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Live in Beijing, been to Chengdu a few times



Asia > China > Chengdu > Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport > Useful Info
Submitted on Dec 28, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get to city center from Chengdu International Airport

  • Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located just 10-15km southwest of downtown Chengdu. The short distance makes this airport very easily accessible from the city and is really rare among Chinese cities which tend to have airports very far away from city centers
  • There are four main methods of transportation to central Chengdu from the airport:
  1. Metro: good for budget travelers without a lot of luggage
  2. Taxi: good for travelers with lots of luggage or just lazy (like me)
  3. Shuttle bus: good for budget travelers that are staying really close to one of the stops
  4. Train: good only if you're staying close to the Chengdu South Railway Station (located here) or the East Railway Station (located here)
  • I generally recommend using the metro system as it's very cheap and very fast. However, if you have more than one piece of luggage, you should take the taxi or shuttle bus instead. I find the train to be more hassle than the other options

  • Option 1) By Metro:
  • Chengdu metro currently has 7 subway lines that connect all the transportation hubs together including the airport (see official site for the current map)User submitted photo of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • Line 10 is the one that connects the airport. It stops at both Terminal 2 (domestic) and Terminal 1 (international), then takes about 12 minutes to get to its final stop at Taipingyuan Station (太平园) where you must transfer to Line 3, which can take you to central Chengdu
  • Travel time: total travel time from the airport to the center of Chengdu, including transfer time, is 45-55 minutes. Going to the transfer station to line 3 (Taipingyuan) will only take 12 minutes though
  • Operating hours and schedule:
  • First train of the day departs Terminal 2 at 6am and Terminal 1 at 6:03am
  • Last train of the day departs Terminal 2 at 11:12pm and Terminal 1 at 11:15pm
  • Trains should come every few minutes
  • Metro fare: the price to central Chengdu is ¥6RMB, or $0.85USD, so it's very cheap
  • How to buy the metro tickets:
  • You will need cash RMB to buy tickets (¥1 coins and ¥5, ¥10, and ¥20 banknotes), credit cards will not be accepted. You can also use AliPay and WeChat Pay mobile payments (and this is how you can set AliPay up as a tourist), but cash will still be the easiest way
  • Tickets can be bought at the self-service machines that are placed ubiquitously at the airport metro station. They look like this:User submitted photo of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • To use these machines:
  1. You need to know where your final station is and what line it's on. Use Google Maps or Baidu Maps to help you figure out the station you need to get to and what line it's on
  2. On the machine, click the line your final station is on. This will zoom in to that line and list out all the stations on that line
  3. Then click the name of your final station
  4. Then select the number of tickets you want to buy, and then insert the cash into the slots (the screen will display how much cash you need to insert). If you use AliPay or WeChat Pay instead of cash, just click the logo for AliPay or WeChat Pay on the screen after you've chosen the ticket quantity, and then use your AliPay/WeChat Pay app to scan the QR code that will appear on the screen, and then click the confirm button in your AliPay/WeChat Pay app on your phone
  5. Grab your ticket and change and go to the turnstiles to tap into the station
  • How to board the train: make sure you board the train bound for Taipingyuan Station (太平园). Since the airport station is not the terminal station, there will be train in both directions going to and away from the city center
  • How to find the airport metro stations:
  • After you've picked up your baggage, passed the customs into the arrival hall, follow the signs in the airport for "Line 10", like this:User submitted photo of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • Or look for signs with the logo of Chengdu Metro, which is this:User submitted photo of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport

  • Option 2) By Taxi:
  • If you have more than one piece of luggage, I recommend taking the taxi because the transferring with the metro will become a big hassle
  • You can take either metered taxi or app-based taxi service like Didi at Shuangliu airport
  • Travel time with taxi to downtown is about 25-35 minutes in normal traffic. However, during the rush hours of 7am-9am and 5pm-7pm, expect to add another 20 minutes to the travel time
  • Metered taxi:
  • Fare is ¥70-¥100RMB ($10-$14USD) to get to downtown area
  • To get a taxi, simply follow the "Taxi" sign in the arrival hall to get to the taxi queue. The queue should be on the ground level (same level as arrival hall) just outside the arrival hall, so very easy to get to
  • The taxis are green like this:User submitted photo of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • Didi Taxi:
  • Works exactly like Uber and you can pay by linked credit card. However, you must have a Chinese phone number to use this app, so it's only an option if you get a local SIM card
  • You must download the app while in China (the version you download from outside of China won't work here), from Didi's official website:
  • At the airport, open the app after you've claimed your baggage and in the arrival hall. The app will tell you exactly where the pickup point is, which is located in the parking lot outside of the arrival hall in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2
  • Fare varies by class of service:
  • Express (regular cars): ¥40-¥50RMB ($5.75-$7.15USD) to downtown. This is the cheapest option and is cheaper than even taxis
  • Comfort (professionally chauffeured better cars like Camry): ¥50-$70RMB ($7.15-$10USD) to downtown
  • Van (6 seater): ¥110-¥130RMB ($15.75-$18.6USD) to downtown
  • Luxe (luxury cars like Mercedes): ¥130-¥150 ($18.6-$21.5USD) to downtown
  • I personally use Didi almost exclusively to get around in China, not just Chengdu. The main benefit I see with Didi is that the fare is fixed at the time of booking so you won't get any nasty surprises. You also have the option to get really nice cars with Didi so if you have the budget this is the way to go. However, setting up the app can be challenging

  • Option 3) By Shuttle Bus:
  • There are 3 day-time shuttle bus routes and 3 night-time shuttle bus routes from the airport to the city
  • Line 1: 24 hours, 10RMB ($1.5USD)
  • Line 2: 6:30am-8pm, 10-17RMB ($1.5-$2.5USD)
  • Line 3: 7am-1am, 12RMB ($1.75USD)
  • Night Line 1: 8pm-5am, 10RMB ($1.5USD)
  • Night Line 2: 8:30pm-5:30am, 10-13RMB ($1.5-$1.9USD)
  • Night Line 3: 9pm-3am, 10-15RMB ($1.5-$2.15USD)
  • This map shows all the stops theses buses make. Use it to find the closest stop to your final destination and then click on the pin to see which bus line it is. Blue pins are day-time-only stops. Yellow pins are night-time-only stops. Red pins are all-day stops

  • How to buy tickets: tickets can be bought on the but itself from the driver with cash RMB. Credit cards are not accepted so make sure you have some cash with you
  • Where to board the bus:
  • Line 1, Night Line 1, Line 2, Night Line 2, Night Line 3:
  • T1: on the ground floor, at exit door 2
  • T2: on the ground floor, at platform 2 outside the exit
  • Line 3:
  • T1: on the ground floor, at exit door 1
  • T2: on the ground floor, at platform 4 outside the exit
  • Check the current shuttle bus information on the airport's website:

  • Option 4) Train:
  • There's a train station located in T2 (domestic terminal) named Shuangliu Airport Railway Station, from where you can take a train to Chengdu South Railway Station (located here) or the East Railway Station (located here)User submitted photo of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • Both the Chengdu South and Chengdu East Railway Stations are major transportation hubs, from where you can take a relatively cheap taxi to get to your final destination. South Railway Station in particular is close to the downtown area, so you may consider taking a taxi there to save money instead of from the airport. South Railway Station is also connected to metro Line 1
  • Fare:
  • 8 RMB for second class (biggest issue is tight luggage space)
  • 13 RMB for first class (seats are pretty much the same as second class but much less crowded)
  • 25 RMB for business class (lie flat seats and lots of room for luggage but only available in a small number of high speed trains)
  • How to buy tickets: while you can buy it online on, it's best to buy at the train station when you get there because of uncertainties around flight delays. You need to buy at the human booth (the machines are for Chinese ID holders only) and make the payment by cash (or AliPay/WeChat Pay). Just tell them where you're going to — South Railway Station (成都南站) or East Railway Station (成都东站). You will then need to show them your passport, so make sure you have that handy. If you want to buy online, type in "Shuangliu Airport" as the origin, and type either Chengdu East, or Chengdu South as the destination
  • Travel time: 10 minutes to get to Chengdu South Station, and 15 minutes to get to Chengdu East Station
  • Location of the train station at the airport: the train station is located in B2 level (below ground) in Terminal 2, which is the domestic terminal. So if you're in T1, you must make your way to T2 first, then follow the signs to get to the basement level B2 where the train station is located at