Tianjin is a port city which has many historical heritage and natural beauty. What make it popular is that travellers from 53 countries, including US, Europe, Australia, etc., are granted a 144-hour visa-free layover to explore Tianjin, even to extend to Beijing which is only about 30mins’ train ride from Tianjin. Tianjin is also one of the most important ports for international cruises connecting to Korean, Japan, etc. So why not spend several days and nights in Tianjin to explore the interesting architecutures, unique culture, history, enjoy some walkings along the river promenade, and savor at local snacks at ancient culture street, without the hustle and bustle of other larger touristy cities in China.
Now having no idea where to start to plan your trip to Tianjin? Our Tianjin Trip Planner is here to help you focus on what you must do and see, where to stay, where to eat, when to go and more vital travel information you need to know before you go, such as Visa-free Policy, city transfer, etc.
|① What Must Do & See in Tianjin? - Tianjin Eye, Huangyaguan Great Wall, Five Avenues...||② How Many Days to Stay in Tianjin – 1 to 2 Days|
|③ Traveling to Beijing Forbidden City and Great Wall – Strongly Recommended||④ Travel in Tianjin With or Without Visa? - 144-hour Visa Free|
|⑤ Best Time to Visit Tianjin - mid-September to November||⑥ How to Get to & around Tianjin? - Flight, High Speed Trains, Cruises|
|⑦ Where to Stay in Tianjin? - Heping, Nankai, Ancient Culture Street||⑧ 8 Best Tianjin Tour Packages|
Tianjin combines well-kept history and tradition with modern flourishes, which provides tourists a very diverse experience. There is even an amazing beautiful section of Great Wall located in the mountainous area near Tianjin.
◆ Places You Must See in Tianjin:
Porcelain House – it is a private museum decorated with about 400 million pieces of ancient Chinese ceramic chips and over 13,000 ancient Chinese porcelain vases, plates and bowls. The exterior of the porcelain house is lined with porcelain vases, while the interior exhibited various wooden antiques, as well as porcelain mosaic art.
Five Avenues - also known as Wu Da Dao by local people. It used to be used to be concessions during colonial period. There are over 230 houses of all kinds from the architecture of Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain scattering here. It’s a wonderful place for a leisure walking.
Shi Family Mansion - it is a large and well-kept civil residence made up of 12 ancient-style quadrangle courtyards representing the folk culture and custom of the late Qing Dynasty and show the 200-year-long history of the Shi Family in Yangliuqing.
◆ What You Must Do in Tianjin:
Hunting for Local Snacks and buy some interesting souvenirs for your families and friends at Ancient Culture Street
Hike Huangyaguan section of Greaet Wall which is also as beautiful as some other sections in Beijing and less crowded;
Ride cable car to atop of Tianjin Eye to enjoygreat views of the spiraling metropolis of Tianjin and capture fantastic view of Haihe River.
Keep Reading: - Tianjin Top Attractions and Things to Do
Tianjin Top Attractions and Things to Do
Porcelain House (Up) / Huangyaguan Section of Great Wall (Down)
Tianjin is rather a short excursion of China Japan Cruise or China Korean Cruise, or a leisure sidetrip from Beijing. If your time is on budget, you can even just stay one day in the city, but we advise you spend 2 days - one day to explore the city attractions, one extra day for eating, rest, or go to hike the Great Wall.
How to Plan One Day Itinerary:
In the morning: Start out for tour from cruise port or hotel, then go to take a relaxing visit to the Tianjin Eye and ride in an air-conditioned car encircling the wheel. Then take a taxi or private car to the Porcelain House (China House). Take some photos of the unique house from outside, then get inside to appreciate the art works. Visit the Porcelain House around 1 hour, then you can stroll leisurely to Italian Street to enjoy a great lunch of Italian food.
In the afternoon: Get from Italian Street to the Shi Family Courtyard. Explore the elegant pavilions, pools and gardens, and visit a work shop to observe how the craftsman make beautiful paintings of Chinese Spring New Year. Finally, go to hunt for local food and snacks at Tianjin Ancient Culture Street, where you can also buy some souvenirs home if you want. At the end of the day tour, depart from Airport / Train Station / Tianjin Cruise Port.
How to Plan Two Days Itinerary:
Day 1: visit Tianjin Eye, Porcelain House, Italian Street, Shi Family Masion and Tianjin Ancient Culture Street as the One Day itinerary.
Day 2: take public bus or private car arranged by China Discovery to Huangyaguan section of Great Wall which combines the features of many other sections of Great Wall - "strong" of Badaling, "steep" of Jiankou, "ancient" of Gubekou, and relatively less-crowded. You will hike about 2 hours (about 2150m) from the east section of Huangyaguan Great Wall to the Huangyaguan Pass, the castle in the valley in the west. Then return back to Tianjin and visit Dule Temple on route. This temple is one of the oldest and best-preserved wooden structures in China.
Recommended Tianjin Guided Tour Packages:
If you have 2 or more days to spend in Tianjin, we strongly advise you to take a side trip to Beijing which is only 125km from Tianjin. There are hundreds of high speed bullet trains for you to transfer to China’s capital each day from several train stations in Tianjin within 30~40 minutes. Besides, the 144-Hour Transit Visa Free Policy apply both in Beijing and Tianjin. You can stay in Tianjin and Beijing up to 6 days without a Chinese visa.
Usually it takes about 3~5 days to visit both Beijing and Tianjin. You are suggested to stay one day in Tianjin and spend rest of your time in Beijing as Beijing has much more things to do than Tianjin, such as Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Hutong, etc. To discover the essence of Beijing, you need at least 3 full days. Below is the most classic 3 days itinerary at leisure pace:
DAY 1: Discover the Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace;
DAY 2: Hike one section of Great Wall near Beijing (Mutianyu, Huanghuacheng, Badaling..)
DAY 3: Visit Temple of Heaven and explore Hutong
Recommended Beijing Tianjin Tour Packages:
Locations of Beijing and Tianjin on Map
Tianjin Applies to 144-Hour TWOV (Transit Without Visa)
Tianjin, with neighboring Beijing and Hebei Province, applies to the newest 144-Hour TWOV (Transit Without Visa). Travellers of 53 specified countries who make transits in Tianjin or Beijing and hold valid passport and connecting flight tickets to a third country or region can stay in Tianjin, Beijing and Hebei Province up to 6 days without a Chinese visa, for examples: Singapore > Tianjin > Hong Kong; Australia > Beijing > Tianjin > Cruise to Japan. There are 144-Hour Visa-free Counters set up in Tianjin Binhai International Airport, Tianjin Xingang International Port and Beijing Capital International Airport.
If you are travelling longer than 6 days in Tianjin, Beijing and Hebei Province, or want to visit more destinations in China, you will have to apply for a China Tourist Visa (L Visa) before coming to China. You can apply for Chinese visa at Chinese Embassy and consulates in your country. Except special circumstance, applicants can get a Chinese Visa after 1 ~ 4 working days, even on the same day of your submission.
Tianjin has a semi-moist continental monsoon climate. It experiences windy and dry springs, hot and rainy summers, cool autumns and cold snowy winters. The annual average temperature is 12 °C. July is the hottest month with the average temperate around 26 °C/79°F, while Junuary is the coldest month with the average temperature around -4 °C/25°F.
Tianjin is suitable for travelling all the year round. While, the natural sceneries are the most beautiful during spring (mar~may) and autumn (sept~nov). If you are visiting Tianjin during May to October, bring lightweight suits and layer. If you visiting Tianjin from November to April, pack a heavier suit, and some moisturizing skin and lip care products. You may do a lot of walking and maybe cycling in Tianjin, so you can pack comfortable clothes you can layer together and flat, comfortable shoes.
Tianjin Porcelain House in April
Tian Binhai Railway Station (Up) / Tianjin Xingang International Port (Down)
Tianjin can be reached by flexibe transportation tools. It has a huge transport network of flights, trains, highways and waterways. Currently three is an international airport, a international cruise port, 8 railway stations, 7 subway lines and hundreds bus stations in Tianjin.
Get to Tianjin by Flight
- More than international 50 cities in different countries and over 100 cities in mainland China operate nonstop, stopover, and connecting flights to Tianjin Binhai International Airport.
Get to Tianjin by Train
- Most of major cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Wuhan, Guangzhou, etc., have high speed bullet trains or normal fast trains to Tianjin. There are nearly 200 high speed bullet trains from Beijing to Tianjin each day. Tianjin has 7 train stations among which Tianjin Railway Station, Tianjin South Railway Station and Tianjin West Railway Station are mostly used. If you are going to board your international cruise ships, you can take trains to Binhai Railway Station, Binhai West Railway Station and Tanggu Station which are accessible within 30km from Tianjin Port (about 1 by car).
Get to Tianjin by Ship
- Tianjin Port operates international cruise routes from South Korean, Japan and Russia. The cruise port locates about 140km away from Beijing, about 70km away from the downtown of Tianjin. Location: No. 1001 Guanhai Road, Binhai New District, Tianjin天津市滨海新区观海道1001号
As one of the most developed metropolises in China, Tianjin provide wide-ranged choices of hotels and regions. If you visit Tianjin for the first time, you can choose to stay in the touristy area which has lots of things to do within walking distance, but the hotels may be more expensive. If you visit Tianjin for business, the location matters most. Below are several recommended areas to stay in:
Heping(和平区) - located close to Tianjin Railway Station and Five Avenue . Easily to get to shopping malls of Nanjing Road and Binjiang Street.
Nankai (南开区) - Nankai area has a lot of this to do, such as the Tianjin Museum, Tianjin Water Park, Tianjin Zoo and the Olympic Center Stadium.
Tianjin Ancient Culture Street – if you like local food and authentic culture, find a hotel near Tianjin Ancient Culture Street. This street is worth seeing Chinese ancient architecture, hunting for food and going for a leisure stroll at night.
If you'd rather start with the most recommended hotels in Tianjin, here's a list to get you started.
St. Regis Tianjin (158 Zhangzizhong Rd, Heping Qu, Tianjin, China)
Holiday Inn Tianjin (288 Zhong Shan Rd Hebei District Tianjin, China)
Renaissance Tianjin Downtown Hotel(105 Jianshe Road Tianjin, China)
Modena Heping Tianjin (No 37 Xining Road Tianjin, China)
Radisson Plaza Hotel Tianjin (66 Xinkai Road Tianjin, China)
Crowne Plaza Hotel TIANJIN BINHAI (55 Zhongxin Avenue Airport Tianjin, China)
The Westin Tianjin (101 Nanjing Road Tianjin, China)
Jin Wan Hotel (358 Nanjing Road,Nankai District Tianjin, China)
St. Regis Tianjin in Heping District (Up) / Tianjin Ancient Culture Street (Down)
Tianjin Goubuli Baozi (Up) / Jianbing Guozi (Down)
Tianjin has its own traditionally featured cuisines and snacks, also has many other different cuisines from other regions of China as well as many great western dishes. Local Tianjin dishes often use a lot of seafood, squid, oysters and locally caught fishes. They are usually served in high end formal restaurants. While Tiajin’s famous snacks, such as Goubuli Baozi (steamed stuffed buns), Jianbing pancakes, Guifaxiang Mahua (fried twisted dough) are very popular on local snacks streets. If you are missing home dishes, you can find plenty of international restaurants in Five Avenues and Italian Town. When looking for restaurants, you will find a wide range of options with everything from Tianjin traditional dishes to Sichuan cuisine, hot pot and international food like Italian, Japanese, French, etc. Below are some popular foot streets:
Nanshi Food Street (南市美食街)– local snacks and Chinese food
- Address: located west of Heping Rd, east of Nanshi Binguan Street, Heping District, Tianjin
Heping District Food Street t (和平美食街) – local snacks and Chinese food
- Address: Liaoning Rd, Heping District, Tianjin
Five Avenues Food Street (五大道) – Western food, Tai food, Cantonese food
- Address: Stadium Street, Heping District, Tianjin 300050, China
Recommended Western restaurants:
Local Burger Restaurant (Yingkou Road Branch) - No. 106, Yingkou Road, Heping, Tianjin
Pizza Bianca - 126 Chengdu Rd, Heping Qu, Tianjin
Fire House Restaurant Marriott Tianjin - 16 Bin Shui Road, He Xi District, Tianjin
WE Brewery - 4 Yi He Li, Xi An Street, He Ping District, Tianjin
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