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Planning Your Trip

Though it’s just half an hour from Beijing via high-speed train, beguiling Tianjin packs a unique, East-meets-West punch that’s all its own. The former concession port city boasts a promenade-friendly river, European-flavored neighborhoods and rich Chinese culture.

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Business Travel

If this is your first time traveling to Tianjin on business, you’re in for a treat. Pack efficiently so you’ll have ample extra time to see some sights, too.

 

 

  • Temperature in Tianjin varies by season. If you are traveling between May and October, bring lightweight suits and layer; pack a heavier suit from November to April.
  • The air in Tianjin is very dry from November to April; make sure to pack some moisturizing skin and lip care products.
  • Make sure you have a plentiful supply of business cards — failing to offer one may suggest you don’t want to make someone’s acquaintance.
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Exploring the City

The coastal metropolis of Tianjin, China’s third-largest city, offers a kaleidoscope of streetscapes that reflect the influences of its colonial European past and modern Chinese future. Here’s how to tackle them.

 

  • From the Five Great Avenues to Ancient Culture Street, there are byways to explore. Since many of the streets are one-way and crooked, it’s easy to get lost — be sure to bring a printed or digital map with you.
  • There are many unique architectural and cultural attractions to photograph here. Bring your favorite professional photography and video equipment to capture the memories.
  • From the city’s commercial heart, The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin is convenient to the city’s key attractions, and traveling on two wheels is an easy way to see the sights. Ask your concierge to arrange a bike rental, and pack flat shoes or sneakers and lightweight, cycling-friendly clothes for a unique adventure.
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Weekend Getaway

A weekend escape to Tianjin offers just enough time to see some of the most memorable cultural and natural treasures, especially if you’ve packed these items.

 

 

  • Taxis are readily available in Tianjin, though you’ll also do plenty of walking and maybe cycling to explore. Pack comfortable clothes you can layer together and flat, comfortable shoes.
  • The right day bag is key to a weekend of unfettered exploration. A simple tote bag, cross-body purse or backpack to carry your essentials will leave your hands free while you’re on the go.
  • Though it’s nightlife isn’t as frenzied as that of nearby Beijing, Tianjin offers sophisticated dining options along with buzzy bars and lounges. Be sure to pack a more dressed-up ensemble to explore after-hours.
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Don’t Forget:

Save room in your suitcase for authentic souvenirs of Tianjin to bring home to family and friends. Among the prized local crafts are Clay Figure Zhang, a traditional folk art, and nian hua, the colorful woodblock prints used as Chinese New Year decorations. Or consider an edible memento of the city’s legendary street food — Tianjin’s sweet roasted chestnuts, sold in stalls throughout the city, are considered the best in China.


You won’t need a reservation to enjoy Tianjin’s essential delights, like promenading along the Hai River, which runs through the city and is studded with European façades. or sampling its famous street food at Nanshi Shipin Jie. Here’s what not to miss.

Dining Reservations

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In laid-back Tianjin, eating is one thing locals take very seriously. Most visitors arrive wanting a taste of the city’s famous food culture and delectable local dishes, and the city’s passionate chefs, restaurants and street vendors are happy to comply. Tian Tai Xuan, the two-level Cantonese restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin, enchants local customers and travelers alike with sophisticated takes on Guangdong and Tianjin delicacies (Executive Chef Zhang has more than three decades of culinary experience in the city). And it’s said that a Tianjin trip is not complete without a visit to Goubuli restaurant, whose chrysanthemum-shaped baozi, or stuffed buns, have shaped cuisine here for 150 years and are now a global phenomenon.

Tours

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Five Great Avenues is a European-style area whose five streets are named after five cities in southwest China. Stroll through its historic architecture while you imagine what life was like 100 years ago, or reserve a horse-drawn carriage tour through its streets. Only for guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin is the curated Art Tour, which defines the unforgettable and artful moments in the journey. Guests can enjoy the educational context and creative inspiration behind more than 1,200 pieces of artwork on display at the hotel, whose rich backgrounds inspire an “East Meets West” theme. The hotel’s Ladies and Gentlemen select the most famous pieces, bringing guests on an intimate one-hour journey through the works and their stories.

Museum Tickets and Cultural Sights

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Tianjin Museum has an extensive collection of ancient Chinese fine arts and exhibits on Tianjin’s history, with nearly 200,000 collections of art and relics, including calligraphy, paintings, bronze ware, ceramics, jade ware, seals, ink stone, Jiagu, coins, historic documents and relics of modern times. Tianjin Natural History Museum has a collection of 400,000 biological specimens, giant dinosaur skeletons and the nation’s first live butterfly park inside the museum. Ancient Culture Street, a long stretch anchored by Tianhou, one of Tianjin’s oldest Daoist temples, is a promenade of traditional Chinese architecture and authentic foods and crafts.

Afternoon Tea/Tea Ceremonies

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As the official flower of Tianjin, the renowned China rose symbolizes the city’s warmth and hospitality. The China Rose Afternoon Tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin reflects the passion of summer with vibrant colors. Using fresh strawberries and raspberries as the main ingredients, the snacks are sweet and refreshing. Xiangsheng (“crosstalk”) is a traditional Chinese comedic form that originated in Tianjin; its witty banter, rich in puns and allusions, is delivered rapidly and classically performed in dialogue. Tianjin Mingliu Tea House is the iconic crosstalk venue — many celebrities, such as Ma Sanli, Wei Wenliang, Yang Shaohua and Guo Degang, have performed on its stage.

A former imperial port, Tianjin means “the place where the emperor crossed the river.” Beijing lies just across the water, making Tianjin an easy day trip from the capital (30 minutes by train). China’s third-largest city is also the country’s most Westernized. Its past life as a concessions port has resulted in an East-meets-West vibe where European-influenced architecture and food can be found alongside traditional hutongs and hawkers selling Goubuli baozi (stuffed buns). Just beyond the city, you can temple-hop and visit the Great Wall of China’s Huangyaguan. It may not get the hype of Beijing or Shanghai, but the lack of tourist crowds is what makes Tianjin one of China’s best kept secrets.


24 Hours

Tianjin is the perfect city for history nerds, architecture buffs and foodies. This is a city for walking and wandering, with European-influenced buildings and plenty of squares for people watching. Tianjin’s famous Goubuli baozi, or steamed buns, get all of the attention, but the city offers countless unique dishes. Visit the China House, a porcelain marvel, and travel back in time to the Qing Dynasty while strolling Tianjin’s Ancient Culture Street. In a single day, you can experience past and present, along with East and West.

 

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Family Vacation Fun

Tianjin is the perfect base for families. Learn about the city’s European-influenced past and artisan traditions while wandering the Five Great Avenues and Ancient Culture Street. Explore the region’s culinary intricacies while eating your way across local food stalls, teahouses and restaurants. Theme parks and a giant Ferris wheel provide family fun for all ages. Tianjin is also just a day trip away from bucket-list wonders like the temples and pagodas of Pan Mountain and the Huangyaguan Great Wall.

 

 

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