Explore Historical Sights with Nanjing’s New Subway Line 2

Explore Historical Sights with Nanjing’s New Subway Line 2
By Elizabeth Dilts , eChinacities.com

Nanjing Subway Line 2 (Part)

Nanjing Subway Line 2 (Part)

Nanjing’s Subway Line 1 already carries an average of half a million travelers a day. The city’s plans to host the 2014 Youth Olympics are the official reason for a planned expansion that will eventually produce two more suway lines, but the need was obvious. The lucky news for tourists is that Subway Line 2 makes traveling to a few of Nanjing’s local landmarks and UNESCO world heritage sites easier to do independently. Here are a few of the best stops that Nanjing’s Line 2 brings a little closer.

Ming Dynasty’s Imperial Palance in Nanjing

Ming Dynasty’s Imperial Palance in Nanjing

1) Ming Gu Gong Zhan (Ming Dynasty’s Imperial Palace) 明故宫站
Stops: Ming Gu Gong Square(明故宫), Wuchaomen Park (午朝门公园), Nanjing Museum (南京博物馆), Zhongshan Men (中山门)

Getting off Subway Line 2 at Ming Gu Gong, three stops east of the Line 1 interchange at Xinjiekou, is the simplest way to spend a summer afternoon seeing Nanjing’s lower key historical sites. If you take exit 3 and turn left on Zhongshan Lu, cross the street and walk roughly 20 metres; you’ll be in the middle of Ming Gu Gong, the ruins of the Ming Dynasty’s imperial palace. Built by the first Ming Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, Wuchao Men Park is to the south and Ming Gu Gong Square is to the north. Stroll through Wuchao Men and marvel at what once was, marked by the enormous stone column bases remaining from the past imperial palace. When you’re ready to retreat into air conditioning, walk east on Zhongshan Lu 50 metres to Nanjing Museum, which houses more than 13,000 Ming and Qing dynasty artifacts in a Republican era building. As the sun sets, walk 30 metres further east to Zhongshan Men city wall. Though access to the wall is not denoted with signage or any kind of formal tourism office, shaded, paved, sidewalk paths from the nearest bus stop are obvious and they lead to staircases on the wall’s outer edifice.

Wuchao Men Park: Hours: Daily, 06:00-21:30; Cost: Free
Nanjing Museum: Hours: Daily, 09:00-17:30; Cost: 20 RMB

The Presidential Palace in Nanjing

The Presidential Palace in Nanjing

2) Da Xing Gong Zhan大行宫站
Stops: Nanjing Library (南京图书馆),Presidential Palace(总统府), 1912, Jiangsu Art Gallery(江苏美术馆)

Da Xing Gong Zhan wins second place for the subway stop positioned for maximum sight seeing benefits. Leave via Da Xing Gong Zhan exit 1 and you will emerge in a large square. The concave glass architecture of Nanjing’s monolithic library is on the west side of the square, the former Presidential Palace is across the street and the Starbucks and Costa on the corner of Taiping Nan Lu and Changjiang Lu begin Nanjing’s 1912 cafe/club district. To reach Dr. Sun-Yat Sen’s former Presidential Palace, cross Changjiang Lu, walk 10 metres east and look for tour buses of red-capped Chinese tourists. Mobbed on the weekends, you might choose to continue walking east to the next intersection. Cross the street and walk five minutes south to the next intersection and you’ll find the Jiangsu Art Gallery. Brand new, the building’s Frank Lloyd Wright-esque design is notable for its sand-stone colored marble and vertical steel beams. Though it’s prone to erratic hours, it houses a variety of dynasty-era and contemporary art.

Presidential Palace: Hours: Daily, 08:00-17:30; Cost: 40 RMB
Jiangsu Art Gallery: Hours: Daily (not always reliable), 08:30-11:00, 14:00-17:30; Cost: Free

Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum in Nanjing

Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum in Nanjing

3) Muxuyuan Zhan苜蓿园站 & Xiaoweijie Zhan小卫街站
Stops: Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum Beauty Spot(中山陵), Underwater World, Song Mei Ling’s Villa 美龄宫

Two subway stops take riders to the south side of Zijin Mountain and its several scenic and historical locations, though exiting these stops and looking for the sites takes some meandering. Get off Subway Line 2 at Muxuyuan Zhan, take exit 1, immediately turn left when you reach the top of the stairs and then turn left again at the first street. Walking this street up the mountain will take you past, in order, Song Mei Ling’s villa, Underwater World and Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum, but it’s a hike. If you’re not up for the walk, take a bus up the hill at the very visible bus stops. If you leave the subway at Xiaoweijie Zhan, take exit 1 and follow the signage. Both stops involve long walks to the mountain’s spread out park areas.

Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum Beauty Spot: Hours: Daily, 07:00-18:00, Cost: 40 RMB
Underwater World: Hours: Daily, 08:30-17:30; Cost: 150 RMB (Adults), 80 RMB (children), 120 RMB (students)

Other sight-seeing stops:
Chating Zhan(茶亭站)
Stop: Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre
Exit subway station and walk east on Hanzhongmen. Turn south the next street and turn right at Shuiximen Dajie.
Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre: Hours: Daily, 08:30-16:30; Cost: Free

Mochou Hu Zhan(莫愁湖站)
Stop: Mochou Hu
Several subway exits lead to the Shuiximen Dajie entrances for Mochou Hu park.
Mochou Hu Zhan: Hours: Daily, 08:30-17:00; Cost: 15-20 RMB (depending on the season)

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Keywords: sight-seeing subway line 2 Nanjing Nanjing subway line 2 historical sites Nanjing subway line 2

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