Planning a trip to Chengdu?

You’ve come to the right place!

Chengdu has quickly become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Western China. Not only is it the capital of the Sichaun province, but it boasts an incredibly rich history dating back to the 4th century.

Today, the bustling metropolis is a haven for locals and visitors alike thanks to the variety of sites and experiences there are to enjoy.

Between the top-notch museums, the historic temples, and the giant panda breeding reserve, you’ll never be bored in Chengdu.

Continue reading for 18 fun things to do in Chengdu, China.

1. See the Leshan Giant Buddha

Marvel at the largest Buddha statue in the entire world that dates back over 1,300 years.

Travel by high speed train to see this one-of-a-kind site for yourself.

Standing 233 feet tall, this stone statue is carved into a cliff beside the river and faces Mount Emei.

Leshan Giant Buddha is part of the Mount Emei Scenic Area, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

The statue was built during the Tang Dynasty, between the years 713 and 803.

Once you’ve caught a glimpse of the incredible Leshan Giant Buddha, go off the beaten path and explore the Mahao grottoes and a local fishing village, where you can enjoy an authentic lunchtime dining experience.

Inclusions

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Lunch
  • Entrance fees
  • Round trip train fares

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2. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

No trip to Chengdu is complete without a visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

After all, there is no animal more popular (not to mention, adorable) in Western China than the giant panda.

This non-profit research facility opened its doors in 1987, and ever since its inception, has been dedicated to panda conservation, including breeding and raising young pandas before reintroducing them to the wild.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding offers visitors the unique experience of seeing pandas up close.

There is also a museum on-site.

It has quickly become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chengdu, and has dubbed itself an “international educational tourism destination.”

Private full and half day tours are available depending on the amount of time you have.

Inclusions for most tours

  • Admission/entry fee
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Friendly and professional guide
  • Lunch and bottled water
  • Private car/van with driver

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3. Dujiangyan Panda Base

Experience one of the rarest and most iconic animals in China – the giant panda – at the Dujiangyan Panda Base.

This Chengdu attraction is the only place around the globe dedicated to giant panda care and research, along with disease prevention and control.

Pandas can typically be found in the mountain ranges of Western China, but today less than 2,000 remain, making them one of the rarest animals in the world.

The Dujiangyan Panda Base spans 500 square metres and houses 170 pandas.

It is split up into six fun zones, each focusing on a different aspect of what the research facility does.

Chengdu’s Dujiangyan Panda Base allows guests to see, feed, and even pose for pictures with some of the most majestic creatures in the world.

Inclusions for most tours

  • Lunch
  • Admission/entry fee
  • Professional and friendly driver
  • Private car/van with AC

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4. Happy Valley Chengdu

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend the day exploring Chengdu’s very own amusement park.

Happy Valley Chengdu opened its doors in 2009 and since then, has been providing fun for all ages.

It covers 170,000 square metres and is the third Happy Valley theme park to open in China.

The park combines technology and leisure and is divided into five sections.

Attractions take inspiration from all over the world, such as the Caribbean Cyclone or the Dream of Mediterranean.

There’s even a Magic Castle for kids who want to feel like they’re in a fairytale, and a Great Szechwan area that allows guests to learn about the Qiang people and Sichuan culture.

Inclusions

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Admission/entry fee
  • English-speaking guide
  • Insurance

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5. Mount Qingcheng and Dujiangyan

Visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in one day – Mount Qingcheng and Dujiangyan.

First, you can experience the Taoist temples with their mossy green roofs on Mount Qingcheng.

The day will begin with a half hour walk from the base of the mountain to Moon City Lake, where a cable car will then take you the rest of the way to the main Taoist palace on Mount Qingcheng.

Another short hike from the palace will bring you to Laojun Pavilion lookout, where you’ll be treated to sweeping views of Dujiangyan city below.

(Fun fact: Did you know that the Taoist temples on Mount Qingcheng are what inspired the Panda Village in Kung Fu Panda 3?)

After Mount Qingcheng, indulge in an authentic lunch at a local restaurant and then spend the afternoon at the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, which dates back to the Qin Dynasty.

Inclusions

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Private, English-speaking guide
  • Admission/entry fees
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Round trip cable car at Mt. Qingcheng

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6. Hot Springs at Qingcheng Howard Johnson Resort

What better way to unwind after a day spent with the pandas than by relaxing in the Hot Springs at Qingcheng Howard Johnson Resort?

Spend the morning exploring the Dujiangyan Panda Base, one of Chengdu’s finest giant panda conservation facilities.

Afterwards, enjoy the hot springs at Qingcheng’s very own Howard Johnson Resort.

The Taoism Hot Springs consists of a large indoor pool and a whopping ten outdoor pools.

With the rustles of leaves on the trees and the sound of chirping birds in the background, it’s the ultimate way to relax.

You’ll have a full two hours to soak up the warmth of the hot springs before the tour wraps up and you head back to your hotel.

Inclusions

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Admission/entry fee
  • Private, English-speaking guide
  • Private vehicle

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7. Tea-Making of Mengdingshan Tea Plantation

Are you a tea lover?

You’ve come to the right place!

There’s nowhere better to see the entire tea-making process for yourself than at the Mengdingshan Tea Plantation.

The plantation is located on the picturesque Mt. Mengding.

It was one of the first sites to have cultivated the beverage, back in the Western Han period.

Learn first-hand from a local farmer on the plantation what it’s like to make tea from scratch.

From harvesting to brewing, you’ll gain insight into every aspect of the process – and even get to make some tea of your own.

To cap off a fun day, you’ll get to take some tea home with you to share with your family and friends!

Inclusions

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Lunch
  • Private, English-speaking guide
  • Tea tasting and tea to take home
  • Guided tour of tea plantation

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8. Sanxingdui Museum

Calling all history buffs!

The Sanxingdui Museum is a must-visit thanks to its extensive collection of Shu relics and artifacts.

This top-notch museum is located just 40 kilometres north of Chengdu on the Sanxingdui Archeological Site.

Thousands of Shu relics were discovered in the 1930s, the largest discovery of its kind in modern China.

All of these stunning objects are now on display to the public at the Sanxingdui Museum.

Artefacts range from ornate bronze facial masks to sculptures made from gold and jade.

Inclusions for most tours

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Private, English-speaking guide
  • Lunch
  • Admission/entry fee
  • Private car with driver

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9. Chengdu TV Tower Observation Deck

The Chengdu city skyline is a sight to behold.

Luckily, you can see the beauty for yourself at the Chengdu TV Tower Observation Deck.

This building is the tallest skyscraper in Western China, standing 339 metres tall.

An elevator transports you to the top, offering scenic views of the city even while you’re on your way up.

The elevator lets you off at a platform 208 metres up, allowing you to catch your first glimpse of the breathtaking city below.

From there, you can climb a small set of stairs and reach the revolving restaurant.

One final ascent will bring you to the outdoor viewing deck that is 213 metres above ground, the highest platform open to visitors.

Inclusions

  • Admission/entry fee
  • Scenic elevator to the top
  • Express elevator back down

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10. See Qingyang Palace, Wuhou Temple and Jinli Street

Whatever you do, don’t miss out on any part of Chengdu’s vibrant culture.

To be sure you’ve experienced it all, consider a private city sightseeing tour that will take you to all the main attractions.

As a city rich in history, there are several stunning palaces and temples to enjoy.

Qingyang Palace is a Taoist temple that dates back over 1,000 years.

Meanwhile, the Thatched Cottage of Du Fu was the former home of the famous Tang poet Du Fu.

It was here that he was inspired to write over 240 poems.

The Wuhou Temple, otherwise known as the Memorial Temple of Marquis Wu, was constructed during the Three Kingdoms period and is now open to the public.

Finally, Jinli Ancient Street is not to be missed, as a cultural hub of activity buzzing with locals.

You can shop or enjoy authentic street food on this famous Chengdu strip.

Inclusions

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • English-speaking guide
  • Bottled water
  • Private vehicle

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11. Explore Mt Emei

Experience Mount Emei in all its majestic glory.

This sacred mountain is the highest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, standing 3,099 metres tall.

Buddhist monks have made pilgrimages to this site for nearly 2,000 years.

It has been an official UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

In order to arrive at the picturesque summit, visitors have two options.

They can take a cable car to the top, or they can walk up the same trails that the monks have walked for centuries.

To soak up the culture even more, visitors can opt for an overnight stay in a monastery.

Inclusions for most tours

  • Admission/entry fee
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • English-speaking guide
  • Lunch at a local restaurant

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12. Tai Chi Class at Chengdu Culture Park

Spend the morning with a group of local tai chi masters, learning all there is to know about this historic Chinese martial art form.

Set in a peaceful park, you will take instruction from professionals certified by the Tai Chi Martial Art National Referee Association of China.

Firstly, the session will begin with a warm-up, followed by a walk-through of the fundamentals of tai chi.

Visitors will come away with knowledge of the basic moves of tai chi, but also of its important impact on the mind.

After all, this Chinese martial art is not just about the physical body.

It is a form of meditation that allows you to connect you mind with your body.

Inclusions

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Tai chi martial arts class
  • Qintai road sightseeing

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13. Hot Pot Dinner & Culture Show at Shufen Yayun Teahouse

Chengdu Dinner and a show – does it get any better?

Kick off your evening with a traditional meal at an authentic hot pot restaurant.

A Sichuan delicacy, hot pot consists of a simmering pot of stock that you can then cook foods of your choice in, from meat to vegetables.

More than just tasty cuisine, hot pot is about having a shared social experience.

Don’t be afraid to chat with your neighbour!

After dinner, watch the magic unfold before your very eyes at the Sichaun Opera.

Located at the Shufeng Yayun Teahouse in Chengdu Culture Park, the Sichaun Opera features humour, dancing, jaw-dropping acrobatics, and incredible costumes.

Each show tells the story of a classic Chinese novel or folk tale.

Inclusions

  • Hot pot dinner
  • English-speaking guide
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Admission/entry fee

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14. Chengdu Evening Food Tour by Tuk-Tuk

Chengdu was named a UNESCO city of gastronomy.

And there is no better way to experience the city’s incredible food scene than by tuk tuk!

Say goodbye to a walking tour and climb aboard a private tuk tuk that will whisk you around the city to some of the best foodie locales.

Eat with the locals at small, family-run establishments and try all sorts of delicious dishes.

Homemade dumplings, Sichuan stuffed pancakes (one of the city’s most popular street foods), and spicy noodles are just a few of the treats in store.

There is also unlimited beer and soft drinks available.

Plus, the night ends with a final stop at a bar in the city where you can sip rice wine with the locals.

Inclusions

  • Admission/entry fee
  • Dinner
  • Driver and local guide
  • Private transportation
  • Unlimited beer and soft drinks

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15. Chengdu Cooking Classes

As a city known for its food, no trip is complete without a cooking class.

Learn to make Sichaun specialties for yourself, including dumplings, won tons, ma po toufu, kung pao chicken, and twice cooked pork.

To get acquainted with the local food scene, your guide will first take you to one of the city’s farmers’ markets, where you can buy all types of fresh produce and meat.

Next, it’s time for the chef to work their magic.

You’ll watch the chef first and listen to them explain their techniques, before cooking a dish for yourself.

Overall, you can expect to learn all about what it’s like in a local Chinese kitchen and how to prepare some authentic dishes you’re sure to love.

Inclusions for most tours

  • Transportation in a private vehicle
  • Private guide
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Cooking class
  • Lunch, dinner, tea, and snacks

Check Classes


16. Bamboo Bicycle Tour in Chengdu

Take to the city on wheels through a unique biking experience.

Chengdu is home to the three-hour Bamboo Bicycle Tour, which will have you exploring the city on a handmade bamboo bicycle.

Absorb local culture by cruising along alleys and back streets and visiting the area’s main attractions.

Firstly, this tour will take you through the Tibetan Quarter, up to the Jinjiang River, and through the Huaxi campus of Sichuan University.

Other key sites include Tianfu Square and the Sichuan Science and Technology Museum.

The second part of the tour explores the north part of the city, which is home to Wenshu Yuan (the best Buddhist temple in Chengdu).

Inclusions

  • Private tour
  • Local guide
  • Bottled water
  • Bicycle and helmet rental

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17. Shopping at Song Xian Qiao Market

Shopaholics unite!

If you’re looking to get your shop on, then you have to plan a visit to the Song Xian Qiao Market.

This famous market is the second biggest antique shopping market in China, with up to 800 stalls selling everything under the sun.

From watercolour paintings to ornamental dishes to fake Buddha statues, there is something for everyone.

Be sure to allot an appropriate amount of time for this market, as it spans over 5 acres.

More than just shopping, there are plenty of local snacks to be had.

It’s also a great spot for people watching!

Inclusions for most tours

  • Admission/entry fees
  • Professional guide
  • Market visits

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18. Private Day Tour of Chengdu Old Streets including City Top Attractions

If you didn’t walk around the old streets, did you really visit Chengdu?

Chengdu is famous for its history, and there is nowhere better to experience it first-hand than walking along three of the cities most famous old streets: Kuanzhai Alley, Jinli Street, and Wenshu Fang Street.

Each street offers a unique glimpse into the city’s history and architecture.

In addition to shops and restaurants, there are also ancient sites to visit.

For example, the Wenshu Yuan Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in all of Chengdu, is located on Wenshu Street.

On Jinli Street and Kuanzhai Alley you’ll find local Chengdu life, tasty Sichaun street food, and artisanal gift vendors.

Inclusions

  • Lunch
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Private driver and guide

Check Tour


We hope this list has provided some inspiration for your upcoming getaway to Chengdu.

With so many fun things to do in this Sichaun city, you’ll never be bored!

Check more Fun Things to do in Chengdu