Things to do in Beijing
There are plenty of things to do in Beijing, whatever your tastes. Let Travel + Leisure point you toward some of the best. If you’re an early riser, take yourself down to Ritan Park first thing in the morning. Here you’ll find the Chinese tradition of using public spaces in full swing; traditional swordsmanship, Mah-Jongg, T’ai Chi and ballroom dancing somehow still leave room for an outdoor gym and a climbing wall.
A less restful but no less characteristically Beijing activity awaits you in Beijing’s markets: the Silk Market will offer you sights and sounds you’ll experience nowhere else, and a brand of insistent, persuasive salesmanship you’ll need nerves of steel to resist – even if you want to.
Finally, it would be a sin to miss out on the Forbidden City. You should visit the grand 16th-century palace early, since it will take at least three hours just to get around it. Engage a guide or buy an audio guide, and give a day over to this historical jewel. If you’d like an afternoon’s tranquil entertainment, try the Beihai Park, or North Lake Park. Once part of the Emperor’s pleasure gardens, it can now be part of yours; walk or cycle round it or hire a rowing boat for an experience of tranquillity that’s uniquely Chinese.
Explore things to do in China for more options.