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Tianjin: the Port City
Over 600 years old, Tianjin, the largest port city in north China lies on the coast of the Bohai Sea.  The city continues a legacy that’s both ancient and modern, Chinese and Western.  Most of all, the city is known among Chinese cities for its colonial buildings in the former concession areas that still retain a European air of elegance.

Antique markets and scrumptious snacks make Tianjin a nice gateway destination. Spending one day exploring the city’s must-see sights, browsing its antique markets, and sampling its famous snacks is a lot of fun.

Related Tours:

Discover Tianjin City by Bullet Train from Beijing

Private Tour to Huangyaguan Great Wall

Private Tour to Huangyaguan Great Wall and Eastern Qing Emperors Tombs

Private Tour to Huangyaguan Great Wall and Dule Temple

Tianjin things to do:

Tianjin Eye
Tianjin Eye, or Tientsin Eye, is a spectacular Ferris wheel soaring to 120 meters (394 feet). Perched atop the Yongle Bridge across the Hai River, it's more than just a ride; it's an iconic part of Tianjin's skyline.  Completed on April 22, 2008, and opening its doors on April 16, 2009, the Tientsin Eye has swiftly become one of Tianjin's must-see landmarks. As Asia's premier Ferris wheel, it's not only the tallest on a bridge but also ranks as the world's tenth tallest.

Take the mesmerizing views of Tianjin's blend of ancient and modern from a unique vantage point. Whether you ride the Tianjin Eye or appreciate its beauty from afar on the Jingang Bridge, each moment promises to be a breathtaking encounter with the heart of Tianjin.

The Garden of Serenity

The Garden of Serenity is a splendid villa crafted in the Spanish medieval architectural style, once home to the last emperors, Pu Yi and Empress Wan Rong, from 1929 to 1931. A rarity in modern China, this mansion authentically embodies the essence of European architectural aesthetics. Today, the villa operates as a museum, featuring exhibits that provide a glimpse into the life of Puyi and his royal family during their stay in Tianjin.

Ancient Culture Street

Welcome to Ancient Cultural Street, opened in 1986 in the Nankai District of Tianjin. Situated on the Haihe River's west bank, it revolves around the Temple of the Queen of Heaven, making it a unique cultural hub.  More than just a marketplace, this charming street draws visitors with its special architecture, classic cultural elements, folk crafts, and tasty local snacks. As you wander, be captivated by splendid replicas of Qing Dynasty folk-style architecture.

The Fifth Avenue (Wudadao)
Walking down the Fifth Avenue is like strolling down an old black and white movie.  There are more than 230 buildings of English, French and Italian styles on Fifth Avenue alone.  French buildings stand out among the crowd, especially on Chifeng Road, which was the heart of the French zone.  From Central Park, which used to be a French garden, six lanes branch out into downtown shopping areas.

Before 1949, the street was known as the Governors’ Street due to the number of warlords and politicians who made this street their refuge after being disposed or run out of office in the mercurial world of Chinese politics.  Many Chinese celebrities also made their home in this stylish are in an effort to escape the chaos of the era.  From high treason to high fashion, Chifeng Road now forms the core of Tianjin’s fashion scene.

Porcelain House
Discover the enchanting Porcelain House on Chifeng Road, a French-style marvel adorned with vibrant porcelain. As you stand before it, marvel at the kaleidoscope of colors from chinaware intricately cemented onto the walls, windows, doors, pillars, and roofs.  Built-in the 1920s and covering 5,000 square yards, this extraordinary structure is a fusion of French elegance with an Italian-style corridor. Once the residence of Chinese diplomat Huang Rongliang, it was transformed into a porcelain masterpiece by businessman and collector Zhang Lianzhi in 2007. Immerse yourself in the beauty of porcelain artistry showcased on handrails, ceilings, and walls inside.

Open to the public since 2007, the Porcelain House has become a Tianjin landmark, listed by the US Huffington Post among fifteen museums with unique designs, together with the Louvre Museum in Paris, French, and the Denver Art Museum in Colorade, America.

Tianjin Food and Snacks:
Most of Beijing’s cuisine derives from Tianjin and Beijingers make a point going to Tianjin for the cheap eats and the great snacks.  Tianjin’s most famous contribution to the Chinese menu are goubuli meat buns.  Goubuli literally translates as “dog doesn’t care”, the story has it that the inventor of these meat buns had a humble name of “Dog”.  His meat buns became so popular and sold so fast that he didn’t have time to greet his customers, so when his regulars felt ignored, they said that, “Dog doesn’t care about us.”

Tianjin is crammed with cheap restaurants that offer a wide range of food.  For those who are craving something different, Tianjin offers an abundance of choices.  Tea soup is a sweet drink  that’s made on the spot.  The tea soup master mixes rice flour, sugar and minced nuts in a bowl and then he fills the bowl with boiling water from a huge bronze teapot.  Crispy deep-fried dough twists made from wheat mixed with sesame seeds, sugar and preserved fruits and nuts make for tasty snacks.  Local specialties include chewy deep-fried stuffed rice cakes, mutton soup and jianbing guozi.  Jianbing guozi is a thin pancake made from green bean flour.  When it’s being grilled, a egg is broken and spread over top of the pancake, then a sweet soy sauce and a hot sauce is spread over the pancake.  The pancake is then wrapped around a Chinese donut.

Italian Street

Nestled along the Haihe River, Italian Style Street, once the Italian concession in colonial-era Tianjin, is renowned for its historic residences, authentic European cuisines, Western art exhibitions, and trendy bars. Despite being named after a street, Italian Town is, in fact, a charming small town offering a delightful blend of culture and cuisine.

Huangyaguan Great Wall

Huangyaguan, which translates to "yellow cliff," is a section of the Great Wall in Tianjin. Originating in 557 A.D., its yellowish hills and rocks inspired its name. Repaired during the Ming Dynasty and again in 1985, it has hosted the International Field Marathon since 1999. With unique features like the "Phoenix Tower" and "Baguaguan Castle," Huangyaguan is also called the Great Wall library.

Huangyaguan is known for being formidable, navigating mountain ridges at an altitude of 738 meters. It offers thrilling views but demands caution due to steep steps. Amid ancient walls, you'll encounter natural beauty and historical allure, making it a unique and captivating destination.

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