Jinan is the capital city of Shandong province and it’s where I have lived for 1 ½ years. It has beautiful attractions, lots of shopping malls and too many restaurants to count. Here are the top 5 tourist attractions that Jinan has to offer:

Daming Lake

This is the largest lake in Jinan and its located in the city centre, around 30 minutes in a taxi from where we live. The park is around 212 acres and there are many pavilions, gardens and bridges to see and explore. There is also the option of hiring a boat / taking a boat trip to visit the small islands, just try not to crash it into the bridge like I did….the security guards were not to happy with that, but the Chinese tourists found it hilarious! There is also an amusement park, an aquarium and plenty of little shops that you can buy souvenirs from.

Address: No.271 Daminghu Road, Lixia District, Jinan City

Travelling to Daming Lake: Bus No. 6, No. 11, No. 31, No. 33, No. 36, No. 37, No. 41, No.66 or K54.

Entry Price: Free

Opening Hours: Walking around the lake: 24/7

Super Tower: 8:00 – 17:00

The boat cruise: 7:00-17:00

Daming Lake Underwater World: 9:00-17:00

Baotu Springs

Baotu Springs is the second most famous spring in Jinan and its located just across the street from the Five Dragon Pool Spring / Wulongtan park. There are lots of small springs, bridges, and pavilions to walk along and explore, inside the park there is a tea house which I recommend paying a visit to. With the beautiful surroundings and a cup of tea (made with the water from the springs) its the perfect place to relax.

Address: No. 1 Baotu Spring South Road, Lixia District, Jinan

Travelling to Baotu Springs: Take Bus No. 5、No.41、No.49、No.85、No.102、No.103、No.104, No.66, K54 or K96.

Entry Price: 40 RMB

Opening Hours: April 10th – October 9th 7:00-19:00, October 10th – April 9th, 7:00-18:00

Thousand Buddha Mountain

The Thousand Buddha Mountain is located on the outskirts of Jinan. There are many Buddha statues and a huge 20 meter high golden Buddha around halfway up the mountain, which is a great place for a selfie. The walk up the mountain can take around 1 ½ – 2 hours, if you are wearing the correct footwear, if not then maybe 3 hours and a lot of blisters (speaking from personal experience).Thankfully when that happens you can take the slide back down the mountain which is so much fun and gets you down to the bottom in no time at all! There is also the option of taking the cable car up and down the mountain, which I highly recommend in the summer when its very hot. Once you have reached the top you can walk around and appreciate the views of the city, but be careful as the ground is very uneven and you can easily slip. Personally I prefer to climb the mountain in the morning as there is less people around and its easier to get good photos!

Address: No. 18, Jing 11th Road, Lixia District, Jinan City

Travelling to Thousand Buddha Mountain: Bus K56, K51, No.48, No.31 and No.2

Entry Price: 30 RMB (additional costs to enter the various temples inside the mountain)

Opening Hours: 6am-6pm (may vary in summer/winter months and during holidays)

Five Dragon Pool Spring/ Wulongtan Park

The Five Dragon Pool Spring (also known as Wulongtan Park) is very close to Daming Lake and the city centre. There are 28 ponds in the park and takes around 45 minutes to walk around but you can easily spend a few hours here if you have the time. This is one of the few parks in Jinan that allow you to feed the fish, although if you stop to feed the fish be prepared to get selfies with the locals. They love getting photos with us, they get very excited to see foreigners in Jinan.

Address: No. 18, Kuangshi Street, Baotuquan North Road, Lixia District, Jinan City

Travelling to Five Dragoon Pool Spring/Wulongtan Park: Bus No.5, No.55, No.101, No.103, No.104 and K59

Entry Price: 10 RMB

Opening Hours: April 10th – October 9th: 7:00-19:00; October 10th – April 9th: 7:00-18:00

Quancheng Square

Quancheng Square is located in the city centre, right next to the central shopping area. In the centre of the square is a lotus shaped fountain surrounded by 4 other fountains ( which represents the four top springs in Jinan ). Its a beautiful place to go for a walk, eat lunch outside and to take photos with various sculptures around the square. At night there is a light/water show around 7.30/8pm and lots of locals gather to dance and fly huge kites.

Address: No. 99, Wuyuan Street, Lixia District, Jinan City (South of the Road)

Travelling to the square: Take Bus No.103

Entry Price: Free

Opening Hours: Open 24/7

If you are a student, teacher or an explorer looking for their next adventure, this is a city I would highly recommend. With lots to offer in terms of food, shopping and nightlife, its becoming one of the top cities to travel to and its a place I am happy to call home.