48 Hours in Qingdao
So you’ve just arrived in Qingdao, you’re here for two days… where to begin? In a city with 8 million people there’s no shortage of places to eat, sleep or entertain yourself so let’s take a look at what you could get up to in just 48 hours!
Kiwi Cafe is popular for a taste of Western cooking- the chef Danny cooks every dish himself and it shows in the quality of the food. For a quick breakfast or a lazy morning, this is definitely the place to go for some eggs, bacon and pancakes to start your day off- it’s also the perfect place to go if you spent the night before in one of Qingdao’s many bars!
Address: No 127 ZhangZhou 2nd Road
If you are feeling energetic, a great way to start your morning in Qingdao is with a hike up the mountain, FuShan. If you are particularly eager, you could ensure you are at the top in time for sunrise… you can see the entire city so it’s worth missing a few hours of sleep! It will take you a few hours to reach the top but there are so many paths and trails to follow that you could easily spend your entire day here.
Address: 190 Chongqing Bei Lu 地址：青岛市崂山区重庆北路190
If you want to eat good, inexpensive Chinese food consider visiting the underground food court on Xin Pu Lu. With an atmosphere reminiscent of a mall food court it is busy and you’ll be spoiled for choice. You can have dumplings, kebabs, noodles, soup… if you can think of it, this food court has it! It’s important to remember that you don’t pay by cash- at the entrance, you give whatever amount of money you want and top up a card which is used to pay inside. 30RMBis more than enough to buy your lunch and you’ll get change back at the end!
Address: Xin Pu Lu 新浦路
After lunch, you can get the bus to Jimo Lu Market. Otherwise known as Qingdao’s ‘fake market’, this indoor market is a bewildering maze of clothing, electronics, jewellery and souvenirs. Just like any other market, there are bargains to be found if you take your time and try to haggle- if you aren’t successful, the experience is still fun! The market sprawls over several floors, so take your time to explore everywhere.
Address: 45 Liaochang Lu, Shibei District, Qingdao
Dinner & Drinks:
While in Qingdao you should visit Mei Da Er at least once. Our interns have affectionately nicknamed this restaurant the Magic Eggplant, for reasons that will become clear once you arrive. You can order seafood, pork, beef, rice… but you have to order the eggplant! If you want to go off menu, you can visit the seafood market behind the restaurant and buy your favourite seafood then ask the restaurant staff to cook it for you. They are more than happy to do so, and it lets you create your perfect dinner!
Address: Mei Da Er (美达尔) Dayao 3rd Rd 大尧三路
If you want to experience some of Qingdao’s history, the Old Observatory Youth Hostel will be perfect for you- this observatory was the first in China! Originally built in 1904 and converted in 2010, the observatory gives you some of the best views of the Old Town areas in the city. With some of the rooms costing as little as 30RMB per night it’s great value for the chance to stay in a piece of China’s history. So if you want a relaxed evening you can sit on the rooftop bar, Sunset Cafe, with a Tsingtao beer and watch the sunset over the beautiful historic views.
Address: No 21 Guanxiang Er Road
So yesterday morning you had a Western breakfast, today will have to be Chinese! If you don’t feel like sitting down to breakfast, you can grab a quick one from a street vendor- including the delicious jian bing (煎饼) which can be found anywhere in the city.
If you feel like moving at a slower pace in the morning, you could take a walk along the many beaches in Qingdao. If you begin at the popular Beach #2 and walk towards the Old Town, you can spend a few hours getting to know this area of the city and see the most famous landmarks, including Zhanqiao Pier (the inspiration for the Tsingtao Beer logo!) You can continue walking right into Old Town and spend the morning exploring the German architecture and historical buildings here.
Pichai Yuan is one of Qingdao’s worst kept secrets- the alleys are filled with traditional Chinese charm and amazing fresh food. The street is packed with stalls and restaurants offering Qingdao’s famous seafood and for the more adventurous, some insects and scorpions! Grab yourself something delicious and sit down to enjoy the fast paced atmosphere of this Old Town treasure.
Address: Zhongshan Lu
Visiting the TV Tower is the perfect way get a bird’s eye view of the city. The tower itself has an Olympic museum, as well as a revolving restaurant. If you don’t think you can manage the climb up TaiPing hill there is the option to take a cable car up, so you can sit back and enjoy the view! The tower is close to ZhongShan Park, and ZhanShan temple so there’s no shortage of things to see.
Address: 1 TaiPingShan Road 青岛电视塔, 太平山路1号
If you have spent the day in Old Town, you should stay for dinner. Visiting Si Fang Lu will mean you can buy the freshest sea food in Qingdao- it’s right beside the port! When you’ve walked around the stalls and decided what you want, take your goods to any of the many restaurants lining the street displaying “加工” and ask them to cook it for you.
Address: Si Fang Lu (四方路)
Drinks and Party:
A trip to Qingdao wouldn’t be complete without a stop to the famous Beer Museum. Located in Old Town, next to the Beer Street, you can learn about the history of Tsingtao, how it’s made and even taste the different varieties.
Address: 青岛啤酒博物馆, 登州路56号
Another place to stay in the Old Town area of Qingdao is the Kaiyue Youth Hostel. This hostel is a converted church, so it’s another piece of Qingdao’s history! They have a bar and areas for socialising with other guests.
Address: 31 Jining Rd青岛凯越国际青年旅馆
The nightlife in Qingdao varies from the relaxing atmosphere of ssLPG and Rocky Bar to clubs like Muse and Pub33. No matter where you decide to go, you’ll meet friendly locals and expats alike. Many of the bars have snooker tables and table football, so there’s more to do than sit and drink your Tsingtao. For the more outgoing among you there is also KTV. One KTV venue even has themed rooms, so you can sing your heart out surrounded by Hello Kitty!
If you want to experience everything about Qingdao for yourself, then apply now!