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Harbin is served as the capital city as well as the largest city of Heilongjiang Province. Located in the central area of Northeast China, Harbin is regarded as a shining pearl linking with Eurasia Bridge. Complimented as “Ice City” with gorgeous winter scenery contributed to the severe winter, Harbin creates one of the four biggest World Ice and Snow Festival with colorful and interesting activities and performances. It has never stopped to attract travelers home and abroad to attend this gala to get the fully festive fun and laughter. Harbin even surprisingly is reputed as the “Oriental Paris” and “Oriental Moscow”. That is not only results from its dense European and Russian architectural relics to make one wonder walking in a Western City, but because, beyond your imagination, that new designs from Paris and Moscow first reached here before Shanghai in the 1920s, which made people treat Harbin as China’s Fashion Capital.
Harbin has many amazing sites concentrated on both banks of Songhua River. On the north bank, travelers can immerse yourselves into Ice and Snow World, Sun Island Scenic Resort, Harbin Pole Aquarium and see Siberian tigers at Siberian Tiger Park; on the south bank, travelers can pay a visit to Stalin Park or Zhaolin Park, enjoy leisurely walk to St. Sophia Church and Zhongyang Street to feel exotic Russian flavor. To travel out of Harbin downtown area, Yabuli Ski Resort is the best choice for skiing fun. You can also go to the China Snow Town, the no.1 snow town of China for terrific snow and village landscape. For more attraction info, please check Top Attractions in Harbin, Best Places to Visit in Harbin and Top Harbin Ski Resorts.
It's the largest ice and snow amusement park in the world. It is a fascinating place to experience the Ice and Snow Festival with different themes in every winter time. You can admire gorgeous ice and snow sculptures with amazing colorful neon, savor the exquisite art, enjoy interesting ice and snow performances and take part in exciting ice and snow activities.
Situated on the north bank of Songhua River, it is surrounded by beautiful lakes, rockeries, flowers and architectures. Every winter, it holds Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Fair which lasts for 60 to 70 days, when thousands of excellent large snow sculptures of diverse figures, buildings, landscapes, etc. are on show for a big visual feast of white.
Built in 1907, St. Sophia Cathedral, the symbolic architecture of Harbin, is an Orthodox church in Byzantine style. Designed by Russian architect, this splendid church stands at 53.25 meters high. Now, St. Sophia Cathedral is converted into “Harbin Architectural Art Gallery” to display the history, culture and future development of Harbin.
A Harbin tour will not be completed if you haven’t visited Zhongyang Street. Called the No.1 Street in Asia, this drag since 1989 is a not-missing pedestrian street for exotic architectures. Its 71 different European styled buildings of Renaissance, baroque, Art Nouveau, Russian, French, etc. presents the diversity of architecture in Chinese Harbin.
Close to Sun Island, this park is a man-made base mainly for Siberian tiger. Travelers can have a good look at the Siberian tigers at wild training area, adult tiger area, Tigerking area, observe White Lion and view young tigers and young lions training together. You can also learn Siberian Tiger through specimen, pictures and writing in Science Exhibition Hall.
Snowing for 7 months every year, it clads everything in this forest surrounding Northeastern Chinese village with pure white snow, like mushrooms, rabbits, clouds, etc. With red lanterns on the eaves, it changes into a peaceful getaway in a snowing dream. Sunrise, sunset and night time, lights and sunshine create nice view for professional shooting.
Located 230 km southeast from Harbin, Yabuli is regarded as the largest ski resort in China. Travelers can try many activities in this awesome ski resort, especially skiing. There're 46 trails and 25 ropeways and if you want, you can challenge the longest single trail of 5-kilometer long and the longest high mountain slide way of 2680m.
Laodaowai Chinese Baroque District is the largest street block with Baroque styled architectures in whole China. Multiple buildings with rich Baroque features from the early 20th Century, interesting decorations and sculptures can easily make visitors travel to the past decades with a historical walking amongst the several old lanes.
Unit 731 Museum at the South suburb of Harbin is the site of the former Japanese germ-warfare base. This museum displays a lot of valuable materials and imitating scenes of human experimentation by Japanese army during 1937-1945, which has caused at least 200 thousand victims from China, Russia, North Korea, etc.
Zhaopin Park in downtown Harbin is an emerald park with pleasant natural scenery for a leisure lay-back for locals. Holding the jubilant Harbin Ice Art Fair every year during the world Ice and Snow Festival, it is a must-go site to enjoy numerous gorgeous ice landscape, ice lanterns, ice and snow recreations, and get the most festive atmosphere.
Stalin Park, faced with Sun Island in the north, is a park built along with Songhua River, stretching 1700 meters long. Entering into the park, travelers can enjoy different kinds of sculptures, flowers standing among Russian buildings. In winter season, the park is capped with snow that travelers can enjoy different kinds of ice and snow sculptures.
Harbin Pole Aquarium, also called Harbin Polar Land, is the first polar land themed park combining animal shows, polar land sights and interactive experience into one. Travelers can explore many in the Grand Khingan Mountain area, Fisherman’s Wharf, South Pole Penguin Island and White Whale area.
Everyone visiting Harbin will enjoy an unforgettable wonderful time with a series of special and interesting things to experience, particularly during winter season, when you can get the full joy of the World Ice and Snow Festival, do skiing and other winter sports, take photographs of a peaceful white world, taste great food in this exotic city, make some historic walk along those old and beautiful streets and paths… For more info, please check Top 8 Things to Do in Harbin in Winter and All Featured Activities in Harbin.
Join in one of the Four Great International Ice and Snow Festivals in the World in Harbin. There will be thousands of exquisite and vivid sculpture works of ice and snow on big show in the city with sparkling colorful lights and neon, which creates a lovely fairytale world for you to be obsessed with.
No matter you travel solo or with family or friends, a big thing is to get a full stretch at the natural ski resort to have best fun with the exciting skiing, snowmobile, sliding, snow tubing, and many more other winter sports. Yabuli 3 hours’ car distance from Harbin city is the best ski resort for you to show your talented skill and create a beautiful memory.
This Ice City is a favored destination for shutterbugs. In winter, the fabulous ice and snow sculptures with lights on the Ice and Snow Festival, pure rime along Songhua River, adorable snow-capped China Snow Town, etc. are the best seasonal shooting themes. In other seasons, multiple international historic buildings add another exotic flavor for outstanding works.
You shall not miss the food in Harbin! Many Russian restaurants in the city provide authentic flavored Russian Cuisine for your fresh tasting, such as the Borsch, etc. Besides, in this Northeastern Chinese city, it is highly recommended to try the local Northeastern Chinese food to feel the great-hearted personality of people in this region.
Harbin in Heilongjiang Province belongs to temperate continental monsoon climate with distinct monsoon feature. It has short, hot and rainy summers and long, cold and dry winter, while spring and autumn change rapidly. The average temperature in winter is -14.2℃ (6.44℉) and the coldest month falls in January with average temperature at -19.6℃ (-3.28℉).
Best Time to Visit Harbin
The best time to visit Harbin is winter season (late November to early March of the next year) to enjoy the big world festival and winter activities. Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival usually starts from late December and lasts till December (middle or late according to detailed situation). Besides winter, it is also great to visit Harbin in summer during July and August, when the average temperature is usually between 22-24℃(71.6-75.2℉), which is comfortable to enjoy a cool summer vacation.
Wearing: During this extremely cold weather, please wear thick clothes and warm shoes to keep you from being freeze. Done coat, thick jacket, mouth-muffle and gloves will also be helpful.
Travelers can take flights and high speed trains to reach Harbin. Harbin Taiping International Airport is located in the southeast of Harbin, about 41 kilometers’ driving distance away (about 40 minutes). There are about 100 airlines linking with popular international cities (like Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Moscow, Phuket Island, etc.) and many domestic cities (like 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), etc.). Both airport shuttle (Line 1, 2, 3 and 4) and taxi are available running between airport and downtown area.
The mainly used train stations in Harbin are Harbin Railway Station and Harbin West Railway Station. Harbin Railway Station is situated in the downtown area, within several kilometers away from the famous tourist attractions. It has D trains linking with Beijing for 7.5 hours, Jilin for 2 hours, Shenyang for 2-3 hours, Changchun for 1-1.5 hours, etc.
Harbin West Railway Station is used for high speed train station, located in the southwest of Harbin Railway Station, about 9 kilometers away. It has high speed trains (D trains and G trains) running between Harbin and Beijing (7~8 hrs), Changchun (1 hr), Shenyang (2.5~3 hrs), Dalian (4~5 hrs), Jilin (2-3 hrs), Qingdao (11 hrs), Shanghai (12.5 hrs), Tianjin (6.5 hrs), Jinan (8.5 hrs), Wuhan (13 hrs), etc.
Apart from having fun within the city downtown and suburb of Harbin, many tourists also choose to travel further to discover more winter inspiration surrounding Harbin. You can visit Yabuli Ski Resort by car for 3 hours, China Snow Town for 5-6 hours, etc. Furthermore, direct buses and coaches are available to both those tourist spots. Besides, there are some trains to Yabuli, which needs another transfer to get to the spots.
Accommodation choices are a lot for travelers, ranging from luxury 5 star hotels to budget 3 star ones. You can stay in the downtown area in the 5 star Shangri-La Hotel Harbin, Sofitel Wanda Harbin Hotel, Holiday Inn City Center Harbin, JW Marriott, and Crowne Plaza, etc.
Shangri-La Hotel Harbin is situated along Songhua River and faced with Ice and Snow World, offering great chance to overlook the beautiful river view from the window. Sofitel Wanda Harbin Hotel is about 8 kilometers from the main tourist spots, providing comfortable accommodation and high-standard service for a 5-star experience. Holiday Inn City Center Harbin, running by Intercontinental Hotels, has superb location, close to Zhongyang Street and Zhaolin Park.
For tourist people to Harbin, we recommend you choose your accommodation in Daoli District in downtown, which is close to Ice and Snow World for the world winter festival enjoyment and where offers convenient places for fun, food and shopping. Besides, Nangang District, Harbin West Railway Station and nearby, and River North in Songbei District, are also good location to stay for travel and business visiting.
Since hotel prices are much higher during the peak tourist season around Ice and Snow Festival than normal months, it is highly recommended to book your accommodation in advance to save more money!
For more accommodation choice in Harbin city, please feel free to contact our professional travel consultants.
To help you learn better about Harbin's location, attractions and transportation, we have collected some useful Harbin maps which are latest, downloadable and printable. For more map info, please check >> Harbin China Map | >> Harbin City Map | >> Harbin Tourist Map | >> Harbin nearby Attraction Map | >> Harbin to China Snow Town Map | >> Harbin to Yabuli Resort Map | >> Harbin High Speed Railway Map | >> All 2020 Harbin Maps
Besides Harbin, there are some other very “hot” traveling destinations to enjoy your winter holiday, such as the gorgeous rice terraces, pleasant warm weather with sea sightseeing, etc. Please check all Top Winter Destinations in China >>.
China is vast and diverse. You can choose your favorite destination among more than 70 tourist destination and regions. Following are 4 popular destinations you may get interested in. Check all destinations in China
Chinese Name: 哈尔滨
Chinese Pinyin: hā ěr bīn
English IPA: /'hɑ:əbin/
Population: 9.61 million
Language: Mandarin & Harbin Dialect
Tel Code: 0451
Zip Code: 150000
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
Usually, most travelers come to Harbin for the annual Ice and Snow Festival in the winter season. It is a good choice to spend 3-5 days in and around Harbin. You can take one or two full days to see Ice and snow sculptures in Ice and Snow World and Sun Island Scenic Resort, jubilant Lantern Art Fair at Zhaolin Park, Stalin Park or view ice lanterns in Zhaolin Park. Visit Siberian Tiger Park and take some leisure walks to Zhongyang Street and St. Sophia Church, and even the historic Laodaowai with old Harbin Baroque buildings. To travel further and enjoy the snow to the fullest, many travelers choose to head to the largest ski resort in Asia - Yabuli Ski Resort to take some exciting skiing activities, which usually needs 1-2 days. Furthermore, to extend it again, you can travel to China Snow Town for another 1-2 days to admire the lovely snow-capped Northeastern village.
As high speed trains are well linking Harbin with Beijing within 8 hours, travelers can start your Harbin tour from Beijing. It will be awesome to combine both the ancient heart - Beijing and the Ice City - Harbin in one tour of 5-7 days.
If you got a long vacation, it is also recommended to explore deeper the nature wonders in winter and the important historical and cultural treasures of the Northeastern China, with a classic visit to Jilin, Changchun, Shenyang and Dalian together with Harbin. Such a deep discovery usually takes 8 to more days.
Remember, all our tours are flexible and customizable! Select your favorite or contact us to customize your Harbin tour now!
Harbin / China Snow Town / Harbin
Harbin / Yabuli Ski Resort / Harbin
Harbin / China Snow Town / Yabuli Ski Resort / Harbin
Shanghai / Harbin
Beijing / Harbin
Beijing / Harbin / Shanghai
Harbin / Jilin / Changchun / Shenyang / Dalian
Harbin / Jihua Ski Resort / Harbin
[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >