Qingdao has a 144-hour (or 6-day) visa-free policy for international stopovers using Qingdao Liuting International Airport and Qingdao International Cruise Home Port. During the time period, you may travel around in the whole of Shandong Province.
This is a convenient policy for those wishing to spend some time for a visit to Qingdao and Shandong without the hassle and extra cost of obtaining a China visa.
Here, we present useful information about the policy and how to take advantage of it for touring and visits.
Good news: Starting from December 1, 2019, Qingdao's 144-hour visa-free travel policy came into effect. It replaces the earlier 72-hour policy.
Rules and Conditions
- The locality covered under the policy: Shandong Province covers 157,100 square kilometers (60,700 square miles) and includes the urban area of Qingdao as well as other cities including Jinan, Yantai, and Qufu and scenic mountains such as Mount Tai.
- Eligible port: Qingdao Liuting International Airport and Qingdao International Cruise Home Port
- Eligible countries: In the Americas: the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile; in Oceania: Australia, New Zealand; in Europe: Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Belarus, Monaco; in Asia: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar.
- Necessary documents and tickets: passport (valid for at least 3 months); confirmed air ticket to a third country; a visa to the third country if required; a filled out arrival/departure card.
Eligible Transit Routes
Visit Qingdao with your passport and air tickets, but NO visa!
This policy requires that passengers must be in transit to a third country or a Specially Administered Region of China. Making a round trip from/to the same country doesn't qualify.
Your itinerary should be departure country → Qingdao → a third country or region. For example, UK → Qingdao → Australia is an acceptable itinerary.
Hong Kong and Macau are considered to be regions separate from Mainland China for international transit purposes, and you won’t need a visa if you transit in either of these Special Administrative Regions (SARs). You can include them in your itinerary like this: USA → Qingdao → Hong Kong → USA.
How to Make a 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Visit
1) Inform your carrier of your intent to use the 144-hour TWOV (Transit Without a Visa).
2) Fill in arrival and departure cards (available on your flights).
3) Apply for the 144-hour visa-free stay at the dedicated counter on your arrival.
4) Claim your luggage, go through customs, and exit the airport.
5) Leave from Qingdao Liuting Airport or Qingdao International Cruise Home Port within 144 hours from 00:00 on the day after arrival.
More about China's national 144-Hour Visa-Free Policies.
Essential Qingdao Liuting Airport Travel Info
- Chinese: 青岛流亭国际机场 Qīngdǎo Liútíng Guójì Jīchǎng
- Airport code: TAO
Qingdao Liuting International Airport is a medium-sized international airport in Shandong Province, and it is the hub airport for its region. It has many international flights. So, when you are traveling to a third destination outside of Mainland China, you are likely to find suitable connecting flights.
There are flights to many cities in China and to South East Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Europe.
Liuting International Airport is convenient for city visits since it is 31 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the city center of Qingdao. There are no metro lines or fast train lines connecting the station, but it is 29 minutes by taxi. Taxi directions: "Please take me to Qingdao Liuting Airport, thank you." 请送我到青岛流亭机场，谢谢
Qingdao International Cruise Home Port Info
- Chinese: 青岛国际邮轮母港 Qīngdǎo Guójì Yóulún Mǔgǎng
Qingdao International Cruise Home Port is a very large cruise port near both Korea and Japan. This makes it especially convenient for travelers to those countries. The 1,200-meter-long berth can handle the world’s largest cruise ships.
It is an alternative to the airport for those wishing to arrive in or depart from Shandong. See Qingdao Ports for more local cruise port information.
3 Top Things to Do on a Qingdao Visa-Free Layover
1. Check In at Downtown Qingdao: See the Architecture, Shop, and Dine
Downtown Qingdao, around Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street, is conveniently about 29 minutes from the airport by taxi. This is the central shopping and tourism area and known for the colonial-era architecture left by the Germans 100 years ago. This area is called the Historical Culture and Euro-Asian Culture Center and has a mix of German, Japanese and Chinese cultural influences.
There are many stores and restaurants to choose from around Zhongshan Road and Hong Kong Road. Qingdao is especially known for its Shandong cuisine-style seafood. Shandong cuisine is one of China's 8 famous schools of culinary art.
For travelers, the downtown has convenient tourist and business-oriented hotels and access to public metro transport. The Qingdao Railway Station is conveniently a few minutes' walk away from Zhongshan Road. The Qingdao Railway Station is 24 kilometers (15 miles) from the airport. It allows quick high-speed travel to other cities and towns to see in Shandong during your stay. It is next to a seashore scenic beach area and a park.
2. Visit Mount Tai
Mount Tai: An excellent and memorable outdoor excursion would be to visit Mount Tai. The mountain is in the center of Shandong Province near the cities of Tai'an, Jinan, and Zibo. So you might consider ascending it when you visit one of these cities. This area is considered one of the birthplaces of civilization, and the emperors traditionally went to the top to make sacrifices annually.
You could follow the same steps that the emperors use to follow and see the ancient ruins and historical places that dot the mountains. The highest mountain, Jade Emperor Peak, is within the Tai'an metropolitan region. It is about 1,533 meters (5,030 feet) high. It is considered the foremost of China’s ancient mountains. While there, you can see the scenery as you enjoy the climb. It is a place you can learn more about Chinese history.
3. Visit Jinan
Jinan is the capital city of Shandong and its cultural center. It is called "the city of springs" because there are hot springs such as Baotu Springs that are considered among Shandong's best tourist destinations.
Mount Tai is only about 45 minutes away by train, private driver or taxi. We recommend our private driver services that will help get around Shandong quickly during your 144-hour stay in the province.
Get Expert Help Having Your Ideal Visa-Free Qingdao and Shandong Tour
Qingdao is a rapidly modernizing city, and it can be your base as we assist you on a Shandong Province tour.
We can assist you in your visa-free tour of Shandong. It makes sense to let experts arrange your local tour to save your time and save you from stress and headaches. Our experts can help you do what you want to do. Our private drivers can make going where you want to go in the large Shandong region a lot more comfortable and efficient on time.
We could design a stopover in Qingdao and Shandong according to your wishes. Let us tailor-make a unique tour for you.