15 Things to Know Before Visiting Chongqing | Chongqing Travel Tips

The size of Chongqing is larger than as you imagine, which is around the size of Austria, including the city of Chongqing and various non-connected cities. Most of travelers come to Chongqing are mainly for the relaxing 4 / 5 days Yangtze River cruise, but, the city itself, has many things to see and explore. If you like, you can spend another half day to two days visiting the mountain city and around. The following questions have been collected from our dear customers, TripAdvisor travelers and Quora.com. Check the 15 Things to Know before Visiting Chongqing, that you can plan your Chongqing and Chongqing Yangtze Cruise tour better!

Q1: What is Chongqing famous for?

Hot Food. Along with some shared dishes with Sichuan cuisine, Chongqing is all about the hot pot (火锅), a fondue-like dining experience with hot red soup of boiling oil containing both chilies and Sichuan peppers into which the locals dip meats and innards and sweat away the evening.

Mountain City. Chongqing is the only city that is built on mountains among the list of super large-sized, and extra large-sized city in China (evaluated by population). The most condensed and civilized district (Yuzhong District) is located on a narrow Yangtze River peninsula with very steep hills in the middle and lower lands closer to the river. Except for Yubei District, where the airport is reluctantly located, other metro districts of the Chongqing are having similar landscapes.

Skyscrapers. No, Chongqing does not have the tallest skyscraper in China nor even in West China. However its skyline is still spectacular and astonishing. 1. Most of the skyscrapers (over 200m) in Chongqing are condensed in a one square kilometer city center area. 2. Hills, some skyscrapers have inherent advantages of higher hill land, causing a funny height difference from distance. In the recent decade, besides the city center area, skyscrapers also appear in other potentially CBD areas. Such as two twin tower projects on the south river front road.

Hot People. People in Chongqing are very straightforward and loyal to friendship or brotherhood that makes a change from typical southerners. Also, it is commonly said that they tend to speak loudly and their language sounds like having a fight. However, most of them are easy going and warmhearted, and they are just born with it.

You can check more on our 2024 Chongqing Travel Guide >>

Q2: How many days do you need in Chongqing?

Usually, travelers need to plan 4 to 6 days for Chongqing tours with Yangtze River cruise experience. For cruise only, it takes 4 days or 5 days sailing between Chongqing and Yichang. And many travelers choose to do half day or one day Chongqing tour before or after the cruise. If you want to travel further, you need another day to get out of Chongqing downtown. All in all, 4 to 6 days are the common choice for most travelers.

Q3: What are the top attractions to visit in Chongqing?

The top attractions to visit in Chongqing are:

Three Gorges
● Three Gorges Museum
Hongya Cave
● CiqiKou Ancient Town
Ghost City of Fengdu

To get more attractions to see in Chongqing, you can learn more on Top 15 Chongqing Attractions or Top 5 Yangtze River Attractions in Chongqing Section.

Q4: What are the most popular things to do in Chongqing with kids?

The most popular things to do in Chongqing with kids highly recommended by our previous customers are:

Three Gorges Museum
Hongya Cave
• Chongqing Zoo (to see lovely giant pandas)
Ciqikou Ancient Town
• Liziba House-crossing Metro Experience

If you have your own ideas about traveling with kids, just feel free to let our travel consultants know and they can help you customize Chongqing family tour for you.

Q5: What are the best recommended cruise companies for my Yangtze Cruise Starting from Chongqing City?

The top cruise companies are Century Cruises, Victoria Cruises, President Cruises, Yangtze Explorer, and Changjiang Cruises.

Among them, Century Cruises and Victoria Cruises are chosen by most travelers for their new facilities and high quality service.

Q6: How long is the Yangtze River cruise from Chongqing? What to see along the river?

All the cruise companies have been offering 4 days and 3 nights downstream cruises from Chongqing to Yichang. If you would like to go upstream, you can take 5 days and 4 nights upstream cruises from Yichang to Chongqing. You can both relax onboard and explore offshore in different destinations and tourist spots, including Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam, Shennv Stream, Shibaozhai Pagoda and more.

To book the Yangtze River cruise, you can turn to All Yangtze River Cruise Ship List & Schedules 2024.

Q7: What are the most recommended cruise ships for my Yangtze River tour?

The most recommended Yangtze cruise ships are Century Glory, Century Paragon, Century Legend, Victoria Jenna, Victoria Anna, Victoria Sabrina, Yangtze Explorer, President No.7 & No.8, etc. To filter your likes in a short time, please check:

>> Best-value Yangtze River Cruise Ships

>> Top Family-friendly Yangtze Cruise Ships

>> Top Luxury Yangtze Cruise Ships

Q8: Any other recommended ways to see the Yangtze River Three Gorges?

I should put an answer here: about 95% travelers would like to take the Yangtze River cruise no matter downstream or upstream to see the magnificent Yangtze River Three Gorges - Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge. Staying onboard on the sundeck or in your cabin, you can appreciate the beauty of Three Gorges in the most leisure way, with green scenery passing by. You never feel hurry but comfortable. Also, the cruise companies have designed shore excursions into its branches of Three Gorges to see the primitive charm and its local people. Very interesting way to explore offshore.

Most importantly, the price for taking a cruise is very cost-effective and money-saving way which includes everything. If you want to see the Three Gorges separately without by taking a cruise, the transportation is a little complicated (you need to take our arranged private car sending you from Chongqing downtown to Three Gorges and live in local cities and visit in a hurry) and it is not recommended to do so.

Q9: I will be in Chongqing for a short period of time. Is it worth to visit Dazu or Wulong?

Chongqing is a big city and often overlooked as a tourist destination. There are some interesting places to see within Chongqing itself and also day trips. The highlights of Chongqing include Ciqikou Ancient Town, E’ling Park, Three Gorges Museum…

If you have more time enough, like one or two days, for culture lovers, it is highly recommended to spend one day visiting Chongqing Dazu Rock Carvings; for nature lovers, you’d better spend two days exploring Wulong Karst Landscape to immerse in the incredible nature wonderland.

>> 2 Days Chongqing Highlights Tour with Dazu Rock Carvings

>> 4 Days Chongqing & Wulong Karst Landscape Exploration Tour

Q10: What is the best time to visit Chongqing?

Chongqing, together with Nanjing and Wuhan, are the “Three Furnace Cities” in China. Spring and autumn are the most recommended seasons to visit Chongqing. While taking a relaxing cruise on the cool Yangtze River is the best way to escape the hot summer.

Learn more about Chongqing Weather & Best Time to Visit >>

Q11: Chongqing Transport to other cities?

Usually, you could get to other cities from Chongqing by air, train or coach. If you want to get to Yichang, Wuhan, Nanjing, or Shanghai, you could take the relaxing Yangtze River cruise. If you get to Chengdu from Chongqing, the bullet train is very convenient within 1-2 hours’ transfer.

>> How to Get to & away Chongqing?

Q12: How can I get to Chaotianmen Port from Jiangbei Airport to take the cruise?

The distance between Jiangbei International Airport and Chaotianmen Docks is 25 kilometers, which will costs you about 45-50 RMB for 35 minutes’ drive. Or you could book our private local transfer service to get to the right dock from the airport.

Learn more about How to Get from Chongqing Airport to Chaotianmen Dock >>

Q13: How can I get to Chaotianmen Port from Chongqing North Railway Station?

Taking a taxi from North Railway Station to Chaotianmen Dock will cost passengers 20-30 Yuan in 20 minutes. Or you could book our private local transfer service to get to the right dock from the train station.

If you arrive in Chongqing at Chonqging West Railway Station or Shapingba Railway Station, you can also check more information on How to Get from Chongqing Train Stations to Chaotianmen Dock >>

Q14: What are the best day trips from Chongqing?

If you have never taken the Yangtze River cruise before, you can add it into your travel list. Cruising on the Yangtze River is one of the Top 10 Things to Do in China that you should not miss.

Chongqing + Yangtze River Cruise Trips:

>> 4 Days Chongqing Essence Tour with Yangtze Cruise

>> 5 Days Chongqing & Yangtze River Cruise Tour

If you just want a day tour in Chongqing city or the transfer service, you can also check:

>> 1 Day Chongqing Short Stay Tour

No matter what kind of trips you are interested in, you can contact our professional travel consultants to discuss your itineraries of Chongqing or Yangtze tour.

Q15: How do I get from Chengdu to Chongqing?

Chengdu is about 265km northwest of Chongqing. The most popular way to get from Chengdu to Chongqing is by high speed train.

Every day from about 7:30am to 22:00pm, you can usually easily find a high-speed train from Chengdu to Chongqing. These trains depart from Chongqing East Railway Station and arrive at Chongqing North Railway Station or Chongqing West Railway Station after about 1.5-2.5 hours’ running. You can select the arrival train station according to the distance and transportation from the train station to your hotel. Usually, Chongqing North Railway Station is more recommended, because it is a little bit closer to Chongqing downtown than Chongqing West Railway Station. And it can be reached by metro lines, while Chongqing West Railway Station cannot.

Learn more about Chengdu to Chongqing: Train, Flight, Taxi & Car >>


Travel Chongqing with China Discovery

If you have more questions about Chongqing travel, please feel free to contact us with your queries. Our experienced travel consultants are very glad to help you. Then you can pay more attention about the scenery along the way, without any trouble about the transportation, accommodation, dining, cruise routes, etc. All will be tailored according to your interests and needs. Just contact us and get your personalized Chongqing Tour now!

Recommended Chongqing Tours

Top 3 Chongqing city tours chosen by most customers to explore Chongqing in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary,or tailor your own trip now with us.

A Lifetime Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise

4 Days Chongqing Essence Tour with Yangtze River Cruise

Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Yichang

Three Natural Bridges

2 Days Chongqing & Wulong Karst Landscape Exploration Tour

Chongqing / Wulong / Chongqing

Baodingshan Dafo Gorge Grottoes

2 Days Chongqing Dazu Tour with UNESCO Heritage Site Dazu Rock Carvings


Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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