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Shandong Travel

Shandong Travel Guide 2023

Shandong Province is located in the eastern part of China and the lower reaches of the Yellow River, bordering Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea in the East, Henan Province in the west, Hebei Province in the north, Anhui and Jiangsu Provinces in the south, facing the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese archipelago across the sea. It is one of the birthplaces of Chinese nation with a history over 5000 years. The great sage Confucius, one of the most influential people in human being history, was born in Shandong. Stepping on to this legendary land, you will not only get amazed by the magnificent historical and cultural heritages, but also enjoy endless landscape. You will also be warmly welcomed by local Shandong people who are famous for their hospitality.

Why You Should Visit Shandong?

  • Experience of authentic Chinese culture & Tracing back on Chinese history.
    Shandong is a province of heritages. The earliest Chinese characters, the earliest city state of China and the oldest existing Great Wall of China were all discovered in Shandong. The province is also one of the birthplaces of ceramics and silk. Currently, there are up to 4 honorable UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 8 Intangible Cultural Heritage Sites of Humanity, 10 state-list famous historical and culture cities and over 150 traditional villages located in the province of Shandong, which make Shandong one of the best places to explore Chinese culture and history.
  • Paying your respect to the sage Confucius in Qufu. To find the very essence of Chinese culture, you must learn about Confucius. Because Confucius’ philosophy which is known as Confucianism has been practiced for more than 2500 years in too many aspects of Chinese culture. By learning about Confucius, you are able to find out how the basic thoughts and value of Chinese people, society, government, education system, human relation, etc. are formed. As the home to Confucius, Shandong is the best place to explore Confucius culture and pay your own respects to this great sage.
  • Unique cultural hiking. Without many high mountains, but Shandong indeed offers many opportunities for hiking that is quite different from hiking in other parts of China. It’s more about cultural hiking, taking the ancient paths and making stops to visit the ancient temple. Today it seems every Chinese would come to hike Mount Tai of Shandong, the most sacred mountain in China, at least once in a lifetime. Laoshan Mountain in Qingdao also has a leisure and scenic hike.
  • Beautiful islands & golden beaches. With one of the longest coastlines in China, Shandong boasts many beautiful islands and golden beaches which are suitable for a comfortable holiday. High-end resorts and hotels are equipped in Qingdao, Weihai, Yantai and other popular coastal cities for you to relax and have fun. You can easily get there by flights and high speed trains.
  • Delicious food & tasty beers. Shandong pleases your taste buds with delicious Lu Cuisine which is known as one of the Eight Greatest Cuisines in China. Lu Cuisine puts emphasis on quality raw materials, freshness and rich taste. Seafoods are affordable and widely served in most places of the province. You should also go to Qingdao to drink some fresh and tasty Tsingtao beer, which is an important thing to do for any trip to Shandong.
  • Accessible by flight and trains. Shandong has built a fully-connected transportation network which consists of air lines, high speed rails, highways and waterways. Most cities can be reached by high speed trains. Bigger cities like Qingdao, Jinan, Weihai all have their own airports, and can be arrived by international flights too.
  • ......

Top Travel Destinations in Shandong Province

There are six tourist areas in Shandong province: Jinan, Tai'an and Qufu "landscape and sage area”, mainly related to Confucius culture, local culture and scenery; “beautiful coastal tourism area” including Qingdao, Yantai and Weihai; “folk tourism area” – Weifang, the city of kites, New Year's Paintings of Yangjiabu; “Ancient Qi Dynasty Culture” – Zibo; “Yellow River Wonders” – Dongying; the "Water Margin tourism line" – Liangshan and Yanggu. Shandong has also launched tourism festivals such as Qingdao International Beer Festival, Qufu International Confucius Culture Festival, Weifang International Kite Festival and Mount Tai International Mountaineering Festival, and more than 30 special tourism activities, including Confucius culture experience, Qilu folk custom tour, calligraphy class, etc.

Learn more about Best Places to Visit in Shandong >>

Popular Tourist Attractions & Activities in Shandong Province

With a long history, profound culture and diverse natural forms, Shandong has over one thousand attractions and many grand festivals, including the sacred Mount Tai, World Heritage Site Confucius Temple, beautiful Laoshan Mountain, magnificent Qingdao Beer Festival, etc. Below are top 10 tourist attractions and activities in Shandong Province. For more attraction information, please check Top 8 Things to Do in Shandong | Top Shandong Tourist Attractions.

Shandong Travel
Mount Tai

Mount Tai is the most sacred mountain in China, a UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site as well as a World Geographical Park.

Shandong Travel
Laoshan Mountain

Laoshan Mountain offers you breathtaking view of picturesque seascape and peculiar peaks together, also an opportunity to explore Taoist Culture.

Shandong Travel
Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple is a World Cultural Heritage Site, the largest of its kind in the world. Best place to learn about Confucian culture.

Shandong Travel
Qingdao International Beer Festival

Taste beers from different places, enjoy a lot of cultural activities. Usually takes place on the second weekend of August every year and lasts for 16 days.

Shandong Travel
Baotu Spring

Baotu Spring is the most famous spring in China. It is located in a beautiful local park where you can enjoy some relaxed walkings.

Shandong Travel
Weifang Kite Festival

Fly your own kite or enjoy grand scene of thousands of kites of unique shapes flying in the blue sky of Weifang, the birthplace of kites.

Shandong Travel
Qingdao Beer Museum

Learn about the history and production skill of Tsingtao Beer which is the most famous beer in China. Also enjoy some fresh beers.

Shandong Travel

Dai Temple

Dai Temple is the place where ancient Chinese emperors worship the gods of Mount Tai and hold the ceremony of sacrifice, also acts as a national museum.

Shandong Travel

Liugong Island

The Island is reputed as a fairy isle on the sea' for its great environment, beautiful scenery and various kinds of animals. It is the birthplace of China’s first modern navy.

Shandong Travel

Penglai Pavilion

Built in Song Dynasty (960~1279), Penglai Pavilion is one of the China’s Four Greatest Towers, also a large themed park with many Chinese cultural existences.

Shandong Weather & Best Time to Visit

Shandong Travel

Shandong Province has a warm temperate monsoon climate, without extreme weather. Spring is dry, windy and dusty, summer is hot and rainy, autumn is sunny and cool, and winter is cold and dry. The average temperature is about 13 ℃. Southwestern area, including Jinan, Qufu, Mount Tai, etc., is warmer (or hotter) than northeastern area, including Qingdao, Yantai, Weihai, etc. January is the coldest month when the average temperatures can be below 0 ℃. July is the hottest month with an average temperature about 27.5 ℃. The temperature gradually increases from January to July. After August, the temperature dropped month by month. The rain season is June to August. The yearly average annual precipitation of Shandong province is about 600-750mm. Mount Tai has the most frequent rainfall among all places in Shandong.

Generally speaking, Shandong is available for traveling all year round, but the best time is from April to October. Winter months are cold while spring months are dusty. It is not recommended to travel to Shandong during festivals, such as the May Day, National Holiday, etc. You should also pack and wear accordingly to the season you come.

Best Places to Visit in Spring: Jinan, Qufu, Yantai, etc.
Best Places to Visit in Summer: Qingdao, Weihai, Yantai, etc.
Best Places to Visit in Autumn: Mount Tai, Jinan, Qufu, Yantai, Weihai, etc.
Best Places to Visit in Winter: Jinan, Qufu, etc.

▶ Learn more about Shandong Weather


How to Get to & Around Shandong

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Get to Shandong

Shandong can be arrived flexibly by flight, train, cruise and highway. Jinan and Qingdao are two major transportation hubs. You can choose or combine available transportation tools according to your travel plan.

By Flight

International air lines are only connected to Japan, Korea, some southeastern Asian countries, and a few countries in Europe and North America. For better flights rates and flexible schedule, you are suggested to take an international flight to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and other China hubs first, then change to domestic flights or trains to Shandong.

By Train

Currently there are frequent high speed trains to Jinan, Qufu, Tai’an (Mount Tai) and other places in western Shandong from Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and other nearby provinces. If you want to go to Qingdao, Yantai and Weihai in eastern Shandong from other parts of China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, you are suggested to take flights instead of trains. If you want to transfer from cities in western Shandong to Qingdao, Weihai and Yantai, taking train is more recommended.

By Cruise

Some international cruises from Japan, Korea or Singapore usually make stops at Qingdao. Make fully use of your off-board time to explore beautiful Shandong.

Get Around Shandong

It is recommended to use high speed trains when you travel between destinations which are not close to each other, such as Jinan – Qingdao, Qingdao – Qufu, Mount Tai – Qingdao, Qingdao – Weihai, etc. Jinan, Qufu and Mount Tai are located closely, thus you can transfer among them by car. Flights and waterways are seldom used for city-to-city transfer in the province.

To get rid of hustle and bustle of public transportation and time-consuming tickets booking, it is strongly recommended to travel Shandong with our packaged tour which includes not only tour guide, hotels, meals, attractions, etc., but also takes care of all the transfers during your trip, from airport/train station pick up, high speed train, flights to private vehicle and your own driver, so that you can focus all your time and energy on enjoying magnificent culture and beautiful landscape of Shandong.

▶ Learn more about Shandong Transportation

Shandong Accommodation and Where to Stay

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Tourism industry has developed well in Shandong so is its accommodation. It is usually easy to find a good hotel that is well located and equipped with good facilities, because most of the popular attractions of Shandong are located in or near bigger cities, such as Qingdao, Qufu, Jinan, etc. The two biggest cities Qingdao and Jinan has the highest-end hotels with many international luxury hotels brands and domestic luxury hotels brands offering suites, deluxe rooms, standard rooms, etc. Smaller cities like Tai’an, Qufu, Weifang, etc. mainly offers Chinese hotels, including featured guest house, valuable 3-star 4-star and 5 star hotels. Coastal cities, such as Weihai, Yantai and Penglai, also provide great hotels, including some top-class resorts.

As for hotels areas, we suggest you choose those hotels not too far away from city center, business districts and transportation stations. If you are independent travellers, you are suggested to stay close to train stations, shopping streets, major attractions so that you find public transportation, food and shops easily. If you prefer a worry-free tour operated by travel agencies like China Discovery, you can accommodate around the commercial center, or stay away from the crowds. Your travel agencies will find a well-located and well-equipped hotel for you.

▶ Learn more about Shandong Accommodation

Shandong Travel Maps

To help you learn about Shandong’s location, transportation, attractions and plan your Shandong trip easily, here we have collected some useful Shandong travel maps including Shandong China Map, Shandong Attractions Map and maps of Qingdao, Mount Tai, Jinan, Qufu, Weihai, etc. more Shandong maps >>.

Shandong Province Map

Qingdao Travel Map

Shandong Maps

Mount Tai Hiking Map

Other Popular Destinations in China

China is vast and diverse. You can choose your favorite destinations among more than 70 tourist destination and regions, like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, etc. Following are 8 popular destinations you may get interested in. Check all destinations in China.

Shandong Map

Chinese Name: 山东省

Chinese Pinyin: Shāndōng Shěng

English IPA: /'ʃæn'duŋ/

Population: 100,472,400

Language: Mandarin

Tel Code: 0531 (Jinan)

Zip Code: 250000

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Plan Your Shandong Tour

You can plan your Shandong tour according to your favorite destinations, seasons you come and trip duration. Generally speaking, Qigndao, Mount Tai and Qufu are the golden-triangle destinations in Shandong, which can be visited in a 4~5 days tour. You can take a flight to Qingdao first, then spend 2 days visiting the beautiful Laoshan Mountain, golden beach, exotic Badaguan, etc., then take a high speed train to Qufu to explore Confucian culture. Continue on to hike Mount Tai which is only about 75km from Qufu. If you have 2 more days, you can extend your tour to Jinan, the City of Springs, to experience authentic Chinese living and visit the wondrous springs. If you prefer leisure coastal holiday, you can travel from Qingdao to Weihai, Yantai, etc. A Shandong Panorama tour is also recommended if you have about 9~10 days to stay in Shandong, which unlocks deeper culture of Shandong in Weifang, Zibo, etc.

Learn more about How to Plan a Shandong Tour - Shandong Trip Planner >>

Recommended Tours

Dacheng Hall - Most Grandiose Building in Confucian Temple
6 Days Best of Shandong Tour

Jinan / Mount Tai / Qufu / Qingdao

Beautiful Chengshantou Scenic Area
9 Days Shandong Panorama Tour

Qingdao / Weihai / Yantai / Weifang / Zibo / Qufu / Mount Tai / Jinan

Amazing Different Terra Cotta Warriors
10 Days China World Heritage Tour in Northern China

Beijing / Mount Tai / Qufu / Zhengzhou / Shaolin Temple / Luoyang / Xian


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