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Best things to do in Chongqing

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Where in the world: Asia  /  China  /  Chongqing Region  /  Chongqing

Top 15 things to do in Chongqing

1. Boat Tours & Water Sports

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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2. Three Gorges Museum

Learn about the history of the city and surrounding area at Three Gorges Museum, a museum dedicated to the natural and cultural heritage of Chongqing and the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze River. Opened in 2005, the cultural institution features four main exhibits that cover the natural heritage, early human history, 20th century, and World War II era in the area. The museum tells the story of the region through its collection of artifacts--including coins, porcelain, and paintings--and a number of scale models, interactive elements, and video displays.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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3. Ghost City of Fengdu

Witness the Chinese vision of afterlife at Ghost City of Fengdu, nearly two thousand years old and merging influences and teachings of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Legend has it that two imperial court officials, Yin and Wang--the combination of their names coining the phrase "the king of hell"--came to the mountains to practice Taoism and became immortal. Observe the demonic images depicting life in hell, and walk over a bridge that connects the underworld with this world and separates virtuous from sinners--the latter ones are supposed to fall into the pools below the bridge. Other ghostly attractions include a torturing pass fronted by statues of fierce demons and a palace with a large stone in front of its gate--a good person will manage to stand on it with one foot in the air for three minutes, while a bad person won't.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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4. Jiefangbei Square

Jiefangbei Square sits at the heart of the city's central business district, filled with skyscrapers and centered on a World War II monument. Large billboard advertisements, neon lighting, and LED screens add a modern feel to the square, surrounded by shopping malls and markets. Browse over 3,000 stores featuring the latest fashions and local products, as well as a wide selection of medicinal herbs, quality teas, folk art, and traditional clothing. Stay overnight at luxury hotel in the area and enjoy local street food and high-class restaurants.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Chongqing Zoo (Chongqing Dongwuyuan)

Enjoy the animals and natural ambience at Chongqing Zoo (Chongqing Dongwuyuan), home to over 200 mammals and 1,000 birds. The zoo holds many exotic and rare species, which can be observed closely in their pens. The pandas serve as the zoo's main attraction, housed in the "Panda Cave," where you can see them frolic and feed in a habitat similar to their natural environment. Other exotic animals include the South China tiger, Tibetan bear, argali, clouded leopard, Asian elephant, and golden cat.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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6. Jiefang Monument

Constructed in 1945, Jiefang Monument celebrates China's victory over the Empire of Japan in World War II. Also referred to as Chongqing People’s Liberation Monument, the 27m (88 ft) tower stands proudly over the central business district and sits in a plaza which bustles with entertainment and accommodation for tourists. It’s a busy spot, so exercise patience or arrive early in the morning to snap photos free of pedestrians.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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7. Ciqikou (Porcelain Port)

Jostle with locals to find your own perfect Feng Shui spot at Ciqikou (Porcelain Port), a picturesque ancient town on the west bank of Jialing River. Once a budding porcelain industry center some 14 km (9 mi) west of Chongqing, the town features a maze of narrow and steep cobbled streets. Explore the town, covering some 118 hectares (292 acres), discovering old crafts at over 20 ancient unearthed kilns, as well as works in progress in art studios. Stop in shops set in traditional buildings, modern handicraft outlets, and tiny grocery markets, then relax at one of 100 tea bars or a restaurant serving authentic cuisine spiced with Sichuan pepper.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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8. Wansheng Heishan Valley Tourism Area

Wansheng Heishan Valley Tourism Area serves as a quiet getaway from the busy city. Almost never crowded, the area is a great choice if you're looking for a place where you can enjoy the nature and learn about the life of the locals. Join the residents in their everyday chores, taste their cuisine, and spend some time forgetting the stresses of modern civilization.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Hongya Cave

Take a stroll along Hongya Cave, a series of buildings on stilts constructed against the riverside cliffs. Numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants line the scenic riverfront, so you can shop for souvenirs and handicrafts or sample local delicacies. Take a boat ride along the banks to admire the eclectic architecture from a different perspective, see the cavern the area is named for, and enjoy the vibrant, dynamic atmosphere of the historic neighborhood.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. People's Assembly Hall

Taking inspiration from the architectural flair of both the Ming and Qing dynasties, People's Assembly Hall stands 55 m (180 ft) high, topped with a three-tiered jade dome. Completed in 1954, the grandiose auditorium was commissioned to accommodate both domestic and foreign guests. Take a stroll around the picturesque paved grounds, furnished by abundant trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds. If the weather permits, consider breaking for a picnic and some people-watching. At night vibrant light illuminates the hall.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. Jindao Canyon Scenic area

Experience the natural landscape at its most rugged and awe-inspiring at Jindao Canyon Scenic area. The 10 km (62 mi) stretch of canyon, carved out by a vibrantly colored river, incorporates towering 100 m (328 ft) high cliffs populated by lush greenery and eerie caves. Two entrances lead to the hiking trail (one at the bottom and one at the top of the route); entering via the southern gate will mean you'll be hiking up stairs for the duration of the trip. Prepare for a rather precarious-looking boardwalk fixed to the cliffside, giving an aerial view of the gorge right underneath your feet. Look out for the caves en route, sequestering evocative formations and strange artifacts. Bring plenty of water and sturdy footwear for the hike.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. Chongqing Chaotianmen

A peninsula-shaped port (and the oldest in the city), Chongqing Chaotianmen stands at the confluence of the Yangtse and Jialing rivers as an important hub on this golden waterway. Made up of 13 separate docks, the area provides good restaurants and a huge wholesale market with particularly good clothes bargains. Observe the busy river activity from the spacious square, with dock workers handling huge quantities of cargo every day. River cruises, especially at night, give memorable views of the skyline. The site is also accessible via cable car, for a sweeping aerial view of the port.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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15. E'ling Park

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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