Nanjing is known as the ancient capital of six dynasties in China’s history, it has a very long-standing culture and rich history, and is a city located on the southern bank of the Yangtze River. As a city in Jiangnan region, Nanjing itself has its own gentle and poetic, diverse beauty. With that unique charm, Nanjing attracts more and more tourists and international students to study and live here. So, is 2 days in Nanjing enough, what to do an how to spend 2 days in Nanjing? Let’ check out our suggested Nanjing itinerary 2 days as follows!

Nanjing skyline | nanjing itinerary 2 days
Ancient beauty of Nanjing in autumn | nanjing itinerary 2 days
Confucius Temple Great Market
Roasted duck stall | nanjing itinerary 2 days

If you are a person who loves the ancient beauty of Nanjing, let’s explore this human land with Living Nomads through a 2 day 1 night trip.

A little note for those who intend to travel to Nanjing, the transport system in Nanjing is extremely convenient. The places you want to go can be reached by subway or bus. I recommend that if possible, you should go by subway, it is both convenient and fast. One more thing, Nanjing in general is not very large, so if you rent a room to stay overnight, choose to rent one near the Qinhuai river bank, traffic is very convenient. So let’s start our journey to explore this city.

Xinjiekou, the Nanjing’s central business district | nanjing itinerary 2 days
Elephant Road
Modern and ancient co-exist together | nanjing itinerary 2 days
Nanjing location on the China map | nanjing itinerary 2 days

Journey to explore Nanjing for Day 1 (# nanjing itinerary 2 days)

Travel itinerary: Presidential Palace -> 1912 Street -> Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre -> East Gate -> Confucius Temple -> Qinhuai River

Presidential Palace

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The Presidential Palace is one of the must-see attractions in Nanjing. An indispensable part of the historical flow of Nanjing is the period of the Republic of China. This presidential palace is where Sun Yat-sen lived when he became interim president.

The interior is relatively well maintained. Although not exactly those from the Republic of China period, it must be said that the scenery here at that time has been restored as much as possible.

Aerial view of Presidential Palace | nanjing itinerary 2 days
Sun Yat-sen statue | nanjing itinerary 2 days
Credit: CNN | nanjing itinerary 2 days
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  • Entrance ticket: 40 yuan (tickets purchased with ID card or student card will be half price)
  • Address: 292 Chang Jiang Lu, Xuanwu, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 210018
  • Hours: Opening times are usually from 08:30 – 18:00 daily. Monday: Closed

1912 Street (# nanjing itinerary 2 days)

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From the Presidential Palace, turn right and go about 20 minutes to reach the 1912 neighborhood. There are many places here where you can enjoy taking virtual photos. There are about 26 buildings with many different architectural styles along this street. This place has many characteristics of the culture of the Republic of China.

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You can’t miss the small market with delectable snacks and many other interesting things waiting for you to discover in this neighborhood.

A complex of coffee shops | nanjing itinerary 2 days
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Vibrant at night | 2 days in nanjing

Advice: It is recommended that you do not go to 1912 neighborhood on Mondays because many stores here are closed on Mondays.

Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing (# 2 days in nanjing)

This is a must-visit place when coming to Nanjing. It cannot be said that this place really brings a feeling that is difficult to describe for those who come here for the first time. The memorial house has a quite large area, a solemn atmosphere, and most of what I feel is that the tourists who come here are very serious and solemn. It’s really worth a visit. After going out, I still could not recover from the pain in my heart when I felt the suffering of the people of Nanjing in that bloody massacre.

Jiangdong Men Square at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders | 2 days in nanjing
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  • Address: China, Jiangsu, Nanjing, Jianye District, 水西门大街418 邮政编码: 210017
  • Tickets: Free
  • Hours: 8:30 to 16:30. Note: This place is usually closed on Mondays

East Gate

If you come to Nanjing, don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll around the East Gate, you will definitely feel very comfortable because this place is actually very beautiful. There are many small shops in the alleys, with white walls and blue tiles giving a strong sense of the era.

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I also want to introduce to you a very famous pastry shop here, Xiao Zheng, this place always has a lot of people lining up, not only tourists coming to taste the clay oven rolls, but also young people. Even the elderly people are waiting in line to buy cakes, so you can understand how delicious these clay oven rolls are with 1~2RMB for one roll. If you come here, you should not miss this shop.

Confucius Temple

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Confucius Temple by the Qinhuai river | 2 days in nanjing

Fuzimiao, or Confucius Temple in Nanjing is one of the largest literary temples in China. Around here, there are a few streets that currently sell a lot of delicious snacks. If you come here to visit, I recommend coming during the day. The price is also not too expensive.

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  • Location: Gongyuan Street, Nanjing.
  • Entrance ticket: The Dacheng Hall: 30 yuan, entrance ticket to Wang Ta’s residence: 32 yuan
  • Opening time: 08:00-21:00.

Qinhuai River

From the Confucius Temple, looking across is the Qinhuai River. At night in Nanjing, you must go to Qinhuai River. The night view here is very shimmering, beautiful. I feel like there are no words that can describe the beauty of this place. Just taking a photo can easily be used as a wallpaper on a postcard.

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If your budget allows, you can experience a night tour on the Qinhuai River by boat. One round trip takes about 20 minutes. Remember to buy tickets “in advance”, there will be a lot of visitors at night. (Ticket price: 60 yuan/person during the day, 80 yuan/person at night).

Journey to explore Nanjing for Day 2

Itinerary: Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum -> Nanjing Museum -> Jiming Temple -> Xuanyu Lake -> Shiziqiao Food Street

The next day’s Nanjing itinerary day 2 is to visit Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum – where Dr. Sun Yat-sen rests, go to the museum to explore the history and go to Jiming Temple to pray for peace. Finally, you can go to Shiziqiao to have a meal.

Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen

This mausoleum is known as the number one mausoleum in the history of modern Chinese architecture.

Sun Yat-sen’s mausoleum, for the Chinese, is not only a tourist attraction, but it is also a part of history. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum has 392 steps, the higher you go, the steeper it gets. In the middle there will be a staff member taking free photos. Each person can receive a key chain with their photo, a very meaningful souvenir. The most important thing for people when visiting Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum is to have a tour guide. They will help you gain more and more knowledge about history through very interesting short stories.

  • Address: China, Jiangsu, Nanjing, Xuanwu, 石祥路7号 邮政编码: 210014
  • Tickets: free
  • Hours: 8:30 AM–5 PM/Monday: Closed

Nanjing Museum

The Nanjing Museum is very large, there are several separate tourist exhibits in it, but the most famous is the period of Republic of China exhibition. Very suitable for taking photos in the style of the Republic of China, there are many teams coming to take artistic photos.

  • Address: 321 Zhongshan E Rd, Xuanwu, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 210095
  • Hours: 9 AM–5 PM/Monday: 9 AM–12 PM
  • Tickets: Free admission, but you need to bring your ID card

Jiming Temple

Jiming Temple is one of the oldest and largest Buddhist temples in Nanjing. The temple is really quiet, this place seems to make people’s souls peaceful. You will receive three sticks of incense at the entrance. Once inside, there will be symbols to teach you the correct incense offering positions. Oh, one more thing is that there are many fortune tellers at the door, but there is a fee, so everyone should pay attention. However, people say that going to Jiming Temple to pray for love is extremely magical.

  • Address: 39 Beijing E Rd, Xuanwu, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 210000
  • Ticket: 10 yuan
  • Hours: 08:00 am – 05:30 pm

Xuanwu Lake

Next to Jiming Temple is Xuanwu Lake, it is very large and very suitable for walking and relaxing. Inside there is also a love garden with many types of trees such as tulips and peach blossoms, many places to take virtual photos. You can often see newlyweds coming here to take wedding photos.

On autumn days, yellow leaves fall to the ground, the water surface in the lake gently sways, looking at it makes you want to fall in love.

Shiziqiao food street

Shiziqiao is the most popular food street in Nanjing for locals and tourists.

Entrance to Shiziqiao, Hunan Road

This is not a large street. An interesting fact is that the door signs are also antiques. On both sides are bronze statues reflecting ancient folk customs here. There are many benches on the street, extremely close and convenient for people to stop and rest. Here, snacks, souvenirs, food stalls, anything and everything are available.

Must-try dishes when coming to Nanjing

We cannot help but mention the famous snack stalls in Nanjing, very delicious and reasonably priced. You won’t spend too much money on this eating pleasure.

Tips: There are many shops, but there is not much difference in taste, remember to get the number first. Nanjing duck blood rice noodle soup is also famous in the world or salted duck. There are famous chain stores that you can try include Chu Ji BeiJing Roast Duck.

Nanjing Jiaozi

Fried Jiaozi dumplings is also makes people salivate, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. After eating Jiaozi, don’t forget to try Nanjing’s chicken soup dumplings. There is also an incomparably delicious salted duck dish, etc. Salted duck looks very ordinary on the outside, but just once you taste it, you will feel its rich, unforgettable flavor. Nanjing’s food is truly addictive.

Salted duck
Packaged salted duck is a popular gift from Nanjing

Nanjing is truly a city that people really want to visit once in their lives. If you have the opportunity to study in China, you must definitely come and experience it!

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Nanjing you can refer to

Read more China guide here and Nanjing guide here.