The signature venue for Harbin's winter-long Ice & Snow Festival is the main reason that both domestic and international travellers chase the cold weather here in huge numbers every year. It's a photogenic and fun-filled wonderland of iconic ice-sculpture, ice mazes, ice bikes, snow sports and snow slides. Live concerts and an ever-changing theme ensure an unpredictability that attracts return visitors. Like most major attractions in China, it's much better to visit during weekdays.
Heated restaurants, including fast-food outlets, are handy for warming up and refuelling. The Harbin Ice and Snow World is on the west side of the island across the Songhua River. Note that the half-price daytime ticket (valid from 9am to noon) does not grant admission to the venue at night. Bus 47 goes here from Tongjiang Jie and the railway station.