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Home Zhangjiajie Travel Guide – A Visually Stunning Feast for the Soul

Zhangjiajie Travel Guide – A Visually Stunning Feast for the Soul

Zhangjiajie, located in the northwest of Hunan Province, is a world-famous tourist destination standing out for its thousands of pillar-like peaks and pinnacles. As the top destination for a nature adventure in China, Zhangjiajie travel will reward you with numerous natural wonders and marvels.

Some of the most famous attractions in Zhangjiajie include the National Forest Park, Tianmen Mountain, the world’s highest glass bridge in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, and Yuanjiajie scenic spot which is the inspiration for the floating mountains in the popular movie Avatar.

In addition, it is also inhabited by many ethnic minorities, including 33 ethnic minorities in total and the typical ethnic groups are Tujia, Bai, and Miao. Statistics in 2018 showed that the population of ethnic minorities account for 75% of the total population in this place, and there are more than 70 kinds of intangible cultural heritages in categories, among which the folk songs of Sangzhi are the first batch listed in the to it at first. Follow our complete Zhangjiajie Travel Guide to plan your perfect trip to Zhangjiajie.

  • Geographic Position: in southern China (109.40°— 111.20°E, 28.52°— 29.48°N)
  • Climate: Mid-subtropical humid monsoon climate (four distinctive and pleasant seasons, hot summer and warm winter, abundant rainfall, long forst-free period )
  • Nearby Airport: Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG)
  • Nearby Train Stations: Zhangjiajie Railway Station, Zhangjiajie West Railway Station
Zhangjiajie Yuanjiajie

Chinese: 张家界 zhāng jiā jiè
Population: 1.7M
Area: 3,675 sq miles
Airport: DGY
Zip Code: 427000
Time Zone: GMT+8

Top Touist Attractions in Zhangjiajie

Taking a Zhangjiajie tour is like stepping into a living fairyland. The over 3,000 unique peaks in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and the awe-inspiring Tianmen Cave of Tianmen Mountain are just some of its highlights. The thrilling Glass Bridge in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is a new trend for adventurers.

There are multiple ways to ease your exploration of all the Zhangjiajie highlights. You can take a Tianmen Mountain cableway to fly through the sea of clouds, hop on a sightseeing train through the breathtaking Ten-Mile Gallery, or ride the Bailong Elevator to ascend from Golden Whip Stream to the towering peaks at Yuanjiajie directly.

Top Things to Do in Zhangjiajie

Embarking on a tour to Zhangjiajie means you’ll encounter a wealth variety of captivating sceneries, exhausting adventures, and ethnic and cultural experiences. The options are abundant when it comes to recommended activities and things to do in Zhangjiajie. See the following list to get inspired on what to do in Zhangjiajie.

Visit Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

A top highlight of Wulingyuan Scenic Area and Zhangjiajie, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park will offer a memorable exploration of unique landforms, peaks of different shapes, and dense forests.

You will admire the inspiration of the floating mountains in Avatar at Yuanjiajie, enjoy leisure walking and sightseeing at Golden Whip Stream, and encounter the  “King of Peak Forests” at Tianzi Mountain. Not to mention the exciting cableway ride and Bailong Elevator.

Explore the Thrills of Tianmen Mountain

Tianmen Mountain will welcome you with a thrilling array of experiences. You can reach the mountain directly from the city area by the longest cable car in the world. Challenge the 999 steps to marvel at the iconic Tianmen Cave, and enjoy exhilarating walking on the glass skywalk.

Cultural Exploration in Fenghuang Ancient Town

When you have a tour of Fenghuang Ancient Town, you can taste authentic Hunan cuisine and local snacks that are spicy and soul, walk along the Tuo River, enjoy the unique architectural style of ancient buildings or experience the primitive life customs of the Tujia People.

Challenge Your Courage at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is most known for its Glass Bridge (named Yuntian Du), the highest and longest glass bridge in the world. Many adventurers like to challenge themselves by walking on the transparent surface of the bridge while admiring the panoramic view of the canyon. Besides that, the canyon also provides great hiking trails with awesome canyon sceneries and natural wonders. The Rainbow Lake and Shnequan Lake at the bottom of the canyon allow visitors to enjoy a leisure boat ride.  

Suoxi Valley
Suoxi Valley

What to Eat in Zhangjiajie?

  • Sanxia Guo (a hot pot with three ingredients)

Zhangjiajie Sanxia Guo, also known as Tujia Sanxia Guo, is a specialty in Zhangjiajie, which is a hot pot with three ingredients. In the early years, preserved meat, tofu and radish were stewed in one pot. Nowadays, ingredients contain pork intestines, pork stomach, beef tripe, lamb tripe or pig feet, and local chef. The dish has two kinds: the dry pot and soup pot. Dry pot without soup tastes spicier, so if you can’t eat spicy food, you had better try the soup pot.

  • Tujia Steamed Pork Belly

 Tujia Steamed Pork Belly is a main course for Tujia people, which is usually served as the main course when local people hold banquets or great events. It usually takes pork belly as an ingredient, then cooks it by boiling, frying, steaming and other ways, and people may put some pickles under the pork belly when finish. Although it is made of fat meat, it tastes delicious rather than greasy. 

  • Smoked Blood Tofu

 Smoked Blood Tofu is mainly made of tofu and fresh pig blood. By using the seasoning such as pork diced and pepper and mixing or mashing them together. The most important procedure is smoking the chunk for a long time and cutting it into pieces, then cooking them with

garlic or pepper. Although the dish looks ordinary, it tastes delicious. It is a famous and

nutrient-rich Tujia specialty, and its microelement is beneficial to human health.

  • kiwi-fruit juice


Kiwifruit has rich nutritional value, it contains calcium, potassium, selenium, zinc, germanium and other microelement, vitamins and 17 kinds of amino acids needed by the human body. So it is known as the “king of fruit”. Because of the unique geographical location and climate of Zhangjiajie, the kiwifruit here is abundant and famous, and the kiwi-fruit juice is delicious as well as cheap, which is a popular drink for people.

Sanxia Guo
Sanxia Guo
Kiwi Fruit Juice
Kiwi Fruit Juice

How Many Days to Plan for a Zhangjiajie Tour?

Typically, we recommend planning 3-5 days for Zhangjiajie Tours. This duration allows you to cover its core scenic areas or enjoy a relatively deep experience here. Or, you can contact our travel consultants regarding your travel ideas and time schedule, they will customize your perfect trip according to your specific preferences and requirements.

2-3 Days in Zhangjiajie

If you have only 2 to 3 days available in Zhangjiajie, we recommend covering some of its core scenic areas. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a must for first-timers, including scenic areas such as Yuanjiajie (the inspiration for floating mountains in Avatar), Tianzi Mountain, Golden Whip Stream, Yangjiajie, etc. All these scenic areas are included in the combo ticket of Wulingyuan Scenic Area, and will be valid for four days.

Recommended 2-3 days tours in Zhangjiajie:

4 Days in Zhangjiajie

With 4 days, consider adding Tianmen Mountain and Grand Canyon (with the glass bridge) to your trip, beyond the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. These are the three top highlights of Zhangjiajie, offering breathtaking natural wonders as well as memorable outdoor adventures.

Recommended 4-day Zhangjiajie tours:

5 or More Days in Zhangjiajie

If you have 5 or more days, besides the above recommended top natural highlights, we advise spending 1-2 days visiting the nearby Baofeng Lake, Yellow Dragon Cave, or exploring Tujia and Miao ethnic culture at Furong Town and Fenghuang Ancient Town. Or, you can also extend your Zhangjiajie travel to the nearby Changsha City.

Recommended 5 or more days Zhangjiajie tours:

Recommendations for Different Tour Types and Travel Styles

Family Trip in Zhangjiajie

If you plan to travel to Zhangjiajie with family, attractions equipped with convenient public transportation and advanced tourist facilities are highly recommended. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, Tianmen Mountain or Fenghuang Ancient Town are such attractions.

Zhangjiajie Gourmet Food Trip

The food in Zhangjiajie is one kind of typical Hunan Cuisine, which is famous for its sour and spicy flavor. Sanxia Guo and Smoked Blood tofu are the most popular foods in Zhangjiajie. You can easily find them in any restaurant in Zhangjiajie, and after the meal, you can try the local popular kiwi-fruit juice. There are also multiple traditional ethnic foods worth trying, and if you want to eat the more authentic local food, Miao Village around Fenghuang Ancient Town is the best choice for you.

History & Culture Discovery

Visitors who are interested in ancient architectures and cultures cannot miss visiting Fenghuang Ancient Town built in 1704, the 43rd year of the reign of emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty, which is one of the ten cultural heritages in Hunan province. Here visitors can not only enjoy the unique ethnic songs and dances of the Miao people and taste traditional food, but also buy some handmade silver products or embroidery and other souvenirs with ethnic characteristics.

Adventure Trip

For adventurous people, they will not want to miss the Grass Bridge at the Grand Canyon, and the glass skywalk at Tianmen Mountain. Besides that, Yangjiajie Scenic Area is also an ideal destination, thanks to its primitive and beautiful scenery and steep mountains. The Oolong Village in this area used to be the place where bandits lived. So the road is challenging for most visitors.

Photography Trip

The natural landscape of Zhangjiajie is magnificent and breathtaking, so visitors can take beautiful pictures in almost every scenic spot. But never miss to take great pictures at the “Hallelujah Mountain” of Yunajiajie which is the prototype of Avatar. Yellow Dragon Cave is also a great place to catch typical karst landforms, fantastic stalagmites, stalactites, and mysterious caves.

Zhangjiajie Transportation: How to Get to and Travel Around

By Air

The most convenient option is to fly directly to Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport. The airport is located in Hehua village, Yongding District, Zhangjiajie of Hunan province, is 10 kilometers away from the downtown area. Currently, it operates airlines to 55 domestic cities and flights to/from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Seoul, etc. For cities with no direct flights to Zhangjiajie, it is easy to make a transfer from the nearby Wuhan and Changsha by either high-speed trains or long-distance buses.

By Train

The developed railway network makes it convenient to get to Zhangjiajie by high-speed trains. Zhangjiajie West Railway Station now offers bullet trains to/from Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha, and Guangzhou.

Travel Around by Cab

Taking a cab in the city is very cheap. The flag-down fare of the cab in Zhangjiajie is CNY 5 for the first 1 kilometer (0.6 miles), and when the mileage exceeds 1 kilometer, the fee is CNY 1.6 per kilometer, and when the mileage exceeds 6 kilometers, the fee is extra CNY 3.2 per kilometers.

Weather & Best Time to Go to Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie is typical Mid-subtropical humid monsoon climate, which has four distinctive and pleasant seasons with abundant rainfall and long frost-free periods, and hot in summer and warm in winter.

The Summer (June, July, and August) in Zhangjiajie is hot and rainy, so tourists must travel with an umbrella and sunshade, and wear a cap and sunglasses or use some sun cream to protect their skin against ultraviolet rays.

Zhangjiajie Weather by Month

MonthAverage TemperatureWhat to Wear
January3℃~10℃thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater, thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie ,thick pant
February5℃~12℃thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater, thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie ,thick pant
March10℃~19℃Leather jacket, Dust coat, thick coat, thin sweater
April15℃~25℃Dust coat, knitwear, hoodie, T-shirt with long sleeves, jeans
May19℃~29℃T-shirt with long sleeves, knitwear, skirts, thin jeans, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable
June23℃~31℃T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, thin jeans, short trousers, polo shirt, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses
July26℃~35℃T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, short trousers, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses
August26℃~35℃T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, short trousers, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses
September21℃~30℃T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, thin jeans, short trousers, polo shirt, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable
October16℃~24℃Dust coat, knitwear, hoodie, T-shirt with long sleeves, jeans
November10℃~17℃Leather jacket, Dust coat, thick coat, thin sweater
December5℃~12℃thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater, thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie ,thick pant

When is the best time to visit?

We highly recommended that the best times to visit Zhangjiajie is from April to October. During these months, the weather is pleasant and the scenery is charming. If you travel in these months, the scenery will make a deep impression on you.

Tips: Visitors had better avoid the official holiday in China because many Chinese citizens choose to travel on official holidays to ease the pressure of their work. As a result, many Chinese tourist attractions are overcrowded and traffic jams are common. Therefore, visiting China at this time will bring tourists a less pleasant travel experience.

Where to Stay in Zhangjiajie: Accommodations

Five-star hotel

Although the accommodation fee of each five-star hotel is higher, the convenient location and transportation, advanced facilities, great accommodation environment and professional services are advantages.

Pullman Zhangjiajie Hotel

Pullman Zhangjiajie Hotel is located in the core area of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area. It is a 30 30-minute’ drive from Zhangjiajie City, airport, and railway station, and 3.5 hours’ drive to Changsha. What’s more, it is only a few minutes’ drive to the entrance of Tianzi Mountain, Yellow Dragon Cave, and Baofeng Lake of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

Four-star hotel

Xiangruige Boutique Hotel

Xiangruigue Boutique Hoteli, in the Wulingyuan district of Zhangjiajie, is located at the entrance of Xibu Street (special style street) and only 2 kilometers away from Baofeng Lake scenic spot, Wulingyuan scenic spot and Wulingyuan bus station with the convenient transportation.


Homeward Mountain Hotel

Homeward Mountain Hotel is located at the west gate of the core scenic area of Wulingyuan, which is about 20 20-minute’ drive to Golden Whip Stream and Huangshi Zhai. Scenic spots around the hotel include Qingfeng gorge hiking base, Hallelujah Mountain, the first bridge under the sky, Tianzi Mountain, Oolong Village, etc.

5 Valley Inn

No. 5 Valley Inn, located in Yangjiajie Scenic Area, is surrounded by green mountains and clear streams. At present, it is composed of 5 independent houses, covering an area of about 10,000 square meters. The hotel facilities include a bar, a swimming pool, a lotus pond and a beautiful valley with hundreds of acres of rice fields. What is offered here is not just accommodation but a lifestyle of rural life which makes people forget all the chaos of modern life. The Inn has received guests from more than 30 countries and won a great reputation.

Pullman Zhangjiajie Hotel
Pullman Zhangjiajie Hotel
Xiangruige Boutique Hotel
Xiangruige Boutique Hotel
Homeward Mountain Hotel
Homeward Mountain Hotel

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