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Home Chongqing Travel Guide Top 10 Things to Do in Chongqing & Best Places to Visit

Top 10 Things to Do in Chongqing & Best Places to Visit

Located in southeast China and the upstream of Yangtze River, Chongqing is a fantastic city with a history of over 3,000 years. Being the source place of the Bayu culture, Chongqing boasts a great number of historic sites, unique architecture, and stunning views. When planning a trip there, you may wonder what to see and do in this city. Below are the top 10 things to do in Chongqing to explore this “8D Magic City.”


1. Discover Chongqing People’s Liberation Monument

Completed in August 1947, the People’s Liberation Monument is one of the cultural symbols and landmark attractions in Chongqing. It was built to commemorate the victory of the Anti-Japanese War. Visiting there, you will learn more about the history of China and marvel at the architecture of the monument.

The monument has an octagonal structure with 24 meters tall and 4 meters wide, consisting of a pedestal, base, body, and observation deck. It has a circular interior, tourists can climb on the observation deck through the 140-step hanging winding stairs.

  • Location: 177 Minzu Road, Yuzhong District
  • Ticket: Free
  • Opening hours: All day long
  • Time needed: about 1 hour
Chongqing People Liberation Monument
Chongqing People Liberation Monument

2. Marvel at the Stilted Buildings of Hongya Cave

Covering an area of 46,000 square miles, Hongya Cave is also a landmark of Chongqing City, and visiting there is one of the top things to do in Chongqing, China. It mainly features stilted buildings and a commercial street of ancient styles. There are 11 floors in Hongya Cave featuring different themes on each. The most charming views of this attraction can be seen at night when the lights are turned on from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

It is a good place for you to admire the wonderful scenery and experience the Bayu culture. Seated by the riverside, Hongya Cave allows you to see the stunning views of the Jialing River. It presents a lush green forest with streams flowing through, forming a small yet beautiful waterfall. Also, it boasts Bayu Fengqing Street where you can see the green tiles and red eaves, intimating the ancient residences of Chongqing.

  • Location: 88 Jialingjiang Binjoang Road, Yuzhong District
  • Ticket: Free
  • Opening hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Time needed: 3-4 hours

3. Fly over the Yangtze River by the Cableway

Taking the Yangtze River Cableway to fly over the river is also on the list of things to do in Chongqing. This cableway is said to be the “No. 1 Cableway along the Yangtze River and the first stop of a Chongqing tour.” It connects the Yuzhong District with the Nanan District, stretching 1,166 meters. With a running speed of 6 meters per second, it takes 5 minutes for a single route.

The cableway allows you to travel from the vibrant area of the city to a tranquil part of it. Along the way, you will see the beautiful skyline of Chongqing with the running river under your feet and high-rise buildings by the riversides. You’ll be immersed in the romance of this city when the night falls and the lights of the buildings are on.

  • Location: 151 Xinhua Road, Yuzhong District
  • Ticket: CNY 20 for a single way, CNY 30 for a round trip
  • Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Time needed: 5 minutes for the cableway, more time may needed for a queue

Recommended China Tours including the Yangtze River

Chongqing Yangtze River Cableway
Fly over the Yangtze River by the Cableway

4. Visit the Time-honored Ciqikou Ancient Town

If you consider free things to do in Chongqing, visit Ciqikou Ancient Town. Built in the Song Dynasty, Ciqikou has a long history with one third of it well-preserved. Used to be the North Gate of Chongqing and a bustling water transport terminal of the Jialing River, Ciqikou Ancient Town is built along the Ma’an Mountain. Standing by the Jialing Riverside, you will find Ciqikou is like a castle, which is majestic and magnificent, especially under the sunlight.

This old town houses many tourist attractions, including the Stilted Building Square with a charming night view, the ancient Baolun Temple, Yinglong Gate for viewing the river scenery, and the Mahua Museum which is themed on Mahua, fried dough twists. Besides, the architecture there is also impressive. With black tiles, brown eaves, white windows, and blue stone walls, residences in Ciqikou Ancient Town present distinctive colors.

  • Location: 1 Cinan Street, Shapingba District
  • Ticket: Free
  • Opening hours: All day long
  • Time needed: 3-4 hours

Best Chongqing Tours with Ciqikou Old Town

5. Experience the Winding Mountain City Trails

Recognized as a “Mountain City,” Chongqing has a rich mountain resource. Hence, hiking the mountain trails is one of the best things to do in Chongqing to experience the city’s charm on your China tours to Chongqing. The Shancheng Alley is a famous mountain trail of 1,748 meters long with ramps, which can only be accessed by foot, hence its name.

Walking on the alley is like traveling back to the old times, as it takes you to the winding stone ladders and clusters of stilted buildings with unique architectural styles. There are bookstores, coffee shops, and churches along the way, and the hanging plank along the river presents stunning sights of this city.

  • Location: 234 Zhongxing Road, Yuzhong District
  • Ticket: Free
  • Opening hours: All day long
  • Time needed:2-3 hours
Shancheng Alley Chongqing
Shancheng Alley

6. Appreciate the Night View at Nanshan Tree Viewing Platform

Chongqing displays a grand light show after sunset, and appreciating the night view of the city is also among the top things to do in Chongqing at night. Undoubtedly, Nanshan Tree View Platform is a great place to see the beautiful night skylines of this city. The lights of the city are like bright pearls, cascading with luminous colors, and the sky-piercing buildings with lights on in the distance intertwined with the brightness of the bustling streets, forming a picturesque landscape.

Besides, it’s also a paradise for photographers, and every shot is a good memory. The Jialing River and Yangtze River join each other, shimmering under the lights, resembling a flowing Milky Way. The bridges crossing the two rivers are like shining light belts, connecting different parts of the city. Standing on the viewing platform, you’ll be immersed in the extraordinary beauty of the night views of this magic city.

  • Location: Longhuang Road, Nan’an District
  • Ticket: CNY 30 in peak season (March to October), CN 15 in low season (November to February)
  • Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Time needed: 1-2 hours

7. Uncover China Three Gorges Museum

Visiting China Three Gorges Museum is one of the ultimate things to do in Chongqing. Located at the heart of Chongqing City, this magnificent museum is a window into the history of the Three Gorges areas and a great place to explore Bayu culture, so never miss it on your Yangtze Cruise tours.

Built in 1951, this museum has a rich collection and exhibition of historical and cultural relics. As a comprehensive museum, it boasts different exhibition sections with different themes, such as the Three Gorges, archaeological excavations, valuable porcelain, and more. Through these, you’ll better understand this city as well as the Three Gorges.

  • Location: 236 Renmin Road, Yuzhong District
  • Ticket: Free
  • Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM from Tuesday to Sunday
  • Time needed: 2-3 hours

Popular Chongqing Tours

Three Gorges Museum
Three Gorges Museum

8. Admire the Thrilling Raffles City Chongqing

Designed by the famous Singapore architect Moshe Safdie based on the old Chaotianmen Gate, Raffles City Chongqing has a unique design that recalls the ancient role of being a city gate. Located in Yuzhong District, it is a complex of eight buildings that combines shopping malls, high-end residential, hotels, and recreational facilities and has become a new symbol of this city.

Featuring the Crystal, a sky bridge above four 250-meter-tall skyscrapers, Raffles City Chongqing allows visitors to take an elevator to the Exploration Deck to marvel at the stunning views of the whole city. Also, it must be a fun thing to do in Chongqing to go on a thrilling hike on the Skywalk and dine in a high-altitude restaurant there.

  • Location: 8 Jiesheng Street, Yuzhong District
  • Ticket: Free for entrance, CNY 120 for Exploration Deck
  • Opening hours:10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Time needed: 1-2 hours

9. Take CRT to Experience Chongqing’s Unique Geography

If you want some unusual things to do in Chongqing, go and take the Chongqing Rail Transit (CRT). It is not just a mode of transportation but also a way of viewing the stunning Chongqing skyline. Take Rail Transit Line 2 to see the only station in the world that crosses through buildings, which is the Liziba Station. It’s a building of 19 stories, with the first to fifth floors being the business space, the sixth to eighth for CRT transportation, and the ninth and above for residents.

CRT 2 takes you through the streets and lanes as well as residential and bridges, giving an unprecedented visual shock. Every station along this line is specially designed with cultural elements of Sichuan and Chongqing, telling 36 stories in total. These stories together form a cultural corridor, allowing you to learn more about this city on your Chongqing tours.

10. Sample Hotpot and Other Delicious Foods in Chongqing

Since it is a paradise for foodies, one of the top things to do in Chongqing is to sample the delicious local food. Famous for its hotpot, this city treats visitors to fresh ingredients with pungent and spicy flavors, and you will find hotpot restaurants everywhere. Chongqing Noodles (Xiaomian) is also a daily food of locals, which is a delightful noodle dish with endless aftertaste. Other than these, the grilled fish and barbecue also appeal to tourists a lot.

Head for a night market in Chongqing to taste delicious food and experience the nightlife of the city. Particularly, South Garden Night Market in Jiulongpo District, Guanyinqiao Night Market in Jiangbei District, and Jiaochangkou Night Market in Yuzhong District are the most popular ones that locals and tourists often visit, they allow you to try the authentic local cuisine and enjoy music performances as well.

Chongqing Noodles
Chongqing Noodles Xiaomian


If you are planning a China family tour to Chongqing with your children, don’t miss the Chongqing Zoo. This is a large urban zoo that integrates various functions, including science popularization, animal protection, scientific research, and leisure entertainment

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