Dalian is best visited in the spring season (March to May), when the city embraces new growth and cherries appear on the trees. Autumn (September to November) can also be a great time to visit Dalian, simply because the temperatures are much cooler and the humidity factor is much less apparent. This is also a good time to find deals on flights. During the summer season the school holidays mean that huge numbers of domestic tourists descend on Dalian, making hotel rooms more expensive and harder to find. Labour Day (1 May) and China’s national holiday (which lasts for one week around 1 Oct) see similar influxes into the city.
Dalian is the second largest city in Liaoning Province, China and the largest port in the north of the country. The city is ideally located on the southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, which makes Dalian a popular tourist destination for Chinese and international tourists. The nearby coastline is dotted with numerous spectacular beaches to the east and south, but there are also numerous bathing spots and beaches within Dalian city centre which are popular with the locals looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. To sample some of Dalian’s natural beauty, tourists should travel on the Binhai Road, a 25-mile (40 km) stretch of motorway that offers picturesque coastal scenery and superb beach resorts. Within China, Dalian is perhaps best known for the various squares that are dotted around the city centre, each with its own unique character. While Zhongshan Square plays host to the Dalian’s financial district and Renmin Square is the seat of the local government, Xinghai Square is the largest square on the continent of Asia and is home to a great selection of tourist attractions. When compared with many historic areas in China, Dalian is a relatively young city with only a 100 hundred years of history. Despite its age, Dalian still bears the signs of its colonial past with a wealth of spectacular architecture from the Russian and Japanese eras. The city’s Forest Zoo is an essential tourist attraction that houses a large number of exhibits and a wide variety of species. The zoo is also located in a scenic area on the city’s hillside and boasts an impressive indoor rainforest.
When travelling within Dalian city centre, tourists will find that taxis are plentiful and flagging one down is rarely a problem. Make certain to avoid taxis that are operating illegally; you should aim for those which have a blue or white light on top of the car, which signifies that the authorities have licenced their operation.
Located to the north-west of the city, Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport (DLC) offers a number of domestic and international routes, including direct flights to Beijing. When travelling to Dalian city centre from the airport be sure to hail a taxi from just outside the main terminal building. In addition to outstanding taxi services, there is also a regular airport bus that runs to the Dalian’s main train station at regular intervals throughout the day.