Nowadays it is the capital and main economic centre of Hebei and a relatively important city in China. Shijiazhuang is the largest pharmarceutical base in China and is as well an important center in the textile, IT, manufacturing and chemical industries. In 2007, it was listed as one of the top 15 economic powers in China. It's a modern city that's in the process of building many new apartment buildings, shopping malls and just renewing its image.
According to the latest census figures, Shijiazhuang has a population of 2.19 million in the city proper, with a further 7.4 million people living in its 20 affiliated counties.
Shijiazhuang Zhengding International AirportShijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport is the main hub of Hebei Airlines. Daily flights on Hebei Airlines have covered most major cities in China. All international flights are operated in Terminal 1, while all domestic flights are in Terminal 2. There are free shuttles running between these two terminals.
Airport bus to Shijiazhuang downtown can be found in Terminal 2. Every bus will depart according to the actual arrival time of each flight, so no worries to miss the bus if your flight is delayed till midnight. It takes 20RMB per person to take the airport bus.
Passengers can also connect from the Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport to the nearly HSR station, with scheduled shuttles to the train station. The HSR station has a "rail / air terminal" where passengers complete all formalities without exiting the train station, then connect onto a shuttle bus for accelerated boarding.
Shijiazhuang is one of the largest railway hubs in China, and so there are many trains to and from Shijiazhuang. The express train to Beijing takes just over an hour.
Shijiazhuang Railway StationCRH D and G trains leave regularly. If you use one of the many train ticket offices, expect to pay a ¥5 surcharge per ticket, but it is faster and the prices for all cities are posted on the walls (including all style of seat). Since there are special counters for foreign travelers in the ticketing area of the train station, it is more convenient to purchase at the station if you are worried about language problem.
Shijiazhuang North Railway StationCRH D and G trains leave regularly.
By busNotice that buses to neighboring cities and towns depart from different bus stations, but each of these stations (and many close destinations) can be conveniently reached by buses (All stations), subways (Only Baifo Station) and taxis from Shijiazhuang Railway Station. Long-distance buses (e.g. to Beijing) depart/arrive to the main bus station, with direct bus line to Railway Station.
By carThe road network is as well quite good and Shijiazhuang can be reached from Beijing by car in about 3 hours. Expressways link the provincial capital to Taiyuan, Zhengzhou, Beijing, and other destinations.
Traffic is marginal, except at high peak hours (American rush hour), at which point it could take as much as 20 minutes to get through certain lights on many of the major roads (especially Ping'An Da Jie, Zhongshan Lu, Yuhua Lu, Jianshe Da Jie and Zhonghua Lu).
By busBuses in Shijiazhuang, as in any large city in China, are frequent and cheap: just ¥1 for a journey, whatever the distance. but during the hot season and cold season some bus with air conditioner will charge 2yuan.
By taxiTaxis are plentiful and, again, will seem to Western travelers almost laughably inexpensive, with the flag-drop often just ¥5 or so and a delay rate of ¥1.60 per five minutes. Between 1600 and 1900, don't bother looking for a taxi. If there's no taxi nearby, it will be easy to download Didi (滴滴打车) app on your mobile and call taxi by this app.
By bike-sharingBike-sharing can be found everywhere in this city. As of 2019, the most popular bike-sharing businesses in Shijiazhuang are Hello Bike, Qingju, and Mobike. Just use the app to scan the code printed on bikes, and you can ride the bike to every corner of Shijiazhuang.
Bolin Monasteryaddress: Zhao County (赵县; Zhàoxiàn)Large monastery, dating back to the Tang dynasty.
North China Military Martyrs Cemeteryaddress: Zhongshan W Rd, QiaoxiA large park with multiple memorials to those who fought and died in the anti-Japanese war. Notable for foreigners are the Canadian themed memorial dedicated to Norman Bethune, and Indian themed memorial to Dwarkanath Kotnis and other Indian doctors who assisted the Chinese.
Pilu MonasteryBuilt in the Tang dynasty and underwent major restorations under the Yuan and Ming dynasties. The main hall (Vairocana Hall; 毗庐殿; Pílúdiàn) contains a stone pedestal with excellent Tang carvings, as well as murals from the Yuan-Ming period, some of which are truly magnificent (if you have the luck to visit when the sunlight is good enough to observe the details).
Zhaozhou Bridgeaddress: Zhao County (赵县; Zhàoxiàn)A great masterpiece of Chinese civil engineering. Created around 600 CE under the Sui dynasty, it survived numerous floods and earthquakes, and is considered nowadays as the oldest stone single arch bridge in the world. Adjacent small museum with a collection of stone carvings, steles and statues from the vicinity of Zhou County.
address: 113 Huai'an E Rd, Yuhua Qu
Hebei Provincial MuseumThis is a must see and contains expositions from two major discoveries of the recent decades: the tomb of King of Zhongshan (中山王) from the late 4th century BCE, and the royal tombs of prince and princess of the Han principality of Zhongshan (Mancheng 满城 Han tombs) from the late 2nd century BCE.
Parks and nature
Century ParkContains the Shijiazhuang TV tower.
Chang'an ParkThe park is actually four parks in one, with an underground mall near the entrance (with a giant white statue of Mao Zedong). People's Square is at the South east end of the park and Shijiazhuang museum is at the western side.
Cangyan MountainReally beautiful, picture postcard temples built on the steep hillsides. There is a pavilion built on a bridge over a gorge that was filed in the final scenes of the Oscar winning film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Looking down at the Cangyan Mountains, two mountains stand facing each other from east to west, and one chain of mountains lie across their back from north to south, with the Fuqing temple built in the valley formed by the precipices and cliffs.
Towns and villages
Shitou VillageA perfect example of Chinese stone architecture, with an excellent local temple (Qingliang pavilion; 清凉阁; Qīngliánggé) built in the late Ming-Early Qing period (16th-18th centuries). It may serve as an introduction to popular beliefs of the Chinese peasants.
Niangzi GuanFor those who really love old towns. The dusty coalminers' town has two major attractions: a small but impressive section of the internal Great Wall, separating Shanxi from Hebei, a site of major battles from the sixth century on; and a beautiful village built on a stream, with private watermills run by many villagers (ask for Shuishangrenjia; 水上人家; Shuǐshàngrénjiā).
address: 116 Tianshan Ave (桥东区高新技术产业天山大街116号)
Shijiazhuang is home to three of China's top 10 wholesale markets, which makes it is a good place for great bargains. Be prepared to haggle, either yourself or with a friend!
There are also a number of very large modern department stores. Prices can be a bit steep, but you can usually find reasonably priced, good quality goods.
- Bei Guo. In the middle of the city, at the corner of Zhong Shan Lu and Jian She Da Jie. Bei Guo has many locations around the city, but this is the largest.
- Letai (Lerthai) Center. Opened in late 2012. Located at the crossroad of Zhongshan Lu and Changzheng Jie. It has Starbucks, Burger King and Carrefour.
- Wanda Mall. Opened in 2011. Located on the east side of the city. It is on Huai An Lu, one block east of Century Park, on the north side of the street. It has a Starbucks, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and KFC. It also has a movie theatre with an IMAX screen, as well as many clothing stores which are reasonably priced. Easily the nicest mall in the city, its an "American-style" mall, very nice to go just to walk around and window shop.
- The "You Mall" at Bei Guo Centre is very nice. Lots of little shops with clothing, accessories and various trinkets. Mostly for women. Nice food court on top floor (see "food card" system below).
- The Wonder Mall opened in Spring 2010 and has a theater, large department store and a really nice, clean food court, although the food was mediocre. It also has a Starbucks
- The Enjoy Mall opened Fall 2012. It has a Starbucks. There are some good restaurants on the third floor.
- Centuary Mall on Zhongshang Dong Lu and Yu Cai is a high end mall. The grocery store in the basement has the best selection (still limited) of weastern groceries.
- Xin Bai Centre offers more shopping, as does Dong Fang Commercial Center.
Behind and near Dong Fang are EGO, Tai He and Nan San Tiao, for wholesale shopping. Beware: Many items are pirated or ripped-off so make certain they work first. Nan San Tiao is behind the Enjoy Mall and extends west and east from there. It is many buildings of wholesale goods. Each building has different goods. There are buildings for cosmetics, women's clothes, purses, children's toys, sheets and towels and many others.
Tea market - many small shops and an entire building of shops - slightly north of Huai An, between YuCai and TiYu.
Seafood market and wholesale western food (a random selection and never the same things twice) The food is upstairs. SE corner TiYu and ?? north of old ShiDa campus.
Hebei HouseFor a fantastic authentic Chinese feast you cannot go past this restaurant.
Rehehuiguan RestaurantFeatures excellent Hebei and Manchu cuisine.
Tu Da Riaddress: Zhongshanxi Road (中山西路; Zhōngshānxīlù)Small but lovely, and relatively cheap restaurant.
- There are few foreign restaurants and the ones that exist don't seem very Western. But it's still fun to go to them and try what they think is foreign food.
- Pizza Hut is in SJZ, although the food is different than PH in the States or other places. However, if you want something like pepperoni, they can usually make it, sometimes with a little polite insistence. Just tell them you want a pizza with LaRouChang. They also have decent onion rings.
- If you like ice-cream, there are 3 Dairy Queens in SJZ, within a few blocks of each other. One is in the EGO building beside Tai He, directly underneath McDonald's. The second is in the Wonder Mall, at the corner of ZhongHua DaJie and YuHua Lu. The third on is right across the street from the train station. All three of them also have a Yoshinoya (Japanese fast food) sharing the store space with them. Look for the orange Yoshinoya sign.
- KFC is everywhere.
- Coffee shops in the western style are emerging. There's a new Costa Coffee that just opened in one of the malls, there are some cute coffee cafes, a SPR (starbucks look-alike) and others. You can goto one of the chain restaurants (McDonalds and KFC) and get a "Navy" coffee, and chill out there. One of the best coffee shops / bakeries is across from Beiguo "Tasty Bread." There is, however, a bakery on the bottom of "You Mall" in BeiGuo Shancheng that looks like a real bakery/coffee shop where one might sit down and have a coffee.
- A Starbucks recently opened (September 2011) in the Wan Da Mall on Huai An Lu in the east side of the city. A second Starbucks is in the Wonder Mall on Yu Hua Lu. Ttahe third opened recently in the Enjoy mall on Zhongshan Si near the old train station.
Xiang Jun Fuaddress: Ti Yu Nan Da Jie/ Dong Gang LuExcellent Hunan food. To get there, take the 32 bus from the train station and transfer to the #6 bus at Hebei Normal University (师大）.
Food card systemMost food courts in Shijiazhuang have a "food card" system whereby one pays for a "food card" first. You then take the food card to the food court restaurant to order and they then deduct points or "cash" directly from the card only. Each individual restaurant does not take cash. You then return the card to the cashier and receive the balance.
Seven ClubThe main night club that all the expats and foreign teachers go to. The beer is not great but it has the best atmosphere compared to any other club.
mazzo clubaddress: zhongshan lunewest club/KTV in Shijiazhuang. Located between the train station and Bei Guo Shopping Center on Zhongshan Lu. Sister club is Rolling Stones （滚石酒吧: pinyin: gun shi jiu ba） and its adjoining club Club No.88 (八八酒吧: pinyun - ba ba jiu ba), just down the street toward the train station.
- There are two internet bars and a movie theater within a five minute walk, along with three more KTVs and western and Chinese restaurants, as well as a sushi restaurant.
BudgetThe Shijiazhuang administration does not allow foreigners to stay at budget hotels under about ¥200. This includes any hostels that might appear in booking sites, they are for Chinese only, including the hostel across the street from the train station.
Other options include checking with the Foreign Affairs Departments of universities who sometimes have budget accommodation. There are private accommodation options around, varying from rough to excellent. Near universities is a good place to look for a room. There are also what are often translated as private hotels, which might be an apartment where the rooms are rented out by the day. They can be found advertising on the Net but are all in Chinese. The law says that you must register with the police within 24 hours of arriving when you stay in any private accommodation (as it states on the back of the immigration card when entering the country). Most residents are unaware of this and probably will not ask you to, but you and the resident can get into mild trouble with the authorities if found out.
Home InnAllowed to accept foreigners. It is pretty clean and moderately priced.
Huiwen Hotelphone: +86 311 87865818address: 6 Zhanqian St (站前街; Zhànqiánjiē)Four star hotel with rooms with desk and kettle. Karaoke, pool and fitness available. Also has a restaurant serving Honk Kong cuisine.