48 Hours in Dalian

48 Hours in Dalian

Dalian is one of China’s cleanest and most pleasant cities and that, coupled with its seaside location and rapid development, has made Dalian an increasingly popular travel destination. With a population of over 6 million, Dalian is by no means a small city to navigate. However, with a little help and know-how, 48 hours in Dalian is ample time to appreciate the essence of the city. Read on to find out how.

The Western influence in Dalian is quite profound, especially given the fact that it was occupied by Britain and leased to Russia in the past. Moreover, as with most major cities in modern China, Western culture and trends are beginning to shape the urban landscape of cities, meaning that businesses such as cafes, bars and Western restaurants are becoming more and more common. Start your day by enjoying a good cup of coffee in one of Dalian’s numerous cafes. Of particular interest is Echo Books and Cafe on Jianye Street in Xigang District. The cafe, which also serves as a cultural centre, is the perfect way to set the tone for a busy day of taking in Dalian’s many sites.

Next, visit one of Dalian’s many interesting museums. For an insight into the city from its colonial past to the modern day, a visit to the Dalian Modern Museum is a must. The museum is the first museum in China bearing the name “modern” which explains its focus on the city’s modernisation and future. The museum is divided into four sections: Old Dalian, New Dalian, Developing Dalian and Future Dalian, the focus of each is self-explanatory. Those more interested in fossils and natural life should check out the Dalian Natural History Museum, while those more interested in art can go to the Dalian Art Exhibition Museum.

By now hunger should have kicked in. Situated by the coast, Dalian is unsurprisingly renowned for its fresh seafood. There’s really no shortage of excellent restaurants in Dalian. Wanbao Seafood City is reputed as the “king of seafood restaurants in Dalian.” Prices are steep but the service is excellent as is the food so it is definitely worth a visit. The restaurant is also conveniently close to the next port of call, namely Zhongshan Sqaure.

Wanbao Seafood City万宝海鲜舫View In Map
Add: 108 Jiefang Lu, Zhongshan District, Dalian
Tel: 0411 8881 2888, 8235 8888

Zhongshan Square is Dalian’s most famous landmark. From there walk north for about 1000 metres towards Russian Street, which as the name suggests is a pretty street consisting of about 20 Russian and European style buildings. Russian Street is also quite close to Tianjin walking street, an upscale shopping and dining district with the town’s flashiest department stores and retail outlets.

The city is still very much alive at night with a host of entertainment options. Tianjin Street area turns into a large, open-air night market in the evenings with many local snacks on offer. There are also several clusters of bars around the Youhao Square, the side streets off Wuwu Lu and the area near People’s Square. Boon Town Bar in Kaifa District is one of the most popular bars among the expat crowd, though it’s a bit of a trek from the city centre. It takes 20 minutes to reach from the city via fast train service but once you get off at Five Colour City train stop its just a couple of minutes walk away.

The next day, why not soak up some of Dalian’s natural attractions? In the summer, Dalian’s main attraction is its sandy beaches and azure waters. Fujiazhuang Beach is one of the most popular ones. If frying under the scorching sun isn’t your thing, then Jinshitan Scenic Area offers a whole range of alternatives. Located 60kms from the city, the area includes a golf course, yacht club, amusement park and hunting grounds.

Though the scenic spots and recommended destinations in this guide only represent the tip of the iceberg for what Dalian has to offer, it should give you a well-rounded itinerary of how to spend 48 hours here. For a list of more sites and attractions, please refer to our Travel Guide or list of other scenic spots here. Enjoy!

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