Chengdu is the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province. If you can name one thing Chengdu is famous for the chances are its pandas. It is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding after all. But the truth is Chengdu has so much more to offer than just the fluffy black and white fan favourites and there’s also so much to see and do at night. The city is even known as the “Heavenly Land of Plenty”, so it’s an ideal place to vacation.
From excellent live music to some of the best street food in China, Chengdu is a city that ignites the senses. Chengdu is also a wonderful place to learn more about China’s culture and history. So, if you are visiting Sichuan and looking for the top things to do in Chengdu at night, look no further.
- Chengdu, China
- Plan Your Trip
- Tours And Tickets
- 20 Things To Do In Chengdu At Night
- 1- Appreciate the Sichuan Opera
- 2- Shop Until You Drop At Chunxi Road
- 3- See The Giant Panda At Chengdu IFS
- 4- Indulge At A Night Market
- 5- Spend The Evening At A Teahouse
- 6- Have A Drink At Jiuyanqiao Bridge Bar Street
- 7- Marvel At Chengdu’s Architecture Along Qintai Road
- 8- Eat Traditional Sichuan Hot Pot
- 9- Wander Around Jinli Pedestrian Street
- 10- Experience History And Culture Along Kuanzhai Alley
- 11- Watch A Traditional Puppet Show
- 12- Drink At Shamrock
- 13- Discover Chengdu’s Parks (People’s Park)
- 14- Sing Your Heart Out At KTV
- 15- Listen To Live Music
- 16- Look Out Over Chengdu At West Pearl Tower
- 17- Eat At The Panda-Themed KFC
- 18- Admire The Anshun Lang Bridge
- 19- Absorb Chinese Culture At Wenshu Monastery
- 20- Go Clubbing
Tours And Tickets
20 Things To Do In Chengdu At Night
1- Appreciate the Sichuan Opera
The Sichuan opera is something you must experience when visiting Chengdu as it’s one of the oldest types of opera in China and it’s extremely popular.
The Sichuan opera began at the end of the Ming Dynasty and the start of the Qing Dynasty.
The opera is a mix of local dialects, folk music, dancing and a lot of drama!
The changing faces of the Sichuan opera are particularly fascinating.
The performers quickly and skilfully flip their heads up and down to try to change their masks.
It’s so quick you can’t even see it.
The Sichuan Opera Theatre is at 27 Hongzhaobi St, Luomashi, Jinjiang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, 61004. Skip the lines and book your tickets here or combine a Sichuan Opera show ticket with Chinese tea tasting and a massage.
2- Shop Until You Drop At Chunxi Road
If you fancy a spot of night time shopping look no further than Chunxi Road, which is at the center of Chengdu and it’s a well-known and popular pedestrian street.
In fact, it is believed to be the third-busiest street in China, so you will certainly experience the thrill of Chengdu at night.
There’s everything there from malls, to restaurants, hotels and a whole host of entertainment spots.
Here you can find a whole host of food items, from hot pot to long chao shou (Chengdu wontons).
3- See The Giant Panda At Chengdu IFS
As it’s the home of the giant panda, you will notice more than a few pandas (not real) around the city.
Though the breeding center is more of an activity for the daytime, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for quiet pandas in the city as you walk around at night.
IFS is a large shopping mall that has branches across China and is well-known for displaying artwork at the top of its buildings.
In Changsha, artist KAWS has two monster statues at the top.
But in Chengdu of course there must be a giant panda climbing up the building! The panda was created by Lawrence Argent and is named “I Am Here”.
The panda is 15 metres in height and he looks as if he’s just about to conquer the climb up the building.
The panda is sculpted out of around 4,000 triangles making for an abstract look.
You can take photos of the panda from the street below or from the top of the building where you can see its cute face.
The IFS building is at Fuqin, Jinjiang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610016.
4- Indulge At A Night Market
China is a nation that loves food and Chengdu and Sichuan are no exception.
There is a plethora of night markets that you can visit in Chengdu, all with their own unique charms, delicacies and flavours.
Fuqin night market is the oldest street market in Chengdu; the prices are affordable, and you will really get a feeling of authentic Chengdu.
The BBQ sweet potato bread is well worth a try alongside, chuan chuan (fried skewers) and dan hong gao (Sichuan stuffed pancakes).
Jianshe Alley Night Market is another great place to indulge in Chengdu food.
They have an unimaginable quantity of snacks.
Try bamboo milk treat, rabbit head (if you dare), barbecued pig foot and spring rolls.
If you are only visiting Chengdu on your trip to China, then visiting Yemaozi Night Market is a great idea.
That’s because this night market features food from across China.
Every stall seems to have a different specialty including things like plum flower cakes and plum ice sweet dumplings.
Sanse Street Night Market is popular among the younger folk as it has an eclectic mix of foreign foods, Chengdu food and Chinese food in general.
Locals refer to this place as “Small Thailand” because of its foreign influences and they also serve beer too, so it’s a great spot to start a night on the town.
Finally, there is Liulangwan Night Market, which is one of the biggest and most popular among foodies.
If you only have time to visit one street food market, then go here for its vast array of food from sweet to savoury and of course super spicy! You may also like to join a tour with a local foodie.
5- Spend The Evening At A Teahouse
Chengdu is the hometown of tea and its home to the oldest teahouse in China.
There is a popular saying about Chengdu, “you could see more teahouses than sunny days”.
Teahouses in Chengdu have traditionally had strong social functions and used for leisure, entertainment and even private courts.
There are some wonderful teahouses to visit in Chengdu.
Shunxing Old Tea House displays the characteristics of a traditional tea house.
There are other teahouses that offer different vibes.
You can also head a little outside of Chengdu to Guanyin Pavilion where you will find the oldest teahouse in China with around 300 years of history.
It’s one of the most picturesque and photogenic teahouses.
This teahouse is around 30 km (18 miles) from central Chengdu but it’s easy to get there using a Didi (Chinese Uber).
Guanyin Pavilion Old Teahouse is at Section 3, Mashiba Street, Pengzhen, near Jiaotong Road, Shuangliu District, Chengdu.
For more things to do in China read:
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6- Have A Drink At Jiuyanqiao Bridge Bar Street
Jiuyuanqiao Bar Street is named after the nearby Jiuyuan Bridge which is more than 400 years old.
The bridge’s name in Chinese literally means “nine-eye bridge” or nine arches.
If you are in Chengdu and looking for a good time, then there’s no better place to go.
There are literally hundreds of bars lining the streets.
There are bars, clubs, local joints and international spots.
There really is somewhere for everyone.
It’s an excellent place to visit during the warmer months when you can sit outside overlooking the river.
Jiuyuanqiao Bar Street is in Wuhou District, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610047.
7- Marvel At Chengdu’s Architecture Along Qintai Road
Qintai Road is a truly stunning street in the Huan Hua Cultural District of Chengdu and although it is impressive during the day, it’s best viewed at night.
Along this road you will see some of Chengdu’s top cultural sites like Qingyang Temple, the Songxiangqiao Art City, and Dufu’s Thatched Cottage.
All these spots are within walking distance of each other and the street is steeped in history.
It is a popular street from the well-known Chinese love story between Sima Xiangru and Zhuo Wenjun.
Today you will see that the street is filled with ancient and impressive architecture, teahouses, restaurants and many of the Sichuan Opera theatres.
At night the traditional Chinese buildings light up creating a romantic and attractive sight.
8- Eat Traditional Sichuan Hot Pot
One of the most famous Chinese foods globally and in China is hot pot.
Though hot pot originated from Chongqing (which was part of Sichuan province before being directly governed) this dish is usually known as Sichuan or Chengdu hot pot.
As is the case with most hot pots, the most important part is the broth.
The Chengdu hot pot has an oily and spicy broth that is usually made from either beef or pork.
If you’ve never visited China before and think you can handle spice, then be prepared, you will soon see how wrong you are.
It is very normal to see even the most experienced Chinese people going to Sichuan and struggling with the spice.
Foreigners are always attributed with saying “bù là (不辣) meaning not spicy when they order food but in Chengdu this will only reduce the searing heat of the Sichuan pepper just a little.
What do you get to dip in this Sichuan hot pot?
You can usually choose from a whole array of side dishes from mushrooms and tofu to shrimp dumplings, lotus roots, potatoes and beef.
9- Wander Around Jinli Pedestrian Street
Jinli Ancient Street is known as the “First Street of Shu Kingdom” and where you will feel like you have stepped back in time.
The street is indicative of Sichuan style architecture from the Qing Dynasty (AD 1636-1912).
Visit in the evening and you will be strolling among beautiful hanging lanterns, taking in all the sights.
While walking along the street you will discover street performers and a variety of yummy snacks to try.
You might be lucky and enjoy some of the frequent folk dramas or music events that happen along the street.
10- Experience History And Culture Along Kuanzhai Alley
Also known as the “Wide and Narrow Alley”, Kuanzhai Alley is made up of three historic alleys from the Qing dynasty.
Kuan Alley is where you will feel the nostalgia of ancient Chengdu in its tea houses and there are plenty of places to try incredible Sichuan cuisine.
Zhai Alley is a blend of Chinese style and western influences, where you can find western-style restaurants and coffee shops as well as Chinese shops and snack shops.
Jing Alley has bars, great architecture and plenty of things to photograph.
11- Watch A Traditional Puppet Show
The Chengdu Puppet and Shadow Show Troupe started in Sichuan province.
This troupe focuses on rod puppets as well as the shadow puppet theatre and glove puppets.
Some of the traditional performances that are showcased by the Chengdu Puppet and Shadow Show Troupe include the Monkey King: Journey to the West and Chen Xiang Saved His Mother.
You can see puppet shows along Jinli Ancient Street in Chengdu.
12- Drink At Shamrock
Shamrock Bar is an Irish joint just around the corner from the US consulate in Chengdu and a wonderful place for a lively evening no matter the day.
They serve awesome western style food, stream live sports like the NBA, UFC, rugby, and football and host an array of themed evenings.
If you want to meet other foreigners in Chengdu, then this is the place to go.
Shamrock is at Wuhou District, Renmin South Rd, Wuhou District, Section 4, 15号附16号 邮政编码: Chengdu, Sichuan 610044.
13- Discover Chengdu’s Parks (People’s Park)
You might think that parks are more of a daytime activity but in China they are thriving even when the sun goes down.
Renmin Park, otherwise known as People’s Park, is a wonderful city park with bonsai trees, amusement rides and motorboats.
Though it’s worth checking out this park in the daytime at night it comes alive.
Aunties start dancing during their evening fitness classes, kids play and people gather.
Sometimes there’s fireworks, and you can always grab a drink at the tea house in the park.
People’s Park is at 9 Citang St, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610015.
14- Sing Your Heart Out At KTV
KTV is a popular evening activity in China, no matter where you are and KTV bars in China are more than just a screen with a microphone.
Most of them look like fully fledged bars with private soundproof rooms for you and your friends.
There will be an array of Chinese and English songs so don’t worry if you don’t know any Chinese.
There are a ton of KTV spots in Chengdu.
You only must head to Chunxi Road to find the glaring KTV signs.
15- Listen To Live Music
For those that have never been to China, the party, entertainment scene might not be the first thing to come to mind, but the truth is China knows how to entertain!
Chengdu has one of the coolest emerging music scenes around and the top city for Chinese rap music, with many local artists finding their fame there.
With a mix of local and foreign artists, Chengdu’s music scene is developing into an array of genres from jazz to rock, punk and even reggae.
There are several places where you can listen to live music at night in Chengdu.
You can’t really go wrong with Jah Bar (家吧) on the south side of Jinjiang District.
They host jam sessions and live performances most nights of the week.
There’s also New Little Bar (小酒馆) which is credited as starting the underground music scene in Chengdu.
If you like punk and rock music head here on a Friday or Saturday evening from around 8pm.
Little Bar is in Wuhou District, Chengdu, 610044.
Jah Bar is at Si Chuan Sheng, Cheng Du Shi, Wu Hou Qu, Chengdu.
16- Look Out Over Chengdu At West Pearl Tower
When visiting a new city if you have the opportunity then it’s always fun to head up into the clouds and see the city from above.
If you visit Chengdu, then the West Pearl Tower is the place to go for expansive views of the city.
The West Pearl Tower looks very much like Toronto’s CN Tower or the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington.
The West Pearl Tower is 339 metres high (1,112 ft).
It was originally built to help TV networks across the city but has eventually expanded to include a restaurant, a shopping mall and a 360-degree viewing area.
The West Pearl Tower is at 96 Mengzhuiwan St, Chenghua District, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610051.
17- Eat At The Panda-Themed KFC
In 2016 KFC opened its first panda-themed KFC restaurant on Chunxi Road.
It is decked out in all thing’s panda, from panda photos to dolls and fake bamboo trees.
While it’s not recommended to eat KFC in Chengdu (why would you when there is so much incredible local food to try?) if you are after a quick and convenient bite to eat with a side of panda cuteness this is a good place to go to.
18- Admire The Anshun Lang Bridge
Anshun Lang bridge is a unique and striking bridge that has long been an iconic view in Chengdu.
This is one of those sites that is good in the day but outstanding at night when the lights are switched on and the bridge reflects in the water.
The Anshun Lang bridge is next to the Hejiang Pavilion on the Funan River.
The Anshun bridge can be traced back to the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).
The literal translation of the bridge’s name is “Bridge of Peace and Propitiousness”.
The bridge is 81 metres (265 feet) long and six metres wide (19 feet).
Today, inside the building that’s perched on the bridge you will find André Chiang’s first restaurant in mainland China: The Bridge.
He delivers a modern take on Sichuan cuisine.
Anshuan Lang Bridge is at Binjiang E Road, Jinjiang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610061.
19- Absorb Chinese Culture At Wenshu Monastery
Wenshu Temple of Wenshu Monastery is one of the best-preserved temples in the entire city and was built between 605 and 617.
Step inside the monastery and you will be transported back in time.
Inside there are famous pieces by Chinese painters and calligraphers that are mightily impressive.
The temple even houses a piece of Xuan Zang’s (a Buddhist monk during the Tang Dynasty) skull.
While you can certainly visit the monastery during the day, it’s also charming at night.
When the evening comes, the lights of the monastery are switched on and it feels magical.
Wenshu Monastery is at 66 Wenshuyuan St, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610084.
20- Go Clubbing
If you didn’t know China had a clubbing scene then chances are you have never been to China.
Chengdu has a fantastic clubbing scene and it’s a great way to end a night out in the city.
There are plenty of clubs in Chengdu to check out from Chinese clubs to more foreign ones.
Just a word of warning: head to a Chinese club and it’s going to be some of the loudest music you’ve ever heard!
Some of the best nightclubs in Chengdu include Jiu Yan Qiao, MUSE Club and Seven Club.
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