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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.
Through this article, you can find out:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.