Background: Salidroside, an active ingredient of Rhodiola rosea, exhibits antiproliferative effect in gastric cancer (GC) cells. However, the involvement of salidroside in apoptosis and autophagy of GC cells has not been elucidated. Materials and Methods: Cell viability of BGC-823 cells was assessed by CCK-8 assay, and apoptosis was analyzed with terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay and flow cytometry. The apoptosis- and autophagy-associated proteins and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) were determined by Western blot analysis. Autophagy was evaluated by green fluorescent protein-fused LC3 punctate formation. Results: Salidroside inhibited proliferation and promoted apoptosis and autophagy of BGC-823 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, salidroside enhanced the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, ERK1/2, and JNK. Furthermore, inhibition of MAPKs significantly abolished the effects of salidroside in BGC-823 cells. Conclusion: Salidroside induced apoptosis and autophagy of BGC-823 cells via activation of MAPK signaling pathway.