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One-Day City Tours in Chongqing


By Xinyi Li, iChongqing

Chongqing-Chongqing is an ancient city of more than 3,000 years. In modern time, there are still old buildings here which can bring you back to the old times.

For the one-day trip, several urban places are recommended. In the morning, Ciqikou Ancient Town is a great choice, to taste the life on the spicy side.

Chongqing Ciqikou Ancient Town

Ciqikou is an ancient village set on the side of the Jialing River, one of the two rivers that run through the heart of Chongqing. The town was first known as Baiyan Courtyard during the Song dynasty (approximately 700 years ago) where an emperor lived in seclusion. Later on, the village named as Longyin town that indicates the dragon (refers to the  Jianwen Emperor) lives in isolation.


A whole look of Ciqikou Ancient Town

It is a small ancient town with rich cultural identities including traditional Szechuan Opera stage, old tea lounge, and it has a water gate where lots of historical stories happened.

Several hundred years later, in the Ming dynasty, the small village became famous as a trading wharf for chinaware.  Thus, since then it has been known as Ciqikou which means “gateway for chinaware”, and has retained the charm of a riverside village in Southwest China, bringing in hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly.


Traditional Sichuan Opera stage in Ciqikou

Address: Ciqikou Street, Shapingba District

Transportation: take CRT line 1 to Ciqikou Station. Take bus NO. 220/843/202/237 to Ciqikou Station, or take bus NO. 234/467/805 to Tongjiaqiao Station, and then walk there.

Open hours: all day

Price: Free

Moreover, unique Chongqing food is everywhere in the ancient town. Visitors can have lunch there inside the old town. Street Cuisine of Chongqing is on the must-eat list. After launch, visitors can take the CRT to Yuzhong District.  This CRT line is notable for a station that goes through a building.

Liziba CRT Station

Liziba Station is one of the most famous public transport stations of Chongqing and even of all around China. Here the monorail goes through a residential building and stops inside because the station locates exactly on the 6th and the 7th floor of this block.

Having received a large number of tourists, a stand-by road is not enough for visitors who crowd here and just want to take a photo of the train passing through the building.


The CRT train is going though the building

The is a viewing platform there, dividing the place into several sections, including a drop-off point for tourist bus, a photographing area, a viewing area, and a footpath. The whole viewing platform covers 1,500 m2, of which 840 square meters are for tourists to take photos.

Address: Lizibba, Yuzhong District

Transportation: take CRT line 2 to Liziba Station

Open hours: 6:40-22:40

Price: the price starts at RMB 2/person. Depending on the distances you travel, the price changes.

Along with the CRT line 2, visitors will arrive Linjiang Men Station with it. Yuzhong District is the cultural area as well as a commercial center. There, visitors can sightsee the Liberty Monument (also known as Jiefang Bei).

Jiefang Bei (The Liberty Monument)

Jiefangbei (The Liberty Monument), located in the center of the downtown Chongqing, was first built in 1940. Today, Jiefangbei is dwarfed by the city’s skyline, foodie’s street, shopping malls, business, and entertainments.


The Liberty Monument at night

Nevertheless, it is always the spiritual symbol of the Chinese people’s fight against invaders and the great contributions to world peace.

It’s a major landmark and key attraction in Chongqing. Every year it acts as a gathering place for people on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, whereas thousands of colorful balloons are released to the sky at midnight. This is definitely the most popular place for New Year’s Eve celebration.

Address: Jiefangbei, Yuzhong District

Transportation: Take CRT line 6 to Xiaoshizi Station or line 2 to Linjiang Men, and then walk there.

Open hours: all day

Price: Free

Walking through the forest of buildings, visitors can find one old transportation in Jiefang Bei. Yangtze River Cable Way is a special method to enjoy the river and city viewing on the air.

Chongqing Yangtze River Cableway

Chongqing  Yangtze River Cableway, one of the fewest of its kind, is a cable car stretching across the Yangtze River that runs through the city. Whisking visitors high in the sky across the mountain metropolis, it is a symbol of the city, an inspiration for filmmakers and a must-do in Chongqing.


Chongqing Yangtze River Cableway in transit under the sunset

The Yangtze River Cableway was designed and manufactured in China, the length is 1166 meters, it connects Yuzhong and Nan`an districts from Xinhua Road in Jiefangbei to Shangxin Street in Danzishi. The speed of the cableway is 6 meters per second, and the whole tour takes 4 minutes.


The cableway across the river at night

Address: the northern station is at 151 Xinhua Road, Jiefangbei, Yuzhong District, and the southern station is at 4 Shangxin Road, Nan’an District

Transportation: CRT or public buses are all available to both stations.

To northern station: take CRT line 6 to Xiaoshizi Station, and then walk there. Or take bus NO. 153 to Xinhua Station.

To southern station: take CRT line 6 to Shangxin Station, and then walk there. Or take bus NO. 373/354 to Longmenhao Station.

Opening Hour: 7:30-22:30

Price: RMB 20/person for the one-way trip, RMB 30/person for the round-way trip

As mentioned above, the Yangtze River Cable Way is one kind of transportation. Therefore, it can help visitors cross the river. If you choose the one-way trip, then you can have fun at Nanbin Road. There is a shopping mall there so that it is convenient for visitors to seek food for dinner. Meanwhile, the night skyline is gorgeous at Nanbin Road.

However, if you choose a round-way trip for the Yangtze River Cable Way, you will come back to Yuzhong District. In addition, you can walk through the stilted buildings in Hongya Dong there. Furthermore, you can experience the two-river cruise in Chaotian Men at night, enjoying skyline on the water.

The Nightlife in Nanbin Road

Chongqing has an incredible skyline. The skyline of Chongqing looks like something out of a video game or sci-fi film, but it is very real and has been attracting huge crowds ever since the world found out about China’s secret metropolis.


The colorful lights of buildings in Nanbin Road

The night viewing of Nanbinlu Road enjoys a really great reputation. If a traveler asks where you can best view the skyline, the answer is Nanbinlu Road due to its unique geographic location. The night viewing is particularly magnificent when the buildings built along the river are set off by the scenery.

In all seasons, travelers are bound to see the beautiful cityscape in Nanbinlu Road at sunset when the lights go on. Standing on the river bank, travelers will not only see many boats but also hear a blast of a whistle.

Nanbin Park is one of the biggest riverside parks in China which owns 6 continuous parks distributed along the Nanbinlu Road and Yangtze River. For instance, Xiajiang Kaibu (The Western power’s port on the Yangtze River valley) and Yuwang Yizong (The relic of Yu the Great) -each of the six parks represent a notable story or legend. Travelers can spend nearly 2 hours to walk around the park, or they can ride a bicycle to sightsee.

Restaurants locate Nanbinlu Road, providing the dining for visitors, and hot pot, street cuisine, and xiao mian (Chongqing noodles) can be found there. Otherwise, there are also bars and tea houses along the Nanbinlu road, where can serve a place to not only catch the night lights but also relax. The local often play Mahjong (a kind of table game) in these riverside tea houses as well as enjoy the night viewing.

Address: Nanbin Road, Nan’an District

Transportation: take bus NO. 376/321/304/354 to Gangkou Hospital, NO. 318/320 to Haitang Xi, or NO. 872 to Sihai Intersection

Open hours: all day

Price: Free

Hongya Dong

Since the rapid development of the Internet, Chongqing has become one of the hottest cities, which attracts people to visit. Chongqing is famous for stereoscopic landscapes, which is unusual in other cities. Hongyadong is one of the representative urban tourist areas with three-dimensional (3D) landscapes.


Stilted buildings with Chongqing characteristics

Hongyadong also named Hongya Gate before, which was one of the old est gates in Chongqing in the past. It is located at Cangbai Road, which is the intersection riverside zone of the Yangtze River and the Jialing River. The incredible place has another name of  “a stilted building on the cliff, and the old Chongqing in memories”. In the meanwhile, it is an eye-catching building community featured with Bayu culture.


Hongyadong has the silhouette of the Spirited Away, from Miyazaki Hayao

Meanwhile, the major landscapes at Hongyadong are stilted buildings and imitation antique buildings. The collection of buildings cover 46 thousand m2. As a unique “pedestrian street in the air”, Hongyadong becomes an integrated area of sightseeing and recreation. Additionally, many people said that it had the silhouette of the Spirited Away, from Miyazaki Hayao, especially at night. There are 11 floors here. The lights will illuminate Hongyadong from 6 o’clock in the afternoon and lights out at 10 o’clock at night.

Address: Cangbai Road, Yuzhong District

Transportation: CRT line 1 or 6 to Xiaoshizi Station, or CRT line 2 to Linjiangmen Station. Take bus NO. 111, 112, 114 to Hongyadong Station or take NO. 105 to Xiaoshizi Station.

Open hours: all day

Price: Free

Two-River Cruise in Chaotian Men

The best way to really learn about Chongqing is the Two-River Cruise, with an unforgettable experience in viewing the cityscape of Chongqing – especially at night. Tow-River Cruise refers to the Yangtze River and the Jialing riverboat cruises, and it is one of the most distinctive symbols of Chongqing.  In 2017, it has attained the achievement of receiving more than 2 million visitors.


Two-River Cruise makes you enjoy the night viewing on the river (Photo by Zhang Binglong)

Since the heart of Chongqing is essentially a peninsula bordered by the Yangtze and Jialing river, its mesmerizing skyline can be viewed from many different angles, on mountains, riverside walks, or even on the river itself in the city’s many cruise ships.

Even without the lights of today, the night viewing here was already well-known in the Qianlong period (25 September 1711 – 7 February 1799).

A: Chaotian Set (2 kinds of boats: Chaotianmen Hull and Chaotiangong Hull)

Price: RMB 199/person

Tour time: 60 minutes

Delivery time: 19:30-22:10 (rolling start,40-50 minutes once, 4 times in total)

B: Jinbi Jiaoyun Set (4 kinds of boats: Jinbi Huanggong Hull (Golden Palace Hull), Jinbi Nvwang Hull (Golden Queen Hull), Jiaoyun Mingzhu Hull (Lucky Jewel Hull), Jiaoyun Mingyue Hull (Lucky Moon Hull))

Price: RMB 158/person

Tour time: 60 minutes

Delivery time: 19:50-22:20 (rolling start, 20 minutes once, 8 times in total)

C: Manjianghong Set (travelers can only take the Manjianghong boat)

Price: RMB 138/person

Tour time: 60 minutes

Delivery time: 19:50 1st, 21:00 2nd, 22:10 3rd

There are performances like Face-changing of Sichuan Opera, Chinese Tea Art and Chuanjiang Haozi on the Chaotian Set, Jinbi Huanggong and Jinbi Nvwang, so travelers can watch the show when they enjoy the night viewing.

The cruise price may be rising in holidays such as National Day (Oct. 1st – Oct. 7th every year) or Spring Festival (the Chinese New Year, changes every year according to the lunar calendar). It is better to book the tickets in advance.

Transportation: take CRT line 6 to Xiaoshizi Station, or take bus NO. 153/866/111 to Xiaoshizi Station

Along with those incredible spots in Chongqing, from daytime to the night, you can find Chongqing is a city with different aspects. This is one classic route for touring Chongqing. You can live in a riverside hotel and comfort yourself to end the day.


A Tour in Chongqing, A Gain in Vision

A Land of Natural Beauty, A City with Cultural Appeal

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