Planning a Trip
From Nanjing's airport, just under 50km (31 miles) southwest of the city, daily flights connect to Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Kunming, Guilin, and Hong Kong. There are also twice-weekly flights to Macau and Bangkok. Tickets can be purchased at hotel tour desks and at the CAAC at Ruijin Lu 180 (tel. 025/8449-9378). China Eastern has a 24-hour office at Zhongshan Dong Lu 402 (tel. 025/8445-4325), while Dragonair offices are at Hanzhong Lu 2, nos. 751-753 (tel. 025/8471-0181; open 7am-11pm). CAAC airport shuttles depart from the CAAC office every 30 minutes from 6:30am to 6:30pm, and also meet arriving flights. The trip takes 50 minutes and costs ¥25 ($3.25/£1.65). Note: The bus leaves once full; those left behind must take taxis. A metered taxi into the Xinjiekou area should run about ¥140 ($18/£9.10), including toll.
Nanjing's railway station (Longpan Lu 264; tel. 025/8582-2222) is conveniently linked to Nanjing's metro. A 5-minute ride to a central station (such as Xinjiekou) will cost ¥2 (30¢/15p).The city is an important rail junction along the Beijing-Shanghai railway line. Trains heading east to Shanghai (2 hr.) connect to Wuxi (1 1/2-2 hr.), Suzhou (2-2 1/2 hr.) and Hangzhou (5 hr.). Heading west, there are trains to Huang Shan (6 1/2-10 hr.). You can buy tickets on the second floor of the three-story annex west of the station's exit. A special window selling only Shanghai tickets is marked in green; its hours are from 7 to 11am and from 11:30am to 6:30pm. You can also buy tickets at the Gu Lou ticket-booking office at Zhongshan Lu 293.
Nanjing has seven long-distance bus stations, but the main one, Nanjing Zhongyang Men Changtu Qiche Zongzhan, at Jianning Lu 1 (tel. 025/8553-1288), just west of the Nanjing Railway Station, should serve most travelers' needs. From here, large, air-conditioned buses run to Suzhou (every 20 min.; 2 hr. 40 min.; ¥46-¥64/$6-$8.30/£3-£4.15), Shanghai (every half-hour; 3 1/2 hr.; ¥82-¥88/$11-$11.50/£5.35-£5.70), and Hangzhou (hourly; 5 hr.; ¥98/$13/£6.40). The Hanfu Jie Bus Station (Changtu Qichezhan) at Changjiang Lu 296 (tel. 025/8454-1359) also serves the same destinations. The East Long-Distance Bus Station (Changtu Qiche Dong Zhan) at Huayuan Lu 17 services Yangzhou (every half-hour; 1 hr.; ¥25/$3.25/£1.65) and Yixing (every 20 min. 6:20am-6:40pm; 2 1/2 hr.; ¥44/$5.70/£2.85). There are also express "business" buses for ¥88 ($11/£5.70) that leave for Shanghai at 8, 9, and 10am and 2, 3:30, and 4:30pm from the back entrance of the Jinling Hotel.
Nanjing is a sprawling city not particularly conducive to walking, with sights scattered in different directions. The rate for taxis is ¥8 ($1.05/50p) for 3km (2 miles), then ¥2.40 (30¢/15p) per kilometer. From 11pm to 6am, the price rises to ¥2.70 (35¢/20p) per kilometer after 3km. All taxi rides come with a ¥1 (15¢/10p) fuel surcharge. Buses are a convenient and cheap way to get around Nanjing, although they are almost always full. Pay ¥2 (25¢/15p) for air-conditioned buses and ¥1 (15¢/10p) for all others. No change is given. Some of the main bus routes include: no. 1: Nanjing Railway Station-Xinjiekou-Fuzi Miao; no. Y1: Nanjing Railway Station-Xinjiekou-Zhongshan Ling; no. Y2: Yuhua Tai-Zongtong Fu-Zhongshan Ling.
Jiangsu Zhongshan International Travel Service (Zhongshan Bei Lu 178; tel. 025/8342-9700) works with the major hotels to offer a standard 1-day tour of Nanjing, including visits to Zhongshan Ling (Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum), Zongtong Fu (the Presidential Palace), and Chaotian Gong (Worshiping Heaven Palace), among other places. The cost of ¥195 ($25/£13) includes entry fees and the use of a guide and bus driver.
MAP, the free local English-language monthly magazine featuring the latest on dining and entertainment in Nanjing, is available in any of the top hotels or in Western restaurants. Try the government-run Nanjing Tourist Information Center (Nanjing Luyou Zixun Fuwu Zhongxin; tel. 025/5226-9008; 9am-5pm) in Confucius Temple for advice on sightseeing, restaurants, and hotels. The office is staffed by two very helpful employees.
Banks, Foreign Exchange and ATMs -- The main branch of the Bank of China is located at Zhongshan Nan Lu 148. Hours for foreign exchange are Monday through Friday from 8:30am to noon and 2 to 5pm. ATMs accept international cards. Another branch is at Hongwu Lu 29 with the same hours.
Internet Access -- Bring your passport or ID for Internet access at China Telecom, Zhongyang Lu 2 on the second floor (open 8:30am-5:30pm; ¥2/25¢/10p per hour). Free wireless laptop access is available the Coffee Beanery (in the 1912 restaurant/pub complex at the corner of Changjiang Hou Jie and Taiping Bei Lu) and at all locations of New Magazine Cafe.
Post Office -- The main post office (8am-6:30pm) is at Gu Lou, Zhongshan Lu 366.
Visa Extensions -- The PSB is located at Honggong Ci 1 (tel. 025/8442-0004; Mon-Sat 8:30-11:30am and 2-5pm). Same-day visas are possible. From Xinjiekou, walk 5 minutes south on Zhongshan Nan Lu, then head west onto Sanyuan Xiang for about 300m (980 ft.).