Built in 1561, this is the oldest library in China and a fascinating piece of architecture: to prevent fires, water troughs are part of the building's design, and there are decorative "false mountains" at the entrances. Some 300,000 books, including 80,000 rare volumes, are on display.
Another striking piece of architecture, this elegant pagoda was built in 1330 A.D. to replace one that had stood on the site for 800 years. It is still the tallest structure in Ningbo, and thus affords the city's best view.
Legend says the Sheli Pagoda here wasn't built, but rose from the ground. This active monastery 20 kilometres from Ningbo houses a bone fragment of Sakyamuni, Buddhism's founder, as well as artifacts, paintings and calligraphy - some personally written by Chinese emperors.
Like many other places in China, Ningbo also boasts its own lake, the Moon Lake (Yue Hu), and as ever it also a tourist attraction. A tourist attraction or no, it offers a bit of tranquility in the midst of the busy centre, even though it is dissected in the middle by a busy road (Liuting Street). There are restaurants, tea houses, pavilions, gardens and a museum to entertain you here. During Spring, the blossom is awesome!
Shipu hotel with a view over the Northern part of the lake boasts local seafood fare, but there are also other Shipu restaurants in Ningbo with great seafood.
Close by is also Tianyi area with the Tianyi pavilion, the oldest surviving library building in China. It was built in 1516. Unfortunately, the day we went, it was closed.
Ningbo being an important port also had a sizeable European community during the 1800-1900s, especially British as it was a British treaty port. So it got its own Bund, built on the same principle as the more famous namesake in Shanghai. However, the Ningbo Bund is allegedly older than the one in Shanghai, even though it is much smaller. Be that as it may, it has now been restored to its former glory. Many of the old European style houses have been renovated, and new ones have been built. The oldest Christian church in Ningbo is also located here.
The Bund is called Laowaitan in Chinese, and stretches along the north shore of the confluence of Yuyao River and Yong River, which after they join are called Fenghua River. The Bund area is neat, and rather small so you will walk through it quickly. At nighttime the restaurants and bars here open and people flock to eat, drink and be merry. Even if you do not fancy a European style night out, the view from the Bund southwards is beautiful.
During daytime, Taodu park along the Yuyao River is also worth a walk. It is a nice stroll and during the summer heat the greenery will offer some well needed respite from the sun.
Poets have rhapsodized about this jewel-like body of water for 1,300 years. Just east of the hotel district, Moon Lake Park contains tree-lined walkways, pagodas and pavilions, and a large children's playground area.
Ningbo Tianfeng Tower is just 5 minutes walk from Tianyi Square and next to Cheng Huang Temple. For a long time the Tianfeng Tower used to be the highest construction in Ningbo. Located on Da Sha'ni Jie and Kaiming Jie, the Ningbo Tianfeng Tower was originally built during the Tang Dynasty (695-696) then rebuilt during the Song Dynasty (1144).
After climbing 14 staircases that get very narrow when reaching the top, you might need a moment to catch your breath. But the effort is worthwhile as you will finally enjoy a nice panoramic view of the city center...
Ningbo Ocean World known as Ningbo Haiyang Shijie is located about 10 minutes by taxi from Ningbo downtown. It is less than 5 minutes from Metro supermarket and next to the Children's Park. We were traveling with my parents and my 2 younger sisters. In fact everyone was pleased. We had a great time going through the different zones and meeting the sharks in the underwater tunnel. The visit might lasted about 2 hours as there were several shows inside. We saw a water ballet performed by some graceful mermaids and a very funny baby seal doing lots of tricks. In conclusion, if you want to relax and please the whole family, you should consider visiting Ningbo Ocean World.
The heart of the modern Ningbo, with restaurants, entertainment and shopping is Tianyi Square. This is where people come to eat, drink, shop and just relax, watching the water displays or others enjoying themselves. Here you will also find the Shipu Hotel seafood restaurant and all sorts of eateries.
A surprise feature is also the Catholic Church just south off the square (by Yaoxing Street).
Go here for your shopping, food and entertainment, and enjoy the metropolitan feel of the place. You could almost forget where you are, so international is the atmosphere in this place!
Twenty kilometres north of Ningbo, this complex contains notable exhibits of Chinese architecture, and having been built in 1013 A.D. is itself one of the oldest wooden structures south of the Yangtze. Other exhibits feature inlaid wood, porcelain, bronze, pottery and cloisonne.
Close to the centre of the city, you can find the maritime museum. In the past capitains, but also shipowners came here to discuss the business.