By planeThe nearest airport is Changchun Longjia International Airport (长春龙嘉国际机场 CGQ) some 65km away. The facilities are very modern and up to Western standards; there are banks and various shops. Credit cards are accepted by the airlines.
Domestic flights are available to Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Jinan, Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Xiamen, and Yantai.
There are direct international fights to Seoul, South Korea; Vladivostok, Russia; and Tokyo, Japan. However, travelling by air is expensive. A regular single to Beijing costs ¥940, over 4 times the cost of a rail ticket, although you can get a discount sometimes.
The new high-speed train covers the distance from Longjia airport to Jilin city in 30 minutes, and runs approximately every hour during the day (¥24). There is also a coach service from the airport to Jilin City approximately four times per day (¥20-30). A taxi ride may set you back around ¥200 including highway fees.
By trainTrains arrive at Jilin Railway Station (吉林站; Jílín Zhàn). The new high-speed rail corridor and the D trains that operate on the corridor have reduced travel times to Beijing and destinations in the northeast greatly. The shortest trip time to and from these popular destinations are as follows:
- Beijing - takes about 7 hours (D train)
- Shanghai - takes about 31 hours
- Changchun - takes about 45 minutes (D train)
- Dalian - takes about 12 hours (5 hours D Train)
- Harbin - takes about 2.5 hours (D Train)
- Shenyang - takes about 3 hours (2.5 hours D train)
- Tianjin - takes about 14 hours
- Yanji - takes about 5 hours
By busMain Long-Distance Bus Station at 13 Zhongkang Road, west of the railway station
By busJilin City's bus system is cheap and convenient, and most of the buses in the urban area charge only ¥1 no matter where you go. However, some buses become very crowded in the rush hour and you need to keep an eye on your valuables.
By taxiThere are many taxis in the city, and you can easily take one everywhere if you are in the urban area. All taxis charge a starting fee of ¥5 and an additional ¥2 per kilometer after the first 2.5km. If you want to take a round-trip, the additional charge is ¥1.2 per kilometer. Unlike most cities in China, taxi drivers in Jilin are scrupulously honest, always use the meter (except outside the train station), and never drive you in circles. Fractions of yuan are rounded down under .5, and rounded up .5 and over. For example, ¥5.30 on the meter will cost you ¥5.00; ¥5.60 will cost you ¥6.00. As of September 2011, there is an additional ¥1 fuel surcharge for all trips.
phone: +86 432 62279123address: 47 Desheng Road, Chuanying District (船营区德胜路47号)A museum about the history and culture of the Manchu people.
phone: +86 432 64661214, +86 432 64687460address: 100 Jilin Avenue (吉林大街100号; Jílín Dàjiē)A general museum about the natural and human history of the city. Includes a special exhibition hall housing the largest extant stone meteorite in the world and you may touch a smaller one.
phone: +86 432 62280045address: 206 Desheng Road, Chuanying District (船营区德胜路206号)Tells the story of the Jilin Navy Barracks, which was established in 1661 and played a major role in the city's history up until its disbandment in 1910.
Parks and nature
phone: +86 432 69980110address: 51 Desheng Road (船营区德胜路; Déshèng Lù), Chuanying DistrictThis large park is a good place to see lotus flowers in the summer and ice-rimmed trees in the winter. The park features lakes where you can go boating and also some small mountains. Scattered around the park is a number of temples and other buildings.
Ice-rimmed TreesThis is a natural phenomenon which occurs when warm water from the river meets the cold winter air, forming ice crystals on the trees. The phenomenon is considered one of the four major natural wonders of China (along with the mountains and lakes of Guilin, Stone Forest of Yunnan, and Three Gorges of Yangtze River).
Longtan Mountain Parkphone: +86 432 3093384address: 2 Longshan Road, Longtan District (龙潭区龙山路2号)Also known as the Longtan Mountain Ruins Park (龙潭山遗址公园). This was once the site of a city built by the ancient Korean Kingdom of Goguryeoi.
phone: +86 0432-64696755address: Fengman District (丰满区)Also known as Fengman Resevoir, this is a manmade lake that formed during the Japanese occupation following the constuction of the Fengman Dam and Fengman Hydropower Station.
phone: +86 432 64781725address: 10km, Jifeng Road East, Fengman District (丰满区吉丰东路10公里)Temples, hiking and the local ski area. Food and accommodation are available at the park.
Century Squareaddress: 100 Jilin Avenue, Fengman District (丰满区吉林大街100号)Public Square. Locals come to skate (skate and skateboard hire shops avail.), or sit and people watch.
Jiangcheng Squareaddress: 153 Jilin Avenue (吉林大街153号)A symbol of Jilin City.
phone: +86 432 62011898address: 3 Songjiang Middle Road (船营区松江中路3号; Sōngjiāng Zhōnglù), Chuanying DistrictThis is an active church with a few dedicated nuns. To visit this church is a way an escape from the contemporary money-oriented city for a time. The interior design of this church is similar to that of modern churches which were built in Scandinavia during the early 20th century. There is a very small library inside, with Bibles mainly in Chinese and a few in Russian.
phone: +86 432 62454333address: 2 Nanchang Road (南昌路2号; Nānchāng Lù)This is the largest Confucius temple in Manchuria. Originally built in 1736 but replaced by the present one in 1909, it includes an exhibition on the Qing Dynasty imperial examination system. There is a modern Confucius sculpture in front of the main buildings. Unfortunately, if you have seen some old photos of this temple, you would probably feel sad when visiting it. Around the temple, there are a lot of tall buildings which completely destroy the original atmosphere. To make things worse, the noise from the nearby highway is extremely annoying. And the people who work in the temple know extremely little about the temple and why such a temple was constructed in this place. The best way to learn some history of this temple is to hire a guide from the local CITS office.
phone: +86 13089457166 (reception), +86 15568497528 (office)address: Xuantian Ridge, Beiji Subdistrict, Chuanying District (船营区北极街道玄天岭)One of the largest Taoist temples in Jilin Province. The temple was originally built in 1738 but destroyed during the Culture Revolution. Most of the present structures, which are modelled on the originals, were constructed between 2006 and 2016, and as of 2019, some buildings are still under construction.
Ice Lantern Festival
Beidahu Skiing GroundHas a long snowing season, and is a renowned skiing ground in China. Snow sports section of the 6th Asian Winter Games was held there.
ExploreJilin is far more pleasant and manageable than most of the cities in Dongbei (Northeast China). Spend a day wandering around the (largely rebuilt) hutongs, clustered between the river to the south, railway tracks to the north, Tianjin Jie to the east, and Bei Da Jie to the west. Stumble upon scrumptious snacks and small temples and mosques.
Local articlesLocal articles to be found here includes
- Ginseng — used as natural medicine, one of the Three Northeast Treasures.
- Marten — fur used for clothing, one of the Three Northeast Treasures.
- Pilose antler — from sika deer or wapiti, used as natural medicine and considered to be helpful against a great variety of weaknesses, one of the Three Northeast Treasures. They are produced from a number of large deer farms in and around Jilin.
- Kirigami — paper cutting art works.
- Painted calabash — local art works.
East Shopping Buildingaddress: 131 Henan Road
Jilin Department Storeaddress: 179 Jilin Road
Jilin Fortune Shopping Malladdress: 重庆街1367号; 1367 Chongqing Jie
Ouya Commercial Capital
Yanbinyuan Dumpling Restaurantphone: +86 432 6956288address: Sichuan Street (四川街; Sìchuānjiē)
Yangmazi Da BingFeast on delicious family-style dishes and a wide variety of the eponymous flat breads (Da Bing). With beer, a meal will cost less than 30RMB.
Mom's houseAs you might expect, dishes are traditional family style at this bright, loud, smoky, home-style restaurant. The difference from many places in Jilin are the sheer quality of the dishes, and the location ensures enough foreign patrons that you won't encounter any staring squads or over-curious waiters.
Xiang Rui Chuan DianA loud and smoky kebab house just a short walk east of Century Square, this always-busy place sells what is hands-down the best chuan (Chinese kebab) in town. Lamb kebabs （羊肉串）, chicken heart kebabs （鸡心串）, mantou （馒头）, chicken wings （鸡翅）are all amazing. Also delicious noodles like the spicy beef noodles (麻辣牛肉面）.
Qingxiangyuan Restaurantphone: +86 432 7994188address: 船营区顺城街裕华园旁; Chuányíngqū ShùnchéngjiēManchurian cuisine.
Laobai Sausage Restaurant
Little Boy Western FoodInauthentic but still good western and Korean food, some Chinese dishes. Good prices, nice atmosphere, and a streetside patio for a beer or five.
Xinyuan Dumpling RestaurantDumplings.
Dongsheng Islamic Restaurantaddress: Tianjin Road
Zhonghua Ming Shifuphone: +86 432 2438333address: Jiefang AvenueLocal food popular with locals.
Liyade Shifuphone: +86 432 2081010address: 56 Jiefang Zhong RoadMuslim restaurant. Serves small portions of tasty mutton dishes.
Jin Zhou Tang ChengGood, authentic Korean restaurant. Galbi, Bibimbab, Bulgogi, and, of course, Kimchi. Also, dog meat. Second location on Jiefang Beilu north of Yan'an Lu.
Full HouseExcellent Korean food in the heart of Jilin's Korean district. Staff and most customers are ethnically Korean. Most staff speak English very well.
Cherry BlossomHoused in a small two-storey building (you can't miss it in this city where everything is 6 storeys), this Japanese sushi house offers a variety of all-you-can-eat options. At 169RMB, the cheapest option is still pricey, but the quality and variety of sashimi and dishes are unmatched in Dongbei, and come with as much hot sake as you can drink.
German Beer BarIf you get tired of dumplings, noodles, and chuan, head for this place in the plaza near Wen Miao. German beer by the bottle and European sausages and mustards are served for the premium prices you might expect.
Jinbake Baraddress: 7 Hunchun Street (珲春街7号; Húnchūnjiē)
MIX Barphone: +86 432 2030388address: North Avenue (北大街; Běidàjiē)
Hive Bar (HIVE 酒吧）A college dive bar like you'd expect to see in California. Cheap draft beer, Western spirits (not fake), and a laid-back atmosphere with snowboards on the wood-panelled walls, and a fireplace, populated almost exclusively by college students, often foreigners. WARNING: Almost impossible to get a taxi out after 11:00 PM.
Motel (Railway Station Branch)phone: +86 432 6528888address: 199 Tianjin Street, Changyi District (昌邑区天津街199号; Chāngyìqū Tiānjīnjiē)Rooms with free internet.
Jiangcheng Hotelphone: +86 432 2457721address: 4 Jiangwan Rd. Jilin
phone: +86 432 2169999address: 10 Liaoning Road, north end of Jiefang Avenue, Changyi District (昌邑区解放大路北段辽宁路10号; Chāngyìqū jiěfàngdàlùběiduàn Liáonínglù)
- Changbaishan National Nature Reserve is 565 km east of Jilin City and Jilin City is a major staging point for trips to the mountain reserve.