Beijing

Beijing Travel Guide

Chairman Mao himself is said to have surveyed Beijing from atop the Gate of Heavenly Peace and announced he wanted "the sky to be filled with smokestacks."

Also known as Factory 798, this Bauhaus-style complex houses the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.

If your flight is delayed, go down one level to the Arrivals hall and walk 100 yards east of Gate B (with the giant glass windows overlooking the street to your right) to 12 reclining chairs amid a stand of potted palms.

Beijing’s newly opened Terminal 3, designed by Norman Foster’s Foster & Partners, is a miracle of rapid-fire engineering and army-ant–intensity construction;  it’s also the world’s largest single building, with a ceiling that is a dizzying scrim of light and color.

Ran out of yuan at the end of your trip but need cash for a pre-boarding meal? The ATM speaks English! But be warned: most U.S. banks charge at least $5 for withdrawing from a Chinese ATM, no matter the amount.

While the traditional boat that guests board may be called a “junk,” the experience is far from it on this staffed all-night cruise.

Located northwest of the city, this district is where many of the city’s universities are located. It’s also home to the Beijing Zoo (with its ever-popular giant pandas) and the glorious Summer Palace.

A 12-seat Japanese whiskey bar stocked with a selection of rare vanilla- and cherry-scented whiskeys.

Kite flying is a hugely popular pastime in Beijing: visit Tiananmen Square on a breezy day and you’ll see scores of people—tots, teens, old-timers—watching their colorful kites flutter and bob over Chairman Mao’s tomb.

Treasures spotted here recently: a Ming dynasty bed; pharmacy cabinets smelling of medicinal herbs. Ships internationally.

Check out the Scandinavian-Chinese designs at this Sun City shop.

A high-end restaurant, entertainment, and cultural development set within the former American Embassy compound.

It isn't often that a building defines a city, and even becomes its icon, but that seems destined to be the case of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron's National Stadium in Beijing, the primary site of the 2008 summer Olympic games.

Pick up small comforts at this duty-free foodstuffs and sundries shop. Thirsty? Try China’s popular pu’erh tea ($10) or a bottle of fiery Moutai, a fermented sorghum liquor from Guizhou, in southwest China ($125). Peckish?