There’s a lot to like about QINGDAO – and not just on account of its status as the home of Tsingtao, China’s most famous beer. This fresh, modern city enjoys a charming, windswept location right next to the famed Yellow Sea, where you can chomp down superb seafood, hunt down a nearby beach, or prise sea creatures from their shells at low tide. It’s also surprisingly cosmopolitan for a provincial Chinese city, the result of its former status as a German military base; take time to wander amid the red-roofed Bavarian architecture of the hilly old city centre. Modern Qingdao remains an important port, the fourth largest in the land; the city is connected by ferry to both Japan and South Korea, and is highly recommended as an introduction, or full stop, to a trip around China.

For all Qingdao’s colourful history, its progress is relentlessly modern. The 2008 Olympics, whose sailing events were held here, accelerated the rate of change, most evident in the skyscraper-filled new city sprouting to the east. For tourists, most places of interest are within the walkable, compact old German town; exceptions include a series of beaches dotted along the shoreline, and day-trips east to the famous peak of Lao Shan.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The ‘roof of the world’ has exerted a magnetic pull over travellers and adventurers for centuries. This vast, high altitude desert has spawned myths and leg…

10 Nov 2016 • Stuart Butler insert_drive_file Article
Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Street food in Taiwan has a charm that restaurants just can't match. There's a distinct pleasure to be found in wandering through the labyrinthine stalls glo…

24 Oct 2016 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Beyond the Jade Dragon mountain: stunning pictures of Yunnan, China

Beyond the Jade Dragon mountain: stunning pictures of Yunnan, China

After a few weeks exploring the region, Rough Guides travel writer and photographer David Abram shares some of his favourite images of Yunnan Province, China. …

18 Oct 2016 • David Abram insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month