Chongqing Travel Guide
Chongqing (short for Ba or Yu), known for City of Mists or Mountain City, is one of four municipalities in China. It is located at southeast of China, linking Hubei and Hunan Province in the east, Sichuan in the west, Shaanxi in the north and Guizhou in the south. Surrounded by small green capped mountains, Chongqing is intersected by the Jialing River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. So, travelers usually can travel from Chengdu to Chongqing, Xian to Chongqing, Guilin to Chongqing, and Guiyang to Chongqing. Also, a Yangtze cruise trip sailing between Chongqing and Yichang through awe-inspiring Three Gorges is highly recommendable.
With 3000 years’ history, Chongqing is the birthplace of Ba and Yu culture, profound influence on eye-wateringly spicy Hotpot and stilted houses. You are going to LOVE Chongqing - from the old town full of life to bustling shopping center in downtown area, from the grand museum to understand deep culture to a high point to have a panoramic view of Chongqing. Whatever the reason for coming, most travelers tend to agree there’s a unique feel to Chongqing, an allure not found in other major Chinese cities.
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Chongqing Attractions & Top Activities
There are plenty to see and do in Chongqing! Travelers can take a short half day to one day visit to explore in Chongqing downtown area, or add one or two more days to extend to see Wulong Karst landscape, Dazu Rock carvings. For some travelers, they come here simply for Yangtze River cruise on spectacular Yangtze River. Check All Top Attractions & Things to Do in Chongqing.
Yangtze River Cruise
- Type: Rive Cruise
- Length: 4 or 5 days
Most of travelers come to Chongqing for Yangtze River cruise. You’ll board/disembark at Chaotianmen Port. In 2019, there're two routes sailing along Yangtze River – 4 days & 3 nights downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang, and 5 days & 4 nights upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing.
Ciqikou Ancient Town
- Type: Historic & Town
- Length: about 2 hours
Reputed as “Little Chongqing”, Ciqikou Ancient Town with over 1000 years history offers a glimpse of old Chongqing. Wander through the narrow alleys to have a look at Ming and Qing Dynasties buildings with typical Ba style, taste kinds of snacks, overlook Jialing River…
Three Gorges Museum
- Type: Museum
- Length: about 2~3 hours
This sleek museum with four-stories showcases the history of settlement in the Chongqing region, presents traditions and culture in Ba & Shu Region, and provides abundant knowledge of Three Gorges and the construction of Three Gorges Dam. Circular-screen film is recommended to enjoy.
- Type: Public Park
- Length: about 1~2 hours
Used to be the earliest private garden in Chongqing, Eling Park now is a public park opened for travelers. Pay a visit to this secluded park and have a nice stroll, climb to Liangjiang Pavilion to have a bird’s eye view of Jialing and Yangtze River. Appreciate sparking lights at night is recommended.
- Type: Zoo & Animals
- Length: about 1~2 hours
If you have never seen Giant Panda before, you should take a visit to Chongqing Zoo for a close look at the national treasures. Actually, Chongqing Zoo has about 240 kinds of animals including the adorable giant pandas, golden monkey, argali, golden cat, Asia elephant, South China tiger…
- Type: Caverns & Caves
- Length: about 1~2 hours
With a history over 2300 years, Hongya Cave with stilted houses built along hill is great place to taste the typical Ba culture. When lights on at dusk or evening, enjoy a leisure trip to wander through the old stone-paved streets, taste Chongqing specialties, or go to a bar for a drink…
Yangtze River Cableway
- Type: Transportation
- Length: about 7~10 mins
Yangtze River cableway, “The First Corridor across Yangtze River”, is a unique transport of the Mountain City. In a clear day, you can experience the 1166-meter-long cable trip to have a panoramic view of Chongqing and Yangtze River. Views are different during daytime and at night.
- Type: Transportation
- Length: about 0.5 hour
Different metro experience in other cities, taking Chongqing Monorail is a cool way to feel the charm of the Mountain city. You’ll travel in the air, watching tall buildings on each side passing by and enjoy Jialing River flowing outside your window. Also, monorail can take you to many sites.
- Type: Points of Interest & Landmarks
- Length: about 1 hour
Jiefang Monument is one of symbols of Chongqing, standing in the center of the square. Jiefang square is referred to as “Times Square of Chongqing”. It is beautiful and clean with many high end stores, restaurants and hotels around it. If you want to do some shopping, you can go this shopping area.
Wolong Karst Landscape
- Type: Nature & Karst Mountains
- Length: about 1-2 days
Wulong Karst landscape is part of South China Karst, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Located 190 kilometers east of Chongqing downtown, it takes about 3 hours for driving. To see typical Karst landscape, you should not miss Three Natural Bridges, Furong Cave, Longshui Gorge and Fairy Mountain.
Dazu Rock Carvings
- Type: Buddhist Grottoes
- Length: about 1 day
Dazu Rock Carvings, located 96 kilometers in the west of Chongqing, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the Top Eight Grottoes in the World. It is an exceptional series of rock carvings dating from the 9th to the 13th century, known for its grand scale, aesthetic quality and rich diversity of subject matter.
- Type: Nature & Mountains
- Length: about 1 day
Mount Jinfo was listed as a part of “South China Karst”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the diversity of karst features, beautiufl landscape, flora and fauna. When sunshine falls on the mountain, it looks like a giant Buddha shinning with boundless golden radiance, hence called “Golden Buddha Mountain”.
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport has 199 domestic airlines and 59 international airlines. Travelers can take direct flights to/from Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kunming, Changsha, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Shenzhen, etc. Upon arrival at Chongqing Jiangbei Airport, it takes about 40 minutes (35km) to Chaotianmen Port by taxi.
By High Speed Train
Chongqing North Railway Station and Chongqing West Railway Station are served as the major high speed train station in Chongqing. Travelers can take G, D or C series high speed trains from/to Chengdu (about 1.5~2hrs), Xian (about 5.5hrs), Guilin (about 4.5~5hrs), Yichang (about 4hrs), Fengdu (about 1hr), Guiyang (about 2~2.5hrs), Wuhan (about 6.5hrs), Beijing (about 11.5hrs), Shanghai (about 11~13hrs).
Chongqing North Railway Station is about 12 kilometers (20~40mins) to Chaotianmen Port. Chongqing West Railway Station is 20 kilometers (about 40~50mins) to Chaotianmen Port.
To know more detailed transfer information getting to Chongqing, like Guilin to Chongqing, Xian to Chongqing, or getting around Chongqing to Wulong Karst, Dazu Rock Carvings, please head to our Chongqing Transportation.
Get There & Around
No matter you want to stay in Chongqing downtown, or spend a night in Wulong County or Dazu County, there are plenty of hotels/hostels for your choice, ranging from luxury 5 star to budget 3 star. In Chongqing downtown area, you can select from the following hotels (for reference).
5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Chongqing JW Marriott Hotel Chongqing Wanyou Conifer Hotel 88 Park Hotel Chongqing Chongqing Hilton Hotel Chongqing Holiday Inn North Chongqing Xuehao Hotel Chongqing Kempinski Hotel Hoi Tak Hotel Minshan Yuanlin Grand Hotel Chongqing Sofitel Forebase Hotel DLT Hotel Chongqing Sheraton Hotel Chungking Hotel
>> Check more about Chongqing Hotels.
Chongqing belongs to the humid subtropical monsoon climate. Four seasons appear largely different in Chongqing, so visitors there could feel its early spring, hot summer, cool autumn and warm winter. Furthermore, it has an annual average temperature of 16-18℃, with the average temperature of 4-8℃ in the coldest month and 26-29℃ in the hottest month, therefore, it is called the “third furnace” in China with really hot weather in summer. It rains plentifully in Chongqing, particularly from May to September, and night rains occur frequently during late spring and early summer periods.
>> Check more about Chongqing Weather & Climate.
>> Check more about Yangtze River Weather & Cruise Clothing.
Weather & Seasons
Yangtze River Cruise Boarding
(a) Please call the ship one day ahead or at least in the morning on the boarding day to have clear idea about which pier you are going to use; (b) There are 13 sub-pier of Chongqing Chaotianmen Port that tell the exact pier to your driver to avoid too much walking; (c) The boarding time and departure piers may change based on the ship line, water level, season, weather and other factors. Please pay attention to the important info your travel consultants sent to you before your boarding. (d) If you need a porter to carry your luggage, you’ll find them once you get off your taxi at the port. (e) You should bring the valid passport, the one you booked the Yangtze River cruise, for security check at Chaotianmen Port first and then board your ship for check-in.
>> Check more about Chongqing Travel FAQs & Tips.
Travel FAQs & Tips
To have a clearer understanding about the location of Chongqing attractions, airport, railway stations, Chaotianmen Port and Yangtze River, you can have a look at the following latest Chongqing maps for your planning and visiting! All the maps are detailed, large, clear and downloadable! View all Chongqing Maps >>
Pay a short visit the highlighted attractions in Chongqing or "Mountain City" before or after your cruise. The must-sees in Chongqing are: Giant Pandas in Chongqing Zoo, Ciqikou Old Town, Three Gorges Museum, Yangtze River Cableway and Hongya Cave. All the essences are included!
Chongqing is called "mountain city" by the local and is the departure city for many of the Yangtze Rivers cruise ships but it also has much to offer. This tour combines some of China's most spectacular scenery, cultural treasures and historical sites with the spectacular Yangtze Cruise in 4 days.
This is the real NATURE tour to Yangtze and Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. In 6 days, take a relaxing 4-day cruise down from Chongqing to Yichang; spend 2 days getting into surreal AVATAR world and experience thrilling glass bridge in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. It will be a memorable trip!
Top Yangtze Cruises
Popular Yangtze Cruise Lines
In 2019/2020, Yangtze River Cruises offer lines between Chongqing and Yichang with different duration.
The golden cruise line, downstream sailing takes 4 days and 3 nights
Most popular upstream cruise line, takes 5 days and 4 nights
10 days and 9 nights downstream cruise running 2644 KM from west to east
The most relaxing cruise line for 10 days and 9 nights on Yangtze
Two ways to cruise on the section between Chongqing and Wuhan
New to Cruising?
Do you have questions about planning or booking a Yangtze cruise? The following articles introduce you to what makes cruising such a unique and memorable way to travel, how to choose a Yangtze ship, how to choose a cabin, what you can do onboard and ashore...
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