Top Free Things to Do in Qingdao
Qingdao is a beautiful coastal city and it is said that Qingdao has the most beautiful bay in the world. It is the hometown of Qingdao Beer. It held the sailing events for the 2008 Olympic Games, as well as the yachting race in the 2013-2014 World Cup. There are lots of interesting places to go, and some of them are free to enter as detailed in the list below.
Qingdao's No 1 Bathing Beach 青岛第一海水浴场
Qingdao's No 1 Bathing Beach is located next to Huiquan Bay. It has a beach of 580 meters long and over 40 meters wide, covering an area of 24,000 meters squared. Three sides of the beach are surrounded by green mountains. The sand is soft and the slope is flat, which attracts thousands of people from both home and abroad.
Every July to September, the inner city is very hot, while Qingdao is cool. Many people, together with their families or friends, come to this bathing beach to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, beautiful beach, and the comfortable breeze from the sea. Even when summer has finished, some tourists still enjoy winter swimming there.
The bathing beach opens from July 1st to September 25th. It can be very crowded.
Location: 23 Nanhai Road, Shinan District 市南区南海路23
Transportation: Bus 6, 15, 26, 31, 202, 214, 219, 223, 228, 231, 302, 304, 306, 311, 312, 316, 321, 368, 370, 501, 604 or 605 can take you there.
Other well noted bathing beaches in Qingdao: the No. 2 Bathing Beach and the No. 3 Bathing Beach, which is next to Zhanshan Bay, are also very famous. Though the No. 3 bathing beach is not so large in scale, the seawater is very clear.
Zhongshan Park 中山公园
It is the biggest comprehensive park in Qingdao and the best place to see cherry and tulip blossoms in spring.
There are 230,000 trees and flowers, of more than 170 varieties, among which 20,000 cherry trees have been imported from Japan. These are the highlights of the park.
Every year, 10 days before and after May 1st, the Japanese cherry trees together with tulips from the Netherlands are all in blossom, attracting almost everyone in Qingdao to the park to see the great view.
In summer, there are lantern exhibitions. The lanterns differ from handmade ones to palace lanterns, gauze lanterns and boat lanterns introduced from Chengdu, Zigong and Nanjing.
In autumn, the chrysanthemums are in blossom and a chrysanthemum exhibition has been held each year for the last 50 years.
There are good views in every season.
Location: 28, Wendeng Road, Shinan District, Qingdao 青岛市市南区文登路28号
Transportation: Bus 6, 15, 26, 31, 202, 206, 214, 223, 228, 231, 302, 304, 312, 316, 317, 321, 501, 604 or 605 can take you there.
Golden Island Beach 黄金岛沙滩
It is said to be the “Premier Beach in Asia”. Located in the south-east of Qingdao Development Zone, it is 3,500 meters long and 300 meters wide.
The National People's Congress (NPC) Square and the Qingdao Creative Media School of the Beijing Film Academy are located there, as is the Golden Phoenix Award from the Chinese Film Performance Arts Society.
Location: Xuejia Island, Qingdao Development Zone, Qingdao 青岛市黄岛开发区薛家岛
Transportation: Bus 1, 18 or 4 and Tunnel Bus 1, 5 or 7 can take you there.
Best times to visit: From May to October, when the average seawater temperature is 20°C （68°F）.
Olympic Sailing Center 奥帆中心
It is the place which held part of the sailing race in the 2008 Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. It is located next to Fushan Bay in the East New District of Qingdao, on the original site of the Beihai Boat Factory.
The Olympic Sailing Corridor is a special point in the park. It introduces the history and relevant knowledge of the Olympic Sailing.
Location: Puning Road, Shinan District, Qingdao 青岛市市南区普宁路
Transportation: Bus 3, 33, 104, 110, 125, 208, 224, 225, 232, 304, 311, 316, 321, 363, 374, 501 or 801 can all take you there.
It is located in the north of Qingdao Little Fish Hill, east of the Ocean University of Qingdao. In the 1920s and 1930s, lots of Chinese writers of modern Chinese literature lived there, such as Hongshen, Bajin and Shen Congwen. The surrounding environment is quiet and beautiful.
Location: Taohai Road, Shinan District, Qingdao 青岛市市南区桃海路
Transportation: Bus 15, 219 or 302 can take you there.
Planning Your Qingdao Tour
Highlights in Qingdao are Laoshan Mountain, Taiqing Palace, Xiaoqingdao Isle, Zhanqiao Pier, Badaguan/Eight Passes and the premier bathing beach. Three to four days are enough to cover all of these sights.
A classic route is:
Day 1: Visit Laoshan Mountain and Taiqing Palace
Day 2: Xiaoqingdao Isle, Zhanqiao Pier, Badaguan/Eight Passes and the premier bathing beach.
Day 3: Depart Qingdao