10 Things to Do in Beijing

10 Things to Do in Beijing

10 Things to Do in Beijing
10 Things to Do in Beijing
10 Things to Do in Beijing

10 Things to Do in Beijing

10 things to do in Beijing, the pulsating heart of China, is a mesmerizing blend of ancient history and bustling modernity. As a city that has stood as the nation’s capital for centuries, Beijing is steeped in cultural heritage, evident in its majestic historical sites and enduring traditions. Yet, it also thrives as a contemporary metropolis, brimming with endless energy and modern marvels. Whether you’re a history buff, a cultural enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, Beijing offers a kaleidoscope of experiences. From wandering through the enigmatic alleyways of its Hutongs to standing in awe before the grandeur of the Forbidden City, every corner of this city tells a story. The local cuisine, with its mouthwatering aromas and flavors, invites foodies for an unforgettable gastronomic adventure. This guide will take you through 11 must-visit attractions in Beijing, ensuring you capture the essence of this vibrant city, where the past and the present harmoniously intertwine.

Overview

1-Explore the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, a monumental symbol of China’s imperial past, stands at the heart of Beijing. This vast palace complex, once home to 24 emperors across the Ming and Qing dynasties, spans approximately 180 acres, showcasing traditional Chinese palatial architecture in its grandeur. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it houses over 980 buildings, adorned with golden roofs and red walls, symbolizing prosperity and good fortune. Visitors can wander through its majestic halls and courtyards, immersing themselves in a history that shaped a nation. This historical treasure is an indispensable part of any Beijing itinerary.

2-Walk the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall, a marvel of ancient engineering, snakes through the landscapes near Beijing, offering a must-do experience for visitors. The sections of Badaling and Mutianyu, easily accessible from the city, provide breathtaking views and a tangible connection to China’s historical defense against invasions. Hiking along these parts of the Wall not only allows for an appreciation of its massive scale but also offers a window into China’s rich past. It’s a unique opportunity to walk along a structure that’s both a symbol of human resilience and an enduring testament to Chinese civilization.

3-Visit the Temple of Heaven

In the heart of Beijing lies the Temple of Heaven, an awe-inspiring complex of religious buildings symbolizing the relationship between Earth and heaven. This UNESCO World Heritage site, larger than the Forbidden City, was where emperors performed solemn rituals for bountiful harvests. Its architectural masterpiece, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, with its striking blue-tiled roofs, stands as a pinnacle of Ming Dynasty design. Visitors can experience the tranquility of its surrounding park, often alive with locals practicing tai chi, offering a glimpse into both ancient spirituality and contemporary community life.

4-Experience the Summer Palace

10 things to do in Beijing : The Summer Palace in Beijing is an exquisite testament to classical Chinese landscape garden design. This sprawling royal retreat, set around the serene Kunming Lake, once served as a summer residence for emperors. Its harmonious blend of natural landscapes, ornate pavilions, and long corridors offers a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle. The longevity hill and the beautifully painted Marble Boat are standout features. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the lake or explore the numerous ancient structures, each telling a story of royal leisure and aesthetics in imperial China.

5-Stroll Through the Hutongs

Beijing’s hutongs, the narrow alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyard residences, offer a unique glimpse into the city’s living history. These winding lanes, with their grey-tiled homes and red lanterns, echo the stories and lifestyles of old Beijing. A leisurely stroll through areas like Shichahai and Nanluoguxiang allows visitors to experience the city’s grassroots culture. Here, amidst the backdrop of local life, one can indulge in authentic Beijing snacks, shop for handicrafts, or simply soak in the atmosphere of a Beijing that balances the charm of the past with the pulse of the present.

6-Enjoy Peking Duck at a Traditional Restaurant

Indulging in Peking Duck is a culinary rite of passage in Beijing. This iconic dish, known for its crispy skin and succulent meat, dates back to imperial China. The experience is heightened in traditional restaurants where the duck is expertly roasted in wood-fired ovens and carved tableside. Diners can savor the rich flavors wrapped in thin pancakes, accompanied by scallions, cucumber, and sweet bean sauce. A visit to famed establishments like Quanjude or Dadong offers not just a meal but a taste of Chinese culinary artistry and history, making it a must-do for food enthusiasts.

7-Visit the National Museum of China

The National Museum of China, flanking the eastern side of Tiananmen Square, is a treasure trove of Chinese art and history. As one of the largest museums in the world, it boasts an extensive collection that spans from ancient times to the modern era. Exhibits showcase exquisite artifacts like jade pieces, ceramics, and calligraphy, narrating the rich tapestry of China’s past. The museum provides a deep dive into Chinese culture and history, making it an enlightening visit for those seeking to understand the country’s profound historical and artistic heritage.

8-Take a Trip to the Beijing Zoo and Aquarium

The Beijing Zoo, a favorite among families and animal lovers, offers a delightful encounter with China’s native wildlife, most notably the giant pandas. These charming creatures are the zoo’s main attraction, allowing visitors a rare glimpse into the world of one of the most adored endangered species. Beyond pandas, the zoo houses a diverse range of animals from across the globe. Adjacent to it, the Beijing Aquarium, one of the largest in China, presents an aquatic wonderland, featuring a wide variety of marine life and spectacular shows, making it an engaging visit for all ages.

TOP 5 Beijing restaurants ranking by Coyotrip
  1. The View 3912: This restaurant offers a blend of French, European, Contemporary, and Fusion cuisines. It’s known for its sophisticated and elegant dining experience, making it a popular choice for those seeking a high-end meal.
  2. Trb Hutong: Specializing in French, European, and Contemporary cuisines, Trb Hutong is recognized for its unique blend of flavors and elegant setting. It’s a great spot for a luxurious dining experience.
  3. MIO Italian Restaurant: This restaurant focuses on Italian and European dishes, offering a taste of Italy in the heart of Beijing. It’s known for its authentic Italian cuisine and elegant ambiance.
  4. Cai Yi Xuan: A Chinese, Asian, and Cantonese restaurant, Cai Yi Xuan is celebrated for its traditional flavors and upscale dining experience, making it a favorite for both locals and tourists.
  5. The View 4109: Offering French, Seafood, and International cuisines, The View 4109 is another top-rated restaurant known for its exquisite menu and panoramic views of the city.

9-Experience the Vibrancy of Wangfujing Street

10 things to do in Beijing : Wangfujing Street, a bustling hub in the heart of Beijing, is a vibrant blend of shopping, culture, and cuisine. This pedestrian-only thoroughfare buzzes with life, offering everything from high-end boutiques to traditional Chinese shops. A major highlight is the Wangfujing Snack Street, where adventurous eaters can sample an array of local street foods, including exotic skewers and classic Beijing snacks. As night falls, the street transforms with lively performers and neon lights, creating an energetic atmosphere that encapsulates the modern spirit of this ancient city.

10-Discover the 798 Art Zone

The 798 Art Zone in Beijing is a fascinating enclave where contemporary art and urban culture flourish. Once an industrial complex, its old factories and warehouses have been transformed into a vibrant arts district. Filled with galleries, studios, and avant-garde installations, this area showcases the cutting-edge of China’s art scene. As you wander through its graffiti-adorned streets, you’ll encounter a dynamic mix of exhibitions, hip cafes, and boutique shops. The 798 Art Zone offers a stark contrast to Beijing’s ancient sites, highlighting the city’s diverse and evolving cultural landscape.

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