How to Plan a Tour of Chengdu

Briefing about Chengdu (成都)

Having a history of more than 1,300 years, Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan Province. Chengdu has become well known by international travelers because of the Giant Pandas. It’s the hometown of the giant pandas in China. But for the Chinese, Chengdu is a vibrant ancient city with a rich cultural history. The Giant Panda is just one of its city drawcards. Chengdu is thought of as a ‘Hot’, ‘Spicy’, ‘Fresh’ and ‘Fragrant’ modern city. Obviously, Hot Pot is the most important city drawcard in Chinese people’s mind.

The Best Time to Go

Spring (March to June) and autumn (September to November) are the best times to travel to Chengdu, because the temperature is quite comfortable and there is not too much rain.

Summer time is from late June to September when the weather is quite hot. But you can pay a visit to some cooler places near Chengdu, like Jiuzhaigou, Qingcheng Mountain and Emei Mountain. Winter time is from December to February, and it’s icy cold. However, skiing in Chengdu is a good option if you are travelling in the winter.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
°C 10 11 16 21 26 27 29 29 25 20 15 10
ºF 49 52 61 70 79 81 84 84 77 68 59 50
°C 2 4 8 12 17 20 22 21 18 14 9 4
ºF 36 39 46 54 63 68 72 70 64 57 48 39
Rainfall Amount mm 7 10 21 47 87 103 231 224 132 39 17 5
Days with Rain* days 3 4 6 8 10 10 13 12 12 8 4 1
Mean Daily Sunshine Duration hrs 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 3 2 2 2
*denotes number of days with at least 1.0 mm of rainfall

What to See

Giant Panda Base: There are 3 panda bases around Chengdu. Which one is the best for you? We have listed some information below to help you to make the decision.

Place Driving Distance from Chengdu Number of Pandas Access Activities Time to stay Hotel Attached Crowds
Dujiangyan Panda Valley 1.5 hrs 30+ Easy 1.Volunteer Program
2.Holding Pandas
1 day Yes
Bifengxia Panda Base 3 hrs 80+ Quite Far Volunteer Program 2+ days Yes
Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center 30 mins 30+ Near the city Seeing Pandas Only half day No

Chengdu Kuan-zhai Lane

Chengdu Kuan-zhai Lane

Kuan-zhai Lane is a historical and cultural area in Chengdu. It’s a compound of three old streets (Kuan, Zhai and Jing Lane) and the courtyards beside the streets. Actually, there are 45 courtyards in the Qing and Ming Dynasty architectural style.

Kuan Lane exemplifies the local culture. You can find hotels, tea houses and restaurants there. You can just sit in a local tea house and talk to local people. Zhai Lane is more like a shopping street. There are lots of small shops with good products. Jing Lane is the modern life of Chengdu. There are many bars and pubs. Walking in Kuan-zhai Lane, you can experience the old Chengdu life-style.

Leshan Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha, also named Lingyun Buddha, is located on the eastern bank of the Southern Min River, Leshan City. Listed by UNESCO as the largest carved Buddha in China with a height of 71 meters, its ears alone are 7 meters tall and its feet are 8.5 meters wide. Workers took 90 years to finish this masterpiece about 1,200 years ago.

You can climb the steps on the mountain to see it up close. To get a good perspective view, you could take a boat ride on the late at foot of Leshan.

Other Recommended Attractions


The Most Recommended 3 Days Tour: the Best of Chengdu

*Price from USD319 per person (based on a group of 6 people)

Day 1, Chengdu Arrival
Your tour guide and driver will pick you up from the airport or train station and transfer to your hotel.

photo with a panda

Day 2, Hello Panda (B,L)
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer to Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. It’s good to see the pandas in the morning, as they are more active than in the afternoon. After lunch, drive back to Chengdu and discover the city in its old and modern styles. Experience the Chengdu Kuan-zhai Lane, marvel at the beautiful architecture of the traditional courtyard. Pay a visit to Chengdu People’s Park, see the local people’s life. Drive back to your hotel or the driver can drop you off at Jinli Old Street to shop around on your own.

Day 3, Leshan Giant Buddha & Departure(B,L)
Today you will drive about 2 hours to see the Leshan Giant Buddha. You can climb for about 40 minutes to get close to the Buddha. Then the 40 minute boat ride takes you to a vantage point where you will have a complete view of the Giant Buddha. (The cost of the boat ride is included.)
After lunch, your tour guide and driver will escort you back to Chengdu. They will transfer you to the airport or train station based on your request.

You can also check out other Chengdu tour packages or contact us and tailor make a Chengdu tour for you.

How to get there

Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan Province. It’s also the transportation center for the west of China. Most of the major cities have a direct flight to Chengdu, such as Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin, Lhasa, Urumqi, Guangzhou, Kunming, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen etc.

Most of the popular cities have trains which travel to Chengdu. Unfortunately, the bullet train is not available from some big cities.

Chengdu transportation - Domestic cities to Chengdu
Cities Distance from Chengdu (km) By Air to Chengdu By High-Speed Railway to Chengdu
Beijing 1982 3hrs 8-10hrs
Xi'an 842 1.5hrs 4hrs
Shanghai 2153 3.5hrs 11hrs
Lhasa 3360 2hrs 20m No direct train
Chongqing 504 No direct flight 1.5-2hrs
Kunming 1100 1.5hrs 5.5-6.5hrs
Guilin 1178 1hrs 45m 7-8hrs

Recommended Hotels

Category Hotel Name Hotel Class Why Recommend Ranking on Trip Advisor
International Chain The Ritz-Carlton 5-star √ Central location
√ Comfortable bed
√ Delicious and extensive breakfast buffet
The St. Regis 5-star √ Spacious room with 700 sq.ft.
√ Personal butler service
√ New Hotel, opened in 2014.
Sofitel Chengdu Taihe 5-star √ Reasonable Price
√ Prompt room service
√ Good location
Best Value Minyoun Royal Hotel 5-star √ Central location,near shopping mall
√ Good price for 5-star hotel
√ Huge variety for breakfast
Tianfu Sunshine Hotel 4-star √ Good location, city center
√ Good price
√ Well equipped rooms, free wifi
Holiday Inn Express Wuhou Chengdu 3-star √ About 20 minutes' drive from the airport
√ Clean and quiet room with free wifi
√ Professional staff
Boutique BuddhaZen Hotel 4-star √ Located in the old part of the town
√ Courtyard style with traditional Chinese setting
√ Helpful and friendly Staff

Check Out our Chengdu Travel Guide PDF eBook - Free Download

Lush green jungles, pandas of all ages (yes, even baby ones), nearby jaw-dropping national parks, ancient Chinese architecture … what more can you ask for out of a city? China is a large country loaded with amazing places to see and trying to rank them is flirting with a mission in futility. Nevertheless, there are several cities that should rank near the top – Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Xian … and Chengdu. Our newly updated Chengdu travel guide gives you inside information on the best places to visit, how long you’ll probably need at each destination, great hotel suggestions that will almost guarantee a comfortable place to stay at a price to fit nearly any budget, and hard-to-find practical information on everything from transportation, medical facilities, safety issues, and even what to pack. We want to make sure your visit is as enjoyable as possible, so we included everything you need to know in one, condensed, free-of-charge and easy-to-download guide.

Chengdu Travel Guide Free Book