Kunming travel guide

Kunming Tourism | Kunming Guide

You're Going to Love Kunming

Nicknamed the "Spring City" thanks to its mild climate, Kunming is a relaxed city with temples, lakes, museums and shopping opportunities aplenty. An easy-going city that has adapted well to modern life, it's a wonderful place to spend a vacation in southern China.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Kunming

1. Thousands of Years of History

Kunming's past stretches back well over 2,000 years and there are many sights to enjoy, including Taoist shrines like Sānqīng Gé and Buddhist sites like Yuantong.

2. Serene Lakes and Parks

One of the great things about Kunming is how green it is. Head to zoos and see the cherry blossom at sprawling parks like Yuantong Mountain, or picnic by city center lakes like Green Lake in between sights.

3. The Stone Forest

About an hour's drive south of Kunming, the Stone Forest is a fascinating place, filled with limestone pillars and strange rock formations.

4. Some Superb Museums

Back in Kunming, don't miss outstanding museums like the Zoology Museum and the ancient Han artefacts in the Wu Mayao Museum of Anthropology.

5. Enthralling Markets

If you love to shop, Kunming is a fabulous destination, offering the colors and smells of the Flower and Bird Market, and a vast selection of bargains at Zhangguanying Secondhand Market.

Where to Eat in Kunming

Standout eateries in Kunming are easy to find. Some of the best include Yíng Jiāng Dǎi Wèi Yuán, where sweet and sour cooking is a specialty, the rigorously organic Tǔ Shēngshí Guǎn and 1910 La Gare du Sud, which cooks up Yunnan dishes in an old colonial-era property. Meals will cost about CNY60-CNY100.

When to visit Kunming

Kunming in February
Estimated hotel price
$23
1 night at 3-star hotel
Kunming in February
Estimated hotel price
$23
1 night at 3-star hotel

Kunming averages around 60°F all year-round and doesn't experience great climatic extremes. To catch local festivals, schedule a trip between October and March.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Kunming

Plane

Changshui International Airport has excellent domestic connections. From the airport, bus 919 costs CNY13 and there's an express bus which costs CNY25. Taxis will charge about CNY100.

Train

You can travel by rail to Kunming from Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou. The journey from Beijing takes 12 hours (at least) and prices start at CNY1,000.

Car

From Hong Kong, follow the G80 through Nanning all the way to Kunming. The G56 runs directly to Kunming from Shanghai as well.

Bus

Long distance buses are run by the Chinese state and provide a cheap, comfortable alternative to trains.

Airports near Kunming

Airlines serving Kunming

United Airlines
Good (69,526 reviews)
KLM
Good (3,808 reviews)
Delta
Good (30,768 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,368 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (25,063 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (15,782 reviews)
Finnair
Good (3,883 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (4,908 reviews)
Korean Air
Excellent (4,991 reviews)
China Eastern
Good (6,669 reviews)
Air China
Good (5,755 reviews)
China Southern
Good (5,527 reviews)
Shanghai Airlines
Good (655 reviews)
XiamenAir
Good (582 reviews)
Shenzhen Airlines
Good (84 reviews)
Sichuan Airlines
Good (176 reviews)
Lao Airlines
Excellent (118 reviews)
Lanmei Airlines
Good (25 reviews)
Juneyao Airlines
Good (90 reviews)
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Where to stay in Kunming

Some of the best places to stay in Kunming include the luxurious Wyndham Grand Plaza and the Lakeview Golf Hotel, along with the similarly upscale Intercontinental Kunming.

Popular neighborhoods in Kunming

Guandu – Styled as Guandu "Old Town", this attractive area has been built in a historical style and is home to many of the city's finest temples.

Panlong – Situated in northern Kunming, Panlong is a tidy area with a diverse population and is a great base away from the center of town.

Beimen – Another central neighborhood, Beimen is home to Yuantong Temple and park, which is a great place to relax with its cherry trees and zoo.

Most popular hotel in Kunming by neighborhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Kunming

Most booked hotels in Kunming

Pan Pacific Yangon
Excellent (9.2, 521 reviews)
$69+
Best Western Chinatown Hotel
Excellent (8.4, 663 reviews)
$61+
Novotel Yangon Max
Excellent (8.4, 114 reviews)
$91+
Sule Shangri-La, Yangon
Excellent (9.3, 11 reviews)
$107+
Merchant Art Boutique Hotel
Excellent (8.1, 26 reviews)
$94+
Esperado Lake View Hotel
Good (7.7, 24 reviews)
$32+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Kunming

Public Transportation

City buses charge CNY1 for most journeys (CNY2 on models with air conditioning) and run from 6:00 until around 23:30 every day.

Taxi

Taxis charge a meter drop of around CNY8, then CNY2 per mile after that.

Car

Car rental options include Senlong, Luchang and Linteng, where you'll find smaller vehicles for around CNY50.

Car rental agencies in Kunming

Find car rentals in Kunming

The Cost of Living in Kunming

Shopping Streets

The best place to shop for crafts items, clothes and electronics is the market at Zhangguanying, but there are also malls like the Golden Eagle Shopping Center and Brilliant Plaza.

Groceries and Other

Local supermarkets include Carrefour and Zhenxin, and you can expect to pay around CNY11 for 12 eggs.

Cheap meal
$3.63
A pair of jeans
$72.58
Single public transport ticket
$0.29
Cappuccino
$3.77
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