Chongqing is an easy city to visit. The main parts of downtown offer multi-lingual signage and the travel options are reliable and cheap. The city is modern and visitor-friendly despite being a center of history and containing large residential areas that have changed little for centuries. English is not widely spoken, but locating an English-speaker if necessary shouldn't be difficult.
Customs and etiquette
Like many of China's gigantic cities, foreigners tend to go relatively unnoticed by the seething masses of locals going about their business. There's a laidback and ‘western' approach to most things and visitors can wear what they would at home and not cause any offence.
Open displays of affection such as couples holding hands are accepted, but tolerance of homosexuality is very slow to develop in China. Tipping in bars and restaurants is a growing trend but not obligatory. If invited to someone's home, it is essential to bring a gift alcohol or cigarettes are always welcome.
The Chinese yuan (RMB) is the local currency. Prices for most goods in the retail areas are comparable to prices in cities in Europe and North America and this goes for guest room rates at all levels of hotels. Street markets can provide good value, but in general Chongqing is not a particularly cheap destination.
ATMs can be found anywhere and everywhere and cards with international functions such as Cirrus, Maestro or VISA are accepted. Credit cards are accepted at major hotels and some upscale restaurants but as with most of China, cash is the only method of payment accepted at most places.
Chongqing sweats under year-long humidity but actual rainfall is light. The winter can be quite cold but not as frigid as other parts of the country snow is rare and even in the middle of a winter night the temperature rarely dips below 5°C. Summer daytime highs of 35°C should be expected.
Chongqing is comfortable throughout most of the year. Visitors arriving in the winter will need a coat, but nothing in the way of protection from extreme cold. In the summer, shorts and tank tops are good choices as the heat and humidity can make conditions quite sticky.