Chengdu may not enjoy the same level of fame as Beijing or Shanghai, but it’s an enduringly popular destination for Chinese and international travellers. As the Sichuan capital, Chengdu is known for its laid-back atmosphere, historical sites, and world-famous spicy cuisine. It’s also the home of the giant panda. Luxury Chengdu holidays promise a memorable and revitalising city break.
As a sub-provincial city, Chengdu includes a central metropolitan area surrounded by smaller cities, towns and villages. The city's urban heart lays within a major ring road and in a region of interconnected waterways branching off the Jinjiang River. In this central area, you’ll find many iconic tourist attractions as well as modern luxury hotels, shopping centres and excellent Sichuan restaurants.
Stay in the centre of Chengdu and enjoy easy access to parks, museums, art galleries, temples, and many traditional teahouses. While this area is urban and built-up, the atmosphere remains tranquil and the area’s many green spaces and riverside pathways which ensure a relaxing stay. One major attraction that sits outside the city centre is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding – well-worth a visit especially in winter when newborns cubs arrive. Vast areas of wilderness surround Chengdu city like the mountainous Xiling Xueshan National Park. The park is covered in azaleas between March and August and snow between December and February when it becomes a premier ski resort. South of Chengdu is the neighbouring city of Leshan, where you can climb the sacred Mount Emei and pay a visit to a massive ancient Buddha statue.
As a city with so much to see and do, an enjoyable visit to Chengdu does not depend on the weather. The warmest months are June to August when temperatures push into the late twenties. In the winter, temperatures dip dramatically but typically don’t fall below freezing.
Spring and autumn are excellent times to visit as the colder temperatures and colourful foliage make for fantastic hiking and sightseeing conditions. If you plan to ski at Xiling Xueshan, you should visit between December and March.
As a vibrant, modern city that attracts numerous international visitors, Chengdu is well equipped to offer all kinds of culinary experiences. At the luxury hotels in central Chengdu, you’ll have your pick of snack bars, lounges and chic restaurants serving up dishes from all four corners of the globe.
Across the city, you’ll find traditional restaurants where you can sample authentic Sichuan cuisine, which is famed for its spiciness, intense flavours and liberal use of the Sichuan peppercorn. Particular favourites include Kung Pao chicken, Sichuan hotpot and dandan noodles.