Weather: Temperatures rise a bit from the coldest month of January, but February is still freezing cold and dry with some snowfall. Most of the month is still good weather for the winter festival extravaganzas. The average nightly low temperature is -20 °C (-4 °F), and the average daily high temperature is -7 °C (19 °F).
There is a temperature drop from day to night of 13 °C. It snows about 6 days a month, but the monthly precipitation is only about 5 mm. Though it is freezing, it is usually sunny. Check Harbin's weather and forecast>>
Clothing: Bring warm clothes such as a thick coat, extra layers of clothes, gloves, and a hat or thick scarf. Wear shoes with good traction for the slush and snow. It is good to dress in layers because most of the buildings have central heating, so you can quickly strip off and put on layers as needed. Read more about keeping warm in Harbin.
Enjoy dining at the Harbin restaurants: If it is freezing, Harbin has restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the regional Chinese cuisines as well as Western, Korean, Japanese, and Russian cuisine. During the Chinese New Year season, delicious food is everywhere, and Chinese go out to their favorite restaurants. Many establishments are geared for foreigners.
There are three main venues for the Harbin winter festival. There is Sun Island Park where the biggest ice sculptures are displayed, the Grand World of Ice and Snow where giant snow sculptures are constructed, and a smaller ice lantern sculpture art display and competition at Zhaolin Park. Depending on the weather, these festivals might close by the middle of February, so it is best to come by the first week of February.
Harbin International Ice Sculpture Festival: Gigantic, bright, and colorful ice sculptures at Sun Island Park are famous. You could walk in them, slide down them, and even dine in them. This festival started fifteen years ago, and it is one of the biggest ice and snow festivals in the world along with the ones in Norway, Sapporo, and Quebec.
This international exhibit and competition grows as China's economy grows. The size of the ice architecture pieces keep growing. The astounding works are huge and beautiful. Tens of thousands of people labor on these displays that might grow 50 meters high. Harbin is China's “Ice City,” and its bitterly cold weather is the right condition for the ice festival.
Grand World of Ice and Snow: A gigantic snow sculpture and winter sports festival is held nearby. These snow sculptures may be longer than two football fields. Like the ice sculptures, the technologically sophisticated displays use laser lights and computer controlled LED lights for stunning displays.
Enjoy the Chinese New Year: The (Spring Festival) holiday is when the popular winter festival receives a surge of tourists. Most people get a "golden week" of vacation, and this vacation period is in the first half of February 2/3 of the years. Enjoy a snowy and icy Chinese New Year then. It is the most important traditional festival and is the best time to experience authentic Chinese traditional culture. Check the Chinese New Year dates>>
The Chinese New Year "golden week" vacation period and the winter festival makes Harbin busy for travel and tourism in February.
The travel rush begins about a week before the "golden week" and ends about two weeks after it. The city is high on the list of domestic winter travel destinations.
There is a tradition in Harbin of family reunions and relaxation for the first four or five days of the new year, so be aware that many stores, restaurants, and attractions are closed during these days. So do a little planning and schedule checking.
The Splendid 3-day Ice and Snow Tour: Our guide will pick you up from the airport or train station and help you settle comfortably into your hotel. Then go to both the Sun Island ice sculpture festival and the snow sculpture festival. Then we'll help you go on your way. Our clients can modify their tour.