Where to stay in Tianjin

Where to stay outside Beijing, China? Find out where to stay in Tianjin!

China’s fourth-largest city after Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, Tianjin – or Tientsin – is one of China’s economic centers, symbolizing the rapid economic development of the Chinese model. An important city since medieval times, Tianjin has abysmal proportions: 15.2 million inhabitants on 11,920 km² (the size of Gironde plus Essonne). With Beijing, 120 kilometers away, it forms a vast conurbation (called Jing-Jin-Ji) several hundred kilometers long.

In other words, there are several cities within the city, and no shortage of places to stay in Tianjin. The difficulty, however, lies in finding an area to sleep in and what to do there. Several Western countries once coveted this great port city by setting up trading concessions, and as a result, many Western buildings were erected in the city, amidst today’s skyscrapers that almost touch the clouds. As a result, some districts take on the air of European cities.

Tianjin is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, known as districts, and unfortunately we can’t give an exhaustive overview of all of them. So we’ll just list a few of the areas most popular with tourists as places to stay in Tianjing.

The Italian Quarter

And why not set your sights on the Italian Quarter for accommodation in Tianjin? According to our sources, this is the best neighborhood to go to. Located near the Haihe River, it will appeal to all Western expatriates and tourists looking for a touch of Europe in China. Victorian-style architecture and a lively atmosphere are the district’s main assets, with restaurants, bars and concert halls. Every day, over 5,000 foreign tourists flock to the main street, called Xiaojie (little street), lined with ice cream shops and Western-style cafés.

Around the Guwenhua Jie

Quartier Guwenhua Jie, Tianjin, Chine

Photo credit: Flickr – Z4nclr4

Guwenhua Jie is the street of ancient culture, a district built according to traditional Chinese architecture. It’s a shopping district, where you’ll find everything you need to shop or buy a variety of souvenirs (tea sets, handcrafted figurines – the Tianjin Niren -, calligraphy, etc.). Beware, haggling is rife here. Modernity rubs shoulders with antiquity here, amidst typical Quing-era buildings. The district is very popular with local artists, draftsmen, portraitists and sculptors of traditional crafts. This is the place to stay in Tianjin for shopping. Nearby, the Tianjin Wenmiao Museum, the Yuhuang Pavilion and the Palace of Queen of Heaven will satisfy your desire for cultural outings.

Jiuba Jie Street

If you like to party – and yes, that’s possible in China too – head for Jiuba Jie Street. This is the street with the highest concentration of bars and nightclubs. The Ali Baba Jiuba, right next to Nankai University (Nankai Daxue), is very popular. The local « fauna » is made up of Westerners and Chinese students. You’ll find the charms of Asia (and voices that sing out of tune too) in the many karaoke bars.