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Chengdu Travel Guide

Chengdu is well-known for lovely giant pandas, and delicious Sichuan food like hotpot. Chengdu is a large but relaxed city, with many natural, cultural, and historical sights in and around it. 

Home of the Giant Panda

Chengdu is a city of pandas. The lovely giant pandas are the No. 1 reason that people visit Chengdu. 

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.

There are four giant panda bases in and around Chengdu City. You can not only see giant pandas and panda cubs; you can also take care of them as a panda keeper. 

giant panda

See details about the Top 4 Places to See Giant Pandas in Chengdu and see which one is the most suitable for you.

hotpotSichuan hotpot

Sichuan Cuisine and the Famous Sichuan Hot Pot

Sichuan cuisine, also called Szechuan cuisine.  has strong flavors. 

Chengdu's local cuisine is known for being pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic, chili peppers and Sichuan pepper.

Don't miss to sample hot pot, which is the most famous dish in Chengdu. See How to Survive a Chengdu Hotpot.

More famous Sichuanese dishes are kung pao chicken, Fish fragrant pork, etc. There is also a huge range of savory snacks in Chengdu, such as Dandan Mian. Jinli Street is good place for Chengdu street food. See more on Chengdu Food and Chengdu’s Top 6 Special Snacks

The delicious dishes and authentic restaurants are often hidden in the backstreets. Your guide can lead you to the ones which are normally only found by locals. If you are interested, you can take a Chengdu Food Tour to experience cooking the most authentic Sichuan cuisine with a local chef.

Gateway to Western China

Gateway to Tibet

the potala palace The Potala Palace in Tibet

Chengdu is on the east side of Tibet Plateau. 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.

See How to Get to from Chengdu to Tibet.

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. 

Part of the Jiuzhaigou National Park has reopened to visitors on Sep. 27, 2019. If you are planning a tour to Jiuzhaigou, check our How to Plan a Jiuzhaigou Tour from Chengdu.

Chengdu Has 144-Hour (6-Day) Visa-Free Transit

Chengdu is a 6-day visa-free transit city and travelers who have flight tickets to a third country/region can stop in Chengdu for 144 hours. Read more about the How to Transit Through Chengdu without a Visa

Climate and Weather

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).

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.

 See more on Chengdu Weather.

How to Get To and Travel Around Chengdu

flights to tibet

Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. 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. 

It is easy to travel to Chengdu from the main cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Guilin, and Hong Kong. 

Chengdu city is a transport hub for your excursion tours to Leshan, Emei Mountain and Jiuzhai Valley. 

Travel Chengdu Your Way!

Be a panda keeperJoin us to be a panda keeper to take care of the giant pandas.

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:

Not interested in the above tours? You can tailor-make your own unique tour by telling us your interests and requirements. We will help you design a perfect trip.

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