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How to Plan a Chongqing Tour

Chongqing (重庆) is a unique city located in southwest of China, bordering Sichuan, Guizhou, Hubei and Hunan Province. In most Chinese mind, Chongqing is different from other cities in China for reasons like hot weather, hot girls and hot pot. And for most travelers who choose to come to Chongqing, the top reason is definitely for a relaxing and rewarding Yangtze River cruise down the longest river in China with gorgeous scenery along the way.

In fact, Chongqing is so large to explore. Are you planning a China tour with Chongqing? If so, check the following planning guide which includes everything, like best attractions to see with time arrangements, top things to do you should not miss, how to spend your time reasonably in Chongqing, how to reach the Mountain City, where to stay and more. Hope this 2020 latest planning guide will do some help for you.

Best Attractions to See & Explore in Chongqing

Chongqing Hongya Cave Stunning View

Chongqing is one of the four municipalities of China and its size is even larger than Beijing and Shanghai. The tourist sites and trips in Chongqing can be divided into three parts - simply Yangtze River Cruise, Chongqing downtown area exploration, visiting in Chongqing suburb to Dazu or Wulong. Check the following attractions list and get a quick look at what to see and explore in and around Chongqing.

Attractions Type Location Distance & Driving Time
(from Chongqing Downtown)
Highlights Recommended Length of Visiting
Three Gorges Gorge Yangtze River in Chongqing Section 415 KM, 6 hours’ driving Top 10 Must-see Sight in China, including Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, Xiling Gorge 2 days (with a 4-day cruise)
Fengdu Ghost City Cultural Site Yangtze River in Chongqing Section 148KM, 2.5 hours’ driving Experience ghost culture in this featured Ghost City 2-2.5 hours (with a 4-day cruise)
Shuanggui Mountain Nature & Parks Yangtze River in Chongqing Section 148KM, 2.5 hours’ driving Immerse in nature scenery and learn cultural stories 2 hours (with a 4-day cruise)
Shibaozhai Pagoda Architecture Yangtze River in Chongqing Section 253KM, 4.5 hours’ driving Pearl of Yangtze River with a 12-story wooden pagoda built by the steep cliff 2 hours (with a 4-day cruise)
White Emperor City Cultural Site Yangtze River in Chongqing Section 415 KM, 6 hours’ driving The best spot to view the magnificent Kui Gate, the starting point of Qutang Gorge 2 hours (with a 4-day cruise)
Three Gorges Museum Museum Chongqing Downtown In center downtown Have a better learning about Three Gorges, Yangtze River and Chongqing 2 hours
Hongya Cave Recreation & Architecture Chongqing Downtown 2.7KM, 15 minutes’ driving A lively place for dining, shopping and other fun. 1 hour
Ciqikou Ancient Town Architecture & Ancient Town Chongqing Downtown 14KM, 40 minutes’ driving Experience “Little Chongqing” in this thousand-year-old town 1-2 hours
Wulong Karst Nature Chongqing Suburb 190KM, 3-4 hours’ driving It include four parts: Three Natural Bridges, Furong Cave, Fairy Mountain, and Longshuixia Gap 1 or 2 days
Dazu Rock Carvings Culture & Buddhism Chongqing Suburb 105KM, 2 hours’ driving UNESCO World Heritage Site with valuable Buddhist arts 1 day

How Long to Stay and How Spend your Time in Chongqing Reasonably?

Most travelers would like to spend 4 to 5 days in and around Chongqing. For travelers who taken 4-day trip, they will come to Chongqing early in the morning and enjoy half day city to see all the highlights of Chongqing downtown and at the evening to take the 4-day Yangtze River cruise at Chaotianmen Dock sailing to Yichang. For travelers who arrange 5-day trip, they will stay one night in Chongqing city and explore in and around Chongqing for one or one and half day and then for the 4-day cruise.

If you have 4 days, you can go as following:

Travel Plan Itinerary Features Recommended Tour
Plan A Day 1: arrive in Chongqing in the morning, and take half-day city tour to Ciqikou Ancient Town, Three Gorges Museum, Hongya Cave, board the ship in the evening, departing from Chongqing;
Day 2 - Day 4: enjoy Three Gorges scenery onboard and take short trip to Three Gorges Dam, arrive in Yichang.
Classic and most famous sites 4 Days Chongqing Essence Tour with Yangtze Cruise
Plan B Day 1: arrive in Chongqing, transfer to Chaotianmen Dock to board your ship directly, departing from Chongqing;
Day 2 - Day 4: enjoy Three Gorges scenery onboard and take short trip to Three Gorges Dam, arrive in Yichang.
Only cruise experience; the most essence part Contact Us for Itinerary

(Note: If you need the private car transfer service from Chongqing Airport or Chongqing Train Station to Chaotianmen Dock, just feel free to let us know.)

If you have 5 days, you can go as following:

Travel Plan Itinerary Features Recommended Tour
Plan A Day 1: arrive in Chongqing this day and stay here one night;
Day 2: On this day, take the one day tour to Ciqikou Ancient Town, Three Gorges Museum, Liziba House-Crossing Metro Experience, Hongya Cave, board the ship in the evening, departing from Chongqing;
Day 3 - Day 5: enjoy Three Gorges scenery onboard and take short trip to Three Gorges Dam, arrive in Yichang.
One full day in Chongqing downtown + downstream cruise 5 Days Chongqing & Yangtze River Cruise Tour
Plan B Day 1: arrive in Yichang and transfer to Maoping Port to board your ship;
Day 2 - Day 5: enjoy Three Gorges scenery onboard and take short trip to Three Gorges Dam, arrive in Chongqing. You can do half day city tour in Chongqing.
Upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing 5 Days Yichang Culture Tour with Yangtze Cruise Experience

How to Get to Chongqing

Flights and high speed trains are the common choices to get to Chongqing. The mainly used airport in Chongqing is called Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport. The airport has been connecting flight services with more than 200 cities in domestic China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Huangshan, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Kunming, Lhasa, etc.

Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport

Besides, taking high speed train to Chongqing is also popular. There are 4 frequently-used train stations in Chongqing. They are Chongqing Railway Station, Chongqing North Railway Station, Chongqing West Railway Station and Chongqing Shapingba Railway Station. Every day, there are more than 400 high speed trains running from/to Chongqing. You can catch trains to Chongqing from Xian (5.5 hours around), Chengdu (2 hours around), Lanzhou (7 hours around), Guiyang (2 hours around), Guilin (4-5 hours), Beijing (12 hours around), and Shanghai (11.5 hours around) and so on.

After arriving in Chongqing, you can take taxi, metro, bus or coach to different destinations in and around Chongqing.

Chongqing North Railway Station

Choose Best Time to Visit Chongqing & Yangtze River

Chongqing has a classic humid subtropical monsoon climate, with average annual temperature from 16℃ ~ 18℃. The average temperature in the hottest month is from 26℃ to 29℃, while the average temperature for the coldest month is from 4℃ to 8℃. Rainfall is abundant, and May to September is the rainy season. Due to the effect of terrain and climate, Chongqing is rich in mist. In the mountainous area, the annual foggy days can reach to 204 days.

Spring and autumn is the best time to visit Chongqing. The weather during these time is fair and comfortable. However, from October to the next April, Chongqing is foggier than other time, thus, although summer is hot, it has less fog comparing with other seasons, and it's the best time to appreciate the stunning night view of Chongqing. In conclusion, if you just come to Chongqing for the cruise, it is suitable to visit all year round. If you want to cover some sites around, spring and autumn will be more proper.


Travel Zhangjiajie with TTC

To help you enjoy a worry-free trip to Zhangjiajie and the whole China, we suggest you travel with TTC. Our experienced travel expert will help you arrange the accommodation, transportation and everything well to let you spend all your effort and time on the sightseeing. If you have any other ideas or questions about your Zhangjiajie tour, please feel free to contact us. We will help you plan your enjoyable trip with sincerity and professionalism!

We have helped many global travelers enjoy their memorable trips to Chongqing for the past few years. Travel with TTC to create your wonderful Zhangjiajie trip memories!

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