Harbin Travel Guide
Harbin can be found deep at the heart of Manchuria and is capital of modern day Heilongjiang Province. Russian influences are obvious throughout the city in the architecture as well as the Siberian tiger park! Harbin is most famous these days for it’s internationally famous Ice and Snow Festival where the sculptures become more and more awe inspiring year after year. Yes, it’s cold but if you can don’t mind that it is also one of China’s most incredible visual experiences and not to be missed on a winter tour of China.
Best Months to Visit Harbin
Best Reason to Visit Harbin
If, like us, you are a fan of winter Trans-Siberian travel then a stopover in Harbin for the Ice Festival is an absolute must and the perfect way to finish a trip in January and early February.
Top Sights in Harbin
★ The highlight is the Ice Lantern Festival held in January to February. An absolute must see if you are in China at this time – just bring the thermals!
★ Church of St Sophia in the city centre which is now a museum of the arts containing photography from the early 20th Century and the heyday of Russian influence.
★ Daoliqu and Zhongyang Dajie areas of the city still retain a decidedly Russian flavour in architecture, shops and restaurants.
★ Stalin Park, the riverside embankment and Sun island park across the Songhua river are all worth a visit for a quiet stroll and in winter becomes a playground for all things ice.
★ The Siberian Tiger Park is a good chance to view these magnificent animals up close but be warned that Chinese zoos aren’t for the faint hearted with guests encouraged to buy live chickens to feed the tigers.
Weather Averages for Harbin
Top Harbin Travel Tip from TSTC
The Trans-Manchurian route from Moscow to Beijing (missing Mongolia) passes through Harbin and is a good option for getting to the Ice Festival although it does mean a few magical but very very cold days in Mongolia are missed.
TSTC's Hand Picked Hotels in Harbin
We think the best place to stay in Harbin is the older Russian influenced part of the city and the ironically names Modern Hotel is our choice there for location and character.
Other Destinations in China
Click the boxes below to explore other destinations in China that can be visited before or after your Trans-Siberian tour.
By Phil Stanley & Headseast – TCTC Destination Expert.