11 Best Things To Do In Dalian(With Pictures)

things to do in dalian china

The Miami of China, Dalian is a seaport city that exudes luxury and offers a plethora of options to view, explore and participate. Discovered by the Russians in the 1850s, Dalian’s architecture still holds a bit of its influence. Dalian is outlined by the Yellow Sea, giving tourists some wonderful panoramic views of the waters, and if that doesn’t interest you, there is always history and the lush greens that are waiting to be explored. A modern, sophisticated and multifaceted city (home to the conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group), here is how you can skip the routine to explore Dalian the off-beat way!

1. Xinghai Square

The largest city square in the world, Xinghai Square shows the essence of Dalian. Luxurious and posh, the square has everything from beautiful parks to bronze statues, memorials, and fountains, along with lavish restaurants and hotels to spend an afternoon. The square opens to the sea and cool breeze, beautiful sunsets, and flying seagulls making it the perfect spot to just watch the city pass by, go for a long walk or to read a book as you relax.

Xinghai Square

Address: Liaoning, Dalian, Shahekou, Zhongshan Rd

Website: Xinghai Square

2. Binhai Road

Dalian - Seashore Road
Source: Photo by user Kan Wu used under CC BY 2.0

For your obligatory vacation photo, you must drive through Binhai Road. You might end up clicking more than one photo because this long stretch offers diverse picturesque views, changing every kilometer you travel. The open sea, beautiful caves, abundant foliage, perfectly paved roads, and old-fashioned windmills with the sea in the background are some good spots for a click. If you can rent a car, drive through the entire stretch, pack a few snacks and stop at every point to watch Dalian unravel its beauty as you speed up.

Binhai Road

Address: Bin Hai Lu, Jinzhou Qu, Dalian Shi, Liaoning Sheng

Website: Binhai Road

3. Russian Street

Dalian China Russian-Street-05
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Back in the 1890s, Russians created their own little empire in Dalian and left behind a few architectural wonders that will surely awe you. They are sure to perplex you and make you wonder if you’ve been teleported to Russia, and that’s one way to trick your friends online! Everything from the goods sold on the streets, the sloped, tiled roofs, the windows and the spires scream Russia. The majestic city squares and even the colors of the buildings have been maintained to keep it as Russian as possible. And while you’re there, see if you can tell the old buildings from the newly erected ones.

Russian Street

Address: North side of Shengli Bridge, Xigang District, Dalian

4. Longwangtan Cherry Blossom Park

Longwangtang Cherry Blossom Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Yoshi Canopus used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Being a port city, the ocean air and the humidity might be a little too much! I agree you’ll want nothing more than a cool drink and floral scents to envelop your senses. Head to the Longwangtan Cherry Blossom Park to experience whimsy and feel like you’re walking through the pages of your childhood story book. Though sakura trees are widely popular in Japan and Korea, Japanese occupation planted a few trees across Dalian way back in 1921. That just works to Dalian’s advantage in being a multifaceted city.

Longwangtan Cherry Blossom Park

Address: No.1 Guoshuixi Road, Lushunkou District, Dalian

5. The food

Right off the seashore, Dalian gets some amazing oysters that are served fresh for as cheap as 1 USD a pop! Indulge in this seafood feast, served best at the Golden pebble beach with a beer and incredible views. Dalian also made its mark as a seafood capital of Northeastern China with its delicious stir fried prawns, steamed sea bream, scallops, and abalone. Ban Hai Liangfen is another specialty that is essentially seaweed that is dried and boiled and mixed with herbs. The good thing is, Dalian can provide everything from street food to a luxurious dining experience, giving your wallet some breathing space and your taste buds the time of their life!

6. Dalian Forest Zoo

Dalian Liaoning China Forest-Zoo-02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Here is one, and the best reason for visiting the Dalian Forest Zoo, The Panada Pavillion. Some of the viral adorable, playful panda videos on the internet are shot here and imagine watching these furry little black and white cuddly creatures play and be mischievous all day long! Apart from the pandas, the lions, bears, zebras, tigers and the variety of birds at the zoo houses are sure to keep you occupied for the whole day!

Dalian Forest Zoo

Address: No.60 Yingchun Road, Nanshidao Street, Xigang District, Dalian

Website: Dalian Forest Zoo (in Chinese)

7. Dalian Zhongshan Square

Zhongshan Square, Dalian
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MR+G from Wakayam... used under CC BY 2.0

Another city square that could show you the diversity of Dalian, the Zhongshan Square is a busy place that is great to visit in the mornings or nights. We suggest you take a walk around the square in the morning to see all people performing tai-chi. Such a beautiful scene there!

Dalian Zhongshan Square

Address: Zhongshan District, Dalian

8. Labor Park

Another spot where Dalian can surprise you, the Labor Park is a lush green plot that is filled with greenery, serene ponds, unique flower scents, upbeat people everywhere and tons of activities to do. Visitors suggest you carry a book or pack a picnic if you are visiting in the spring and keep your olfactory senses polished because the park emanates floral scents like no other park. Apart from that, there is the iconic football sculpture, as well as carousels, places to eat and lots of fun activities!

Labor Park

Address: Lushan Lane and Jiefang Road, Dalian

9. Laohutan Ocean Park

Dalian Laohutan Ocean Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sinopitt used under CC BY-SA 3.0

For a day of exploration, why not visit the Laohutan Ocean Park? The park exhibits coral reef fauna, with over 5,000 marine life-forms from more than 200 species. Make sure you check out the Tiger Sculpture Square while you’re there.

Laohutan Ocean Park

Address: No.9 Binhai Middle Road, Zhongshan District, Dalian

10. Spend a fantastic day at the Tiger Beach Ocean Park

Dalian Laohutan Ocean Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sinopitt used under CC BY-SA 3.0

In the seemingly underrated part of China, lies Dalian where some of the most interesting places are found. Travelers who dare to go beyond the usual commercial travel destinations should come to check out Dalian. Similar to some of the West’s amusement parks and ocean parks, Tiger Beach boasts China’s version of an interactive ocean park experience, best for kids and kids at heart alike. Tiger Beach Ocean Park spans 15,700 sqm (168,993.39 sqft) and was architecturally innovated in a way that it was designed in a bizarre shape. Han Meilin also designed the tigers sculptures found around the ocean park that is 35,5 m (116 ft) high, truly a sight you can’t miss when going around. If you’re traveling with children, blow their minds with the polar animal exhibit where sea otters, sea elephants, and dolphins come to see you from the aquarium, a snapshot you definitely can’t capture.

Tiger Beach Ocean Park

Address: Tiger Beach Ocean Park, Laohutan, Dalian, Liaoning.

Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Sundays to Mondays

Price: 25.57 USD

11. See the entirety of Dalian's authentic beauty on the Dalian Sea Boat Tour

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Spend a couple of hours mesmerized by Dalian, China’s most fascinating sights. Guests who book this tour will have access to hotel pick up and drop off services, transportation, and a private tour guide to help you with your itinerary. See Dalian from a unique perspective and from various angles, highlighting the cultural heritage that Dalian has managed to preserve throughout the years. While pondering on that, guests will be served lunch and dinner on board. Some of the attractions guests will see include the Dalian Xinghai Square, the Golden Sand Beach, Silver Sand Beach, and Camel Island among others.

Travel back

Dalian Liaoning China Olympic-Square-01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

I hope you are convinced! Whether you want to just relax, have a luxurious holiday, travel back in time or just enjoy nature’s best, you can get it all in one vacation! Ready to add Dalian to your list now?

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Subadhra is a journalist whose thoughts always revolve around gastronomy and travel, if not already populated with current affairs. An adventurer, an explorer and a story teller, she is always...Read more

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