Chengdu is a beautiful, capital city of Sichuan province in China and is rising as a popular tourist attraction amongst foreigners. The history of Chengdu dates back to the 4th century B.C when it was the capital of Shu Kingdom. Famous for the artifacts of the Shu dynasty displayed in the Jinsha Site Museum and the cutest animals on this planet – the pandas, Chengdu also offers much more to the visitors. With plenty of things to do in Chengdu, we have jot down the best of attractions and list of activities to indulge on your vacation in this famous tourist destination.
8 Best Things To Do In Chengdu
Choose from these best attractions and things to do in Chengdu for the best travel experience in this part of China on your next trip.
1. Take a fun tour to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Famous across the entire world, this breeding and preservation center of pandas is a must in your to-do list. Giant pandas are one of the rarest animals in the world, often called ‘living fossil’ and China’s ‘National Treasure’. Home to 100 pandas, this breeding center is the best place where you get to watch the pandas up close in a natural environment, feed, hug and play with them. The giant yet exceptionally cute pandas are sure to make your day and one of the top things to do in Chengdu.
Another great way to enjoy this tour is to take part in the Panda Rescue Center Volunteer for a Day, where you get to prepare food, feed & take care of these amazing creatures, and clean the enclosures.
Tip – Pandas are a little lazy and prefer sleeping, they are lively during the mornings, so plan the trip accordingly.
Location – Northern Suburb, Chengdu
Best visiting time – anytime of the year, 3-4hrs is required
Opening hours – 07:30-18:00
2. Embark On A Day’s Trip to Leshan Giant Buddha
The Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest colossal stone seated Maitreya across the world and attracts plenty of pilgrims and tourists from far and wide. This ancient statue of Buddha is one of the most awe-inspiring things to do in Chengdu City. Standing 71 meters high and 24 meters wide, Leshan Giant Buddha carved directly from the surrounding rock has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
You can book a day’s trip here which includes an English-speaking guide, lunch at the traditional Chinese restaurant and pick and drop facility from your hotel.
Location – Leshan, Sichuan
Best visiting time – Anytime except rainy season
Opening hours – All day
Suggested Read: 5 Museums In China Square, Singapore To Revisit The Past
3. Lose Yourself In The beauty of Mount Qingcheng
Situated at 1,260 meters above sea level, this birthplace of Taoism is included in the world heritage list. The ambiance of this dense green mountain is the most peaceful, heavenly and one among the top things to do in Chengdu.
Inclusive of 36 peaks, 8 large caves, 72 small caves, and 108 beautiful views, the seclusion of this mountain attracts many artists and scholars since ancient times. The highest peak on this mountain is the Laojun Pavilion and other main attractions of Mount Qingcheng are Jian Fu Palace, The Natural Picture, Shang Qing Palace, Yuan Ming Palace, Tianshi Cave, Zushi Palace, and Chao Yang Cave.
Location – Qingcheng Mountain Town, Chengdu
Best visiting time – Summer, a day is required
Opening hours – 08:00-18:00
4. The largest preserved Buddhist Monastery – Wenshu Yuan Monastery
One of the best, active and authentic temples of this city, the Wenshu Yuan Monastery was built in Sui Dynasty. Known as Xinxiang Temple earlier, this temple with a history of over 1000 years was renamed after a Buddhist Monk Cidu who lived here in the late 17th century.
The locals love worshipping and taking a stroll in the temple, besides, there is a beautiful garden in the temple too. The fine amalgamation of Buddhism, ancient architecture, worship, sightseeing and religious study together makes this temple one among the must things to do in Chengdu China. Some other highlights of this temple are 300 Buddha statues made of different materials, exhibits of cultural relics & treasures, teahouse, peace tower and more.
Location – Wenshuyuan Street, Qingyang District
Best visiting time – Anytime of the year, 2hrs required
Opening hours – 09:00-17:00
5. Mingle with the locals in the first people’s park – Renmin
One of the other fun things to do in Chengdu is to visit and rejuvenate in the Renmin that is located in the city center. Built-in 1911, this park featuring many famous scenic spots integrates entertainment with the preservation of heritage. Inclusive of Rockery Square, Goldfish Island and Teahouses, Gold Water Stream, Orchid Garden and more, this park filled with locale offers the taste of the slow life of Chengdu.
Location – Shaocheng Road, Qingyang District
Best visiting time – anytime of the year, 1-2hours is required
Opening hours – All day
6. An ancient beauty worth admiring – Qingyang Palace
The main attractions of this palace are the front gate, Hunyuan Hall, Eight-Diagram Pavilion, Hall of Three Purities, Hall of Goddess Douma, Hall of Jade Emperor and Hall of Tang Emperors. Taking a walk through the temples and watching the exhibits of Taoist culture are a few other things to do in Chengdu city.
Qingyang Palace or Black Goat Palace is an oasis of tranquility and is one of the most famous Taoist temples in Chengdu. Constructed during the Tang Dynasty, this temple is housed in one of the busiest locations of the city and yet offers a serene and calm ambiance.
Location – First Ring road, Qingyang District
Best visiting time – Anytime of the year, 1-2hrs is required
Opening hours – 8:00-18:00
7. Take an exciting stroll to the Jinli Ancient Street
‘The First Street of the Shu Kingdom’, Jinli Ancient Street is popular for the local snacks in Chengdu. The ambiance of this street is like returning back to the past and is historically well-presented. Offering delicious and a variety of local delicacies by the local street food vendors and restaurants is worth tasting in Jinli Ancient Street.
You can find plenty of stores selling lacquer products, Shu Embroidery, curios, calligraphies, folk handicrafts, and paintings in the street which allows you to witness the real Chengdu life and culture. The evening stroll of these narrow ancient streets with alluring lanterns and Chinese-theme buildings are pleasing and one of the many things to do in Chengdu at night.
Location – Wuhou District, Chengdu
Best visiting time – anytime of the year, 3-4hrs is required
Opening hours – all night, a few close around 22:00
8. Watch the famous Sichuan Opera
Among the various regional operas, Sichuan Opera is one of the oldest ones and one of the fun things to do in Chengdu. This opera is one of the cultural icons that feature Sichuan’s culture in the form of opera performance. The performances include Fire Spitting, Changing Faces, and other skills that define the Chinese culture and the vivid local features are humorous and lively.
Sichuan Opera is characterized by elements like a circus, where the actors either consummate magicians, illusionists, acrobats, clowns or fire-spitters. Several theaters such as Shu Feng Ya Yun Theater, Yuelai TeaHouse in Convention Center, Jinjiang Theater, Sichuan Opera Theatre, and Shufeng Square at People’s Park offer Sichuan Opera shows in the evenings.
China is rapidly becoming one of the planet’s top vacation destinations and Chengdu is a city indeed worth visiting. From its incredible architecture, lively nightlife, rich culture, vibrant street life to its delicious Sichuan cuisine, Chengdu should definitely be on your travel list when visiting China. Make sure you add from this list of top things to do Chengdu on your next trip to China.
Frequently Asked Question About Things To Do In Chengdu
A. Chengdu is a good place to visit if your want to see Pandas in the Panda Breed Reserve and besides this you can also visit a series of places in Chengdu.
Q. What Chengdu is famous for?
A. Chengdu is famous for plenty of things such as delicious cuisine, sightseeing places, pandas, nightlife and shopping.
Q. When should I go to Chengdu?
A. The best time to visit Chengdu is from March to June or from September to November
Q. Does it snow in Chengdu?
A. It rarely snows in the winters here and there are only snow mountains in Chengdu.
Q. Will a panda attack you?
A. Pandas may attack humans out of irritation rather than aggression. It is better to go near baby pandas rather than big ones.