Jinan Overview

Basic Information

  • Chinese Name: 济南
  • Location: Situated in the north-western part of Shandong province
  • Area: 8,177.21 square kilometers
  • Population: 7,236,100
  • Language: Mandarin, Jinan dialect

Administrative Division

As the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China, Jinan has direct jurisdiction over 8 districts and 2 counties.

  • 8 districts: Lixia District (历下区), Shizhong District (市中区), Huaiyin District (槐荫区), Tianqiao District (天桥区), Licheng District (历城区), Changqing District (长清区), Zhangqiu District (章丘区), Jiyang District (济阳区)
  • 2 counties: Pingyin County (平阴县), Shanghe County (商河县)
    And these districts and counties are further divided into 146 township-level divisions, including 65towns, 27 townships and 54 sub districts.


Jinan is located in the north-western part of Shandong province at 36° 40′ northern latitude and 116° 57′ east of Greenwich, about 400 kilometers south of Beijing. It borders Liaocheng to the southwest, Dezhou to the northwest, Binzhou to the northeast, Zibo to the east, Laiwu to the southeast, and Tai'an to the south. In the relief of the region, the city occupies a transition zone between the northern foothills of the Taishan Massif to the south of the city and the valley of the Yellow River to the north.

Jinan landform can be divided into three zones: the northern yellow belt, central piedmont plain belt, and southern hilly belt. Hilly areas and plain are respectively with an area of about 3,000 and 5,000 square kilometers. The main peaks here are Changchenglin, Paomalin, Tizi Mountain, Huiniuzhai, etc. The highest elevation here is 1108.4 meters, and the lowest is 5 meters above sea level, with the north-south difference of more than 1100 meters.

Owing to its unique topography and geological structure, Jinan has a large number of springs. Located in the heart area of Shandong province where southern low hills and northern flood plains meet, the favorable location is conductive to the gathering of surface water and groundwater to the city.


Jinan city is dry and nearly rainless in spring, hot and rainy in summer, crisp in autumn and dry and cold (with little snow) in winter. The average annual temperature is 14.8 °C, and the annual precipitation is around slightly above 670 millimeters, with a strong summer maximum, and high variability from year to year. January is the coldest and driest month, with a mean temperature of −0.4 °C and 5.7 millimeters of equivalent rainfall. July is the hottest and wettest month, and the corresponding numbers are 27.5 °C, and 201.3 mm.

Things to Do

Jinan is known as “the world’s capital of springs”, and there are 4 spring groups, so to visit spring scenic spots here is a must for many visitor. When it comes to spring water, the tourist attraction that you could not miss is Spouting Spring. Then, as one of the birthplaces of Lu cuisine, you are recommended to taste local Lu dishes here. In addition to Lu cuisin, fresh seafood is a good choice as well. Jinan is a popular tourist destination with numerous tourist sites that you could pay a visit to, like Daming Lake Scenic Spot, Qianfo Mountain, Jiurushan Mountain Waterfalls, Longdong Mountain Scenic Site, Black Tiger Spring, Red Leaves Canyon, Wulongtan Park, The Best Spring in the World Scenic Spot, Nine Tower China Folk Culture Village Wonderland, etc.


As the capital city of Shandong province and acting as a major bus transportation hub, Jinan is equipped with a fairly complete transportation system. There is an international airport, several railway stations, and many long-distance bus stations. Also, as a popular tourist attraction, Jinan offers tourist buses for visitors as well. Inside the city, well-built bus and taxi systems would bring tourists convenient ways of travelling.

History & Culture

The area of present-day Jinan has been inhabited for more than 4000 years. With a long history, Jinan is the birthplace of the prehistoric culture Longshan culture. The Neolithic Longshan culture, one of whose characteristic features is the intricate wheel-made pottery pieces it produced as first discovered at Chengziya to the east of Jinan (Zhangqiu District) in 1928. Most renowned is the black "egg-shell pottery" with wall thicknesses that can go below 1 millimeter.

There, you could appreciate the Chengziya relics of the Neolithic Age, the the Great Wall of Qi relics which was built earlier than the Great Wall, the colored sculptured arhat of Song Dynasty in Lingyan Temple, which was famed as “the first domestic renowned sculpture ” , Shungeng Mountain which is the ruins of Shun culture, Liubusimen Tower which is the oldest stone tower in China, the giant Buddha of Sui Dynasty which lies in Dafoot Village in Licheng District, etc. And the satirical poem Dadong which was written by Tanren in China’s first collection of poems The Book of Songs, is the earliest extant document of Jinan. In December 1986, Jinan was claimed by the State Council as a national historical and cultural city.

Besides, Jinane nurtured a great many famous people in China, such as Chinese renowned litterateur Li Qingzhao, Xin Qiji, Zhang Yanghao, Libai, Dufu, etc.


As the capital city, Jinan is the financial center of Shandong province. With the shift of the Yellow River to a new bed right to the north of Jinan (in 1852) and the establishment of a railroad hub, the city became a major market for agricultural products from the productive farming regions to the north. After the growth of agriculture, Jinan developed a textile and clothing industry, flour mills, oil presses, as well as factories producing paper, cement, and matches.

Jinan has a pool of high-quality labor resources which are important strength in the development of economy. There are 18 universities and colleges, over 200 research institutes in the city, and 10 institutes are national laboratories. In addition, its Focus on technology-intensive industries has transformed Jinan from a city supported by heavy industry and textiles to a city with more diverse industrial structure. Information Technology, transportation tools, home appliances, and bio-engineered products, among others, have become important components of the area's industry. Then, there are 3 industrial zones in Jinan: Jinan High-tech Industrial Development Zone, Jinan Export Processing Zone and Liaocheng Economic Development Zone. The industrial zones here are strong force of Jinan economic development.


There are a variety of festivals and events in China. In addition to the common traditional festivals and activities, local-featured festivals vary a lot from one place to another. Tourists would welcome far more enjoyable visiting if they could take part in local activities and festivals when they travel to a tourist attraction. There are diverse events that you could enjoy in your Jinan visiting, like Spouting Spring Lantern Festival, Pingyin Rose Art Festival, etc.


As the city of springs, Jinan is rich in tourism resources. It is the national famous historical and cultural city, the China excellent tourist city, a important elevation in Shandong tourism of “one mountain, one spring and one sage”. So it attracts numerous tourists from home and abroad.

In 2017, Jinan received 72.8561 million tourists from home and abroad. Among them, the reception of domestic tourists was 72.4806 million and inbound tourists were 375,500. The consumption and reception in 2017 were more than 2016, and recent figures show that the tourists to Jinan are in a increasing trend. In the future, it will see promising growth of its tourism.


Jinan cuisine refers to the cuisine in Jinan, Dezhou and Tai’an, and it features in stewing, deep-frying, stir-frying, frying and braising. Dishes here highlight freshness, crispness, and tenderness. One of the characteristics of Jinan cuisine is the using of soup. The most renowned two are Qingtangshijin and Creamed Rush Shoot Slices.

If Sichuan food highlights in spiciness, then Shandong cuisine is famous for its fragrance, tenderness, and authentic taste, every dish has its own taste, and there is no same tastes even if there are hundreds of dishes. The use of soup is the most unique way of cooking here. The Stir-fried Kidney, Fried Carp with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Braised Intestines in Brown Sauce, etc. are quite famous.