BeijingAmazingly 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.
Explore the Great Wall of China, a 13,000-mile long historic fortification and UNESCO World Heritage site offering remarkable views.
Explore the Forbidden City, a historic palace in Beijing with over a million artifacts, stunning gardens, and traditional Chinese architecture.
Visit Beijing's Temple of Heaven, an architectural marvel from the Ming dynasty, known for its unique acoustics and historical ceremonies.
Explore Beijing's Summer Palace and its classic garden design, including the vast Kunming Lake, Longevity Hill, and the iconic Marble Boat.
Explore Chinese history at the National Museum of China, home to rare artifacts like the "Simuwu Ding" and set beside Tiananmen Square.
Explore the historical Beihai Park in Beijing, featuring the impressive White Dagoba, the Nine-Dragon Wall, and peaceful boating on Beihai Lake.
Explore Beijing's 798 Art Zone, a former industrial complex turned vibrant arts district featuring diverse galleries, street art, and cultural events.
Explore Beijing's Hutongs for a glimpse into traditional Chinese life through narrow alleys, historical sites, and local crafts.
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.
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.
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.
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.