Qingdao sits on China’s east coast, between Beijing and Shanghai in the Shandong province. If you get the chance to visit, the most striking thing you’ll notice is the European style architecture; most of the buildings are in this western style over the traditional eastern style. This is because of the German occupation in the late 19th century to early 20th century. This also brought along the introduction of Tsingtao beer, which is now the second largest brewery in China. Here are 5 things to check out in Qingdao!
- Tsingtao Brewery Museum– Located on Beer Street, it’s hard to miss, and will offer a great insight into the history and modern day structure of the brewery. You’ll get to sample beer and be lead on an informative tour, too!
- Try the seafood– There’s a saying about Qingdao, in that the people like to eat seafood, drink beer, and swim in the sea. Okay, so it isn’t the most wild of descriptions, but for China, it’s quite a different combination from landlocked cities drinking bijou and eating hotpot! You may also spot a few people carrying Tsingtao around in plastic bags. It actually makes a lot of sense!
- Walk along the beach– It’s great being able to take in the sea when you’re in China, particularly if there’s a beach on offer too. It is busy, but with good reason- grab an ice cream and go for a walk along the seafront. On the left you’ll spot the European architecture, and on your right you’ll look out across the sea to cargo ships on the horizon.
- Visit the Old Observatory Youth Hostel– Head up here, and you’ll have a great view of the city. It’s surrounded by a beautiful park, so whilst it’s a bit of a trek uphill, it’s a great way to escape the noise of the city. It’s surrounded by an artist-infused area, so expect to see graffiti, easels for sale, and other creative craft shops.
- Take in the architecture– it’s interesting and a rare opportunity to see western architecture prominent in a Chinese city. Visit St Michael’s Cathedral, the Evangelical Church, and watch the ladies dancing in the square, which can be seen across all of China.
- Qingdao German Prison Site Museum– Okay, this is a bit of a strange one to suggest but again if you want to understand the history and background behind Qingdao, then this is an option to consider. The German-built prison originally held non-Chinese prisoners, and was later used by the Japanese to hold Chinese prisoners. The basement shows Japanese torture cells with original illustrations and and objects. An interesting but different visit!
Did I miss anywhere out? Let me know in the comments below!