Eco-friendly travel guide to Shenyang advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Shenyang, China.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $65
- Budget per day: US$50- $90
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Being the capital city of China’s northeast Liaoning Province, Shenyang is an industrial center that serves as the transportation and commercial hub of the north-eastern part of China. These industrial centers are linked with Russia, Korea, and Japan. The name Shenyang means the yang side of the River Shen. Further, the word yang means sunny. The Mukden Palace is Shenyang Imperial Palace and is a fusion of Tibetan and Manchurian architecture.
It represents the early Qing dynasty and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Another fascinating attraction of Shenyang is the East Mausoleum which is the tomb of the first Qing emperor. This is also a part of the World Heritage Site. Some of the famous sites of Shenyang include the Qipan Mountain which is a recreation resort in the Shenbei New District, Xiaonan Cathedral of Shenyang, Meteorite Mountain Forest Park, and many others.
- As a responsible traveler, you should take all the possible measures to keep the city clean. While scouting the city, opt to ride on public transports available in the city.
- You should opt for preserving the culture and history of the city. Do not misuse the conserved resources.
- Scout non-popular areas, to make it known among the other visitors. This helps to highlight the unknown places. The shops in these areas will also be benefited from your visit.
- Do not shop from international franchises for food or clothes because they directly contribute to the global pollution problem.
- As a responsible tourist, you should protect the diversity of the city. Do not exploit the tourism spots. Further, try to protect the historical buildings from getting handwritten.
- Try to visit the local shops and restaurants. This will provide support to the local economy and will help you fulfill your duty as a responsible tourist.
- Use other modes of transport such as the metro and electronic vehicles to move in and around the city to enjoy your tour.
Air Quality and Pollution
The quality of air in Shenyang is at a moderate level. But, the use of coal to provide heat during winters is continuously depleting the atmosphere. The pollutants realized from this coal-burning are nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and black carbon which emits harmful dust and smoke. The increased impurities present in the air makes some of the regions highly polluted. Therefore, the government is working effectively to make people aware of the harmfulness that can happen because of the low maintenance of the air quality.
They are trying their best to use alternative resources that protect the environment from harmful substances. With the constant work carried on to secure and protect mother nature, the Shenyang Environmental Monitoring Centre has adjusted the heat source layout and energy structure. This necessary step has somewhat succeeded in controlling the pollution level to a certain rate. Now the air quality of the city has become better than before.
The management is still working hard to prevent and control air pollution. Further, they are targeting to gradually stop nearly 300 small fired boilers every year till all of them get eliminated. Shenyang has also planned to implement the coal-fired boiler denitrification project to upgrade and transform these small coal-fired boilers. Some commonly followed measures include using machines that release minimal harmful gases along with recycling wastes to keep the city clean. Thus, being a responsible tourist it is your duty to follow the guidelines and provide support to the locals to maintain the air quality and pollution of the city.
Respect the Culture
Along with being the largest city of northeast China, Shenyang believes in preserving the culture and heritage of ancient times. The first thing that depicts the culture of Shenyang is the Shenyang dialect spoken by the native people of the city. This language is similar to other Northeastern dialects. The famous museum of Shenyang called the Liaoning Provincial Museum displays artifacts and relics of ancient times. Also, the inscriptions of Chinese and Khitan reflect the early writings of the country. Other museums that display the culture and history of the city include the 9.18 Historical Museum and the Xinle Relic.
The city is known for its crafts, folk art, and architecture that has been recognized as a part of Shenyang's rich culture. The two most popular northeast folk dances named Errenzhuan and Yangge, are truly commendable and popular in Shenyang. The stronghold of Chinese comedy performed at the Big Stage Theatre by Zhao Benshan and his disciples is famous for its Errenzhuan and Chinese comedy act performances. The in-house performance art organizations include the Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe of China, Liaoning Ballet, and Liaoning Song and Dance Ensemble. Is very popular in Shenyang.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Shenyang is one of the best cities in China where people from different parts of the world visit. The reason behind this thing is that the city offers some attractive places which are good for your holiday trip. These are the top 10 places where you need to visit.
- Mukden Palace - It is also known as the Shenyang Imperial Palace, and it was established in the year 1625. It is famous even today, and tourists from various cities of China and other countries visit in large numbers to witness its glory.
- Zhao Mausoleum Qing dynasty- It is a tomb, which is situated in the northern parts of the city. This place is responsible for promoting the cultural heritage of the city, and it is spread across 33 lakhs hectares area.
- Marshal Zhang's Mansion - A mansion that once belonged to a very famous ruler of China named Marshal Zhang. Here you will find some of his prominent works that played a very crucial role in the early days.
- Shenyang Botanical Garden - For all the botany lovers out there, this garden has some beautiful flowers and plants. As an eco-friendly traveler, you can visit here and feel some fresh air.
- Qipan Mountain - If you love mountain climbing activities then, this place is a must-visit for you. It is adventurous, and you will enjoy it to the fullest. After visiting this place, you would like to visit here again
- Qipanshan Ice and Snow World - As the name suggests, this is an ice and snow world where you can go trekking. So if you have a hobby of trekking then, you cannot miss this place. Do not wait and visit early because later on the booking will be full and you may not get to visit here.
- Royal Polar Ocean World - A theme park where you can take your children and give them a nice water surfing experience. The best time to visit this place is the summer season. Not only the children, but the adults also enjoy this place a lot.
- Ci'en Temple Liaoning - A Buddhist temple is located in the suburbs of Shenyang city. Here you will find the real presence of Lord Buddha and get an opportunity to worship him. Make sure to come here if you do not want to miss the holiest place on your trip.
- Xinle culture - An archeological site that showcases the cultivation of the Millet crop in detail. This place was founded in the colonial era in a district of the city named Huanggu. Here you will also get to see some potteries, bone tools, and many other things
- Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral - It is a roman cathedral which is known for its architecture. This church is a popular point of attraction for most of the local people and tourists.
There are some other places available in this city that you also need to visit as an eco-friendly traveler. Here are some of these sections given below in detail.
- Shenyang Dongling Park-If you love to play golf or any other sports, then it is the best park for you in this city that provides a golf court, and other playgrounds.
- Beiling Park - In this place, you will get to see some scenic views and landscapes, which will leave you awestruck. The place will help you to get close to nature and have some fresh air.
- Shenyang National Forest park - A forest and a national park where you can get to explore butterflies and many other insects. Besides that, you can also try this place for bird-watching activities.
- Shenyang Guaipo Siberian Tiger Park - It is very popular as it is home to a variety of tigers and other wild animals. So if you are fond of animals and exploring wildlife, then this park is a must-visit for you
Unfortunately, you would not get any beaches in Shenyang as it is landlocked between two cities. But there is nothing to worry about because there are many beaches in the nearby districts.
- Liaoning Broadcast and TV Tower - This is the main landmark and is located in the center of the city. This TV tower can be referred to as the source of communication. If you get to the top of it then, you can have a nice view of the whole city.
- 9.18 Historical Museum - It is the September 18 museum that showcases the major activities that took place on this particular day. Also, it showcases some artifacts and artworks which had some bigger contributions to society.
- Shenyang Financial Museum - Here some exhibitions are being displayed which signifies the banking history of China. You will be able to take a glimpse at the used monies of the Qing dynasty, bonds, the printing of currency notes, stocks, and many others
Being one of the popular cities of China, Shenyang is famous for the northeast Chinese cuisines. The land serves a variety of dishes made from chicken and meat. The traditional meal called suan cai is very famous among the locals as well as among the visitors. This meal is known as the Chinese sauerkraut and is deliciously prepared with flavorsome tastes. The flavors of China infused with the variations of the foods attract the tourists to the local restaurants and traditional local shops. Stewed chicken, meat pie, and mushroom are also served as a part of the authentic traditional meals of Shenyang. These lip-smacking dishes represent classic Chinese cuisine.
Other must-try food items include Korean foods like rice cakes and cold noodles. Halal foods are very common among the non-Muslim population. The Laobian Dumpling is considered to be the special dish of the city. It is popular for its unique shape and is made of selective ingredients that are full of flavors. While staying in Shenyang and exploring in and around the city you are recommended to try some mouth-watering dishes such as Goubangzi Smoked Chicken, Yangjia Egg Cake, Luoshanji Haicheng Stuffed Pie, and many others. The city is also known for offering many unique folk snacks like Muslim and Manchu snacks that boost the distinctive features of the city.
Traditional Local Restaurants
- Lao Bian Dumpling (Zhongjie) – This is one of the most popular restaurants located on the Zhongjie Road in Shenhe District of the city. Known for serving flavorful dumplings and pork fritters. It serves an appetite for lunch and dinner. Also, serves a variety of alcoholic drinks besides Chinese and Asian. The staff are friendly and pay keen attention to provide quality services. The place is finely decorated. The cost range is average and it sells lip-smacking dishes.
- Shenyang Daqing Hua Jiaozi – This place is located on the Shi Yi Weilu Road in the city. It is popular for attracting customers for dinner meals. The ambiance involves a décor that is filled with old items from the Qing dynasty. Its menu has a variety of Asian and Chinese dishes, so will get the chance to try the freshly served, full of flavor dishes. This place is remarked as highly rated for serving amazing delicacies.
Vegetarian and Vegan
- JinLian Zhai – This restaurant is located at Jiaochang Road, Fenggtian St in Shenyang. It is considered as one of the well-known places for serving Buddhist vegetarian food buffet. This restaurant offers delicious foods at a reasonable price. Known for serving a broad variety of vegetable dishes, rice dishes, mock meats, and noodle dishes. You can opt for trying soy milk and barley tofu.
- Su Xiang Ge – Located at the Kerry Center in the Shenhe District in Shenyang, this place is a vegan-friendly restaurant. It specializes in serving mouth-watering Western and Chinese dishes. It features in providing dining booths as well as open tables. It offers various vegetarian options such as a variety of pizza options, Chinese specialties, mock meats, and others. This place not only attracts the vegetarian crowd but also the non-vegetarian people. It gives healthy food at an affordable price.
As Shenyang is highly influenced by its Korean neighbors, cold noodles known as Mul-naengmyeon is the very popular street food of the city. The city has many roadside stalls that serve the best street foods. These street foods are famous among the locals as well as the tourists. It includes a variety of skewered options, dumplings, and other delicious dishes across the region. All these food items are available at a reasonable price and are worth trying.
Feeling thirsty is something natural, and at times like this, if you get some soothing drink is like a blessing. Exploring cities will raise the urge of drinking something. Hence, you should try the cocktails offered by the city. Shenyang is popular for serving Snowflake beer that is not only popular in the city but the whole country of China. Experiencing a huge crowd of the Korean population, the city is also served soju as a popular drink among the locals and visitors. Other drinks include Suan Mei Zhi (sour plum drink), Pocari Sweat, salted soda water, coconut juice, etc.
These drinks have their own flavors that get infused with your taste buds and make you feel relaxed. You will also get fresh fruit drinks. Besides, the city also offers non-alcoholic drinks like vegetable drinks, carbonated drinks, coffee drinks, and milk protein drinks. The city also offers variations in tea drinks like cheese tea, milk tea, Wang Lao Ji (sweet tea), and jelly tea. These drinks make you feel fresh and are highly affordable.
The tap water of Shenyang is unsafe to drink. Though necessary measures have been taken to improve the water quality. As the leaves fall from the sewage treatment plant, there is a chance that it picks the pollutants on the way to the tap, therefore you are recommended to ask the locals and hotel staff about the quality of water before using it. Further, keep in mind that different cities have different mineral contents in water. Thus, you can purchase the bottled water available across the city at reasonable prices.
- Kafema – This café is located at Zhongshan Road and is known for serving breakfast and brunch options. This place is highly recommended by the visitors for the quality food they offer. The place is quite decent with friendly staff available to serve you the best. It is a family-friendly place to spend some time and enjoy the calmness.
- BaBie Ta Can YinGuan Li YouXianGong Si – Located at the Huafutiandi Shopping Mall on the Haerbin Road, this café has a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Serves a great menu that includes options in sandwiches, pizzas, Asian plates, spaghetti, and many others. The café serves some amazing coffee and juices that will make you feel fresh besides suiting your taste buds. It offers a high-quality meal that is worth trying.
- Fat Dragon Alehouse – Located in the Art Area, this brewery is famous in the city for serving crafted beer ranging from low to high cost. The visitors have rated this place excellent and a must-try, if you like beer. The smooth texture and quality taste of the beer attracts many locals as well. The ambiance of this place is quite decent. You can opt to go there with your partner and friends. The pub also provides delicious food options. Do prefer visiting this place to feel the pleasing and fresh atmosphere.
Shenyang is the tourist attraction destination of northeast China. You enjoy your stay in the several resorts that provide amazing services with top-class amenities. Exploring the Fuling Mausoleum which is a magnificent tomb and is built in traditional style. The Qipanshan Scenic Area is popular for consisting of three main hills along with an amusing lake and natural sights. The Shenyang Botanical Garden is a famous sight to witness nearly 1700 kinds of plants. This place is popular for holding the flower exhibition displaying a variety of tulips every year.
Pay a visit to the only amusement park in the city named Shenyang Xinglong Indoor Park. Its indoor green garden is quite amazing. You can also check out various religious places such as Xinle Remains, Taiqing Palace, Ci’en Temple, Sisheng Temple, South Mosque, Nanguan Christian Church, and Banruo Temple. Apart from these, you can opt for visiting several museums such as the September 18th Historical Museum, Steam Engine Exhibition Center, Museum Of Zhang Xueliang Former Residence, and others.
Yoga and Retreats
It is very important to take care of your body during your traveling duration. Besides, your mind and body need to relax, as you are continuously moving while scouting the city. There are several yoga retreats in Shenyang that can help you to restore your energy and keep you peaceful minded. The yoga sessions are held every day, in addition to other healing retreats. Therefore, after attending a few sessions, you will feel more calm and energetic. You can also practice meditation to calm your mind while traveling through the city. You can select the best yoga center for your sessions depending on your preference via online platforms.
Accommodation is the most vital requirement, while to opt for traveling to different parts of the world. Getting a place to stay and relieve your tiredness is very important. As the city remains crowded with tourists, the accommodation facility is highly maintained and built with all essential necessities. You will find accommodations ranging from expensive to reasonable ones. Therefore, you can choose accordingly. The options of accommodation include green hotels, apartments, hostels, and guest houses.
Green hotels are one of the best options for you to stay in the city without polluting it. You will be able to get a lot of options in this city in almost all the different corners for green hotels. They use eco-friendly options to keep the environment of the city clean and make you healthy. Here are some of the famous green hotels that you can choose from for your stay in the city.
- Somerset Heping Shenyang
- Gloria Plaza Hotel Shenyang
- Xianyang Boutique Hotel
- Conrad Shenyang
- Jianhui Junyue Grand Hotel
Hostels and Guest Houses
Go with the options of hostels and guest houses, if you are planning to stay for several weeks in the city. These lodging systems are easily affordable and provide nearly every facility that you would get in an average hotel. You can check various options and then make reservations through online platforms, after comparing. Here is a list of such high-rated lodging.
- Sanpi Youth Hostel
- Kelaifu Hostel
- Dangbei University Guesthouse
- Jianyue Reception House
- Tiejian Guest House
- Lazy Bee International Hostel
- Heyaun Guest House
Apartments are highly recommended for the ones who are scheduling to stay in the city for study or business purposes. Their lodging duration is for more than a month. Therefore, booking an apartment beforehand would be more beneficial. These apartments are available on a rental basis and are ranging from low to high cost. You will get all the required facilities. Here is a list of some rental apartments.
- Luoman Fashion Apartment
- Shenyang Aishangjia Apartment
- Dongheng Apartment Shenyang
- Palace Garden
- International Pacific Club
Couchsurfing is the best way to get accommodation if you want to spend less or if you are worried about your low budget traveling. Though it is a temporary stay with a group of locals, it provides service for the tourists by offering them shelter and food while visiting their home town or country. Hence, it is the best way for tourists to save money and explore the culture more closely.
Though it is cheap in price, it will provide lodging to you to live in the city at a low cost. As an eco-friendly tourist, this will also be beneficial for you, to interact with the locals and understand their way of living. It will also help you to learn the local language of the city. With almost all facilities, this method of lodging helps you to observe the amazing features of the city.
Camping is another effective way to experience the adventurous thrill in the city. There are many campgrounds in the city where you can have fun and admire the beauty of nature. There are so many specific camping sites in the city. But, if you prefer to visit some of the nearby destinations, you will find eco-tours that provide camping options.
How to Get There
Being the largest city in northeast China, Shenyang is well connected and has highly maintained facilities of different modes of transportation. The most suitable way to get in the city is through the airways. If you are coming from nearby cities you can prefer railways as well. The two-line subway system and expressways can also be considered while traveling within the city and scouting amazing attractions. The widespread roadways of the city are interlinked with the routes leading the lanes and streets. You can prefer buses and trams. Also, can opt for buses or rental cars available in the city.
Airways are the fastest mode of transport. Not only is it convenient, but also saves your time, so you can utilize it in other ways. Counted among the eight major airline hubs, the main airport of the city is Shenyang Taoxian International Airport, which is located in the Hunnan District. Other airports of Shenyang include the Beiling Airport which is used by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation for testing flights and the Yuhong Airport which is used by the military unit.
If you are traveling from nearby cities, then the bus route is considered to be the best one. The public transport system connects Shenyang to many other nearby cities. Also, there are five speedways that begin here to Beijing, Benxi, Harbin, Dalian, and Fushun. Being low in cost as compared to the plane, this means of transport is most efficiently used.
There are two major railway stations in Shenyang. One is the Shenyang North Railway Station in Shenhe District and the other one is the Shenyang Railway Station in Heping District. While traveling from a nearby city you can prefer using the railways to get in the city. The cost of the ticket is reasonable and using this transport will save your time as compared to the bus.
If you love to have some adventure during your journey to this city, then this is the best option. Although it takes a lot of time to reach the city, it helps you to see all the beautiful places on the way and get closer to the local people. As Shenyang is very well connected to different cities, you can visit this city via road by hiking and taking lifts from other people who are going in the same direction. To easily get lifts, try to stop at the locations like restaurants, gas stations, and others.
Other modes of transport to get in the city is by the roadways using cars, based on the route you opt for. Make sure to book it beforehand due to its high demand. You can opt for taxis to travel in Shenyang. Some brands of taxis include Zhonghua, Jetta, and Santana. These are available as both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned. This will give you a whole new experience.
Shenyang provides well connected public transportation services. It is considered to be the most effective way to explore the interiors of the city. You can use tramways, bus routes, or taxis to visit the popular attractions in the city. The cost of tickets is of reasonable price. Further, you can also opt for touring by bike or bicycle to scout nearby areas.
Walking is considered to be the best way of moving around and exploring the city if you have a lot of time available on your hand. You can take a close look at different aspects of the city such as buildings, culture, lanes, markets, and others. If you are traveling to this city to understand the local culture and traditions, then walking is a must. However, you will need a lot of time to move from one to another attraction on foot.
As an eco-friendly tourist, you can prefer riding a bike to cover short distances. This is an effective way to keep the environment clean and free from pollution. This will help you to explore the nearby localities a bit faster as compared to walking. You can ride the bicycle for your fun as well. At the same time, you can burn out the calories that you have gained after eating a variety of delicacies that the city offers.
There is no facility for electric vehicles in Shenyang. But the city is planning to set a project to introduce the new energy vehicles. This will bring change in the parade taxis as they will on purely electric energy. Further, the project will play an important role to update the official rental vehicles. This project will mark Shenyang as Electric Shenyang in the future because of the change in low carbon travel and electricized transport facility.
The city provides more than 2000 city buses that run around the city and gives good services. These buses basically run on over 130 miles in the city. They move around to reach almost every place in Heping District, Huanggu District, Dadong District, Shenhe District, and Tiexi District. The big city bus's ticket fare without a conductor is CNY1 whereas the minibus ticket fare with conductors is based on the number of stops you have taken. Being cheap in cost, many visitors prefer this mode of transport.
Tram, Train and Subway
There is a metro service in Shenyang. The metro Line 1, Line 2, Line 9, and Line 10 is mainly used by the passengers. It is one of the most convenient and quick means of transport to travel around the city. Further, the east extension of Line 1 and Line 4 are considered to be operated in the coming years.
Shenyang provides a variety of items that you can purchase from the markets of the city. Buying something from the place you visited is likely to be the part of the memory that you want to preserve for a longer time. Therefore, shopping is very important.
Shenyang has a wide range of markets where you can buy seafood, meats, fruits, and vegetables. These are not only available at a cheap price but are also fresh. The run-of-the-mill market is found in almost every corner of the city. Each stall sells one specific food item. The wholesale fruit market located in Dadong District is famous for offering a wide variety of fruits. The Tawan Market in Tawan is also popular for offering seafood like mussels, shrimps, abalone, and scallops. You will get these food items at a reasonable price. There is a lot to explore in this market as it has multiple options.
There are several flea and street markets in Shenyang. This includes the Liaoning exhibition fashion city market, Luyuan Antique Market, Books wholesale Market, and others. These markets are famous for selling antiques, feather paintings, and wood carvings. Products ranging from antique furniture, fashion accessories, ancient coins, porcelains, and many other unique items.
Second Hand Stores
There are many thrift stores in Shenyang. These stores are known for selling second-hand items at reasonable prices. As an eco-friendly tourist, you should opt for purchasing items from these stores. These stores are often run for charitable purposes.
Eco-fashion is one of the best ways to keep the city safe by reducing waste. Not only the city, but it helps to keep you safe from all the harmful chemicals that are used to make clothes and other accessories. You will find some eco-fashion stores available in this city to purchase eco-fashions at a low price.
The officials of this city have worked very well in the last few years to evolve the recycling process. You will find a lot of recycling plants in the city that help to keep the city safe by recycling waste. Recently, they started using Japanese technologies to recycle the plastics of the city.
After using waste to energy technologies, the city has managed to decrease the amount of waste a lot compared to past years. A great part of the total waste of the city comes from medical waste. China did a case study on this city and waste recycling, and they are taking different initiatives to reduce it further.
Work and Study Abroad
Apart from all the popular attractions that invite tourists from all over the countries to this city, there are many foreign workers, students who are available in this city for a long time. As the educational institutes offer courses at a lower price compared to many other countries, and jobs are available, you will find a lot of people from other cities working and studying here. Here are some benefits that the city offers for students and workers.
This program is popular worldwide. Therefore, the universities and colleges in Shenyang also provide the facility of this program to the students of the partner cities and universities. This helps the students to develop their skills and learn about new cultures.
For both foreign students and workers, this is one of the best ways to stay in the city for the initial stage. You will be able to get a place to stay, food, and some pocket money as well for taking care of the household, children, and elder people.
Volunteering programs are held in Shenyang where people participate as a helping hand for the betterment of the city. As an eco-friendly tourist, you should take part in this program and contribute positively.