A Weekend in Chengdu

A weekend in Chengdu can take you in all sorts of directions and can be fitting for all kinds of travelers. It is important to plan what it is that you want to do ahead of time so I offer this guide as a little help along the way.  

Sichuan ProvinceChina, rondreis door de provincie Sichuan, okt. 2010

Perhaps you have heard of the Sichuan province in mainland China. It is a very picturesque location with a mix of Tibetan and Chinese culture. Famous for its spicy food and chilled out people, a short trip is a must!

If you are planning a small trip to the capital of the Sichuan province, Chengdu, there are some things you cannot miss! Let this short guide be a map for your weekend in Chengdu!


Chung Xie road and Taikooli are the top responses for where to shop in Chengdu. There are trendy, modern, upscale and western shops near the center of the city.

Taikooli has more western and expensive shops but it is a small hub that has some great restaurants, decorations, and stores. Chung Xie is home to the famous IFS building—climb to the top to take a picture with the giant panda climbing the building!

Chung Xie has more stall-type shops—souvenirs and trinkets galore! Make your way to the city center for more western shops and see the television tower that has glass flooring on the top.

Observe the city from the heavens but be careful to not be shocked when looking down! After spending some time shopping and walking so much, take a break near the west-end of town at Renmin Park for some tea before continuing on to see some more traditional aspects of Chengdu.


Liu Bei’s tomb and Jin Li are next to each other and an ideal place to see some traditional Chinese architecture, design, and literature. Learn about Liu Bei, Zheng Fei, and Guan Yi in the traditional temple-like tomb and stop off at the street next to it for some additional shopping and snacks.

You can find some more authentic crafting at the ‘Wide and Narrow Alleys’ nearby as well. You can also find some stores that show short versions of the Sichuan Opera—a show where performers change masks in a blink of an eye.

Unique sights

Of course, one cannot miss the panda research base if you are visiting this beloved city! The research base is in the northeast of Chengdu and might take a while to get to from your day in the city center.

Be sure to get there early as they feed the pandas in the morning and they are generally more active at this time. The research base is also fairly free if you go in the morning. You escape the packs of tourists to get some great pictures of those cuddly bears!

There is also a lake that is home to many swans and peacocks that wander the park as well. Ideally, you should go in the spring to see and smell the freshly blooming flowers in the park.

Where to go next

After seeing these special areas in Chengdu over a couple days, head to the west to see some authentic Tibetan villages, to the south to see the Leshan Buddha or Emei mountain, or to the southeast to Chongqing mountain.

Have you ever had the chance to visit Chengdu? What activities did you get up to? Is there anything you would like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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