Destination overview Destination sketch It is regarded by some Chinese as one of the most beautiful and cleanest cities in China. With a population of around 3.5 million (8 million regional) it is one of the largest cities in Shandong […]
It is regarded by some Chinese as one of the most beautiful and cleanest cities in China. With a population of around 3.5 million (8 million regional) it is one of the largest cities in Shandong Province. The name Qingdao means The Blue/Green Island. In 2011, the China Institute of City Competitiveness named Qingdao China’s most livable city.
Neighboring the Yellow Sea (Huang Hai), Qingdao has a temperate monsoon climate with distinct marine features.
All four seasons are mild without extreme cold or hot temperatures. Generally the golden travel period is from the end of March to early November. The last ten days of August are the best times for seaside traveling due to the mild seawater temperature.
Qingdao Liuting International Airport
The airport is 32 km (20 mi) from the city proper, about half an hour taxi ride. Prices for a taxi ride from the airport to the Hong Kong Middle Road area should be between ¥120-140 depending on the route taken (National Highway 308 is slower but cheaper, the toll expressway is faster and more expensive) and time of day (more expensive at night).
There is an Airport Shuttle Bus. Unfortunately, you need to make it clear where should you get on.
Qingdao Railway Station
Address: At the west end of Shinan District and near Zhanqiao pier and the ocean
Qingdao North Railway Station
Address: This station is at the northern end of Metro Line 3
If you are travelling from within Shandong Province, going by bus is probably the easiest way. Especially now with the new excellent and fast expressways linking Qingdao with other cities in the province. There are several buses per day from Jinan, Taian, Qufu, as well as Yantai and Rizhao on the coast. They leave from and arrive to the bus station just outside the train station, but also from the new bus station north of town, which can be reached by local trolleybus number 5 in 20 minutes.
The bus and trolleybus network is quite well put together and useful once you figure out the routes. Buses 11, 26, 228, and 501 run from the railway station (Shinan District) along the coast via Donghai Xi Lu to all the beaches in the modern eastern part of town (Middle Hong Kong Road), where pubs and cafes are located. Many major routes have dedicated bus lanes, that can make taking the bus faster than taking a car during rush hour. Buses 316 and 231 will bring you to the center of the town from the newly renovated station. Regular buses cost ¥1 and the air conditioned ones are ¥2. If you get on a bus that goes really far (out to the suburbs) you need to tell the ticket person on the bus where you are going and it will cost up to ¥6.
As of November 2017, the meter rate for normal taxis starts at ¥10 while the larger cabs start at ¥12. The meter is based on both distance traveled and time taken. If you take a taxi to or from the airport, and use the Qingyin expressway there will be a ¥10 rate added to whatever the meter price is.
During the summer months that are the peak tourist season, taxis may be hard to flag down. If ever you get one of the larger taxis, the drivers will usually be delighted to give you their business card, so that in the case of planned travel to somewhere like the airport or train station, you can avoid the hassle of trying to flag down a cab.
If you have a SIM card and internet on your phone, you can order taxis using an app (for example Didi), and the rates might even be lower.
Very few locals in Qingdao cycle because it is illegal on streets and sidewalks. When renting a bike make sure that it is legal to ride your planned route. There are more than 40km of waterfront trails. If you really want a work out, try hiking Fushan or the TV Tower hills as there are some decent mountain bike trails.
The famous pier Zhan Qiao is the iconic symbol of Qingdao. It was extended by the Germans and is a popular tourist station. The famous pavilion that is the logo of Tsingtao Beer was built in 1931 and now houses a small aquarium just renovated. The pier is now lined with individuals selling all manner of things, as well as beggars and opportunities for very small-time gambling.
Facing the Yellow Sea, Mt. Laoshan is located to the east of Qingdao. This tall and majestic mountain is famous for its marvelous mountainous scenery and coastal landscape. It is regarded as the most recognized mountain of all mountains on the coast of China. It also holds significant importance in Taoism. Thus it is a must to see when traveling in Qingdao.
As the most famous mountain on the coast Mt. Laoshan caters well for tourists. Three lines lead the visitors to 220 scenic spots including historical and natural points of interest.
The Southern Line: On the first line there are not only marvelous landscapes but also sacred Taoist Palaces. Significant points of interest include the Taiqing Palace, Xufu Islet and Longtan Waterfall (Dragon Pond Waterfall). The Taoist culture and temples of Mt. Laoshan are very famous. At the peak of Taoism, it was said that there were nine palaces, eight Temples and seventy-two nunneries. The number of Taoist had reached above one thousand. While later many buildings were destroyed, amongst those still remaining the Taiqing Palace is the largest. The Taiqing Palace also has the longest history of these buildings spanning more than two thousand years. Covering an area of 30,000 square meters (about 7 acres), the Taiqing Palace has 155 rooms. It has been well preserved and holds the typical architectural style of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). This form of architecture is quite rare in religious architectures in China.
Route: Bus 304 at the ferry from 6:00 to 17:30; Bus 106 at Licun (a village) (7:10, 14:00).
The Central Line: The second line mainly focuses on Beijiushui. The name Beijiushui derives its meaning from the mountain that has nine crooks, thus making the river turn nine times. The river starts from the north side of the Ju Peak (the highest peak of Mt. Laoshan) and flows into the valley. So many beautiful things are on this line that it is called ‘the Jiushui Gallery’. At every corner, totally different sights can be found. The current here is rather swift while further on the river flows very slowly. The flowers, trees and odd rocks on both sides of the river emphasize the elegant beauty of the water. The most famous sight of Beijiushui is Chaoyin Waterfall. During the rainy season the waterfall is quite majestic. The water crashes against the rocks, producing a huge sound similar to waves crashing against the seashore.
Route: Bus 311 at the railway station (06:45, 07:45, 08:30, 13:00 and 15:00).
The Eastern Line: The third line includes the Taiping Palace, the Lion Peak, Huayan Temple, Naluoyan Cavern and other sights. Naluoyan Buddha Cavern is one such scene. It is located in the Naluoyan Hill to the east of Mt. Laoshan. It is a natural granite cavern 7 meters (about 23 feet) wide and 15 meters (about 49 feet) high. More than 100 people can stand inside at one time. Its structure is quite unique. The smooth walls and flat ground are just as they were pared. On the wall of the cavern protrudes a thin stone, like a Buddha niche. At the top of the cavern is a round and smooth hole. It was said that the hole was made by the supernatural power of Naluoyan Buddha. Through this hole sunlight can enter thus lightening the whole cavern.
Reputed to be the largest sandy beach in Asia, tA new couple is taking photos on the beautiful seashore.he No.1 Bathing Beach is situated on Huiquan Bay in Qingdao, Shandong Province. Also called Huiquan Bathing Beach, it is noted for its clear water, mild waves and soft sand. The beautiful scenery with its European ambience can compete with Hawaii, Bali or Samet Island in Thailand.
The beach was first built in 1901 by the Germans after they invaded Qingdao. At that time, it was a famous entertainment place in East Asia but it was only open to foreigners. In 1984 and 2003, the local government repaired and expanded the place on a large scale. The beach took on a new look: it was enlarged and more public service facilities were constructed.
Badaguan Scenic Area is a famous picturesque sanitarium area in China, located in the east of Qingdao city, Shandong Province. This place used to have eight avenues that were named after eight famous passes in China. Thus, it was named Badaguan, which means eight passes. After the People’s Liberation, two more avenues were built in the area and there are now actually ten avenues. However, its name still remains the same.
Luxuriant trees growing along each avenue provide a pleasant shade in Badaguan Scenic Area. Moreover, there is a vast array of different flowers, which form a quiet, clean and beautiful environment all year-round. Each of the ten avenues has different flowers and trees. The flowers also bloom in different seasons and give this area its other beautiful name, Hua Jie, which means a flowery area.
Small Qingdao Island lies to the southeast of Zhan Bridge, in Qingdao Bay, and is an important resort of the city’s coastal scenic area. It is a great place to enjoy ocean views and to soak up an island atmosphere. At one time it was an isolated island about 720 meters (787 yards) off shore but in the 1940s a seawall was built, connecting it to the mainland. It is shaped like a qin (an ancient Chinese musical instrument), and when the waves ‘slap’ the shoreline, the sound is similar to that of the instrument being played, leading to its local name of ‘Qin Island’.
The island is famous for its unspoiled natural scenery, which includes steep rocky outcrops, and a variety of trees, such as cherries, pomegranates and hibiscus. Visitors can either walk along the coastline to enjoy the gentle ocean breeze, and to admire the incredible scenery, or sit on the beach to watch and listen to the gentle waves roll in. There are also statues and pavilions that can be viewed at various locations. This all makes for a delightful island to visit.
Golden Sand Beach (Jinshatan in Pin Yin) is situated in the southeast of Phoenix Island (Xuejia Dao) in Qingdao and is close to the Bohai Sea. It stretches from east to west like a crescent. Its claim to fame as ‘The No.1 Beach in Asia’ is due to its soft, golden sand. Jinshatan is about 3,500 meters (2 miles) long and 300 meters (0.1 miles) wide. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in China.
Golden Sand Beach is endowed with appealing sceneries. Golden sand, white clouds, blue sea and fantastic reefs make up a beautiful picture. One of the reefs is shaped like a frog. The ‘stone frog’ disappears or appears with the rising or ebbing of the tide, hence its name ‘Indistinct Stone Frog’. Many marine lives such as crabs, shellfish and starfish flourish in the water. In addition, it is famous for its ‘three treasures’ – sea cucumber, abalone and crab, which are delicious and nutritious when prepared fresh.
It was built in 1929 and was previously known as both “Ruoyu Park” and “Seashore Park”. In 1950, in order to commemorate Lu Xun, a great Chinese writer, ideologist and revolutionist, the park received its present name. In October of 1986, a three-meter (9.84 feet) high granite sculpture was erected at the entrance of the park to honor the 50th anniversary of the death of Lu Xun.
The entrance to the park is a dignified stone memorial archway sheathed in glazed tiles. The name of the park engraved on the archway was made according to the scripts of Lu Xun. Passing through the archway, you are welcomed by the thick lodge pole pine woods, rugged reefs, exquisite pavilions and sea dogs. The bottom of the rocks is grown oysters and gorgeous sea shells litter the sands. Visitors are frequently attracted by the sea shells and also the alga brought in by the waves.
The distinctive Qingdao Underwater World offers a breath-taking view of a marine world. Lying to the northeast of famous Luxun Park and to the west of Number One Bathing Beach, it is situated on Huiquan Bay in Qingdao, Shandong Province. By means of modern techniques and advantageous geological location, it combines the advantage of the Qingdao Aquarium, Specimen Hall and Freshwater Fish Center, becoming a hot spot for marine ecotourism.
The underwater world consists of several interesting landscapes, including the inter-tidal zones, underwater tunnel, performance hall and exhibition areas. The inter-tidal zones are teeming with many special species, forming a particular ecosystem. Various algae, echinoderms, marine mollusks, arthropods and small amounts of fish are living here. Common marine life like starfish, sea urchins, sea turtles, octopus, crabs and small sharks can be seen; some bright-colored or odd-shaped varieties will bring you a unique and spectacular view! The underwater tunnel breeds thousands of kinds of halo bios worldwide, among them are some rare species. Sauntering in the tunnel, you can see the sharks cruising leisurely in the water, shoals of fishes pulling on the reefs, and still some species staying quietly in the seabed.
Small park with lots of trees, flowers and sculptures. For many years it was the cemetery for foreigners, but the cemetery was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. It is now a beautiful park with sculptures of writers, artists, and revolutionaries.
Address: 55 Yan’an First Rd
This park is the site of the former German battery overlooking Jiaozhou Bay. Visitors can enjoy the park, as well as visit the battery structure and an exhibit on the history of the German military in Qingdao.
Address: Next to Baihuayuan Gardens
Opening hour: 8AM-5PM
This hill was used by the Germans as a signalling station, and was later turned into a park. It has lovely landscape and features a revolving tea shop offering a 360-degree panorama of Qingdao. Visitors will also see the Heart to Heart Bridge, where local couples place a heart-shaped padlock on the bridge to ensure that their relationship will last forever.
Address: 18 Lonshan Rd
Opening hour: 6AM-9:30PM
This temple was built in 1945. It has five halls and a pagoda, with an area of 20,000 m². The temple boasts a large collection of skillfully carved statues of Buddha and Buddhist scriptures. There are tens of thousands of people at Zhanshan Temple from the 8th to the 10th of April on the lunar calendar every year.
Opening hou: 8am-5pm
Address: Situated at the foot of Zhanshan Hill and to the east of Taiping Hill
This museum includes exhibits of art and antiquities of ancient to modern Qingdao, and exhibits on porcelain and calligraphy.
Address: 27 Meiling Rd, Laoshan District
Arrival method: Bus 101, 230, 234, or 301 to Qingdao Museum Stop
Opening time: Apr-Sep: Tu-Su 9AM-5:30PM, Oct-Mar: 9AM-4:30PM
Polar Ocean World
An aquarium focusing on polar animals, including polar bears and penguins. Newer and more modern than the Underwater World. It has a well known Beluga whale and dolphin show, as well as a daily large seal exhibition.
A Bavarian-style castle where Mao stayed as well. Also the observatories on the hills around it are interesting for good views and museum sites.
This building housed a prison built by the Germans. The visit begins with an exhibit of the good and bad sides of German and Japanese occupation, followed by a visit of the cells and torture rooms. The building originally housed German prisoners, but was later used to incarcerate Chinese prisoners under Japanese rule, and communist party members under the Kuomintang. The basement recreates the Japanese torture cells, complete with original implements and illustrations.
Opening time: Apr-Nov 8AM-5PM, Nov-Apr 9AM-5PM
Address: 25 Changzhou Rd (Metro 3 Renmin Huitang)
The brewery has some interesting exhibits and the bottling plant is fascinating. Inside, you will see the history of the brewery and how beer was made in the late 19th and 20th century. All tickets includes one free 125 ml sample of delicious unfiltered “raw” beer and one of draft beer. The more expensive tickets may also include free drinking (one hour), sausages and other food. When booked online through an app, the tickets are significantly cheaper (¥35 for regular and ¥55 including free drinking as of Nov 2017) ¥50 for regular ticket, ¥70 including one hour free drinking
Address:56 Dengzhou Rd
Qingdao was the location of the sailing events for the 2008 Summer Olympics hosted in Beijing. Visitors can see the plaza, lighthouse, and closing ceremonies site, as well as visit the restaurants and bars at the venue.
Visitors take the elevator to an outdoor observation deck that offers fantastic views of Qingdao. Tea, snacks, and beer are available inside, as are souvenirs and an exhibit on Qingdao’s winning bid for the sailing competitions during the Beijing Olympics.
Address: 10 Taipingshan Rd
Opening time: Nov-Mar 9AM-7PM, Apr-Oct 8:30AM-9:30PM
A new attraction in Qingdao that houses Asian Black Bears (Dog Bears) among others. The bears are segregated by age, and visitors can feed them the food provided. While the bears are interesting, there are large numbers crammed in relatively small spaces. Bear shows take place several times a day and feature bears with chains around their necks being hit by their trainers until they perform tricks, only to receive very small rewards. There is also a lovely park that has a separate entrance and entry fee, in which visitors can take the stairs to the top of a mountain, passing several temples en route. It is worth the walk up, if visitors are OK with contributing their money to the bear habitat.
Opening time: 9AM-5:30PM
The food here is with distinctive flavors–especially seafood. So take this chance to enjoy the delicious seafood. Also, the city is the home of the famous Tsingtao Beer. Do not forget to try it when visiting the city.
Many goods await your exploration: seashell carving, seafood products, seashells, Laoshan mineral water, Laoshan Cola, Tsingtao beer and Korean products from the many shops and restaurants offering you a chance to explore Korean culture.Share this tour
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