Things to do in Tianjin 2022 – Day Trip From Beijing

Top 10 Things to do in Tianjin – Your Complete Guide to a Day Trip 2022


We’ve put together a list of the top 10 things to do in Tianjin.

Only a 30 minute ride on the fast train (高铁 gāotiě) from Beijing, with a return ticket costing 110 CNY Tianjin is perfect for a day trip!

Situated on the Hai River with a much more relaxed pace of life than Beijing, Tianjin is a great place to escape the Beijing hustle and bustle.

Follow our guide to make sure you see all the best things that Tianjin has to offer.

Things to do in Tianjin #1 – Grab a Jiānbing guǒ zi

Things to do in Tianjin #2 – Eat Some Snacks at Nanshi Food Street

Things to do in Tianjin #3 – Hop on a Bike and Explore

Things to do in Tianjin #4 – Take in the View From the Tianjin Eye

Things to do in Tianjin #5 – Relax in Italian-style Town

Things to do in Tianjin #6 – Enjoy the Culture at Ancient Cultural Street

Things to do in Tianjin #7 – Be Amazed by Porcelain House

Things to do in Tianjin #8 – Enjoy Afternoon Tea at The Astor Hotel

Things to do in Tianjin #9 – Stroll Around Minyuan Stadium

Things to do in Tianjin #10 – Admire Haihe Cultural Square

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Things to do in Tianjin #1 – Grab a Jiānbing guǒ zi


Did you know that Tianjin is home to the traditional Chinese street food the 煎饼馃子 (jiānbing guǒ zi)?

Why not start your day of exploring Tianjin by grabbing one for a delicious breakfast.

For those who are unfamiliar, a jiānbing is a kind of Chinese pancake a bit similar to a crepe.

The jiānbing guǒ zi variation also includes a fried dough stick (油條 yóutiáo) inside.

This differs to the more common jiānbing which originated in Shandong and instead has a fried cracker (薄脆 báocuì) inside.

The best place to grab a jiānbing guǒ zi is from Nanshi Food Street…

Things to do in Tianjin #2 – Eat Some Snacks at Nanshi Food Street

Nanshi Food Street (南市食品街 nán shì shípǐn jiē) is a mall-like street complex packed full of restaurants and stalls.

Along with the 煎饼馃子 (jiānbing guǒ zi) other traditional Tianjin delicacies to watch out for are Guifaxiang Fried Dough Twist (桂发祥麻花 guì fāxiáng máhuā) and Erduoyan Fried Cake (耳朵眼炸糕 ěrduǒyǎn zhà gāo).

If none of these take your fancy there are numerous other options available or if you want to take some snacks for later or as a gift, plenty of stall sell a range of prepackaged culinary specialities.

Things to do in Tianjin #3 – Hop on a Bike and Explore

A great way to explore Tianjin is to hop on a bike and cycle around the city. There are plenty of shared bikes throughout the city, especially by tourist destinations.

Things-to-do-in-Tianjin-century clock
Century Clock

The roads in Tianjin are much quieter than those in Beijing, making it a great city to cycle around.

Running through Tianjin is the beautiful Hai River (海河 hǎihé), with riverside paths on both sides it’s perfect as a cycle route.

Along the river are many of Tianjin’s most famous buildings so if you want to see the most during your day trip this is one of the easiest ways.

Sights to look out for:

  • Century Clock (世纪钟 shìjì zhōng) – This beautiful clock has a zodiac sign against each numeral.
  • St Regis Hotel – This square cube shaped building with a gap in the middle is an architectural marvel.
  • Bei An Bridge (北安桥 běi ān qiáo) – A lovely European style bridge, make sure to cycle over it!

A lot of the top things to do in Tianjin are also only a short bike ride from each other, why not cycle between them and create your own bike tour of Tianjin?

Things to do in Tianjin #4 – Take in the View From the Tianjin Eye


One thing you definitely won’t be able to miss when in Tianjin is the Tianjin Eye (天津之眼摩天轮 tiānjīn zhī yǎn mótiān lún).

Built over a bridge crossing the river, this giant Ferris wheel dominates the Tianjin skyline.

A ride on the Tianjin Eye takes about 30 minutes and gives a spectacular bird’s eye view of Tianjin.

We recommend going on the Tianjin Eye when it’s sunset so that you can experience panoramic views of Tianjin as it starts to be lit up for the night.

As one of the most popular things to do in Tianjin there is normally always a queue so be prepared.

However, with 48 capsules holding a maximum of 8 people the queue normally goes down pretty fast.

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Things to do in Tianjin #5 – Relax in Italian-style Town

Similar to Shanghai, Tianjin was one of the treaty ports opened up after the Opium Wars. This means that Tianjin has many different concession areas and lots of European architecture.

One such area is the former Italian Concession now known as “Italian-style Town” or “Italian-style Street” (意式风情街 yì shì fēngqíng jiē).

Visit here to get a little taste of some Italian culture, but be warned if you go on a weekend it can be pretty crowded!

In summer there are plenty of restaurants and cafes with outside seating, so you can sit outside and enjoy an aperol spritz and imagine you’re actually in some lovely Italian town.

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Things to do in Tianjin #6 – Enjoy the Culture at Ancient Cultural Street

Just across the river from the “Italian-style Town” is Tianjin’s Ancient Cultural Street (古文化街 gǔ wénhuà jiē).


Just like Marco Polo you can travel across from Italy to ancient China, all in one day!

Central to this area is Temple of the Queen of Heaven which is the oldest architecture in Tianjin. Originally built all the way back in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and then rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) this is definitely one of the top things to do in Tianjin for those history buffs out there!

Take a stroll down this street and admire the ornate architecture. You can also buy some traditional Chinese handicrafts from one of the many stalls or try some local delicacies.

Things to do in Tianjin #7 – Be Amazed by Porcelain House

If you want to see some really unusual architecture be sure to make your way to Porcelain House (瓷房子 cífángzi).


Originally a French style villa it has been transformed into a Gaudi-style building that wouldn’t look out of place in Barcelona.

Businessman and art collector Zhang Lianzhi changed the villa into a porcelain building to celebrate chinaware culture. More than 2 billion CNY has been spent on Chinese porcelain from a range of different historic periods to decorate the house.

This is another very popular tourist spot in Tianjin so if you don’t fancy queuing or battling the crowds you can enjoy the architecture of the house from outside, across the street.

Things to do in Tianjin #8 – Enjoy Afternoon Tea at The Astor Hotel

Whilst in Tianjin a visit to Tianjin’s most historic hotel is a must. The Astor Hotel is in fact the first international hotel in modern Chinese history!


This Victorian style hotel dates all the way back to 1863, and has had a number of historic guests such as the 18th US President Ulysses S. Grant and Herbert Hoover.

The Astor was also a favourite of China’s last emperor Pu Yi, who regularly visited to attend dances in the ballroom while he was living in Tianjin.

For those who want to learn more about The Astor’s and Tianjin’s history there is a museum inside the hotel. Or if history isn’t your thing then you can enjoy a coffee or traditional British afternoon tea in the hotel’s elegant atrium.

If you fancy changing your day trip in Tianjin to a weekend trip why not splash out and stay in one of the hotel’s luxurious rooms?

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Things to do in Tianjin #9 – Stroll Around Minyuan Stadium


Minyuan Stadium (民园广场 mín yuán guǎngchǎng) used to hold big sporting events but has now been repurposed into a cultural park with numerous restaurants, bars and shops.

The European style landmark building was built in 1920 and renovated to become a public space in 2012.

Spring or summer is the perfect time to visit as you can enjoy a stroll around the stadium and perhaps stop at one of the many restaurants for a bite to eat.

The Five Great Avenues, a collection of European style streets also lead off from the stadium and are great to be explored by foot or by bike.

However, there is also an option to go full tourist and take a horse and carriage around the stadium and the avenues instead!

The British restaurant Browns has some great brunch options if you decided not to start your day with a 煎饼馃子 (jiānbing guǒ zi).

Things to do in Tianjin #10 – Admire Haihe Cultural Square

Haihe Cultural Square (海河文化广场 hǎihé wénhuà guǎngchǎng) is referred to as the “Bund” of Tianjin and when you see it, it’ll be no surprise why.


This is the perfect place to come and relax and take in the beautiful European and American architecture.

Located conveniently opposite the Tianjin Railway Station, this is the perfect way to end your day trip in Tianjin before you head back to Beijing.

Visiting in the evening means that you get to enjoy the colourful lights that illuminate the square at night.

If you visit in spring or summer you’re bound to see some Chinese couples here having their wedding photos taken.

And there you have it, your guide to a day trip in Tianjin!

Have you been to Tianjin before? What was your favourite part? On a scale of 1-10 how fun was it?

Let us know in the comments below!

Things to do in Tianjin – FAQ’s

How long does it take to get from Beijing to Tianjin?

It takes around 30 minutes to get from Tianjin to Beijing on the fast train.

How much does a train ticket from Beijing to Tianjin cost?

A single ticket on a fast train from Beijing to Tianjin costs around 55 CNY one way.

What is good to eat in Tianjin?

Tianjin is famous for its 煎饼馃子 (jiānbing guǒ zi) a kind of Chinese pancake similar to a crepe. You can find these along with lots of other traditional Tinjin snacks at Nanshi Food Street.

Alternatively if you are looking for Western food then Minyuan Stadium has lots of international restaurants.

What is the river in Tianjin called?

The river in Tianjin is called the Hai River (海河 hǎihé), 海 means “sea” and 河 means “river” so it literally translates to “Sea River”.

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    Manuel Saldaña Quintans , Student Advisor

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