Top ChoiceHunan in Changsha

Huǒgōngdiàn

Don't miss the experience of eating this culinary landmark, established in 1747 and set around a small temple courtyard. Downstairs has a Hunan menu and dim sum trolley; upstairs is the self-service area (perhaps...

Dumplings in Changsha

Sōnghuājiāng Jiǎoziguǎn

Not a romantic choice, this bright, bustling place specialises in the mellow cuisine of northern China. Dumplings (饺子; jiǎozi) are the speciality and come in many varieties, including pork and chives, lamb and...

Hunan in Changsha

Huǒgōngdiàn – Wuyi Dadao

This Wuyi Dadao branch of Huǒgōngdiàn is a cavernous restaurant with stone tabletops, diligent staff and traditional music wafting over diners. The dim sum and cold veggie dishes come around on squeaking...

Museum in Changsha

Hunan Provincial Museum

Changsha's main attraction is this modern museum. There's a special focus on the Mawangdui Tombs, which were excavated nearby in the early 1970s, revealing a trove of Han dynasty lacquerware, figurines, textiles...

Hunan in Changsha

Lǎo Chángshā Lóngxiāguǎn

This cavernous and raucous warehouse-like dining hall is the most enjoyable place to sample one of Changsha's signature dishes: spicy crayfish (龙虾; lóngxiā). You may need to wait for a table, so grab a number, a...

Buddhist Site in Changsha

Kaifu Temple

This large and active temple in the north of town dates originally to the Five Dynasties period, with many additions during later dynasties. The imposing Hall of the Three Kings (三圣殿; Sānshèng Diàn) at the front...

Park in Changsha

Tangerine Isle

The most famous of the city’s parks is a 5km-long sliver of an island smack bang in the middle of the Xiang River. A reflective 32-year-old Mao immortalised it in 'Changsha', probably his best-regarded poem,...

Teahouse in Changsha

Yìngshānlóu Cháguǎn

This lovely tea house is hidden away inside Tiānxīn Park, down the path from the entrance to the Old City Wall and Tiānxīn Pavilion. The building actually straddles part of the ancient wall, and you can sit...

Historic Site in Changsha

Yuelu Academy

Students have been cramming for exams at the base of Yuelu Mountain west of the river since AD 976, when the academy was established as one of China’s four institutions of higher learning. The Song-era grounds...

Historic Site in Changsha

Old City Walls & Tianxin Pavilion

The old city walls, which once stretched for 9km around ancient Changsha, were built of rammed earth in 202 BC, reinforced with stone in AD 1372 (during the Ming dynasty), damaged by the Taiping in 1852 and...

Chinese in Changsha

Xīhúlóu Jiǔjiā

About 9km northeast of the city centre, the world’s biggest Chinese restaurant, according to the Guinness World Records and a plaque on the wall, is a village of five kitchens, staff of 1000, and banquet halls,...

Street Food in Changsha

Taiping Jie

A good place to start the night is Taiping Jie, a pedestrianised street between Wuyi Dadao and Jiefang Xilu. One of Changsha’s oldest surviving streets, it has a mix of street food, tea stands and souvenir shops...

Bar Street in Changsha

Jiefang Xilu

This street is Changsha’s club central with KTV (karaoke) joints and clubs. There are no covers but drinks can be expensive.

Museum in Changsha

Changsha Municipal Museum

A colossal aluminium/magnesium alloy statue of Mao Zedong, cast in Heilongjiang, affably greets you at the entrance. This is the first clue that, despite the paintings, ceramics and jade on display, this museum...

Park in Changsha

Yuelu Mountain

This large park on the slopes of Yuelu Mountain makes a pleasant city break. You can climb to the top in less than an hour, or else go up on the chair lift (up ¥30, return ¥50; 9am to 5pm), before whizzing back...

Historic Site in Changsha

Hunan County No 1 Teachers’ Training School

Between 1913 and 1918, Mao studied here and returned to teach classics from 1920 to 1922. It’s still a working college, and sometimes students keen to practise English will show you around Mao’s dormitory and...

Park in Changsha

Lieshi Park

Tree-shaded and dotted with lakes, leafy – and incredibly huge – Lieshi Park is very popular in the mornings for singing, dancing and taichi.