Tianjin is the sixth largest city of the People's Republic of China in terms of urban population. Administratively it is one of the four municipalities that have provincial-level status, reporting directly to the central government. Also, its urban land area is the fifth largest in China, ranked only after Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Tianjin's urban area is located along the Hai He River, which connects to the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers via the Grand Canal in Tianjin. Its ports, some distance away, are located on the Bohai Gulf in the Pacific Ocean. Tianjin was once home to foreign concessions in the late Qing Dynasty and early Kuomintang (KMT) era. The municipality incorporates the coastal region of Tanggu, home to the Binhai New Area and the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). Tianjin Municipality borders Hebei province to the north, south, and west; the Chinese capital Beijing is to the northwest, and the Bohai Gulf to the east.

Tianjin's climate is a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cwa) characterized by hot, humid summers, due to the monsoon, and dry, cold winters, due to the Siberian anticyclone that are still above -3C. Spring is windy but dry, and most of the precipitation takes place in July and August. Tianjin also experiences occasional spring sandstorms which blow in from the Gobi Desert and may last for several days.

Tianjin cuisine places a heavy focus on seafood, due to Tianjin's proximity to the sea. Prominent menus include the Eight Great Bowls, a combination of eight mainly meat dishes. It can be further classified into several varieties, including the rough , smooth and high .The Four Great Stews refers actually to a very large number of stews, including chicken, duck, seafood, beef, and mutton.

Tianjin also has several famous snack items. Goubuli is a traditional brand of baozi (steamed buns with filling) that is famous throughout China. Guifaxiang is a traditional brand of mahua (twisted dough sticks). Erduoyan is a traditional brand of fried rice cakes.

Sights and landmarks within the Tianjin urban area include:
Sights outside the Tianjin urban area, but within the municipality, including Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area: