Layover in Chongqing

Layover in Chongqing
By Leon Long
China Expert

Located in southwestern China, Chongqing city is the regional cultural and tourism hub. It is a megacity with a population of 11million (in the city area), and you can find delicious food, interesting tour sites and hospitable people here. If you happen to layover here, be sure to make good use of your time to get a taste of this interesting city.

Good to know: Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) is located 20 km (12 miles) north of Chongqing city center. Serving as an important aviation hub for southwestern China, the airport connects 158 destinations worldwide via 51 airlines, and 44.7 million passengers were handled here in 2019.

The subway system is called Chongqing Rail Transit or CRT, and it is light rail. You can find that the light rail passes through a building at some sections.

1. Can I leave the airport during a layover in Chongqing?

You cannot leave the airport if you don't have a visa nor are eligible for the 144 hour transit visa exemption policy.

You are eligible for the 144 hour transit visa exemption policy if you:

A. Booked a flight ticket to a third country or region.

B. Hold a passport from one of the following countries:

America:The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile

Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus and Monaco.

Oceania: Australia and New Zealand

Asia: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates and Qatar

2. As an eligible foreign passenger, what should I do to apply for 144-Hour Visa-free Transit?

It is very easy to apply for the 144 hour visa free transit, you just need 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Prepare the required documents for the 144-Hour Visa-free Transit. You need to have a valid passport (at least 3 months of validity), book your direct flight ticket to a third country after China and have a visa to the third country (if it is required) .
  • Step 2: When you board the flight to Chongqing, you should tell the agent at the airport that you are eligible for 144-Hour Visa-free Transit in China and that you have all the necessary documents with you.
  • Step 3: When you arrive at Chongqing airport, you'll be looking for a specific line for those applying for a 144-hour transit visa. Normally, it will only take you 5-10 mins to get the sticker "Temporary Entry Permit" on a blank page of your passport. Then everything is done.

3. Luggage storage at Chongqing airport

Luggage storage service is available on the 3rd level of Terminal 2, behind Check-in 2E and 2C. The price is 5 Yuan (0.7 USD) per piece within 2 hrs, 10 Yuan (1.4 USD) per piece for 2-9 hrs and 15 Yuan per piece for 10-24 hrs.

Chongqing Airport WiFi

Free WiFi is available at Chongqing Airport. To log in, passengers need a Chinese Phone Number.

5. Airport Lounge and hotel

There are First and Business Class Lounges that you can use for a fee.

If you want to stay in a hotel, these are hotels near the airport:

Chongqing Jiangbei Airport Hotel - (5 minutes' walk from the International terminal) Free airport pick up on request.

Days Hotel and Suites Hillsun Chongqing - (1 minute from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available upon request or you can take subway line#10 get off at Yubei Square Exit 1A.

Rica Hotel (Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport) - (1 minute from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available upon request or you can take subway line#3 get off at Bijin station, exit 1.

6. What are the transportation options from the airport to the city center, bus station, or train station?

Taxi: a taxi ride to the city center (Jiefangbei) costs you about 60 yuan (8.5 USD), the ride is about 40 mins.

Shuttle bus: there are 7 shuttle bus routes that take you to different destinations in the city. The airport express bus #k02 will take you to North Square of North Railway Station. The airport express bus #K06 will take you to Chongqing West train station where you can find a bullet train to all major cities in China.

Subway: there are two subway lines Line #3 and Line #10.

7. Top-rated attractions in Chongqing

We have listed 9 top rated attractions in Chongqing. But your Chongqing trip is not complete if you don't try the hotpot. There are countless delicious hot pot eateries around the city, including the renowned Xiao Tian E.

How to travel from Chongqing airport to major attractions

How to travel from Chongqing airport to major attractions

Name of Tourist Attraction Distance(from airport) Recommended visiting time Why visit here? How to get here?
Three Gorges Museum 24km (15mi) 1.5 hrs Get a full perspective of the Three Gorges Take subway line #2 get off at Zengjiayan Station
Hongyadong 24km (15mi) 1.5 hrs Unique multi-level Chongqing-style architecture for shopping , dining and sightseeing Take subway line 2 and get off at Linjiangmen Station; leave from Exit A . Take bus line 111, 151, 181, 262, 466, 881, 866, and get off at Linjiangmen Station.
Huguang Guild Hall 29km (18mi) 1 hour Traditional architecture and Sichuan Opera show Take subway line #1 or 6 get off at Xiaoshizi Station (Exit 4B)
E'ling Park 29km (18mi) 1 hour Nice local park, you can have a view of the whole city. A building in the park once housed Australia's first diplomatic mission to China. Take subway line#1 get off at E'ling Station
Ciqikou Old Street 32km (20mi) 1.5hrs Old town Take subway line#1 get off at Ciqikou Station
Zhongshuge Bookstore 37km (23mi) 1 hour One of the World's Most Majestic Bookstores Take subway line #2 get off at Yangjiaping Station
Panda House in Chongqing Zoo 38km (24mi) 1 hour See giant panda bear Bus line #412, 413, 416 or 419, get off at Dongwuyuan station. Or Take subway line #2 and get off at Zoo station
Dazu Rock Carvings 118km (74mi) 2 hrs UNESCO World Heritage site There is no subway or bus, the best way is joining in a tour group
816 nuclear military plant 133km (83mi) 2 hrs Unfinished nuclear military plant that is open to public There is no subway or bus, the best way is joining in a group

8. How many hours before the flight should we get back to the airport?

We recommend that you get back to airport at least 3 hrs before your flight.

9. Recommended Chongqing layover tour packages

If you have 6 hours to visit Chongqing during your layover:

You can use the subway as transportation, you can include Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street and Hongyadong, and you can find restaurants and lots of shops at this area.

If you have 9-12 hours:

Again, you can use the subway to travel around, you can include Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street, Hongyadong, Three Gorges Museum, and E'ling Park

If you have 2 to 3 days:

One day city tour to Jiefangbei Pedestrian, Hongyadong, Ciqikou old town and E'ling Park, then a one day tour to Dazu Rock Carvings and the 3rd day to Fuling to visit 816 nuclear military plant and the Baiheliang Underwater Museum. By the way, Fuling is a small city which Peter Hessler described in his book River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze.

Another hidden gem of Chongqing is Wulong Karst National Geological Park, so if you are a geological buff, this place is for you. The itinerary will be like this: Day 1, city tour in Chongqing, Day 2, travel to Wulong, about 2.5 hrs' drive, visit Three Natural Bridges (part of Transformers 4 'Age of Extinction' was shot here) and Longshuixia Gap. On Day 3, Furong cave in the morning then drive back to the airport.

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