For a flourishing city like Chongqing, the nighttime is a great time to experience a vibrant life with countless interesting activities you cannot miss. Considered a city with an even more beautiful night scene than Shanghai and Hong Kong, visitors can choose many ways to admire the beauty of Chongqing at night, from strolling around bustling commercial areas to spending time for traditional art performances and countless other interesting activities that take you from one surprise to another. In this post, we will introduce the top activities at night in Chongqing for your trip to this wonderful city.

Chongqing, China | chongqing nightlife
Watch Sichuan opera at Chongqing Chuanju Opera Theater | chongqing nightlife
Dragon Lantern Festival in Tongliang District
Relax in local bars like Above Bar & Restaurant, Chongqing | chongqing nightlife
Enjoy Chongqing cuisine such as the famous spicy hotpot | chongqing nightlife

Now, let’s check out our detailed guide to Chongqing nightlife with 5+ where to go and best things to do in Chongqing at night as follows!

Admire the amazing night view of the city

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There is a saying, “You haven’t been to Chongqing if you haven’t seen this city’s wonderful night view with your own eyes.” The city’s night view is highly appreciated by tourists, totally different from the somewhat stuffy appearance of high-rise buildings crowded together. As a mountain town surrounded by the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, there are many suitable places for visitors to admire the magnificent beauty when the city lights up. Some of the top places to view the city at night include Hongyadong, Jiefangbei Commercial Area, Yangtze River cable car, Nanshan Hill observatory, Liangjiang Pavilion in Eling Park, Chaotianmen Square, and so on are very popular among tourists.

Hongyadong–a must-visit place in Chongqing | chongqing nightlife
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| chongqing nightlife
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Yangtze River cable car | chongqing nightlife

Taking a night cruise is also one of the classic travel experiences to enjoy the night scene of Chongqing on both sides of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. There are many options for visitors, from budget-friendly to high-end tours that usually take place within 70 minutes. The journey will start from Chaotianmen Pier, follow the Yangtze River, and end at Jialing River Bridge then turn around.

During the journey, visitors can enjoy the night scene with spectacular lights emanating from skyscrapers along both sides of the river. The most impressive points of the journey include the Chongqing Opera House with its unique architecture and impressive light show. The buildings in Hongyadong are also a highlight of the itinerary–looking like a bright yellow light from the direction of the river. In addition, the cruise also takes guests across the most magnificent bridges in Chongqing such as the Zhengzhou Yangtze River Bridge, Shimen Bridge, and Caiyuanba with many signature architectural features.

A night cruise on the Yangtze River | chongqing nightlife

If you’ve been on a daytime cruise, the Nanshan Tree viewing area is perfect for panoramic views of the Yuzhong District from above. Located in the south of the city, you can see the panoramic view of the shimmering city alongside two slowly flowing rivers and bridges across the river creating a very spectacular scene from this viewing point.

Chongqing has unique natural scenery, such as mountains, rivers, forests, streams, waterfalls, canyons, caves, and more than 300 natural attractions and cultural relics worth exploring. | chongqing nightlife

In addition, you can also enjoy panoramic views of the city at Liangjian Tower in Eling Park, one of the highest places in the Chongqing Peninsula. This over 100-year-old park will give you a panoramic view of the Yangtze River to the south, the Jialing River to the north, the city center to the east, and Futuguan to the west.

Enjoy musicals at Chuanju Opera Theater (Sichuan Opera)

Sichuan Opera, also known as Chuan Opera, is a unique cultural highlight of the Han people in the eastern and central regions of Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan, and Guizhou. This was once the most popular art form during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Chongqing is considered the birthplace of Sichuan opera art. In addition to the impressive features of costumes, vocals, and music, the Sichuan opera style also makes a strong impact on the audience by two points: changing faces and breathing fire. Usually, changing the face (hereby changing the performance mask) is to express the character’s emotions, making the viewer feel much more interested. Fire breathing will often be reserved for artists playing bad characters, emphasizing their anger.

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Chongqing Municipal Chuanju Opera Theater was established in 1955, having performed many excellent operas, and its casts have been invited to perform in many countries around the world. This place is also the cradle of many famous artists. Therefore, attending an opera performance is a must-try experience for tourists, especially those who wish to learn about Chongqing’s classical cultural arts.

Credit: theycallmestranger | chongqing nightlife

Address: No. 76 Jintang Road, Yuzhong District

Watch a dragon lantern performance in Tongliang District (# chongqing nightlife)

Tongliang District is home to the tradition of dragon lantern production and performance in China. Since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), this place has always been vibrant and brilliant with dragon dance parades and beautiful dragon lanterns on important occasions. After nearly 700 years of inheritance and development, the art has become one of the leading intangible cultural heritages in China, performed in many places around the world, and received acclaim from public audiences everywhere.

Credit: Xinhua News | chongqing nightlife
Credit: Xinhua News

In particular, if you come to Chongqing during the Lunar New Year, take advantage of the Dragon Lantern Festival in Tongli. The 15-day program crystallizes the quintessential elements of the dragon lantern performance tradition here. Besides the tens of meters long dragons, explosive fireworks light effects, and majestic music will give visitors unforgettable moments.

Relax in bars in Yuzhong District (# chongqing nightlife)

In a bustling urban area like Chongqing, enjoying a night in the bars is something you can’t miss. Most of the prominent bars/pubs gather in Yuzhong District, especially in the Jiefangbei pedestrian street area. However, the price is somewhat expensive because it is in the city’s downtown area. You can also go to the area near the Three Gorges Square of Shapingba District or Graffito Street in Huangjueping to enjoy a relaxing night at the pubs, bars, and clubs here at a much more affordable price.

Jiefangbei pedestrian street
Three Gorges Square, Chongqing
Graffito Street in Huangjueping

Explore Chongqing night cuisine

At night will be the time to rest and enjoy famous delicious dishes in Chongqing such as spicy hot pot, spicy and sour rice noodles, meat dumplings, fish with chili oil sauce, and so on. You can easily find traditional dishes like this in many places on the street such as the Jiefangbei area, Hongyadong, or Ciqikou Old Town. These are destinations with convenient transportation systems as well as a very diverse number of dishes served at the same place, making it easy for visitors to explore and learn about the bustling city’s nightlife. This. However, one point to note for tourists is that most traditional dishes in Chongqing are very spicy, which will be a real challenge for those who cannot eat spicy food. You can still request the house to make less spicy dishes, but of course, you will not be able to enjoy the traditional flavors of the Chongqing people to the fullest.

Sichuan spicy hotpot, a must-try dish in Chongqing
Jiangtuan Fish
Chongqing Chicken with Chili Sauce

Visit the ancient town of Ciqikou

With a history of more than 1,000 years, Ciqikou ancient town is always the top destination for tourists when choosing Chongqing city as their travel destination. Located 14km west of the city center, the old town is not only a place where visitors can admire the ancient architecture that is still preserved intact with its quiet antiquity, but also have the opportunity to experience countless unique experiences, traditional dishes and discover traditional crafts that have been passed down to this day.

Vibrant Ciqikou at night

The art of drinking tea in China has existed for a long time throughout history. This is the national drink of China, so visitors can easily find traditional tea shops in many places. However, in Ciqikou it becomes a unique and impressive feature and becomes one of the marks of this ancient town for tourists. During the most prosperous period, there were more than 100 tea shops opened here, attracting many customers to enjoy tea and relax.

Today, teahouses remain a popular feature in Ciqikou. On the old street about 100 meters, there are 13 tea shops still operating. The most famous among them is the Suchang tea house, which is still extremely prosperous. This is a place where visitors can rest and enjoy unique folk art performances. There are many opera performances held here such as Sichuan opera, sit-down singing, storytelling… attracting a large number of attendees every time there is a performance.

There are many delicious dishes for visitors to explore in Ciqikou old town. The most famous among them are the “three treasures in Ciqikou” including eel cooked with duck blood pudding, sliced tofu and spicy salted peanuts prepared according to a rather sophisticated recipe with an unforgettable rich flavor. Besides, some sweet snacks such as twisted dough, sticky rice cake or Shu candy are dishes loved by both adults and children, sold a lot along small alleys on the street. In addition, most typical Chongqing dishes such as spicy hot pot, dipping hot pot, mixed noodles or vermicelli… are easily found at restaurants here. It can be said that Ciqikou is like a diverse culinary neighborhood located on the outskirts of Chongqing city.

Ciqikou street food

The night is a great time for visitors to explore a very different aspect of a vibrant city like Chongqing. Combining classic and modern activities, you will have the opportunity to fully experience the lives of local people as well as the outstanding development of a city with so many different facets. We hope this post is helpful for you to plan your upcoming trip to Chongqing!

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Chongqing you can refer to

Check out more China guide here. And Chongqing travel blog here.