“Jin”, as the city is known locally, is situated 120 km from Beijing, which can be reached in just 25 minutes on the bullet train. Tianjin has been a successful trading port for many centuries, serving the country’s capital city.
Between 1860 and 1902, several foreign countries, including the USA, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan, took control of part of Tianjin. Today, this period of foreign influence is still evident in some of the city’s architecture, with hundreds of old buildings still remaining in the Five Avenue area of the old town.
Central Tianjin is connected with the fast developing business area, TEDA (Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area) by a rapid transit system. TEDA comprises a port, businesses, residential properties, and also the city’s football stadium. Tianjin has many modern shopping malls and plenty of sports and leisure facilities. In winter, for example, you can ski at venues in and around the municipality.
The weather is most pleasant in spring time, although it can be windy and there is a risk of dust storms. Summers are hot and rainy, resulting in high levels of humidity. In fact, around 75% of the annual rainfall occurs between June and August.
Temperatures average 26°C during July, which is generally the hottest month, and can rise well above 30°C. In winter, humidity levels fall, as do temperatures, which often drop to -4°C during the day and -10°C at night.
Serviced apartments are the accommodation of choice for many expats moving to Tianjin. These typically include housekeeping services six days per week. If you are relocating with your family and prefer to have a house, you can find suitable properties in some central districts or in the suburbs.
If you don’t have the opportunity to visit Tianjin for property hunting prior to your move, or are just concerned about finding appropriate accommodation, you may find it helpful to use a relocation agency. Companies such as LC Relocation Services and China Relocation specialize in helping expatriates find property to rent in Tianjin or other Chinese cities.
Several areas of Tianjin are favored by expats. Young professionals who want to be in the heart of things often choose to live in the central Tianjin City area, where shops, restaurants, and clubs are in easy reach.
The Water Park area (Nankai District) is very popular with expatriates thanks to its restaurants and shops and, of course, the Shuishang water park, which is the ideal place to relax by the lakes or go for a run away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Mei Jiang area, too, is a good option for expats who would like to be in the city but still prefer a quieter life, and the Jinnan area just outside Tianjin is ideal if you prefer a large house with a spacious garden.
Of course, before you can plan your life in Tianjin and get started on relocating, you'll have to make sure all the paperwork is in order. In our comprehensive section on Visa and Administration in China, we introduce you to the different types of Chinese visa, tell you what you need to know about registering your residence and what to keep in mind in terms of customs regulations. So be sure to take a look!