Zhongyang Dajie Pedestrian Mall

This is the center of Harbin for tourism purposes. This cobblestone pedestrian strip, lined with shops, restaurants and bars, provides a beautiful display of early 20th Century Russian architecture, as lovely as anything you will find in (most) Russian cities. The buildings draw on many architectural styles, including baroque, art nouveau and classical renaissance. Zhongyang Dajie is the place to go if you’re shopping for western brands, looking for western food, or want to visit the big department stores. But just strolling along the 1.45km stretch is a pleasure in itself. The street dates from 1898 and was originally known as ‘Chinese Street’ (in Russian it is still called this: ‘Kitaiskaya Ulitsa’). Head west from Zhongyang Dajie to see some similar buildings, only in a more dilapidated state. You could easily spend a few hours wandering this: what is effectively the city’s ‘old quarter’.

At the northern end of Zhongyang Dajie, where it meets the Songhua River, is the Flood Control Monument. This grandiose structure was built in 1958 to honor the mighty achievement of the embankment in holding back floods, and to commemorate those who dies in floods before the embankment was built.

Directions: Zhongyang Dajie runs from Jinwei Jie in the south, up to the banks of the Songhua River.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去中央大街步行街, 谢谢。 (Please take me to Zhongyang Dajie pedestrian street. Thank you.)