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Changsha Travel Guide

Changsha Overview

Changsha is the capital city of Hunan Province, is a famous ancient city with a history of 3,500 years. It used to be a place of strategic importance of the state of Chu, a famous prefecture of the Qin Dynasty (221 – 207 B.C.), and the capital of the early Han Dynasty (206 B. C. – A.D. 220). Now Changsha is an important place gathering historical and cultural relics, and a tourism collecting and distributing center of Hunan Province.

Changsha is one of China's great inland metropolises, and it is now opening up for tourism. It is interesting for tourists because it is less touristy, more authenticly Chinese, and prices are lower than in the better known tourist locals.

Changsha Facts
Changsha Transportation
Changsha Geography
Changsha Climate & Weather
Best Times for Changsha Travel

Area Code: 0731

Zip Code: 410000

Area: The length of the city from east to west is about 230 km, and the width from south to north is about 88 km. It covers an area of 11,819.5 square kilometers, of which the urban area occupies 948.23 square kilometers. The downtown area comprises 242.78 square kilometers.


Changsha Huanghua International Airport was built in 1986 and was put into operation in 1989. It has become the largest airport in Hunan Province and one of the major domestic airports in China. It has an annual transport capacity surpassing ten million passengers. The airport serves more than 110 regular flight routes to 81 cities at home and abroad. There are 43 Chinese and foreign airline companies operating in this airport, including China Southern Airlines, Xiamen Airline, etc.


Changsha Railway Station
As an important hub of the national Jingguang Railway (Beijing-Guangzhou), Changsha benefits from rail connections to almost every major city in China. Everyday, there is a bullet train departing from Shanghai South Railway Station and arrive in the city in 8 hours. For passengers who would like to visit the charming Fenghuang Cheng (Phoenix Town), they could take trains here to Jishou and then transfer to Fenghuang by bus.
Address: Chezhan Road, close to Wuyi Dadao
City-buses: 114, 602, 139, 317, 401, 1, 7, 9, 12, 101, 104, 107, 108, 110, 111, 112, 113, 117, 118, 121, 126, 127, 135, 136, 148, 158, 168, 202, 312, 803, 801, Tour Special Line 1, Tour Special Line 3, Li Shan Line
How to get to Huanghua Airport: At the railway station, passengers could take the city-bus 114 to get there directly in 1 hour.
Alternatively, passengers could go to the Civil Aviation Hotel, which is located in the walking-distance from the railway station. Here, the airport shuttle bus could be caught, which could get to the airport in 40 minutes.

South Railway Station
This railway station was built to serve the bullet trains running along the Wuhan-Guangzhou High Speed Railway. Currently, there are over 50 high speed trains departing and stopping at this railway station. The train only takes about 1.5 hours running to Wuhan, and about 2~2.5 hours to Guangzhou from this city.
Address: Lituo Town, Yuhua District (about 10 kilometers away from city center)
City-buses: 63, 503, 66, 159, 160, 348, 16, 124 (04:00~ the next 01:00), 135 (04:00~ the next 01:00)
To the Railway Station: 159 (50 minutes)
To South Bus Station: 16
To North Bus Station: 159
To West Bus Station: 348, 63, 66
To Huanghua Airport: Please take a city-bus or cab to arrive at the Railway Station or South Bus Station, both of where the airport shuttle bus could be caught.

Long-Distance Bus

Changsha is the hub of three inter-province freeways including No.107 Freeway (Beijing–Shenzhen), No.391 Freeway (Chengdu–Xiamen) and No.106 Freeway. A well developed highway network connects the city with many major destinations in China and buses leaving from the three major long-distance bus stations in the city serve most of the eastern part of the country. Although it is impossible to list all the destinations that can be reached from the three bus stations; we have listed a selection of the main and most popular ones for reference.

East Bus Station
Address: No. 1507, Yuanda First Road
Destinations: Hefei, Nanchang, Xiamen, Nanjing and neighboring cities in Hunan Province
Enquiry: 0731- 84611731

South Bus Station
Address: No.811, Zhongyi First Road
Destinations: Guilin, Xiamen, Nanjing and neighboring cities in Hunan Province
Enquiry: 0731-82805051

West Bus Station
Address: No. 1619, 1st Section, West Second Ring, Yuelu District
Destinations: neighboring cities in Hubei and Hunan provinces
Enquiry: 0731-88816553

Intercity Commuters:
Changzhutan Bus Station, between the south of Friendship and Apollo Commercial Square and the local railway station, provides regular buses for Zhuzhou and Xiangtan, which are the cities where most travelers change trains from the north-south Jingguang (Beijing-Guangzhou) Railway to continue their journeys in either an easterly or westerly direction. Besides, buses to Zhangjiajie, Jishou, Wuhan, Hengyang, etc are also available at this station.

Changsha City (east longitude111°53'~114°15', north latitude 27°51'~28°41'), is the capital city of Hunan Province. It is the political, economic, scientific, educational, cultural and business center of the province. It is located in the western margin of the Chang-Liu Basin and downstream of the Xiangjiang River.

To the east, Changsha's neighbors are Yichun City and Pingxiang City of Jiangxi Province. To its south sit Zhuzhou City and Xiangtan City, with Loudi City and Yiyang City in the west and Yueyang City and Yiyang City in the north.

Changsha belongs to subtropical monsoon climate. Its four seasons are not very clear. The features of Changsha's climate are: late spring and early summer have much rain; late summer and early autumn have much drought; spring is wet along with changeable temperature; summer and autumn have many sunny days; winter is short along with much rainy days; much hot summer weather. Changsha's annual frost-free period is about 275 days, and its annual average temperature is about 16.8℃~17.2℃. Its extreme maximum temperature is about 40.6℃, while its extreme minimum temperature is about -12 ℃. The annual average total rainfall in Changsha is about 1422.4 mm.

Climate Data Table for Changsha

Rainfall (mm)
Rainfall days

Tips for Changsha Weather

Best season to visit Changsha: 
Except the midsummer which has high temperature in Changsha, springautumn and winter are the best time to visit Changsha. Spring in Changsha begins in the midmonth of February. The weather changes a lot in this season. From the late May, the temperature in Changsha increases notably. The midsummer is extremely hot with little rain. From the late September, Changsha gets into autumn. The daytime is warm, while the night is cool in Changsha. Changsha has less rainfall and much low cloud cover in this season. From the late November, Changsha begins its winter. Changsha's winter is not too cold. Sometime you have the chance to appreciate the snow-covered landscape here.

Clothes for travelling: 
Spring and autumn are both golden seasons in Changsha; if you are going to have your Changsha Tours in these two seasons, you can just take your wind coat, jacket and thin sweaters. Summer is too hot in the daytime of Changsha, you'd better put on some Cool and refreshing clothes like shirt, thin long skirt, T-shirt, etc...However, you need to pay attention to the cool weather in the night. Winter is a little cold than any other seasons, you need to wear some warm clothes like thick coat and sweater, cotton wadded jacket, etc...

Avoid Peak Holidays: 
It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07).. Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture. 

Other Tips: 

1. An umbrella should be carried in case of unexpected rainfall, and sun-glasses and sun-block cream are advised to protect you from high UV, especially in summer.
2. Be careful of the changeable temperature. A few chilly days could be followed by relatively hot weather. So it is better to take some early winter clothes to protect you away from the sudden low temperature.

Instead of visiting in sweltering summer, or winter when it is cold, April, September, and October are the best months to visit Changsha in terms of weather, scenery, and air quality. April is one of the best months for visiting Changsha because flowers bloom profusely at the two big parks.