The centre of business, politics and finance in the downtown core of Qingdao, the Shinan District borders the coastline and cherishes it water-centric culture, with locals and tourists mingling in lively outdoor cultural gathering spots such as Music Square, Tanzan Square and May 4th Square. Shinan gained the attention of the world with the Qingdao International Sailing Centre hosting portions of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Several prominent beaches attract visitors, with Zhan Qiao pier jutting into the sea for 440 metres, leading to an octagonal pavilion. Visitors can stroll 100 hectares of the Qingdao Botanical Garden on the slopes of Taiping Mountain, with valleys, forests and lakes offering outdoor adventures such as rope walking, bungee jumping, rock climbing and fishing. Zhongshan Park, Qingdao Zoo and the ancient Zhanshan Temple are just a few ways to spend time exploring Shinan.
Qingdao Liuting International Airport lies about is 32 kilometres from Qingdao, with buses light-rail lines and trolleybus networks connecting to Shinan. Motor rickshaws are a good way to navigate crowded city streets, and taxis are common. About 40 kilometres of waterfront trails surround Qingdao for outdoor enthusiasts.
Germany left its architectural imprint on Shinan during the colonial period, with many European-style buildings remaining in the historic centre, especially in the Badaguan residential section of mansions and military forts. The Chinese beer giant Tsingtao Brewery also came to life during German colonisation.