Jinan is known as the "City of Springs" because of the large number of natural artesian springs. The majority of the springs, many of which have been historically listed under the "72 Famous Springs" are concentrated in the downtown district and flow north to converge in Daming Lake. The Baotu Spring Park is the most popular of the springs in the City of Jinan proper. Besides the Baotu Spring, the park contains several other springs that are listed among the "72 Famous Springs". "Bao tu" means "jumping and leaping" in Chinese. The water in the spring pool can be seen foaming and gushing, looking like a pot of boiling water. The spring was visited by the Qianlong Emperor (1711~1799) of the Qing dynasty who declared it "the best spring under the heaven". A tablet with the Emperor's handwriting "Baotu Spring" has since been erected beside the spring pool.
Not far away to the northeast of Baotu Spring Park is the Daming Lake, which, together with Baotu Spring and the Thousand-Buddha Mountain is often regarded as the "Three Greatest Attractions in Jinan". Other notable parks in the city include the Five Dragon Pool near the Baotu Spring Park, the Black Tiger Spring on the southern city moat, and the Baimai Springs of Zhangqiu City to the east of Jinan.
Historic Buddhist sites are particularly common in Licheng County to the south-east of the city center of Jinan. The Four Gates Pagoda, built in 661, is the oldest existing one-story stone tower in China. The pagoda houses four Buddhist statues dating from the 6th century, and the Cypress tree standing next to the pagoda is more than 1000 years old. Below the hill on which pagoda stands lie the remnants of the Shentong Temple, which was founded in the 4th century but was destroyed in the wars of later dynasties. The funerary stelae of monks from the temple which date from different historic periods display remarkable artistic features. The statues in the nearby Thousand-Buddha Cliff form one of the best collections of Tang dynasty Buddhist statues in the region.
The Lingyan Temple in the southern county of Changqing was one of the four most famous temples of the Tang dynasty. The temple was founded during the Jin dynasty and reached its heyday during the Tang and Song dynasties. During the Tang dynasty, the famous monk Xuanzang stayed in the temple and translated Buddhist manuscripts he had brought to China from India. Many emperors in Chinese history visited the temple before they went to Mount Tai (one of China's five sacred mountains, located south of Jinan) for ceremonies. The clay sculptures of Buddhas made in the Song dynasty are considered as "The Best of China" by scholar and journalist Liang Qichao. Buddhist architectures within the temple such as pagodas and tomb stelae are among the earliest and best protected in the region.