Chengdu, in southwest China, with the flat terrain, many rivers, rich natural resources and developed agriculture, it enjoys the great reputation as “Land of Abundance”. In addition, it is also a historical and cultural city with history of more than 3,000 years. It is the birthplace of the ancient Shu civilization and seven locality separatist powers had built their capitals here. In the Han dynasty, Chengdu was one of the five metropolises in China, and during the Tang dynasty, it is one of the most developed industrial and commercial cities in China, and the first paper currency in the world was invented here in the northern Song dynasty. There are many highlight scenic spots and historical sites in Chengdu.
Geographic Position: in Southwest China (102°54′E―104°53′E, 30°05′N―31°26′N)
Climate: Subtropical monsoon humid climate (four distinct seasons, hot and rainy in summer, mild and humid in winter)
Nearby Airport: Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU)
Nearby Railway Stations: Chengdu Railway Station, Chengdu East Railway Station, Chengdu South Railway Station, Chengdu West Railway Station
Chinese: 成都 chéng dū
Area:5,551 sq miles
Zip Code: 610000
Time Zone: GMT+8
Top Things to Do in Chengdu
Here are some top things to do in Chengdu for tourists, which may help tourists learn the culture of Chengdu, taste the delicious food and have a great travel experience.
- Visit panda–the national treasure of China
Chengdu is renowned for the hometown of Panda. So, you cannot miss appreciating the lovely panda. At the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, visitors can not only see the cuddly pandas lounging, climbing trees and playing, but also acquire knowledge about their living habits. What’s more, if you want to get closer to pandas, you can choose to do a one-day volunteer at the Dujiangyan Panda Park. During the volunteer activities, you will have the chance to clean the panda’s house and hold the cute panda under the guidance of professional staff. After volunteering, you will also receive a meaningful volunteer certificate. (Note: one-day volunteer in Dujiangyan Panda Park costs CNY 800).
See also: 8 Best Places to See Pandas in China
- Taste delicious Sichuan Cuisine
Sichuan cuisine, one of the eight major cuisines in China, is famous for its spicy and hot flavor and unique cooking methods. It contains various daily dishes and integrates the characteristics of other cuisine of China to make it tastes more delicious and fresher. Chengdu has been awarded the honorary title of “City of Gastronomy in the worldwide” by UNESCO, where visitors can taste the most authentic Sichuan cuisine. The specialties of Sichuan cuisine are hotpot, pockmarked grandma’s tofu, kung pao chicken, fish fragrant pork, etc.
- Enjoy the slow and leisure lifestyle
Nowadays, everyone has a lot of pressure no matter in daily life or work in such rapidly developing society. Chengdu is a city where life pace is slow, so people can stroll around the antique Jinli Street or prosperous Chunxi road, see the lovely pandas or have a cup of tea in the tea houses to have a relax.
- Experience the tea culture and enjoy the Sichuan Opera
Sichuan province is one of the earliest places that plant, drink and sell tea in China, and the tea culture here has a long history of more than 3,000 years. Sichuan is also a major tea-producing province in China, and tea industry here not only promote economic growth, but also improve and enrich people’s life.
Sichuan people are crazy about drinking tea at the tea house. Sitting in the teahouse, guests can watch wonderful Sichuan opera, read a book, play cards or Mahjong, have a nap or chat with the friends while drinking a cup of tea. And there also provide some service such as ear cleaning, shoeshine or fortune-telling, so people can have a relaxation and feel the strong local characteristics of Chengdu tea culture.
- Pay a visit to other nearby attractions
In addition to some famous scenic spots mentioned above in Chengdu, there are also many worth-visiting tourist attractions nearby Chengdu city, which can be reached by convenient public transportation. For example, Jiuzhai valley, a masterpiece of nature, is surrounded by lofty snow peak, clear lake, cascading waterfalls and green trees and has a picturesque scene all the year round. Leshan giant Buddha with a full height of 71 meters, is the largest stone statue carved on cliff in China and one of the largest stone statues of maitreya in the world. Mount Emei, the ashram of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva , is the holy land of Chinese Buddhism, which is known as the “Buddhist paradise” and one of the “four famous Buddhist mountains” in China.
What to Eat in Chengdu
Sichuan hot pot is famous for its delicious, hot and spicy flavor, it is deeply loved by people. Nowadays, hot pot has become the representative cuisine of Sichuan province. Hot pot generally refers to the cooking method that boiling all kinds of food in a heating pot, and people can eat while boiling. Typical hot pot ingredients include a variety of meat, seafood, vegetables, soy products, mushrooms, eggs, vermin, etc. People put them in boiled water or special broth, and add some seasoning according to their preference.
Chuan chuan xiang, actually another form of hot pot similar to Malatang, is often called “little hot pot”. Chuan chuan xiang first appeared in Chengdu, Sichuan province in the mid-1980s. at first, the original ingredient of Chuan chuan xiang is very simple, but almost everything can be regarded as the ingredients to boil nowadays. Different people make different kinds of chuan chuan xiang, so there are many kinds of it in various flavor.
- Hongyou Chaoshou
Meat Dumplings in Spicy Sauce (Hongyou chaoshou), the local snack of Sichuan province, is one of the most famous Sichuan cuisine. It tastes delicious, and the soup is slightly hot and spicy. Chaoshou is similar to Wonton, but thinner and smaller than wonton. The main ingredients are dumpling wrappers and minced pork. People boil them in the soup then add some spicy sauce.
- Dandan noodles
Dandan noodles is a famous local traditional noodle snack in Chengdu. the reason why it is called Dandan noodles is that porters used to carry Dandan and sold noodles on the street. It is easy to make, which just needs to roll flour into noodles, then cook and add some minced pork on it.
- Pockmarked grandma’s tofu
Pockmarked grandma’s tofu, one of the traditional Chengdu dishes, is a famous dish of Sichuan cuisine. The main ingredients are tofu, minced pork, pepper, seasoning and so on. It highlights the “spicy” feature of Sichuan cuisine. Nowadays, it is also popular in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and other countries, which has become an international famous dish rather than a simple daily dish in China.
Chengdu Travel Guide
1) How to plan your Chengdu tour?
A. How many days will you spend in Chengdu?
a. One day tour
If you only have one day in Chengdu, it is necessary for you to visit the must-visit scenic spots inside the city, such as Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding where people can appreciate the cute and precious panda that are the national treasure of China, or go to Wuhou Temple to experience the profound history of Three Kingdoms Period. Strolling around ancient Jinli Street or Wide & Narrow Alley is also popular for visitors.
b. Two days tour
If you plan to spend two days in Chengdu, you can not only go to the most representative and renowned attractions, but also go to other unique and popular attractions. For example, Paying a visit to Leshan giant Buddha which is the largest stone statue carved on cliff in China and one of the largest stone statues of maitreya in the world is a best choice. In addition, visiting the wonderful Dujiangyan irrigation system, about 60 kilometers away from Chengdu, is also popular among visitors.
c. Three days tour
If you have three days in Chengdu, you can not only visit many scenic spots in Chengdu city, but also some renowned scenic area nearby Chengdu, such as the Jiuzhai Valley National Park where people can enjoy the charming natural landscape and experience profound Tibetan culture, or go to Mt.Emei to appreciate the magnificent mountain and holy Buddhism culture.
d. Four days and more days tour
If you have enough time in Chengdu, we also offer the service of making a personal tour in Chengdu according to you preferences and interests.
B. What are you interested in or what is your tour type?
a. Family Trip
If you want to have a family trip, we highly recommended that you can go to some attractions that are equipped with convenient public transportation and advanced tourist facilities, which are available for all ages tourists to visit, such as the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Wuhou Temple, Jinli Street, Wide & Narrow Alley, Chunxi Road, Thatched Cottage of Du Fu, Dujiangyan irrigation system, etc.
b. Gourmet Food Trip
As a “City of Gastronomy in the worldwide”, Chengdu is famous for its traditional and delicious food. Sichuan cuisine is unique for its spicy and hot flavor and special cooking methods, which is full of strong local flavor. The specialties of Sichuan cuisine are hotpot, pockmarked grandma’s tofu, kung pao chicken, fish fragrant pork, etc. And if you want to taste the most authentic Sichuan cuisine, ancient Jinli Street is the best choice for you, where many Sichuan cuisine restaurants and hot pot restaurants is saturated.
c. Historical Trip
Wuhou Temple is renowned for profound history and abundant historical landscape of Three Kingdoms Period. And the Thatched cottage of Dufu, the former residence of the famous poet Dufu of the Tang dynasty, is regarded as a “holy land” in the history of Chinese literature. Strolling around the Wide&Narrow Alley is also a good way to help visitors to fully know the civil culture of old Chengdu and experience leisure lifestyle of Chengdu. In addition, if you are interested in Buddhism, you cannot miss going to Mount Emei which is renowned for its profound history and culture of Buddhism and enjoys the great reputation of “Buddhist paradise”.
d. Adventure Trip
Located in Rilong town, Xiaojin county, Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture, four maiden’s mountain (Siguniang mountain) consists of four continuous peaks: the fourth maiden peak(yaomei peak) of 6,250 meters high, the third maiden mountain of 5,664 meters high, the second maiden mountain of 5,454 meters and the first maiden mountain of 5,355 meters. With a height of 6,250 meters, Yaomei peak is the second highest peak in Sichuan Province. And all of them are covered with snow and ice all year.
The scenic spot is mainly composed of Siguniang mountain, Shuangqiao valley, Changping valley and Haizi valley. There are 52 snow peaks with the altitude of more than 5,000m and a large number of glaciers and alpine meadow. Every year, many people come here for climbing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, so it is also known as ” Outdoor Paradise”.
As an outdoor paradise, various outdoor sports and itinerary are accessible here. For example, if you a beginner of climbing, you can try to choose the first and second maiden mountain to climb. And if you are more professional, you can also climb the third maiden mountain. In addition to climbing, there are many routes for hiking. Shuangqiao valley, Changping valley and Haizi valley all are suitable for hiking, and visitors can plan the hiking routes and time based on their own time and situation.
e. Photographer Trip
If you are crazy about taking photos, there are many places for you to choose in Chengdu. Charming and mysterious Jiuzhai Valley, magnificent Mt.Emei and beautiful Mt.Qingcheng are renowned for breath-taking natural landscape and profound historical landscape, and especially the Mt.Emei which is a good place to watch the sunrise. When travel in Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, visitors can observe and take some picture of cute panda. And Dujiangyan Irrigation system is a famous tourist destination, where people can appreciate the wonder irrigation system of ancient China.
C. What is your travel budget?
a. If your trip is low- budget, we highly recommend that you can take part in any group tour and live Youth Hostel, which not only can help you save money, but will also help you make some new friends who have the same interest.
b. If you want to have a better travel experience, you can choose to rent a car and driver, make a personal travel plan and live ina luxury hotel during the days you stay in Chengdu, which is more comfortable and free than taking part in a group tour.
Since January 1, 2019, Chengdu Shuangliu international airport have launched a 144-hour transit visa-free policy for visitors, which allows visitors to stay in Chengdu no more than 144 hours (six days). Visas are not required for people who come from the 53 countries and hold valid international travel documents and international flights tickets with confirmed dates and seats to a third country (region).
The 53 countries are available for this policy in the following: the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, Republic of Estonia,the Republic of Finland, French Republic, The Federal Republic of Germany, The Hellenic Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Iceland, the Republic of Italy, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Malta, the Kingdom of Netherlands, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, the Slovakia Republic, the Republic of Slovenia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Sweden, Swiss Confederation, Russia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland , Republic of Ireland, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia, the Republic of Albania, the Principality of Monaco, Republic of Belarus, United States of America, Canada, The Federative Republic of Brazil,the United Mexican States, the Republic of Argentina, Republic of Chile, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, Republic of Singapore, Negara Brunei Darussalam, United Arab Emirates and the State of Qatar.
Notes: Qualified people can stay within 144 hours in the Chengdu. The most important thing is that the arrival fight and connected fight need to be international flight. It is crucial for foreigners who can stay in Guilin within 72 hours to obey the Chinese law, and if someone exceeds the permitted stay area or time limit, punishment will be given by the Exit and Entry Administration law of the People’s Republic of China.
3) Chengdu Transportation
Nowadays, as a famous tourism city all over the world, Chengdu has been equipped more and more advanced and convenient public transportation, which is not only helpful for local people, but also conducive to the development of the tourism.
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
Chengdu Shuangliu international airport, 16 kilometers away from Chengdu downtown, is one of the eight major regional hub airports in China. By September 2019, Chengdu Shuangliu international airport has 349 air routes (including 121 international and regional routes and 228 domestic routes), and get to 209 cities at home and abroad (78 international and regional cities and 131 domestic cities). it is also equipped with convenient public transportation for people to directly get to the downtown or some famous scenic spots.
- Direct international flights:
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport-some Asian Countries:Japan, Republic of Korea, Republic of Singapore, Malaysia, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of India, the United Arab Emirates,
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport- North American Countries:the United States of America
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport-some European Countries:the Federal Republic of Germany, Russia
- Popular travel airlines:Chengdu-Beijing, Chengdu-Xi’an, Chengdu-Guilin, Chengdu-Shanghai, Chengdu -Shenzhen, Chengdu-Sanya, Chengdu-Hongkong, Chengdu-Taiwan, etc.
Subway is a convenient transportation for visitors to choose when travel in Chengdu. The city subway has many line routes and connect to many famous tourist attractions.
- Subway Line 1:Shengxian Lake Station(06:20-23:00) — Guangdu Station(06:20-23:00) whole stations: 22
Famous stations: Huoche Beizhan(Chengdu Railway Station) Station, Wenshu Monastery Station
- Subway Line2: Xipu Station(06:20-23:00)–Longquan yi Station(06:10-22:45) whole stations:32
Famous stations: People’s Park Station, Tianfu Square Station, Chunxi Road Station
- Subway Line 3:Chengdu Military General Hospital Station(06:30-22:50)–Taiping yuan Station(06:30-23:10) whole stations:17
Famous station: Panda Avenue Station, Chengdu Zoo Station
- Subway Line 4: Xihe Station(06:10-22:50)–Wansheng Station(06:10-22:50)whole stations:30
Famous stations: Chengdu University Station, Wide&Narrow Alley Station, Chengdu West Railway Station
- Subway Line 7:Taipingyuan Station–Shenxianshu Xi Station Whole stations:31
Famous stations: Jinsha Site Museum, Huoche Beizhan(Chengdu Railway Station) Station, Chengdu South Railway Station
- Subway Line 10: Taiping yuan Station(06:00-23:00) –Shuangliu International Terminal 2 Station(06:05-23:05) Whole stations:6
Famous stations: Shuangliu International Terminal 1 Station, Shuangliu International Terminal 2 Station
4) Chengdu Weather& What to wear& The Best Time to visit Chengdu
Chengdu is typical subtropical monsoon humid climate, which has four distinct seasons — early spring, hot summer, cool autumn and warm winter. And it is hot and rainy in summer, and mild and humid in winter. The average annual temperature is 22℃, and the annual precipitation is about 1000 mm. Another feature of climate in Chengdu is fewer hours of sunlight in winter due to the foggy day.
|Month||Average Temperature||What to Wear|
|January||3℃~11℃||thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater, thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie ,thick pant|
|February||5℃~13℃||thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater, thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie ,thick pant|
Leather jacket, Dust coat, thick coat, thin sweater
|April||15℃~25℃||Leather jacket, Dust coat, knitwear, hoodie, T-shirt with long sleeves, jeans|
|May||18℃~28℃||T-shirt with short sleeves, knitwear, skirts, thin jeans, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable|
|June||22℃~29℃||T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, thin jeans, short trousers, polo shirt, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses|
T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, short trousers, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses
|August||24℃~32℃||T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, short trousers, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses|
T-shirt with short sleeves, skirts, thin jeans, short trousers, polo shirt, cloth in cotton or linen fabrics that are comfortable and breathable, hat, sunglasses
|October||15℃~22℃||T-shirt with long sleeves, knitwear, topcoat,jeans|
|November||10℃~17℃||Leather jacket, Dust coat, thin sweater|
|December||4℃~12℃||thick coat, cotton-padded clothes, sweater,thick pullover hoodie and zip up hoodie,thick pant|
Notes: The summer in Chengdu is sizzling hot, so it is necessary for visitors to wear comfortable and breathable cloth, wear sunglasses and use sun scream.
- When is the best time to visit?
Actually, as a renowned tourism city in China, Chengdu is suitable for travelling all year around. But if you cannot endure the hot weather, you’d better make a travel plan to visit Chengdu in spring or autumn.
Tips: Visitors had better avoid the official holiday in China, because many Chinese citizens choose to travel on official holidays to ease the pressure of their work. As a result, many Chinese tourist attractions are overcrowded and traffic jams are common. Therefore, visiting China at this time will bring tourists a less pleasant travel experience.
Official Holidays in China
|Chinese New Year||Around January or February|
|Labor Day||May1st -3rd|
|Summer vacation(for students)||July-August31st|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||Around mid-September|
|National Day||October 1st-7th|
5) Where to Stay in Chengdu
- Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu
Shangri-la hotel, located in the heart of Chengdu, is surrounded by beautiful Jinjiang river, ancient covered bridge, Lan kwai Fong, bar street, etc. Guests can walk to many Chinese and western restaurants, coffee shops and some authentic local restaurants. With the advantageous location and convenient transportation, it is easy to get to wide and narrow alley, Jinli Street, Wuhou Temple, Chunxi Road from the hotel to experience the ancient civil culture or modern fashion of Chengdu, and the hotel is about 30 minutes’ drive to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
- Niccolo Hotel
Located at the Chunxi road business district, Niccolo Hotel is a popular hotel. The hotel is only 19km away from Shuangliu international airport and 7km away from Chengdu Railway Station, and travelers can easily get to where they want to go by convenient subway from the Chunxi Road Subway Station.
Four – star hotel
- Holiday Inn Express Chengdu Wuhou
Holiday Inn Express Chengdu Wuhou, located at the west section of the second ring road, is adjacent to Wuhou temple and Jinli street.
- Ibis Styles Hotel
Ibis styles hotel (Tianfu square subway station), located in daye road, jinjiang district, is close to prosperous Chunxi road and the Tianfu Square which is the center, culture and business center. With the advantageous location and convenient transportation, it is 4.5 kilometers away from Wuhou temple and Jinli street, 8 kilometers away from Chengdu railway station and 17 kilometers away from Shuangliu international airport.
- Chengdu Mrs Panda Hostel
Chengdu Mrs Panda Hostel is a cost-effective hostel with quiet, safe and clean environment. The staff here speak English well, so they can help the guests solve problems or plan the travel route. People here can also make friends with travelers from all over the world, which will definitely enrich the trip.
- Chengdu Jinli Hotel
Chengdu Jinli Hotel, located on ancient Jinli street, is close to Wuhou temple and many famous restaurants. It is a good place for travel and take relax. It is mainly built in the architectural style of the late Qing dynasty and the early republic of China, and composed by three antique building complex.