With the increasing complexity and accessibility of the high-speed railways, Tianjin is now closer to Beijing than ever (33 minutes to be precise), and the number of trains running between the two cities makes it a convenient destination for a day trip.
Although there have been warnings of extreme crowding and lack of tickets, Beijing to Tianjin should be more accessible due to sheer number of trains going between the cities each day.
How to Get There
High-speed train is the best way to get to Tianjin from Beijing. Take a train from Beijing South Railway Station, trains go approximately every 10 minutes, and tickets will set you back between 45 and 68 RMB depending on what kind of seat you want and whether you are traveling at peak times.
What to Do
1) Haihe Cultural Square (海河文化广场)View In Map
Tianjin’s Haihe Cultural Square is great for a relaxing stroll, especially in the evenings, and to take in the cities’ huge expansion. There are some good stalls for souvenirs, and there are various snack options too.
Add: Haihe Donglu, Heibei District, Tianjin
Opening Hours: 24 hours a day
2) Porcelain House (瓷房子)View In Map
One of the lesser-known but more fun and unique activities in the city is Tianjin’s ceramics house. The building is covered in shards of ceramics, and there are some impressive pieces inside. There is also a free tour included in the ticket if you speak Chinese.
Add: 72 Chifeng Dao, Heping District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2712 3366
Price: 35 RMB
Opening Hours: 10:00-15:00, daily
3) The Eye of Tianjin (天津之眼摩天轮)View In Map
On Yongle Bridge over the Haihe River, this attraction is hard to miss. Great if you are into skylines and want to see what Tianjin looks like from above. Only go on a clear day though, as otherwise you won’t be able to see very far, but the ride goes slow enough to take a good look around on a clear day.
Add: Yongle Bridge, Hebei District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2628 8830
Price: 70 RMB
Opening Hours: 09:30-21:30, daily
4) Shoe Culture MuseumView In Map
Tianjin’s Shoe Culture Museum is the first of its kind in China, and interesting due to China’s history with shoes and foot-binding. It is located on the Ancient Cultural Street (which is mainly aimed at tourists), so check out both at once. To find out more about the museum, check out this article we previously wrote.
Add: Haihe Building, 166 Guwenhua Jie, Nankai District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2722 1209
Price: 20 RMB
Opening Hours: 09:30-12:00 and 13:30-16:00, Wednesday-Sunday
5) Xiakai ChurchView In Map
Located in the former French Concession of Tianjin and constructed in 1913, the architecture and history of this church alone make it worth a visit, but the Xiakai church also offers an English mass service at 11:30 on Sundays, for those who want to worship there. Its English name is St Joseph’s Cathedral the surrounding area is a fascinating reminder of Tianjin’s colonial history.
Add: 9 Xiningdao, Heping District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2781 1929
6) Italian ConcessionView In Map
A popular destination for both tourists and locals, the Italian Concession has some incredibly restored colonial buildings, and is definitely worth the visit. The buildings are beautiful examples of Italian traditional architecture, and are booming with shops, restaurants, and even KTV. Click here if you are interested in reading more about this area.
Add: Near Marco Polo Square, Ziyoud Dao, Minzu Lu, Hebei District, Tianjin
What to Eat
1) Local Snacks
Tianjin has an abundance of local delicacies available and there is even an entire street dedicated to Tianjin street snacks. You can check them out in our guide to street food in Tianjin.
2) Foreign Fare
Hank’s Sports Bar & GrillView In Map
For good drinks, and solid food options, Hank’s is an expat and tourist favorite. Expect all the usual American suspects including ribs, barbeque, burgers, steaks and some Italian and Mexican dishes.
Add: 333, Wanke Jin’ao International Building 6, Weijinnanlu, Xiqing District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 5966 5109
Oscar HouseView In Map
A classy bar and classy food , infusing classic European and American cuisine with its own signature styles and flavours, and to top it off, Oscar House has some of the best drinks in the city.
Add: 6 Hunanlu, Heping District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2339 2757
Where to Sleep (If You Can’t Get Enough of Tianjin)
1) Tianjin Haiyun International Youth Hostel View In Map
If you are traveling on a budget, this is a great option. The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable, with fast Wi-Fi, and there is also a good bar to relax at towards the end of the day. Haiyun means ‘sea melody’, so the rooms and the bar are themed.
Add: Xigang Erhaolu, Binhai District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2565 1378 or 135 0211 1862
Price: 55 – 158 RMB
Getting there: From Tianjin North Railway Station (天津北站), take bus No. 619, 641 or 670 to the Nanshi bus stop (南市站). From there transfer to the民9 bus and get off at the Tiankesuo bus stop (天科所站). Or from Tianjin West Railway Station-Dafeng Xi Hutong (天津西站-大丰西胡同), take the 民9 bus and get off at Tiankesuo bus stop (天科所站).
2) Tianjin City Youth HostelView In Map
Another great hostel in the area, Tianjin City Youth Hostel is close to Tianjin West Railway Station and a 10 minute walk to most famous tourist destinations in the city. There are shared rooms with shared bathrooms, or private en-suite rooms for others. The rooms have free Wi-Fi too.
Add: 2 Tianguili, Heibei Dajie, Hongqiao District, Tianjin
Tel: 022 2733 6112
Price: 45 – 160 RMB
Getting there: From the Tianjin North Railway Station (天津北站) take bus No. 869 to Zaoqiao bus stop (旱桥站). From Tianjin West Railway Station (天津西站), exit and walk along Beiyingmenxi Malu (北营门西马路). At the Hebei Dajie intersection turn right, and walk about 200 m to the Tianguili Community entrance (天桂里小区入口). The hostel is next to it. From Binhai International Airport take the No. 4 shuttle bus to Hubei Lu bus stop (湖北路站) and then transfer to bus No. 657, 606 or 642 and get off at Beiyingmen bus stop (北营门站).
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