Dalian's airport (Zhoushuizi Guoji Jichang) is roughly 11km (6 miles) northeast of downtown on Yingke Lu (20 min. by taxi; ¥30), airport buses cost ¥20 and take you to your hotels. Exchange traveler's checks on the second floor, next to the international check-in desk (no credit cards). China Northern Airlines, in the Minhang Dasha at Zhongshan Lu 143 (tel. 0411/8280-2886; 6am-6pm), sells tickets to Beijing (20 flights daily), Shanghai (12 flights daily), Guangzhou (five flights daily), Hong Kong, and Seoul. All Nippon Airlines has a ticket counter on the first floor of the Sen Mao building (intersection of Zhongshan Lu and Wuhui Lu; tel. 800/810-5551; fax 0411/369-2508; Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). The counter sells tickets to Tokyo (daily) and Osaka (daily).
Airport shuttles (departing every 2 hr.; 8am-4:40pm; 20 min.; ¥20) from the Furama Hotel (next to the Shangri-La, see below) and Minhang Dasha. Or take bus no. 701 from the corner of Yuguang Jie and Youhao Lu (45 min.; ¥1). By taxi, the trip between the airport and downtown takes 20 minutes and costs ¥30.
Dalian's railway station (Dalian Zhan) is in the center of town, opposite Shengli Guangchang (Victory Sq.). Trains go to Beijing (two daily; 11 1/2 hr.; ¥257), Shanghai (1:08pm; 22 1/2 hr.; ¥446), Shenyang (five daily; 3 1/2 hr.; ¥55), Harbin (9:54pm; 9 hr.; ¥231), Dandong (8:46am; 10 1/2 hr.; ¥110), and Lushun (6:55am; 1 3/4 hr.; ¥10). Most long-distance buses congregate around Shengli Guangchang (tel. 0411/8362-8681). Express air-conditioned coaches to Dandong (eight daily; 4 hr.; ¥87.50) and Lushun (¥11) leave from the square's west side; buses to Harbin (one daily; 13 hr.; ¥210) and Changchun (two daily; 8 hr.; ¥156) and to Shenyang (10 daily; 4 hr.; ¥107) leave from the east side.
Ferries leave from the Dalian Keyun Zhan (tel. 0411/8263-6061 or 0411/8262-5349), on Gangwan Jie (east end of Renmin Lu), for Yantai (2pm; 3 hr.; ¥290), and Incheon (Renchuan) in South Korea (Mon, Wed, and Fri 2:30pm; ¥1,010). The ticket office is open from 4am to 10pm; Yantai express tickets are also sold at booths near Shengli Guangchang. Take bus no. 801 (15 min.; ¥1) from Youhao Guangchang. The 10-minute taxi ride costs ¥10.
The Tourism Bureau has an information line (tel. 0411/96181) and a complaint line (tel. 0411/8433-9970).
Downtown Dalian is arranged around a series of traffic circles. The two most important are Youhao Guangchang (Friendship Square), dominated by a glass globe in the center, and Zhongshan Guangchang, the city's transportation center. Ten roads radiate from Zhongshan Guangchang, including Renmin Dajie, a major avenue that runs east to the wharf, and Zhongshan Lu, which runs west past the railway station to the city's far southwestern corner. Taxis charge ¥8 for the first 3km (2 miles), then ¥2 per kilometer; it's 30% extra from 10pm to 5am. Regular buses cost ¥1 without air-conditioning, air-conditioned buses cost ¥2; pay as you get on. Bus no. 801 runs the length of Zhongshan Lu and Renmin Dajie. A tour bus takes visitors around the city from the south side of Dalian Railway Station South Square to Zhongshan Guangchang (every 30 min.; 1 1/2 hr.; ¥10. Real Japanese-built trolleys go from Erqi Guangchang in the east to Xinghai Gongyuan in the southwest.
Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- The main Bank of China branch is in a large tower on the corner of Yan'an Lu and Baiyu Jie, behind the Dalian Hotel on Zhongshan Guangchang (Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm). Traveler's checks and cash can be exchanged at window 32, and credit cards are handled at window 11 (both on the second floor). International ATMs are next to the old Bank of China on Zhongshan Guangchang and inside the Nikko's shopping arcade.
Internet Access -- Buye Cheng Wangyuan (24 hr.; ¥3 per hour) is the most central Internet bar, located underground on the northwest corner of Shengli Guangchang. Dial-up is tel. 165 or 169.
Post Office -- The central post office is located several blocks north of Zhongshan Guangchang, on the corner of Shanghai Lu and Changjiang Lu (May-Sept 8am-7pm; Oct-Apr 8am-6pm).
Visa Extensions -- Visa extensions are easy to obtain; you need only a passport and hotel registration to obtain one. Go to the PSB Exit/Entry Office on the corner of Yan'an Lu and Wuhan Jie (second floor; tel. 0411/8280-2722; Mon-Fri 8-11:30am and 1-5pm). Extensions take 5 days to process.