Things to do in Tianjin

The 16 Best Things to Do in Tianjin in 2024

With a 600-year history, Tianjin, a northern industrial and commercial city that only started to shine in modern times, is not a traditional tourist city. However, its numerous international buildings, unique local snacks, and leisurely lifestyle make Tianjin stand out in North China.

Various historical and geographical factors have left Tianjin with many Western-style buildings. Many famous figures in modern history have lived here. Strolling through streets like Five Great Avenues and the Italian Style Street allows one to admire international architecture and experience the charm of Tianjin.

Jianbing guozi is famous nationwide, but the most authentic version can only be found in Tianjin. Tianjin residents have an almost incomprehensible obsession with the authenticity of snacks. When visiting Tianjin, you must try the jianbing guozi.

Although it is one of China’s four municipalities, Tianjin’s pace of life is noticeably slower compared to Beijing and Shanghai. Taking a walk along the Haihe River, listening to crosstalk in a teahouse, and fully enjoying the slow-paced leisure are the proper ways to experience a trip to Tianjin.

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🌟 Tianjin Travel Planning Guide

Considering a last-minute trip to Tianjin?

🇨🇳 Top Activities and Tours in Tianjin:

1. Private Tianjin City Highlight Day Tour
2. Private Great Wall Tour from Tianjin Cruise Port
3. Private 1-Way Transfer Between Tianjin Port to Beijing


🏨Top Hotels in Tianjin:

The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin (⭐️ 4.8 luxury)
The St.Regis Tianjin (⭐️ 4.6 mid-range)
Conrad Tianjin (⭐️ 4.7 luxury)
Four Seasons Hotel Tianjin (⭐️ 4.6 luxury)

🌐Make sure to install ExpressVPN in advance for unrestricted internet access during your stay in China!

🌏 Where is Tianjin Located

Tianjin is located in northern China, along the Bohai Sea coast. It lies southeast of Beijing and is one of China’s four direct-controlled municipalities, which means it is administered directly by the central government. Tianjin is situated at the northern end of the Grand Canal of China, making it a crucial transportation and trading hub. The city is bordered by Hebei Province and is near the confluence of the Hai River and the Bohai Bay, providing it with significant maritime advantages. Tianjin serves as a major port city and an important gateway to the capital, Beijing.

👑 Best Things to Do in Tianjin

1. Five Great Avenues (五大道)

The Five Great Avenues includes Chengdu Avenue, Chongqing Avenue, Changde Avenue, Dali Avenue, Munan Avenue, and Machang Avenue, forming the main part of this scenic area. Rather than just Five Avenues, this area features numerous streets of different lengths and styles, connected by various alleys and lanes, creating a maze-like and intricate district.

Previously a British concession, the Five Great Avenues now showcases diverse architectural styles from various countries, making it a highlight in Tianjin.

Machang Avenue and Munan Avenue stand out the most. Despite their narrow roads, they boast 300 small Western-style buildings, including English, Italian, French, and German designs, as well as many Renaissance, Classical, Eclectic, Baroque, courtyard-style, and Chinese-Western fusion buildings.

A unique way to explore the Five Great Avenues is by horse-drawn carriage, but you can also use rickshaws or electric cars.

Wandering around on foot or renting a bicycle is also an excellent choice. If you have a relaxed schedule, take the time to explore at a leisurely pace.

🎫Admission ticket: free
⏰Opening hours: all-day
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 1 to the Small White Building (Xiaobailou) Station.

2. Porcelain House (瓷房子)

The Porcelain House, a billion-dollar mansion by the roadside, attracts numerous visitors daily and is a landmark in Tianjin.

This French-style mansion, adorned with tens of thousands of antique porcelain pieces from the Han to Qing dynasties, was designed by the owner, Zhang Lianzhi. It features almost every type of porcelain from official and folk kilns across China.

In 2002, Zhang began restoring the neglected French building, which had been vacant for over a decade. He used precious stone statues, carvings, stone lions, ancient porcelain plates, and crystals, creating a stunning fusion of Chinese classical art and Western architecture, a rarity both in China and globally.

The most striking feature is the porcelain dragon that winds around the house, with the longest one being 768 meters long and 80 centimeters in diameter. Over 8 million pieces of ancient porcelain were used, making it the longest ancient porcelain dragon in the world.

The courtyard walls are built from porcelain bottles of various sizes, mainly featuring Yuan dynasty blue-and-white porcelain. As you climb the steps, a dark green, tricolor-glazed lion from the late Ming to early Qing dynasty stands at the entrance.

The interior is lavishly decorated with countless pieces of porcelain, creating a luxurious and dazzling display.

The Porcelain House is listed among the world’s fifteen most uniquely designed museums. A two-hour visit is highly recommended.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 50
⏰Opening hours: 09:00-19:00
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 3 to Heping Road Station.

3. Jingyuan Garden (静园)

Jingyuan Garden, initially named Qianyuan Garden, is the private residence of Lu Zongyu, a minister-counselor to Japan under the Northern Warlords’ Government. After the last Qing emperor, Puyi, left the Forbidden City, he moved here and renamed it Jingyuan, symbolizing his intent to cultivate a noble spirit in a tranquil environment.

The entrance to Jingyuan Garden is subtle and requires a bit of searching to find. Inside, you’ll be greeted by a Spanish-style brick and wood house. In front of it is a small courtyard with a beautiful fountain, surrounded by Western-style buildings that, despite their slightly aged exterior, still showcase fine architectural details.

To the right of the main building is the Puyi Exhibition Hall, while the left side includes the Jingyuan Restoration Exhibition Hall.

The main building includes rooms set up to resemble Puyi’s living quarters during his time here, as well as exhibits detailing the historical context of the era. It features numerous artifacts and plays documentary clips.

As a private estate, Jingyuan Garden is relatively small, taking about one or two hours to explore fully. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile visit and not very crowded.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 20
⏰Opening hours: 09:00-17:30
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 1 to Anshandao Station.

4. St. Joseph Cathedral (西开教堂)

St. Joseph Cathedral, also known as Old Xikai Catholic Church, is the largest Catholic church in Tianjin, located at the end of the bustling Binjiang Avenue. The church is built in the Romanesque style, featuring red and yellow patterned bricks and three green domes, each crowned with a bronze cross.

The cathedral exudes a sense of antiquity and simplicity both inside and out. It avoids lavish decorations and marble, opting instead for simple plastered walls with tasteful carvings that convey an air of refined elegance.

Inside, the cathedral boasts numerous murals and a pipe organ. Sunlight filtering through the stained glass windows creates a vibrant display of colors. You might encounter kind, plainly dressed elderly individuals who may ask if you are there to pray or for another reason. Sometimes, they will invite you to sit and share stories from the Bible.

Religious activities are held every morning at the church, with additional services on Sundays and Catholic holidays, both in the morning and evening.

🎫Admission ticket: free
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-16:00
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 1 or 3 to Yingkoudao Station.

5. Haihe River Cruise

The Haihe River, known as the mother river of Tianjin, is one of China’s seven major rivers. A cruise on the Haihe River is highly recommended for visitors, providing an opportunity to enjoy Tianjin’s unique blend of historical culture and stunning natural scenery from the water.

The cruise route on the Haihe River is divided into two parts: the upstream and downstream sections. The upstream segment offers views of historical buildings and cultural landmarks on the left bank, while the downstream section showcases the natural scenery and modern architecture on the right bank.

Cruise docks are available at Tianjin Station, Ancient Cultural Street, and Dabei Buddhist Temple, giving visitors options for different scenic spots.

Notable attractions along the route include Tianjin Station, Italian Style Street, the Tianjin Eye Ferris Wheel, Dabei Buddhist Temple, Jiefang Bridge, Ancient Cultural Street, Jinwan Square, and the Century Clock.

The riverbanks are lined with numerous skyscrapers and over twenty historical and cultural buildings, making the cruise a worthwhile experience. The best time to enjoy the Haihe River is at night when the city lights up, offering a stunning and picturesque view.

👉 Book A Tianjin City Night Tour with Haihe River Cruise on Viator

6. Jinwan Square (津湾广场)

Jinwan Square is located beside the Haihe River and is one of the most bustling areas in Tianjin.

Jinwan Square is characterized by its European architectural style. Its proximity to the Haihe River provides breathtaking scenery. At night, the view becomes even more enchanting.

In front of Jinwan Square is a long pedestrian street where many tourists and locals stroll, leaning on the railings to enjoy the view of the Haihe River.

The nearest attraction is Jiefang Bridge, which has a history of over a hundred years. Its most notable feature is the large gears on either side that can raise the bridge deck.

Jinwan Square is home to many restaurants offering various international and Chinese cuisines, as well as bars and other establishments.

The area is also very accessible, with the subway Line 3 directly reaching it. However, it is very crowded, especially on weekends and public holidays.

🎫Admission ticket: free
⏰Opening hours: all-day
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 3 to Jinwan Square Station.

7. Century Clock (世纪钟)

Century Clock Square, situated on the north bank of the Haihe River near Tianjin Railway Station, is a prominent landmark of Tianjin. This large city sculpture was erected in 1999 to welcome the 21st century.

The Century Clock is immense, with a dial diameter of 14 meters and an overall height of 40 meters, making it necessary to look up to see it fully. The clock features a European design that complements the surrounding architecture.

Around the dial are relief sculptures of the 12 zodiac signs, and the dial itself has a floral hollow design. The clock’s body is adorned with gears and chains of various sizes. An S-shaped rod on the side has a sun at the top and a moon at the bottom, symbolizing the cyclical nature of time with the alternation of yin and yang. The clock’s appearance is a blend of ancient elegance and unique charm.

The time on the clock is clearly visible at night due to internal illumination. Each hour, the Century Clock chimes with melodious music. At night, the clock becomes even more stunning, bathed in a golden light that exudes grandeur.

🎫Entrance fee: free
⏰Opening hours: all-day
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 3 to Jinwan Square Station.

8. Italian Style Street (意大利风情街)

Once the site of Tianjin’s Italian Concession, this area retains an authentic collection of century-old European buildings, including the homes of several famous Chinese historical figures.

Italian Style Street is known as the most artistic street in Tianjin, with a strong Italian ambiance. The street is lined with small Western-style buildings housing shops, bars, Chinese and Western restaurants, jewelry stores, and a cultural center, adding a lot of charm to the city.

Marco Polo Square lies at the center of the street, featuring a statue of the Goddess of Peace, which was erected to commemorate the victory of World War I. The statue is surrounded by small fountains and attracts many visitors.

Close by is the Tianjin Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, where architecture enthusiasts can learn more about the urban planning of Tianjin.

🎫Admission ticket: free
⏰Opening hours: all-day
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 2 to Jianguodao Station.

9. Ancient Cultural Street (古文化街)

Ancient Cultural Street, one of Tianjin’s top ten attractions, is a commercial street rich in historical and local flavors due to its early establishment and well-defined cultural focus. It has a strong Tianjin cultural atmosphere, making it a favorite spot for locals, especially during Chinese New Year when the festive spirit is at its peak, making it a must-visit location.

The buildings on Ancient Cultural Street mimic Ming and Qing dynasty architecture, standing one to two stories tall. Most shops focus on traditional Tianjin crafts and local specialties, featuring a strong folk presence. The street hosts numerous specialty shops selling antiques, calligraphy, paintings, the Four Treasures of the Study, inscriptions, ancient books, Niren Zhang painted sculptures, Weiji kites, and more.

A highlight of Ancient Cultural Street is Niren Zhang, which offers a variety of lifelike clay figurines depicting characters from ancient myths, Peking opera, and scenes of old Tianjin life, though they are relatively expensive.

The street is also known for its food, including the famous Tianjin Mahua, Jianbing Guozi(deep-fried dough sticks), Goubuli Baozi, and local snacks like Chatang(seasoned flour mush) and Ear-hole fried cakes.

From just before the Spring Festival to the Lantern Festival, Ancient Cultural Street is particularly lively, with various activities and temple fairs.

🎫Admission ticket: free
⏰Opening hours: all-day
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 2 to Jianguodao Station.

10. Tianjin Eye (天津眼)

Tianjin Eye is a Ferris wheel spanning the Haihe River, and it is the only Ferris wheel in the world built on a bridge, making it quite unique. When the Ferris wheel reaches its highest point, it is equivalent to the height of a 35-story building, offering a panoramic view of Tianjin city.

The Ferris wheel has a diameter of 110 meters and is equipped with 48 360-degree transparent cabins, each accommodating 8 people and equipped with air conditioning.

It takes 28 minutes for the Ferris wheel to complete one revolution. When it reaches the highest point, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surroundings, even seeing scenery within a 40-kilometer radius. The rotation speed is slow and not very thrilling.

The Ferris wheel is extremely popular at night, with long queues. However, the view of Tianjin’s night scenery from the Ferris wheel is definitely worth it.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 70
⏰Opening hours: 18:00-22:00
🚗How to get there: Take bus 516, 652, 910, or sightseeing 1, and get off at Yongle Bridge Station.

11. Tianjin Museum (天津博物馆)

Tianjin Museum, originally founded as the Tianjin Museum in 1918, is a newly built establishment that, while lacking some historical charm, remains a vital center for the preservation and continuation of Tianjin’s cultural history.

The museum is extensive, spread across four floors:

  • The first floor houses “The Origin of Tianjin Culture,” which explores the ancient history of Tianjin.
  • The second floor features the “Selected Rare Relics Collected by Tianjin Museum,” where you can see many of the museum’s most prized artifacts.
  • The third floor displays “Tianjin – An Epitome of China in the Past Hundred Years,” focusing on the city’s history over the last century.
  • The fourth floor is dedicated to exhibitions of calligraphy and paintings.

Key highlights of the Tianjin Museum include the Northern Song Dynasty painting “Snow Forest” by Fan Kuan, a jade piece with two chi beasts from the Eastern Han Dynasty, and an enamel vase with penny and pheasant motifs from the Qianlong Period.

While the Tianjin Museum may not match the prestige of the National Museum or other major provincial museums, it offers a rich collection, well-rounded content, diverse themes, and carefully curated exhibits. It frequently hosts themed temporary exhibitions and provides detailed free guided tours. A thorough visit takes about four hours.

A notable limitation is the scarcity of large, significant artifacts, with most relics dating from the Qing Dynasty and later, which is understandable given Tianjin’s relatively short history of just over 600 years.

🎫Admission ticket: free
⏰Opening hours: 09:00-16:30
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 5 or 6 to Culture Center Station.

12. Water Park (天津水上公园)

Water Park, Tianjin’s largest comprehensive park, has a history that traces back to the early 20th century. The park features three large lakes and 11 islands, holding cherished childhood memories for many Tianjin residents. Although the park’s facilities and scenery may appear somewhat dated, its nostalgic charm still offers several interesting spots to explore.

In 1989, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Tianjin and Kobe, Japan, a Japanese garden was added to the park. Constructed with materials mainly from Kobe, the garden features elements like a red Japanese bridge and karesansui (dry landscape), making it a popular spot for photography due to its authentic Japanese ambiance. Additionally, Tianjin Zoo, located at the southern end of Water Park, is easily accessible for visitors looking to explore both attractions.

🎫Admission ticket: free
⏰Opening hours: 06:00-21:00
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 3 to Tianta Station.

13. Dule Temple (独乐寺)

Dule Temple in Jizhou District, Tianjin, is one of China’s three remaining temples from the Liao Dynasty and a significant ancient building.

The temple’s main attraction is the Guanyin Pavilion, the oldest surviving wooden pavilion in China. It bridges the architectural styles between the Tang and Song Dynasties, closely resembling the buildings depicted in Tang Dynasty Dunhuang murals.

Inside the Guanyin Pavilion, a 16-meter tall colored clay statue of Guanyin stands, adorned with 10 small heads on top, earning it the name Eleven-Headed Guanyin. The statue’s gaze is directed towards the White Pagoda, located about 500 meters to the south, also from the Liao Dynasty.

Only the ground floor of the Guanyin Pavilion is open to visitors, and climbing is not permitted. However, viewing the pavilion and the intricate murals from below is still impressive. Dule Temple is generally quiet, with few visitors, some of whom are architecture students, adding to the serene ambiance.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 40
⏰Opening hours: 08:00-17:00
🚗How to get there: Take bus 530, 535, or 536 to get to Dule Temple Station.

14. Huangyaguan Great Wall (黄崖关长城)

Huangyaguan Great Wall, located in Jixian County, Tianjin, is a key pass of the Jizhen Great Wall from the Ming Dynasty and the only pass city in the county.

From the ancient watchtower of Huangya Sky Ladder to the Three Realms Monument, the Northern Qi border wall is well-preserved, along with nearly complete towers, watchtowers, beacon towers, and parapets. Before you climb the Great Wall, you can see a small model of it in a courtyard below, surrounded by stone carvings.

Inside the Great Wall scenic area, the section of the wall is well-maintained, spacious, and intact.

Continuing on, you will encounter the renowned Huangya Sky Ladder, a very high and steep section, particularly treacherous in winter due to snow-covered steps. Climbers need to be cautious. Once you ascend the Sky Ladder, you exit the main scenic area of Huangyaguan Great Wall, and further paths lead to small mountain trails and cliffs, which are not recommended for safety reasons.

Public transportation to Huangyaguan Great Wall is not very convenient, so most visitors either drive or join outdoor groups. Vendors at the base of the Great Wall sell inexpensive snacks and drinks, and there are also shops, farmhouses, and other amenities nearby.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 70
⏰Opening hours: 08:00-17:00
🚗How to get there: Take a long-distance bus from Tianjin Tongsha Passenger Station to Huangyaguan Great Wall directly.

👉 Book Tianjin Private Tour to Huangyaguan Great Wall on Viator

15. Mt. Panshan Scenic Area (盘山)

Panshan Mountain, although not very high, is a well-known mountain in the Beijing-Tianjin region. It features unique pine trees and unusual rock formations. The mountain also houses ancient structures like Tiancheng Temple and Wansong Temple.

The area offers three cable car lines: Panshan Telpher, Yunsong Telpher, and Rusheng Telpher, which take visitors to the peak of Guayue Peak.

Panshan is not only a scenic spot but also a significant Buddhist site with over a hundred pagodas and stupas, some of which are still intact.

During winter snowfall, Panshan is closed. The surrounding area offers additional attractions such as the karst caves and Cuiping Lake.

A full-day visit is recommended, and if you have more time, you can stay at a nearby farmhouse to enjoy local specialty dishes.

Though Panshan isn’t as renowned as the Five Great Mountains or Huangshan, it is a notable mountain in the north, making it an excellent hiking destination near Tianjin and Beijing.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 78
⏰Opening hours: 07:30-17:00
🚗How to get there: Take the tourist bus line 11 to Panshan Scenic Area station.

16. Enjoy Tianjin Street Food

Tianjin is renowned for its street food, with the “Three Delicacies of Tianjin” being the Ear-Hole Fried Cake, Goubuli Baozi, and Tianjin Mahua (twisted dough sticks). Another iconic local snack, especially popular with first-time visitors, is the Jianbing Guozi.

Jianbing Guozi

Jianbing Guozi is a celebrated breakfast item in Tianjin. The preparation is an art: a scoop of mung bean batter is spread into a perfect circle on a griddle using a special tool. Eggs are cracked over it, and scallions and cilantro are sprinkled on top. The pancake is flipped, and a fried dough stick or crispy fritter is added. It’s brushed with a savory sauce and fermented tofu paste, then folded and bagged swiftly.

Fried Cake

These cakes are made from glutinous rice and fried to a golden brown, crispy texture, filled with soft red bean paste. New variations include flavors like osmanthus, purple sweet potato, and hawthorn. This sweet treat is a must-try for dessert lovers.

Baozi

Unlike the thin-skinned soup dumplings found elsewhere, Tianjin baozi has a thicker, softer dough. They are filled with rich soup that doesn’t get absorbed by the dough during steaming. The best way to enjoy these buns is to dip them in Tianjin’s special vinegar, sip the soup when you take a bite, and follow it with a sip of the complimentary congee provided by the shop.

🛫 How Do I Travel to Tianjin

By Plane

Tianjin Binhai International Airport offers 162 domestic routes, connecting over 100 cities directly to Tianjin.

The airport is conveniently close to downtown Tianjin and connected by Metro Line 2, which takes less than 30 minutes to reach the city center. The metro runs from the airport from 6:00 AM to 10:54 PM. A taxi ride to the city center takes about 30 minutes and costs around CNY 50.

By Train

Key train stations in Tianjin include Tianjin Station, West Railway Station, South Railway Station, North Railway Station, and Binhai Railway Station. For tourists, Tianjin Station and West Railway Station are the main arrival points.

Tianjin Station, also known locally as East Station, is centrally located and well-connected with Metro Lines 2, 3, and Jinbin Light Rail Line 9. West Railway Station is also central and accessible via Metro Line 1. South Railway Station is further from the city center and scenic spots, making Tianjin Station the preferred choice for tourists.

🚖 How to Get Around Tianjin

Metro

Metro is a convenient and affordable way to travel. Currently, there are several subway lines, including Line 1, Line 2, Line 3, Line 5, Line 6, and Line 9, among others. You can purchase single-ride tickets or use a rechargeable transportation card.

Bus

Tianjin has an extensive bus network that reaches most parts of the city. Numerous routes cover both urban and suburban areas. You can pay with cash or a transportation card.

Taxi

Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. You can hail a taxi on the street or use ride-hailing apps like DiDi for convenience.

Bicycle

Using bicycles is highly recommended for getting around Tianjin. Since the city is on flat terrain with few hills and has attractions that are close to each other, biking is convenient. On nice days, shared bikes provide a flexible and eco-friendly way to explore the city.

☀️ Best Time to Visit Tianjin

The best time to visit Tianjin is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these periods, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Spring (April to June)

  • Weather: Mild and comfortable, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F).
  • Activities: The city’s parks and gardens are in full bloom, making it a great time to explore places like the Tianjin Water Park and Jinjie Street.

Autumn (September to November)

  • Weather: Cool and dry, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F).
  • Activities: The autumn foliage adds a beautiful backdrop to the city’s historic sites and scenic areas. It’s an excellent time to visit the Ancient Culture Street and the Five Great Avenues.

Avoiding Extreme Weather

Summer (July to August): Tianjin can be hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). Additionally, this period coincides with the rainy season, which can make outdoor activities less enjoyable.

Winter (December to February): Winters in Tianjin are cold and dry, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. While the city can be less crowded, the cold weather might limit outdoor exploration.

🏨 Where to Stay in Tianjin

Wondering where to stay in Tianjin? Here are some options:

The Five Great Avenues area is perfect for tourists, with numerous attractions and international architecture right outside your door. This area also has many boutique inns in historic Western-style houses, ideal for those wanting a unique lodging experience.

The vicinity of Tianjin Station offers excellent transport links, making it easy to check into a hotel right after arriving by train. It’s close to the Haihe River and offers beautiful night views at Jinwan Plaza. The Italian Style Street is also nearby.

Staying along the banks of the Haihe River offers breathtaking night views, though hotels here tend to be pricier and some lack metro access.

Binjiang Avenue is one of Tianjin’s busiest commercial streets, providing convenient access to shopping, dining, and entertainment. Metro lines 1 and 3 intersect here, making travel around the city very easy.

The hotel, originally the Gordon Hall in the British concession and designed in an English castle style, was renovated by French PYR design company and reopened in 2013. Guests can enjoy the European classical architecture within the hotel and easily visit the nearby Five Great Avenues, Italian Style Street, and Haihe River.

The hotel’s decor is flawless, making it one of the most beautiful castle hotels in China. Its night view is stunning as well. The executive suite, spanning 110 square meters, is well-organized and offers a pleasant living experience.

The St. Regis Tianjin is the only hotel along the Haihe River with a waterfront platform. Across the river are popular attractions like the Italian Style Street, Ancient Cultural Street, Porcelain House, St. Joseph Cathedral, and Five Great Avenues, all within a 2-kilometer radius.

In the summer, the hotel’s lobby bar is popular for its barbecue and beer offerings.

For the best experience, opt for a river view room, which is a highlight of The St. Regis Tianjin. You can enjoy dinner by the river, with the hotel providing a range of snacks.

The Conrad Tianjin stands out among luxury hotels in Tianjin for its very reasonable prices. Having opened in the third quarter of 2019, it boasts relatively new decor.

The hotel features a circular European courtyard design, adorned with various art installations and decorative paintings, giving it a lively yet elegant atmosphere. The rooms are equipped with large floor-to-ceiling windows that offer superb lighting and views, ensuring a fantastic stay.

The Four Seasons Hotel Tianjin boasts a prime city center location with convenient access to popular attractions and major shopping centers.

The rooms are spacious and furnished in light tones. As one of the newer hotels in Tianjin’s urban area, it offers an excellent environment and top-notch service. Its competitive pricing among similar hotels makes it an outstanding choice for visitors.

Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside enjoys a prime location along the most scenic part of the Haihe River, near major Tianjin landmarks. The building’s circular exterior design exudes sophistication, and each area from the lobby onwards offers unique and elegant views.

The rooms feature a black-and-white design that creates a Zen ambiance, with a round bathtub offering a full view of the Haihe River.

Banyan Tree is famous for its exceptional SPA services, with Thai therapists providing gradual and soothing massages.

The Astor Hotel Tianjin, boasting a history of more than 150 years, stands as the only luxury hotel in China with its own museum. Guests can explore the museum, which features China’s first elevator and artifacts from notable past guests, in addition to enjoying their stay.

The hotel exudes a vintage luxury ambiance. The lobby is adorned with century-old revolving doors and telephones, making it feel like a step back in time to the Republic of China period. For an added touch of nostalgia, the hotel offers qipao rentals for guests to dress up and capture memorable photos.

Even though Tianjin is not a popular travel city in China, it left a lasting impression on me. The Huangyaguan Great Wall and Ancient Cultural Street revealed its rich history, while the Haihe River and Jinwan Square showcased its modern charm. Exploring the Dabei Buddhist Temple deepened my appreciation for its cultural diversity. Tianjin’s unique blend of old and new, combined with its welcoming atmosphere, made my trip unforgettable. It’s a hidden gem worth discovering!

China Travel Planning Guide&FAQ

🎫Do I need a visa for China?

Yes. Most visitors to China will need a visa to enter the country. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose and duration of your trip, as well as your nationality. If you are a resident of the US, you must apply for a Chinese visa at the Consular Office in the country. On the other hand, inhabitants of countries like Japan, Canada, and the UK can request a visa through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.

🤔Why is it necessary to install a VPN in China?

In China, the government has strict regulations on internet access, leading to the blocking of popular websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube. To access these sites, a VPN is suggested as a means of bypassing the restrictions. It is important to choose a reputable VPN provider and use caution while doing so. ExpressVPN has been historically deemed the most reliable VPN for this purpose, despite being heavily targeted by China’s censors. Nevertheless, it is still a widely preferred option owing to its ease of installation and user-friendliness.

📲Is it necessary to have a Chinese SIM card while in China?

Yes. It is crucial to acknowledge that accessing the internet in China may pose limitations due to certain websites being prohibited or filtered. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity while staying in China, purchasing a local SIM card is advisable. For optimum results, acquiring SIM cards from either China Unicom or China Mobile is recommended. While China Mobile has the most comprehensive coverage in China and is a market leader, China Unicom is more compatible with foreign phones, enabling 3G and 4G services. Or you can purchase a SIM card online.

🔮Should I buy China travel insurance?

Yes. Although China is generally a safe country for travel, it is still possible to encounter accidents or other unexpected occurrences. Therefore, obtaining travel insurance can provide a sense of security and financial protection. In my research, I have found that World Nomads is a reputable travel insurance provider that covers a wide range of activities and is recommended for the average traveler. Nevertheless, I advise you to compare insurance quotes from various providers before making a decision.

🚙Can you rent a car in China?

Unfeasible. Obtaining a Chinese driver’s license to rent a car and self-drive may seem like an option, but it is not a practical choice for most foreigners. Therefore, many prefer to opt for a driver or public transportation when navigating China, as it proves to be more convenient.

✈️What’s the best site to purchase flight tickets for China?

I suggest using Trip for affordable flights to China. As a China-based company, they often offer lower prices compared to foreign companies. Additionally, they offer English-speaking phone support in case of any issues.

🏡What is the best way to book hotels in China?

Not only does Trip offer a wider range of flight options, but it also provides a greater selection of hotels to choose from. Moreover, Agoda is a reliable resource for hotels throughout Asia.

🎒What do I pack for China?

Travel adapter and converter: China uses a different electrical system than many other countries, so it’s important to bring a travel adapter and converter if you plan to use electronic devices such as phones, cameras, and laptops.  
Sunscreen: The UV index in China can be high, particularly during the summer months, and prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Deodorant: It should be noted that finding deodorant in China may not be a simple task.

📚Can a guidebook for traveling to China be useful?

Yes. If you’re planning to travel to China for the first time, a travel guidebook can be a valuable resource, and Lonely Planet is one of the most reputable guides available globally. Its comprehensive itineraries and recommendations take into account your personal preferences and can save you both time and money. The insider tips are also extremely helpful in navigating China’s unique cultural landscape like a local.

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