Visiting Beijing is an immersive experience. The city has been the political, cultural, and educational center of the country for more than 3,000 yea... Read More
Visiting Beijing is an immersive experience. The city has been the political, cultural, and educational center of the country for more than 3,000 years, with grand palaces, imperial gardens, lakes, temples, and institutions that show it.
Though a trip to Beijing is indeed incomplete without excursions to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, the beauty of the city lies in its details: peeling hutong doorways, the brilliant yellow of a royal temple, the crisp of a fresh shaobing on a November morning.
Beijing is a sprawling place. Give yourself plenty of time to get lost when you explore fun things to do, and you’ll be rewarded with a different experience at every turn.
If you’re an early riser, visit Jingshan Park first thing in the morning, where, from the pavilion at the top, there’s sweeping views of the Forbidden City and Beihai Park. A less restful but exciting Beijing activity awaits you in the Silk Market, with buzzing carts and shops. No Beijing sightseeing would be complete without the Forbidden City. Visit the grand 16th-century palace early, since it takes at least three hours to get around.
Temple of Heaven Park is a Confucian style urban landscape, equally worthy of a visit, while Tiananmen Square is the world’s largest public square, surrounded by Soviet-style buildings, and serves as a reminder of China’s turmoil and political history. It’s not a place to sit and relax, but it is certainly a site not to be missed by any Beijing visitor.
Summer Palace is a marvel of temples, gardens, bridges, and pavilions to explore. There are also riverside walkways, shops and restaurants. The 798 Arts District is a popular artist hangout with cafes lining the streets. Beijing is also the best departure point to see the Great Wall of China, easily done as a half-day trip.