20 Best Things to Do in Zhangjiajie

Rice Fields on top of Mountain in Zhangjiajie National Park

Zhangjiajie is famous for its marvelous pillar-like rocks like Avatar Mountain in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Beyond the natural scenery, Zhangjiajie will impress you with much more things. Here is an ultimate guide about top attractions and top things to do in Zhangjiajie.

1. Avatar Hallelujah Mountain in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Avatar Mountain In Zhangjiajie Natioanl Forest Park Avatar Mountain In Zhangjiajie Natioanl Forest Park

When coming to Zhangjiajie attractions, Avatar Mountain will definitely on the top of the list. The famous floating mountain 'Hallelujah Mountain' in the movie Avatar was inspired by a quartz-sandstone pillar in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Hunan Province, China.

It was originally named the Southern Sky Column (Nan Tian Yi Zhu) and it was renamed to ‘Hallelujah Mountain' because of the famous movie. It has an altitude of 1,080 metres (3,540 feet) and a vertical height of about 150 meters. Now, it has been a must-see attraction in Yuanjiajie, a main area of the Zhangjiajie National Park.

  • Location: Yuanjiajie Area, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 07:00~18:00
  • Visiting Time: 1 Hour
  • Ticket Price: Included in the Forest Park(CNY248)
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take the one hour bus from Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, then take the shuttle bus of the National Park to Yuanjiajie Area

2. Bailong Elevator

Bailong Elevator In Tianzi Mountain Bailong Elevator In Tianzi Mountain

Bailong Elevator (Hundred-Dragon Elevator) offers you the most convenient way to reach the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. It won the World Guinness Record for the “Highest Outdoor Elevator”, with a vertical height difference of 336 meters. It cost 180 million yuan and might be one of the most expensive elevators in the world.

If you don't take the elevator, you need to walk more than three hours along the mountain road, and now you can safely reach the top of the mountain in just 88 seconds on the Bailong Elevator.

It is welcomed by many visitors even it is not cheap, 72 yuan for a one-way trip.

  • Location: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 08:00~17:30
  • Visiting Time: 20 minutes
  • Ticket Price: CNY72 for one way
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take the one hour bus from Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

3. The Cable Car in Tianzi Mountain

View from the Cable Car In Tianzi Mountain View from the Cable Car In Tianzi Mountain

There are three cable car rides in Wulingyuan Scenic Area. The cable car up and down Tianzi Mountain is the most famous one. Looking out through the cable car, you will see spectacular peaks flying by the side and floating above the clouds if it rains. The cableway is 2,091 meters in length.

The Tianzishan cableway is the main means of transportation for tourists visiting Wulingyuan Forest Park. Visitors can take the cableway to the top of the mountain to visit the famous "West Sea Peak Forest" where thousands of bamboo-shoots-like peaks inserted in the canyon, and then take a shuttle bus to reach the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area to visit the Avatar Mountain, and then take the Bailong Elevator down the mountain.

  • Location: Tianzi Mountain Scenic Area, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 08:00~17:30
  • Visiting Time: less than 1 hour
  • Ticket Price: Included in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park(CNY248)
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take the 2 hours bus from Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station to Tianzi Mountain Station

4. Golden Whip Brook

Golden Whip Brook in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Golden Whip Brook in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

The Golden Whip Brook is a 6-kilometer-long stream at the bottom of the mountains of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The boardwalk path along the stream is easy to walk and the scenery is pretty.

After contending with the crowds at Avatar Mountain and Tianzi Mountain, it is a lovely and tranquil experience to stroll along the stream in the midst of lush greenery, listening to the singing of birds and the flowing stream. The tall trees and surrounding stone cliffs and spires make for some good photos.

Nothing too exciting, but definitely relaxing. Just watch out for the monkeys. They may be cute, but they will try and say hi.

  • Location: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 07:00~18:00
  • Visiting Time: 1 hour
  • Ticket Price: Included in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park(CNY248)
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take the 1 hour bus from Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

5. Ten-Mile Gallery

Ten-Mile Gallery is another famous attraction at the base of the Zhangjiajie mountains. The valley is about 5 kilometers long, with a lot of stunning peaks on both sides, like a huge Chinese landscape painting.

You can either walk or use the tram ride to view this place. We would recommend that you take the tram in and walk out. This would reduce half the walking distance and also enjoy the scenic view.

The ticket for Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (248 yuan) does not include the mini train. The fare for the mini train is 38 yuan/person for one way and 52 yuan/person for two-way.

  • Location: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 07:00~18:00
  • Visiting Time: 1 hour
  • Ticket Price: Included in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park(CNY248)
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take the 1 hour bus from Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

6. Tianmen Cave in Tianmen Mountain

Tianmen Cave Tianmen Cave

Tianmen Cave, known as Heaven's Gate or Gateway to Heaven, is an important attraction in Tianmen Mountain (Tianmen Shan) National Park, which is in the downtown of Zhangjiajie and is about 35 miles from Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

It is a naturally formed hole in the center of the mountain. You can have 999 steps to climb up to the top or opt for the escalator to get on the mountain.

  • Location: Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
  • Visiting Time: 1 hour
  • Ticket Price: Included in Tianmen Mountain(CNY258)
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take bus No.5 from Downtown Zhangjiajie to Tianmen Mountain

7. Tianmen Mountain Cable Car

Cable Car Down Tianmen Mountain Cable Car Down Tianmen Mountain

The Tianmen Mountain Cableway can be a highlight in Tianmenshan National Forest Park. It is an unforgettable experience to take the world’s longest passenger cable car ride of 35 minutes with high mountains surrounding in the world.

Sitting in the cable car, you can catch a view of Tianmen Cave and the beautiful view of the winding road below.

You can either take the cable car up and the shuttle bus down, or if you are fearful of the height, you can shuttle up and down! (we suggest giving the cable car a try!)

  • Location: Tianmen Mountain Cable Car Station, Yongding Area, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
  • Visiting Time: 1 hour
  • Ticket Price: CNY25
  • Best Time to Go: Anytime
  • How to Get there: Take Bus from Downtown Zhangjiajie to the cable car station

8. Tianmen Mountain Glass Skywalk

Glass Skywalks in Tianmen Mountain Glass Skywalks in Tianmen Mountain"

There are three glass skywalks on the summit of Tianmen Mountain. You shouldn’t miss enjoying amazing views at one of the skywalks such as "The Walk of Faith", a terrifying glass walkway sitting 4700 ft above the bottom of the canyon, comparable to the Grand Canyon Skywalk in the United States.

On sunny days, you can see the canyon and winding mountain roads through the glass; on foggy days, you may find you are in a fascinating fairyland with the glass skywalk in fog.

  • Location: Tianmen Mountain, Yongding Area, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
  • Visiting Time: less than 1 hour
  • Ticket Price: CNY10
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take bus No.5 from Downtown Zhangjiajie to Tianmen Mountain

9. 99 Bends Road in Tianmen Mountain

99 Bends Road is 10.8 kilometers in length and extends directly from the foot of the mountain to the bottom of Tianmen Cave. The altitude rises from 200 meters to 1300 meters. There are ninety-nine bends in total, so called its name.

Road with 99 bends in Tianmen Mountain Road with 99 bends in Tianmen Mountain

Shuttle buses are available. The journey is about 20 minutes, without a stop on the way. If you are easily carsick, take some medicine or choose to take the cable car instead.

10. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is the world's longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge. It is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Tianmen Mountain. This Glass Bridge has been one of the most famous attractions in China since it was built in 2016.

Different from the Tianmen Glass Skywalk built along the edge of the cliff, this is a glass-bottomed bridge hanging over Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, with a length of 430 meters (1,410 feet) and a height of 300 meters (984 feet).

If you would like to visit the Glass Bridge, leave a half day. The ticket for the Glass Bridge is CNY 151 plus CNY 3 insurance fee.

  • Location: Wulingyuan Area, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 07:00-17:00
  • Visiting Time: 2 hours
  • Ticket Price: CNY256
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take the 1 hour bus from Zhangjiajie Bus Station to Wulingyuan Bus Station from where take the bus to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge

11. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Hike

Most visitors travelling to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is because of the famous Glass Bridge. The Grand Canyon itself is also worthy of a visit. You can take a hike in the canyon, about 2-3 hours. Free of crowds and noise, you will enjoy beautiful sceneries from overhanging cliffs, the lush green forest, waterfalls to the running stream.

If you are not physically fit, you can take a slide or a zip line to shorten some walking distance, at an extra cost of about 20 yuan and 35 yuan respectively. The ticket for both canyon and Glass Bridge is CNY 259 plus CNY 3 insurance fee.

12. Baofeng Lake

On the way back to Wulingyuan from Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, you will pass by another scenic spot, Baofeng Lake. After a half-day of hiking in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, it is enjoyable to have a boat ride on Baofeng Lake which is a peaceful and calm lake surrounded by green mountains.

  • Location: Wulingyuan Area, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 09:00-19:00
  • Visiting Time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Ticket Price: CNY96
  • Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November
  • How to Get there: Take bus No.2 from downtown Zhangjiajie to Bofeng Lake

13. Yellow Dragon Cave

Yellow Dragon Cave Yellow Dragon Cave

Yellow Dragon Cave or Huanglong Cave about is about 8 km northeast of Baofeng Lake. It is one of the largest karst caves in China. You can spend two hours in the cave to admire a series of chambers and thousands of stalagmites and stalactites. There are water features and a river where you can take a boat ride. It's a 4 km round trip which includes a lot of steps. Be prepared to walk.

  • Location: Wulingyuan Area, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
  • Visiting Time: 1 hour
  • Ticket Price: CNY100
  • Best Time to Go: Anytime
  • How to Get there: Take bus from Zhangjiajie Bus Station to Wulingyuan Bus Station, then take bus No.1 to Yellow Dragon Cave

14. Tianmen Fox Fairy Show

If you are looking for some night activities in Zhangjiajie downtown, Tianmen Fox Fairy Show (天山狐仙) can be an option. Tianmen Fox Fair is a large-scale real-scene musical drama that originated from a traditional Chinese fairy tale. It perfectly combines local folk songs and dances of ethnic minorities in Xiangxi (western Hunan Province), and modern high-tech special effects.

Over 500 performers tell of the love story between a foxy fairy and a woodman in this elaborated 1.5-hour musical drama. From the casting to the lighting and the stage layout, and the sound system is fantastic in this outdoor setting. With visual effects, waterfall and moveable platform and floating house, you will get to be impressed.

  • Location: Yongding Area, Zhangjiajie
  • Opening Hours: 20:15--21:50
  • Visiting Time: One and half hours
  • Ticket Price: CNY150 to CNY900 according to seat in differnt area
  • Best Time to Go: March to December

15. Zhangjiajie Charming Xiangxi Show

If you live in Wulingyuan district, you can go to see another show called Charming Xiangxi Show (魅力湘西). This show is a showcase of diverse ethnicity and culture of the region. It comprises of strings of acts like dancing, singing, acrobats, and drama along with their colorful costumes. This show will help enrich your cultural understanding of some of the ethnic groups within this part of China.

16. Tujia Folk Customs Park

If you are interested in local customs and culture, you should not miss Tujia Folk Customs Park. It is a historical and cultural theme park where you will see the classic buildings, clothing, food, and dance of Tujia ethnic minority.

You are recommended to have a guide to escort you to visit this park, who can tell you some interesting stories such as Tujia women sing crying songs for a month before their wedding and why the Tujia people speak like with voices and tones that sounds like singing.

17. Fenghuang Ancient Town

Fenghuang Ancient Town (Phoenix Ancient Town) is about 240 km southwest of Zhangjiajie City. It is a small town with 50,000 people composed of 28 ethnic groups including Miao and Tujia. Many visitors who are interested in experiencing minority culture prefer to extend their trips to this town after their Zhangjiajie tours.

Fenghuang Ancient Town Fenghuang Ancient Town

It is a very picturesque old town that was built around 681AD. Its old wooden buildings along the river are fascinating and the winding narrow twisting allies are lined with so many goodies. At night, this ancient town comes alive when it is beautifully lit.

The problem is that there are swarms of tourists, huge bus loads, and the guides are all using megaphones. There are lots of shops basically selling similar tourist souvenirs and quite a few noisy bars. If you can get past that, you will enjoy the town.

18. Xibu Street

If you stay overnight in Wulingyuan, you can spend your evening walking through Xibu Street. Similar to West Street in Yangshuo, it is a place to eat local food, buy some souvenirs or find a bar to relax.

19. Furong Ancient Town

Furong Ancient Town is about 80 km from Zhangjiajie. Due to its unique situation on cliffs above a waterfall, it is known as an ancient town hanging on the waterfall. Walk along the alleys paved with flagstones to see the historical buildings and taste a famous local snack called “Rice Tofu”.

20. Mengdong River

If you are looking for some adventurous activities around Zhangjiajie, Mengdong River can be an option. It takes 1.5 hours from Zhangjiajie City. Mengdong River rafting is the longest rafting place in Hunan with a length of 47 km and the whole rafting takes more than 3 hours. It is reputed to be the world's No. 1 spot for whitewater rafting. The best time to visit Mengdong River is from May to October when it is rainy season and suitable for rafting.

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