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Top 15 Best Things to Do in Chengdu, China

What are the top tourist attractions in Chengdu?

Leshan Giant Buddha photo via Pixabay

Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Chengdu, China

Chengdu, China is famous for being the home of giant pandas. A haven of Sichuan cuisine, UNESCO certified Chengdu as a City of Gastronomy in 2010. Chengdu is a cultural and historical city unique for its laid-back atmosphere and slow pace of living voted the happiest city in China for years. By nighttime, the city comes alive with its vibrant nightlife while some residents relax with a cup of tea in a local teahouse.

The best times to visit Chengdu are during the Spring, from March to June with beautiful seasonal colors, and Fall, from September to November with its comfortable climate.

1. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Giant Panda in Chengdu by billow926 via Unsplash
Giant Panda in Chengdu by billow926 via Unsplash

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a popular tourist attraction to see the pandas. It is advised to plan the visit accordingly as these magnificent creatures sleep a lot and are awake during their feeding time in the morning. The base provides activities to visitors intending to educate the public about the pandas and their protection. The objective of the base is to take care and research pandas and not display them.

Location: 1375 Xiongmao Boulevard, Chenghua District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 7:30AM to 6PM, Daily
Rates: CNY 58; Free for children under 1.3m (4.3ft)
*Rates may change without prior notice

2. Sichuan Opera Performance

Sichuan Opera photo via Pixabay
Sichuan Opera photo via Pixabay

Originating from the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginnings of the Qing Dynasty, Sichuan Opera is one of China’s oldest and most popular forms of opera. It has 5 melodic styles: Face Changing, Long Sleeve Fluttering, Rolling Light, Fire Spitting, and Shadow Play.

Shufeng Yayun Sichuan Opera House is the most recommended opera house to watch a Sichuan Opera performance. The opera house has been operating for more than 20 years with distinguished performers from across Sichuan Province.

Shufeng Yayun Sichuan Opera House
Location: 23 Qintai Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu (Inside Chengdu Culture Park)
Operating Hours: 6:30PM to 9:30 PM
Rates: CNY 120-320
*Rates may vary from plays and seat
*Schedule may change without prior notice

3. Qingyang Palace

Qingyang Palace in Chengdu, China by Dice via Wikimedia cc
Qingyang Palace in Chengdu, China by Dice via Wikimedia cc

One of the oldest, largest, and most famous Taoist shrines in Chengdu and all of China, Qingyang Palace is a sanctuary of serenity and tranquility in the middle of a busy city. The palace’s highlights are the Front Gate, Hunyuan Hall, Eight-Diagram Pavillion, Hall of Three Purities, Hall of Goddess Doumu, Hall of Jade Emperor, and Hall of Tang Emperors.

Location: 9 W 2nd Section, 1st Ring Road, Qin Tai Lu, Qingyang District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 8:30AM to 6PM, Daily
Rates: CNY 10
*Rates may change without prior notice

Sichuan Cuisine
Sichuan Cuisine

4. Sichuan Cuisine Museum of Chengdu

The Sichuan Cuisine Museum of Chengdu is a pioneer in displaying Sichuan culture, cuisine wine, performance art, tea, architecture, and gardens. The museum exhibits cultural relics related to the Sichuan style of cuisine. Guests can have a taste of Sichuan dishes, see an assortment of kitchen utensils and manuscripts that record the history of Sichuan culinary culture, take part in a cooking class and see the “Treasure of Sichuan Cuisine Museum”, a pickle jar worth CNY 4,000,000 or USD 600,000.

Location: 8 Ronghua North Street, Gucheng Town, Pidu District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 9AM to 6PM, Daily
Rates: CNY 60; CNY 360 for cooking class
*Rates may change without prior notice

5. Leshan Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha photo via Pixabay
Leshan Giant Buddha photo via Pixabay

The largest stone carving in the world at 71-meters-high, the Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya, a disciple of Siddhartha Gautama. There is a drainage system behind the statue’s head and between its two ears with several hidden gutters and channels scattered in the statue’s hair, collar, and chest to prevent the statue from eroding. This advanced system helped the statue from erosion over the past 1,200 years.

Location: 2345 Lingyun Road, Shizhong District, Leshan, Sichuan
Operating Hours: 7:30AM to 6:30PM, April 1 through October 7; 8AM to 5:30PM October 8 through March 31
Rates: CNY 80
*Rates may change without prior notice

6. Chengdu Wuhou Temple

Liu Bei statue in Wuhou Shrine - Chengdu, China by Daderot via Wikimedia cc
Liu Bei statue in Wuhou Shrine – Chengdu, China By Daderot – Own work, CC0, cc

Wuhou Temple honors the legendary minister and military strategist of the Shu Kingdom, Zhuge Liang. The main highlight of the temple is the Historical Site Area where visitors can see the Front Gate, the Second Gate, Liu Bei Temple, Sanyi Temple, the Garden Area, and the Wuhou Temple where the statue of Zhuge is worshiped.

Location: 231 Wuhouci Dajie, Wuhou District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 8AM to 6:30PM, November through April; 8AM to 8PM, May through October
Rates: CNY 50
*Rates may change without prior notice

7. Wenshu Yuan Monastery

The tower of WenShuYuan in ChengDu China by Jason Zou via Wikimedia cc
The tower of WenShuYuan in ChengDu China By Jason Zou – Own work, Public Domain, cc

An active temple open to the public, Wenshu Yuan Monastery allows visitors to participate in Buddhist activities and burn incense. Historic relics in the monastery, like paintings, calligraphies, and Buddha statues made of jade, iron, stone, mud, and wood dating from the Liang Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty.

Location: 66 Wenshuyuan Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 8AM to 5PM, Daily
Rates: Free

8. Jianmen Pass Scenic Route

Jianmen Pass by Munford via Wikipedia cc
Jianmen Pass By User:Munford – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, cc

The Jianmen Pass Scenic Route is often called the Number 1 Impregnable Pass in the World and the Guardian of Ancient Sichuan. A geological park integrating Shu Road Culture, Three Kingdom Culture, Warfare Culture, and Red Revolution Culture, the scenic route is awarded a 5A Level Scenic Spot as one of China’s most important tourist attractions. The Jianmen Pass is situated between two mountains surrounded by steep cliffs, playing a major role in military defense. In the middle of the route resembling a safeguard to the pass is a 100-foot stone called Stalagmite Peak.

Location: Jiange County, Guangyuan City, Sichuan
Operating Hours: 9AM to 6PM, Daily
Rates: CNY 115
*Rates may change without prior notice

9. Mount Qingcheng

Front Gate of Mount Qingcheng by Charlie Fong via Wikimedia cc
Front Gate of Mount Qingcheng by Charlie Fong via Wikimedia cc

One of the places where Taoism started and a UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000, Mount Qingcheng was chosen by Zhao Daoling for its natural scenery, thinking it is fit for the prosperity of Taoism. The Front Mountain is a religious pilgrimage destination with Taoist and Buddhist temples in the area. The Back Mountain is a nature reserve with plentiful waterfalls, streams, and caves, ideal for recreational hiking

Location: Qingcheng Mountain Town, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 8AM to 5PM, March 2 through November 30; 8AM to 6PM, December 1 through March 1
Rates: Front Mountain: CNY 90; Back Mountain: CNY 20
*Rates may change without prior notice

10. Dujiangyan Irrigation System

Dujiangyan Irrigation System by Gjl via Wikimedia cc
Dujiangyan Irrigation System By Gjl at English Wikipedia – I took this photo myself in June 2004. Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here., CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

The Duijangyan Irrigation System is an ancient irrigation system still operating to this day. Visitors can find many ancient temples and statues in the area. Dujiangyan Irrigation System was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000.

Location: Dujiangyan City, Chengdu
Rates: CNY 90
*Rates may change without prior notice

11. Mengdingshan Tea Plantation

Tea Plantation by Danurwendho Adyakusuma via Unsplash
Tea Plantation by Danurwendho Adyakusuma via Unsplash

Visitors can take a day trip to the Mengdingshan Tea Plantation and learn how to harvest, process, and brew tea. From the ground is a spectacular view of the tea terraces in Mengdingshan. After a tour of the plantation, visitors can take home the tea they harvested. The best time to visit the plantation is from February to April.

Location: Mingshan District, Ya’an, Ya’an, Sichuan

12. Du Fu Thatched Cottage

Du Fu Thatched Cottage photo via Wikimedia cc
Du Fu Thatched Cottage photo via Wikimedia cc

Du Fu Thatched Cottage is a 24-acre park and museum and was the home of the famous poet Du Fu in Tang Dynasty, honoring the Sage of Poetry. The park’s main highlights to visit are Hall of Historic Poetry, Gongbu Temple and Shaoling Thatched Cottage Tablet Pavilion, Thatched Cottage, Ruins of Tang Dynasty, Flowery Path, and Wanfo Pagoda. Walking around the park and all the main architecture can take 3 hours to cover on foot.

Location: 37 Qinghua Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 8AM to 7PM, Daily
Rates: CNY 50
*Rates may change without prior notice

13. Wangjiang Pavilion Park

Located in a bamboo forest, Wangjiang Pavilion Park was built in the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty to honor Xue Tao, a distinguished poetess in Tang Dynasty. It is worth visiting the ancient towers in the park. Wangjiang Tower is a 39-meter-high landmark with a sweeping view of the entire park. Yinshi Tower was built over the destroyed tower where Xue Tao would write her poems. Xue Tao Well is the well where Xue Tao gathered water to invent the Xue Tao Paper.

Location: 30, Wangjiang Road, Wuhou District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 8AM to 6PM, Daily
Rates: Free

14. Chengdu People’s Park

Chengdu People's Park by Daderot via Wikimedia cc
Chengdu People’s Park By Daderot – Own work, CC0, cc

Also called Renmin Park, People’s Park is the ideal place to experience slow-paced living in Chengdu. The park has an Orchid Garden with 1200 pots and a Bonsai Garden with 200 bonsais. Jinshui Stream has an exquisite and serene stream with paved cobblestone. Visiting the park is not complete without spending an afternoon with a cup of tea and relaxing with fellow visitors and the locals.

Location: 12 Shaocheng Road, Citang Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 6AM to 10:30PM, Summer; 6AM to 10PM, Winter
Rates: Free

15. Chengdu’s Historic Alleys

One of Chengdu’s historical reserves, the parallel historic alleys with 45 courtyards along them are Wide Alley (Kuan Xiangzi), Narrow Alley (Zhai Xiangzi), and Well Alley (Jing Xiangzi). Wide Alley displays Chengdu’s folk culture. Narrow Alley exhibits the courtyard culture of the city. The Well Alley adopted a more modern theme with nightclubs and retail shops.

Location: Changshun Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu
Operating Hours: 24/7, most shops close from 10PM to 11PM
Rates: Free

Our Top Hotel Picks for Chengdu, China



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Chengdu Travel and Tour Packages

To help you plan out your vacation to Chengdu, we listed places to visit and other unique activities in Chengdu. We also listed some of the best travel deals, tour packages, and excellent flight deals and accommodation.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of cheap Chengdu hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Chengdu, China? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

Also read: 12 Of The Best Places To Visit In China

Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of Outoftownblog.com. He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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