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Harbin

See Beautiful Harbin with China Tour

As you can see on a map of China, Heilongjiang province in northeastern China is like a swan spreading its wings, while Harbin, its capital city, is akin to a glistening pearl around swan’s neck. With pigeons dancing, St. Sophia Church boasts solemn bells tolling; with the sun shining brightly, Sun Island evokes happy memories; with continental flavor, the European-style architecture of Central Street shows the charm of this remarkable city; with snowflakes fluttering, the Ice and Snow World appears like something out of a dream.

Located in China`s northernmost province, Harbin has long and bitterly cold winters and short, cool summers. Praised by many as “Ice City,” it is the ideal destination for snow lovers and anyone wanting to avoid the summer heat.

Harbin has the largest ski center in Asia: Yabuli International Ski Resort. Also, it has the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, you can fully enjoy ice lantern show and ice activities such as ice-sailing, sledging, ice hockey, ice football, and more.

Things To Do

Majestic Ice-sculptured Masterpieces

Harbin always tries to display its brilliance and uniqueness in the winter. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is held on Jan 5 and lasts about one month each year.

Seldom does any city have the ability to get people so excited over ice and snow; luckily, Harbin is one of them. Here, visitors can glimpse how the ice and snow are endowed with life by ice sculpture artists.

Explore Old Western-style Buildings

Harbin is a city endowed with a romantic European flavor, especially with Russian influences, forming a very unique Harbin style. Thus western-style buildings are must-see during your Harbin Tour.

Strolling along Harbin’s ancient streets lined with European architecture like Central street, Gogol Russian Street, and Daowai Street gives you the illusion that you are walking through the streets of one of any European cities.

A great number brightly-colored buildings and churches in various western styles ranging from Gothic to Baroque to Byzantine can be found here. This is also the reason why Harbin has been called “Oriental Little Paris”.

In the mornings, you can choose to watch doves dancing in front of St. Sophia Church, or you can enjoy the nighttime view of Gogol Russian Street. But the most attractive part belongs to old Daowai Streets, from No.1 street to No.11 street, which not only have spectacular baroque architectural complex for sightseeing, but authentic Harbin offerings to try.

Try Every Snow Activity Imaginable

Have you tried to walk on a frozen river, or gone ice skating or snow tubing on one? Have you gone alpine skiing on Asia’s longest slide, or been on a sled pulled by dogs? If you haven’t experienced these exciting winter activities, come to the City of Ice.

Harbin starts experiencing snow in October, and soon after, tourists will be fascinated by ice sculptures and winter events for a long time.

Enjoy Russian Entrees

Harbin is deeply influenced by Russian culture: more than half its population were Russian citizens in the early 20th century, therefore a large number of Russian restaurants can be found here such as Portman Western Restaurant, Huamei Western Restaurant, Globetrotters Western Restaurant, as well as well-known Modern western restaurants.

Best Time to Visit

Visit China with the China Travel Experts

Harbin, located in China`s northernmost province, Heilongjiang, is the highest latitude and coldest provincial capital in China. It has four distinctive seasons with long and very cold winters, and short cool summer.

The best time to visit Harbin is from December to January of the next year, During this period, the whole city is covered with snow, silver-coated and particularly spectacular, which is completely different from cities of the Yangtze River Delta in winter. In addition, summer from July to September is also an ideal time for visitors to escape the heat here.

The high rainfall period in Harbin is during July and August while high snowfall period is from November to January. The average annual temperature is about 38°F (3.6°C) with the average temperature from -8°F to -13°F (-13.2°C to -24.8°C) in January and average temperature from 64°F to 78°F (18.1°C to 22.8°C) in July. Tourists will fully enjoy the fun brought on by the ice and snow.

Harbin Attractions

Time-honored history and captivating scenery have made Harbin one of the best-known tourist destination of the Far East. Under the cover of darkness, Harbin is more like a fairy-tale world.

Stroll along Central street, view elegant European-style buildings and the grand orthodox church and taste incredible food to experience the charm of what is referred to as the “Oriental Moscow”.

St. Sophia Church
Central Street
un island scenic - harbin haerbin - tour China
Sun Island Scenic Area
Yabuli International Ski Resort

Harbin Tours

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City Package

4 Days Harbin Ice World Tour (INHB0401)

From$799$699
4 Day 3 Nights
Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province. Winter is the best season to visit this city. You have a lot of things to do in this snowy city. Your best bet is joining the Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival, which is an annual festival of everything having to do with […]
City Package

3 Days Harbin Ice World Tour (INHB0301)

From$699$599
3 Day 2 Nights
Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province. Winter is the best season to visit this city. You have a lot of things to do in this snowy city, especially the Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival, which is an annual festival designed around snow and ice!

Harbin Culture

Viewing the classical  architectures, mainly concentrated on Central street and Guogeli street, is a highlight of any Harbin tour. But in the winter, you cannot miss Harbin’s ice and snow entertainment. Taking part in them is the best means of learning about this majestic city.

Culture

Harbin Culture

Winter Swimming

Winter swimming is an activity with its own characteristics showing the fearlessness of Harbin people’s in the face of severe cold. As winter comes and the outdoor temperature drops to 10-20 degrees below zero, local people begin to make preparations for their winter swimming by cutting and digging a large square swimming pool on the riverside of the Songhua River, the largest branch of Heilong River and winds through Harbin for almost 73 miles (117 kilometers).

Winter swimming brings many joys for the people of Harbin as well as for tourists; they can not only view swimming race, but also they can join in and participate in winter swimming if they choose to. The time for swimming is 5am to 6am, before sunrise and performance time is between 10am to 2pm.

View the Ice-lanterns

Its unique climate and geography make Heilongjiang province the of ice lanterns, especially the provincial capital Harbin is a cradle of ice and snow art. Harbin has been making and exhibiting ice lanterns since 1963 in which locals freeze thousands of ice lanterns and dozens of ice flowers by using a basin, barrel and such simple containers, then display them in Zhaolin Park during the Lantern Festival.

Incredibly, that show created quite a stir among the whole city. From ice lanterns made by basin to annual large-scale Harbin Ice Lantern Show, the art of Harbin ice lanterns continues to evolve; meanwhile, it increases its reputation and popularity both at home and abroad.

The festival usually starts on the 5th of January and lasts until the end of February. With this festival, people love to take part in various ice activities instead of staying at home.

Picnic Party

Influenced by traditions of the Northern nomads in Chinese history, Harbin began its custom of picnics from the early 20th century. After the revolution, picnicking became more and more popular, with lots of companies organizing their staff picnics in the suburbs during spring, summer and autumn, while families also organize picnics of their own. With the improved material and cultural standards of modern times, picnics in Harbin are developing into larger scale travel activity, becoming a very important part of entertainment in the city.

Harbin Food

Unique Harbin Cuisine

Harbin food is mainly influenced by neighboring Russia and Northeastern traditional cuisine, and here you can not only taste genuine Russian cuisine in Russian-style restaurants, but also try authentic Northeastern Chinese dishes such as sautéed potatoes with green pepper and eggplants (Di San Xian), Stewed Chicken with Mushroom (Xiao Ji Dun Mo Gu), Braised Pork with Vermicelli (Zhu Rou Dun Fen Tiao), and so on.

The entrees in most Harbin restaurants often have large portions, so tourists need to keep this in mind while ordering their meal.

the food in Harbin is widely distributed such that you can taste all kinds of specialties around Central Street and Hongbo Century Square. Central Street and its side-alleys are full of small restaurants and bakeries. Tongjiang street is also a great place to look for somewhere to eat and has an abundance of fruit stands.

Food

What to Eat in Harbin, China

Double Cooked Pork (“Guo Bao Rou”)

Double Cooked Pork, first created by Zheng Xingwen is a famous dish of Northeastern traditional cuisine for the last 100 years or so. In this dish, the pork tenderloin is the star of the show.

First, wrap sliced salted pork in starch, then heat up some oil and deep fry the pork until golden in color. Second, put the tomato juice, carrot, lemon, and rock candy into the pot and boil them into a sour and sweet juice. Third, put the pork and juice on the plate. The hearty dish is especially popular in summer.

Stewed Chicken with Mushroom (“Xiao Ji Dun Mo Gu”)

Stewed Chicken with Mushroom is a very traditional and famous dish in Harbin. The chicken is shredded and stewed with mushrooms and vermicelli. Wild hazel-mushroom with thin stems is always the best choice for stewing chicken, it also highlights the freshness and aroma of chicken. With high nutritional value, this dish is a favorite among the Northeast People of China.

Modern Popsicle

It would be a pity if you left without tasting a Modern Popsicle during your Harbin travels. Although it has a history of over 100 years, it still retains earthy features: no package and only two flavors.

Modern Popsicle is Harbin’s most-renowned snack, with sweetness and fragrance in ice. Even in the cold of winter, it is still a popular treat.

Where to Eat in Harbin

Central Street:

Central street, originally built in 1898 is a unique European-style pedestrian street, nearly a mile (1450 m) long with lines of restaurants, vendors, malls, and stores. You can find all kinds of Harbin specialties here that are delicious and affordable.

Beisandao Jie in Daowai District

Beisandao Jie has been a great destination for diners with a history of more than 100 years. This is a must-visit if you are fond of barbecues, pickled food, air-dried sausage, or braised pork with pine nuts. Restaurants are dotted along the street including Beishan Alehouse, Xinchun Snack and Qiweimei— inviting you to taste the authentic “Old Daowai flavor.”

Shuangfu Dining Street

Originally built in 1993, the goal of Shuanggfu Food Street is to promote “Longjiang Cuisine”. Its distinctive flavors can be tasted in many dishes including Braised Pork with Vermicelli, Stewed Chicken with Mushroom, pork and sausages, vegetable cakes and meat pastries.

Famous Restaurants in Harbin

Dongfang Jiaozi Wang (the king of eastern dumplings)
Branches of Daoli District: Zhongyang branch, No.39, Zhongyang Jie. Take Bus 102, 110, 106 or 112 to get to Jingwei Jie.
Xinyang branch: No.233, Xinyang Lu. Take bus 102,14,22,78 or 110 to get to Anhe Jie.
Youyi branch: No.501, Youyi Lu. Take bus 56, 67, 201, 65 or 12 to get to Social and Scientific Administration.
Branches of Guo Ge Li Dajie, Nangang District: Fendou branch, No.338. Take bus 7, 8, 63, 104, 14, 10, 55 or 18 to get to Qin Lin Shopping Hall.
Xiushui branch: No.188. Take bus 7, 8, 63, 109, 87 or 18 to get to Gexin Jie.

Harbin Wu Ji Lao Hao Jiu Lou (Harbin Wu’s Time-honored Restaurant)

Dazhijie branch: No.208, Xidazhi Jie, Nan Gang District
Gongjianjie branch: No.57, Gongjian Jie, Nan Gang Ditrict
Da Feng Shou
Address: No.283, Yiman Jie, Nan Gang District

Western Restaurants in Harbin

Portman Western Restaurant

Address: No.53 West Seventh Street, Daoli District (Base), No.12 West Dazhi Street, Nangang District (Branch)
Telephone: (Base) 0451 – 84686888; (Branch) 0451-84619818

Huamei Western Restaurant

Address: NO.112 Zhongyang Dajie, Daoli District
Telephone: 0451-84619819

Marhaba Arabian

Address: Hanguang Street 1-19, Nangang District (Near Harbin Institute of Technology)
Telephone: 0451-86304277

Cafe Russia 1914

Address: No.57 Xitoudao Jie
Telephone: 0451-84563207

Harbin Shopping

The Heart of Shopping in Northeast China

Harbin is one of the biggest commercial cities of Northeast China. Local specialties and souvenirs can be divided into two categories: one is the food with the exotic flavors of Russia like candy stuffed with wine, Russian bread, chocolate and so on. Besides, you can also buy some tea, paintings or ornaments which are relatively inexpensive and quality-made in Russia or other eastern European countries.

The other type of souvenir available are the Northeastern Chinese specialties such as the Three Treasures of Northeast China, namely ginseng, pilose antler, and marten, but remember to buy them in reliable stores. In addition, Harbin red sausage and dried sausages are worth buying.

Shopping

Russian Dolls

Russian dolls are composed of several lovely hollow dolls with the small one being covered by the large one. The largest number of these dolls can reach more than 10. The doll is cylinder-shaped and the bottom is flat to make sure them can stand.

Materials of nested dolls are usually made of basswood which is cut mainly in early spring, then stripped and stored for one or two years. After the process of polishing, coloring and painting, the Russian dolls are finished.

The common paintings on doll is a Russian girl, or sometimes mythological figures, even Russian leaders can be found drawn on them. It is a favorite of tourists as gifts or souvenirs because of its cute appearance.

Harbin Red Sausage

Harbin red sausage, one of the popular local specialties, has a history of hundreds of years. Originally produced in Eastern Europe, later it was introduced to Harbin as part of the construction of the Middle East Railway. The most important and necessary material for making Harbin red sausage is lean pork.

Then the red sausage is made by going through complicated processes including pickling, perfuming, baking, boiling and smoking. It looks bay in color and also is high in nutritional value, being an indispensable part in Harbin people’s diet.

Lie Ba

Lie Ba, one of Harbin features, is a kind of typical large Russian bread. The bread is round weighing over two kilograms. It features traditional European flavor, fragrant and sweet, but a little bit hard when eating. Or you can eat them with butter, fruit jam or Harbin red sausage.

Where to Shop in Harbin

Shopping Streets

Guogeli Street

Built in 1901, this is a Russian-style avenue with a history of more than 100 years, and also a famous bar street. The Guogeli street and nearby area are always bustling, regarded as the perfect place for opening bars. When night falls, various kinds of people begin to head toward the bars to enjoy the music, atmosphere and different types of drinks. The area around here is dotted with various shopping stores, restaurants, and malls. Besides, there is also a Catholic Church where people like to dance.

Jianshe Street

A glittering array of Russian products, Russian traders speaking fluent Chinese, and tourists are a common scene you can see in Jianshe street every day. This large border market deals in characteristic tourist souvenirs including furs, handicrafts, clothes and military supplies. Tourists from other places tend to buy Russian products like Russian dolls, telescopes, and clothes for their friends and relatives as gifts.

Hongbo Shopping Area

Located in downtown Harbin, it has convenient traffic conditions near Harbin railway station. Hongbo shopping area is lined with shopping malls, shopping centers, and all kinds of department stores. The famous Russian company – Qiu Lin Shopping Mall locates here.

Department Stores

MYKAL Department Store

The most upscale shopping center with a number of world-famous brand names.
Address: Intersection of Shangzhi Street and Shitoudao Street

Harbin Parkson

Address: 222 Central Avenue, Daoli District

Zhongyi Department Store

Address: No.323, Dazhi Street, Nangang District
Bus Route: Bus No. 7, 10, 13, 16, 21, 28, 55, 57, 101, 103

Grand Shopping Center

Address: No.373, Guoheli Abenue, Nangang District

Harbin’s No.1 Department Store

Address: No.118, Shitou Dao Jie, Daoli District

Supermakerts

Walmart
Xianfeng Branch: No.168 Xianfeng Road, Nangang District
Zhongshan Branch: No.254 Zhongshan Road, Nangang District
Youyi Branch: 2 – 4 F, Wanda Shopping Square, Youyi Road, Daoli District

Carrefour

Dazhijie Branch: No. 40 Xidazhi Street, Nangang District
Xinyang Brach: No.364 Xinyang Road, Daoli District

Harbin Maps

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