Before having moved to Ningbo myself, I had never heard of the city. It’s a city of almost 8 million people on the East Coast of China, in the Zhejiang province, just under two hours from Shanghai.
Considering the city has a population the same size as London, in China terms, it’s fairly small. As the city isn’t as well known as big first tier cities, there isn’t much information on it, making it hard for foreigners like me to find new things to do.
If by any chance you are moving to, visiting or just interested in Ningbo, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite things to do in and around the city.
255 Siyuan Road, Jiangbei
Not far from Ningbo University, you’ll find Ningbobang museum. It has some traditional artefacts from the period where Ningbo was adapting western culture, but it’s more the actual building that I like. It’s really modern architecture, with high stone ceilings, big glass windows and lots of nature incorporated into the design. The best part is the small cafe and shop, where you can have an Italian coffee and watch the koi swim in the pond beside you. Ideal.
Treat yourself to some Western style brunch
Although Chinese food in Ningbo is mostly nice, it’s amazing to be able to indulge in some home comforts every now and again.
My three fave places for brunch in Ningbo are:
39 Linyu Road, Yinzhou and 52 Leigong Land, Portman Plaza
My favourite place is Little. They have two locations in Ningbo and are actually opening a third in Manchester! They do such good food, cold drinks and coffee.
Zhenming Road, Haishu
The smoked salmon bagels and the cheese croissants from here are the highlight of most of my weekends in China. I haven’t found better, and at this point I refuse to believe it even exists.
3. Man Coffee
In City, Yinzhou
For around three months I was craving nothing but a caprese panini. I mean it. All I thought about for months was the gooey, melted mozzarella mixed with pesto and tomatoes, all combined in a soft white panini bread. I found it in Man Coffee and I couldn’t have been happier, so for that reason, and also the hot chocolates they do, Man Coffee has made my list.
Bathe in the hot springs
Hengyuan Hot Springs Resort, 1000 East Huanhu Road, Dongqian Lake, Yinzhou
Dongqian Lake is a beautiful place to be on a warm day, you can stroll through the trees, sit and admire the lake or visit the hot springs.
Located in the Hengyuan Hotel on the lake and costing around 180RMB (£18) for a day pass, the hot springs are a perfect way to relax.
Take a trip to Mount Putuo
Putuo Mountain, Zhoushan, Zhejiang
Just off the coast of Ningo, you’ll find Mount Putuo, one of the four Buddhist mountains in China. It is dedicated to Guanyin, a goddess of mercy and is one of the 1390 islands of the Zhoushan province. The main feature of the island is golden statue, as well as many temples, monasteries and scenic areas.
If you fancy a slow afternoon or just a stroll in the park then you should take a wander around Moon Lake. It’s so pretty and there’s lots of traditional Chinese buildings to have a look at. You can always stop at Wheatlands on the way…
I’ll be posting regular updates on Ningbo in the coming months, including more places to visit, food and drink reviews and general life in Ningbo – so make sure to sign up to my newsletter to keep in the loop.