Harbin is globally known as the “Ice City” where holds the internationally largest World Ice and Snow Festival every year and provides quite a lot of fantastic sports and entertaining activities which you can experience only there. Besides, it is reputed as the “Oriental Moscow” with multiple flavored Russian styled buildings left in the city. To best explore Harbin, this 3-day CLASSIC itinerary is your most ideal one to catch the city’s essential charm and its conspicuous Ice and Snow Festival for a lively winter vacation.
During the 3 days, you will not miss the must-see St. Sophia Cathedral and Zhongyang Street with 71 historical architectures in diverse foreign styles for a taste of the strong exotic Russian flavor in Harbin, but also, you will of course join in the grand Ice and Snow Festival to see the pretty Ice and Snow World, Sun Island and other alive venues with dreamy large scaled ice and snow sculptures and lanterns. Far more from that, all top best places are covered in these 3 days for your best enjoyment of the winter activities favored by Harbin locals, authentic history and culture, and more of this great “Winter Getaway” and “Oriental Moscow”!
(Warm Tip: Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is usually held during late December to late February(or early March) every year, please plan your trip accordingly. Besides, if you want to attend the Opening Ceremony of Harbin World Ice and Snow Festival and appreciate its fabulous firework show at Ice and Snow World on January 5th every year, you can enjoy the tour around that date.)
Day 1 Harbin ArrivalHarbin airport/train station pick up & hotel check-in
Ni Hao! Welcome to Harbin, the Capital of Heilongjiang Province, which is well known as the "Ice City" in China. Your local guide will meet you at the arrival hall of the airport / railway station. Then you will be escorted to your hotel (prebooked by us) in downtown Harbin. The rest of today is on your own to explore this city.
Harbin Taiping International Airport is 41 km’s driving distance from downtown area. It has flights from Beijing (2 hrs), Dalian (1.5 hrs), Qingdao (2 hrs), Jinan (2 hrs), Xian (3 hrs), Shanghai (3 hrs), Chengdu (3.5-4 hrs), Ordos (2.5 hrs), Hangzhou (3 hrs), Guangzhou (4-4.5 hrs), Xiamen (4-4.5hrs), Wuhan (3-3.5 hrs), Sanya (5 hrs) and more destinations in China, and more international cities like Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Moscow, Phuket Island, etc. While Harbin West Railway Station has high-speed trains linking Harbin with Beijing (7~8 hrs), Changchun (1 hr), Shenyang (2.5~3 hrs), Dalian (4~5 hrs), Jilin (2-3 hrs), Tianjin (6.5 hrs), etc.
Evening Ideas (Explore on your own):
In this evening, you can visit Zhaolin Park, one of the 3 main venues of Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, to appreciate the wonderful world largest scale of outdoor ice lantern show. Take a relaxing walk in the “ocean of ice lantern” with over thousand exquisite arts that are totally different every year and feel the joy of the big World Ice and Snow Festival. (Please note: it holds every year from January 5th to the end of February. Please wear warm down coat and shoes when visiting it at night.)
- Ice City - Harbin
- Harbin Ice Lantern Fair at Zhaolin Park
Day 2 Harbin (B, L)St. Sophia Cathedral - Zhongyang Pedestrian Street - Sun Island - Siberian Tiger Park - Ice and Snow World
Today, after breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel. You’ll first visit Sophia Square to admire the holy appearance of the St. Sophia Cathedral from 1907. This must-visit site is a typical Byzantine architecture with a large green dome and was once the largest Orthodox Church in the Far East. The cathedral is the symbolic architecture in Harbin and at present is used as Harbin Architectural Art Gallery and displays some souvenirs. Then, you’ll visit the nearby exotic Zhongyang Pedestrian Street from 1900. Stroll along this 1,400 meters long historic street to appreciate the 71 precious buildings in different styles with long history, including Renaissance, Baroque, etc. (The Stalin Park is very close to the pedestrian, so if you are interested and time permits, you could walk there to admire the Russian architectures and enjoy many creative artistic sculptures.)
After that, continue your fabulous enjoyment to the Sun Island Scenic Resort, which is a major venue to hold the International Snow Sculpture Art Expo on Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in winter. Walk into this vast pure lovely fairyland of 60,000 square meters and meet the incredible “white visual storm”. Have a close look at the thousands of excellent large-scaled artistic snow sculptures of landscape, cartoon, figures, buildings, etc., which will make you wow at the outstanding talent of the craftsmen who inject life into the cold snow. With so amazing backdrop, you just can’t help taking some great photos to record the nice moment (You are highly advised to wear sunglasses to visit the Snow Sculpture Art Fair since the glary from sunshine on the snow is really intense.)
Then, be escorted to the nearby Siberian Tiger Park, the largest breeding center in the world for endangered Siberian Tigers that. Over 1,300 purebred Siberian Tigers are raised there. You’ll not only pay a safe walk to observe different kinds of tigers (Siberian Tigers, White Tigers, White Lion, Leopard, Liger, etc.), but also take a tourist bus with wire-mesh protection through the park to closely see the tigers and lions and take some photos.
After dinner, you will head to the incredible gorgeous Ice and Snow World, the highlights of annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. Start your freedom stroll in the dazzling magical world of ice where to appreciate over 2,000 pieces of sculptures of ice and snow including pagodas, towers, famous world architectures, landscapes, and so forth dyed with romantic colorful LED lights, which can easily make you want to stay longer in such an “Ice Wonderland in Harbin”. Besides the sightseeing, if you would like to enjoy the festive atmosphere to the fullest, you can choose to have fun with the world longest sliding, or other winter activities on ice, such as ice maze, ice climbing, skating, etc.
Note: 1) Please wear enough layers of proper clothes and warm shoes to keep you away from the freeze especially when you want to stay here longer to enjoy the beautiful scenery. 2) An indoor Ice and Snow Paradise with smaller scale is built in the scenic area of the Ice and Snow World, and tourists could also enjoy the ice and snow there as well when the festival ends. 3) There may be long queues in front of some hot activity items in the Ice and Snow World during traditional Chinese Lunar New Year and weekends, and you could visit there during other dates to avoid crowds.
- Wendy's clients visited St. Sophia Church in Harbin in 2018
- Our customers Jenn’s group from Canada visited Ice & Snow World in Harbin, China in December 2020.
- Our customers David’s group from USA visited Sun Island in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China in December 2020.
- Our customers Yong’s group from Malaysia visited Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China in December 2020.
Day 3 Harbin & Harbin Departure (B, L)Watch Activities on Ice at Jiuzhan Park - Heilongjiang Provincial Museum - Laodaowai - Goodbye to Harbin
Today, after breakfast, you will visit the Jiuzhan Park along Songhua River. Here you will watch some winter swimmers including some elders up to 60-70 years do winter swimming in the so cold water under the frozen water surface, and many people having fun on some interesting activities on ice, such as skating car, sliding, winter fishing, etc. on Songhua River.
Then, go to visit Heilongjiang Provincial Museum that keeps the European Baroque outside building from 1906. In this museum, a great number of valuable cultural relics of bronze, gold, jade, ceramics, paintings, etc. are on display to tell the 40,000-year long human history and culture of the whole Heilongjiang Province, from the remote era, to the rising and declining of different ethnic minorities, from the origin of the last empire era in Chinese history, to the modern time changes and development with the whole nation. Besides, you will see a rich array of imitating scenes and historical relics to know the life of Russian immigrants and their influence to make Harbin rich of Russian flavor today.
After that, make a historical visit to Laodaowai, where Harbin originated. This popular featured street block is so far the largest Chinese Baroque street block in China where boasts many meaningful old Baroque styled architectures with rich romantic color from early 20th century. Walk free along those old streets and alleys to appreciate the ancient buildings with western façade but traditional Chinese courtyard and interior designs and interesting folk sculptures, and hear the good telling of the old life of Harbin people and history of Harbin in the past 100 years.
After the tour, your guide and driver will escort you to the airport or train station for your flight / train to next destination or home. Service ends!
- Songhua River Winter Swimming
- Laodaowai Street Block
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2023.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1=RMB 6.85. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
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"Just back from our 9-day trip to Yunnan, long planned and waited for. It was our second time with China Discovery Tours. Once again they tailored the tour according to our ideas and interests - and succeeded in surprising us! Thanks to the local guides we learned a lot about history, traditions and customs, and, of course, food. We always felt in safe hands and the organization was just perfect with enough on spot flexibility. Big thanks to Jack who figured it all out so well and to the next time with China Discovery! Johannes (GER) & Elizabeth (GRC)"
Thanks again for an excellent trip, best regards, Johannes&Elizabeth
It's was great, we loved it! Our tour guide Frank was very kind, informative, and funny :) We loved how easy it was and how much we got to see in a day, I will definitely recommend to our friends!
we will be happy to when we get back to Shanghai It was a great trip and Kevin was a wonderful guide!
Absolutely fantastic trip. We enjoyed every moment and the guides were all really good.
I might only have one more year in China and I would like to see more. I believe that the best way for me is smaller trips leaving Thursday evening and returning Sunday.
Thank for our trip. Well organised. Driver & guide were super ! We have been lucky to have a sunny weather and the lantern festival! And not toooooo cold, only if you compare to the week before !
We are one of the few China travel agencies who have kept active and received lots of feedbacks and reviews during pandemic years
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There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
Harbin is suitable to visit all year round, and winter season during November to March is the best time to experience its charm as the Ice City with romantic snow scenery. However, the hot Harbin World Ice and Snow Festival is held usually from late December to late February and even early March, which is slightly different every year. So to have best fun in the big gala of ice and snow, you are most recommended to visit Harbin during December and February.
|Ice and Snow World|| - Annual Harbin Ice and Snow World
- Open Ceremony of Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
|Sun Island|| - Annual International Snow Sculpture Art Expo
- Harbin International Snow Sculpture Competition
- Harbin Ice Snow Group Wedding Ceremony
|Zhaolin Park|| - Annual Harbin Ice Lantern Art Fair
- Harbin International Ice Sculpture Competition
Remember to wear much to keep warm! Harbin is located in the very Northeast of China and has severe cold winter with average temperature of -14.2℃ (6.44℉) during that season. To help you keep warm, it is best to wear thick clothes and warm shoes, such as down coat, thick jacket, mouth-muffle, gloves, hat, wool socks, snow boots, etc. Besides, sunglasses are necessary to visit the Snow Sculpture Art Fair at Sun Island.
Since Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, it offers a large number of accommodations at different levels, including 5-star international brands, 4-star comfort hotels, budget hostels and inns. You can find one very easy in the city. Usually, for travelers to Harbin, we suggest you arrange your accommodation in Daoli District where offers most of the tourist attractions and that is very close to Sun Island and Harbin Ice and Snow World, convenient places for eating, shopping and entertaining. Besides, Nangang, Harbin West Railway Station and nearby area, and Songbei District are also good places to stay.
We China Discovery have rich experience to provide Harbin tour arrangement and customization services for global visitors. If you would like to extend your Harbin tour to more attractions, such as the nearby Yabuli Ski Resorts with exciting skiing and other winter activities, China Snow Town with lovely snow sceneries, etc. or more interesting destinations like Jilin, Dalian, Changchun, Shenyang, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Yunnan, etc., please feel free to tell us about your ideas, and our professional travel expert will help you to customize your travel to Harbin and the whole vast China with their knowledge and sincerity!
Harbin / China Snow Town / Harbin
Harbin / Yabuli Ski Resort / Harbin
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