Dalian, once called “Qingniwa”, was envisioned as an “Eastern Paris” 100 years ago by Russian engineers enamored with French culture. Carrying blueprints of Paris, they came and named the city “Dalini”, meaning “remote city”, inspiring the Chinese name “Dalian”.
Dalian is the gateway to Beijing and Tianjin. Bordering Yingkou City, its vast hinterland encompasses Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Inner Mongolia. Facing Shandong Peninsula across the sea, it neighbors Japan, Korea, North Korea, and Russia's Far East, making it a maritime doorway to Northeast, North, and East China, as well as the world.
Dalian is an important port, trading, industrial and tourism city. It has two main watersheds - the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea. Currently, Dalian administers 6 districts, 3 cities, and 1 county: Zhongshan, Xigang, Shahekou, Ganjingzi, Lüshunkou, Jinzhou, Changhai, Wafangdian, Pulandian, and Zhuanghe.
With diverse architectures, stunning coastal scenery, and a pleasant climate, Dalian promises discovery, fun, and relaxation. Visitors can enjoy seafood, shopping, museums, amusement parks, and more in this beautiful coastal city.
Experience the Dalian Beer Festival
The Dalian Beer Festival is held annually from late July to early August. Originally known as the China Beer Festival, it was held in Beijing for the first three sessions before moving to Dalian in 2002. It has now become a traditional festival in Dalian. Most of the onsite activities are organized directly by the beer companies investing manpower and resources, rather than operated by distributors or agents.
Time: Late July to early August
Sip, savor and celebrate at China's biggest beer festival in Dalian. Sample ice-cold brews from hundreds of domestic and international brands. Enjoy live music as you toast under twinkling lights along Dalian's scenic harborfront. From creative cuisine to carnival rides, discover why this frothy festival sums up the best of summer in northeast China. With refreshing beers and good times galore, the Dalian Beer Festival offers unlimited fun for friends and family.
Dalian Fashion Festival
Experience the Dalian International Fashion Festival
The Dalian International Fashion Festival began in 1988 and is held annually in early September. It is an international economic and cultural event combining business, culture, and tourism.
Time: Early September
Strut to the latest styles at one of Asia's premier fashion festivals in Dalian. Watch dazzling runway shows featuring Chinese designers alongside global brands. Shop for high-end clothing and accessories in impeccably curated pop-up boutiques. Against a glamorous backdrop of yachts and skyscrapers, mingle with models, photographers, and fashionistas from around the world. Mixing style and substance, Dalian Fashion Week celebrates the energy and creativity of China's fashion industry.
Pagoda Appreciation Society
Experience the Dalian Pagoda Blossom Viewing Festival
Dalian is known as the "Oriental Pagoda City" and every May the pagoda trees bloom, filling the city with fragrance. The Dalian Pagoda Blossom Viewing Festival began in 1989 and attracts huge crowds every year. Each festival features grand parades, opening and closing ceremonies, and more. For the city of Dalian, the festival has become a celebration for all citizens.
Join Dalian's floral homage to spring at this delightful blossom festival. Meander down avenues festooned with delicate white blooms. Marvel at creative floats and colorful costumes during vibrant parades. Relax in verdant parks for picnics under the flowering canopy. As floral fragrance perfumes the seaside air, celebrate the beauty of spring in this charming coastal city. An iconic event for locals, Dalian's Blossom Viewing Festival promises fun for all.
Dalian International Marathon
Experience the Dalian International Marathon
The Dalian International Marathon is recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the Chinese Athletics Association as an internationally standardized marathon event. It has been held annually in Dalian in May since 1987, except for 2013 when it was canceled due to the National Games.
Lace up your sneakers and join the excitement at one of China's top marathons in Dalian. Choose from a full marathon, half marathon or fun runs on a stunning seaside course. World-class and amateur runners alike gather to test their endurance with the support of cheering crowds. Enjoy celebratory concerts as victors bask in their accomplishments. More than a race, Dalian Marathon encapsulates the competitive spirit and vibrancy of this dynamic port city.
Fireworks and firecrackers welcome the spring festival
Experience Dalian's Chinese New Year Fireworks Celebration
Every year from the second to the eighth day of the first lunar month, Dalian holds a grand Chinese New Year fireworks celebration that is renowned for its rich traditions, elegant flair, and festive atmosphere. The diverse festival activities include colored lantern and ice sculpture exhibits, fireworks displays, gourmet food tastings, flower and stone exhibitions, amusement games, acrobatics and art performances.
Time: 2nd to 8th day of the first lunar month
Ring in the Lunar New Year with a bang at Dalian's dazzling fireworks festival. Thrill to the crackle and boom of pyrotechnics exploding over the harbor. Wander through colorful lantern displays and ice sculptures aglow in neon. Savor traditional Lunar New Year delicacies from street food stalls. As rockets light up the night sky, celebrate the start of a prosperous new year. Dalian's Chinese New Year extravaganza promises unforgettable fun for all ages.
Best Travel TimeDalian is located at the southernmost point of the Liaodong Peninsula, facing the sea on three sides, and is a famous summer resort. Tourists come to Dalian mostly to find the coolness of the seawater in the scorching summer heat. May September is the best time for tourism in Dalian, and Dalian can go swimming in the sea from the end of June to the beginning of September every year. In addition, September to October is the best time for fishing by the sea when sea fish return.
Dalian's history stretches back to prehistoric times. Since the Xia Dynasty, Dalian has been ruled by the Han, Xianbei, Di, Goguryeo, Khitan, Jurchen, Mongol, Russian, and Japanese peoples.
During the Qin and Han dynasties, Dalian was only nominally governed by China. In the 1870s, the Qing dynasty built harbors, batteries, and barracks, transforming Dalian into a small town. After occupation by Czarist Russia, it was renamed Qingniwa.
Dalian officially became a city in 1899. The British army attacked Dalian during the Opium Wars. Dalian saw major battles in the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War, suffering great damage. It was colonized by Russia and Japan for nearly half a century.
On August 1945, Dalian was liberated, ending 40 years of Japanese occupation. This turbulent history imbues Dalian with unique multicultural roots.
Dalian is a major port city with developed shipping routes. There are regular ferry services from Dalian Port to Yantai, Weihai, Longkou, Penglai, Laizhou, and islands off Changshan County. High-speed tourist ferries also run from Dalian to Yantai and Changshan islands. Scheduled cruise ships operate between Dalian and Incheon, South Korea.
Dalian has 5 main passenger ferry terminals: Dalian Port Passenger Station, Dalian Xiangluojiao Port, Pikou Port, Dalianwan New Port Passenger Station, and Lvshunkou New Port.
For travelers, ferries from Dalian provide a relaxing way to reach coastal cities in Shandong province or explore the scenic islands in the Bohai Sea. The journey to Penglai takes just under 3 hours. Or enjoy an overnight cruise from Dalian to Incheon, South Korea. Tickets can be booked directly at the ferry terminals. With plenty of departures from early morning to evening, Dalian's developed ferry system makes seaside destinations convenient to reach.