Many of the whirlwind China tours don't really leave enough time to fully appreciate everything in Chengdu. If you are planning on going to Chengdu, but don't have much time, these are some of the top tourist spots you definitely do not want to miss.
Everyone who comes to Chengdu needs to see the Pandas. They are the symbol of Chengdu and usually the first thing that anyone will ask when you tell them you have been to Chengdu. The easiest and closest place to see the pandas is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, located in the north of Chengdu on the rather aptly named Panda Avenue. A taxi from the city centre to the panda reserve should be about 30 RMB, but expect that to double if you're coming from the south. The cheapest and easiest way to get to those pandas is by taking the Panda Bus, or bus 902 to be exact, from the Xinnanmen bus station.
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding 成都大熊猫繁育研究基地 View In Map
Add: 26 Panda Avenue, Chengdu
Opening hours: 7:30 – 18:00
Tel: 028 8728 8159
Price: 30 RMB
Wuhou Temple 武侯祠View In Map
If you have any interest in recent Chinese cinema, then you should have seen the movie, Red Cliff – Part 1 and 2. If you haven't, then it’s recommended that you watch it either before or after you visit Wuhou Temple. The movie is about Zhuge Liang (regarded as one of China’s greatest strategists), whom the temple was built to commemorate. It's worth getting a tour guide or a Chinese friend to go through the temple with you and tell you the stories of Zhuge Liang and his family. Just looking at the statues may be a tad dull for some, but listening to those stories really adds a spark to the trip.
Add: 231 Wuhouci Dajie, Chengdu
Opening hours: 08:00 – 17:30
Tel: 028 85581934
Wenshu Temple 文殊院 View In Map
Wenshu Monastery is less of a tourist attraction, since it is an actual Buddhist monastery. This is where the locals often go in order to make an offering to a Buddha to ensure success in their everyday lives. It’s the best preserved temple in Chengdu, which is quite a feat seeing as it was originally built in the Tang Dynasty (618 -907) and has managed to survive to this day. You should definitely put aside a few hours to sit in their tea-house or nibble on the delicacies served in their vegetarian restaurant.
Add: Wenshuyuan Jie, Chengdu
Opening hours: 08:00 – 18:00
Tel: 028 8695 2830
Sanxingdui Museum 广汉三星堆博物馆 and Jinsha Museum 金沙遗址博物馆
Sanxingdui Museum is located in Guanghan, about an hour outside of Chengdu. If you can spare a day for this museum, you won't regret it. The museum is a world class museum and the artifacts that you will see there will blow your mind. Before I went to Sanxingdui, I had never heard of this amazing Bronze Age culture that existed over 4000 years ago. If you don't have time to go out to Sanxingdui, you could check out the Jinsha Museum, which is in the west of Chengdu. It came into being following a discovery by a real estate development that discovered some relics similar to those at Sanxingdui while they were digging.
Sanxingdui Museum View In Map
Add: Guanghan, Chengdu
Tel: 028 8550 0349
Opening Hours: One 08:30-18:00, Gallery Two 8:30-18:30
Price: 80 RMB
Getting there: Take a bus to Guanghan from Xinnanmen Bus Station, or any other bus station. Once you get to the bus station, you can take a city bus, no 1 or no 6 to the museum, but you can also just get in one of the many taxis that will be available.
Jinsha MuseumView In Map
Add: 2 Jinsha Relics Road, Chengdu
Tel: 028 8777 7137
Opening Hours: 8：00 - 17：30
Getting there: Take Bus No.5, 7, 82, 83, 96, 111, 311, 401, 502 or Tourist Line 901 to Jinshayizhi Lu.
Du Fu's Cottage杜甫草堂博物馆View In Map
Du Fu was a famous poet sage who lived during the Tang Dynasty and, as is implicated by the name, the Thatched Cottage was his home all those years ago. The Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage, which was originally built in 760 (but has since been rebuilt), serves as a shrine and commemorative museum to the poet. The area surrounding it has some calligraphy shops, beautiful gardens, a tea-house, and they even do horse shows there now... If you're not up on your Tang Dynasty Chinese poetry, this might not seem like the best way to spend a day. However, I once had the luxury of going there with my Chinese poetry class from Sichuan University, and if you can find a way to have Du Fu recited to you by someone with a Ph.D in Chinese Literature, then I heartily recommend you take that route.
Address:1 Waixi Caotang Lu, Chengdu
Opening hours: 8:00 – 18:00
Tel: 028 8606 0933
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
Price: 60 RMB
Wide and Narrow Alley 宽窄巷子 View In Map
The Wide and Narrow Alley used to be one of the few old housing districts in Chengdu. It was very similar in style to the old hutongs of Beijing. It was, naturally, quite dilapidated. A few years ago, Chengdu decided to inject some capital into the area, and it became one of the many preservation projects that have happened across China as a result. The local authorities turned the area from crumbling buildings into chic, classy shopping areas like Beijing’s Nanluoguxiang or Shanghai’sXintiandi. It's an elegant and trendy walking area with some interesting shops, cafes, restaurants and, like everywhere else in Chengdu, a plethora of delicious snack stalls. The original building structures are still there, but they have all been given a rather modern facelift. The architecture that has been created around that original framework is really quite interesting; even Starbucks is worth taking a look at.
Add: To the west of Tianfu Guangchang; Between Xiatongren Lu and Changshun Zhongjie, Chengdu
Obviously, there are still a whole lot of tourist attractions that didn't make this list. If you have more time for daytrips outside of Chengdu, you should definitely see Qingcheng Mountain, Emei Mountain, the Leshan Buddha, and Dujiangyan.
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Keywords: Tourist attractions in Chengdu Chengdu top spots what to do in Chengdu Chengdu tourist attractions Chengdu Pandas
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