Qingdao Culture

With a long history and special location, Qingdao enjoys a variety of cultures.


During its colonial period, German was the official language and rigorously taught and promoted. Since the demise of Germany's colonial empire during World War I, the German language is virtually dead here and left little impact on the local languages. A local accent known as Qingdao dialect distinguishes the residents of the city from those of the surrounding Shandong province. Due to the efforts by the city government to promote standard Mandarin, most educated people can speak standard Mandarin in addition to their native dialect.


There is a large number of German-style buildings in Qingdao city centre, which is the result of the 16-year German colonial period (1898-1914). The unique combination of German and Chinese architecture in the city centre, combined with German demographic roots and a large Korean expatriate population, gives Qingdao a distinct atmosphere. An old saying described Qingdao as a city of "red tiles green trees, blue sky and blue sea." This saying indeed gives a picture of birdview of Qingdao. Although the new city area is under large-scale reconstruction, the old city area (especially the western part of Shinan District) still retains many traditional buildings, which adds diversity to Qingdao culture.


As a coastal city, Seafood is a typical delicacy in Qingdao. Seafood here is divided into two categories: "Great Seafood" including sea cucumbers, abalones, shark's fin, prawns, crabs, conch, and some big fish, and "Little Seafood" comprising squid, shrimps, octopus, oysters, razor clams, clams, periwinkles, yellow croakers, etc. You could eat seafood feast with northern characteristics here. The distinctive cuisine here is Lu cuisine, the Shandong regional style.

Laoshan Taoism Music

Taoism music is part of the Han nationality folk music. Laoshan is an important place for Chinese Taoism music, and Taoism music here is unique. Laoshan Taoism Music is quite classical, most of them evolved from ancient Han nationality folk songs and folk song, with strong culture of Dongyi nationality. The music is divided into two schools including “Neishan” school and “Waishan” school, especially “Waishan” school which uses orchestral accompaniment and engages in all kinds of folk activities so that it promotes the vigorous development of the local Han nationality traditional wind music.