Tianjin Walks is owned by Griffin Business Management. Following our theme of investing in property related companies, TianjinWalks aims to help visitors to Tianjin, China locate and appreciate the historical architecture in the city and learn some of the interesting stories associated with those buildings.
Tianjin has a large number of buildings dating from the early 1900s that were built while Tianjin played host to seven European concessions, a Japanese concession and an American contingent. Citizens of these nations and a host of others lived in Tianjin when it was a bustling trading port and diplomatic outpost from 1860 until the end of World War II.
There is no better way to discover the history of the former foreign concessions in Tianjin than by seeing the places where the history took place. Our walks get you out exploring a city that has many hidden architectural gems and lots of little-known historical facts. Some of the folks who have enjoyed our walks the most are long term Tianjin residents who had no idea about historic buildings they had walked past every day. Whether you are on a day trip from Beijing, passing through for a couple days, or a long-term resident of this grand city, we suspect we can help bring the city and its history to life on one of our walks.
You can join a regularly scheduled walk or book a private tour that suits your time and tastes! Bespoke tours can also be arranged if you have specific places, you’d like to see that are not on one of our standard tours.
For all of our walks, please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.
Walk 1: Americans, Russians and Germans
They weren’t always on the best of terms, but the Americans, Russians and Germans were all here and they all staked out a claim, at least for a little while. Tianjin played host to several American men who would later hold the title of President, Secretary of State and General in the U.S. Army. Russian residents of this city came from both sides of their own national revolution and some ended up stateless and unable to return home. The Germans didn’t stay long relative to other foreign occupiers, but made big strides in making Tianjin feel like home and had a positive impact on city planning in the process. Come along as we discover what legacy and buildings these three nations left in Tianjin. We also pass by the former consulate of a European nation that didn’t have a concession in Tianjin.
This walk is approximately 3.5 hours.
Walk 2: Banking Street
Our walking tour will focus on the heart of the former French and British concessions. We will start at the Jiefang bridge and then travel along what was once one of old Tianjin’s main centers of commerce. We will pass by old banks, trading houses, government buildings, clubs and religious structures. We will then head over to the Five Boulevards area which was primarily a residential section of town where we will finish and lunch options are available. Along the way, we’ll learn why Tianjin ended up being home to such an interesting mix of people and how unique Tianjin was among cities that hosted foreign concessions.
The walking tour is approximately 3.5 hours.
Walk 3: Italian & Austro-Hungarian Concessions
On this tour we will visit parts of four former Tianjin concessions: the Austro-Hungarian, Italian, French and Japanese concessions. We will start outside the former concessions near the edge of the old Chinese city before making our way into the concessions. Our walk will take us by the few remaining diplomatic buildings in the Austro-Hungarian section. In the former Italian area, we will see former military, religious and diplomatic buildings as well as commercial and residential areas. We will then cross over the river and visit some retail areas in the former Japanese concession ending at an important business area in the former French concession. We will end at a beautiful historic building where you can get a coffee or other beverage and take in what was once the heart of Tianjin’s old shopping district.
This tour is approximately 2.5 hours.
Walk 4: Former Japanese Concession
For this walking tour we will head into the former Japanese concession to understand more about the densely packed, vibrant, but less well visited area of the city. After regional hostilities, the Japanese were granted land in Tientsin in 1896 and again in 1900. The area became home to a large number of Japanese and Chinese residents. Most famously, former Emperor Puyi lived there during the concession period in a couple different homes. Many buildings remain from the concession period and our walk will explore both residential and commercial neighborhoods.
This tour is approximately 2.5 hours.