From serving as the imperial capital to being the modern capital city of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing has come a long way. If the renowned Forbidden city stands as a testimony to the city’s rich past, Beijing CBD epitomizes a Chinese megacity. It is this co-existence of the ancient and modern representations that attracts tourists to this city from all over the world. Book cheap flights to Beijing and explore its endless attractions.
Beijing, the most populous capital city and one of the oldest cities in the world, is also an important cultural center of the country. It is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There is so much to see and do in this vast city, and below are the most amazing things to do in Beijing!
Hiking the Great Wall of China:
Climbing the Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is probably the most popular thing to do in Beijing. The historic wall offers a great trekking experience — there are sections like Mutianyu, Badaling that are nothing more than an easy walk, whereas the trek along the rugged sections of the wall Jinshanling, Simatai, Juyongguan, Gubeikou is quite challenging. You can even go camping here and catch the spectacular sunset views and night views of the Great Wall.
Location: Huairou District.
Visiting the Forbidden City:
A trip to Beijing is considered incomplete without visiting the Forbidden City, an expansive palace complex that was once the royal residence of emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This best-preserved imperial palace is the largest ancient palace complex in the world. The mammoth palace with towering fortifications, grand halls, gates, pavilions, temples, is overwhelming at first sight! And its 9,000 rooms house a million Chinese artworks! Touring the Forbidden City lets you dive into the history, culture, and traditional architecture of China, and so it is the best thing to do in Beijing.
Location: 4 Jingshan Front Street, Dongcheng District
A walking tour of Hutongs:
While the royal palaces give you a glimpse of life in the bygone era, the high-rise buildings in downtown illustrate modern life. But, if you wish to really know what the traditional Beijing life of commoners looks like, you need to go to Hutongs. The term ‘Hutong’ refers to a labyrinthine network of alleys lined with traditional courtyard houses and shops. If you have a penchant for old times, a walk or rickshaw ride through Hutongs is a recommended thing to do in Beijing. Explore the Nanluoguxiang shopping street and do check out the Drum and Bell towers.
Location: Zhonglouwan Hutong, Andingmen, Dongcheng Qu Beijing Shi.
Strolling in the Summer Palace:
When the bustling activity of the megacity becomes too much to bear, escaping to the tranquility of the Summer Palace is one of the nicest things to do in Beijing. Also known as Yiheyuan, the Summer Palace, centered around Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, is a harmonious complex of beautiful palaces, gardens, pagodas, temples, waterways, and bridges. Spreading over 290 hectares, this ‘masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design’ is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Soak in the views of this beautiful palace by taking a dragon boat ride on the Kunming Lake!
Location: 19 Xinjiangongmen Rd, Haidian District.
Exploring the Tiananmen Square:
Any list of top things to do in Beijing usually begins with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Situated at the heart of Beijing, this huge square holds a great cultural significance to the people of China. Its name, Tiananmen, meaning the Gate of Heavenly Peace, refers to the gate at the North of the square that separates it from the Forbidden City. The famous landmarks situated here are the Qianmen gate, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Great Hall of the People, and the National Museum of China.
Location: Chang’an Street, Dongcheng District.