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Top Things to Do in Harbin

Located in northeastern China, Harbin is known as "ice city" due to the severe cold temperature. Snow and ice are the remarkable symbols of the city. When winter comes, the city is covered with snow, which looks extremely like a fairy-tale world. The coldness in the area has gradually developed into a new tourism resource and a more colorful winter is demonstrating to the locals and tourists home and aboard.
The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is a grand moment for the city. Large scales of ice and snow sculptures decorated with glittering neon lights appear to be a dreamlike world, attracting numerous visitors gathering here. A series of interesting ice-snow activities bring extraordinary experiences to each comer. Skiing in Yabuli Ski Resort, currently the largest one in China, is destined to be an enjoyable adventure; or taking a sleigh in China Snow Town brings wonderful experience as well.
The local specialties formed through special natural conditions are what you cannot miss. The frozen fruits like pear, persimmon that are covered with a layer of ice carry unique flavors of northeast area. To northeastern dwellers, the steaming ShaZhuCai (a type of special lobscouse) is a must-eat dish for each meal in winter. In Central Avenue, a long queue could be caught in front of Modern ice lolly stalls, even in frigid winter. It's a taste of Harbin.
"Oriental Moscow" exactly refers to Harbin. There is a deep historical connection between Harbin and Russia. One of the powerful evidences is numerous architectures in Russian style scattered over Harbin until today. St. Sophia Cathedral is the most representative one among them. The snow-covered exotic avenues and architectures make the city become more attractive than ever.
Must-see Attractions
  • Central Avenue, the longest and biggest commercial street in whole Asia; it is the most bustling street in Harbin; a must-do thing in the central avenue is having a Modern ice lolly; its agreeable sweetness and favorable taste of milk attract myriads of people queuing in front of the store; European style buildings converge at the Central avenue;
  • Ice and Snow World, the largest international ice and snow art exhibition; it is praised as a world of "ice-and-snow-themed annual carnival"; grand castles, characters in books and movies, and stunning lanterns are all carved out of ice and snow; the theme of the exhibition changes every year; various shows are being performed in Ice and Snow World all day long;
  • St. Sophia Cathedral, a unique cultural landscape in Harbin; it is a representative architecture among churches in "Oriental Moscow"; designed by a famous Russian architect, it enjoys a magnificent appearance and solemn, elegant air; the night view of the cathedral is stunning, especially in winter when everything around is covered with thick white snow;
  • Sun Island Park, a world-famous scenic area featuring with floodplain wetland and idyllic ambiance; it is a summer resort for the locals and the neighboring Russians; in winter, the park will put on incredible view of the snow country; the Squirrel Island in the park is an interesting place for families with children.
Recommended Hotels in Harbin
Shangri-La Hotel Harbin
Shangri-La Hotel Harbin
#1 of 944 Hotels in Harbin
No.555 Youyi Road, Daoli District, Harbin
Hotel Management Group: Shangri-La
Surroundings: Harbin Polarland (2.3km), Zhuozhan Shopping Center (Harbin) (1km), Parkson Shopping Center (Harbin) (2.3km)
Holiday Inn City Centre Harbin
Holiday Inn City Centre Harbin
#6 of 944 Hotels in Harbin
No.90 Jingwei Street, Daoli District, Harbin
Surroundings: Saint Sophia Cathedral (636m), Heilongjiang Provincial Museum (2km), Jinan International Store (480m), Central Shopping Mall (526m)
Yabuli Convention and Exhibition Center
Yabuli Convention and Exhibition Center
#2 of 16 Hotels in Shangzhi
Yabuli Ski Tourism Destinations, Heilongjiang Province, Shangzhi
Surroundings: The Shopping Center of Yabuli Ski Resort (1.1km)
Recommended Restaurants in Harbin
Oriental King of Dumplings (Suo Fei Ya)
  • Optimum restaurant for tourists to taste the authentic Chinese dumplings and crystal noodles
  • Serving various dumplings of different fillings in different cooking methods as well as genuine Chinese cuisine
  • Service in the restaurant is impeccable
Location: No.64 ZhaoLin Street (opposite Manhattan Building), Daoli District, Harbin
Special Dishes: Boiled Dumpling with Shredded Sea Foods, Harbin Red Sausage, Scrambled Eggs with Chinese Chives, Harbin Beer
Average cost per person: CNY32/USD5
Four Seasons Hotpot Buffet Restaurant
  • One of the acclaimed hotpots among the Harbin City
  • Eye-catching interior decorations
  • Fresh and tender meat and vegetables blend well with featured fondue
Location: No.50 Ziyuan Road, Harbin
Special Dishes: Shrimp Paste, Sliced Mutton and Beef, etc.
Average cost per person: CNY82/USD13
Xue Fu Yi Pin Jiang Gu (Harbin Shang You Jie)
  • Specialized in authentic Northeastern Chinese cuisine
  • Offering fine and warm service
Location: No.7 Shangyou Street, Daoli District, Harbin
Special Dishes: Soul of shadow, Ribs with sauce, Griddle Cooked Tea Tree Mushrooms, Stir-Fried String Beans, etc.
Average cost per person: CNY52 /USD8
Night Shows and Entertainment
Breathtaking Ice Show at Bingxiu Theater
Breathtaking Ice Show at Bingxiu Theater
Highlights: acrobatics dancing show on ice stage
Ticket Price: CNY280/USD46
Time: 19:00-20:10 (daily)
Capacity: 352 seats
Get there from Shangri-La Hotel Harbin:
  • By bus: Take bus No.67 at Academy of Social Sciences Stop and get off at Hexing Shiyidao Street Stop. (9 stops)
  • By taxi: CNY16/USD3
Get there from Holiday Inn City Centre Harbin:
  • By bus: Take bus No.106 at Jingwei Street Stop and get off at Hexing Shiyidao Street Stop. (8 stops)
  • By taxi: CNY17/USD3
Local Market / Night Street
Central Shopping Mall
Central Shopping Mall
Central Shopping Mall lies on Central Avenue, the first and the longest commercial pedestrian street. The main consumer group of the shopping mall are customers with high income and high taste. Therefore, famous brands and high-grade commodities are gathering in Central Shopping Mall.
Opening hours: 9: 00 - 21:00 (daily)
Things you can buy: jewelry, clothing
Get there from Shangri-La Hotel Harbin:
  • By bus: Take bus No.67 at Academy of Social Sciences Stop and get off at Hongzhuan Street Stop. (3 stops)
  • By taxi: CNY11/USD2
Get there from Holiday Inn City Centre Harbin:
  • By bus: Take bus No.13 at Daoli Shierdao Stop and get off at Tongjiang Street Stop. (1 stop)
  • On foot: Eight minutes (550 meters)
Waxili Russian Street
Waxili Russian Street
In Harbin, Waxili Russian Street is a genuine demonstration area of Russian culture. It's not only a commercial street but also a culture communication platform between China and Russia. The street severs for tourism, entertainment performance, and manufacture of art works in Russian style.
Opening hours: All day
Things you can buy: handicrafts, souvenirs
Get there from Shangri-La Hotel Harbin:
  • By bus: Take bus No.47 at Academy of Social Sciences Stop and get off at Daoli Shierdao Stop. (6 stops)
  • By taxi: CNY9/USD2
Get there from Holiday Inn City Centre Harbin:
  • On foot: Ten minutes (700 meters)
  • By taxi: CNY9/USD2
Gogol Street
Gogol Street
The exotic architectures along the 2,624 meters long Gogol Street are extremely attracting. Many interesting souvenirs from Russia are on sell in a folk Russian trade area that was developed in 1980s. In Gogol Street, night scene is full of romantic tastes. You could enjoy charming night scene of Gogol Street in a bar or tea house.
Opening hours: all day
Things you can buy: handicrafts, Russian souvenirs
Get there from Shangri-La Hotel Harbin:
  • By bus: Take bus No.12 at Academy of Social Sciences Stop and transfer to bus No.8 at Children Hostipal Stop (5 stops) and get off at Shengdanganguan Stop. (9 stops)
  • By taxi: CNY18/USD3
Get there from Holiday Inn City Centre Harbin:
  • By bus: Take bus No.21 at Jingwei Street Stop and get off at Wenchang Street Stop. (5 stops)
  • By taxi: CNY14/USD2

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