West Lake is the most popular tourist attraction in Hangzhou. An area famed for its natural beauty, West Lake is, in many ways, the landscape most representative of ancient China due to its immortalisation in art. This is where you will recognise those dainty 'willow pattern' scenes of waterscapes, bridges and gardens. The lake is sheltered on three sides by mountains and you don't feel at all as though you are in a city.
West Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of historical points of interest, including temples, pagodas and museums. You can easily hire a boat to take you to the islands in the centre of the lake and this is a lovely way to view the area. It is also very popular to hire bicycles and ride all the way around West Lake, a trip of about six miles (10km) depending on which route you take.
There are so many things to see and do in West Lake that you will need at least a day to explore. Famous scenic spots to seek out include Broken Bridge (the most romantic spot in West Lake), Su Causeway, Crooked Courtyard, and Flower Pond.