Tianjin Old City

General Information

Tianjin is a famous tourist destination in China due to its diverse historical background and tranquility. In terms of size Tianjin city comes in third after Shanghai and Beijing and is one of China’s main municipalities. The name Tianjin in English means “the location where the emperor crossed the river”. Tianjin is famous for its numerous historical sites as well as the colonial architecture. A trip to Tianjin would be incomplete without a visit to the Tianjin Old City where ancient architecture has been well preserved.

What makes Tianjin Old City Popular?

Tianjin Old City is internationally renowned for the magnificent colonial architecture dating far back to the Ming dynasty of the 13th century. Prominent attractions in this area include the Guangdong Assembly Hall, which was built in 1907 under the rule of the Guangxi Emperor. This building is situated next to the southern gate of the old city. Another historic building is the Queen of Heaven Palace which is found in the north eastern section of the old city. This marvelous building dates far back to the third year of Yuangtaiding and was built in 1326. To the north western part of the old city lies the Islamic mosque which was built in 1703 by Emperor Kangxi in his 42nd year of administration.

The Jade Emperor Pavilion is another resplendent structure in Tianjin Old City. It was built in 1427 during the rule of the Xuande Emperor. Other must-visit attractions of Tianjin Old City include the Lion Forest Bridge and the Zion Church, which was constructed in 1904 during Guangxu Emperor’s 30th year of reign in the Qing dynasty. Also worth mentioning is the Laoxi Kai Church which is located along Dushan road. However, this church on Binjing Avenue opens its gates to Christians only. The museum adjacent to the Drum tower which was constructed in the early twentieth century serves as a typical example of a residence in Tianjin. The museum, which is a former home to Xu Puan who was a British Chartered Bank employee, opened its doors to the public in 2004 to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Tianjin.

A little history of the old city of Tianjin

The city has had an eventful history and its development can be traced back to the Sui dynasty when the Grand Canal of China was constructed. The city acquired its present name in 1404 from the Yongle Emperor. After the end of the Second Opium War in 1858 the Tianjin treaties were signed opening up Tianjin to international trade. All the major colonial powers each had their own section in Tianjin, a fact that is reflected in the diverse architecture. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the Boxers had gained control of major parts of Tianjin but the colonial powers later regrouped and recaptured the city. In 1937 the Japanese captured the city and controlled it until the end of the Second World War. The communist army later moved into the city and as a result it became a part of the People’s Republic.

Solo Adventure Tips:


Tianjin Old City is located in Tianjin city, which is about 120km from Beijing.

How to Get There?

A bus service, which departs every thirty minutes throughout the day, is available at Zhaogonkou bus station and it takes only two hours to reach Tainjin. A bullet Train from the South railway station in Beijing is also available.

Ticket Price:

Entrance is free for all.

Opening Hours:

Open throughout the day and usually subject to extended opening times during holidays.

More Tips:

Recommending Traveling Time: One day


Note that non-Christians are not allowed to tour the Laoxi Kai church.