Capital of 🇨🇳China

Beijing

Amazingly rich history and one of the world's largest cities.

Explore Beijing's rich history at the Forbidden City, trek the Great Wall, and dive into vibrant shopping districts.

3.8
out of 5

Beijing, the sprawling capital of China, serves as the political and cultural heart of the nation. It's a city where ancient history meets modern development, home to the iconic Forbidden City, a vast complex of historical structures that once housed Chinese emperors. The city also features a rich selection of parks, such as the expansive gardens of the Summer Palace, and is the starting point for visits to the Great Wall of China. While Beijing's skyline is marked by numerous modern skyscrapers, traditional hutong alleyways preserve the lifestyle of times past.

Forbidden City

At the core of Beijing's historical narrative is the Forbidden City, a sprawling imperial palace that stood as the home of emperors and the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for nearly 500 years. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it offers visitors a deep dive into the opulence of China's imperial past through its well-preserved buildings and extensive collections of historical artifacts.

Great Wall of China

No visit to Beijing is complete without a trip to the Great Wall of China. Several sections of the wall are within reach from the city, such as Badaling and Mutianyu, offering different experiences. Mutianyu has a cable car that takes visitors up to the wall and a toboggan ride down, providing accessibility with an adventurous twist. While Badaling tends to draw more tourists due to its proximity to Beijing, Mutianyu offers a less crowded visit with equally stunning vistas.

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace, located at the edge of Beijing, is a testament to traditional Chinese garden design and an epitome of natural beauty harmonized with man-made structures. This extensive park, dominated by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, served as a summer retreat for emperors. You can roam the elaborate bridges, visit temples or take a boat ride on the lake, enjoying peaceful moments away from city life.

Traditional Cuisine and Street Food

Beijing's culinary scene is an exploration in itself, with dishes ranging from the globally famous Peking Duck, served at renowned restaurants like Quanjude and Dadong, to lesser-known local delicacies found at bustling street markets such as Wangfujing Snack Street. Sampling staples like jianbing (a savory crepe) or zhajiangmian (noodles with soybean paste) offers a taste of Beijing's local flavors.

Local Customs and Festivals

Delving into Beijing's cultural depth can be as simple as witnessing age-old customs at play. The Temple of Heaven Park is where locals engage in daily morning exercises, from tai chi to group dancing, and offers a real sense of community spirit. Festivals like the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) and Mid-Autumn Festival immerse visitors in traditions rich with pageantry, music, and food.

Parks and Green Spaces

Beyond historical and cultural sites, Beijing is dotted with public parks and green spaces. Ritan Park provides calm recreational areas where visitors can enjoy lush greenery or engage in a game of chess with locals. Jingshan Park offers panoramic views of the Forbidden City against the backdrop of Beijing's skyline.

Public Transportation

Getting around Beijing is made efficient thanks to an extensive public transportation system, which includes buses and a subway network that reaches across the city. The subway system is often the fastest way to move around and maps are available in both Chinese and English, making it visitor-friendly. Cycling is another popular option for exploring Beijing, with bike share programs widely available.

Daily Life and Cultural Atmosphere

For those interested in the daily beats of the city, taking a stroll through Beijing's hutongs, the traditional alleyways, reveals small shops, cafes, and the rhythm of everyday life. The 798 Art Zone showcases Beijing's contemporary arts scene, with galleries and studios set in defunct industrial spaces. It represents the city's evolving cultural identity where traditional arts blend with pioneer modernity.

Average temperatures during the day in Beijing.
June
30°
Jul
31°
Aug
29°
Sep
26°
Oct
19°
Nov
10°
Dec
3°
Jan
2°
Feb
4°
Mar
11°
Apr
20°
May
26°

What people say about Beijing

3.8
People
3
Food
4
Spaces
4
Value
4
Safety
4

Hard to live if not Chinese. Am Indian. Good international schools. Food makes me want to fly back there and never come back (extremely good, China, you won).

5
3
5
5
5
5

Prices were good kind people and amazing food but some pickpocketing is common.

5
5
5
5
4
4

I knew nothing about Beijing when coming here to visit a friend. I was instantly surprised by how developed the city was with tall skyscrapers and massive modern buildings all over the place.

I explored the city on foot and by taxi. It was a bit hard to figure out how to get around in a convenient way as the taxi drivers don't speak English and don't seem to find the way so well.

Thanks to my friend, I managed to eat the best duck I have ever had in my life, Beijing duck in Beijing. We also had fantastic food from the other regions of China such as the spicy cuisine from Sichuan province.

On my own, I visited the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall just outside the city. Of these, the Great Wall was my favorite, it was really cool to get up on the wall and walk on it for a while. It made me want to visit it in other places that are less busy than right outside Beijing.

The best thing for me was probably a visit to one of the parks where locals of all ages hung out. Couples got some quality time together, old people did slow-moving exercises (tai chi?), and younger people played a wide range of games. It was a joy to just sit there are take it all in.

The worst things about Beijing are definitely the traffic and the awful pollution that fills the city like a fog that doesn't seem to go away. Also, people are not overly friendly. But I still recommend a visit as it is a special place.

4
2
4
3
4
3

did not get to fully enjoy the city :(

3

I traveled to Beijing in my 20s and it was an incredible experience. We walked on the Great Wall and saw some of the most beautiful scenery. The culture seems so rich, we ate high quality and taste food everywhere and explored the vast areas of modern architecture that were there. I think this is a trip in which I feel I've enjoyed the culture of China which was completely different from mine. Prices there were incredibly low compared to my country and the community in general seemed a little bit busy because they where moving in a "hurry" way! Either way it's a place where I would suggest everyone to visit at least once!

- G.Georgiou

5
5
5
5
5
5

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