Top 10 Things to Do in Chongqing

Chongqing, known as the Mountain City, is the only municipality in the western regions of China and a very popular tourism destination. According to the data from World Travel & Tourism Council, Chongqing had become the fastest growing tourism city in the world. What are the attractions of the city and where should you go? Here are the top 10 things to do in Chongqing.



Explore Jiefangbei CBD (Central Business District)

Jiefangbei, Chongqing
Jiefangbei, the exact city center also a landmark, is a must-see place in Chongqing. As the most prosperous pedestrian street of the city, it centers on the People's Liberation Monument and consists of Minquan Road, Minzu Road and Zourong Road. Lined with skyscrapers and shopping malls, the busy Jiefangbei will allow you to purchase the most fashionable clothes and ornaments. If you are interested in delicious food, the tasty local snacks on the street will definitely attract your attention. 

 Recommended Tour to Jiefangbei:  3 Days Chongqing City Tour

Hongya Cave

Hongya Cave, Chongqing
With a history of more than 2,300 years, Hongya Cave was a large-scale stilt house complex served as military fortress in the past. It was built along a waterfront cliff beside the Yangtze River. Not far from the Jiefangbei CBD, it now has been a very popular historical sight for tourists to experience a kind of Chinese ethnic culture, Bayu Culture. The whole complex is composed of four cultural streets: Zhiyanhe Bar Street full of nice bars, Tianchengxiang Bayu Culture Street with traditional buildings and delicate handcrafts, Banquet Food Street rife with both local foods and foreign dishes, and the last one Exotic Balcony Street with some cafes and exotic restaurants. One of the free things to do in Chongqing is to enjoy the splendid night view of the Hongya Cave and the light will be on about 18:00-22:00.

 Recommended Tour to Hongya Cave:  6 Days Chongqing & Chengdu Tour from $909

Chaotianmen Night Cruise

Chongqing is located at the crossover of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. There is an old saying “ If you don’t have a night cruise, you can never know the real Chongqing”. A night cruise of the two rivers is surely one of the top 10 things to do in Chongqing and help you get a whole new take on it. The cruise tour starts from the Chaotianmen Dock. The whole journey is about 20 km and you can experience the immigrant culture which formed by frequent mass migration in history and appreciate a cluster of the ancient Guild Hall Complex along the way. On board, you can also enjoy the night view of the Hongya Cave at a distance. Besides that, several large bridges and a fantastic music light show are also attractions you cannot miss.

Yangtze River Cruise from Chongqing to Yichang

Yangtze River Cruise
Cruising on the Yangtze River is another must-do in Chongqing and will definitely be a highlight. The 3 to 4 days’ downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang is the choice of most tourists. The cruising journey covers most of the essential scenic spots which include a marvelous building Shibaozhai (Precious Stone Fortress), the famous Fengdu Ghost City, the well known Three Gorges and the picturesque Wushan Mountains. The Three Gorges hold the title of "Natural Gallery" and it is comprised of the precipitous Qutang Gorge, the elegant Wu Gorge and the rocky Xiling Gorge. In addition to the beautiful landscape, visiting the world's largest hydropower project Three Gorges Dam is sure among the top things to do.

 Recommended Guided Tours:  
 4 Days Luxury Yangtze River Cruise from $719
 12 Days Beijing - Xi'an - Chongqing - Yangtze Cruise - Shanghai from $2411

Experience Yangtze River Cableway

Yangtze River Cable Car
The Yangtze River Cableway is a special vehicle for local people to cross the Yangtze River. However, it now has become a one of the top things to do in Chongqing for the tourists from home and abroad. The cable car has been run since 1980s and the total length is about 1,166 meters (1,275 yards). In some way, it’s a symbol of the city and you can enjoy the city view in a different angle within 4 minutes. What’s more, enjoying a magnificent night view of the city on the cable car will bring you a unique experience.

Taste Spicy Hot Pot

Chongqing Hot Pot
Referring to the best things to do in Chongqing, tasting the spicy hot pot is necessary. Although various styles of hot pots prevail in China, the hot pot in Chongqing is the spiciest and the tastiest one. As the No.1 cultural symbol of the city, hot pot has become a part of local people’s life. You can find a hot pot restaurant easily on any street of the city. A tasty hot pot depends on the special soup bases and fresh ingredients. Liu Yi Shou and E Zhang Men Hot Pot are famous brands in Chongqing. Anyway, if you don’t like spicy food, you can try a clear soup one, which is also very awesome.

 Further Reading:  Chongqing Food & Recommended Restaurants

Bayi Food Street

Haochi Street in Chongqing
Here comes one of the best things to do in Chongqing for foodies – trying various local snacks in Bayi Food Street, which is just several minutes' walk from the central monument of the Jiefangbei CBD. The must-tries include Dan Dan spicy noodle, sweet Shancheng Small Glutinous Rice Balls, and the most famous Hot and Sour Rice Noodles. It’s really a foodie heaven for the people who love spicy food.

Ci Qi Kou Old Town

Ciqikou, Chongqing
Visiting Ci Qi Kou Old Town should be put on the list of top things to do in Chongqing. Ci Qi Kou is the closest old town to the city so it’s one of the favorite places for local people and tourists to enjoy leisure. It used to be a wharf hundreds of years ago. Now, wandering in the old town, you can see the ancient buildings in the style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). The streets are lined with tea houses and snacks stores, where you can taste the authentic food and experience the tea culture. Meanwhile, some folk artists often have fantastic performances like Sichuan Opera in tea houses. What’s more, the delicate handcrafts and souvenirs like Shu Embroidery are also the things you cannot miss.

 Recommended Tour to Ci Qi Kou & Wulong:  Chongqing 4 Days Tour Package from $569

Wulong Karst National Geology Park

Wulong Karst National Geology Park
As one of the best places to go in Chongqing, many people may know the Wulong Karst National Geology Park because it used to appear in the movie Transformers 4. The scenic area consists of several karst landscapes with different characteristics. Among them, Three Natural Bridges, Furong Cave and Houping Giant Doline are the highlights. Three Natural Bridges is the largest natural bridge groups in Asia. Three stone bridges connect the hills on both sides of the canyon with the span and height all over 200 meters (656 feet). In Furong Cave, you can see the stalactites with different shapes. Some of the stalagmite groups are pretty rare and look spectacular under the colorful lights. Houping Giant Dolines are composed of 5 naturally formed pits hiding in primitive forests and bamboo forests and the diameter and depth of each one is about 300 meters (984 feet). 

 Recommended Tour:  Chongqing Wulong Day Tour from $187

Dazu Rock Carvings

Dazu Rock Carvings
The last must-see place in Chongqing is Dazu Rock Carvings, which is the general name of all of the Buddhism carvings in Dazu district. Beishan Rock Carving and Baodingshan Rock Carving are the most popular spots compared with others because of the scale and completeness. Most of the carvings were crafted in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). You can not only enjoy the statues of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva but also appreciate some carvings of classical stories in Buddhist sutras like the Wheel of Life.

 Recommended Tour:  Chongqing Day Trip to Dazu from $158

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Best Time to Visit Chongqing
- Last updated on Sep. 14, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on Top 10 Things to Do in Chongqing
Asked by Yings from INDONESIA | Jul. 15, 2023 11:04Reply
Hi, may I know where to stay in chongqing? Centre of town… thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Olivia | Jul. 17, 2023 19:26

The most popular areas to stay among tourists are Jiefangbei CBD and Hongya Cave in centre of town.
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