Located in the hinterland of Chengdu Plain, west of Sichuan Basin, Chengdu (chéng dū, 成都) is the provincial capital of Sichuan Province, a major city in Western China and one of the most popular tourist destinations in China. The city is known as the "Hometown of Giant Panda", the “Country of Heaven”, a phrase translated as "Land of Abundance" for its fertile land and rich natural resources.
The discoveries Sanxingdui and Jinsha Sites suggest that Chengdu region was inhabited over 4000 years ago and was an important center of unique ancient culture during the period of Shang and Zhou dynasties. Hence, in the Land of Abundance and Home of Giant Panda, travelers could meet the adorable Giant Pandas and explore Ancient Shu civilization, culture of Three Kingdoms, Buddhist and Taoism cultures, featured streets and historic towns and experience special local leisure life and authentic Sichuan food.
Why Visit Chengdu:
Hometown of Giant Pandas - In China, Chengdu is the best and most recommended destination to see the cute Giant Pandas closely and personally. So far, there are nearly 200 Giant Pandas inhabiting Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Chengdu Panda Base), where you stroll through the green bamboo groves, see pandas in different age living in different enclosures, munching on bamboo, climbing trees, sleeping and playing with each other, and even the mini new-born panda babies, etc.
Diverse Culture & Significant History - The mysterious Sanxingdui Culture and Three Kingdoms Culture prefectly prove previous brilliant culture, economic and technological achievement in and around Chengdu. Chengdu has distinctive culture of architecture, religion, Sichuan Opera, Sichuan Brocade and Embroidery, folk handcrafts, language and festivals.
Local Leisure Life - In this laid-back city, no matter how quick the city develops and how fast-paced the locals move, the consistent relaxed and calm way of life resonates throughout every aspect of Chengdu, like joyful tea time in a local park, a wonderful Sichuan Opera night show at theatre.
Famous Hotpot and Sichuan Cuisine - Sichuan Cuisine has won the worldwide praise for its mixed cooking skill and outstanding flavor from street food to table dishes. Foodies, ready to satisfy your taste-buds and eyes? Prepare to eat Mapo Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken and classic Sichuan dishes, and different kinds of Chengdu snacks every day.
Gateway City to UNESCO World Herigates - For geographical location and convenient transportation, Chengdu serves as an important gateway city to nearby heritage attractions, like Dujiangyan Irrigation System & Mt Qingcheng, Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount Emei, and Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong, It is also a favorite portal to Mt.Siguniang, Hongyuan in western Sichuan, and to Lhasa, City both by flight and train.
Travel News: 1) The highly anticipated Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games are just around the corner, starting from July 28, 2023. If you're planning to visit Chengdu during the Games,check out the travel information here. 2) Under the 144-hour Transit Visa Free Policy updated on December 1, 2019, eligible layover tourists can enjoy a visa-free Chengdu tour and visit Leshan, Yibin, Ya’an and total 11 cities within Sichuan Province without applying a Chinese Tourist Visa for up to 144 hours(6 days)!.
Chengdu is endowed with numerous scenic attractions, from ancient streets, temples and city museums to modern buildings, squares and shopping malls. Of course, you won’t miss Giant Pandas. Check the top 23 attractions listed below plan your Chengdu itinerary. For more recommended tourists attractions, please see All Attractions in Chengdu.
Chengdu Panda Base
Take half a day to closely contact with Giant Pandas and Red Pandas to see them playing, eating bamboos, sleeping, climbing trees...
Wenshu Temple, located in downtown area, is a 1300-year-old Buddhist monastery with lovely buildings, vegetarian restaurant and tea houses.
Jinli Old Street
Closed to Wuhou Temple, it is known as “First Street of the Shu Kingdom”. Great for strolling, taking photo and tasting local snacks.
Jinsha Site Museum
Constructed on original ruin site, it reveals the unique bronze civilization of the mysterious ancient Shu Kingdom and presents Golden Sun Bird.
Situated next to Jinli Street, Wuhou Temple is in honor of Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280).
Chengdu People's Park
Located at the city center, People's Park is the most popular park among local people, great place to experience the leisure of Chengdu.
Kuan Zhai Alley consists of three Qing Dynasty streets - Wide, Narrow and Jing Street, reflecting the slow paced life of Chengdu.
Du Fu Thatched Cottage
Closed to Huanhuaxi Park, Du Fu Thatched Cottage is a museum and memorial for Du Fu, a great poet in Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Located at the downtown, Tianfu Square is the largest city square in Chengdu surrounded by super-high rises and shopping malls.
It's more than a shopping district, but also a very good place to have fun, take a rest, taste various types of local snacks and experience local life.
Sichuan Museum collects abundant relics of bronze, ceramics, jade, paintings, etc. to show the history and culture of Sichuan.
Huanglongxi Ancient Town
Huanglongxi Ancient town, with over 1700 years of history, still retains its rustic charm with Ancient Buildings and old folklore custom.
Sichuan Cuisine Museum
The first museum to display a regional cooking culture in the world. You can learn Sichuan cuisine culture and cook typical Sichuan dishes on your own.
Qingyang Palace is a nationwide known Taoist temple which stores the most integrated collction to research Taoism.
Wangjianglou Park, is built to memorize Xue Tao, a celebrated poetess in Tang Dynasty. It is wide-known as a natural garden with emerald bamboos.
Walk into the newly-built modern building to trace the old Chengdu and witness the most bright cultural pearls and footprints.
This open shopping center puts international luxury brands in the traditional-style Western Sichuan architectures.
18 km from Chengdu, Baoguang Temple is one of the greatest Buddhist Temples in west China with precious Sarira and 518 Arhat statues.
Luodai Ancient Town
Luodai Ancient Town is the largest and best preserved ancient town for Hakka people, located 20 km from downtown Chengdu.
New Century Global Center
This giant center is known as the largest single building in the world. Water Park and different shops make it an eye-opening site.
Night lights turns the ancient bridge quiet beautiful. Walking along the river and enjoy evening relaxing time from downtown.
One of the best ways to make your Chengdu travel interesting and meaningful is to take some featured local activities. Here we select 7 most popular activities you can experience to have fun. Each of them is unique for your once-in-lifetime trip to Chengdu. Choose your likes and enjoy! >> See All Featured Activities in Chengdu.
Be A Panda Volunteer
Spend one day or more to join in a Panda Volunteer Program to have very close contact and take care of the Giant Pandas.
Watch Sichuan Opera Show
Enjoy traditional Sichuan Opera’s wonders like Face-changing, Fire spitting, hand shadow, etc. Shufeng Yayun is the top recommended theatre.
Taste Sichuan Cuisine
Try typical Sichuan dishes, like Hot Pot, Kung Pao chicken, MapoTofu, and various local snacks, Dandan Noodle, Zhong Shui Jiao, Dan Hong Gao.
Learn Chinese Kung Fu
Tourists or fans can attend short-period training program to learn basic but useful Kung Fu skills shortly from local Kung Fu Master.
Take Cooking Class
Take a Sichuan Cuisine cooking class to cook famous Sichuan dishes by yourself and learn spirit ingredients of Sichuan Cuisine.
Spend Nightlife in Chengdu
Explore on your own to enrich your nightlife by visiting bars, nightclubs, theaters and traditional tea houses and good western restaurants in Chengdu.
Bike in Chengdu Suburb
In a sunny day, dress light and bike in a suburb greenway to enjoy fresh air and health benefit.
Weather & When to Go
Chengdu has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate and is largely mild and humid. It has four distinct seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, with an average temperature of 16℃. Spring and Autumn is very short in Chengdu, while Summer rains a lot and Winter can be cold, most days are grey without sunshine.
The best times to visit Chengdu are spring (from March to June) and autumn (from September to November) for the moderate and mild weather and beautiful natural scenery. If you want to go during the festivals, you can go during Chinese Spring Festival to watch Lantern Fair, Grand Temple Fair and Huanglongxi Fire Dragon Festival and also go during Qingming Festival to see Dujiangyan Water-releasing Festival, from January to March to experience South China Snow and Ice Festival at Xiling Snow Mountain. See more details about Chengdu Climate, Weather & Best Season to Go >>
Spring in Chengdu (March to May) is very warm and comfortable for travel. There are many sunny days you can go out to enjoy Spring flowers in city parks, or go suburb scenic areas to see different Spring colors, such as the Peach Flower Festival in east Longquan, sakura in Qingbaijiang. Mid-thickness clothes, long sleeve coat, trousers and comfortable shoes is recommended.
Summer (June to August) is the hottest season in Chengdu and also one of the peak periods when summer holiday begins. Except the flaming temperature and sun, Summer also has lots of rains. So better prepare more T-shirts, pants, sunblock, and sun-glass, umbrella and check weather at any time.
Autumn (September to November) is a cool, colorful and peak season of Chengdu. The golden gingko with fallen leaves is the most poetic scenery in Chengdu, and the ideal places are People’s Park and Qingyang Palace and many streets in city center. A thin long-sleeve coat is needed for Autumn travel.
Winter (December to February) is the coldest and off season in Chengdu, when there is little sunshine and temperature keeps only several degrees. Side trips to nearby destinations to enjoy Winter skiing in Xiling Snow Mountain and warm spring, or local downtown festivals are the top things to do.
☞ How to Get to Chengdu
By Flight: Located about 18km from Chengdu city center, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) is the current only one airport serving tourists entering and leaving Chengdu. It has more than 210 domestic airlines from/to major cities in China, like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Lhasa, Guilin, Kunming, Lijiang, Zhangjiajie and main destinations in Sichuan like Jiuzhaigou, Daocheng, and Aba Hongyuan. Meanwhile, there are over 120 international & regional airlines connecting Chengdu with Hong Kong, Macau, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo, Soul, Moscow, etc. (Chengdu is building a new Tianfu International Airport now which is estimated to be soon completed in 2021.)
By Train: Chengdu can be reach by normal train as well as high speed trains.
And taking high speed train is the fastest and most convenient way to visit Chengdu in a short distance travel. The high speed train trip from Chongqing to Chengdu takes about 1.5-2 hours, Xian to Chengdu about 4 hours, Chengdut to Guiyang about 4 hours, Beijing to Chengdu nearly 8 hour, etc. There are also intercity bullet trains from Chengdu to Dujiangyan (about 20 mins), Leshan (1h), Emeishan (1.5 hrs), Ya’an (within 1.5 hrs) Yibin (1.5 hrs). From Chengdu, you can also take overnight trains to get to Lhasa, Zhangjiajie. Please figure out which station you are going to use after booking your ticket, because Chengdu has several stations in use.
By Bus: Long-distance coach is also popular used to get to surrounding destinations of Chengdu, such as Leshan, Emeishan, Jiuzhaigou, Mt.Siguniang and places in western Sichuan.
☞ How to Get Around Chengdu
In Chengdu city, public transportation is very convenient and accessible, such as city bus, subway, taxi, BRT, shared bike, etc. To save time on transferring and avoid language communication issues, you’re highly suggested to book a private tour with China Discovery to enjoy worry-free transfer and focus on sightseeing.
To check more transfer guide of Chengdu, please see How to Get to & around Chengdu.
As a popular destination in China, Chengdu offers a wide variety of accommodation choice for tourists. Travelers could choose from international brands, local brands and boutique hotels, ranging from 5 star to 3 star, and cheap hostel and guesthouse. Different styles of hotels are offered, from luxury ones, mid-range to budget ones no matter you want to stay near Panda Base, attractions in city center, or plan to stay in hotel near Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport or train stations. Surely, you can find the suitable one to satisfy your needs and requirements and ensure a comfortable rest.
Hotels in Downtown Chengdu: The city central area is the most popular tourist stay area in Chengdu, where has lots of luxury star-rated hotels, nice boutique hotels and some well-decorated hostels. Staying in this area, you can enjoy super convenient transportation to most attractions in downtown (like Wenshu Temple, Jinli Old Street, Kuanzhai Alley, Taikoo Li, Chunxi Road, Tianfu Square...), many choice of restaurants and shopping, nightlife activities.
Top 5-star hotels recommended: The Temple House, Niccolo, Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu, InterContinental Residences Chengdu City Center, JW Marriotte Hotel Chengdu, Ritz-Carlton, St.Regis and so on.
Where to Stay in Chengdu | Chengdu Luxury Hotels | Chengdu Economy Hotels | Chengdu Comfort Hotels
We have collected the most useful Chengdu maps including Chengdu Tourist Map, Map of Scenic Spots around Chengdu and Map of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to help you have a better understanding about Chengdu and plan a Chengdu tour easily. You can get more maps from 2024 Overall and Detailed Chengdu Maps.
Chengdu Sichuan Map
Chengdu Attractions Map
Chengdu Airport Location Map
Other Destinations Near Chengdu
Besides Chengdu, there are more great destinations in Sichuan well worth your visit. Transfer to the following destinations and explore the World Heritage Sites - Leshan Giant Buddha & Mount Emei, Jiuzhaigou Valley, Dujiangyan Irrigation System and Mount Qingcheng. Discover now!
Chinese Name: 成都
Chinese Pinyin: Chéngdū
English IPA: /'tʃʌŋ'du:/
Population: 14.17 million
Language: Mandarin & Sichuan Dialect
Tel Code: 028
Zip Code: 610000
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
Logo: Golden Sun Bird
Plan your Chengdu Tour
Many travelers come to Chengdu for Giant Pandas. Besides the panda, there are many other must-sees, like Jinli Old Street, Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park and Jinsha Site Museum. You can add more fun and leisure experience into your trip, like enjoy a cup of tea in local traditional tea house and watch Sichuan opera in Shufengyayun Opera House. It’s better to spend 2 to 3 days in Chengdu. Based in China, China Discovery guarantees you the local way to explore authentic Chengdu.
To travel out of Chengdu, you can take side trips to the World Heritage Sites - Leshan Giant Buddha & Mount Emei for 2 days, Dujiangyan & Mount Qingcheng for 1-2 days, Jiuzhaigou Valley & Huanglong Valley for 3 days. You can feel free to contact our professional travel consultants to customize your own itineraries which would perfectly suit for your likes and requirements.
Travel with China Discovery
We have helped many global travelers enjoy their memorable trips to Chengdu for the past few years. Among them, Lawson's Family from UK enjoyed their 19 days China family vacation with Chengdu with our customized tour pacakge, our warm guest Ronald from USA enjoying 3 China trips with us also dicovered Chengdu and met us... They all shared us their memorable travel stories after the trips! Travel with China Discovery to create your wonderful Chengdu trip memories!