The city of Harbin

Harbin Ice Festival Carrousel

Harbin, the capital and largest city in northeastern China, was recognized as a United Nations "City of Music" in 2010. With its famous 100-year-old orchestra and celebrated Harbin Summer Music Concert of China - one of China’s most successful music festivals, it is obvious why Harbin would receive such a great honor. 

In addition to its vibrant musical culture, Harbin is also a well-known tourist destination because of its extreme winter weather. Many events are organized annually, like the Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, that take advantage of the frigid temperatures — the average temperature in winter is −19.7°C (−3.5°F), with average low temperatures below −35.0°C (−31.0°F) — and earned Harbin its nickname: the "Ice City". 

Harbin’s close proximity to both Russia and Japan are responsible for the city’s unusual fusion of Western and Eastern cultures. Over the centuries, many people from both of these neighboring countries have called Harbin home and even today, Russian is a first foreign language for most of the city’s inhabitants. 

This mixed heritage has also marked the city’s architecture, with Russian, European, and Chinese influence visible in buildings just steps apart. Harbin’s impressive Orthodox churches and cathedrals have given the city another set of monikers:  "Moscow of the Far East" and "Paris of the Far East.”

Harbin, the City of Music, continues to develop its status as an international cultural hub with new events like the first International Music Competition Harbin (IMCH), scheduled for 2018. If you’re interested in cultural and musical events, give yourself a chance to visit this amazing city.