The best things to do in Harbin

Harbin, the capital of China‘s northeastern Heilongjiang province, is a city known for its long, cold winters and its annual ice and snow festival. But this vibrant city has much more to offer than just winter activities. From history and culture to outdoor adventures and delicious food, there’s something for everyone in Harbin.

Experience the Ice and Snow Festival

The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is a must-see event for any visitor to the city. The festival, which takes place annually from January to February, features massive ice and snow sculptures that are lit up at night, creating a magical winter wonderland. Visitors can walk through the sculptures, take a ride on an ice slide, or even stay in an ice hotel.

Explore the Central Street

The Central Street, also known as Zhongyang Dajie, is the oldest street in Harbin and is considered the city’s main attraction. The street is lined with European-style architecture, including Gothic and Baroque buildings, and is a great place to stroll and shop. Visitors can also sample local snacks, such as dumplings and sugary candied fruits.

Visit St. Sophia Church

Built in 1907 by Russian engineers, St. Sophia Church is one of the most iconic buildings in Harbin. The red brick building, with its green onion domes, is a fine example of Byzantine architecture. The church now serves as a museum and visitors can learn about the history of Harbin’s Russian community and see artifacts from the city’s past.

Take a Boat Tour on the Songhua River

The Songhua River is a major waterway in Harbin and taking a boat tour is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. Visitors can see the city’s bridges, including the iconic St. Sophia Bridge, as well as the surrounding countryside. The boat tours also offer great views of the city’s skyline at night.

Visit the Harbin Polarland

If you love animals, then the Harbin Polarland is a must-see attraction. This theme park is home to over 200 animals, including polar bears, walruses, and arctic foxes. Visitors can see the animals in their natural habitats and learn about the importance of conservation.

Taste Local Cuisine

Harbin is known for its delicious cuisine, which is heavily influenced by Russian and Korean flavors. Visitors should try the local delicacies such as huangbaicai (yellow flower vegetable), baozi (steamed buns), and Harbin beer. For a true taste of the city, head to one of the many small restaurants and try the hearty, comforting dishes.

Visit the Snow Sculpture Art Expo Park

The Snow Sculpture Art Expo Park is a great place to visit in the winter, as it features some of the most incredible snow sculptures in the world. The sculptures are created by artists from all over the globe and are truly a sight to behold. Visitors can also take a walk through the park’s beautiful winter gardens and enjoy the snow-covered trees and frozen ponds.

Visit the Sun Island Scenic Area

If you’re looking for a break from the city, head to the Sun Island Scenic Area. This nature reserve is located on an island in the Songhua River and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life.Visitors can take a walk or bike ride on the scenic trails, or even try their hand at ice fishing. The island also has a ski resort, where visitors can hit the slopes and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery. In the summer, visitors can cool off by taking a dip in the river or lounging on the beach.

Explore the Harbin Taiping International Airport

Opened in 2018, the Harbin Taiping International Airport is the largest airport in the northeastern China. It offers flights to many domestic and international destinations. This airport is not only a transportation hub but also a popular attraction, with its unique architecture, the airport is a must-see for those interested in design and engineering.

Overall, Harbin is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor activities. Visitors can experience the city’s winter wonderland during the Ice and Snow Festival, explore its European-style architecture, and try delicious local cuisine. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a unique travel experience, Harbin has something to offer everyone.