Tianjin is a contemporary metropolis, home to charming European-style neighbourhoods and steeped in history. A former concession port, it has seen people from myriad nations and cultures come and go over the centuries, giving it a unique feel.CHECK AVAILABILITY
Situated on the coast close to Beijing, Tianjin has long served as a transport hub. Between 1860 and 1903, the eastern part of the city was divided among various nations, including the UK, Italy, Japan and Russia, all of whom left their mark. Today, a small district preserves some of the era’s fascinating architecture, providing a striking contrast to towering skyscrapers.
The city’s museums are worth exploring. Tianjin's premier cultural venue houses over 200,000 historical artefacts, including oracle bones. Don’t miss the enormous abacus in Tianjin Folk Museum, or the infamous three-inch lotus shoes for bound feet in the Chinese Shoe Culture Museum. You can even visit the former home of Olympic champion Eric Liddell, who was born here in 1902.
Take a stroll through the maze of courtyards and ornate gardens at the Shi family residence. Originally built in 1875 for a prosperous merchant, it also features a theatre and 278 rooms. Afterwards, pop inside the former Qing Dynasty Post Office, a 17th-century wood-and-brick building, to view its impressive stamp collection. At sunset, you’ll get spectacular views of the city from the top of the Tianjin Eye.
If you’d like to see the Great Wall at Huangya Pass, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Although the steps are in good condition, they are very steep in places. That said, the incredible views of this ancient structure snaking across beautiful landscapes are worth the trek.