Panoramic view of a giant wheel above the Yongle Bridge, Tianjin

Things to do in  Tianjin

Northern China’s portside powerhouse

Thanks to its strategic location on Bohai Bay, Tianjin has long been an important port city. Its foreign concession past has left it with a vast collection of eclectic European style buildings in the Five Great Avenues, which contrast with both the Qing-era style buildings of Ancient Culture Street and the modern Binhai area, home to futuristic landmarks such as Tianjin Library. Rich in culture, history, and street food, Tianjin offers plenty of things to do and unique attractions ranging from the Porcelain House to the Tianjin Eye.

Top 3 attractions in Tianjin

Tianjin Eye

When the Tianjin Eye was completed in 2008, it officially became the first and only observation wheel in the world to be built over a bridge. The 394-foot (120-meter tall wheel straddles the Hai River above the Yongle Bridge, offering stellar views (on clear days or nights of this city of some 7.5 million people.More

Dule Temple (Temple of Solitary Joy)

Built during the Tang Dynasty (seventh to tenth century) and rebuilt in 984 AD, Dule Temple — also known as the Temple of Solitary Joy — is one of China’s oldest surviving wooden structures. Two of the Buddhist temple’s oldest structures also rank among the oldest. The Shan Gate, a single-story wooden structure, serves as the south entrance to the temple. The Guanyin Pavilion houses one of the biggest ancient statues of the goddess Guanyin in the country, measuring over 50 feet (16 meters) tall.While the temple structure is significant for its ancient architecture, the interior impresses with its collection of colorful and intricate frescoes depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology. Guided tours of Tianjin often include a stop at Dule Temple, as well as the Huangyaguan Great Wall and Imperial Mausoleums.More

Huangyaguan Great Wall (Great Wall at Huangya Pass)

Built on a mountain ridge, the Huangyaguan Great Wall (Great Wall at Huangya Pass) is known for its steep steps and climbs, but the effort yields spectacular views. Huangyaguan, which is located farther away from Beijing than many other sections of the Great Wall, is ideal for visitors looking to explore a restored section of the wall, away from the crowds.More

Top activities in Tianjin

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All about Tianjin

When to visit

Tianjin experiences four distinct seasons, with hot and humid summers and cold, snowy winters, making spring and fall the best times for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The Huangyaguan Great Wall Marathon is held every year in late May. Expect the largest crowds during major holidays in China, including Chinese New Year and the weeklong national holidays in May and October.

Getting around

Tianjin is well connected by public transport. The metro is easy to use and reaches most districts, with plans for additional lines. Buses are the cheapest and cover the entire city, but may be difficult for non-Chinese speakers to navigate. Taxis are cheap and plentiful, though language barriers may make rideshare apps such as DiDi preferable. The city is largely flat, making bicycles another option, and bike shares are available.

Traveler tips

Although the Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall is 19 miles (30 kilometers) north of Tianjin, it’s a must-visit when in Tianjin as it’s far less crowded than the sections closer to Beijing. You can enjoy spectacular views, as well as a 2-mile (3.5 kilometer) restored section featuring 20 watchtowers, a fort, and a gatehouse. You can visit independently, but a tour offers transfers and a guide to provide insights.


People Also Ask

What is Tianjin famous for?

Tianjin is known for being the biggest port in northern China and for its Five Great Avenues, home to more than 200 European-style buildings from its foreign concession era. The last Emperor of China also lived in Tianjin, in Jinyuan Garden. Tianjin is also home to the only Ferris wheel built on a bridge, the Tianjin Eye.

Is Tianjin worth visiting?

Yes. Tianjin is a large cosmopolitan city that offers something for every type of traveler, including those interested in architecture, culture, and history. There are also an eclectic assortment of museums, great shopping, and a wide array of food options. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the Huangyaguan Great Wall or Panshan Mountain.

What are the top attractions to visit in Tianjin?

Top attractions include the European architecture of Five Great Avenues and Italian Style Street, Ancient Culture Street, Nanshi Food Street, Tianjin Haihe Cultural Square, Porcelain House, Jinyuan Garden, Shi Family Courtyard, and the Tianjin Eye. The Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall of China is also a popular attraction, though it is outside of Tianjin.

How should I spend a day in Tianjin?

Start the day trying local dishes such as jianbing at Nanshi Food Street. Visit the Five Great Avenues and contrast that with Ancient Culture Street or the modern Binhai district. Stop at the Porcelain House and Jinyuan Garden, home of the last Emperor. End the day with a cruise on the Haihe River or a ride on the Tianjin Eye.

How much time should I spend in Tianjin?

Two to three days is ideal. That’s enough time to visit top attractions such as the Five Great Avenues, Ancient Culture Street, Jingyuan Garden, and Tianjin Eye, as well as time to visit museums like the Porcelain House and Tianjin Museum, enjoy a Haihe River cruise, go on a food tour, and visit the Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall.

What food is Tianjin known for?

Local specialties include goubuli (steamed dumplings), jianbing (breakfast crepes), erduoyan (fried rice cakes), chatang soup (millet tea soup), guo ba cai (mung bean pancake strip soup), Four Great Stews (with chicken, duck, fish, and beef or mutton), and Eight Great Bowls (a set of eight meat dishes). Nanshi Food Street is a great place to sample these.

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