city basically inherited the characteristics of the 1960s, with electronics, cars, petrochemical, iron and steel, and power as the "Five Pillar Industries". Some representative big state-owned firms are Panda Electronics, Jincheng Motors and Nanjing Steel. The tertiary industry also regained prominence, accounting for 44 percent of the GDP of the city. The city is also vying for foreign investment against neighboring cities in the Yangtze River Delta, and so far a number of famous multinational firms, such as Volkswagen Group, Iveco, A.O. Smith, and Sharp, have established their lines there. Since China's entry into the WTO, Nanjing has received increasing attention from foreign investors, and on average, two new foreign firms establish offices in the city every day.

The city government is further improving the desirability of the city to investors by building large industrial parks, which now total four: Gaoxin, Xingang, Huagong and Jiangning. Despite the effort, Nanjing's Gross Domestic Product is still falling behind that of other neighbouring cities such as Suzhou, Wuxi and Hangzhou, which have an edge in attracting foreign investment and local innovation. In addition, the traditional state-owned enterprises find themselves incapable of competing with efficient multinational firms, and hence are either mired in heavy debt or forced into bankruptcy or privatization. This has resulted in large numbers of layoff workers who are technically not unemployed but effectively jobless.

Nanjing at night

In recent years, Nanjing has been developing its economy, commerce, industry, as well as city construction. In 2009 the city's GDP was RMB 423 billion (3rd in Jiangsu), and GDP per capita was RMB 55,290, a 9.5 percent increase from 2008. The average urban resident's disposable income was RMB 25,504, while the average rural resident's net income was RMB 9,858. The registered urban unemployment rate was 3.02 percent, lower than the national average (4.3 percent). Nanjing's Gross Domestic Product ranked 17th in 2008 in China, and its overall competence ranked 9th.

Industrial zones

  • Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone

Established in 1992, Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone is a national level zone surrounded by convenient transportation network. Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu Province. Situated in the downstream of Yangtze River Drainage Basin and Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Nanjing has always been a national center of commerce, education, research, transportation and tourism in the East China region, preceded only by Shanghai. It is only 20 km away from Nanjing Port [18] and 40 km away from Nanjing Lukou Airport.[19] It is well equipped with basic facilities like electricity, water, communication, gas, steam and so on. It has formed four specialized industries, which are electronic information, bio-pharmaceutical, machinery and new materials industry.[20]

  • Nanjing New and High Development Industry Zone
  • Nanjing Jiangning Development Zone




Nanjing is the transportation hub in eastern China and the downstream Yangtze River area. Different means of transportation constitute a three-dimensional transport system that includes land, water and air. As in most other Chinese cities, public transportation is the dominant mode of travel of the majority of the citizens. Therefore see also Transport in Nanjing.


Nanjing Railway Station

Nanjing is an important railway hub in eastern China. It serves as rail junction for the Beijing-Shanghai (Jinghu) (which is itself comprised of the old Jinpu and Ninghu Railways]], Nanjing-Wuhu (Ningwu), Nanjing-Qidong (Ningqi), Nanjing-Xian (Ningxi), Hefei-Nanjing (Hening) Railways. Passenger rail service in Nanjing is provided mainly by Nanjing Railway Station, while both Nanjing West Railway Station and Nanjing South Railway Station serve minor roles. Since 2008, A new Nanjing South Railway Station has started construction. This will officially be claimed the largest railway station in Asia after it is finished.


As an important regional hub in the Yangtze River Delta, Nanjing is well-connected by over 60 state and provincial highways to all parts of China.

Express highways such as Hu-Ning, Ning-He, Ning-Hang enable commuters to travel to Shanghai, Hefei, Hangzhou, and other important cities quickly and conveniently. Inside the city of Nanjing, there are 230 kilometers (143 mi) of highways, with a highway coverage density of 3.38 kilometers per hundred square kilometers (2.10 mi/38.6 sq mi). The total road coverage density of the city is 112.56 kilometers per hundred square kilometers (69.94 mi/38.6 sq mi).

Nanjing Sample Technology Company Limited is a major provider of Intelligent traffic systems.

National Highway:

Public Transportation

A Nanjing Metro Train at Zhangfuyuan Station

The city also boasts an efficient network of public transportation, which mainly consists of bus, taxi and metro systems. The bus network, which is currently run by five companies (Nanjing Gongjiao, Zhongbei, Argos, Xincheng and Xinningpu), provides more than 370 routes covering all parts of the city and suburban areas. Nanjing Metro Line 1, started service on May 15, 2005, and Line 2 began construction in November 2005. The city is planning to complete a 655-kilometer (409 mi)-long Metro and light-rail system by 2050.[citation needed] The expansion of the Metro network will greatly facilitate the intracity transportation and reduce the currently heavy traffic congestion.


Nanjing's airport, Lukou International Airport, serves both national and international flights. In 2008, the airport handled 8.8813 million passengers. It was ranked 13th among 126 civil airports in China in terms of yearly passenger transport, and 10th for yearly cargo transport. The airport currently has 85 routes to national and international destinations, which include Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Germany. The airport is connected by a 29-kilometer (18 mi) highway directly to the city center, and is also linked to various intercity highways, making it accessible to the passengers from the surrounding cities.


Port of Nanjing is the largest inland port in China, yearly throughput reaching 108.59 million tons in 2007. The port area is 98 kilometers (61 mi) in length and has 64 berths including 16 berths for ships with a tonnage of more than 10,000. Nanjing is also the biggest container port along the Yangtze River; in March 2004, the one million container-capacity base, Longtan Containers Port Area opened, further consolidating Nanjing as the leading port in the region. In the 1960s the first Yangtze river bridge was completed, becoming almost the only solid connection between North and South in eastern China at that time. The bridge became a source of pride and an important symbol of modern China, having been built and designed by the Chinese themselves following failed surveys by other nations and the reliance on and then rejection of Soviet expertise. Begun in 1960 and opened to traffic in 1968, the bridge is a two-tiered road and rail design spanning 4,600 metres on the upper deck, with approximately 1,580 metres spanning the river itself.

Culture and art

Museum dedicated to Admiral Zheng He at Nanjing

Being one of the four ancient capitals of China, Nanjing has always been a cultural center attracting intellectuals from all over the country. In the Tang and Song dynasties, Nanjing was a place where poets gathered and composed poems reminiscent of its luxurious past; during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the city was the official imperial examination center for the Jiangnan region, again acting as a hub where different thoughts and opinions converged and thrived.

Today, with a long cultural tradition and strong support from local educational institutions, Nanjing is commonly viewed as a “city of culture” and one of the more pleasant cities to live in China.


Some of the leading art groups of China are based in Nanjing; they include: Qianxian Dance Company, Nanjing Dance Company, Jiangsu Peking Opera Institute, Nanjing Xiaohonghua Art Company are just a few to list.

Jiangsu Province Kun Opera is one of the best theatres for Kunqu, China's oldest stage art. It is considered a conservative and traditional troupe. Nanjing also has professional opera troupes for the Yang, Yue (shaoxing), Xi and Jing (Chinese opera varieties) as well as Suzhou pingtan, spoken theatre, and puppet theatre.

Jiangsu Art Gallery is the largest gallery in Jiangsu Province, presenting some of the best traditional and contemporary art pieces of China; many other smaller-scale galleries, such as Red Chamber Art Garden and Jinling Stone Gallery, also have their own special exhibitions.


Remnants of the Ming Dynasty City Wall in Nanjing

Many traditional festivals and customs were observed in the old times, which included climbing the City Wall on January 16, bathing in Qing Xi on March 3, hill hiking on September 9 and others (the dates are in Chinese lunar calendar). Almost none of them, however, are still celebrated by modern Nanjingese.

Instead, Nanjing, as a popular tourist destination, hosts a series of government-organised events throughout the year. The annual International Plum Blossom Festival held in Plum Hill, the largest plum collection in China, attracts thousands of tourists both domestically and internationally. Other events include Nanjing Baima Peach Blossom and Kite Festival, Jiangxin Zhou Fruit Festival and Linggu Temple Sweet Osmanthus Festival.


Nanjing Library, founded in 1907, houses more than 7 million volumes of printed materials and is the third largest library in China, after the National Library in Beijing and Shanghai Library. Other libraries, such as city-owned Jinling Library and various district libraries, also provide considerable amount of information to citizens. Nanjing University Library, owned by Nanjing University, with a collection of 4.2 million volumes, is also one of the leading university libraries . More than 100 multimedia networked-computers are available to readers.


Nanjing has some of the oldest and finest museums in China. Nanjing Museum, formerly known as National Central Museum under KMT rule, is the first modern museum and remains as one of the leading museums in China. Other museums include the China Modern History Museum in the Presidential Palace, the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, the City Museum of Nanjing, the Taiping Kingdom History Museum, the Nanjing Customs Museum, the Nanjing City Wall Cultural Museum, and a small museum and tomb honoring the 15th century seafaring admiral Zheng He.


Most of Nanjing's major theatres are multi-purpose, used as convention halls, cinemas, musical halls and theatres on different occasions. The major theatres include the People's Convention Hall and the Nanjing Arts and Culture Center.

A new cinema, Nanjing Shangying-Warner Cinema Complex, was opened in 2004, as the first modern cinema complex in Nanjing. It has become a must-visit for movie enthusiasts. After that, Nanjing had more modern cinemas in both Xinjiekou and the Confucius Temple, such as the Xinjiekou International Cinema Complex located on the seventh floor of Deji Plaza and Hengdian International Cinema in Aqua City on Jiankang Road.


There are two major sports centers in Nanjing, Wutaishan Sports Center and Nanjing Olympic Sports Center. Both of these two are comprehensive sports centers, including stadium, gymnasium, natatorium, tennis court, etc.. Wutaishan Sports Center was established in 1952 and it was one of the oldest and most advanced stadiums in early time of People's Republic of China. Nanjing was hosted the 10th National Games of P.R.C., in 2005 and would host the 2nd summer Youth Olympic Games, in 2014.

In 2005, in order to host The 10th National Game of People's Republic of China, there was a new stadium, Nanjing Olympic Sports Center, constructed in Nanjing. Compared to Wutaishan Sports Center, whose major stadium's capacity is 18,600, the stadium in Nanjing Olympic Sports Center is more advanced and has a bigger capacity. Nanjing Olympic Sports Center has a stadium of capacity 60,000. Its gymnasium has capacity of 13,000, and natatorium of capacity 3,000.

Pubs in Nanjing 1912 block

Night life

Traditionally Nanjing's nightlife was mostly centered around Confucius Temple area along the Qinhuai River, where night markets, restaurants and pubs thrived. Boating at night in the river was a main attraction of the city. The area was also famous for the concentration of upper-class prostitutes, many of them patronized by high-ranking government officials and wealthy businessmen. Prostitution was banned after the CCP took over Nanjing.

In recent years, several commercial streets have been developed, hence the nightlife has become more diverse: there are shopping malls opening late in the Xinjiekou CBD and Hunan Road. The well-established "Nanjing 1912" district hosts a wide variety of pastime facilities ranging from traditional restaurants and western pubs to dance clubs.


Classical buildings in the Mochou Lake
Xuanwu Lake

Buildings and monuments

Ancient period

Republic of China period (1912–1949)

Because it was designated as the national capital, many structures were built around that time. Even today, some of them still remain which are open to tourists.

  • Central Hotel (237 E. Zhongshan Road)
  • Central Stadium (present day Nanjing Physical Education Institute)
  • China Bank of Communications Nanjing Branch (1 E. Zhongshan Road)
  • Dahua Theatre (67 S. Zhongshan Road)
  • Former Central Government Building Group along N. Zhongshan Road
  • Former Foreign Embassies in Gu Lou Area
  • Huiwen Institute Bell Tower (196 Zhongshan Road)
  • Jiangsu Art Gallery (Former National Art Gallery)
  • Lizhi She (307 E. Zhongshan Road)
  • Macklin Hospital (321 Zhongshan Road, present day Gu Lou Hospital)
  • Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall
  • Nanjing Museum Complex
  • Officials Residence Cluster along Yihe Road
  • Presidential Palace, Nanjing
  • Purple Mountain Observatory
  • St. Paul's Church (396 S. Taiping Road)
  • The Complex of Former Academia Sinica (39 E. Beijing Road)
  • The Complex of Former Central University
  • The Complex of Former Jinling University
  • Yangzi Hotel (2 Baoshan Road)
  • Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and its surrounding area


Parks and gardens

Other places of interests


Nanjing has been the educational center in southern China for more than 1700 years. Currently, it boasts of some of the most prominent educational institutions in the region, which are listed as follows:

National Universities and Colleges

Operated by Ministry of Eduction

  • Nanjing University (南京大学) (Part of National Central University 国立中央大学, founded in 1902, part of Private University of Nanking 私立金陵大学,founded in 1888)
  • Southeast University (东南大学) (Part of National Central University 国立中央大学, founded in 1902, part of Private University of Nanking 私立金陵大学,founded in 1888)
  • Hohai University (河海大学) (Part of National Central University 国立中央大学, founded in 1915)
  • Nanjing Agricultural University (南京农业大学) (Part of National Central University 国立中央大学, founded in 1902, part of Private University of Nanking 私立金陵大学,founded in 1888)
  • China Pharmaceutical University (中国药科大学,founded in 1936)

Operated by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

Operated by the joint Commission of the State Forest Administration and Public Order Ministry

  • Nanjing Forest Police College (南京森林公安高等专科学校)

Operated by the general sport Administration

  • Nanjing Sport Institute (南京体育学院)

National Military Universities and Colleges

  • PLA University of Science and Technology (中国人民解放军理工大学)
  • PLA Nanjing Political College (中国人民解放军南京政治学院)
  • PLA Nanjing International Relation College (中国人民解放军南京国际关系学院)
  • PLA Naval Command College (中国人民解放军海军指挥学院)
  • PLA Nanjing Army Command College (中国人民解放军南京陆军指挥学院)

Provincial Universities and Colleges

  • Nanjing Normal University (南京师范大学) (Part of National Central University 国立中央大学, founded in 1902, part of Private University of Nanking 私立金陵大学, founded in 1888, part of Ginling Women University 私立金陵女子大学, founded in 1913)
  • Nanjing University of Technology (南京工业大学) (Part of National Central University 国立中央大学, founded in 1902, part of Private University of Nanking 私立金陵大学,founded in 1888)
  • Nanjing Forestry University (南京林业大学) (Part of National Central University 国立中央大学, founded in 1902, part of Private University of Nanking 私立金陵大学,founded in 1888)
  • Nanjing Medical University (南京医科大学)
  • Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (南京中医药大学)
  • Nanjing University of Finance & Economics (南京财经大学)
  • Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications (南京邮电大学)
  • Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (南京信息工程大学, founded in 1960)
  • Nanjing Institute of Physical Education(南京体育学院)
  • Nanjing Arts Institute (南京艺术学院)
  • Nanjing Audit University (南京审计学院)
  • Nanjing Xiaozhuang College (南京晓庄学院)
  • Jinling Institute of Technology (金陵科技学院)

Private Colleges

Notable High Schools

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Nanjing is twinned with: Nanjing currently has 18 sister cities (areas):

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Albert E. Dien, «Six Dynasties Civilization». Yale University Press, 2007 ISBN 0300074042. Partial text on Google Books. P. 190. A reconstruction of the original form of the ensemble is shown in Fig. 5.19.
  3. ^ 梁安成康王萧秀墓石刻 (Sculptures at the Tomb of Xiao Xiu) (Chinese) (description and modern photos)
  4. ^ Mote, F.W. (1999). Imperial China (900-1800). Harvard University Press. 
  5. ^ Largest Cities Through History
  6. ^ Rozan Yunos, "The Brunei Sultan who died in China" The Brunei Times, 9.11.2008
  7. ^ Struve (1993), p.55-56
  8. ^ Struve (1993), pp. 60-61
  9. ^ Struve (1993), pp. 62-63
  10. ^ Struve (1993), pp. 64-65, 72
  11. ^ Eduardo Real: ‘’The Taiping Rebellion’’
  12. ^ In a document sent by former Japanese foreign minister Hirota Koki to the Japanese Embassy in Washington in January 17, 1938, he stated "based upon investigation, over 300,000,000,000 Chinese killed". (ref. National Archives, Washington, D.C., Released in Sept. 1994) The verdict of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East reads in part: "Approximately 20,000 cases occurred within the city during the first month of the occupation ... The total number of civilians and prisoners of war murdered in Nanking during the six weeks was over 200,000. ... These figures do not take into account those persons whose bodies were destroyed by burning or by throwing into the Yangtze River or otherwise disposed by Japanese." The 200,000 number was mostly based on the records of several humanitarian and charity organizations who buried the remaining bodies a week to four months after the massacres began. Six charity groups buried total of 195,240 bodies from 1937.12--1938.10. Detailed bury records are available. From the verdict, the 200,000 number did not include victims whose bodies were disposed by Japanese (as common in the early stages of the massacre) or by individuals Chinese other than the charities groups, nor did it include those who were massacred after the first six weeks. Therefore, the 200,000 number is the most conservative number. Adding the people murdered in smaller scale killings and whose bodies had been buried by other people, over 300,000 Chinese were massacred in Nanking.
  13. ^ Hal Gold, Unit 731 Testimony, 1996, p.151-152
  14. ^ "南京市" (in Traditional Chinese). 重編囯語辭典修訂本. Ministry of Education, ROC. "民國十六年,國民政府宣言定為首都,今以臺北市為我國中央政府所在地。(In the 16th Year of the Republic of China, the National Government established Nanking as the capital. At present Taipei is the seat of the central government.)" 
  15. ^ "Nanjing's takes off the title of furnace, who shall replace it?". Nanjing Bureau of Environmental Protection. 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  16. ^ Nanjing, China. Last accessed January 17, 2008.
  17. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vols. 66, 94.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^


  • Cotterell, Arthur. (2007). The Imperial Capitals of China - An Inside View of the Celestial Empire. London: Pimlico. pp. 304 pages.. ISBN 9781845950095. 
  • Danielson, Eric N. (2004). Nanjing and the Lower Yangzi River. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish/Times Editions. ISBN 981-232-598-0. 
  • Eigner, Julius (February 1938). "The Rise and Fall of Nanking" in National Geographic Vol. LXXIII No.2. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. 
  • Farmer, Edward L. (1976). Early Ming Government: The Evolution of Dual Capitals. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 
  • Hobart, Alice Tisdale (1927). Within the Walls of Nanking. New York: MacMillan. 
  • Jiang, Zanchu (1995). Nanjing shi hua. Nanjing: Nanjing chu ban she. ISBN 7-80614-159-6. 
  • Lutz, Jessie Gregory (1971). China and the Christian Colleges, 1850-1950. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 
  • Ma, Chao Chun (Ma Chaojun) (1937). Nanking's Development, 1927-1937. Nanking: Municipality of Nanking. 
  • Michael, Franz (1972). The Taiping Rebellion: History and Documents (3 vols.). Seattle: University of Washington Press. 
  • Mote, Frederick W. (1977). "The Transformation of Nanking, 1350–1400," in The City in Late Imperial China, ed. by G. William Skinner. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 
  • Mote, Frederick W., and Twitchett, Denis, ed. (1988). The Cambridge History of China Vol. 7, The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Musgrove, Charles D. (2000). "Constructing a National Capital in Nanjing, 1927–1937," in Remaking the Chinese City, 1900–1950, ed. by Joseph W. Esherick. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 
  • Nanking Women's Club (1933). Sketches of Nanking. Nanking: Nanking Women's Club. 
  • Ouchterlony, John (1844). The Chinese War: An Account of All the Operations of the British Forces from the Commencement to the Treaty of Nanking. London: Saunders and Otley. 
  • Prip-Moller, Johannes (1935). "The Hall of Lin Ku Ssu (Ling Gu Si) Nanking," in Artes Monuments Vol. III. Copenhagen: Artes Monuments. 
  • Smalley, Martha L. (1982). Guide to the Archives of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (Record Group 11). New Haven: Yale University Divinity Library Special Collections. 
  • Struve, Lynn A. (1998). Voices from the Ming-Qing Cataclysm: China in Tigers' Jaws. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300075537, 9780300075533.  (Chapter 4: "The emperor really has left": Nanjing changes hands, pp. 55–72.)
  • Teng, Ssu Yu (1944). Chang Hsi (Zhang Xi) and the Treaty of Nanking, 1842. Chicago: Chicago University Press. 
  • Thurston, Mrs. Lawrence (Matilda) (1955). Ginling College. New York: United Board for Christian Colleges in China. 
  • Till, Barry (1982). In Search of Old Nanking. Hong Kong: Hong Kong and Shanghai Joint Publishing Company. 
  • Tyau, T.Z. (1930). Two Years of Nationalist China. Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh. 
  • Uchiyama, Kiyoshi (1910). Guide to Nanking. Shanghai: China Commercial Press. 
  • Wang, Nengwei (1998). Nanjing Jiu Ying (Old Photos of Nanjing). Nanjing: People's Fine Arts Publishing House. 
  • Ye, Zhaoyan (1998). Lao Nanjing: Jiu Ying Qinhuai (Old Nanjing: Reflections of Scenes on the Qinhuai River). Nanjing: Zhongguo Di Er Lishi Dang An Guan (China Second National Archives). 

External links

Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
Wuhan (wartime)
Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
for the Republic of China
Succeeded by
for the People's Republic of China

Coordinates: 32°03′N 118°46′E / 32.05°N 118.767°E / 32.05; 118.767

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : East Asia : China : East : Jiangsu : Nanjing
The Sun Yat-sen mausoleum, one of Nanjing's many historical sites
The Sun Yat-sen mausoleum, one of Nanjing's many historical sites

Nanjing (南京; Nánjīng), historically also Nanking, is the capital city of Jiangsu Province in the People's Republic of China. It is situated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and is the central city of the lower Yangtze Basin.


Nanjing means "southern capital" (versus Beijing meaning "northern capital".) It is a renowned historical and cultural city and was the capital of several dynasties over the course of Chinese history. It has many historical sites including Ming tombs that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was most recently the capital of China under the Kuomintang, from 1927 until their retreat to Taiwan in 1949. With a current urban population of approximately 5 million people, Nanjing is an important center for commerce and trade in Eastern China.

Get in

By plane

Nanjing's Lukou International Airport is about 35km from the city center and serves inbound international flights from Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Germany. You can also fly to Lukou International from most major cities in China, including Hong Kong (with the exception of Shanghai due to its close proximity to Nanjing.)

From the airport, there are several ground transportation options into Nanjing. The 30-minute taxi ride to the downtown area will cost ¥100 or more (there's a ¥20 toll about 3 km away from the airport). It usually works out cheaper to take the airport bus to downtown and take a taxi from there.

There are two express-bus routes from the airport to downtown Nanjing - both terminate at the railway station and connect with the subway and local city buses. The services run at 15-minute intervals with one line serving Zhonghuamen (also has good subway and bus connections) and Hanzhongmen, while the other runs to the east of the city and stops close to Fuzimiao. A one-way ticket costs Y25 and can be purchased from the kiosk outside the arrivals hall. WARNING - if taking the bus to the airport from Zhonghuamen, ignore the touts who hang around outside the bus station and subway station claiming to operate the official bus service - they will usually quote the same price, you'll be loaded into the back of a small, run-down minibus and will usually drop you off several kilometres short of the airport and claim that the fare into the actual airport is several hundred kuai. To find the actual bus service, enter the bus station building and go to Gate 7 - buy the ticket from the kiosk at the gate, not the main ticket office.

If you're flying into Shanghai, there are bus and train services that travel to and from Nanjing. The bus runs four times a day from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, with a stop at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and then on to Nanjing Zhongyangmen (and back). From there, take the metro or a taxi to your destination. It costs ¥136 from Shanghai and the trip takes about five hours (only about four at night). Many people prefer to take a train to Shanghai then bus, taxi or train to Nanjing.

By train

There are many daily departures to and from Shanghai, which is about four hours away on slow trains and a bit over two on the new fast ones (see High-speed rail in China). Both types of train also stop at Wuxi and Suzhou and some continue on to Hangzhou. Fast trains offer better equipment and are comparable with a business class flight, while slow trains are older and without as many amenities, but may suit people traveling on a budget. Generally, the Chinese train system might appear a bit "weird" for European passengers, but it's comfortable, reliable, and is recommended over a bus for most trips.

The main station is simply Nanjing Station, although locals refer to it as Nanjing North. It is situated on the north shore of Xuanwu Lake and is also very close to Zhongyangmen long-distance bus station. It is modern and more like an airport than a train station - the departure areas are on the 2nd and 3rd floors and you'll go through a ticket and security check to enter this area. Look for your train number on the indicator boards to find the right waiting room and when your train is called (usually 10 minutes before departure) just follow the crowd to find the right platform. Arrivals are in the basement, as is the taxi stand and the entrance to the subway station. The ticket office, pedestrian entrance and the local-bus station is on the first floor.

Many southbound trains start from Nanjing West, a small terminal staiton just west of the downtown area, however the facilities and public transport connections are nowhere near as good.

Nanjing South station (adjacent to Zhonghuamen metro and bus stations) is to undergo a major redevelopment and most long-distance overnight services will depart from here in the future. Although it's only a tiny station with a few services a day, the majority of services between Nanjing and Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) will stop here so it's worth booking a ticket to Nanjing South (Nanjingnan) to avoid a slow 45-minute ride around the eastern suburbs to the main station. The south station is located about 1 block east of Zhonghuamen subway station so onwards connections are easy and usually quicker than from the main station.

By bus

Nanjing is well connected to Shanghai, Hangzhou and most destinations within Jiangsu, Anhui and northern Zhejiang provicnces by bus as well as longer overnight sleeper services to Beijing (12 hours) and Guangzhou (24 hours). Most services depart from Zhongyangmen bus station, a large, clean modern terminal in the north of the city approximately 10 minutes walk to the west of the main train station. The station has English signange and announcements but the ticket clerks generally cannot understand English. Some services into Anhui province depart from Nanjing South (Zhonghuamen) station, which is adjacent to Zhonghuamen metro station. There are also bus stations serving nearby destinations at Hanzhongmen, Nanjing East (to the north of Purple Mountain) and Nanjing North (on the west side of the Yangtze River) although they are less useful to travellers.

By road

There is a modern highway system between Shanghai and Nanjing, which can allow you to travel quite quickly from city to city. Beware of traffic in the morning and evening rush hours. If you're just one person, it may be much cheaper to travel by train, but if you're in a larger group, sharing a car service can be cheaper. Keep in mind that you need to be a very experienced driver to handle Chinese traffic, so you may be better served using trains and buses between the cities and taxis in the cities, unless you're really on for a challenge.

If you are interested in driving yourself, see Driving in China.

By boat

Nanjing is situated on the Yangtze river. Scheduled passenger liner service is available along the Yangtze river between Shanghai downstream and Wuhan in the Hubei province upstream, although, the river is mostly used for transport of goods.

Get around

If you're staying more than a few days it's worth buying a Jinlingtong (also known as IC-tong). These are available from any subway station, most bus termini and from any branch of Huaxia Bank (look for an information window displaying the letters 'IC'). The card costs Y80 and contains Y30 refundable deposit and Y50 credit, and can be topped up at the aformentioned locations. The card can be used on the subway, all city buses (but not all suburban buses), cross-river ferries, taxis (although drivers are reluctant to accept them and may tell you the scanner is broken) and in some Suguo convenience stores.

By taxi

Taxis are a great way to get around and you can generally go anywhere in Nanjing for under ¥15, which is comparable to a bus fare in many North American cities. The cab driver should start the meter as soon as you are picked up (starting at ¥9); if the cab driver doesn't start using the meter and you don't say anything he/she may assume you don't know any better and overcharge you at the end of your journey. Any fare over ¥20 is probably a scam unless you are going to one of the suburbs. If this happens, ask for a printed receipt detailing the cab number, kilometers traveled, times, and money exchanged from the driver upon exiting the cab. Don't expect to get a cab during both the morning and afternoon rush hours; demand is high and the drivers make their shift changes around these times, too. Tipping is not expected in cabs in China, so the price on the meter is the price you should pay. Unlike cabbies in Beijing or Shanghai (who frequently shuttle foreigners around and may be accustomed to gratuity under the table) tipping in Nanjing is an alien concept. You are likely to befuddle but please a driver by insisting that they accept additional 'free' money.

By subway

Subway Line 1 (currently the only operational line) is the fastest way to cut north-south through central Nanjing. It stops at the main shopping areas around Zhujiang Lu, Xinjiekou and Hunan Lu (Xuanwumen Station), the main railway station and also serves the West New City development close to the Olympic Sports Centre. Fares are cheap (Y2-Y4 depending on distance) and there is a 5% discount if you use the IC card. Single-journey tokens can be purchased from the ticket machines using notes or coins and change is usually available. Trains run every 3-6 minutes from 5:30am to 11:00pm. A second east-west line will open in 2010.

By bus

Buses are handy for getting around - particularly places that are inaccessible by subway, although Nanjing's bus system feels a little aged compared to Hangzhou and Shanghai and has no English information. However, Google Maps displays bus services for Nanjing and some tourist maps such as those sold around the train station will have bus routes.

Buses running within the city proper will carry a route number displayed on a red placard below the front windscreen next to the entrance door. Low-numbered routes (1-100) follow major thoroughfares and link major shopping, residential and transportation hubs. 3-figure route numbers follow indirect routes and run around quieter residential streets and are less handy for travellers, but can be an interesting way of seeing Nanjing's ordinary working class neighbourhoods. Routes displaying the Chinese character for 'you' (travel) are primarily aimed at tourists and link all the major tourist sights. Routes numbered '8XX' e.g. 801, 806, 813 etc are night buses which run approximately twice an hour between 11pm and 5am when the regular service ends. Buses heading to surrounding suburban towns depart from hubs on the edge of downtown such as Nanjing Train Station (North/East), Changjiang Daqiao (Yangtze River No.1 Bridge - going north-west), Hanzhongmen (West) and Zhonghuamen (South/East). These services display the name of the suburb/town that they serve in Chinese characters and have no route number.

Fares are a flat 2 yuan on numbered services except for some routes which run older non-airconditioned buses which charge 1 yuan - no change is given so have some coins ready. For suburban routes, fares are charged by distance and a conductor collects the fares. There's a discount of 20% for IC card users. Note that many bus stops are some distance apart (often 3-4 blocks) so keep an eye out for your stop and an ear out for the stop's name on the PA announcements (which are only in Chinese). If the bus is quiet then press the buzzer next to the door to signal to the driver that you want to alight.

By bicycle

Most of the streets have a fenced off section for bicyclists, so riders are relatively safe from passing vehicles.

  • Presidential Palace (总统府). Spend a day exploring the headquarters of past emperors and the Nationalist government. The Palace includes the former offices of many top governmental officials, including Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat-sen, as well as the former residence of Sun Yat-sen. It is one the few places in mainland China where the flag of the Republic of China still flies. Informational placards around the palace are printed in four languages. ¥40.  edit
  • Nanjing Museum (南京博物院), (inside Zhongshan Gate). Eleven exhibition halls contain a variety of ancient Chinese artifacts and lots of different culture murals, including the sailing of Zheng He (the eunuch admiral of the Ming Dynasty who explored at least to Africa, perhaps further). Be sure to take a look at the Jiangnan silk-making exhibition. It's a great place to spend either a hot or rainy day.  edit
The Nanjing Massacre Memorial is a chilling reminder of Nanjing's place in history during World War II
The Nanjing Massacre Memorial is a chilling reminder of Nanjing's place in history during World War II
  • Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall (侵華日軍南京大屠殺遇難同胞紀念館). Memorializes the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who died at the hands of Japanese troops in Nanjing during World War II. The memorial features an excavated mass burial site, and newly opened tomb-like multimedia museum explains the entire history of the event in English, Chinese, and Japanese. A harrowing, but worthwhile place to visit.  edit
  • Confucius Temple (夫子/夫子廟). Once an imperial examination testing center for the entire Jiangsu region, this museum comprises a tiny fraction of the once-massive original buildings. The rest of the site is a massive, labyrinthine market; a top tourist draw in Nanjing and a place where you can get all your haggling out of your system. Get your picture taken with the Confucius sculpture and grab some tea on one of the gondolas on the canal. On the southern side of town next to Zhonghua Gate and the Taiping Museum.  edit
  • The Gate of China (Zhonghuamen) (中华门). The southern gate of Nanjing's city wall; this massive gate is one of the best preserved parts of Nanjing's city wall, and one of the best remaining examples of early Ming defensive architecture extant anywhere. The wooden castle at top was destroyed by fire, but the immense masonry (each complete with the mason's name and home province by order of the emperor) substructure remains. Two courtyards contain an archery range and vegetable gardens. The main gate has three immense depots within where, long emptied of provisions, you can find some scale models and exhibits about the gate. In one depot you can find an air raid siren used during the Japanese attack on the city.  edit
  • Taiping Kingdom History Museum (太平天国历史博物馆). A small museum focusing on a little-known historical event in the West (1843-68), the Taiping Rebellion. In addition to being one of the most sanguinary episodes in recorded history (some estimates put the loss of life higher than the dead from World War I), it was a crucial moment in China's relationship with the West, modernity, and its relationship to its own imperial history. The quasi-Christian, peasant-lead rebellion overran an area greater than Texas which it ruled, at one point threatening the Qing government in Beijing, from the old Ming capital of Nanjing. On exhibit are documents relating to Taiping history and the grinding reduction of their movement by enterprising Qing generals and their European auxiliaries, culminating in the siege of Nanjing. Next door are the beautiful Zhanyuan Gardens.  edit
  • Jiangsu Province Kunqu Theatre. This highly-regarded theater company in Nanjing will give you a chance to see Kunqu Opera, a traditional Chinese art form, firsthand. Expect the dialogue to be sung in ancient Chinese, but LED subtitling in contemporary Chinese characters is provided.  edit
  • Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (南京长江大桥). This 6km bridge over the Yangtze has sculptures that are classics of Chinese sociallist art; with workers and farmers carrying tools, soldiers carrying weapons, and all of them holding books, most likely Quotations of Chairman Mao Zedong (better known as The Little Red Book). The bridge was built after Soviet advisors left China during the Sino-Soviet Split of the 1960's, and is therefore the first major project built entirely by Chinese, without foreign help. A new town is currently being constructed on the other side, which may include a direct subway connection in the future.  edit
  • Purple Mountain or Zijin Mountain (紫金山), (From Nanjing take bus 9 or Y1). Contains the tomb of the first Ming Dynasty emperor and his consorts, the mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen (中山陵)(leader of the 1911 revolution), the tomb of Sun Quan from the Three Kingdoms period and other impressive historical stuff. Plan an entire day just exploring the mountain and surrounding areas. The park has a shuttle "train" you can ride and is included in the price of certain tickets. There is also a cable car going up the hill for ¥25 one-way and ¥45 round-trip. If you have the right shoes, feel free to walk back down (or up) the hill. ¥100 (approx.).  edit

Note: If you are staying in Nanjing for an extended period of time and want to visit a number of scenic parks then it may be worth buying a Purple Mountain pass for ¥100 and/or a city pass for ¥120. The Purple Mountain pass can be bought at the entrance to Sun Yat-sen's Memorial (and possibly at any of the other parks on the mountain) and provides you with free entry to nine parks on the mountain. If you are going to visit more than 2 or 3 of the parks on the mountain you will save money with the pass. The city pass can be bought at the entrance to any of the big parks in the city, such as the zoo or Yuhuatai Memorial Park and provides you with free entry to 21 different locations. You need to provide a passport photo for each pass and they are valid for one calendar year.

  • Sun Palace. Between Xuanwu Hu and Purple Mountain is a hotel resort with an indoor waterpark and a nice wavepool (activated on the even hours), and a lazy river around the perimeter, a fantastic children's area, a high-dive, and of course some great slides. ¥60.  edit
  • Xuanwu Hu. One of Nanjing's lakes has three islands in the middle all linked by causeways, complete with a amusement park for kids, a small zoo, and lots of great views of the city and Purple Mountain. Paddle boats can be rented as well. The picturesque nature of this lake is a nod to the high esteem held within China of Nanjing's beauty.  edit
  • Chaotiangong (朝天宫). 11:00-17:00. For antique lovers, this place is a small market hosted next to the Confucius Palace. You can find all sorts of small and big objects there , some are real antiques, others are fake. If you want to buy something, be prepared to negotiate the price ! This place is fun to stroll around seeing both things to sell and sellers as the environment is quite charming.  edit


Nanjing has a number of national and provincial institutions for higher education.

  • Nanjing University of Science and Technology [1].
  • Southeast University [2].
  • Nanjing University [3].
  • Hohai University [4]
  • Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics [5].
  • Nanjing Normal University [6].
  • Nanjing University of Finance and Economics [7].
  • Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications [8].
  • Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine [9].

Nanjing U, the Normal U and both medical universities have significant numbers of foreign students. Nanjing U and Johns Hopkins have a joint research center.


All of the universities and various other schools hire language teachers. See Teaching English for ideas on how to find a job teaching English overseas.

Locally, jobs - including frequent requests for native speakers of less widely taught languages such as Italian and German - are often advertised on the bulletin board at Skyways; see the "Eat" section for its location.

  • Xinjiekou is Nanjing's fashion district, the cosmopolitan, fast-paced heart of the city bathed in neon. It's the closest thing Nanjing has to Tokyo or Times Square. All the major retail is centered on this area, which despite its complexity is only a couple of square blocks in size. There are giant department stores including Wal-Mart, Watsons, Suning, and "Fashion Lady" -- a bewildering, subterranean complex of clothing boutiques and vendors that looks like a video game come to life. On the outskirts of Xinjiekou are some higher-end establishments selling everything from single-malt scotch to MINIs. The eight-floor Deji Plaza has a number of retailers such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Ermengildo Zegna, Coach, Guess, Versace, Vasque, Crocs, Toys R Us and so on. At DongFang Shopping Centre there's Gucci, Fendi, Celine and so on. While you might be able to get away with haggling at the Fashion Lady don't expect any in Deji Plaza.
  • Hunan Road is a slightly more low-key version of Xinjiekou running between Xuanwu Lake and Zhongshanbei Lu - it has most of the same stores including the Phoenix International Bookstore which has a whole floor of English-language books. There is also a small pedestrianised street running south from Hunan Road which is lined with pretty much every variety of restaurant imaginable, including the usual KFC and McD's, several cheap jiaozi and noodle places, some more upmarket Chinese places and a handufl of international restaurants incluing a Thai and Indian restaurant.
  • The area around the Confucius Temple in the south of the city has a lot of shopping, especially clothing and tourist items. It is a maze of tiny individual shops, and fun to explore even if you are not buying. If you are interesting in buying, haggling over prices is the name of the game here. If you are skilled in the art of bargaining you can easily get an asking price of ¥380 reduced to ¥80 without breaking a sweat. The streets outside the temple area provide more shopping opportunities, as does the underground mall. The entrance to this mall is sandwiched between two shops but the neon lights provide a clue. This is a Nanjing shopping experience you will want to return to again and again. Opposite Confucius Temple there's Aqua City Shopping Centre with retailers like H&M, Uniqlo, Zara, Mango and so on. While you are there, take a stroll through the temple, and over the historic bridge which offers great photo opportunities. If it's a cup of tea that interests you check out the little gold-roofed floating tea houses on the canal.
  • La Table de Mr Eiffel (巴黎盛宴), Qingliangshan Park 83, Guangzhou lu (20 metres from the Park's main door), (025)83711900, [10]. 10:00 - 22:30. This French owned restaurant offers authentic fine French cuisine and carries an extensive wine list of French wines by the glass. It is located in an exceptional environment as the restaurant is housed in an old Chinese garden house with an entrance on the Park and also comprises an outside terrace. For wine lovers, good food lovers and people searching for a moment of peace and green in the hectic city : do not miss it ! 100 to 200 rmb / pers 100-200rmb/pers.  edit
  • Nanjing has dozens of small noodle (miantiao) and pot sticker (jiaozi) shops on many of its streets. Qingdao Lu, a secondary street running northbound before the intersection of Shanghai Lu and Guangzhou Lu has a few excellent miantiao shops, including a Hui restaurant (Hui are a Chinese ethnic group that practices Islam), which serves only mutton and beef. Here, a massive bowl of hot soup and noodles will only cost you about ¥6. The area closer to Nanjing University has plenty of good, cheap eats, including a series of jiaozi vendors. At most Jiaozi shops you order and pay at the cashier desk by the entrance and you'll be given a ticket which you must take to the serving window.
  • If it's late-night munchies you're after, just head down any small backstreet and follow your nose and you're sure to find a small BBQ joint. These smokey little restaurants offer spicy meat kebabs (usually beef or lamb) along with BBQ'd vegetables, bread, fish and even sticky-rice balls and also serve beer at about Y3 per bottle.
  • If you're after genuine hand-made dumplings, there's an excellent dumpling restaurant (with an English menu) just off Ninghai Rd - dumplings come in a variety of fillings in sets of 6 priced between Y2 and Y5, although you must order at least 2 sets.
  • If you can't read chinese and you're a bit picky on what you eat, there's an excellent restaurant called A Simple Diet, located just off Hunan Road (next to McDonalds). Here they have taken the Japanese innovation of recreating the menu items in plastic so that you can simply point and order. You'll be given a card upon entry - when you order, hand it to the staff who will stamp your card. When you leave, take your card to the cashier's desk to pay.
  • You can find inexpensive, Western-style sandwiches at the popular American sub shop Subway, which has four stores in Nanjing; two in the Carrefour stores, one in the Golden Wheel shopping mall, and one in the popular Da Yang department store. The Walmart (wa-er-ma) in Xinjiekou has an extensive grocery and live foods market on the basement level. McDonalds has a number of restaruants in the city, if you're interested in their ¥7 menu (the Chinese equivalent of the Dollar Menu).
  • If you want to self-cater of just stock up on snacks/drinks then Nanjing has plenty of supermarkets and convenience stores. The main supermarkets in the central area are Times Extra (on Zhongyang Lu close to Xinmofan Lu subway station), Lotus (near Zhongyangmen Bus Station), Walmart (on the 2nd floor of Wanda Plaza Mall in Xinjiekou) and Carrefour (on Zhongshan Dong Lu). There are also many Suguo CVS convenience stores which are similar to 7-Eleven and stock drinks, snacks, instant noodles and cigarettes. Most Suguo stores accept payment using the IC transport card.
  • Soul Mate, Nan Xiu Cun 15-1 (near Shanghai road), +86 25 8332 8418. Western-style restaurant and coffee bar owned by French expats, with homemade pizzas, burgers, salads and French dishes for reasonable prices. It's a good place to have a few drinks and food in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.  edit
  • LES 5 SENS 乐尚法国餐厅, 52-1 Hankou Lu - 210008 NANJING (near Shanghai road), +86 25-83 59 58 59 (), [11]. 11h30 to 22h00. French restaurant with a French Chef and a cosy atmosphere, providing traditional and family homemade french dishes. 38 to 119 Rmb.  edit
  • Gold & Silver. Gold and Silver is with us no more. It is yet to be determined if a new location will be built. ¥10–¥30.  edit
  • Skyways Bakery. Owned by a German/Belgian couple Their sandwiches are of good quality and quite large and include a drink. They also have good salads and coffee at reasonable prices. Check out the bulletin board for employment opportunities in the city. ¥20.  edit
  • Shanghai Lu (just South of Bejing Xi Lu), +86 25 8663 4834.
  • 10 Taipingmen Lu, +86 25 8481 2002.
  • German Bread Store. If you're missing some taste from home, or just looking for good bread and sandwiches, try this cafe next to Nanjing Normal University. They serve sandwiches, drinks, and various styles of original German bread. You'll probably find foriegn visitors here are all ours, with lots of customers speaking various European languages. ¥20.  edit
  • Bebbis, Orient Departement Store, floor 1, +86 25 8473 0121, [12]. A fondue restaurant originally established in Interlaken, Switzerland, has now opened a second restaurant in Nanjing.  edit
  • Kung, (main gate of the Mei Hua Shan Zhuang compound). ~¥150 for four. A Korean-owned restaurant, very popular among Nanjing's Korean community. Kung serves a wide variety of traditional Korean dishes such as bulgogi and kimchi (in all its colorful variations). Order a selection of dishes and split them over four or five friends.  edit
  • 24hr Coffee Tea. (Could someone else confirm the closing of 24hr Coffee Tea.) This comfortable, yet unassuming, place has excellent coffee and tea as well as reasonable lunch options. The little Bento box deals are terrific, and come with a cup of soup and fruit. The servers are very attentive and the food typically comes out very fast. Be warned that the menu is all Chinese characters (no pinyin) and the servers do not speak English, so brush up on your Mandarin. Wi-Fi is available if you have either a China Mobile or China Unicom account. The two locations are located right across from each other on either side of the Shanghai Lu. ~¥100.  edit
  • Blue Sky, (on Shanghai Lu). Expat bar that is particularly popular with Australians with a pool table and jukebox. A sort of eclectic menu that offers pub fare like burgers or Indian food like vindaloo. The service can be slow, so don't try to grab a quick lunch here. If you're hurting for an ale or stout (Chinese beer is invariably light) you can break up the monotony with a nice heavy import. ~¥100.  edit
  • There is an extensive food court underneath Xinjiekou off of Fashion Lady shopping mall with lots and lots of options. Included is a Dairy Queen.
  • OMAX Restaurant, 5th floor, Bangkok Yatai Plaza (in the Xinjiekou District). Offers a good steak, for ¥68, and other "western-style" meals as well as Chinese dishes. The owner and hostess speak fairly good English and there is often a piano player.  edit
  • Skyways Bakery. Lots of relatively expensive baked goods. The apple pies, tarts, and cheesecake are all excellent. They also have cinnamon rolls, croissants, muffins and cookies. Nice, though small, selection of ice cream too.  edit
  • Jack's. Credible Italian, especially if you have been in China a few years. Some staff have good English and many of the customers are expats. Pasta or pizza is around ¥40-60, while good steaks start around ¥70.  edit
  • Tairo. Japanese "teppanyaki" restaurant in the Nanjing 1912 district. Excellent food, and a decent option if you have a lot of extra yuan burning a hole in your pocket. This chain of teppanyaki places has consistently good food prepared right before you, and it's eat till you drop. May also have an all-you-can-eat Haagen Dazs ice cream option for ¥160. If you're feeling brave, try the snake pancakes!  edit
  • New Cafe, Corner of Qingdao and Hankou Lu (next to Nanjing University). Self-consciously contemporary restaurant/lounge with a fairly extensive selection of western brunch fare: waffles, omelets, french toast, paninis. They also have a good selection of coffee, tea, and rather decadent desserts. The food here - sort of continental American with the inevitable anomalies - is good, particularly in the presentation; however, beware of the service. If you just want to have a sundae or french toast and don't mind having to hunt down a server, this is a great place. Wireless access here if you have a China Mobile or China Unicom account. At least ¥50 per person for tea and a pastry, but you should probably plan on ¥80, with a full breakfast or lunch even more.  edit
  • If you have some time to explore, check out a few other options in Nanjing, including the two restaurants in the upscale shopping area of Deji Plaza on the 7th floor as well as a cafe on the 3rd floor. All three are good stopping points after a hard day's shopping at Louis Vuitton, or just before hitting the arcade or cinema. Near the New Cafe on Qingdao Lu is a small German cafe inconspicuously tucked away. Very good coffee in a cozy Bavarian/Thuringian environment. Expect to pay at least ¥25 for a good cup of coffee (which is the same as anywhere in Nanjing). Also worth checking out is a restaurant on the outskirts of Confucious Temple that offers a 14 course dinner; it might best be described as Chinese tapas. This is a very good way to sample dishes that you might not want to purchase entree-sized portions of anywhere: coagulated duck's blood soup, tofu, and so on. A fun way for more finicky groups to experience real Chinese food.


Night life in Nanjing is very much alive, and you can find the epicenter in Nanjing's 1912 District, which is comparable to Shanghai's Xintiandi District. It is roughly a city block of two and three-story buildings, with paved courtyards between. Almost all are restaurants, bars or nightclubs, with a few spas and upmarket clothing shops in the mix. Many of the buildings look like they might have been around since 1912, and the newer ones match the style of the older ones. The location is great; right downtown just west of the Presidential Palace. There is underground parking for cars and extensive outdoor parking for bikes and motorcycles on the north side of the complex.

The area around Shanghai Lu, which runs between Nanjing University and Nanjing Normal University, has quite a few expats - mainly foreign students or English teachers from the two universities - and some places that cater to them. On Shanghai Lu near Guangzhou is "Blue Sky", an Aussie-owned bar with good music and a free pool table. Moving north from there is the Behind-the-Wall Cafe with reasonable Mexican food and drink. You can find good music just off Shanghai Lu, and one location for good Italian food and drink (Jack's), is on the last corner before Beijing Lu.

The Castle Bar on Zhongyang Lu (close to the Gulou intersection and right next to McDonalds) is Nanjing's most popular student/expat dive and is most crowded (and smokey) on Friday and Saturday nights. Entry is free and drinks are cheap (Y15 for a bud, Y10 for a tequila) and has live music on Saturday nights.

Other popular expat drinking spots include Jimmy's (on Hanzhong Rd West, just past the Bank of China) which is next to the YESBar nightclub/KTV and has excellent burgers, pizzas and Mexican food as well as a good choice of imported beers (mostly Australian) for about 20-30RMB a bottle and also has hookah pipes with various flavoured tobaccos (but no illegal substances, although they also stock Rizla Superking rolling papers... they're hard to come by in China).

Finnegans Wake Irish Bar is an authentic but pricey Irish bar on the Cinnalane development just north of Sanshan Street subway station, just off Zhongshan South Road (walk down the pedestrianised street next to the underground car park entrance - the bar is on the left). The bar has excellent food (meals are in the 100RMB range) which use ingredients sourced from Ireland and there is a good choice of drinks including Kilkenny and Guiness (70RMB a pint). Good news if your tab gets too high - they take VISA cards!

  • Jasmine International Youth Hostel, No 7 Hequnxincun, Shanghai Road, +86 025 8330 0517 (). Clean place, very friendly staff and guests with decent levels of English; you might find only Chinese patrons here and most seem to come just because they like the hostel as opposed to the city. Free Wi-Fi on the ground floor and in the entertainment room. Centrally located, close to Nanjing University and Grand Hotel. ¥45 for a bed in 6 bed dorm.  edit
  • Nanjing Danfeng International Hotel (丹凤国际青年旅館), 59-1 Yushi Street, North Floor 6 (三十路鱼市街站旁的华诚超市六楼), +86 025 8322 6770. Easily the best budget option in Nanjing. Private rooms are spotlessly clean, and excellent size for the money. Although their listing on numerous websites says it is "wireless", each room is equipped with wired Internet connections (you can borrow an Ethernet cable from the reception desk). Those without can share the communal computer for free. Don't share a private room with anyone you don't want to see naked, as the bathroom/toilet is housed inside a strange transparent glass enclosure. Small dorm rooms (3 people/room) from about ¥50, larger single & double rooms from about ¥160.  edit
  • International Conference Hotel Nanjing, 2 Sifangcheng Zhongshanling, +86 25 8443 0888 (, fax: +86 25 8443 9255), [13]. Nestled at the foot of Purple Mountain in the province of Jiangsu, this Nanjing hotel provides 4-star accommodation with fantastic scenic views. ~¥498.  edit
  • Grand Metropark Hotel Nanjing, 319 East Zhong San Road, +86 25 8480 8888 (), [14]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. The former site of the Hilton has reopened; still in the city but a little bit farther away from the center. Good if you want to make business in the east of the town. Great if your main reason for visiting Nanjing is seeing the Purple Mountain and Xuanwu Lake (both are reasonably walkable from here) or seeing the Nanjing Museum which is literally on the other side of the parking lot.  edit
  • Sheraton Nanjing Kingsley Towers, 169 Hanzhong Road, +86 25 8666 8888, [15]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. Right in the middle of the town and offering you all the service you're used to have in a 5-star hotel. Note that if you've a good guide you should get the rooms for around ¥400-500 per night, including breakfast. ~¥750.  edit
  • Jinling Hotel, Xinjiekou Square, +1 86 25 8472 2888 (, fax: +86 25 8470 4141), [16]. The first modern high-rise hotel in Nanjing, and sort of an anchor for Xinjiekou. Good, central location for exploring the Xinjiekou; the Confucius Temple is an easy walk from here as well.  edit

Stay safe

Good news! Nanjing is now officially the safest city in China - this was the honour of Hangzhou until a recent rise in hotel robberies put Hangzhou in the headlines. This doesn't mean there is no risks. Pickpocketing is a problem in Fuzimiao as well as on crowded buses, the subway and around the main transport hubs. Because Nanjing has a relatively small number of foreigners for a city its size, the common scams seen in Shanghai and Beijing are almost non-existant, however you may still see the occasional dodgy salesman selling counterfeit goods in Fuzimiao.

Be careful if taking the bus to the airport from Zhonghuamen bus station as many touts claim to be the official bus service, however there is a strong risk of being overcharged or driven to a location several kilometres from the actual airport. The official bus departs from Gate 7 and tickets should be paid for at the gate. Also be careful of fake taxis operating from the bus stations and occasionally the railway station - always use the official taxi stand and ignore any taxi touts.

Although traffic is slightly calmer than most Chinese cities it can still be much more manic than most Western countries - take the usual precautions when crossing the road and also remember that right turns on a red light are legal in China so people driving across the crosswalk while the 'walk' sign is showing aren't actually breaking the law. Also be careful of motorbikes and bicycles driving on the pavement.

Many older Nanjingese may have a resentment towards the Japanese because of the events during World War II. If you are Japanese, don't let this put you off visiting as the locals will still be very welcoming, however it's recommended not to appear too conspicuously Japanese and keep any opinions to yourself. Younger Nanjingese are more open and will often be more than happy to discuss the war.

Routes through Nanjing
BeijingBengbu  N noframe E  ZhenjiangShanghai
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. The capital of the Jiangsu province of eastern China.




simpl. and trad.


(southern) + (capital)

Proper noun

Nanjing (Pinyin Nánjīng, traditional and simplified 南京)

  1. Nanjing (a city in the Jiangsu province of eastern China)


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