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How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu

Chengdu is an important layover city in China after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, because it has a huge airport hub connecting international flights to domestic or further international flights. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is the biggest of West China with its passenger volume at 4th place nationwide. 

If your layover in Chengdu is 12 hours or more between flights, then a short trip to Chengdu is a great way to spend the time. This article is designed to assist you how to spend a 12 hour layover in Chengdu and we lists top things to do in your Chengdu layover tour.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu


1.Apply For 144-Hour Transit Visa Exemption (1 h)

Since January 1st, 2019, Chengdu has implemented a 144-hour Transit Visa Exemption Policy. The policy applies to citizens from 53 countries who hold valid international travel documents, and a passenger ticket for connecting travel to a third country (region) with confirmed seats and a departure time within 144 hours. From 0:00 on the next day of entry, eligible passengers can stay in the administrative area of Chengdu for no more than 144 hours (6 days).

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu

Read carefully about Terms & Conditions on page China 144-hour Visa Free Policy and Cities

2. Stores Your Luggage at The Airport (0.5 h)

The airport provides service for luggage storage and claim. To facilitate travel, you are suggested to leave your luggage at the airport. The fee is 18–40 yuan per bag per day depending on size.

Terminal 1: Between Gate 6 and 7 in Departure Hall; Service Time: 05:30-23:00; Tel: 0086-028-85206200

Terminal 2: Behind the Check-in Counter N, P separately; Service Time: 05:30-23:00; Tel: 0086-028-85207220

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu


3. Currency Exchange (0.5 h)

In the departure hall of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, you can easily find a currency exchange services. You need some cash for public transportation and entrance ticket. Overseas credit cards cannot be used in most places.

Terminal 1: Travelex Currency Exchange: next to Door No. 1 of 2nd floor (departure hall)

          ICE Currency Exchange: next to Exit No. 1 of 1st floor (entrance hall);Area of Ticket Counter W20-21

Terminal 2: Bank of China: next to Door No.9

         ICE Currency Exchange: next to security gate FG within domestic departure hall.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Shanghai


4. See Adorable Giant Pandas (2~3 h)

Giant panda is a national treasure in China, and loved by Chinese and people from all over the world. Chengdu is the best place to see panda in China. Go to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to have a closer contact with the cute Giant Panda, that must be the top thing on your must-do list of Chengdu layover tour. Passengers can take the Scenic Shuttle Bus to the Panda Base at T1 international arrival exit or Terminal T2 exit 4/5.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu

Read Tips on Chengdu Panda Base Tour.

5. Visit Wuhou Temple (1 h)

Wuhou Temple is one of the most popular attractions in Chengdu. Wuhou Temple is a memorial hall built for Zhuge Liang who was a strategist to Shu country, a country in the Three Kingdoms period. Zhuge Liang is a talent with great gift in military strategy, and also a writer who had left us brilliant articles. It is now the largest museum left over from the Three Kingdoms Period and a very quiet oasis in the city.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu

More about Best Places to visit in Chengdu.

6. Stroll in Jinli Old Street (1 h)

Jinli Old Street, located near the Wuhou Temple, is a well-known pedestrian commercial street in Chengdu, with a large number of restaurants, souvenir shops and street snacks shops. Many cafes and bars are located in the street and it is a great place for nightlife in Chengdu. Walking in this street, historic lanes, old official residences, vernacular dwelling, inns and shops will bring you back to the ancient China.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu

Read Special Shopping Streets in Chengdu.

7. Relax in Chengdu People’s Park (1 h)

Chengdu People’s Park is located in downtown area, about 15 minutes’ walk from Tianfu square. It is the largest and comprehensive park with lakes, gardens, monuments, cultural relics and entertainment in a whole. Chengdu People’ s Park is a place where people have a leisure day, playing tachi, watching performances, drinking tea and chatting with friends. You may also choose one featured teahouse to enjoy a leisure time after traveling.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu

Read Chengdu Tea Culture & Teahouses in Chengdu.

8. Walk along Kuan Zhai Alley (1 h)

Kuan Zhai Alley is one of the top three historic preserve districts in Chengdu City. It is formed by three alleys called Wide Alley, Narrow Alley, and Well Alley. It is a cultural site consisting of 45 Qing Ming Dynasty style courtyards, modern villas and gardens, as well as theme hostels. The alleys are known for shopping, tea houses, entertainment and local snacks. It is an ideal place to see ancient architecture of Chengdu and shoot nice photos.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu

Read more about Shopping in Chengdu.

9. Taste Sichuan Cuisine and Chengdu Hot Pot (1 h)

Sichuan Cuisine must be on your list while planning your Chengdu layover trip. Sichuan cuisine characterized by its spicy and pungent flavor, emphasizes on the use of chili. Here is some delicious food that you’d better not miss, such as Hot Pot, Mapo Tofu, Boiled Pig Meat Slice, Kung Pao Chicken and kinds of famous snacks. You could always find what you like to eat in chengdu.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu

Read 8 Must-taste Cuisines in Chengdu

10. Visit Tianfu Square (0.5 h)

Tianfu Square, located in the heart of Chengdu, is the largest city square in Southwest China with easy access to lots of tourist attractions, such as Sichuan Science and Technology Museum, Chengdu Museum and People’s Park. Tianfu square is not only the symbol of Sichuan province, but also the traffic hub of Chengdu metro and it shouldn’t be missed during your layover trip to Chengdu. You can take the subway back to the airport here.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu


Create your Interesting Chengdu Layover Tour

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Chengdu? Top China Travel offers Chengdu tours, which can be customised to suit your preferences to ensure you get the most out of your visit. These tours could take you anywhere from the Panda Base to the Jinli Old Street or to Kuan Zhai Alley.

►One Day Chengdu Essence TourChengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, People's Park, Kuaizhai Alley 


Feel free to contact us if you have any doubts, we’re pleased to help you with your Chengdu layover travel plan. You can also tailor-made your own Chengdu layover tour at Free Online Tailor-made Tour to create your unique Chengdu tour.


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