Top ChoiceIce Sculpture in Harbin

Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Every winter from early December to late February (officially the festival opens 5 January), Harbin dons a fur-lined, technicolour dreamcoat of ice, snow and neon and gets down, Narnia style – no matter that it's...

Top ChoiceAmusement Park in Harbin

Harbin Ice & Snow World

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...

Top ChoiceChurch in Harbin

Church of St Sophia

Church of St Sophia

The red-brick Russian Orthodox Church of St Sophia, with its distinctive green onion dome and roosting pigeons, is Harbin’s most famous landmark. Built in 1907 and expanded in 1932, it was the largest Orthodox...

Top ChoiceBar in Harbin

Carl Damo Bar

Look for the neon-lit guitar at the entrance, leave your itinerary on Zhongyang Dajie and enter the world of Carl Damo, Harbin's hippest conceptual artist and photographer. His basement bar, packed with dimly lit...

Top ChoiceArchitecture in Harbin

Zhongyang Dajie

The cobblestone avenue of Zhongyang Dajie is the most obvious legacy of Russia's involvement with Harbin. Now a pedestrian-only zone running from Jingwei Jie up to the Songhua River, the street, and those nearby,...

Top ChoiceDumplings in Harbin

Orient King of Eastern Dumplings

This busy main street chain dumpling house is the pick of the three options in Harbin (if it's full, head down the road to number 51). The handmade jiǎozi (饺子, stuffed dumplings) are soft and delicious; you can't...

Top ChoiceChinese in Harbin

Old Chang’s Spring Rolls

Hungry foodies line up for Lao Chang's famous chūnbǐng, northern Chinese specialities, that are essentially DIY spring rolls. Descend the stairs to order a set of wheat roll skins (¥2 per roll ), and insist on...

Museum in Harbin

Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental Base

This museum is set in the notorious Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental Base (Division 731). Between 1939 and 1945, prisoners of war and civilians were frozen alive, subjected to vivisection or infected with...

Park in Harbin

Sun Island Scenic Area

Across the water from Stalin Park is Sun Island, a 38-sq-km recreational zone with landscaped gardens, a ‘water world’, a ‘Russian-style’ town, and various small galleries and museums. It’s a pleasant place to...

Buddhist Temple in Harbin

Temple of Bliss

Heilongjiang’s largest temple complex has an active Buddhist community in residence, giving it a genuine religious atmosphere despite the ticket sales. There are many large statues here, including Milefo...

Synagogue in Harbin

Harbin New Synagogue

This synagogue was built in 1921 by the city's Jewish community, the vast majority of whom had emigrated from Russia. Beautifully restored and converted into a museum in 2004, the 2nd and 3rd floors present a...

Concert Venue in Harbin

Main Synagogue Concert Hall

Harbin's Main Synagogue, dating back to 1909, is now a delightfully intimate, well-priced concert venue for classical music performances, with four shows per week (7pm, ¥20 to ¥100, one hour). The ticket office,...

Synagogue in Harbin

Harbin Main Synagogue

Harbin Main Synagogue

The beautiful old Main Synagogue, built in 1909, has been refurbished as a concert venue. You can buy tickets on-site to a variety of musical performances, including opera, usually starting around 7pm on most...

Chinese in Harbin


The 'Old Chef's House', 2km southeast of Zhongyang Dajie, is an excellent place to sample northeastern cuisine. There can be queues on weekends for good reason: succulent, well-priced hotpots and spicy side...

Bakery in Harbin

Bomele 1931 Cafe

The 2nd-floor terrace overlooking Zhongyang Dajie is the main reason to swing by this friendly Chinese bakery. Downstairs is a self-serve takeaway where cakes and smoothies are created with precision. You can eat...

Shopping Centre in Harbin

Toulong Shopping City

The best bargains in Harbin are found on the 11 floors of this indoor market. Clothes and souvenirs are on the first couple of levels, with the 4th floor dedicated to luggage and sunglasses. Haggle hard.

Cafe in Harbin

Luyu Coffee

Cute spot set in the ground floor of a former Jewish hospital that brews excellent coffee and also has a bar menu.

Amusement Park in Harbin

Harbin Culture Park

If culture equals amusement, then the creators of this park have certainly ticked all the right boxes. The 110m high Ferris wheel offers panoramic views of the city, and the Steel Dragon Inverted Coaster is a...

Theatre in Harbin

Harbin Grand Theatre

An architectural marvel, this sinuous, space-age theatre complex designed by MAD Architects has two auditoriums and hosts orchestral, dance and operatic performances from China and overseas. Ask at your hotel to...

Confucian Temple in Harbin

Harbin Confucius Temple

This peaceful temple complex was first built in 1929 and is said to be the largest Confucian temple in northeastern China. Most of what you see now, though, is from a recent restoration. The site also houses the...