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Zhangjiajie Travel Guide and Tips

Zhangjiajie Tours Map

Zhangjiajie is located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province in China. Though it is a small city, Zhangjiajie is the top fever tourist destination for fantastic nature admiration including the Wulingyuan Scenic Area that is listed as the World Natural Heritage Site, where to encounter with the surreal Avatar Mountain the the big movie by James Cameron. Having been long popular among visitors and photographers, Zhangjiajie is a treasure place with the perfect combination of the idyllic beauty of Guilin, the strangeness of Yellow Mountain, the peril of Mount Hua and the magnificence of Mount Tai. As it goes like “It is best to enjoy water scenery at Jiuzhai Valley, and best to enjoy mountain sightseeing in Zhangjiajie.” You will feel it really worth for your life after standing among the superb fairyland like wonderland with the large spread of splendid Karst sandstone peaks and pillars with mysterious mists and clouds.

Why visit Zhangjiajie:

1. UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site - The main draw in Zhangjiajie is Wulingyuan Scenic Area which was listed as World Natural Heritage Site in 1992. It includes Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yuanjiajie, Tianzi Mountain, and Yangjiajie with thousands of bizarre peaks, beautiful waters, towering trees, deep valleys, marvelous caves and flourishing forests…

2. The Inspiration for AVATAR - Zhangjiajie is a surreal world. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park’s karst peaks inspired Pandora’s Hallelujah Mountain in the movie AVATAR. It is true that Zhangjiajie is “an enlarged potted painting”, “a miniature of fairyland”, “a maze of nature” with the characteristics of quietness, wildness, mystery, beauty and elegance.

3. World-class Thrilling Adventures - Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge (world highest and longest), Tianmen Mountain Glasswalk and Cliff-hanging Walkway, Avenue toward Heaven with countless turns on the mountain, 999 steep steps up to Tianmen Cave, 25 minutes’ long cable way, etc. Take all that heart-stopping adventures will make your fascinating natural exploration to Zhangjiajie more distinctive and impressive.

4. Ethnic Minority Culture - There are three main ethnic minorities in Zhangjiajie, including Tujia, Bai, Miao ethnic groups. Travelers can meet Tujia people and experience their special culture in Zhangjiajie city and even in Wulingyuan scenic area. Extending to Fenghuang Ancient Town, you can feel charm of Miao ethnic group.

How To Plan A Trip To Zhangjiajie

Usually, travelers spend 3-5 days exploring the essences of Zhangjiajie. They cover the must-sees Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yuanjiajie, Tianzi Mountain and choose one or two more sites to Tianmen Mountain, Yangjiajie, Baofeng Lake and Yellow Dragon Cave. For an extension tour, some travelers add one-day Fenghuang Ancient Town into their trip to appreciate the ancient ethnic flavor. However, if you are short in time and has only 2 days, you can also make the trip to visit Wulingyuan National Forest Park deep to see the Avatar Mountains. Since the world impressive Fanjing Mountain is not very far away, you can add 2 more days for something different with Zhangjiajie.

Besides, Changsha is always linked with Zhangjiaije for the convenient transfer. Some travelers would like to visit Zhangjiajie after explorations of Yangtze River cruise, Jiuzhaigou, Guilin, etc. by transferring via Changsha. Furthermore, there are many popular destinations that can linked well with Zhangjiajie for an amazing China trip, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Lhasa, Hangzhou, etc. You can decide your destinations and our professional travel consultants are here ready to help you tailor make your China Zhangjiajie tour.

Our Zhangjiajie Trip Planner is the best tool which aims to help to focus on where to go, where to stay, where to eat, when to go and more vital travel information you need to know before you go, such as Visa-free Policy, city transfer, etc.

Weather & When to Go

Zhangjiajie, located in the northwest of Hunan Province, belongs to subtropical humid monsoon climate with four distinct seasons. It’s neither cold in winter nor hot in summer. The temperature rarely exceeds 35 °C (95°F) or falls below 0 °C (32°F). The average annual temperature is around 16 °C. The hottest month is usually August, while the coldest days usually occur in January.

You can visit Zhangjiajie all year round, as the scenery of Zhangjiajie varies from season to season. And the best time to visit Zhangjiajie is from April to May and September to November, when you can enjoy the most comfortable weather with fewer rainfalls. However, rain gears like raincoats are suggested for the frequent rains, particularly in summer. And since it usually snows in winter during Dec.-Feb., you are suggested to wear more layers to keep warm during the large portion of outdoor visiting. Comfortable and antiskid shoes are always suggested for many walks on the mountain area.

Top Attractions & Places to Visit

Zhangjiajie is not very large, but it has multiple places to go for global tourists, including mountains and peaks, lakes and streams, canyons and caves, etc. Within the whole city, there are three famous scenic areas. One is Wulingyuan Scenic Area including Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Golden Whip Stream, Huangshi Village, Yuanjiajie, Yangjiajie, Tianzi Mountain, etc. The next one is Tianmen Mountain, the second National Forest Park in Zhangjiajie after Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The third one is Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, which boasts the famous Glass Bridge. Here are the best places to go for your Zhangjiajie trip. Please check the detailed info at below.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

The first national forest park in China, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 with over 3,000 quartzite sandstone peaks. The inspiration for the movie AVATAR.


Tianmen Mountain

The symbol and spirit of Zhangjiajie and also the other national forest park in the city famous for natural mountain cave and a series of thrilling activities, like the skywalk, 99-turned Avenue toward Heaven…

It is listed as one of the "50 worthwhile visiting places for foreign travelers". In Tianmen Mountain, there are some featured activities for you to experience, like Tianmen Mountain cableway, Glass skywalk, Avenue toward Heaven, Tianmen Cave (Closest Earth Landmark to God), and Cliff-hanging walkway.


Tianzi Mountain

The must-visit place in the Forest Park with thousands of amazing towering peculiar peaks and rocks, and famous for its four wonders of mists and clouds, moonlight, sunrise and winter snow.

Tianzi Mountain greet visitors with its beautiful scenery, and if you are lucky enough, you would see the four wonders: the Sea of Clouds, the Radiance of the Moonlight, Rays of Sunshine and the Snow in winter. Tianzi Mountain also attracts travellers with the forbidden Shentang Gulf, magical Fields in the Air, beautiful Ten Mile Gallery, etc.

How to Get to Zhangjiajie by Air/Train

Zhangjiajie is a small city surrounded by mountains, with a small airport and no high-speed railway. The best way to get to Zhangjiajie is to take a plane straight from Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. They have daily flights to Zhangjiajie and are international flight hubs.

Trains to Zhangjiajie are generally not recommended: There is no bullet train to Zhangjiajie yet. Direct train journeys from major tourist cities take at least 10 hours.

It's hard and exhausting to figure the transportation all out. When booking, you will find it even harder so let the people who are good at this help you, like China Highlights. We will save you a lot of time and, most importantly, we know the best options. Let us help you create your Zhangjiajie trip.

The Best Time to Visit Zhangjiajie

In fact, it is difficult to say what is the best time to take a Zhangjiajie tour, as its mountainous surroundings make it attractive in all seasons. If you want to avoid the coldness here, you’d better visit between April and October. Whenever you visit, never miss the best attractions: Huangshi Village, Golden Whip Stream, Tianzi Mountain and Yuanjiajie which are all located in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

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