Meet your personal guide at your central Harbin hotel and set out by private, air-conditioned vehicle on your 8-hour tour.
Situated in China’s northernmost province, Harbin fuses Russian-style architecture with temples, museums, landscaped parks, and a tree-lined promenade along the River Songhua.
Listen as your guide outlines the city's history and culture, and learn about its chief claim-to-fame: the annual Ice and Snow Festival that sees it fill with giant illuminated ice sculptures from late December to March each year.
Make your first stop at the St. Sophia Cathedral, Harbin’s massive red-brick Orthodox cathedral. Admire the green,onion-shaped dome and Byzantine and Russian folk wood architecture, and hear how this 1907 church served the thousands of Russians who settled here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
After admiring the cathedral and historical displays inside, stroll along Zhongyang Central Street, the city’s cobbled pedestrianized main avenue.
As you walk, hear how the street was constructed in 1898 and admire the handsome European-style architecture, a reflection of the Western and Russian influences that shaped Harbin during its early trading days. Note the Russian and European Renaissance and baroque styles, and learn how the street was pedestrianized in 1996, making it China’s first traffic-free commercial street.
After a Chinese lunch, continue to Sun Island Park on the north side of the Songhua. Admire the beautiful parkland, and visit the Harbin Ice and Snow Art Gallery, an indoor exhibition of the best of the ice sculptures showcased at the winter ice festival.
Marvel at the gigantic ice carvings of buildings, animals, and fantasy figures, all beautifully illuminated and kept frozen by indoor temperatures of 23 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 5 to minus 10 degrees Celsius).
After admiring the ice art, your tour then concludes with a hotel drop-off.