Qingdao (with the alternative (non-Pinyin) spelling of Tsingtao) in Shandong Province is one of the more famous Chinese cities in the West, for historical reasons, and because it is the home of the most famous beer brand in China – there is even an annual International Beer Festival, which lasts about a month between July and September (actual dates vary) – and was important as the venue for the yachting events during the 2008 Olympics.

Qingdao(2) is extremely well-connected by road, rail, sea, and air with elsewhere in China and around the world, which has made it a popular destination for tourists. I’ve been there a few times, with students, friends and colleagues. Local public transport is very good, with many bus services, trams, a metro, and affordable taxis, which is just as well, because there is a lot to see and do.

One of the most popular parts of Qingdao(3) for Chinese visitors is Badaguan Scenic Area, which is famous for its European-style (originally German-built) architecture. It’s a bit less exciting for Europeans, but still pleasant.

It might be worth mentioning that the first batch of photos are from February 2015 (so not during tourist season, so no crowds).

An obvious and very popular attraction for visitors to Qingdao is the Tsingtao brewery and its attached museum. These are worth visiting, but the many bars and restaurants nearby tend to be tourist traps and overpriced.

Qingdao has a long waterfront, which we walked along one morning, just taking in the views. We happened to pass a coastguard station, where we were probably not allowed to be, let alone take pictures, but nobody seemed to notice.

Snacks stands are present all over the place; here some fishballs and a variety of stuffed pancakes at a pedestrian underpass. And there is always draft beer in a bag, available from street markets, if you’re thirsty (not my pictures; source shown).

A bit of a walk from the centre of the city is Little Qingdao, a small island connected to the mainland by a causeway, which was used as a submarine base by the Japanese, and has a maritime museum at the mainland end (didn’t visit, just walked past) and a lighthouse.

There is a lot more to see in Qingdao, and though we squeezed a lot in back in 2015, we only managed a few of the highlights, and wound up pretty exhausted.

I returned again for a few days with an American colleague in 2018. We visited some of the same places, but a few that were new to me (they were all new to my colleague, who, unfortunately, was not a fan of experimenting with the local cuisine). We were unlucky with the weather, which was foggy, but we saw what was visible of the Olympic centre, and stumbled across an interesting Post and Telecomms Museum (the building opposite also looked interesting, but was not open to the public).

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