How to Spend 1 Day in Chongqing
This sprawling metropolis of more than 30 million people ranks among the most multifaceted cities in western China—a former walled city turned modern destination at the confluence of two rivers. A day is just enough to give you a taste of Chongqing. Read on for tips on how to spend your time.
Morning: City Sightseeing
There’s a lot of ground to cover in the hilly city of Chongqing, so let a guide lead the way. Sightseeing tours around town often cover the most important landmarks and attractions; take in the views of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers from Eling Park, visit a thousand-year-old Buddhist temple wedged between modern skyscrapers, and see some of China’s most famous residents—its giant pandas—at the Chongqing Zoo. If you have spare time, wander the cobbled streets of Ciqikou, a small neighborhood known for its Sichuan-style architecture.
Many full-day tours of Chongqing include a visit to one or two of the city’s museums, but you can also stop by on your own. The Chongqing Museum offers an introduction to the region through its collection of more than 100,000 artifacts spanning 3,000 years. Another favorite, especially among American visitors, is the General Joseph W. Stilwell Museum, housed in the general’s former residence and headquarters. Those planning to cruise the Yangtze River won’t want to miss the Three Gorges Museum.
Night: Hot Pot
No trip to Chongqing is complete without dining on a regional specialty, hot pot (huoguo). This popular Sichuan dish, made by cooking a variety of meats and vegetables in a bubbling vat of fiery broth, is served in street stalls and restaurants all along Huoguo Jie (Hot Pot Street). Milder versions are available on request. Night owls can continue their day into night at one of the bars or clubs clustered along Bayi Lu.