Tianjin (天津; Tiānjīn) is a municipality in China.
Despite its size and importance as a port, the city lacks the vitality of other large Chinese coastal cities, and has been unable to attract the same degree of investment as places such as Guangzhou and Shanghai. However, new development is increasing rapidly and Tianjin is now catching up to nearby cities such as Beijing.
If traveling internationally, it will be easiest for you to fly into the Beijing International Airport. To get to Tianjin from the airport, take a bus found on the 2nd floor of the parking garage out of Terminal 2.
Tianjin does have its own airport, the Tianjin Binhai International Airport (ZBTJ) is about 15 kilometers to the east of the urban area. Most flights are domestic, although there is nonstop service to Hong Kong, Seoul, Nagoya and Kuala Lumpur. Low-cost carrier, AirAsia, operates flights from Kuala Lumpur direct to Tianjin. 
By train (need update)
Tianjin Railway Station is the largest station in the city. It was first built in 1888 and then rebuilt in 1988. The station is now being rebuilt again and will be open for service in August 2008. There are also several other railway stations in the urban area, Tianjin West and Tianjin North. Tanggu station serves the seaside district Tanggu and currently being renovated, while Taida station is a small station located in TEDA, 5 km east of Tanggu station.
Before the reopening of the new station, Tianjin railway station is served by a temporary station that 4 km east. When you arrive at the Tianjin train station, take a Number 8 City Bus to the Polytechnic University stop (second stop from the station). You can then find a good, safe, legal taxi for the metered fare. The bus costs ¥1.50 or ¥2, and the announcements are in Mandarin and English. Taxis at the train station are a total scam.
Tianjin railway station is now open for the Bullet train to Beijing South train station. Ticket from Tianjin to Beijing south cost ¥58 per trip. The bullet train number start with a 'C' and take about 30 min to reach Beijing south, travelling up to a speed of 331km/h.
There are shuttle bus between Tianjin railway station and Tianjin airport. The shuttle bus ticket cost ¥10 per trip. The shuttle bus stop about 200 m from the train station. When one get down from the shuttle bus, just walk along the pavement and you will reach the train station.
Should you choose to take taxi, please use the official taxi stand (just follow the signage ). The Taxi fare from Tianjin railway station to Tianjin airport is about ¥47-65. It is not advisable to use any of the touts that offer taxi services. The official taxi stand has plenty of taxis.
If leaving the station by taxi, be prepared for a production-line approach to getting the punters into taxis. Marshals allow little time to stow children, bags & board taxis before encouraging the taxis to leave regardless, for example, of whether the only occupant is a lone foreign child, while you are still trying to get the driver to understand the destination. Taxis drivers in Tianjin will generally have little or no English.
The expressways to Beijing are sometimes closed due to dense fog in the Autumn and Spring so allow extra time if planning on using them during this period.
Taxis from Beijing and Tianjin cost about ¥50-60 per seat (4 seats in total), but these may be illegal taxis.
You can RENT a CAR managed by an international and safe company calling to +86 1310 210 7700 or visiting the web site www.rentcartianjin.com
Tianjin is well connected with other cities via bus. The price from Beijing is about ¥30.
There are also two school bus lines linking Nankai and Tianjin Universities and Tsinghua University. They depart daily at 3:45PM and 4:45PM from Tsinghua North-West Gate.
You can book or RENT a BUS managed by an international and safe management company calling to +86 1310 210 7700 or visiting the web site www.chinabustravel.com
Kobe, Japan - is served by a weekly China Express Line ferry, departing Kobe at 11AM on Fridays and arriving in Tianjin at 2PM on Sundays. It takes 51 hours to do the nearly 2000 kilometer crossing between the two cities. Tianjin Office Tel.:+86 22-2420-5777
Founded in 1904, the Tianjin bus system was the first in China, and the metro was second in the nation (1970) and today the city is well served by its public transportation. Within the city, traveling on a bus line that is less than 12 km will cost ¥1.5, while ¥1 will cover a journey on any line over 12 kilometers, even if you travel less than 12 kilometers but on a line that is over this distance, the cost is still ¥1. It's well worth your time to look up popular bus routes. And the buses are all comfortable and clean.
The old Tianjin metro was suspended in 2001, but after refurbishing was re-opened on 28 May 2006. In addition, a light railway line runs between the urban area of Zhongshanmen to the seaside area Donghailu in TEDA.
Taxis are abundant, and the price is not high. The minimum cost for 3 km is ¥8, and then a further ¥1.7 is added for every kilometer after that. Taxis also charge for the time while the vehicle is stationary at ¥1.7 for every five minutes (cost is exempt for less than five minutes. However, it is strongly recommended that you do not take a taxi from near the railway station. See note in the Get in-By train section above about how to avoid train station taxis. The same advice applies at tourist stops, it is best to walk a few blocks to a regular street to catch a metered taxi. Do not support non-metered taxi drivers! There are plenty of legal taxis.
You can rent a taxi for the day or even for a few hours. For example you could have a taxi wait for a few hours while you visit a tourist attraction such as the harbor area. The drivers are happy to wait, and the cost for two hours would be less than ¥100.
Another caution about taxis is that there are toll roads in some parts of China. In a taxi, you will be expected to pay the base fare plus the toll fee. The driver pays the toll and receives a receipt at the toll booth. At your destination, you ask for the receipt(s) and pay that amount plus the base fare. If you are going a long way, you may also be asked to pay for the return toll fee. That is a legitimate request, although you could argue that the driver will pick up another fare to pay for the toll anyway. You may or may not succeed with the driver.
Lastly, tipping taxi drivers is a Western trait. Most local Chinese do not tip except for exceptional service. You will not be treated poorly if you cannot afford to tip or to tip much. It would be generous of you to tip in certain situations, perhaps when the driver gets out to handle your baggage.
Don't be afraid of the train either. The fast train between Tianjin and Beijing is a bargain and is comfortable with plush seats and bi-lingual announcements. If you take an older train, buy a group of 4 or 6 tickets all seated together. Otherwise, you may find yourself on a bench with 3-5 strangers pressed up against you for the ride. Booths on the train come in sets of 4 or 6 seats. If you're a tourist, no one will blink an eye at your extravagance. Bring your own food and drinks, although all the trains provide hot, safe water for tea and noodle bowls. Only the fast train has a Western style toilet.
- Dabei Monastery 大悲院; Dàbēiyuàn; lit. Great Compassion Temple Tianwei Road, Hebei District (河北区天纬路; Héběiqū Tiānwěilù About 2km west of Tianjin North Railway Station. Take buses 1, 2, 4, 12, 18, 34, 177, 609, 609, 610, 611, 619, 632, 641, 646, 659, 670, 671, 818, 861, 878, 904 to Jingangqiao Station (金钢桥; Jīngāngqiáo) on Zhongshan Road (中山路; Zhōngshānlù) and walk northwest of Tianwei Road 9AM-11:20AM, 2PM-4:30PM ¥10 The monestary was first built in the Ming Dynasty, but has been heavily rebuilt and renovated since and consists now of the West Monestary from 1669 and the East Monestary from 1940. It is the largest and oldest in town covering 10,600 sqm. The temple houses Tianjin Buddhist Institute and exhibits quite many ancient statues.
- Confucian Temple 2 Dongmenli, Nankai District (南开区东门里大街2号; Nánkāiqū Dōngménlǐdàjiē 9AM-5PM ¥4 Early Qing Dynasty temple with a hall to honour Confucius and other halls for prayers.
- Grand Mosque 清真大寺; Qīngzhēndàsì Xiaohuo Lane, Dafeng Road, Hongqiao District (红桥区红桥区大丰路小伙巷; Hóngqiáoqū Dàfēnglù Xiǎohuǒxiàng) Close to the Ancient Cultural Street, northeast of Xibeijue Metro Station (西北角; Xīběijué) 9AM-5PM Free Built in 1644 and constructed in wood. The mosque is still in use by the Tianjin Muslim community. Access for tourists to the interiour is limited.
- Xikai Church 西开天主教堂; Xīkāitiānzhǔjiàotáng; also known as the French Church or the Catholic Church Dushan Road (; ) +86 22 28358812 M-Sa 9AM-11AM, 2PM-4PM Built in 1917 by French Jesuits.
- Drum Tower 鼓楼; Gǔlóu Gulou East Street, Nankai District (南开区鼓楼东街; Nánkāiqū Gǔlóudōngjiē) Bus 652 will take you right to the door, buses 161, 635, 652, 657, 855, 863, 865 will also get you really close Free The tower was originally built in the Ming Dynasty, but was destroyed during the culture revolution. The Drum Tower was rebuilt in 2001 and now actually houses a bell and not drums. The tower is home to varying exhibitions.
- Tianjin Radio&TV Tower 广播电视塔; Guǎngbōdiànshìtǎ 1 Jinzi Road, Hexi District +86 22 23343557 The fourth largest tower in the world. But this one might be the most spectacular as it is surrounded by water.
- Seaside Amusement Park
- Water Park
- Pan Mountain Scenic Area
- Beining Park
- Central Park
- Shuishang Park
- Tianta Lake Scenic Area
- Tianjin Museum
- Tianjin Museum of Science and Technology
- Tianjin Natural History Museum
- Tianjin Opera Museum
- Tianjin Fine Art Museum
- Memorial Hall of Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao
Streets and areas
- Ancient Cultural Street 古文化街; Gǔwénhuàjiē Gongbei Avenue-Gongnan Avenue, Nankai District (南开区 宫北大街-宫南大街; Nánkāiqū Gōngběidàjiē-Gōngnándàjiē) 2km east of Xibeijue Train Station (西北角), buses 1, 4, 12, 15, 611, 612, 619, 624, 824 will also take you much closer to the street Street not only lined with shops and cafes but also with interesting architecture, including lots of copies of Qing Dynasty buildings. Some of the most interesting buildings are Tianhou Palace (天后宫; Tiānhòugōng; Mazu temple), Yuhuang Cabinet (玉皇阁; Yùhuánggé; Ming Dynasty building) and Tongqingli (large residential building). This street is worth a visit even if it is very touristy.
- Gulou Street 鼓楼街; Gǔlóujiē; lit. Drum Tower Street Gulou West Street-Gulou East Street, Nankai District (南开区 鼓楼西街-鼓楼东街; Nánkāiqū Gǔlóuxījiē-Gǔlóudōngjiē) Getting off at Xinanjue Train Station (西南角) you will be 500m south of the far western end of Gulou Street, bus 652 is running along part of the street, and buses 161, 635, 652, 657, 855, 863, 865 are crossing the street Ancient cultural street full of cheap and tasty cafes.
- Heping Road One of the busiest shopping precincts in Tianjin.
- Machang Dao Lined with large English style homes, another cultural street in Tianjin.
- Binjiang Dao Enormous street with block upon block of stalls and shops containing almost anything you may need.
- Binhai District The 183-square-kilometer Binhai New District holds three administrative areas, Tanggu, Hangu and Dagang, as well as some towns.
- Huangyaguan Worth a visit for its water run-off controls, well-preserved [[Great Wall of China]] towers, challenging hiking and striking scenery.
- Eight Immortals Mountain
- Nine Dragon Mountain
- Dule Temple
- Dagu Fort
Not a tourist-friendly destination compared to other major cities, Tianjin is not visited by a large number of foreigners. However, if you want to get to know the real China, it's a great place. Everyone is friendly and many people will say "Good Morning" or "Hello" to you in English, even if that's all the English they know.
Putonghua is standard Mandarin and is most often spoken in Tianjin, any Putonghua you learn will be helpful throughout your visit.
Optionally, buy a good translator, preferably after arriving in Tianjin, as the prices are about 1/2 what they are in the U.S. Also, most restaurants have a picture menu where you can point and order.
There are Tianjin tourist maps with destinations written in Chinese characters and English. Pointing at where you want to go will get you a long way with taxi drivers. It might be a good idea to take a magnifying glass along as many of the drivers have trouble with the small print.
You could also learn the hand gestures for numbers that sellers and buyers occasionally use for negotiating. Always carry a pen and paper too.
Learning a few of the city bus routes for popular destinations may be useful (and especially for leaving the train stations and other tourist areas where taxis might try to rip you off).
- There are many opportunities for English speakers to work as a "English Language Instructor" in Tianjin.
- There are an international consulting company called BOXINVES managed by foreigners that provide free assistance to find a full or part time job, and offer intership programs in their group of companies in China. You can contact them in www.boxinves.com and send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tianjin has both modern shopping malls and distinctive traditional stores, for shopping delight. Binjiang Dao Business Street and Heping Lu Business Street are the busiest and most prosperous shopping centers in Tianjin. Most of the top shopping malls or department stores can be found on these two streets, like:
- Quanye Chang The most famous department store.
- Isetan Department Store
- Jinhui Shopping Square
One of the largest shopping districts is in Tianjin, near the Wal-Mart Supercenter:
- The Ancient Cultural Street Has a lot of souvenirs and trinkets, but you ''must'' know (or learn) how to [[haggle|bargain]]. A small silk handbag is worth ¥12-20; a set of 4-6 chopstick sets is worth about ¥50-60 in Beijing and about ¥35-45 in Tianjin; large dolls are worth about ¥80-120 depending on how excited you seem to the seller.
There are other large shopping districts where only local people shop. You will be a novelty in those areas, but you do not need to be nervous. You will probably get some great deals because even the inflated tourist prices in Tianjin are half what what they are in Beijing! Add in some friendly bargaining, and you will feel like the Champion Shopper of the World!
Tianjin is famous for the following products:
- Tea Buy from the best at the many authentic Chinese tea houses in Tianjin.
- Ceramic Figurines Tianjin is famous for its high quality ceramics. These are a great souvenir to take home.
- Shenyang Dao Antique Market Biggest antiques market in China, this is a place that is a must see on any travelers list. Shenyang Dao Antique Market is filled with all kinds of shops selling porcelain items, paintings, gold, silver, copper, jade etc.
There are many inexpensive street markets throughout the city.
The most famous restaurants in Tianjin include:
- Goubuli 狗不理包子; Gǒubùlǐ Bāozi 77 Shandong Road, Heping District (和平区山东路77号; Hépíngqū Shāndōnglù) +86 22 27302540 Expect ¥50-100 for a couple Steamed buns restaurant also serving other dishes.
- Guifaxiang Mahua
- Erduoyan Zhagao
Other options include:
- Qishilin Kiessling Western food with good reputation.
- YY Beer House 3 Aomen Road, Heping District Behind the International Building +86 22 23399634 A great inexpensive Thai restaurant offering a wide selection of beers. A great place to visit during the Thai Water Splashing festival in the spring!
- Amazon Brazilian B.B.Q. Bar 189 Nanjing Road, Heping District In the basement of the Exchange +86 22 83191098 Does exactly what it says on the tin and has an enthusiastic, if slightly kitschy Filipino band providing live music as you munch.
- Alli Baba 2 Hutong, Tongan Road, Nankai University +86 22 2351 3976 Featuring international cuisine and foreign student clientele close to the Nankai University campus, which has a whole range of dishes such as pasta, pizza, salad, etc.
- Sheraton Hotel Zijinshan Road, Hexi District +86 22 2334 3388 Fine dining available at one of three top quality restaurants available onsite.
- C’est la Vie +86 22 2341 9808 Pricey, but fantastic authentic French food for special occasions.
- Bawarchi 3/F Shanggu Business Complex West Building, 69 Tianta Road, Nankai District +86 22 23412786 Great Indian food, cooked in a traditional Indian tandoor clay oven by Indian chefs.
There are a number of expat bars catering to the visiting business community, most of which can be a little expensive (¥25 upwards for a small bottle of beer) so if you like something a bit more laidback and comfortable, some recommended venues are as follows.
- Alibaba Nameless lane, Opposite Bengon's, Tongan Dao, Heping District (和平区同安道兵果士对面无名的小街; Hépíngqū Tóngāndào Bīngguǒshìduìmiàn Wúmíngdexiǎojiē) Small lane opposite Bengon’s on Tongan Dao Comes in a close second to Jim’s. Good Western food, cheap beer and table football. There is also a newly constructed ''Number 10 Downing Street'' themed private dining room for hire at the back. Also provides free internet access.
- The Tavern Joy Business Center, Building B, 3rd Floor +86 22 23419696 More up-market and therefore slightly more pricey but a great place to hang out nonetheless. Run by the ever-welcoming British born Aussie, David, they have a good selection of draught beers and live music.
- Rainbow Pub 12 Yanhe Road, Hexi District (河西区沿河路12号; Héīqū Yánhélù) Near Sheraton Very similar to pubs you might find in an English suburban town except the clientele are predominately Chinese. There is also a very kitsch Filipino band in residence here. Great fun and unpretentious to the end. Has recently received some very poor reviews by expats in Tianjin.
As far as clubs go, Tianjin is a big university city both for Chinese and foreign students so there are lots of places for dancing. The music policy tends to be mostly Western and Chinese dance, pop and hip hop/R&B, so if you have more alternative tastes in music, the clubs are possibly not for you! However, some notables are:
- New York Bar Weijing Road Opposite Nankai Uni, 4th floor of the KFC building Was one of the hits in Tianjin 2-3 years ago. But soon went down because of the DJ's who played there. It became the place for arabics and Xinjian People.
- Sitong Bar In the Olympic building Basement of Olympic Hotel, rather nice environment with good service. But was better when they first opened. Have become the only place people go. The Filipino band, Barman Fire Works and if your lucky Good DJ music is present.
- The Spot Café The Spot Cafe Tianjin, Heping District, Nan Fu Fang Da Jie Across the street from Tian Yu Hotel on Dian Tai St. 022-27837104 7:30AM-midnight ¥10 An American owned coffee house providing great coffees, teas, and pastries, as well as a variety of art and cultural events on a regular basis.
- Home Inn (Daqiuzhuang Town) 如家快捷酒店 (天津静海大邱庄店); Rújiākuàijiéjiǔdiàn (Tiānjīn Jìnghǎidàqiūzhuāng Diàn) 8 Huangshan Road, Daqiuzhuang Town, Jinghai County (静海县大邱庄镇黄山路8号; Jìnghǎixiàn Dàqiūzhuāngzhèn Huángshānlù) +86 22 23008388 +86 22 23008389 Listed rates for doubles from ¥169, discounted from ¥113, breakfast ¥12Rooms with free internet. Business center and laundry service available. Chinese restaurant.
- Home Inn (Tianjin Gulouxima Road) 如家快捷酒店 (天津鼓楼西马路店); Rújiākuàijiéjiǔdiàn (Tiānjīn Gǔlóuxīmǎlù Diàn) Jiaokou, Yujiutianmiao Lane, Xinanjuexiguan Avenue, Nankai District (南开区西南角西关大街与九天庙胡同交口; Nánkāiqū Xīnánjuéxīguāndàjiē Yújiǔtiānmiàohútòng Jiāokǒu) Listed rates for doubles from ¥139, discounted from ¥119
- Tianjin First Hotel 158 Jie Fang North Road Just across from the Hyatt and newly built Hisense Plaza +86 22 330 9988 +86 22 312 3000 ¥270 and up Built in 1922, the rooms have high ceilings and a bit of a classic feel. In room internet can be had for ¥10 per day. Staff English ability is a bit low.
- Astor Hotel 33 Taierzhuang Road +86 22 23311688 The Astor Hotel in Tianjin was regarded as a major national historical relic preservation project. It combines British classic architectural style with modern amenities. It is comprised of two wings, be sure to check out one of the rooms in the old wing for a true Old World experience. The lobby can pass as a history museum lined with murals, plaques and other interesting finds.
- Tianjin Crystal Palace Hotel 28 Youyi Road, Hexi District +86 22 28356888 You will not be able to miss this hotel, which looks like two beached cruise ships butted up against a lake. Has a good variety of features and amenities, but its location is a bit out of the way from downtown.
- Dickson Hotel 18 Binshui Avenue Four star hotel located in an ideal location, within easy access to the business and entertainment areas. The hotel provides Chinese and Western cuisine as well as offering a gym, jacuzzi and gift shop.
- Hyatt Regency Tianjin 219 Jiefang North Road City centre, on the banks of the Hai River +86 22 23301234 http://tianjin.regency.hyatt.com email@example.comThe hotel is currently closed for renovations.
- Sheraton Hotel Zijinshan Road, Hexi District +86 22 23343388 The Sheraton provides luxurious relaxation in every one of its 296 rooms.
- Teda International Club 7-2 Fukang Road, Nankai District +86 22 23005555 International 5 star hotel that is nicely decorated and equipped with modern facilities. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, satellite TV, IDD telephone, internet access, mini bar and 24 hour room service.
- Renaissance Tianjin 105 Jianshe Road, Heping District +86 22 23026888 Offering deluxe accommodations and superior facilities, it has a pool and fitness centre and meeting facilities.
- Tianjin Balitai Post Office (天津八里台), Weijin Rd, No. 215 District (Opposite The Gate of Nankai University), 23378621.
General Emergencies: 医科大学第一中心医院，医科大学第三医院， 滨江医院.
Traditional Medicine: 天津中医科院第一医院.
Ocular Emergencies: Tianjin Medical University Eye Centre (TMUEC) 天津医科大学眼科中心.
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