Ice Festival Harbin

Ice Festival Harbin: Hours, Address, Ice Festival Harbin Reviews: 4.5/5

Ice Festival Harbin
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Harbin, the capital of China's frigid Heilongjiang province in the northest, plays host to China's biggest ice sculpture festival every January. The event is rooted in the region's ancient tradition of ice lantern making, and the modern-day incarnation of these lighted vessels are giant, elaborate scupltures made of ice, plastic and colored lights. Many tourists are unprepared for just how cold the region can get in winter, but the temperatures are perfect for allowing these grandiose ice exhibits from local and international artists to survive outdoors. Winter sports such as ice skating and sledding are popular side attractions.
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82 reviews
Very good

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Karmiel, Israel361 contributions
unique life time experience
Jan 2020
of course harbin's major highlights are the three sites of the ice and snow festival. we spent there 3 days, also for the jewish community sites and the unit 711 concentration camp.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Derby, UK20 contributions
Interesting and fun ice attractions across several sites.
Jan 2020
The festival is across several sites in the city. The big attraction is Ice and Snow World, across the river to the north of the city centre in the Sanli Kiln area (marked in Google Maps etc. as Ice-Snow world, Ice and Snow Big World, or similar). This is a city of buildings made from bricks cuts from the river ice, with lights embedded between the bricks; very impressive and well-worth a visit despite the high (approx. 300RMB) entry cost. Arrive 1-1.5 hours before sunset to see the site in daylight, then the brightly-coloured lights come on as it gets dark to provide a winter wonderland! Many of the buildings have ice slides incorporated at a fairly gentle angle of slope (suitable for kids or adults); to use these, buy a plastic "bum sledge" from one of the vendors outside the entrance before you enter the site. Additional attractions inside the site include: small outdoor shows (dragon dances etc.); a movie theater (closed when we visited in Jan 2020, presumably due to concerns over the 2019-nCoV virus (corona virus) outbreak); a larger snow/ice slide on big rubber rings (not sure if an extra fee is charged for this?); various ice bikes etc. (extra fees?); and fast-food outlets.
Other parts of the Ice Festival elsewhere in the city include
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mandy H
Beijing, China185 contributions
Bring something to keep your tech warm!
Jan 2020 • Solo
There are actually 3 different sites for the Ice and Snow Festival. Each one has their own entry fee. 2 are on Sun Island, and one is near the walking street and Sophia church area.

Ice Festival (called Ice and Snow Expo I think): About ¥300 to get in, best done from 3pm onwards so you can do the sledding activities but also experience sunset and the lights coming on. You can easily spend 3+ hours here. If you don’t do activities, then plan on 2hours for wandering, photos and a hot meal. There are large toilet facilities (only squatties) and some of them are not maintained often enough so bring your own toilet paper. There are many different food huts inside the venue where you can go in and warm up and eat. Mostly Chinese food (yum! Dumplings!) but there was 1 western place too (maybe KFC?) Didn’t notice anywhere for a hot coffee or hot chocolate though. As the sun drops, so do the temperatures! For clothing, make sure you dress in layers - base layer (like a thin turtleneck shirt and long johns), mid layer (like a regular shirt or cotton trousers) and then Outer layer (Lined knitted hat that covers your ears, mittens, heavy winter coat and snow pants) most outdoor store will have all of that, Uniqlo has good base layers.
*Note for people who didn’t grow up in cold weather - mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves. Snow will melt into your jacket / pants and make you colder, so make sure you coat is water resistant in addition to being warm. Technology HATES being cold. At -20c your battery can go from 80% to 0% in about 2 photos.

Snow expo - is daytime only (9am-3pm) and at the other end of Sun Island (on google maps, it’s in the “Scenic area” of Sun Island). You need to pick up tickets at the booth that is near PolarLand, and then walk across the bridge to the starting point. There is a little coach on the other side that can take you out to the far side, and then you can walk back, or vice versa. There are amazing snow sculptures, and a bit of sliding available here. I’ll add a more detailed review on the “Harbin Snow Fair” listing. 2+ hours needed

The final location (small ice sculptures and little kid activities) is a few blocks from the walking street, and a down the road from St Sophia church. I just walked through it quickly on my way back to the hotel, but there was some nice stuff there.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michael Wong
Penang Island, Malaysia8 contributions
Beijing-Harbin Tour
Jan 2020
Excellent trip arranged by Rita Jiang from China Discovery (Chendu). The selection of guides were the best we had so far in our many travels to China. Jenny (Beijing) and Celina (Harbin) were uncompromising in ensuring that we, as senior citizens were comfortable and not stressed in any way. We had no issue too with paying 100% of the tour price on the first day though we had initial doubts. No hesitation in recommending Rita, Jenny and Celina and China Discovery (Chendu).
Written January 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lancaster sc4 contributions
GET travel
Jan 2020
Our VET guide was wonderful! We spent 2 days experiencing Harbin including Tiger World, Snow and Ice Festival, Playing on the Songhuajang River and shopping in Zhongyang Pedestrian street.. It was amazing. I can't say enough about VET travel. No annoying your guide that talked all the time. You were able to relax and enjoy things at your leisure. Best your group to use by far.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

San Francisco, CA51 contributions
Great experience
Jan 2020 • Family
We had a fantastic day there today. I suggest you arrive at 3 to look around during the daylight ( a very different visual experience from the nighttime) and stay for 3-4 hours. Lifts start to come one about 3:30-3:45. There are plenty of places to warm up, eat and there are many reasonably clean restrooms inside as well. Bring with you hand warmers and foot warmers ( or you can buy them inside the bathroom at the parking lot, before entering the festival, all the locals are stripping down there and putting them on). Tickets are pricey, about $40 for a single visit or $65 for a two-visit ticket. Download DiDi app ( local Uber) before traveling to China: it’s the cheapest , easiest and nicest way to get around. DiDi takes international debit cards, use premium cars when ordering ( only a few cents more expensive but nice cars and drivers),very reliable, much better than US uber . Download a free VPN on your phone so that you can get your gmail, e-mails, news, Instagram, etc when in China. No one in Harbin speaks English, so use google translate
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Harald G
Berlin, Germany6 contributions
Awesome. Must see!
Jan 2019
The Ice World is amazing. Take a look to the buildings from all over the world built by ice and lighten from inside. It looks sooo beautiful. Fantastic to see. This place is really magic.
Written January 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Santiago, Chile8 contributions
Great Site to visit, Avoid this Tour Operator
Dec 2018 • Solo
I spent 9 days on a trip run by On the Go Tours including Beijing, Longman, Xian and the Harbin Ice Festival and then back to Beijing.
Go to these places, but I would advise you to avoid this tour operator like the proverbial plagues.
First, when I got to Beijing after 2 days of travel, there was no one at the airport with my name on a piece of paper.
That anxiety-producing fiasco took 3.5 hours of difficulty that would have been completely avoided if the guide had my name on a piece of paper. She later had the audacity to say that it was my fault because I should have recognized the flag she SAYS she was holding with the company logo on it. No flag, absurd excuse.

Next, since I was there early, I made friends with several couples on the other bus (of two). They and I wanted to travel together but I was not permitted to ride on the bus that had my new friends. The other guide, Fang, said that the other group voted and did not want me. That was an out and out lie according to all 6 of the other people involved. How insulting and inappropriate.

Next, although the guide for the other bus of travelers and her local guides were information rich, our guide was not. She preferred to speak on the phone, speak with the driver, speak with the local guide or simply tell us that we could "take a rest".
As it happened, our local guides were equally dismal, so much so, in fact, that I told the local guide in Xian after he babbled inconsequential nothings at us for more than an hour that I was not interested in whether his wife liked to cycle or not but I was very interested in the history, culture, architecture, folklore, cuisine and so on of this rich and historical area. I directly told him that neither he nor the national guide were giving us what we wanted and I was personally unhappy. Things got no better. But they were just as bad with the other local guides and our national guide was absolutely no help.

Next, the planning was terrible.

Harbin was -30 C. That is cold. We were dropped off at the Ice Festival for 4 hours and the meeting place had no place to sit down to wait. In fact, we were told its name in Chinese and it was not until I specifically asked to be taken to the spot, rather than told its name in another language that none of us spoke, did we get to see it and take a picture of it.

There were shows and events taking place indoors at the Festival. We were not told about any of them. Not only might we liked to have seen them but we might have found it useful to get out of the cold. No though, no consideration, no interest.

When some of us said that we would like to take a taxi back from the Festival to the hotel we were told that it was too much trouble for the bust to pick us up on the way to the Hot Pot although the bus would pass the Hotel, unless the group voted to pick us up. What????

This was our New Year's Eve Festive Dinner. Really? Too much trouble? I questioned that and was told that it was that way and would not change.

Next, we found our way to the Hot Pot Dinner down a very long, very slippery and very dangerous set of carpet-covered stairs. We got to the door of the restaurant and were told that we were in the wrong place. It was now night, dark, very cold and very upsetting. We were required to walk a long distance down a very dark and poorly maintained uneven walkway to an icy fire escape-type stair case which we then climbed to what appeared to be a back entrance to a corridor of hot pot rooms.
We were ushered into the rooms by about 10 people so we could not sit with our friends and there received the most awful service and terrible food I have had in recent memory.

I am still waiting for some hot tea. The water came as we were leaving.

The food was worse than dismal. None of us could eat it, or wanted to.
The dinner took hours because of the terrible service.
We were told that the signature must-have of this meal was preserved garlic. We asked for it and were told that there was none. That was just one tiny example of the whole dismal event.

That was the worst meal that we had, but the food we were served for lunch and dinner, for example, Christmas dinner, was horrible tourist food of the quality and type I would never eat at home.'
It was, in short, cheap and poorly prepared. I am appalled.

The breakfasts were generally quite nice because the hotels prepared them.
Shopping excursions were embarrassing: over priced tourist junk being passed off as great value and wonderful quality.

At no point did the guides acknowledge that they were receiving commissions, but we were asked to buy Chinese chops and books and photos and what not in a highly enthusiastic way. It would have been great if the enthusiasm to tell us things were anywhere near as high.

The time at Sun Island was similarly poorly planned. So was the time at the Longman Grottos.

The bike ride on the wall at Xian was rather pointless but those of us not riding expected that the guide would walk with us and give us information. We were sadly mistaken.

This pattern of poor planning and disinterest was, unfortunately, the unbroken rule throughout this whole dismal trip.

I will never recommend On the Go Tours to anyone and would, in fact, like half my money back.
I did stay in the hotels, ride the grain, fly on the plane and ride on the bus. But the rest of my experience was not worth paying for. spent 9 days on a tour from Beijing to Xian to Longman to Harbin and back to Beijing run by On the Go Tours.
The places are of great interest, but the commentary and information we got was virtually absent.
Written January 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michelle T
Sydney, Australia187 contributions
Jan 2019 • Friends
Beautiful to view as the sun goes down. Be in awe of the structures, enjoy the free activities - slides, ice skating etc it is truly a frosty version of Fairyland. Just ensure you are completely rugged up as it is very, very cold!
Written January 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore26 contributions
Ice buildings
Dec 2018 • Friends
Huge ice buildings that light up after sunset.
Dress warmly with heatpacks(in shoes and gloves) as will take a couple of hours to see everything. Slide was fun and suprisingly fast! We took the one with shorter queue(not the green lighted single rider slides as the queue was super long)
Written January 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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