Welcome to Dalian, China!
Located in the northern part of China, bordering the Yellow Sea, the city of Dalian is a magnificent place to visit. It is one of the most laid-back cities in the country, so it comes as no surprise that Dalian is often referred to as the Miami of China. You won’t find many historical sites here since the city is quite young, with only a hundred years of history. However, Dalian is blessed with an impressive coastline, beautiful scenery, and an excellent bar-and-restaurant scene, making it an ideal destination to visit in China.
Tourists are well-aware of the most popular attractions in Dalian, but a worldwide local knows how to experience them from a different perspective, to discover some of the finest sites in the city. This travel guide offers useful tips for visiting Dalian, allowing you to discover the city’s best-hidden gems.
Where to Begin
After you get settled into your Dalian hotel, you’re sure to want an adventure. Walk down the picturesque tree-lined streets of Dalian until you reach the famous Russian Street, which is located just a short walk from the city’s main train station. This is a remnant of Dalian’s past when the city was a part of Russia. Expect to find majestic squares, souvenir shops selling Russian matryoshkas, and numerous old Russian-style buildings. The largest lido in China, Laohutan Ocean Park is a modern ocean topic park is famed for its four main exhibitions halls, including Coral Hall, Marine-Polar Hall, Artificial Birdhouse, and Stone Carving Park. Whether you wish to see animals living in the North Pole, admire a variety of tropical birds, or come close to white whales and sea lions, the Tiger Beach Park is a great place to visit, especially if you are traveling with kids.
Worldwide Local Tip: Since Dalian is quite a large city, deciding where to stay is not a simple task for first-time visitors. It is recommended that you book accommodation close to the financial district and the train station. This area has a high density of restaurants and bars, it is close to the main attractions, and is well-connected with other parts of the city. Travelers who wish to stay closer to the coast can book accommodation in the Laohutan neighborhood.
Enjoy the Outdoors in Dalian
This city is home to dozens of green spaces, and Labor Park is one of the most picturesque areas in Dalian. On the park’s roster, travelers will find everything from a miniature zoo and amusement park rides, to serene ponds and the iconic Soccer Ball sculpture. It’s a great place to escape from the busy streets of the city center and enjoy some peace. Our next stop is the largest city square in the world, Dalian’s Xinghai Square. Located right by the sea, this magnificent square is famed for its lavish restaurants, cute fountains, and bronze statues. While you are in the neighborhood, make sure to stop by the excellent Dalian Shell Museum.
Worldwide Local Tip: There is no shortage of great festivals in Dalian. From the Dalian International Fashion Festival in September and the Spring Fireworks Festival (held every January and includes activities like firework displays, art performances, and ice carving exhibitions), to the Dalian International Beer Festival (held in summer on Xinghai Square). There are plenty of cool events to look forward to when visiting Dalian.
Enjoy the Dalian Weather at the Beach
For a local experience, head out to the famous Bangchuidao Island which is located just a short drive from the city. The beaches are perfect for summer activities, and the area offers a diverse range of attractions including a beach resort, islets, and scenic cliffs and hills. Travelers visiting Dalian with kids should pay a visit to the Dalian Forest Zoo. Expect to see bears, zebras, tigers, and of course the extremely cute pandas.
Worldwide Local Tip: Wondering what and where to eat in Dalian? The port area is a great place to try dishes with sea bream, clams, and shrimp. The night market on Tianjin Street offers a variety of BBQ dishes and local specialties. There are also a few streets right off Huanghe Road near the University, where you find local vendors in the evening selling local delicacies.
Have an Incredible Time in Dalian, China!
Exploring Dalian as a worldwide local is the best way to travel. It enables you to discover the city’s best attractions and lesser-known sites.