Things to Do in Qingdao, China


Qingdao is a fascinating coastal city in Shandong Province, just northeast of Beijing. From sandy shorelines and majestic mountain peaks to numerous fascinating cultural destinations and plenty of opportunities to explore the city’s vibrant nightlife, there are plenty of things to do in Qingdao. So whether you’re looking for a chance to relax in the sun or explore Chinese culture, something here will appeal to everyone.

Outdoor Activities: From hiking trails and beach days to windsurfing and yachting – there’s no shortage of activities that can be enjoyed in Qingdao. Laoshan Mountain offers some of the most spectacular hiking, with trails for all levels. Don’t forget about Little Xiaoyushan – it’s one of China’s few “forest parks” and boasts fantastic views from its peak! Yalong Bay is perfect for lounging on the beach or watersports like windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing – as well as boat tours out onto the water for some great views back onto the shoreline.

Cultural Sites & Museums: Qingdao has several interesting cultural sites scattered throughout town that are worth a visit! Some popular choices include Haichang Polar Ocean World – where you can learn about marine life while interacting with seals, dolphins, walruses, and more – or Zhan Bridge Road, which features an array of unique architectural structures to Qingdao. For history buffs, Huangdao Cultural Park offers insight into Qingdao’s history over 140 years ago, with several pavilions dedicated to depicting old-town life throughout time. Additionally, Donghaomen (East Gate) Museum allows visitors to experience retro photography collections in an ancient movie theatre. At the same time, ShiBei Street Playhouse offers ongoing dance performances that feature traditional Chinese elements like ribbon dancing & martial arts moves!

Shopping Options: Many shopping options are available throughout Qingdao, from modern malls overflowing with luxury goods – such as Hiqee Shopping Center & DafengShiji Shopping Mall – paired with local flea markets offering incredible traditional goods at unbeatable prices like Dashuyingying Market & Nanjing Street Night Market. If you’re looking for something more specialized, head towards Today Art Museum Square, where you’ll find small galleries featuring artwork from folk painters & student exhibitions alongside other craft stores selling handmade jewelry, colorful cotton garments & handbags.

Nightlife: Last but certainly not least, it would be criminal not to mention the nightlife scene that’s famed throughout China – particularly at International Beer Festival, which occurs each summer in this very city! But even outside festival time, there are plenty of bars across the city frequented by locals who know how to show those visiting how the town really parties! So don’t forget to visit places like The Edge Bar House if you’re feeling adventurous or check out Club O2 / YouXifor if music & dancing is your preference over drinks – either way, you won’t leave disappointed!

Popular Tourist Attractions

Qingdao, China, is a vibrant city with cultural attractions and delicious cuisine. From the sandy beaches of Laoshan to the centuries-old temples of Zhanqiao, there’s plenty for tourists to explore in Qingdao. Here are a few of the popular tourist attractions that you should check out if you’re ever in town:

Laoshan Scenic Area

Laoshan Scenic Area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Qingdao. Located in Laoshan District, it is situated on the east and southeastern sides of the city and is known for its dramatic mountains, traditional villages, and incredible scenery.

The area covers over 50 square kilometers and is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in China. Laoshan National Scenic Area offers an excellent combination of bustling urban life with a stunningly lush backdrop that will take your breath away.

The area consists mainly of mountains with an average elevation of 500 meters above sea level. At its highest point, Laoshan Mountain stands at 1,132 meters above sea level, offering visitors a spectacular bird’s eye view. Visitors can reach this point by car or take a cable car ride up the mountain face for a thrilling experience!

Dotted around this stunning landscape are world-class tourist attractions such as Tianhou Palace (Temple to the Queen of Heaven), Zhongshan ParkWangshu Mountain Villa (which offers excellent views from atop Mt.Fengdu), Longtou Temple built over 1200 years ago, and many more famous sights that make this area truly memorable!

Laoshan National Scenic Area also provides visitors with a range of activities, such as:

  • Hiking
  • Biking trails
  • Camping spots
  • Fishing spots are scattered along Laoshan Beach.
  • Sacred landmarks to visit, including Taoist temples, tucked away in winding mountain paths.
  • Hot springs to relax in after long days of exploring Laoshan’s many natural wonders!

Zhanqiao Pier

Zhanqiao Pier is one of the most iconic attractions in Qingdao and one of the best-recognized landmarks in all of China. This 800-meter-long pier was built during the German occupation from 1898 to 1914 and has been used as a symbol of the city. It stretches into the Yellow Sea, offering striking views of the shimmering coast, surrounded by restaurants and cafes for visitors to enjoy refreshments after taking in this stunning site.

The pier’s iconic design features many pagoda-style buildings, with ancient Chinese decorations and numerous European touches from its German colonial days. These details include traditional tiles juxtaposing hanging lamps near valuable sculptures atop a gently sloping path that follows Zhanqiao Pier’s curves until it reaches its end.

The pier also offers breathtaking views of the shimmering Qingdao bay – an unforgettable visitor experience!

The Old Town

The Old Town, also known as Qingdao Laoshan Old Street, is a popular tourist attraction in Qingdao, China. Located northwest of the city center and surrounded by traditional row houses, The Old Town offers unique experiences for tourists and locals. From seafood restaurants to specialty shops, there is something for everyone here.

The old street consists of narrow alleys and cobbled walkways connecting several traditional blocks with modern museums. Most of the original buildings have been renovated, and some are now home to local shops offering souvenirs, handicrafts, and other items. One can also find exciting antiques at several antique stores. For those looking for a unique shopping experience, this is the place to go!

Other attractions include:

  • Temples such as Guanyin Temple and Changyi Palace Temple, as well as various other cultural sites like LiQing Ba Dang Historical Museum and Qingdao Municipal Museum.
  • Signal Hill Park offers beautiful scenery complemented by an outdoor market selling various snacks and souvenirs.
  • Xianling Mountain Forest Park for an authentic camping experience!

The Old Town has something for visitors of all ages – from children to adults looking for a picturesque sightseeing adventure or exciting nightlife scene – there is something for everyone here!

Outdoor Activities

Qingdao, China, is known for its beautiful beaches and unique culture. Its warm climate and abundant outdoor activities make it a great place to visit for an adventure. So whether you’re looking for a peaceful and tranquil beach day, or a more thrilling and adventurous experience, Qingdao has something to offer everyone.

Let’s explore the top outdoor activities in Qingdao:


Hiking is a popular activity in Qingdao, allowing visitors to explore the beautiful scenery while enjoying the fresh air and physical exercise. Whether you are an experienced hiker or simply looking for leisurely ways to enjoy outdoor life, there are many excellent trails to discover.

The Laoshan National Scenic Area is a must-see on China’s northeast coast. The mountain range features stunning natural landscapes, rare plant species, and great hiking trails with varying difficulty levels. For beginner hikers, try Mount Baoding — the lowest peak in the Laoshan range — for stunning views and an easy path that will leave you feeling accomplished.

Other excellent spots for hiking include:

  • Chengyang Old Town Park — a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site — featuring rural farmlands and traditional villages.
  • Beidao Shijiang Mountain National Forest Park housing coniferous forests covering more than 10 square kilometers.
  • Xichongding Bay Pasque Island National Nature Reserve is known for its abnormal volcanic formations dating back 17 million years.

If you’re interested in exploring other outdoor activities, such as camping or mountain biking, check out Hongdao International Leisure Resort which is full of beautiful activities suitable for all ages!

Water Sports

When people think of the coastal city of Qingdao, water sports often come to mind. From windsurfing and kite surfing to boating and scuba diving, there’s no shortage of activities for those looking for an aquatic adventure. Below are just some of the activities that you can experience in Qingdao.

  • Windsurfing/kite surfing: As a famous region in China for windsurfing, Qingdao’s famously strong winds make it a destination to enjoy the exciting sport. With over 18 km (11 miles) of coastline, visitors can take advantage of Qingdao’s expansive area, suitable for everyone from beginners to advanced sailors alike.
  • Boating: From luxury and leisure yachts to more affordable options that can accommodate larger groups, there is something for everyone interested in boating in Qingdao. Rent a boat with friends or family and explore all the waters around Qingdao have to offer!
  • Scuba diving: Discover the beauty below the surface! With many areas offering crystal-clear waters and vibrant underwater creatures abound, it’s perfect for any deep-dive enthusiast! Whether you’re new or experienced in scuba diving, spend a day beneath the surface exploring all that lies beneath it!
  • Fishing: For those interested in relaxing with fishing rods and baits, lakes inshore are the perfect spots to line up your catch! Take advantage of the plentiful fish found throughout freshwater locations through fishing trips led by local tour groups, or join individual fishermen on their daily routine. No matter what type of adventure you seek, Qingdao’s waters provide plenty of opportunities all year long!

Beach Activities

Qingdao, China, has much to offer regarding outdoor activities, with miles of beaches and nearby nature trails. Beach activities are popular with locals and tourists alike, as they provide a range of experiences that can be enjoyed year-round. So whether you’re looking for beach jogging, swimming, surfing, or a relaxing day cocktail at one of the many beach bars, here is a brief introduction of what you will find in the renowned coastal city.

  • Beach jogging: There are plenty of scenic running paths next to the beach with beautiful views over the ocean. But since it can be pretty humid during summer days in Qingdao, starting your run early in the morning or towards dusk is wise.
  • Swimming: The shallow waters near Shantunglu beach are among the cleanest on China’s eastern coast, making it an excellent place for swimming. Here you will also find several artificial piers and platforms to boost your offshore low-tide diving experiences further.
  • Surfing: The consistent winds and the area’s mild waters mean Qingdao can offer some excellent surf spots during cold winter days when other counties aren’t conducive for surfing. Different suburbs provide different waves depending on wind direction and swell size, so exploring them all makes this an adventure you don’t want to miss out on!
  • Beach bars: Whether you prefer an old-style sunset bar or one offering modern cocktails and drinks while enjoying live music entertainment, Qingdao beaches offer plenty – all under palm trees swaying in a balmy breeze! So if you’re looking for those perfect sunset Instagram or Snapchat posts, add that extra flash of color by visiting one of these inviting bars!

Shopping & Dining

Qingdao, China, is an excellent destination for shopping and dining. Whether you’re looking for traditional Chinese goods, souvenirs, or something to do for the day, Qingdao has it all. From high-end shopping malls to bustling night markets and delicious food options, Qingdao has it all.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the many shopping and dining options available in Qingdao:

Shopping Malls

Qingdao is known for its shopping malls full of unique items and experiences. With many different places to buy local goods, visitors are satisfied knowing they’ve taken away something special. In addition, popular malls in Qingdao offer a variety of stores and entertainment options within each.

  • Shin Kong Place: Considered one of the best places for fashion shopping, Shin Kong Place is a modern 10-story shopping center with various high-end brands. Other attractions within the mall include two cinemas, an ice-skating rink, and an indoor amusement park.
  • Qingdao World Trade Center: A 16-story mall near the coast and six stories underground, this famous shopping center features over 500 stores offering food and apparel items and cafes, restaurants, and entertainment venues like karaoke rooms.
  • May Fourth Square Shopping Mall: This open-air mall sits beneath a red tile roofing on May Fourth Square Road in downtown Qingdao. With dozens of local boutiques lining the walkways between buildings that sell select crafts and art pieces, traditional decor stores are spread around the grounds.
  • SunCity Mall: Built as part of a high-end neighborhood development project, SunCity Mall boasts over 350 specialty shops, including local designer brands displaying apparel styles from all over China and international designer offerings from Europe. The building also houses suave cafes modeled after European elegance, such as teahouses that serve matcha teas straight from Kyoto, Japan, set inside tranquil zen gardens adorned with cherry blossoms.

Local Markets

Qingdao is full of vibrant local markets that appeal to many travelers. However, a trip to the local market is an absolute must for those looking to stretch their yuan. Here you can find the freshest and best-quality ingredients at unbeatable prices and a vast array of everyday essentials and handicrafts. These markets are bursting with character and perfectly reflect Qingdao’s authentic culture and spirit.

One of Qingdao’s most popular markets is the Zhongshan Market, located in the western part of Qingdao. This massive open-air bazaar boasts dozens of food stalls offering freshly prepared regional cuisine, including typical dishes like dumplings, pickled vegetables, and stir-fried noodles that pack plenty of flavor without breaking the bank. As for handicrafts, visitors will find intricately embroidered shoes and beautiful wooden carvings from Chinese artisans waiting patiently for someone to snap them up.

If seafood is your thing, head to Heilong Jie street Market – or Black Dragon Street – which specializes in fresh fish from all over China’s east coast. While there, seafood lovers should try one (or two or three) of Qingdao’s famous spicy crayfish dishes!

For those who prefer shopping in air-conditioned comfort, countless stalls sell everything from clothing & accessories to electronic goods and home furnishings inside the Intime department store  –  worth checking out if you can! Whatever kind of experience you’re looking for, you can almost guarantee it exists amidst the bustling streets and alleyways surrounding Qingdao’s vibrant marketplaces!

Local Cuisine

Qingdao, China, is a beautiful coastal city boasting stunning views and plenty of options for shopping and dining. Sample some fresh seafood dishes, from local daily catches to mouth-watering specialties. Enjoy traditional Chinese dishes, such as a hot pot or dim sum, or treat yourself to international cuisine for a global culinary experience. Check out these top recommended eats of Qingdao:

Local Cuisine:

  • Freshly caught from the Bohai Sea, try dishes like stir-fried scallops or abalone steamed in chicken broth.
  • Tianfine Braised Pork is the locals’ favorite pork dish with lots of onions and sweet & sour sauce.
  • Jiaozi Chinese dumpling parcels stuffed with pork or vegetables can be boiled or pan-fried.
  • Dasanyuan Sliced fish in sweet & sour broth made with Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
  • Laobuding is a Sweet soup made from pounded bean curd mixed with black sesame paste, sugar, and peanut butter.

International Cuisine:

  • Thai If you’re looking for some spice, head to Bai He Jia Yu Thai restaurant for tasty authentic curries.
  • Italian Satisfy your pasta cravings at Jin Ding Western Restaurant with their delicious carbonara.
  • Japanese Delight your tastebuds at Kirishima Japanese Cuisine with its expansive sushi offerings.
  • Mexican Make sure you try something from La Esperanza Mexican restaurant – tacos, burritos. Anyone?

Cultural Experiences

Qingdao, China, is a city full of stunning natural beauty and fascinating culture. From stunning beaches to sprawling piazzas, Qingdao offers visitors the opportunity to explore various cultural experiences. In this article, we’ll explore the different cultural experiences that can be enjoyed while visiting Qingdao.

We’ll review the main attractions and point out some of the unique experiences that can be had while in this beautiful city:

Visit a Buddhist Temple

A refreshing and stimulating experience, visiting a Buddhist temple is one of the most popular things in Qingdao, China. This ancient practice of spiritual contemplation and fulfillment dates back more than 2,000 years to the time of the Buddha. Visitors can observe beautiful artwork and architecture depicting traditional Chinese life and Buddhism. Such temples are also an insight into local culture and customs that can provide unique insight into this ancient land’s history.

Whether you come for religious reasons or curiosity, visiting a Buddhist temple in Qingdao will be an unforgettable experience. Many temples offer guided tours where visitors learn about the principles behind Buddhism, how it originated in India with the teachings of The Buddha, and how it has evolved in China. In addition, the main hall will usually contain several statues representing different aspects of The Buddha’s teachings and other important figures such as Mahaveera or Thanissara.

Elsewhere within the complex, visitors may see brightly adorned prayer rooms housing various benevolent gods, goddesses, and statues symbolizing different prayers from people worldwide. Visitors may also encounter traditional drummers, dancers, musicians, or mystics demonstrating exotic spiritual practices such as Tai Chi or Taijiquan martial arts or Qigong exercises for rejuvenation purposes.

Attend a Traditional Festival

No trip to Qingdao would be complete without attending one of the city’s many traditional festivals. The most well-known is the Qingdao International Beer Festival, which draws more than two million people from all over China and beyond each year. This festival includes performances by international and local artists of all genres and musically themed games, amusements, and traditional items for sale.

For a more immersive cultural experience, try visiting one of the Taoist Temple Festivals or Dragon Boat Racing festivals held in the summer months. Occurring on particular Chinese holidays throughout the year, these events involve parades of colorful floats, lantern shows, and other entertainment. In addition, you can enjoy street snacks while watching folk music and dance performances, sample local treats like sesame candies or tangyuan desserts at temple markets, and even join in on religious ceremonies such as chanting with monks and abstaining from meat for a day!

Take a Cooking Class

Qingdao cooking class is a great way to learn more about the region’s culinary history and culture. Not only will you pick up new skills, but you’ll also gain an understanding of the different ingredients used to create the unique flavors and dishes popular in Qingdao.

Many classes focus on making fresh seafood dishes, noodles, and dumplings. But there is no limit to what you can learn – some lessons even teach traditional desserts and drinks such as sweet rice wine and bubble tea! Whether it’s a hands-on experience or a demonstration with a local chef, cooking classes always offer something for everyone. Take this opportunity to develop your palate and explore Qingdao’s culture through food!