The Yangtze River curves around the north and west border of Nan'an district for about 45 kilometers. The river separates Nan'an from its neighbouring districts such as Jiulongpo, Yuzhong, Jiangbei, and Yubei. The bridges crossing the Yangtze River are the primary passage for transportations to and from the other side of the river. Ferries are also available as a backup and they used to be the only connection to the central part of downtown Chongqing before the first bridge was built in the early 1980s. Nan'an shares the border on the south and east land area with Banan.
Nan'an district is one important part of the historical city Chongqing. It was first established in 1929 as an administrative region when the city underwent expansions. At that time, it covers the current Nan Ping (southern plain), Hai Tang Qi (Azalea Creek), Long Men Hao (Grand Water of Dragon Gate), and Dan Zi Shi (Pebble Stone). With series changes to its covering area and naming from the year 1929 through 1950, Nan'an got its current name in October 1955.
Nan'an district is the home of five colleges and over ten national or provincial research institutes including Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing Technology and Business University, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing Education College, Chongqing Pharmaceutical Research Institute, etc.
Nan'an is best known for its abundance of natural and historical tourist attractions. In particular, the Nanshan (南山, Southern Mountain) is located here. The Ciyun temple (慈云寺), Tushan temple (涂山寺), and Laojun Cave (老君洞) were built in as early as the Tang Dynasty. Nan Wen Quan (Southern Hot Spring) is a hot spring for relaxation. There are also rowing boats. Yikeshu (一棵树, Single-Tree) sightseeing spot provides a panorama of Chongqing. There are also hiking trails. Foreigners' Street is an amusement park that includes the world's largest toilet, the Porcelain Palace.
Nan'an is currently served by one metro lines operated by Chongqing Rail Transit: