Chengdu travel guide

Chengdu Tourism | Chengdu Guide

You're Going to Love Chengdu

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province and one of the largest cities in Western China. It is known as a relaxed and laid-back city, in contrast to some of China's other metropolitan centers. It is a rich agricultural center and has become known as China's 'Land of Milk and Honey' due to its excellent produce.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Chengdu

1. Its Position

Chengdu is the gateway to the western hinterlands of China and the plateau of Tibet, with some stunning and wild scenery

2. The Pandas

Any visit must include the Panda Breeding Base in the north of the city. This provides a unique opportunity to see these reclusive creatures.

3. Dujiangyan

Dujiangyan is the place to see some of the best examples of ancient Chinese buildings, engineering and Taoist temples.

4. The Food

Sichuan cuisine is some of the best in China and in Chengdu you will find an incredible variety of dishes not found in the Western world.

5. Sichuan Opera

Do as the locals do and visit a teahouse in the evening to enjoy the unique Sichuan Opera shows.

What to do in Chengdu

1. The Bamboo Chewers

You can't visit Chengdu, the homeland of the Giant Panda, without experiencing the creatures in their natural habitat. It's no secret that Pandas aren't great at breeding and for a while were in danger of extinction, but due to the efforts of breeding facilities around the world, the giant panda is making a comeback. A huge part of this initiative has been the Chengdu Research Base, where they not only breed pandas and let them live in their natural habitat, but explore the best ways to encourage breeding naturally and how to best help the animal in the future. Entry is only around $9 and you'll get an informative video (with English subtitles) which explains the critical role the base plays in the preservation of the species, before being given the opportunity to wander around for as long as you like.

2. The Center Of Taoism

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Qingcheng is the most important center of Taoism and the beauty of the temples is incredible, as is the combination of ancient architecture and the 36 peaks of the mountain around you and the views below. The Waterfalls at Mount Qingcheng are also worth seeing and you don't need to go far to find them. If you want to transport yourself back to ancient China and feel connected to nature, then this is the place to come.

3. Written In Stone

Built during the Qing Dynasty in 1672, this temple is dedicated to Emperor Liu Bei, who ruled during the Three Kingdoms period. What makes this temple so unique and special to visit, other than the spectacular architecture, are the ancient stone tablets it has on display. Most have poems and sayings on them, but the most famous is called The Triple Success and dates back to 805 AD. Seeing something that ancient is an incredible experience. With 37,000 square meters of forest and walkways, you can easily spend an entire day here wandering around in nature and connecting with China's fascinating history.

4. Imposing Carving In Rock

This giant Buddha statue depicts Maitreya, who is said to be the future Buddha of this world. This 71 meter statue is carved directly into the cliff face and faces the river, and has Maitreya sitting with his hands resting on his knees. The reddish rock makes the statue even more striking against the river and green trees. Construction started in 713 and so much rock was removed to build the statue that the river's flow was altered.

5. Ancient Systems Prosper

You might be wondering why we want to send you to an irrigation system, but the Dujiangyan irrigation system is a world heritage site and is 2,000 years old, making it not only the oldest, but also the only surviving irrigation system without a dam in the entire world. Even today, it continues to be of benefit to countless people.

1. The Bamboo Chewers

You can't visit Chengdu, the homeland of the Giant Panda, without experiencing the creatures in their natural habitat. It's no secret that Pandas aren't great at breeding and for a while were in danger of extinction, but due to the efforts of breeding facilities around the world, the giant panda is making a comeback. A huge part of this initiative has been the Chengdu Research Base, where they not only breed pandas and let them live in their natural habitat, but explore the best ways to encourage breeding naturally and how to best help the animal in the future. Entry is only around $9 and you'll get an informative video (with English subtitles) which explains the critical role the base plays in the preservation of the species, before being given the opportunity to wander around for as long as you like.

2. The Center Of Taoism

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Qingcheng is the most important center of Taoism and the beauty of the temples is incredible, as is the combination of ancient architecture and the 36 peaks of the mountain around you and the views below. The Waterfalls at Mount Qingcheng are also worth seeing and you don't need to go far to find them. If you want to transport yourself back to ancient China and feel connected to nature, then this is the place to come.

3. Written In Stone

Built during the Qing Dynasty in 1672, this temple is dedicated to Emperor Liu Bei, who ruled during the Three Kingdoms period. What makes this temple so unique and special to visit, other than the spectacular architecture, are the ancient stone tablets it has on display. Most have poems and sayings on them, but the most famous is called The Triple Success and dates back to 805 AD. Seeing something that ancient is an incredible experience. With 37,000 square meters of forest and walkways, you can easily spend an entire day here wandering around in nature and connecting with China's fascinating history.

4. Imposing Carving In Rock

This giant Buddha statue depicts Maitreya, who is said to be the future Buddha of this world. This 71 meter statue is carved directly into the cliff face and faces the river, and has Maitreya sitting with his hands resting on his knees. The reddish rock makes the statue even more striking against the river and green trees. Construction started in 713 and so much rock was removed to build the statue that the river's flow was altered.

5. Ancient Systems Prosper

You might be wondering why we want to send you to an irrigation system, but the Dujiangyan irrigation system is a world heritage site and is 2,000 years old, making it not only the oldest, but also the only surviving irrigation system without a dam in the entire world. Even today, it continues to be of benefit to countless people.

Where to Eat in Chengdu

There is great food all over Chengdu. Look out for Lanzhou Lamian, which has outlets across the city. It serves great local food, with noodle dishes from just ¥4. Wenshu Temple Vegetarian Restaurant on Wenshu Street does a great buffet for ¥35 and spicy hotpot dishes from ¥50.

When to visit Chengdu

Chengdu in February
Estimated hotel price
$28
1 night at 3-star hotel
Chengdu in February
Estimated hotel price
$28
1 night at 3-star hotel

Chengdu has sweltering summers and cold wet winters, so Spring and Fall are the best times to visit.

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

How to Get to Chengdu

Plane

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport lies 12 miles outside of the city center and has flights from across China and many international connections. You can take the number 1 express bus into the city center for ¥10 or take a taxi for ¥45.

Train

Chengdu has excellent train connections from all across China, with many high-speed bullet trains, such as the service from Chongquing which costs ¥97.

Car

Chengdu is at the center of an extensive highway network across Western China, with the G317 running to the northwest, the G318 connecting with Tibet in the west and the G5 running northeast from Beijing.

Bus

The city is served by a number of bus services from other Chinese cities, such as Hongyan, with a fare of ¥108 to Chengdu.

Airports near Chengdu

Airlines serving Chengdu

United Airlines
Good (2,834 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,143 reviews)
KLM
Good (347 reviews)
Air France
Good (395 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,040 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,200 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (951 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,395 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (319 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (438 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (147 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (51 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (139 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (465 reviews)
Asiana Airlines
Excellent (82 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (177 reviews)
China Airlines
Excellent (45 reviews)
EVA Air
Excellent (141 reviews)
Vietnam Airlines
Good (20 reviews)
Air New Zealand
Excellent (74 reviews)
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Where to stay in Chengdu

Jinjaing District - is a young and lively area with lots of bars and international brand shopping.

Popular Neighborhoods in Chengdu

Wuhou District - is a large and wealthy neighborhood with some historic sights, such as the Wuhou Temple and the ancient Jinli Street.

Qingyang District - is a picturesque neighborhood to the west of the city center and is home to the stunning Qingyang Palace.

Most popular hotel in Chengdu by neighborhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Chengdu

Most booked hotels in Chengdu

Crowne Plaza Chengdu City Center, An IHG Hotel
Excellent (8.4, 160 reviews)
$87+
Intercontinental Chengdu Century City, An IHG Hotel
Excellent (8.7, 23 reviews)
$104+
Holiday Inn Chengdu Century City - West Tower, An IHG Hotel
Excellent (8.7, 18 reviews)
$62+
Crowne Plaza Chengdu West
Excellent (9.1, 7 reviews)
$94+
Holiday Inn Chengdu Xindu
Excellent (9, 2 reviews)
$67+
Harriway Hotel Chengdu
Excellent (10, 1 review)
$224+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Chengdu

Public Transportation

Chengdu has an extensive and efficient modern metro system. Tickets cost from ¥2-¥4 depending on distance. Local buses cost ¥2.

Taxi

Taxis are plentiful and metered. Flag fall is ¥9 and then you will pay ¥3 per mile.

Car

Chengdu has a hugely congested rush hour in the morning and evening, so driving at these times is best avoided. Car rental is from around ¥130 per day.

The Cost of Living in Chengdu

Shopping Streets

Chunxi Road is the city's main shopping street, with more than 700 stores selling everything from fashion and jewelry to books and music. Songxian Qiao Antique Market in the Qing Yang District is great for crafts, antiques and souvenirs.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk bought in Chengdu will cost around ¥12.25, and a dozen eggs is priced at ¥7.80.

Cheap meal
$2.76
A pair of jeans
$48.92
Single public transport ticket
$0.29
Cappuccino
$3.85