Visiting China soon? Start here

Visiting China soon? Start here

Fuzhou Travel Guide

Province

Fujian

Location

East China

Population

4 million

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Language

Fuzhounese

Welcome to Fuzhou!

Not many tourists from outside of China visit Fuzhou because this is the kind of city that most visitors just pass through on their way to somewhere else. That’s a shame because this big city has a lot to offer from beautiful sea views to historical sites and nature experiences.

Located on China’s east coast, Fuzhou is the commercial and economic center of Fujian province and has been since ancient times.

In fact, the city has thousands of years of history behind it. And although it’s uncompromisingly modern, there are still pockets of that history throughout the city.

Fuzhou is hot in summer and not too cold in the winter. It’s sometimes known as the City of Banyans – a name you’ll understand once you start exploring the city and see how many banyan trees there are!

Fuzhou on map

Fuzhou is close to Taiwan. Image by Zarko Prusac on Shutterstock.

Banyan tree China

Banyan trees give the city lots of shade. Image by Zongnan Bao on Unsplash.

The best things do in Fuzhou

Fuzhou is very popular among Chinese tourists and for good reason.

There are lots of natural and man-made attractions in this city – too many to see in a couple of days. But you can try anyway!

1. Wander through Sanfang Qixing

Sanfang Qixing is the cultural and historical center of Fuzhou, and definitely worth including in your Fuzhou itinerary.

Otherwise known as Three Lanes and Seven Alleys, Sanfang Qixiang is packed with traditional houses from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Sanfang Qixing artisan

You’ll find traditional artisans in Sanfang Qixing. Image supplied by Mike Cairnduff.

It’s also one of the best places to eat and shop in the city as it offers everything from tasty snacks on sticks to traditional goods and clothes.

The area is always busy, so if you can’t handle crowds come as early as you can.

2. Visit West Lake Park

Fuzhou is a big, busy, modern city, but you’ll forget all about that while you’re wandering around West Lake Park.

Popular among locals and visitors, the park is a replica of a classical Chinese garden and boasts winding pathways, plenty of places to sit, and stunning floral displays in spring.

West Lake Park boats

Take a boat out on West Lake. Image by HelloRF Zcool on Shutterstock.

If it’s warm enough, you can also hire a boat and paddle around the lake for a different and very relaxing view of the city.

3. Eat fish balls

Fish balls are one of the most popular dishes in Fuzhou.

They come stuffed with pork and floating in a bowl of soup. They’re ridiculously delicious and oddly comforting.

Fuzhou fish balls

Fuzhou’s famous fish balls soup. Image by Air Elegant on Shutterstock.

You can find fish balls all over the city. Check out our restaurant review below if you’re looking for specific places to eat them.

4. Soak in a hot spring

Fuzhou is subtropical and boasts lots of hot springs.

Resorts have sprung up around the best of these hot springs and they’re a perfect way to relax and warm your bones on cold days.

If you have a bit of extra cash and enjoy warm baths, then spend a few hours relaxing at resorts like:

  • Fuzhou Jintang International Spring Hotel
  • Huangchulin Hot Springs Resort
  • Xishan Hot Spring Resort Hotel.

You can browse a big range of hotels and resorts in Fuzhou by clicking on the button below.

5. Climb Yushan Mountain

Yushan Mountain is located right in the center of the city and has been an important site in Fuzhou since the Warring States period. The mountain resembles a huge turtle and is a historic protection zone.

The hike up the mountain is a popular activity among the locals as well as tourists, mostly because of the views at the top.

Temple at Mount Yushan

Temple at Mount Yushan. Image supplied by Mike Cairnduff.

There are also numerous historic monuments dotted along the pathway, including temples, palaces, wells, and stone inscriptions.

6. See Xichan Temple

Located in the western part of Fuzhou city, this amazing temple dates back to the Tang Dynasty and is a great example of traditional architecture.

Xichan Temple Fuzhou

Take a walk through Xichan Temple. Image by Rodho on Shutterstock.

Visiting this site is a great way to learn more about the city’s past, so spend some time wandering around the towers, scenic areas, and halls of this huge complex.

Want even more ideas on things to do in Fuzhou? Take a read of Gayle’s blog about visiting Fuzhou.

Where to eat in Fuzhou

Unlike other Chinese provinces where the food can be too spicy for some, Fuzhou’s cuisine is mild enough for everyone while still being incredibly tasty.

The province of Fujian is known for its four traditional cooking styles, and the traditional dishes in Fuzhou are from the most prestigious of these subsets.

Fuzhou boasts food that’s mild and light and often mingles the sweet and the sour. The city is best known for its seafood and soups, though it also has great hotpot dishes and lychee pork, which has been popular in Fuzhou for 300 years.

Street food restaurant

Street food dining in Fuzhou. Image supplied by Christian Wilmsen.

Here are some amazing restaurants offering a range of tasty dishes for you to try while visiting the city!

Juchunyuan Restaurant 聚春园餐馆

This is perhaps the most famous restaurant in Fuzhou for traditional local food. It offers a wide range of dishes from soups to noodles, so make sure you try it out.

Address: Taijiang District Wuyi Middle Road 151, Huaneng Mansion 2 Floor

Shíjǐnzhāi

Restaurants in Fuzhou are often meat heavy, so it’s always good to have one like this in your back pocket.

Located close to the old center of the city, Shíjǐnzhāi has been serving delicious mock-meat dishes for decades. It does get packed with locals at lunchtime, but that’s how you know that the food is good!

Address: 332 Tatou Lu 福清市石竹山道院内332

Yonghe Fish Balls

If you’re going to eat fish balls while you’re in Fuzhou, then you might as well do it right.

Yonghe is perched above a busy local street that’s perfect for people-watching and has been serving the city’s best fish balls for decades.

Located in a century-old building, this restaurant offers the perfect combination of atmosphere and warm soup with perfectly cooked fish balls.

Address: 89 Nanhou Jie 南后街89号

Antai Lou Restaurant

When a restaurant lasts as long as this one has, you know that the chefs are doing something right.

Serving local Fujian food, this restaurant has been open for 50 years and services classic dishes like fish balls and Eight Treasures Rice.

Address: Ji Bi Road 39, Antai Huangjin Plaza

Fuzhou seafood

Local dish, sweet and sour fish. Image supplied by Mike Cairnduff.

Golden Elephant Bay Thailand Restaurant

Need a change from? For authentic Thai food in the middle of Fuzhou, you can’t go past this restaurant.

It’s large and spacious and offers lots of Thai favorites from pork neck to Tom Yum soup and curries. If you’re all filled up on Chinese food while visiting Fuzhou, this is where you should have a meal.

Address: 69 Hualin Rd, Gulou

The best street food markets in Fuzhou

There are only a few official markets in Fuzhou, but there’s lots of street food.

Vendors tend to set up their stalls wherever they please, turning ordinary streets into stomach rumbling exercises!

Student Street 福州学生街

If you only visit one street food market in Fuzhou, then make it this one.

Student Street is packed with stalls selling almost every kind of food you can imagine. You can eat octopus balls at one stall, pancakes at another, seafood at a third, and then find some sweet buns for desert.

Fuzhou night market

Student Street is buzzing at night. Image by Yiucheung on Shutterstock.

The shopping is also good at this market, particularly if you’re looking for a bargain. Be ready to negotiate and know how to count money in Chinese.

Rong Cheng Food Street 榕城美食街

Located in the Taijiang District, this is one of the oldest streets in the city and is lined with great restaurants. There are also lots of stalls where you can find some of the best street food snacks that Fuzhou has to offer.

Where to stay in Fuzhou

It’s a little more difficult to get around Fuzhou than other big cities because the Metro system is still under construction, so make sure that you stay near the attractions you most want to see.

Budget

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fuzhou on a budget, then the Holiday Inn Express Fuzhou Downtown is the answer.

With big rooms, private bathrooms, and a restaurant on site, it has everything you need for a comfortable stay.

The hotel also offers a buffet breakfast, a shared lounge, and is five minutes’ walk from a local mall for shopping and snacks.

Mid range

If you’re on a mid-range budget, then this bright, clean and modern hotel may be for you.

The Hanting Express Fuzhou Wuyi Square has large, modern suites with private bathrooms. It’s also within walking distance of famous Wuyi Square, where you can find lots of shops and restaurants as well as transport to other parts of the city.

Luxury

The Kempinski Hotel Fuzhou is sleekly modern and elegant, perfect if you want luxurious comfort while visiting Fuzhou. It has six on-site bars and restaurants serving everything from Western dishes to Cantonese favorites and beer, as well as a spa and health club.

And if you want to fit in some exercise during your stay, there’s also a heated swimming pool and an indoor golf court at the hotel.

Transport in Fuzhou

There isn’t a lot of English in Fuzhou, which can make using the public transport system a little difficult. But it is manageable with a bit of organization.

Use translation apps to find your way around and always have your destination and your base written down in Chinese characters just in case you get lost.

Make sure you check out this page for the best apps for traveling to China.

Air transport

Fuzhou Changle International Airport is around 50 km (31 mi) from the city center and it’s a modern but very busy airport.

It offers flights to domestic and international airports, making it easy for you to explore the major cities in China like Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an. You can also travel to and from overseas cities like Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok.

China Eastern airplane

There are plenty of flights in and out of Fuzhou. Image supplied by Mike Cairnduff.

The shuttle bus is the best way to get to and from the airport. It’s budget-friendly and travels to various stops within Fuzhou’s city center. You can also take a taxi if you don’t feel like sitting through the hour-long bus trip.

High speed rail

Fuzhou’s railway system is fast, modern, and efficient.

It has two main stations – Fuzhou Station (sometimes referred to as Fuzhou North Station) and Fuzhou South Station. The stations aren’t too far from the downtown area and offer high-speed transport to major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and many others.

Fuzhou South Train Station

Fuzhou South Train Station is massive. Image by Weiming Xie on Shutterstock.

Make sure you’re clear about which station you need to go to! Showing the station name (in Chinese characters) to your driver will help.

Long distance bus

If you’re on a tight budget, then you can travel to other cities using the long-distance bus system.

There are three main bus stations in Fuzhou. The south station is on Wuyi Road, the north is near the train station, and the west station is near Hongshan Bridge.

Coaches from these stations travel to major cities within China as well as to smaller towns and villages in Fujian.

City bus

The easiest way to travel around Fuzhou is on the local buses.

There are numerous bus lines in the city, and they travel everywhere for 1CNY, or 2CNY if the bus has air-conditioning. If you want to explore the major attractions in Fuzhou, you’ll find multiple bus lines that can take you where you need to go.

Make sure that you have change when you get on the bus, as the conductor won’t have any, and be aware that the bus stop names are in Chinese.

So, if you don’t read Chinese, you will need to study your maps carefully before taking a journey.

Tip – have offline maps ready to go on your phone. There’s more about that here.

Taxis

There are thousands of taxis in the city, but they can still be hard to get during peak hours or late at night.

Your driver probably won’t speak English, so have your destination written down in Chinese and make sure they use the meter to avoid overcharging. Your driver may also pick up other fares while you’re still in the taxi as this is normal practice in Fuzhou.

Metro

Fuzhou’s Metro is very new and there are only a few lines working at the moment, making it of limited use to tourists at this time.

However, there are plans to expand the Metro system, which means that this will probably change very soon.

Traveling outside Fuzhou

With its modern transport system, you should have no trouble getting out of the city to enjoy some of these Fuzhou day trips.

Xiapu

You’ll get some amazing photographs in this part of China, making it one of the best day trips from Fuzhou.

Xiapu County is just over two hours from Fuzhou by car and is famous for its scenic mudflats and seaweed farms as well as Banyueli, a historic village occupied by the She ethnic minority.

Xiapu Fujian

You’ll take some amazing photos in Xiapu. Image by Ken Phung on Shutterstock.

If you want to see something completely different to the concrete and glass of Fuzhou, then spend some time in this rural, beautiful place.

Pingtan Island

This is where all the locals go for a beach vacation away from the city.

Pingtan Island is the largest island in Fuzhou and it’s just one and a half hours’ drive from the city. You can also take the train out there on the new railway line.

Pingtan Island

Relax a little at Pingtan Island. Image by Mayday6510 on Shutterstock.

With beautiful beaches, white sand, and gentle water, this island offers you a chance to get away from the crowds and pollution of the city and just relax.

Fujian Tulou

Also known as the Earth Towers of the Hakkas, these towers are more than a thousand years old. They were built by the Hakkas, a Chinese ethnic group originally from the north.

Listed as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 2008, these rural dwellings are surprisingly beautiful architectural marvels.

Fujian Tulou is quite a distance from downtown Fuzhou (320 km / 200 mi). However, the lovely city of Xiamen is significantly closer, so if it’s on your itinerary then make your way from there instead.

Fujian Tulou

The unusually beautiful Fujian Tulou. Image by 庆锋 张 on Pixabay.

You’ll find other Tulou buildings throughout Fujian province, so you could always include them in your Fuzhou day trips if you’re interested in the province’s history and can’t make it to Fujian Tulou.

Mount Wuyi

A UNESCO World Heritage site as well as one of the main tea production sites in China, Mount Wuyi is the perfect antidote to the stone city.

Located in Fujian province and four hours from Fuzhou by car, it offers great rafting and hiking as well as the best rainforest biodiversity in South China.

Mount Wuyi rafting Fujian

Rafting at Mount Wuyi. Image by 冬旭 洪 on Pixabay.

And if you want to see more than a beautiful subtropical forest, then you can explore the archaeological sites at the mountain. This includes a 1st century city and Neo-Confucian temples from the 11th century.

Videos about Fuzhou

Get a visual taste of Fuzhou before you visit!

Watch Joyce and Jon explore the city’s history, culture and fish balls!

And if you want to dig deeper into the history, check out this helpful video.

Don’t forget…

 

It’s easy to forget a thing or two before you head to China.

So, here are a few reminders for you:

  • The right visa – if you’re only staying for a quick trip, you may be eligible for visa-free travel.
  • Cash or Alipay – your credit card may not be accepted, so bring yuan or use Alipay (instructions here).
  • VPN app – if you want access to all your favorite websites and apps in China, you’ll need to download a VPN before you leave your country. Get a VPN that works in China.

Have a wonderful time in Fuzhou. And don’t forget your VPN!

Questions and comments

Let’s chat about Fuzhou!

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Page last updated 26 May 2022. Main image credit: Huanya on Pixabay. Commercial relationship disclosure: The Helpful Panda has commercial arrangements with organizations that may appear on this page, such as affiliate links. See our terms for more info.

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