Struggling to decide where to stay in Chengdu? The sprawling metropolis includes many interesting areas & neighbourhoods to explore, making your critical when planning out your trip.
Chengdu isn’t one of the most visited destinations in China but it’s a massive city with lots to offer to travellers.
As you travel from teahouses and temples to clubs serving craft beer, you’ll easily fall in love with this charming city. The spicy local cuisine, rich history, and relaxed vibes should leave you wanting to extend your trip.
You can spend time viewing pandas in their natural habitat, take in a traditional Chinese opera, and travel to historic temples. The city also has numerous pedestrianised streets with endless shopping and dining options.
With a large expat community and many students, the city is youthful and culturally diverse. There’s a lot of variety in the city, offering both traditional to modern takes on a country that’s thousands of years old. With so much to see & do, you’ll need to cover a lot of ground. Staying near the action should help cut down on travel time.
Need help finding accommodations? Start searching for the right spot with this guide to the best places to stay in Chengdu…
Where to stay in Chengdu: The best neighbourhoods & areas
Chengdu is one of the largest and most modern areas in the Western part of China. The urban area spans over 1700 kilometres and includes 11 separate districts that fit together as if they are a massive puzzle.
The capital of Sichuan province has attractions spread all over. To navigate the city, you’ll need to rely on the six major metro lines.
Of course, staying close to the attractions you want to visit gives you more time for sightseeing. Most tourists choose to stay near Tianfu Square in the heart of the city centre but there are plenty of other choices.
Outside of the downtown area, you’ll find large public parks, temples, and historic towns. The top districts and neighbourhoods are still modern with numerous hotels and shopping complexes.
Some of the best areas to stay in Chengdu for travellers include:
- Chengdu City Centre
- Wuhou District
- Jinjiang District
- Qingyang District
Chengdu City Centre
✔ Best area to stay for sightseeing and foodies
If you’re visiting Chengdu for the first time, consider staying in the heart of the city. You’ll find the top things to see & do in Chengdu in the downtown area.
It’s also the easiest area to navigate. A long ring road surrounds Chengdu City Centre, which also covers portions of the surrounding districts. You can make the downtown area your home base while exploring more of the city.
Staying in Chengdu City Centre places you near some of the best destinations in the city, such as People’s Park. This urban green space includes a couple of museums, a café, and tranquil pond surrounded by various shaded paths.
In the very centre, you’ll come across the Sichuan Science and Technology Museum. It’s an interesting spot with a wide variety of exhibits featuring 3D movies, flying saucers, and interactive models.
The city centre is also the cultural hub of Chengdu. West of People’s Park is Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley. It’s an ancient shopping street lined with shops and stalls. Purchase or browse local folk art and souvenirs or get your fill of the infamous spicy local cuisine.
Recommended hotels in Chengdu City Centre
The city centre has the greatest selection of hotels with over 100 options spread throughout the downtown area. A few of the top choices are just around the corner from People’s Park or Tianfu Square, giving you quick access to the best sites in the city.
- Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel: Located in the heart of the city centre, this hotel is the closest to the middle of the downtown area. With the subway located just a short walk away, you should have no problem reaching any part of the city.
- Tianfu Square Serviced Suites by Lanson Place: The sleek styling and spacious rooms help you relax after a long day of sightseeing. If you get hungry, whip up a snack using the fully equipped kitchen with its own dining table and microwave.
- The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu: This hotel gives you a view of the downtown area with floor-to-ceiling windows. If you stay on one of the upper floors, you can stare out at the skyline. It’s also got spa treatments for when you get tired of exploring the city.
- JAHO Forstar Hotel Wenshuyuan Branch: Mostly catering to business travellers, this hotel has comfortable rooms with a work desk, sofa, seating area, mini bar, and fridge. You may not even want to leave. Besides offering lots of amenities, it’s a short walk from the subway.
✔ Best area to stay for history buffs and luxury travellers
Wuhou is just south of the Jinjiang River and a few blocks away from People’s Park and Tianfu Square. As with a lot of areas within Chengdu, it’s got a mixture of historic sites and modern commercial districts.
It’s the largest of the central districts with a population of over one million residents. Despite the larger population, it’s still got the same laid-back vibe as the rest of the city.
If you’re into the history of the region, take a trip to Jinli Street or the Wuhou Shrine Museum.
Jinli Street is a historic pedestrian shopping street. Instead of modern goods, you’ll find narrow streets with stalls and small markets. It also branches off into numerous side alleys. You could easily lose yourself and the rest of your spending money exploring the historic shopping street.
The Wuhou Shrine Museum gives you a chance to learn more about the Three Kingdom Culture. Built over 1700 years ago, it helps showcase the history of Sichuan Province.
Along with history, the area has many modern malls, restaurants, and hotels. In fact, the city is in the middle of modernising large swatches of the district.
Recommended hotels in Wuhou District
As with most of the city, Wuhou has a lot of diversity. While most of these options are several kilometres from the city centre, you can easily hop on the metro to reach any part of the city.
- Fairmont Chengdu: This recently built hotel has one of the most diverse breakfast buffets with vegetarian and gluten-free options. It’s also home to a top restaurant serving a combo of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine.
- Citadines South Chengdu: Located in the centre of the Tianfu New Area business district, this hotel has surprisingly large rooms and a great breakfast buffet. If you get tired of the spicy local food, breakfast includes Western options.
- Ascott Raffles City Chengdu: With fully equipped kitchens and spacious rooms, this hotel helps you feel at home. It’s just a short stroll from some of the top sites, including Jinli Street and Wuhou Memorial Temple.
- Hilton Chengdu: Part of the popular hotel chain, this location boasts close access to the subway station and its own on-site restaurant and bar. You can enjoy drinks and food without leaving the hotel or choose from the dozens of dining options in the neighbourhood.
✔ Best area to stay for high-end shopping and nightlife
For luxury shopping, dining, and clubbing, visit Jinjiang. It’s just east of the downtown area and a short commute from some of the main attractions.
As with most districts in Chengdu, Jinjiang has lots of history. It’s the birthplace of paper currency and the first merchant bank. This is fitting, considering that it’s one of the main business districts in the city.
The modern commercial and industrial developments drive the local economy, bringing many five-star hotels and luxury restaurants to the area.
Jinjiang tends to attract the younger crowd. Travel to some of the busier streets in the evening and you’ll find no shortage of craft beer and hip music.
Despite the fun nightlife, Jinjiang remains a chill neighbourhood during the day. You may find locals sitting outside cafes playing mah-jong and enjoying their tea.
It’s also home to Chunxi Road, the most popular pedestrian shopping street in the city. It’s a wide boulevard flanked by various department stores and malls. Shop luxury brands and scarf down some fast food.
Recommended hotels in Jinjiang District
If you’re searching for luxury hotels, the Jinjiang district has you covered. It’s home to some of the best hotels in Chengdu. You also have a wide range of options located near Chunxi Road. You can walk out of the hotel and reach the popular shopping street within minutes.
- Fraser Suites Chengdu: This is one of the top-rated hotels in the city, offering close access to attractions and rooms decked out in modern furnishings and appliances. Each room includes its own kitchen with a microwave and sink.
- Niccolo Chengdu: Rest in style at this luxury hotel. Work out at the fitness centre and enjoy local dishes at the two on-site restaurants. Located just seven minutes on foot from Chunxi Road, you can also easily reach the shopping district.
- Grand Hyatt Chengdu: Unwind in the 1000-square-yard French-style garden at this fancy location. It’s within walking distance of some of the best restaurants in the city, making it a top choice for foodies wanting to explore the local cuisine.
- HDCL Service Residence: Located a short walk away from Chunxi Road, this hotel offers clean sheets and friendly staff. It’s one of the more affordable options in the district but further from the metro stations.
✔ Best area to stay for fresh air and culture
Qingyang has a few of the most important cultural sites in the city, making it a top choice for your Chengdu itinerary. It covers the area north of Chengdu City Centre and includes several temples, monasteries, and historic sites along with the usual mix of modern developments.
Generally, the cities in Western China generate less smog compared to the eastern megapolises such as Beijing. While Chengdu has comparably cleaner air, the Qingyang district boasts the greatest air quality in the city.
You can thank the large public parks and green spaces for the fresher air. The green spaces include the Huanhuaxi scenic area, offering walking trails and lots of native plant life to explore.
You’ll also get to visit some of the historical sites such as the Jinsha Site museum or Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum.
If you visit between June 15th and the 23rd, you’ll get to experience the wonder of the International Festival of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The streets become lined with performers, parades, and floats.
Recommended hotels in Qingyang District
Whether you want a balcony with views of the city or a quiet spot to rest at night, Qingyang has many choices. It’s also near the city centre, allowing you to easily reach the main attractions on foot. The hotels in the area tend to cost a little more compared to the neighbouring districts.
- Travelling with Hotel Chengdu Wide and Narrow Alley: Despite the small rooms, this hotel is a top choice, thanks to the clean and modern furnishings. It’s also got its own sun terrace with views of the city and an on-site restaurant.
- Buddha Zen Hotel: This traditional courtyard-style building in the centre of a historic neighbourhood gets you into the mood to explore the history and culture of the region. When you’re ready to eat, enjoy the local cuisine at the on-site restaurant.
- Hotel Dorsett Chengdu: The sleek rooms of this hotel complement the modern amenities, including a gym, game room, and free WiFi. It’s also directly in front of the subway line, making it easier to get around the city.
- Chengdu Wenjun Mansion Hotel: This hotel blends with the architecture of the surrounding historic sites. It’s a large hotel within walking distance of Chengdu Culture Park, Baihuatan Park, and several other famous spots.