Locals and visitors alike congregate year-round in Stalin Park. The tree-lined promenade, dotted with statues, playgrounds and cafes, runs along a 42km-long embankment that was built to curb the unruly Songhua River. The odd Flood Control Monument, from 1958, commemorates the thousands of people who died in years past when the river overflowed its banks.
During Summer, it’s spot to sample snacks and sip a beer under the trees. In winter, the Songhua River becomes the local sports center, with ice skating, ice hockey and ice sailing all options. You can hire the gear you’ll need from vendors along the riverbank. If you really want to show off, join the people who like to swim in the gaps in the ice.