Five things to do between business meetings in Nanjing

Take a breather in beautiful parks, hipster coffee shops and tranquil temples


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With historical monuments to explore, and quiet gardens for contemplation, Nanjing offers plenty of places to recharge between business meetings. Make the most of this beautiful Chinese city with our guide to getting a moment’s downtime.


Wander beside Xuanwu Lake

An oasis of calm in the heart of the city, Xuanwu Lake is the largest imperial lake garden in China. Bordered by manicured lawns, meandering pathways and weeping willows drooping gracefully at the water’s edge, it’s a world away from Nanjing’s hectic energy. Five islands are connected by traditional arched bridges, leading to serene and landscaped surroundings that are an ideal spot to take a breather between appointments. 


Enjoy a coffee at Sculpting in Time

A hip hangout that’s popular with Nanjing’s trendsetting community, Sculpting in Time serves some of the best coffee in the city. Order a steaming hot caramel macchiato or a creamy cappuccino, sit back and relax. Menus at Sculpting in Time are in English, making it easy to order. The ambience is laidback and stylish with retro furniture, exposed floorboards and shelves of magazines to flick through while you unwind. 


Contemplate life at Confucius Temple

The grand and serene Confucius Temple is dedicated to the ancient Chinese philosopher. Perched on both banks of the Qinhuai River, the site comprises stately pagodas housing bronze statues and jade panels depicting Confucius’ life – an ideal reset between business meetings. Alternatively, soak up the atmosphere of its surrounding alleyways, full of hustle and bustle, and populated with street food stalls and souvenir shops. 


Peruse literature at Librairie Avant-Garde

Housed in an old underground car park, the Librairie Avant-Garde is a bookstore unlike any other. According to CNN, this quirky literary spot is China’s most beautiful bookshop and its cavernous space is home to an extraordinary array of tomes. Even the cash register is made out of books. Giant sofas invite you to pause for a while with a classic Western novel or a spot of Chinese social science.


Get a bird’s-eye view from Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Towering high over Nanjing on Purple Mountain, Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum is one of the city’s most commanding monuments. The final resting place of the father of the Republic of China, Dr Sun Yat-sen, the mausoleum is a deeply significant place for locals. It’s reached by scaling 392 steps, but the dizzying climb is rewarded with a mesmerising view across the mountain’s lush blanket of trees and greenery.   

On the Yangtze River’s south bank in Nanjing’s Hexi Central Business District, the Zaha Hadid-designed Jumeirah Nanjing is perfect for business stays in the city.