Home China Guide Chengdu Travel Guide

Chengdu Travel Guide

map
  • Chinese: 成都 chéngdū /chnng-doo/
  • Location: Southwest China
  • Population (city): 15M
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Zip code: 610000
  • Tel code: +86 (028)
  • Time zone: China standard (UTC+8)

Chengdu is well-known for lovely giant pandas, and they are the No. 1 reason that people visit Chengdu. In Chengdu, you can not only see giant pandas and panda cubs; you can also take care of them as a panda keeper.

Chengdu is also famous for delicious Sichuan food like kung pao chicken and hotpot. You can experience cooking the most authentic Sichuan cuisine with a local chef.

Chengdu is a large but relaxed city, with many natural, cultural, and historical sights in and around it. Travelers can now enjoy Chengdu's 3-day visa-free transit policy, but three days may not be enough for all that Chengdu has to offer...

Home of the Giant Panda

Chengdu is a city of pandas. One of the reasons that Chengdu attracts many travelers is due to the lovely giant pandas. Pandas are used to decorate the city and you can find them in a variety of forms, such as panda hats, panda purses, panda shoes, panda buses, etc.

giant panda

There are three giant panda bases in and around Chengdu City that we recommend you pay a visit to, or join in with the volunteer program to take care of the pandas.

Sichuan Cuisine and the Famous Sichuan Hot Pot

hotpotSichuan hotpot

Sichuan cuisine is known for its strong flavors. Around the world, many restaurants serve dishes and call them Sichuan (Szechuan) cuisine. However, in Chengdu you'll find that the flavors of Sichuan Cuisine are much stronger and well-developed. Don’t be surprised if there are more hot peppers in the dish than anything else, and you’ll know it has been cooked correctly if everything is floating in oil.

Chengdu is China's Major Gateway City

flights to tibet

Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport is among one of the busiest airports in the world. The Shuangliu International airport has followed Beijing's example by constructing an absolutely massive new terminal.

You can find flights from/to 119 domestic and 52 international destinations. Of course Chengdu also has very busy bus and train stations as well. This is a city that can easily provide a nice pit stop when traveling further away.

Gateway to Tibet

the potala palace The Potala Palace in Tibet

There are many ways to get to Tibetan areas from Chengdu: by flight, train, or car. Chengdu is the most surefire way to get into Tibet (especially for flights with more routes than anywhere else).

Once you step foot in Chengdu, you have already started your journey into the mysterious Tibetan world. In Chengdu, you can sample Tibetan food and meet Tibetan people. Just a short bus ride out of Chengdu will take you to many villages that are mostly inhabited by Tibetan people.

Gateway to China's Most Scenic Area — West Sichuan

jiuzhaigouBeautiful scenery of Jiuzhaigou 

The areas to the west of Chengdu offer breathtaking natural scenery. Jiuzhaigou National Park and Huanglong National Park are well-known for their clean lakes, waterfalls, colorful ponds, snowcapped mountains, and gorges. The Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou travel route is one of China’s most scenic itineraries. Another route to discover the stunning scenery in the region is to travel off the beaten path from Chengdu to Daocheng and Yading.

Chengdu Has 72-Hour (3-Day) Visa-Free Transit

Chengdu is a 3-day visa-free transit city and travelers who have flight tickets to a third country/region can stop in Chengdu for 72 hours. Read more about the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy

Climate and Weather

Chengdu has a foggy, relatively mild, basin climate. Summers feel hotter, winters feel colder, and the pollution seems worse due to the humidity. However many describe the climate of Chengdu as "pleasant", and it is, compared to the harshness of the surrounding mountain areas you might visit, like Jiuzhaigou and Mount Emei.

The best periods to visit Chengdu are from March to June, and September to November. There is substantial rainfall during the rainy season (July and August). See more on Chengdu Weather.

Most Popular Chengdu Tours

giant panda

Chengdu not only has beautiful natural scenery but also spectacular historical sites. And if you are planning a trip to Chengdu, seeing some giant pandas should never be missed. See the following recommended Chengdu tours, for inspiration: