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Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2020/2021: Dates, Tickets, Tips & Tours

When winter comes, Harbin turns into a kingdom of ice and snow. The most anticipated event in Harbin in winter is the annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

  • Expected festival period: December 23, 2020 to late February 2021
  • Typical touring time: 1–2 days

Through this article, you can find out:

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Highlights

harbin ice and snow worldHarbin Ice and Snow Festival
  • 10 to 20 million visitors annually
  • One of the world's top winter celebrations
  • World's biggest ice sculpture festival (600,000 square meters)
  • One of the world's biggest snow sculpture festivals

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival Dates

Officially, the opening ceremony of the festival is on January 5 and the festival lasts till late February. However, exhibits often open earlier.

The exact venues, open dates, and ticket info for the 2020/2021 Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival are not confirmed as yet (Oct. 22, 2020). The information we have listed is based on the last year’s festival.

If you are planning a Harbin tour and want to get more accurate information, please contact us. We will update the page when the exact information is announced.

There are three main exhibition areas:

  • Ice and Snow World — exhibiting ice sculptures: It is expected to be visitable from December 23rd. In 2019, it opened on December 23rd.
  • Sun Island — exhibiting snow sculptures: The opening date is expected to be in late December or early January. In 2019, it opened on December 29th.
  • Zhaolin Park — exhibiting ice lanterns: It opened for visiting on January 1st, 2020. In 2021, it is expected to open in early January.

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Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival Venues

The Ice and Snow World venue, the Sun Island Snow Sculpture Art Expo, and the Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Festival venue are the three main venues for Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

In general, each of the three venues have different ticket prices and opening hours.

The Ice and Snow World — A Colorful Ice “Disneyland”

harbin ice and snow worldThe Ice and Snow World
  • Location: Songhua River north bank, Songbei Avenue, Songbei District
  • Expected ticket prices: 280–300 yuan/person (42–45 USD) based on last year's ticket prices
  • Expected open period: December 23rd to late February (11am–9:30pm)
  • Typical touring time: 3–4 hours

The Ice and Snow World is the most popular place to enjoy the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. It displays ice sculptures of huge proportions, such as palace buildings. Many are ice-work recreations of real buildings or things around the world. You can even walk on them or into them.

It is best visited when the sculptures are colorfully lit at night. The dazzling colors and light effects, along with lots of amusements such as slides and an ice maze, make the festival the most entertaining ice festival in the world.

Sun Island — See the Art of Snow Sculpting

sun islandSun Island
  • Location: 3 Taiyang Avenue, Songbei District
  • Expected ticket prices: 280–330 yuan/person (42–49 USD) based on last year's ticket prices
  • Expected open period: late December to late February (8am–7pm)
  • Typical touring time: 2–3 hours

The Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is another important event of Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

Square miles of giant snow sculptures made by artists from all over the world are displayed there. Unlike the better-known ice sculptures, these are not lit up at night and are best seen in sunlight.

The Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Festival

  • Location: 74 Youyi Street, Daoli District
  • Ticket prices: free
  • Expected open time: early January in 2021
  • Typical touring time: 2–3 hours

More than 1,000 ice lantern sculptures are displayed such as internally illuminated ice lanterns, magical figures, and animals that are loved by children. It is mostly an ice world focused on kids. There are interesting activities that kids may enjoy such as ice slides.

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival Ticket Booking

Visitors can queue at the venues to buy tickets or book online.

Our One-Day Ice and Snow Fairyland Tour will manage the ticket booking for you and enable you to explore the main sites of the Ice and Snow Festival in a hassle-free way, including:

  • Siberian Tiger Park and Central Street
  • Sun Island — birthplace of China’s snow sculpture art
  • The Ice and Snow World — wander in the colorful ice fairyland in the evening

There will be long queues on weekends, Christmas Eve/Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. If you want to enjoy less waiting time, you can book a private tour with us. Then you can use the travel agency entrance!

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How to Get to Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

There are plentiful flights to Harbin from major cities such as Beijing (2 hours), Shanghai (3 hours), Hangzhou (3 hours), Guangzhou (4 hours), and Shenzhen (5½ hours). From nearby cities, such as Changchun, it takes about 1½ hours by bullet train.

Getting to the Ice and Snow World

  • From Harbin Taiping Airport: 40 minutes’ ride (40 km) or 2 hours by airport shuttle bus line 4
  • From Harbin West Railway Station: 20 minutes’ drive (12 km); no direct bus
  • From Harbin Railway Station: 25 minutes by taxi (10 km) or take bus 43 or 29.
  • From Sun Island: 40 minutes by taxi (14 km) or take tourist bus line 3

Getting to Sun Island

  • From Harbin Taiping Airport: 40 minutes by taxi (41 km)
  • From Harbin West Railway Station: 25 minutes by taxi (13 km)
  • From Harbin Railway Station: 25 minutes by taxi (10 km)
  • From the Ice and Snow World: 13 minutes by taxi (6 km) or take tourist bus line 3

Getting to Zhaolin Park

  • From Harbin Taiping Airport: 50 minutes by taxi (37 km)
  • From Harbin West Railway Station: 25 minutes by taxi (10 km)
  • From Harbin Railway Station: 10 minutes by taxi (3 km)
  • From Sun Island: 50 minutes by taxi (19 km)

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Travel Tips

Sub-Zero Clothing: In Harbin in winter, the temperature is from -25°C (-13°F) to -10°C (14°F), and that's without wind chill! Hence thermal underwear, gloves, (scarves, earmuffs), hats, (face masks), and thick arctic clothing and boots are necessary. If you have ski boots, they would be ideal.

Wear sunglasses, or better still snow glasses, to prevent snow blindness.

Drink plenty of fluids: Despite the cold it is very dry in Harbin (average humidity 2%).

Frostbite prevention: If your hands or feet start feeling chilled, do some exercise to warm them up or go indoors. If your hands, feet, ears, nose, or other extremities lose feeling due to the cold, don't toast them or wash them with hot water. Ideally retreat to a warmer indoor environment and rub them vigorously to restore circulation slowly.

Protect your camera batteries and mobile phones: The average January high in Harbin is -13°C (8°F). The cold saps battery life and could make your mobile phone shutdown.

Usually a fully charged camera battery will last for 50 photos (without flash), but in these cold conditions around 25 is good. If you take the battery out and warm it for a while, you may be able to take another ten. You can try repeating this action.

It is also recommended that you keep your camera and mobile phones inside your down jacket when not use it. If you want to take lots of photos prepare more batteries for your camera and keep them warm.

Our Best-Selling Harbin Tours

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If you are planning a Harbin tour, please see our recommended customizable tour plans below for inspiration:

Or contact us if you have any questions or other requirements.

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