As the capital city of Sichuan, Chengdu is slowly growing in popularity amongst tourists from around the world. The beautiful plains of Chengdu, with their rolling meadows and countryside charm, are called “Country of Heaven,” and its rich history goes back centuries across several dynasties of monarchs. Its rich flourishing culture is apparent to any traveller visiting the Sichuan province. Whether you are a history buff and want to sightsee World Heritage Sites, interested in shopping for souvenirs and local handicrafts, or you wish to witness the natural beauty of the meadows and the distant Longmen Mountains, there is just so much to experience here in Chengdu. So if you are building up an exciting itinerary for your next trip to Sichuan, read on to explore our awesome list of top things to do in Chengdu, China.
1. Explore the beautiful Hakka town of Luodai Ancient Town
Luodai represents the heart of Hakka culture and its people, with over 85% of the population of this town belonging to this culture. Step into this town to witness beautiful pagodas, temples, and buildings dating back to the 17th century with traditional Hakka-style architecture, and you can feel like you have been transported into another world. This spot is an ideal place to visit for a day trip and experience the world-famous Hakka cuisine. There is a main road that runs down the centre of the town, and it’s a great place to take a walk along and go window shopping, shop for local handicrafts, and have a cup of local tea.
Luodai Ancient Town
Address: China, Sichuan, Chengdu, Longquanyi District, Bajiaojing St
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Being driven around in a taxi from landmark to landmark can get unexciting. Why not go on a sightseeing tour in an offbeat yet enjoyable way? This half-day biking tour can take you to a variety of beautiful local attractions with a private group, and you can enjoy zipping through the cool breeze on your bicycle while getting some exercise too. This tour takes you through the ancient Kuanzhai Lane, People’s Park, and the beautiful Wenshu Yuan Monastery as your knowledgeable tour guide explains the history and cultural significance of these places.
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
3. Check out the beautiful and traditional Sichuan Museum
Featuring a surprisingly wide range of artefacts from different eras in the history of the Sichuan province, Sichuan Museum is a wonderful place to check out if you are interested in Chinese history and want to learn more about the opulent dynasties of yesteryear. From beautiful ceramic sculptures to breathtaking paintings from past eras, it is truly a treat for the eyes. You can check out the traditional Chinese ink paintings on the upper floors as well.
Address: 251 Huanhua S Rd, Qing Yang Gong Shang Quan, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Website: Sichuan Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
Sichuan Opera is a must-see for lovers of music, dance, theatre, and art. Breathtaking performances from talented artists from around China can leave you thoroughly impressed and wanting more by the end of the evening, and you can upgrade your seating for better views and royal treatment as your servers bring you the choicest snacks and drinks throughout the show.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
The nightlife in Chengdu is one of the best in the world, and you simply cannot miss it while you are vacationing here. Down a cup of strong coffee and head out on this tour as you go shopping along the outdoor street markets of Kuanzhai Alley, dine on delicious street food, and visit local teahouses along the area of Wide and Narrow Alleys. Within the rich boutique hotels, the unassuming Chinese traditional teahouses, and the enjoyable spas, you can appreciate real Sichuanese culture. This tour of Kuanzhai Alley includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.
Duration: 4 hours
6. Appreciate Sichuan history at Chengdu Museum New Hall
Built in 2016, New Hall in Chengdu Museum is one of the largest museums in the Sichuan province, and it offers a lovely tour of artefacts from around China that showcase the lives of everyday people as well as the kings and queens of the previous eras. There are five floors, each dedicated to a specific era or dynasty in Chinese history, and they are all extremely interesting to check out. The last floor has culturally significant artefacts and exhibits that can immerse you in the rich culture of this place.
Chengdu Museum New Hall
Address: Xiaohe St, Luomashi, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Website: Chengdu Museum New Hall
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
The historic and iconic Anshun Bridge, also known as Dongmen Bridge, is a must-visit spot in Chengdu. Bridging the Jin River, it contains a lovely restaurant that you can dine in and is a great spot for bicycling or taking a walk. At the end of the bridge, you can find quite a few bars that have happy hours, so you can enjoy and have a light dinner. This trip includes a delicious lunch at a restaurant offering Chinese cuisine as well as a delicious bowl of traditional tea.
Duration: 4 hours
Wuhou Temple, or Wuhou Shrine as it is known, is an opulent and stunning temple built with traditional Chinese architectural elements. It was built to honour the Shu King, Zhuge Liang, who was a very influential politician, military strategist, and scientist. You can visit and pay your respects at Liu Bei’s Tomb, marvel at the breathtakingly stunning sculptures of Zhuge Liang and his descendants, or visit Sanyi Temple within the same premises. If you are interested in visiting beautiful temples, this is a great place for which you can reserve a morning.
Duration: 8 hours
Along with the simplistic beauty of Wuhou Temple, the opulent magnificence of the princely Qingyang Palace is another must-see if you wish to immerse yourself in Chinese history and culture. This package takes you on a guided tour of Qingyang Palace along with the other cultural landmarks in the city, and you can have access to a knowledgeable English-speaking guide who will be there to answer your questions and give you important tidbits of information that can help you appreciate these landmarks even more.
Duration: 7 to 8 hours
10. Pay your respects at Baoguang Temple
Known as “Divine Light Temple,” Baoguang Temple consists of a whopping 400 huge pillars that are shaped together in the traditional Buddhist way. Covering hundreds of acres of land, this beautiful temple is a serene and tranquil place to meditate and relax. Inside, you can find stunning Tibetan sculptures along the walls, and there are multiple temples to visit within the premises as well. This place is at a comfortable distance of 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) from Chengdu.
Address: Chengdu, Xindu District, Sichuan, China
Website: Baoguang Temple
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
Situated about 50 kilometres (31 miles) away from Chengdu, Sanxingdui Museum was built on the Sanxingdui archaeological site that discovered the Yangtze civilisation. Archaeologists discovered a wide variety of artefacts here, from everyday utensils of yesteryear to beautiful jewellery worn by women of this era. This museum hosts a variety of amazing events and exhibitions throughout the year that are a treat to visit and explore. One of the best ways to visit this museum is with a guided tour, so you need not worry about the travel and tickets to the museum.
Duration: 8 hours
Shufeng Yayun Opera House is one of the two topmost opera houses in Chengdu, creating breathtakingly beautiful performances for its audience every time. This tour allows you to simply relax and plans everything for you including a shuttle to and from your accommodation and entry tickets of your choice, from VIP to regular class. A lot of these performances showcase the talents of the artists here including puppeteers, comedians, music, theatre, and more.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
13. Dine on traditional hot pot meals at Shujiuxiang Hot Pot Restaurant
How can one visit the province of Sichuan without experiencing the authentic Sichuan cuisine? Shujiuxiang Hot Pot Restaurant offers the best Sichuan cuisine, and the professional chefs here are more than happy to prepare truly authentic and spicy Sichuan dishes. Try the rabbit hot pot and dan dan noodles. The menu is extensive and offers a wide variety of vegetables and meats to suit every palate, and the local alcohol served here is very delicious and goes well with the spicy food.
Shujiuxiang Hot Pot Restaurant
Address: Renmin South Road South Extension Line Leisure Catering Yitiao Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu, China
Website: Shujiuxiang Hot Pot Restaurant
Opening hours: 10:30am - 11:30pm (daily)
14. Have an enjoyable evening at Jellyfish Bar
Spend an evening at this amazing Jellyfish Bar, enjoying cocktails and dancing until the wee hours of the night. Situated close to the best restaurants in town, you can finish dinner and head to this bar so that the night doesn’t end too early. The DJ is great, the drinks keep coming, and you need simply enjoy yourself.
Address: Jiuyan Bridge, Wuhou District, Chengdu, China
Website: Jellyfish Bar
Opening hours: 9pm - 5am (daily)
15. Go on a shopping spree at Ascott Raffles City Chengdu
Shop until you drop when in China as Chinese products are well-known across the world for being inexpensive and easily manufactured. From stationery to cute backpacks, you can enjoy a well-deserved retail therapy here. You can easily spend a whole day at the mall because of the sheer variety of products available here, from branded items to locally produced handicrafts.
Ascott Raffles City Chengdu
Address: Renmin South Rd 4th Section, Mei Ling Shi Guan Mei Shi Qu, Wuhou District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 610041
Website: Ascott Raffles City Chengdu
Bamboo bicycles are slowly growing in popularity around the world as people are looking for a sustainable environmentally conscious way of getting around. Bamboo bikes ensure a feather-like vehicle that is just as sturdy as plastic or metal variants while also being a good alternative for the environment. So head out to explore Sichuan with these adorable bamboo bikes that can allow you to check out more of the city than a walking tour. You will have a knowledgeable guide accompanying you and taking you through the city, explaining the sights you will be seeing around you.
Duration: 3 hours
Tea has been a fundamental part of Chinese culture for millennia, and China has the first record of having discovered this world-famous beverage. The city of Chengdu, by virtue of having the right weather, is home to a few tea plantations that you can visit. Learn about the process of making good tea, and participate in a traditional Chinese tea-drinking ceremony. Taste a variety of different teas and enjoy the serene and tranquil environment amidst the swaying tea crops around you.
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
This charming and beautiful museum and park is dedicated to the famous poet Du Fu from the Tang dynasty and is a very serene and tranquil place to spend some quiet time in. Covering a sprawling area including the park, this museum offers some babbling fountains, serene gardens, beautiful trees with chirping birds in them, and flower beds along the winding paths. In addition, there are other elements of the museum including Screen Wall, History in Verse Wall, and Gong Bu Temple.
19. Check out authentic Sichuan opera at Chengdu Culture Park
Situated at a stone’s throw distance from Qingyang Palace, Chengdu Culture Park offers a variety of cultural events that can allow you to immerse yourself in the local arts scene. You can also check out the authentic Sichuan opera here, with its puppeteers, face changers, and musicians. Depending on the time of the year, you can enjoy events such as Lantern Festival, beautiful artistic exhibits, paintings, and more. During other times, you can join local people playing mahjong or having a picnic.
Chengdu Culture Park
Address: Qintai Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu 610031 China
Opening hours: 6:30am - 10pm (daily)
20. Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony at Shunxinglao Tea House
This place is known for its nostalgic throwback to the good old days where people would gather in local teahouses at the end of the day to enjoy a cup of tea and some snacks as they chatted about their workday. Shunxinglao Tea House is a well-frequented place in Chengdu where you can have a cup of authentic Chinese tea of every variant while you enjoy an opera performance.
Shunxinglao Tea House
Address: China, Sichuan, Chengdu, Wuhou District, Shijicheng Rd
Opening hours: 10:30am - 10pm (daily)
21. Explore the beauty of Erwang Temple
Erwang Temple was built to honour the king Li Bing due to his incredible contributions towards building the World Heritage Site, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, which is still in use today. Locals around this temple have held special ceremonies to honour Li Bing and his son for millennia now as gratitude for saving their villages from the constant floods. Built in the style of the Qing dynasty’s architecture, this temple is indeed very stunning and offers a great environment for you to relax and meditate in.
Address: Dujiangyan Scenic Area, Dujiangyan City, Chengdu
Website: Erwang Temple
Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)
This amazing half-day workshop can allow you to engage in some traditional and authentic Sichuan cooking and learn about what makes a meal authentically Sichuan. Learn about the spices and condiments specific to this food, and prepare world-famous dishes, from Sichuan sauce to kung pao chicken. Once you are done, you can relish your newly prepared food for lunch or dinner.
Duration: 5 hours
Pandas are one of the most popular animals in China and are certainly adored by everyone. This tour can take you to this World Heritage Site and lets you spend time with these magnificent and adorable creatures for up to four hours. Enjoy free shuttle service to and from your accommodation in a private vehicle, followed by a guided tour that includes an English-speaking guide who can explain the facilities at this research centre and take you through the lives of the pandas here. During your ride back, your knowledgeable tour guide can offer you recommendations on delicious Sichuan cuisine as well.
Duration: 3.5 hour
Jinsha Site Museum aims to educate people about the culturally rich Shu Kingdom. Here, you can see archaeological remains of this great dynasty discovered several decades ago. This museum features stunning historical exhibits and artefacts that can teach you about the origins and lifestyle of the people of this kingdom, as well as educate you about the rise and decline of the kingdom. Explore the use of gold, jade, silver, and metal alloys in the everyday lives of the Shu people, and learn about the opulent and magnificent lives of the kings and queens of this time. You simply cannot miss this opportunity if you are interested in Chinese history.
Sichuan cuisine seems to have taken the world by storm, with every corner of the world presenting its own take on this spicy and lip-smackingly delicious food. When you travel to Sichuan, you simply cannot miss out on trying your hand at learning the most authentic way of cooking Sichuan food from local chefs who have been passing down traditional recipes for generations. Sign up for this four-hour cooking class and learn popular dishes like kung pao chicken and yummy dumplings as the professional chef explains the historical significance of this cuisine and the seasonings and spices that make up Sichuan food.
Duration: 4 hours
Known as a World Heritage Site, the Dujiangyan Irrigation System is a complex method of agricultural irrigation dating back to 221 BCE in the era of the Qin dynasty. It distributes the freshwater of the Min River into a plethora of channels running in grids around the farms. This amazing system is still in use today and helps bring much-needed water into the farmlands during summer seasons when the other rivers dry up, as well as prevent flooding during rainy seasons due to the rivers overflowing. Instead of simply building a dam, the system divides the water into channels so that it is equally distributed across the plains, thus preventing flooding.
Duration: 7 to 9 hours
If you are travelling with children, a trip to an amusement park or a local theme park is a must. Chengdu’s Happy Valley theme park is a fun-filled thrilling place to visit for people of all ages, and you are sure to return home with some truly unforgettable memories. The park is divided into five different areas featuring different types of rides and activities, and you can spend half a day exploring everything it has to offer. This tour offers pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation and allows you to explore the whole park on your own.
Duration: 8 hours
The gorgeous cobblestone streets and traditional Chinese stilt buildings can welcome you as you step into Ancient Town. Featuring the world-famous Leshan Giant Buddha and the picturesque streets of Huanglongxi, this tour offers a knowledgeable tour guide who can explain the cultural relevance and historical importance of these landmarks and answer all your questions about the culture here. This tour also includes a delicious Sichuan lunch prepared in a gourmet place as well as pick-up and drop-off services.
Duration: 9 to 11 hours
This bewitching garden is a must-visit if you are travelling with your spouse and are looking for a romantic place to take a walk within Chengdu. With elegant traditional decor and plenty of flora and fauna to please your eyes, People’s Park is a sprawling garden that includes everything you need for a relaxing evening. If you get hungry, stop by the little stalls or at a teahouse within the park, or explore the historical artefacts that are meant for public exploration. Entry to the park is free, making it a lovely place to visit multiple times if you need some peace and quiet.
Duration: 8 hours
Located in Duijiangyan in the Sichuan province, the Qingcheng Mountains are one of the most famous mountains in the country because of their beauty. Presenting charming natural beauty that is a pleasure to look at and strong cultural significance with plenty of historical buildings in the area, this place is amazing for going on a long hike. Explore the natural beauty of the forests, then stop by at one of the temples or teahouses lining the walking trails. As you explore further, you can listen to babbling streams winding their way down the mountain. It is truly a pleasure to walk through the woods here.
Duration: 2 days
Make the most of your trip to Chengdu
Chengdu in the province of Sichuan is simply overflowing with rich history and culture that is waiting to be discovered. Whether it is the world-famous Sichuan or Hakka cuisine, the stunning temples and monasteries, the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains, or the local cultural activities, there is just so much to do and experience in Chengdu. Start planning your trip and include these top things to do in Chengdu, China, in your itinerary.
Get Trip101 in your inbox