West Lake Museum, Hangzhou – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

west lake museum hangzhou

The West Lake Museum in Hangzhou (杭州西湖博物馆) officially opened to the public on October 1, 2005. It is China’s first thematic museum dedicated to a lake, showcasing 432 sets of cultural relics, 516 images, and 389 other exhibits. Situated on the picturesque eastern shore of West Lake, it covers an area of 22,480 square meters. The main building occupies 7,920 square meters, with only 1,980 square meters above ground, while approximately three-quarters of the structure is submerged underground, blending harmoniously with the surrounding lake and mountain scenery.

Featuring a large-area steel frame and glass structure, the museum’s architectural style is characterized by simplicity and modernity. The upper floor houses exhibition halls and the West Lake Cultural Research Center, as well as tourism services and leisure tea houses. Meanwhile, the underground level accommodates the main exhibition hall, visitor service center, document center, equipment rooms, and artifact storage facilities.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 hour
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours9.00 – 17.00; Last admission: 16.30
Closed on Mondays
Telephone Number0086-0571-87882333

Location and Transportation

The West Lake Museum is located at No. 89-91 Nanshan Road, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, situated along the picturesque West Lake. To get there, you can take bus 12, 31, 38, 42, 102, West Lake Inner Ring Line, or West Lake Outer Ring Line, and get off at Qianwang Temple Stop (钱王祠站).


Exhibitions in West Lake Museum

West Lake Overview Exhibition

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The West Lake Overview exhibition provides a concise overview of the geographical location of West Lake, highlighting its mountains, water, ecology, and overall landscape as the material foundation of West Lake cultural landscape.

Key features of the exhibition include:

  1. Microscope Observation of West Lake Water Samples: Visitors can use high-powered microscopes to observe the types and activities of microbial communities in West Lake water samples. The visuals are complemented by related videos, allowing observers to easily understand the microscopic world.
  2. Crystal Ball Observation of West Lake Rock Specimens: This exhibition technique, a first in Chinese museums, allows visitors to use crystal balls to admire images depicting the historical changes of rock specimens from West Lake. It creates an immersive experience, akin to being magical explorers using enchanted crystal balls to delve into the past.

Formation of West Lake: Historical Dredging and Landscape

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The exhibition “Formation of West Lake: Historical Dredging and Landscape” at the West Lake Museum delves into the history of continuous dredging and artificial transformation of West Lake driven by the survival and development needs of Hangzhou residents. It highlights the inseparable connection between the city of Hangzhou and West Lake, showcasing the ongoing interaction between people and the lake.

Key features of the exhibition include the interactive electronic screen linked to historical dredging props. As visitors flip through the historical dredging props, a scanner reads the barcode on the book’s corner, triggering the electronic screen to play corresponding dredging videos. This innovative approach allows history to be relived through visuals and audio, providing an engaging and immersive experience for visitors.


Scenic Spots of West Lake

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The exhibition “Scenic Spots of West Lake” vividly showcases the origin and inheritance of the “Ten Scenes of West Lake,” representing the quintessential landscape design technique of ancient China. It portrays a rich and colorful chapter in the essence of West Lake’s landscape.

A highlight of the exhibition is the multi-touch interactive display of the West Lake scenery. Through interactive query tables, visitors can explore introductions to the Ten Scenes of West Lake, pioneering this technology’s use in domestic museums. This not only transforms the audience from passive observers to active participants but also allows multiple visitors to engage simultaneously, making the experience lively and enjoyable. The dynamic beauty of West Lake’s scenery can be shared with multiple visitors at the same time, enhancing their understanding and appreciation of this iconic landscape.


Cultural Heritage of West Lake

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The exhibition on “Cultural Heritage of West Lake” delves into the cultural significance of West Lake’s landscape from various aspects such as religion, filial piety, seclusion, book collection, literature, and art. It highlights the crucial role played by West Lake as a “spiritual home.”

Two notable highlights of the exhibition are:

  1. Multi-scene settings: The exhibition features various scene models, including scenarios depicting Su Shi (Su Dongpo) enjoying tea with Biancai, the mother of Yue Fei tatooing on his back, and a model of the Wenlan Pavilion. These scenes represent some of the representative carriers of West Lake culture.
  2. Dreamy Cinema of “The Legend of White Snake”: This cinema showcases the famous Chinese legend of “The Legend of White Snake” through the medium of ink painting, which is a form that reflects traditional Chinese elements.

Poetic West Lake

The exhibition “Poetic West Lake” at the West Lake Museum celebrates the aesthetic and spiritual significance of West Lake throughout the centuries. On the second floor, a plethora of classical poems, paintings, and calligraphy from various dynasties vividly illustrate the beauty of West Lake.

Notable highlights of the exhibition include:

  1. Electronic Flip Books of West Lake Literature: Utilizing interactive electronic flip book technology, visitors can virtually flip through pages of classic literature related to West Lake. With a simple hand gesture, projected pages turn, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the vast ocean of West Lake poetry and prose.
  2. Woodblock Printing of West Lake: Selected scenes of the ten famous scenic spots of West Lake and significant historical and cultural relics are crafted into woodblocks, enabling visitors to participate in the printing process and take home commemorative prints. This activity revives the historical art of woodblock printing that was once renowned in the West Lake region.
  3. Hand-drawn West Lake: After exploring the exhibition, visitors are invited to unleash their creativity in a designated area where they can use their fingers to paint and create their unique interpretation of West Lake scenery.

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