The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, commonly known as Harbin Ice Festival, mainly consist of four theme parks: Harbin Ice and Snow World, Sun Island International Ice and Snow Sculpture Art Expo, Harbin Ice Lantern Show, and Songhua River Ice and Snow Happy Valley. Being a tourist brand name of Harbin, the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang province, People’s Republic of China, the festival draws millions of tourists every winter.
Locations of the Theme Parks
1. Harbin Ice and Snow World Location
West side of Sun Island, Songbei District, Harbin (near Heilongjiang Science and Technology Museum)
2. Ice Lantern Fair Location
The fair is located in Zhaolin Park, at the northern end of Zhaolin Street in Daoli District. The address is No. 74 Friendship Road (Youyi Lu), Daoli District, Harbin
3. Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Are Expo Location
No.3 Jingbei Road, Sun Island Scenic Area, Songbei District, Harbin
4. Songhua River Ice and Snow Happy Valley Location
On Songhua River (near the Flood Control Monument and Tongjiang Street)
Best Time to Visit
The festival officially starts on Jan 5 and ends at Feb. 25 every year. If go to Harbin for the festival, try to avoid the weekends and Chinese New Year if possible.
Things to do
You can find many things to do during Harbin Ice Festival, including watch ice/snow sculptures and buildings, ice lanterns, winter swimming performance, go skiing/snowboarding, dog/horse sledding, ice spinning, and ice sailing, experience ice restaurants and ice bars, or have a safari-style Siberian tigers watching trip etc.
What to wear in Harbin Ice Festival
1. Belt /Pants /Socks /Underwear
2. Sweater/Gloves/Winter Hat/Winter Jacket/ Scarves
3. Silk or other long underpants, t-shirts or camisoles for carrying money and important documents
4. Fanny Pack/Purse /Money Belt /Wallet
5. Security pouch for valuable documents
How to get there
The best way to get to Harbin is by air via some China’s major cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjing, Nanjing and Guangzhou.
Where to ski in Harbin
Harbin and its surrounding areas have many ski resorts with excellent facilities. Tourists can go skiing in these places: Yabuli Ski Resort, Longzhu Erlongshan Ski Resort, Yabuli Sunshine Holiday Village Ski Resort, Harbin Institute Of Physical Education Skifield, Jihua Changshou Mountain Ski
Resort, Yawangsi Ski Resort, Huatian Wumiji Ski Resort, Pingshan Shenlu Ski Resort, Mingdu Ski Field, Fanqi Shangjing International Ski Resort, Window Of Eurasian Ski Field, Harbin Moon Bay Ski Field, Ice And Snow World Ski Field, Yuquan International Hunting Ground Ski Resort, Weihu Mountain National Forest Park Ski Resort, Xudong Lantian Ski Resort.
Suggested 3-day Harbin Ice Festival Tour
Day 1 Arrival in Harbin
Upon arrival at Harbin airport, you are met and transferred to the hotel (check in if room available). Free at leisure for the rest of the day.
Day 2 Harbin
Today we will start tour to visit the largest Orthodox Church in the Far East – St. Sofia Church. And then free walk through the Central Street. On the streets, you can find some facts about Harbin’s history and culture. Continue tour to visit the Sun Island Park, where the Sun Island Snow Sculpture Art Expo is held every winter and you can see various awesome snow sculptures featuring different cultures. Later transfer to the Siberian Tiger Park, where we’re caged in a specially protected bus to see the tigers and lions. In the afternoon, transfer to visit the highlights of the Harbin Ice Festival – Ice and Snow World Park where you stroll through this winter wonderland, marvel at the magnificent exquisitely-detailed, gigantic ice sculptures. View fabulous creations of notable buildings and monuments of different architectural types and styles, figures of animals, people, mythical creatures, ice slides and lanterns. When evening sets in, multicolored lights illuminate the sculptures, creating a breathtaking display of these icy works of art.
Day 3 Depart Harbin
In the morning, visit the Stalin Park. The park stands as evidence of the friendship between the world’s two most powerful communist countries at that time. At the center of Stalin Park stands the Flood Control Monument built to commemorate the tremendous feat of the Harbin people in controlling the massive flood of 1957. You will watch winter swimming performance on Songhua River. And you may choose to take part in some ice activities with own expense, such as ice sloping, dog-sled (about RMB30/pp, US$5 per time), etc. After that, transfer to the airport for the flight back to your sweet home.