Qinghefang Ancient Street, the best-preserved historical street in Hangzhou, stretches 1,575 feet (480 meters). East of West Lake, it’s a great place to shop, dine, and appreciate classical architecture. A number of buildings are from the Ming (1380–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) dynasties, and some of the shops date back hundreds of years.
Qinghefang Ancient Street has been prosperous, filled with shops and restaurants, since ancient times. Businesses from Hangzhou’s past that are still open today include Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors (established in 1663), Wan Xing Ji Fan Store (established during the Qing dynasty), and Baohetang Pharmacy (with 1,000 years of history). There are also a lot of dining options, from food stalls selling street food to 140-year-old teahouses, such as the Taiji Teahouse, and restaurants like No. 1 Scholar Hall, known as the first noodle shop in Hangzhou.
It’s easy to visit Qinghefang Ancient Street independently. With so much packed into a small area though, it can be helpful to go on a guided tour to easily navigate the shops and restaurants, and to learn more about street’s long history. Day tours tend to include nearby attractions, such as West Lake, Leifeng Pagoda, and China National Silk Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Qinghefang Ancient Street is a must-visit for those who love shopping and history.
- Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking on cobblestone lanes.
- This is a good place to pick up typical tourist souvenirs, and more unique handicrafts and curios, sometimes handmade on the spot by artisans.
How to Get There
Qinghefang Ancient Street lies to the east of West Lake (an about 20-minute walk) and at the foot of Wushan Hill. Take Metro Line 1 to Ding’an Road (Exit C) and walk 10 minutes to the south or take bus no. 8, 60, 127, 195, 208, or 216.
When to Get There
Qinhefang Ancient Street can be visited at any time. Shops tend to be open from 9am to 10pm. Public holidays, especially Lunar New Year, are extremely busy times. Visit during the day to better see the shops and architecture. Visit at night to see the street lit up with festive red lanterns.
Qinghefang Ancient Street Museums
There are a number of museums along Qinghefang Ancient Street, some more unusual than others, including the Zhejiang ancient ceramic museum, Guanfu art museum, Bingren Copper Sculpture Museum, and the World Coin Museum. Huqing Yutang is both a traditional Chinese medicine shop and a Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine.