Although the city of Dalian in north eastern China has records dating back thousands of years, it was merely a small fishing village up until the late 19th century. It strategic geographical location meant that all eyes were on Dalian during this time, and it passed between the British, Japanese, and Russian Empires for a while. After World War II it was passed back to China, and development still continued in order to help the city grow. High rises were built, bright lights switched on, and Dalian was steered into the shipbuilding business and this is where it prospered. Dalian today is an interesting city for travelers to visit, with plenty of things to keep you entertained during your stay. Popular Attractions
Xinghai Square is without doubt the epicentre of Dalian life. Built in 1997 to commemorate Hong Kong’s return to China, this massive square (which is actually a giant circle) has a star in the center and covers an area of 45,000 square meters. Many festivals and events are held in the area of Dalian, so if you’re looking for a lively visit to the city make sure you check out what’s on in advance of your trip. For another famous square in the city, head to Zhongshan Square, which is similar in its circle layout with plenty going on around it. Dalian is home to a number of parks and amusement parks, all of which attract hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Dalian Discovery Kingdom is one of the best attractions for children in the city, with six different areas to enjoy and plenty of rides and entertainment. Sunasia Ocean World is another thrilling spot, and lovers of marine life will be blissfully happy here – particularly when they walk through the underwater tunnels. Guided tours are available if you want to learn more. Dalian Forest Zoo and Tiger Beach Park and two more that should go on your Dalian itinerary. To get out of the city center, head to Bangchuidao Scenic Area, which is around 9km outside of Dalian. This offers the ideal escape away from city life, complete with beautiful coastal views and great weather. Food
If you like seafood, you’re in for a real treat in Dalian as there is a lot of coastline here and thus a lot of produce to be caught from it. Fish, shrimp, crab, sea cucumbers and much more will be found on hundreds of menus throughout the city. If seafood isn’t your thing, you might be a little overwhelmed by how much of it is all over Dalian, but this is still a large city after all and you will find plenty of alternatives. Transport
Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport is very well connected to other airports across China, and also serves a few international cities, mostly still within the vicinity of Asia. For connections from elsewhere, it’s advised that you look into transfers in major flight hubs like Beijing, Shanghai, or Tokyo. Tips for Travelers
The main forms of transport that will help you get around Dalian are by foot, bus, or taxi. There is some bus information in English that should help you get around okay if you choose to use them. Foreigners are unlikely to have many problems in Dalian as the city’s crime rate is relatively low. Take a normal amount of precaution as you would do in any major city. As it’s next to the ocean, Dalian enjoys a fairly pleasant climate with four distinct seasons and not as much humidity as you’ll find in other parts of China. Fun Facts
Xinghai Square is the largest square in Asia. Despite its youth, Dalian is one of the most industrialized cities in China, and is a model upon which many are compared to in terms of effective urban planning. Dalian is home to one of China’s busiest ports.