As the political, economic and cultural center of Zhejiang province, Hangzhou is one of the significant traffic hinges in the southeast coastal area of China. It is serviced by various means of transportation such as railway, highway, water and air transport. It is also convenient to get around Hangzhou city by taxi, bus, and bicycle.
Get in Hangzhou
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport lies in the east of Xinjie Town, Xiaoshan District, on the south bank of Qiantang River. The airport is 27 kilometers to Hangzhou city center and 15 kilometers to the center of Xiaoshan District. A 17.6 kilometers long airport avenue connects the airport with Hangzhou city. The airport provides 44 domestic routes, 13 international routes and 2 regional routes, with direct flights services to Korean, Janpan, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as the major domestic cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Xian, Hong Kong and Macau.
Hangzhou is easily reached by air from other cities. However, the most enjoyable way to get there is by express train. The non-stop bullet train from Shanghai takes only 78 minutes and costs 64 RMB ($9) each way.
Hangzhou is an important railroad junction in the eastern China. The Huhang Railway (from Guangdong to Hangzhou), the Zhegan Railway (from Zhejiang to Jiangxi) and the Xuanhang Railway (from Anhui to Hangzhou) join here. Hangzhou Railway Station, which is also called "City Station" by local people, is the most important railway station in Hangzhou. Most of the trains departing from and terminating their route in Hangzhou will stop here. It is located at the intersection of East City Ring Road and West Lake Avenue. From Hangzhou Railway Station, it only takes 10 minutes to go from West Lake Avenue to West Lake by bus.
Hangzhou is the center of bus transport network in Zhejiang province. The Hangzhou city has four long-distance bus stations, in the four directions of the city: East, West, South and North Bus Stations. There are many buses to neighboring cities like Nanjing and Shanghai. Bus tickets can be bought in the bus station or in Construction bank in Hangzhou city.
The highway structure consists of Huhuang Highway, Hangyong Highway, Hangning Highway, Hangjinqu Highway, 104 National Highway, 320 National Highway and 02 Provincial Highway.
Boat trips from Hangzhou to Suzhou or Wuxi along the Grand Canal are available. Boats often depart at night and arrive at the destination in the early morning. This service is usually only available in summer or peak seasons. Travelers should check availability when planning use this means of transport.
Get around Hangzhou
By Public bus
Hangzhou has an extensive bus network. At present, Hangzhou has approximately 270 public traffic routes. For tourists, they can choose the main bus lines, or the special tourist line, as well as the lake circling and overnight sight-seeing lines. There are different kinds of buses at Hangzhou to serve passengers including the common buses, air conditioned buses, and double decked buses, Y buses and K buses.
However, bus services at Hangzhou vary from a wide range. The K buses are the air-conditioned buses. And the Y buses are tourist buses which is the cost effective means for travelers visiting Hangzhou. Using the public bus system will save you money. Fares can be paid in cash (coins or bills, no change given), by using a dedicated bus card, or by tapping the same card used to rent bikes. The fare will be displayed in Western numerals on the bus stop and on the farebox.
1 the self-serving ticketing buses, so please prepare some change at hand.
2 the bus schedules, bus routes and on-board announcements are all in Chinese. However, if you download and use the Google Maps app on your mobile phone, it is quite easy to find directions, track your movement, and navigate your way around the Hangzhou bus system. The routes and bus numbering shown in Google Maps are very accurate for Hangzhou.
Hangzhou has a large number of taxis which allow for quick and convenient travel within the city proper. Most of the city's taxis are turquoise-green in color and easily identifiable by the word Taxi printed in both English and Chinese on the vehicles. Taxis for hire are marked by the green (or sometimes yellow-orange) light-up signs above the dashboard on each car.
While traffic in Hangzhou may seem chaotic to some foreigners, the city is comparatively bike-friendly. All but small side roads have dedicated bike lanes, often divided from motor traffic by barricades or medians. Bike is one of the best ways to explore Hangzhou, particularly West Lake. Restaurants and stalls by West Lake have bikes for rental.