Dalian is the most important harbor city and industrial base in northeast China. Therefore, the city enjoys a well established transportation system that makes it very convenient to travel to Dalian from most domestic cities and even some international destinations.
Dalian has a comprehensive bus system and an efficient light rail mass transit system, usually called Qinggui, which connects Dalian Development Zone and Jinshitan with downtown Dalian.
Dalian, however, is one of the few places in China where there are not many bicycles because the area is full of slopes. There are also few motorcycles because their sales are prohibited. The number of cars on Dalian streets has increased dramatically in recent years, though not causing major traffic jams yet.
Planes & Airport
Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport serves as an important transportation hub in the Bohai area and is located just 10 kilometers (6 miles) from downtown Dalian. The airport offers direct flights to the many of the major domestic cities in China, and to the selected cities internationally.
Thirty international routes connect Dalian to over 30 cities in 14 countries including Vladivostok, Hiroshima, Irkutsk, Osaka, Sendai, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Munich, London, Delhi, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Fukuoka, Khabarovsk, Nagoya, Dubai, Seoul, Toyama, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Phuket and Sydney. There are also regular charter service between Dalian and regions in Southeast Asia, Europe, American and Russia.
In addition, 69 domestic flights leave from the Zhoushuizi International Airport, taking passengers to most of the major Chinese cities including Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Haikou, Kunming, Shenyang, Wuhan, Dunhuang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Zhuhai, Xian, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Lanzhou, Luoyang, Shanghai, Tianjin and so on.
The Dalian Railway Station is centrally located in the bustling commercial center near Qingniwaqiao in the downtown area. The station is surrounded by numerous shopping streets, hotels, entertainment venues with convenient connections to every corner of the city.
Although Dalian is linked to the national railway system, the city only has direct trains running to Beijing and most major cities in Northeast China, including Changchun, Shenyang, Qiqihar, Jilin and Harbin. For destinations in southern and western China, travelers may need to transfer via Beijing.
On August 23, 2007, construction started on the new Harbin-Dalian High-Speed Passenger Railway, which upon completion will connect these two cities in 4.5 hours, compared to 9 to 13 hours on the current railway. The New Dalian Station will be set up at Nanguanling in the northern suburbs, on the way to Dalian Development Zone.
In addition to local and express bus service to Beijing and other areas in the northeast, Dalian has regular passenger boat services going to many cities (after all Dalian has the third largest port in China and therefore has a well developed water transport network).
The ferry terminal is in the eastern end of the city, located at the northern end of Wuwu Lu in the eastern end of the Liaodong Peninsular. A shuttle bus is available which take passengers from the Waiting Hall to the docks.
Besides the frequent fast ferry boats to Weihai and Yantai in Shandong Province, boats are available to Shanghai, Qinhuangdao and Incheon in Korea.
City to City Buses
The city is situated at the tip of the Liaodong Peninsular and has two main highways that extend northeastward to cover the peninsular. One is the Shenyang-Dalian Speedway that connects the city to Shenyang ( the provincial capital city of Liaoning), and runs parallel to the 202 national highway. The other is the Yellow Sea Speedway, starting from Dalian running along the coast to Dandong, next to the 201 national highway. This makes the connections between Dalian and the other four major cities, namely Shenyang, Liaoyang, Dandong, Qinhuangdao, very convenient.
There are five long distance passenger bus stations in the city of Dalian:
The fare of taxi is RMB 8 for a 3 km ride and RMB 1.8 per kilometer after that. Evening fares (from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am the next morning) are 30% higher. Dalian is not very large, and most places can be reached for around RMB 20.
Remember to get a receipt from the driver, which is helpful in case if you forget any of your belongings in the car.
Upon entering the bus, you should deposit your transportation fare of RMB 1 for buses and RMB 2 for minibuses. You can also buy an electronic bus card or a monthly bus pass. Note: All buses have adopted a self-service ticketing system, which means exact change only.
Dalian has a number of trams and trolleybuses, a legacy from the years of Japanese occupation, which add character to the city in addition to being a practical means of transportation. In fact, the hilly streets, colonial buildings and the trams combine to give Dalian an almost San Franciscan feel in certain areas. There are three tram routes, No. 201 runs from the central railway station to Shahekou Railway station, No. 202 runs from the Xi'an Lu shopping area to Heishijiao and beyond via Xinghai Square and No. 203 runs from the railway station along to Donghai Beach via Russian Street. Tickets for all trams cost 1 RMB, with the exception of the modern trams on route No. 202 which cost 2 RMB.
Car rentals are a little more difficult for foreigners to rent and driving rules in the city are more troublesome and dangerous than taking a taxi. However, if interested, below are two numbers you can call for more information.
Walking By Foot
The city area is not very large, and sight-seeing attractions, hotels and shopping places are not very far from each other. A walking trip throughout the downtown is quite easy.