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Qingdao

Modern skyscrapers and charming Bavarian architecture sit side by side in this German-styled port city famed for its brewing, beaches and fresh air. 

An elegant seaside city with a European twist, Qingdao has earned itself the tag "China’s Switzerland" for its distinctive architecture and Germanic cultural legacies. Modern development has reshaped Qingdao’s skyline, but it is still a port town at heart, where sailing takes centre stage, the beaches are beloved and the seafood is abundant.

In 1898 Germany was granted a 99-year lease on territory around Kiautschou Bay. See evidence of the German influence in the many cobbled alleys, red rooftops and Teutonic stylings of Qingdao. Explore the charming, hilly old town, and look out for the Lutheran and Catholic churches in German design.

The German presence also gave to Qingdao a taste for beer, and it’s here that China’s most popular beer, Tsingtao, is produced. Head to the Old Tsingtao Brewery for a brew house and museum tour. Explore the beer gardens of Beer Street and enjoy a bratwurst and pitcher of specialty beer in the sunshine. Beer lovers should time their visit for the city’s annual international beer festival held each August.

Qingdao’s famous beaches attract sun-seekers from all over the country. Follow the crowds to Number One Bathing Beach or travel further to the prettier Number Two Bathing Beach, a picturesque little cove said to have been a favourite escape of Chairman Mao. Nearby Shilaoren Beach, named for a rocky outcrop that resembles an “Old Stone Man”, is quite developed but remains cleaner than the city beaches.

The city’s Botanical Gardens are a great destination for families, as is Qingdao Underwater World. Hikers will enjoy the to climb to the “Mushroom Observatories”, small hilltop structures that offer great views of the area.

Qingdao is 6 hours south from Beijing by high-speed rail, and flights are available to most major Chinese cities. The city is easy to explore by bus and taxi. Visit Qingdao in late summer or spring to enjoy good weather without the crowds. Favorable winds ensure air quality is good year round.

Top hotels in Qingdao

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Le Meridien Qingdao
Le Meridien Qingdao
5 out of 5
112 Yanji Road, Shi Bei District, Qingdao, Shandong
RM257
per night
2 Apr-3 Apr

Located in Shibei, this luxury hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Tsingtao Beer Museum, MixC Shopping Mall and May Fourth Square. Qingdao Botanical Gardens and ...

4.2/5Very Good! (118 reviews)
good and clean hotel

"I have been staying in Le Meridien Qingdao for more than 10 times and everytime has been a pleasure."…"

Reviewed on 2 Nov 2019

Le Meridien Qingdao
Shangri-La Hotel, Qingdao
Shangri-La Hotel, Qingdao
5 out of 5
9 Xiang Gang Zhong Road, Qingdao, Shandong
RM305
per night
2 Apr-3 Apr

This family-friendly Qingdao hotel is located in the business district, within 3 mi (5 km) of MixC Shopping Mall, Zhongshan Park and Olympic Sailing Museum.

4.5/5Wonderful! (404 reviews)

"Staff there are very friendly and willing to help. It is a pleasure staying there for a few days. Thanks."…"

Reviewed on 5 Dec 2019

Shangri-La Hotel, Qingdao
The Westin Qingdao West Coast
The Westin Qingdao West Coast
No.7977 Binhai Road, The West Coast New Area, Qingdao, Shandong
RM174
per night
1 Apr-2 Apr

Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is 2.8 mi (4.4 km) from Dazhushan Scenic Area and 5.1 mi (8.2 km) from Jiaonan Museum.

4/5Very Good! (2 reviews)

"Overall acceptable, but not at this level, especially since I booked a Club room."…"

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2019

The Westin Qingdao West Coast

Popular things to do in Qingdao

May Fourth Square
Image for May Fourth Square

May Fourth Square

4/5(2 reviews)

Qingdao’s huge seaside square is dominated by an impressive sculpture that commemorates the cultural and socio-political May Fourth Movement.

Lu Xun Park
Image for Lu Xun Park

Lu Xun Park

Experience Chinese literary culture, visit an aquarium and stroll along the waterfront of Qingdao’s beautiful wooded parkland on the shore of Quigan Bay.

Number 1 Bathing Beach
Image for Number 1 Bathing Beach

Number 1 Bathing Beach

This beautiful beach on Huiquan Bay is an idyllic spot for lounging, swimming and enjoying gorgeous views over the Yellow Sea.

Top activities in Qingdao

Qingdao Shore Excursion: Full Day M.Lao&Beer Museum Tour
Image for Qingdao Shore Excursion: Full Day M.Lao&Beer Museum Tour

Qingdao Shore Excursion: Full Day M.Lao&Beer Museum Tour

RM427
Per adult
Half Day Tour and Trek to Fushan Mountain
Image for Half Day Tour and Trek to Fushan Mountain

Half Day Tour and Trek to Fushan Mountain

RM150
Per adult
Qingdao Liuting Airport Same Day Luggage Services
Image for Qingdao Liuting Airport Same Day Luggage Services

Qingdao Liuting Airport Same Day Luggage Services

RM81
Per adult
Half-Day Qingdao Tour: The Cradle of Taoism on Mt. Laoshan
Image for Half-Day Qingdao Tour: The Cradle of Taoism on Mt. Laoshan

Half-Day Qingdao Tour: The Cradle of Taoism on Mt. Laoshan

RM362
Per adult
Alternative City Tour: Zhongshan Park, Navy Museum, Beer St.
Image for Alternative City Tour: Zhongshan Park, Navy Museum, Beer St.

Alternative City Tour: Zhongshan Park, Navy Museum, Beer St.

RM425
Per adult
Private airport transfer to or from Qingdao Liuting International Airport max 5
Image for Private airport transfer to or from Qingdao Liuting International Airport max 5

Private airport transfer to or from Qingdao Liuting International Airport max 5

100% of travellers recommend
RM37
Per adult

Reviews of Qingdao

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Verified traveller

26 Sep 2019

Take no. 4 bus from sea end of train station to Lao shan, CNY 20 each way