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Qingdao (Blue-Green Island) is one of China's most pleasant and cleanest cities, home to world-renowned Tsingtao beer, host of sailing events during the 2008 Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, and a chief repository of Germany's colonial legacy. The Germans established a concession here in 1897 on Jiaozhou Bay. Some of their mansions remain above the bay in the Badaguan District, making for a nice afternoon stroll. The city's Protestant Church (1910) contains a bell from Germany, and Sunday masses are still held in St. Michael's Catholic Church (1934). Qingdaoshan Park contains the remains of a German battery and the German Governor's Residence ...

Qingdao (Blue-Green Island) is one of China's most pleasant and cleanest cities, home to world-renowned Tsingtao beer, host of sailing events during the 2008 Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, and a chief repository of Germany's colonial legacy. The Germans established a concession here in 1897 on Jiaozhou Bay. Some of their mansions remain above the bay in the Badaguan District, making for a nice afternoon stroll. The city's Protestant Church (1910) contains a bell from Germany, and Sunday masses are still held in St. Michael's Catholic Church (1934). Qingdaoshan Park contains the remains of a German battery and the German Governor's Residence is an opulent Bavarian-style castle where Chairman Mao once vacationed. The Tsingtao Brewery, another German legacy, is open for tours, and the International Beer Beer Festival, a pale imitation of an Octoberfest, occurs in August/September. The city's emblem, Zhan Qiao, is a pier that also bears marks of the German presence. Many come to Qingdao's beaches each summer, although the swimming is not the best. This is one of the few places to surf in China. Qingdao's many parks are scenic; Xinhaoshan Park now offers a revolving teahouse. Museums include the Haier Science and Technology Museum, especially interesting to children, as are two large aquariums, Qingdao Underwater World and Polar Ocean World, complete with polar bears, penguins and dolphins. Taidong Pedestrian Street is the most popular of several large street markets. East of the city, Lao Shan provides excellent mountain biking and hiking and an ancient Daoist temple worth exploring on a day trip.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The climate is relatively mild all year, although it can snow in the winter. Summertime brings immense crowds of Chinese vacationers.