10 Amazing Things To Do In Harbin!

things to do in harbin

Harbin, known as the Ice City, is a vibrant hub of culture, history, and adventure located in northeastern China. Whether you're looking to experience the winter wonderland of the annual Ice and Snow Festival or sample the city's delicious cuisine, there are countless activities to keep you entertained in this bustling metropolis. With so much to see and do, we've compiled a list of the top 10 amazing things to do in Harbin that will leave you wanting more! So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the charm and excitement of one of China's most unique cities.

Activity Description
Ice and Snow World An annual winter festival where giant sculptures are made out of ice and snow
St. Sophia Cathedral A historic Russian Orthodox cathedral built in 1907
Harbin Polarland A marine park featuring polar animals such as penguins, beluga whales, and sea lions
Sun Island A scenic island with gardens, pavilions, and a lake
Central Street A pedestrian street lined with European-style architecture and shops
Jile Temple A Buddhist temple built in the 11th century
Harbin Grand Theatre A modern performing arts venue with a unique architectural design
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival A festival featuring ice and snow sculptures from artists all over the world
Heilongjiang Provincial Museum A museum showcasing the history and culture of Heilongjiang province
Harbin Beer Factory A brewery tour and tasting of Harbin beer, a famous local brand


Ice and Snow World

Source: www.cnn.com
Characteristic Description
NameHarbin Ice & Snow World
Type77 Google reviews
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.8 / 77
AddressChina, Heilongjiang, Harbin, Daoli District, 兆麟公园 邮政编码: 150036
Phone+86 451 8468 1337

Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province in China, is famous for its long and snowy winters, making it an ideal place for winter sports and activities. One of the most popular attractions in Harbin is the Ice and Snow World, a spectacular display of ice and snow sculptures.

Located in the city's Songbei district, the Ice and Snow World covers an area of over 600,000 square meters and is opened every year during the winter months from December to February. The entire park is built using ice and snow, and the varied forms of light and color create a magical fairyland.

The park features more than 100 sets of ice and snow sculptures, crafted by expert sculptors from around the world. The sculptures range from traditional Chinese architecture and animals, such as dragons and pandas, to popular cartoon characters like the minions from Despicable Me.

The highlight of the Ice and Snow World is the evening light show, which transforms the already impressive sculptures into a sparkling wonderland. Visitors can witness the sculptures change colors and twinkle under the lights, creating a surreal experience for visitors.

Besides admiring the sculptures, there are also various activities for visitors to enjoy. There is an ice slide that allows visitors to slide down from the top of a sculpture, a dog sled ride, as well as an ice maze for visitors to navigate. For the adventurous, there is also an opportunity to try ice-skating and snowmobiling.

In addition to the spectacular scenery, there are also numerous food stalls serving a variety of local food. Visitors can taste the famous Harbin sausage, hot pot, and other winter-themed snacks.

The Harbin Ice and Snow World is a must-visit attraction for anyone who visits Harbin during winter. It is a unique and magical experience that will leave visitors in awe with its grandeur and beauty.


Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

Source: www.theatlantic.com
Characteristic Description
NameHarbin International Ice and Snow Festival
WebsiteGo to website

The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is one of the most spectacular winter events in the world. Held annually in the city of Harbin, located in northeastern China, it attracts millions of visitors from all over the globe. The festival usually starts on January 5th and can last for over a month depending on the weather.

The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival started over 30 years ago and has since grown into a massive event. The festival showcases stunning sculptures made entirely out of ice and snow, some of which are several stories tall. It takes an incredible amount of skill, artistry, and engineering to create these massive and intricate sculptures.

The festival's main highlight is the Ice and Snow World display, a sprawling theme park featuring life-sized sculptures, ice slides, and other interactive displays. Visitors can also check out the Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo, which features sculptures from around the world, including countries like Japan, Russia, and the United States.

In addition to the sculptures, there are also a variety of other events and activities during the festival. Visitors can enjoy ice skating, snowmobiling, and even swimming in an ice-cold pool. There are also nightly performances, parades, and light shows, creating a magical and unforgettable experience.

Despite being held in the middle of winter, the festival draws huge crowds from all over the world. Visitors are advised to dress warmly, but also be prepared for the crowds. The festival is quite popular, and some of the most popular sculptures can get quite crowded, so it's best to arrive early or late in the day to avoid the rush.

Overall, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an incredible winter experience that is not to be missed. From the stunning sculptures to the interactive displays and fun activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So, if you have the chance, make sure to add Harbin and its amazing festival to your bucket list.


Central Street (Central Avenue)

Source: www.trip.com

Central Street (also known as Central Avenue) is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Harbin, China. It is a huge pedestrian street that is lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, and iconic architecture dating back to the 19th century.

The street is situated in the historical district of Harbin and was built by the Russians in the early 1900s. It is often referred to as the “Russian Street” due to its connection to the early Russian immigrants who settled in the area.

Walking along Central Street, visitors can admire the stunning architecture of the buildings, which are a mixture of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance styles. The most famous buildings on the street include the Harbin Flood Control Memorial Tower, Saint Sophia Cathedral, and Jinan City Store.

One of the best times to visit Central Street is during the winter months when the buildings are beautifully illuminated with colorful lights. The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival also takes place during this time and attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.

Central Street is not just a popular tourist attraction; it also plays a significant role in the city’s cultural heritage. It is a bustling hub for locals and visitors alike, who come to enjoy the street’s lively atmosphere and unique shopping experience. There are numerous shops selling everything from traditional Chinese folk crafts to modern fashion, making it a perfect place to find souvenirs and gifts.

If you’re visiting Harbin, a visit to Central Street is a must-do activity. Whether you’re interested in architecture, culture, shopping, or simply soaking up the ambiance of one of China’s most vibrant streets, Central Street will not disappoint.


St. Sophia Cathedral

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameSaint Sophia's Church
TypeChurch in Harbin, China
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.4 / 304
Address88 Toulong St, Daoli District, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, 150020
Phone+86 451 8468 6904

The cathedral was built using red brick and wood, and its intricate design makes it a notable landmark in the city. Its bell tower can be seen from miles away and served as a beacon of hope and faith to the Russian immigrants who resided in Harbin. The cathedral is an excellent representation of neo-Byzantine style architecture and was inspired by the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. It has a unique combination of intricate domes, elegant arches, and large, round windows.

Over the years, St. Sophia Cathedral has undergone numerous changes. During the Soviet occupation, the cathedral was used as a children's palace. Later when Harbin became a part of China, the cathedral was converted into a museum, displaying the history and culture of Harbin and its people. Visitors can now experience both the religious significance of the cathedral and learn about the past of Harbin.

Inside the cathedral, the walls are adorned with magnificent paintings, carvings, and stained glass windows. These artistic works are well-preserved and showcase the craftsmanship of the Russian and Chinese artists who created them. Additionally, the cathedral also contains a vast collection of religious artifacts, including old Bibles and crosses.

The cathedral is open to visitors all year round, and many tourists come to marvel at the stunning architecture and learn about the history of the cathedral and its connection to Harbin. At night, the cathedral is illuminated, adding to its beauty and making it a must-see attraction for tourists. Overall, St. Sophia Cathedral is a remarkable architectural masterpiece that serves as a testament to the cultural heritage and history of the city of Harbin.


Sun Island

Source: www.trip.com
Characteristic Description
NameSun Island
TypeIsland in Harbin, China
Rating / Review count4 / 12

One of the main attractions on Sun Island is the International Snow Sculpture Art Expo, held annually from December to February. This event attracts artists from around the world who come to showcase their artistic talents by creating stunning snow sculptures. Visitors can enjoy admiring the sculptures, and even take part in various winter activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, and ice-skating.

In addition to the Snow Sculpture Art Expo, Sun Island is also home to several beautiful gardens, including the Sun Island Scenic Park, the Russian Garden, and the Japanese Cherry Blossom Garden. These gardens are carefully designed and maintained, and are a delight to visit during the spring and summer months when they are in full bloom.

Lastly, Sun Island is also an ideal location for a family outing. It offers endless entertainment options for kids and adults alike. There are several amusement parks, including a safari park, a butterfly park, and a dinosaur park. The island also offers a range of water sports activities such as kayaking and fishing, as well as traditional Chinese medicine therapies such as hot spring baths.

In conclusion, Sun Island is a truly stunning location to visit in Harbin, China. It combines art, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the city. With endless activities available, there is always something to keep visitors entertained, no matter what their interests may be.

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Harbin Polarland

Source: m.chinatoursnet.com
Characteristic Description
NameHarbin Polarland
TypeTourist attraction in Harbin, China
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count3 / 136
Address3 Taiyang Blvd, Songbei District, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, 150010
Phone+86 451 8819 0909

Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang province in China, is a popular tourist destination known for its annual ice festival. However, there is another attraction in this city that’s worth a visit – Harbin Polarland, the first theme park dedicated to Arctic animals in China.

One of the main attractions of Harbin Polarland is the polar bear exhibit. Visitors can witness the majestic creatures playing in a 3,000 square meter enclosure, which is one of the largest in the world. The exhibit features an underwater tunnel that allows visitors to watch the polar bears swimming and playing in water, which is reminiscent of their natural habitat in the Arctic.

Another highlight of Harbin Polarland is the penguin exhibit. Visitors can observe five different species of penguins in a 1,800 square meter exhibit. The highlight of the exhibit is undoubtedly the daily penguin show, where visitors can see the penguins dance, slide, and even play basketball.

Besides polar bears and penguins, Harbin Polarland is also home to a variety of other animals such as the arctic fox, walrus, and even the elusive and majestic snow leopard. In addition to the animal exhibits, visitors can also enjoy various shows and performances, such as the sea lion show and the beluga whale show.

One of the unique features of Harbin Polarland is that it offers visitors a chance to experience winter in the Arctic. The park has an indoor snow amusement park that features ice and snow sculptures, ice skating, and other winter activities. Visitors can also attend a polar bear feeding session, where they can watch the park handlers feed the polar bears up close.

Overall, Harbin Polarland is a must-visit for anyone visiting Harbin. It’s an incredible place where visitors can experience the magic of the Arctic in China. With its diverse collection of arctic animals, stunning exhibits, and unique winter activities, a trip to Harbin Polarland is an experience that visitors are unlikely to forget anytime soon.


Harbin Grand Theater

Source: www.archdaily.com
Characteristic Description
NameHarbin Grand Theatre
TypePerforming arts centre in Harbin, China
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.9 / 12
AddressChina, Heilongjiang, Harbin, Songbei District, 滨水大道 邮政编码: 150010

Located in the heart of Harbin, China, the Harbin Grand Theater is a must-visit destination for those interested in modern architecture and performing arts alike. Designed by the world-renowned French architect, Paul Andreu, the theater is a stunning example of contemporary design, incorporating natural and cultural elements of Harbin into its construction.

The theater is situated on an island in the Songhua River, giving it a picturesque and tranquil setting. It covers an area of over 78,000 square meters and features three separate buildings connected by a central atrium. The main theater boasts over 1,600 seats and hosts a range of performing arts including operas, ballets, symphonies, and plays.

The exterior of the Harbin Grand Theater is clad in titanium panels, giving it a sleek, futuristic appearance. The panels are arranged to mimic the scales of a fish, a nod to the Songhua River and the local fishing culture. The interior of the theater is just as impressive, with sweeping curves and grand spaces that provide a sense of drama and excitement to the audience.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Harbin Grand Theater is its use of natural light. The central atrium is topped by a massive skylight that allows sunlight to flood into the interior spaces. This natural light creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, while also reducing the building's energy consumption through the use of solar power.

In addition to its striking appearance, the Harbin Grand Theater is also an important cultural landmark for the city. It has quickly become a hub for the performing arts in Northern China, attracting both local and international artists. The theater is also an important venue for cultural events, such as the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, which showcases the city's unique winter culture and traditions.

Overall, the Harbin Grand Theater is a stunning achievement in modern architecture, blending the natural and cultural elements of Harbin to create a one-of-a-kind destination that is both visually stunning and culturally significant. Whether you are a fan of the performing arts or simply appreciate good design, a visit to the Harbin Grand Theater is a must when visiting the city.


Harbin Ice Lantern Show

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Harbin, the capital city of the Heilongjiang Province in northeast China, is known for its stunning winter landscapes and exceptional ice lantern festival. Every year, millions of visitors are attracted to witness the mesmerizing Harbin Ice Lantern Show that showcases an extraordinary display of ice sculptures, vivid snow sculptures, ice slides, and intricate ice architectures.

The Harbin Ice Lantern Show is held annually during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which runs from late December to the end of February. The festival was first started in 1963, and since then, it has become one of the most important events of Harbin and a famous tourist attraction worldwide.

The ice lantern exhibition, situated at Zhaolin Park in the heart of Harbin, covers an area of more than 6000 square meters. The ice sculptures are made from natural ice from the Songhua River and are elaborately carved into various shapes, such as animals, people, and other architecture. The sculptures are then illuminated from inside, creating a breathtaking and magical effect when viewed at night.

The Harbin Ice Lantern Show is more than just an exhibition of ice sculptures. It is a complete winter wonderland. The park features a series of fantastic ice slides, where visitors can have fun sliding down on ice. There are also horse-drawn sleds and snowmobiles for visitors to ride around the park, offering a unique way to admire the stunning snow and ice sculptures.

Besides, Zhaolin Park hosts various events and activities during the ice and snow festival, including ice hockey games, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and traditional Chinese performances. Visitors can enjoy delicious local cuisine from the food stands throughout the park, where dishes such as roast meats, dumplings, and noodle soups are served to keep visitors warm.

In conclusion, the Harbin Ice Lantern Show is undoubtedly one of China's most remarkable winter experiences, a true feast for the heart and for the senses. The exhibition is fascinating, exciting, and certainly a festival unlike any other. The magnificent ice sculptures and thrilling activities provide an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages and it is a must-visit destination during the winter season.


Snow Skiing at Yabuli Ski Resort

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Located approximately 200 kilometers east of Harbin, the Yabuli Ski Resort has become a popular destination for snow enthusiasts. It is China's oldest and largest ski resort, covering a total area of 19 square kilometers and featuring a variety of ski slopes suitable for all levels of skiers.

Yabuli Ski Resort boasts 11 ski slopes and 3 snow parks, with a total length of over 25 kilometers. The highest point of the resort is 1,374 meters, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The resort offers beginner slopes for those who are new to skiing, as well as challenging black diamond slopes for experienced skiers.

The snow season at Yabuli Ski Resort typically runs from November to April, with the best time to visit being between December and February. During this time, the resort is covered in a thick layer of snow, creating an idyllic winter wonderland.

In addition to skiing, visitors can also try a range of other winter activities such as snowboarding, snowmobiling, and sledding. The resort has state-of-the-art facilities, including ski lifts, rental equipment, and a ski school. For those who are new to skiing, the ski school offers classes with experienced instructors who speak English.

Accommodation at Yabuli Ski Resort is plentiful, with a range of options catering to different budgets. Visitors can choose to stay in traditional Chinese-style lodges or modern hotels with Western-style amenities. There are also many restaurants offering a range of Chinese and Western cuisine, ensuring that visitors will never go hungry.

For those looking to escape the crowds of Harbin's popular ice festival, a visit to Yabuli Ski Resort is a perfect option. With its stunning scenery, wide range of activities, and excellent facilities, it's no wonder that Yabuli Ski Resort is becoming an increasingly popular destination for snow enthusiasts. So, if you're looking for an unforgettable winter adventure in China, look no further than the Yabuli Ski Resort.


Northeast Tiger Park

Source: www.tripadvisor.com

Visitors to the Northeast Tiger Park can experience these wonderful creatures up close thanks to the daily tiger shows. These shows feature trained tigers performing incredible feats of agility and power, such as leaping through hoops and playing with their handlers. Despite the human interaction, the trainers take great care in ensuring the tigers are treated with respect and all necessary precautions are taken. The shows are enjoyable for visitors of all ages and provide a unique perspective on the beauty and strength of these big cats.

For those looking for a more immersive experience, the park also offers an opportunity to pet and feed young tiger cubs. During the summer months, visitors can also see tiger mothers nursing their cubs. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close with these amazing creatures, and it's an experience that visitors will never forget.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Northeast Tiger Park is the conservation efforts that take place there. The park is a protector of the endangered Siberian tiger and their breeding program has been incredibly successful. The park also has a comprehensive veterinary hospital that provides care for injured or sick tigers. The staff at the park takes great pride in their work and does everything in their power to ensure the preservation of these beautiful creatures.

In conclusion, the Northeast Tiger Park in Harbin, China is a world-renowned attraction that offers visitors a chance to see and interact with these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. With its daily tiger shows, petting and feeding opportunities, and commitment to conservation, the park is an amazing experience for anyone interested in these magnificent big cats. So, if you are ever in Harbin, be sure to visit this incredible park and witness the beauty of the Siberian tiger.

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Frequently asked questions

Visiting the Harbin Ice and Snow World, attending the Ice Lantern Fair, skiing at Yabuli Ski Resort, and attending the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival are all popular winter activities in Harbin.

Visiting St. Sophia Cathedral, exploring the Sun Island Scenic Area, and strolling along Zhongyang Pedestrian Street are popular non-winter activities in Harbin.

Yes, there are a few hot springs in the surrounding area of Harbin, including Tanghe Hot Springs and Wanda Realm Resort Hot Springs.

Walking or cycling around the city is a great way to explore Harbin. Taking a guided tour is also a good option, especially if you want to learn more about the history and culture of the city.

Some traditional foods to try in Harbin include shouzhua yangrou (hand-grabbed lamb), cangshui (smoky water), Harbin sausage, and guobaorou (crispy pork with sweet and sour sauce).

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Louis Pitts

I visited Harbin last winter and one of the best things I did was visit the Harbin Ice and Snow World. The sculptures were absolutely breathtaking, and I had so much fun exploring the different ice buildings and sliding down the ice slides. It was truly a unique and unforgettable experience!

Dawid Franco

I recently traveled to Harbin and one of the highlights of my trip was visiting the Sun Island Scenic Area. The park is so beautiful, especially during the summer months when the flowers are in full bloom. I had a great time walking around the park, taking in the stunning views and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. It's definitely a must-visit spot in Harbin!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience at Sun Island Scenic Area in Harbin! It sounds like you had an amazing time exploring the park and admiring the vibrant flowers in full bloom during the summer months. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere and took in the stunning views. Sun Island is indeed a must-visit spot in Harbin, and I'm glad you had the opportunity to experience its beauty. I hope you have many more memorable adventures in the future!

Bronwyn Wise

During my visit to Harbin, I made sure to check out the Siberian Tiger Park. It was such a thrilling experience to see these majestic creatures up close and learn more about their conservation efforts. The park offers a variety of activities, including feeding the tigers, which was both exciting and slightly nerve-wracking. Overall, it was an incredible and educational experience that I highly recommend to anyone visiting Harbin!

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