Located in the southwestern part of China, Chongqing is a major economic and transportation hub in China. The city proper has more than 9 million people, and the municipality as a whole has a population of more than 30 million.
3 Day Chongqing Itinerary
If you’re just passing through for a few days like I was it may be difficult to choose what’s best to do, so I wanted to share my 3 day itinerary for Chongqing to help you plan your trip.
- Day 1: Arrive in Chongqing, Hongyadong, Eling Park
- Day 2: Yangzte River Cablecar and Hong’en Daoist Temple
- Day 3: Ciqikou Ancient Town, Guanyuemiao Temple, Zhongshuge Bookstore
My focus was to try a mix of popular attractions, temples, food, and lesser known areas, and taking lots of photos. You might want to swap some activities if you have other things you’d prefer doing. For more detailed information about Chongqing, check out my Chongqing City Travel Guide: Where To Stay and Top Things To Do.
Day 1: Arrive in Chongqing, Hongyadong, Eling Park
I arrived in the morning on my first day and really hit the ground running after I left the airport and checked into my hotel. You can always adjust this itinerary depending on your arrival time.
Metro/taxi from the airport to my hotel in the Jiefangbei area. Check in and get ready to explore!
Afternoon: Hongyadong, Lunch, Liziba Station, Eling Park
I walked to Honyadong, which was a 10 minute walk from my hotel. This is a famous stilted building filled with restaurants and shops, and is one of the top attractions to visit in Chongqing.
After exploring, I ate lunch at one of the many shops inside Hongyadong. These shops have many photos on the walls, and it’s very easy to point and choose what you want if you don’t know any Chinese. Most of the dishes are spicy Chongqing style, which you definitely should try!
I then took Line 1 from Xiaoshizi, transferred to Line 2 and hopped off at Liziba. This station is famous for the metro train that goes right through an apartment building!
Eling Park is nearby Liziba, so I grabbed a Didi to the park (you can walk, but it’s all uphill and would take quite awhile.) The park has free entrance and offers a great overview of the city! Take the stairs all the way to the top of the pagoda for a 360 view of Chongqing.
Evening: Hongyadong Night Photos
I went back to Hongyadong again to catch the night time view, which is when Hongyadong really lights up and feels alive! For dinner I found another local Chongqing shop nearby, but you can also try the famous Chongqing spicy hot pot! Then I walked around the Jiefangbei area where there are lots of malls and shops.
Day 2: Yangzte River Cablecar and Hongen Daoist Temple
Morning: Cable Car Across the Yangzte River
In the morning I walked to Line 1 Xiaoshizi Exit 5b, where the Yangzte River Cable car ticket office is. The cable car is a great way to see the Yangzte River and get a great city view. It costs 20 RMB one way or 30 RMB round trip, cash only.
It can be quite crowded in the cable car line depending on when you go. If you want to enjoy the cable car with less crowds, you can just take a taxi to the other side of the river and take the cable on the way back.
I walked along Nanbinlu for awhile to admire the city before taking the cable car back to Jiefangbei. You can spend much more time on Nanbinlu and explore the shops and restaurants here, but I had other things I wanted to do in the afternoon!
Afternoon: Hongen Daoist Temple 鸿恩寺公园
There was a beautiful temple I really wanted to see, but there isn’t a direct metro line there. I took the Line 3 metro to Guangyinqiao and stopped for lunch and coffee in the area. It’s a big shopping mall area, so you’ll find plenty of food options!
Then I took a taxi or Didi about 10 minutes away (20 RMB) to get to Hong’en Temple Park.
Night Hong’en Daoist Temple
The temple is lovely during the day, but is especially beautiful at night! You definitely need to wait for sundown and see this temple light up. If you just want to see it at night, you can do something else during the afternoon and arrive here during the evening.
Day 3: Ciqikou Ancient Town, Guanyuemiao Temple, Bookstore
Morning: Ciqikou Ancient Town
In the morning I took Line 1 to Ciqikou Ancient Town station, and walked around the area. Most cities in China will have pedestrian or ancient town streets filled with shops food and tourist souvenirs. These are especially great if you’re new to China. If you’ve traveled a lot around China and have seen many, you may be looking for other places to go. For me, I was happy I went to walk around for a bit and feel the atmosphere, but it’s not a top must do for me.
Afterwards I found a local noodle shop outside the ancient town area to stop for some famous xiao mian noodles!
Afternoon: Guanyuemiao Temple 关岳庙
I took Line 1 down to Daping station and walked to the beautiful Guanyuemiao Temple area. I’ve always seen photos of this temple because of the giant Yin Yang symbol in the middle.
I don’t recommend walking from the metro station – it goes up and down through local neighborhoods and around small staircases and is a bit confusing! Unless you use Baidu maps it is difficult to navigate, and even if you do it takes longer than the map says. Take a taxi instead! Once you arrive, you’ll find the famous Yinyang temple behind a series of three other temples
Late Afternoon: Zhongshuge Book Store
Up next I went to Zhongshuge Bookstore, which is famous for it’s beautiful design inside! Go to Yangjiaping Metro Station Line 2, or you can take a Didi to Zhengcheng Broadway Plaza and walk from there.
The actual address of the Bookstore was very difficult to track down – I tried searching on Google Maps in English and Baidu Maps in Chinese, but kept getting weird results. Finally I found it – and I’ve got it here just for you 😉
Chinese Address: 九龙坡区杨家坪杨正街8号中迪广场3楼
English Address: Zodi Plaza Mall, 3rd Floor
It’s just as beautiful as the photos I saw! Lots of other people were there taking photos as well, so you really have to wait with patience to get photos you want.
Night: Hongyadong and Bridge Night Photos
I wanted one last look around Hongyadong at night, so I went back to the area to take more photos! It was a great way to end my last night in Chongqing.
Travel for 3 Days in Chongqing
I had a very packed three days in Chongqing, but really enjoy seeing as much as I can when I visit a new city! I was able to check off all my top priority attractions as well. There are still many more things I didn’t get to do, so I would love to revisit Chongqing again (maybe in the spring!) to do more.
Check out my other itineraries for traveling in China:
- A Three Day Itinerary for Hiking Huangshan
- The Ultimate 7-Day Beijing Itinerary
- 8 Day Hunan Itinerary: Zhangjiajie, Furong Ancient Town, & Fenghuang Phoenix Village