Things to do in
Beijing

The ever-expanding capital is an explorer’s delight: 6 UNESCO sites and the Forbidden City are just the start.

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Our most recommended things to do in Beijing

From Taijin Cruise Port: 2-Day Beijing Sightseeing Tour

1. From Taijin Cruise Port: 2-Day Beijing Sightseeing Tour

Day 1: Tianjin International Cruise Port to Beijing - Tiananmen - Forbidden City (L) Once the cruise ship docks in Tianjin International Cruise Port, your private guide will welcome you at the exit of the arrival hall, assist you with your luggage, then begin the 2.5-hour journey to Beijing. On the way, your guide will keep you entertained with fun facts and trivia about the city and its countless sights. Once arrival in Beijing, your tour will start from the Temple of Heaven. The magnificent and colorful Temple of Heaven was where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would make offerings to heaven and pray for full harvests.  Then, you will stop at a local restaurant for a traditional Chinese lunch. Afterwards, you will explore the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City area. Spend about 2 to 3-hours to explore the palace and learn the detailed history and stories with your knowledgeable tour guide. After that, your will be transferred back to your hotel in Beijing.  Day 2: Summer Palace - Great Wall - Tianjin International Cruise Port (L) Check out of your hotel in the morning to begin your tour. Your first stop will be the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace is the best-kept existing royal garden in Beijing. With a concentration of the best of ancient buildings as well as styles of gardening, it is a virtual museum of traditional Chinese gardening. Then after about a 1-hour drive to the Great Wall at the Mutianyu section, stop at the local village for a delicous Chinese lunch. Then, set off on a 30 minute journey along the scenic mountains and villages to the Great Wall as your guide explains the stories and histories of the the Great Wall. Have plenty of time to enjoy the surrounding mountains and ride in a cable car or ski lift with toboggan at your discretion. Your shore excursion will then conclude back at Tianjin International Port in time for your cruise departure. The journey back will take approximately 3.5-hours. Your tour guide and driver will ensure your timely return back to the ship at Tianjin International Cruise Port.

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From Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Transfer with Pick-Up

2. From Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Transfer with Pick-Up

Explore the most well-known and preserved section of the Great Wall in Mutianyu. This section is a UNESCO heritage site has appeared in some Hollywood movies and has been climbed by former US President Barack Obama. Depart from Beijing at your hotel at around 7 AM with a shared pick-up or meet at the downtown station at around 8 AM. Head to Mutianyu with a convenient air-conditioned transfer. Arrive in Mutianyu at around 9-9:30 AM. Take amazing photos of the Mutianyu Wall from multiple angles - either down from the hill or up from the wall if you purchase the admission ticket option. Then, challenge yourself with a 5-6km hike from the bottom to the top of the highest station which was once a beacon. Or take an easier route with the cable car option so that you can ascend the later half directly. Enjoy around 3-3.5 hours to explore by yourself. Include a 10-dish authentic Chinese lunch at checkout and enjoy the lunch at around 12:30 PM just next to the parking lot. After finishing lunch, the bus will take you back to the famous shopping street in Wangfujing or the National Stadium (know as the "Bird's Nest") in the heart of Beijing city. If you are interested in the Chinese acrobatic show, remember to add the Acrobatic show add-on before checkout, stay on the bus and the bus will take you there to enjoy the 5:30 PM show.

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Great Wall Hiking: Small Group

3. Great Wall Hiking: Small Group

your guide will meet you at 8am and then drive to Simatai West. You will start the hiking around 10:30am, and it will take about 3 hours to complete. A lunch at a local farmer’s restaurant will be organized after the hiking before returning to the city. This section offers arguably the finest hiking anywhere on the Great Wall. It is extremely photogenic, with over 15 watch-towers, and steep gradients that give constantly changing perspectives and wide, open views. There is fascinating variety in the watch-towers here. Some have two storeys, others three. Some have flat roofs, others rounded and others again are pitched with upturned eaves. This section of the wall is wild, ruined, preserved and original. On a clear day, it is difficult to fail to take good photographs here. 

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Mutianyu Great Wall Full-Day Group Tour

4. Mutianyu Great Wall Full-Day Group Tour

The full-day group tour begins between 6:30 AM and 7:00 AM with a pickup from your hotel within the second ring road of Beijing. Drive from there to the Ming Tombs, the underground mausoleum of Emperor Zhudi. Enjoy a typical Chinese lunch and visit a jade carving factory. After lunch, continue to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. This is one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall, and at one time served to defend the capital and the imperial tombs. To reach the highest point on this part of the wall, a cable car ride is a good choice (not included in the tour price). Before returning to your Beijing hotel, enjoy Chinese tea ceremony at a teahouse. Arrive at your hotel at around 17:00 PM.

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Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Small-Group Tour with Lunch

5. Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Small-Group Tour with Lunch

Escape the hustle and bustle of Beijing city center and travel northeast to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Benefit from the services of a local guide and enjoy a tasty lunch before you decide whether to take the chairlift or brave the long hike of around 4,000 steps to reach the ramparts. Get stunning views of the surrounding forest from the top. Take a closer look at the restored brickwork and watchtowers that helped protect the imperial city and tombs from invasion. Enjoy 3 hours to explore at your own pace. Then, brave the single-rider toboggan ride back down to the foothills and experience this legendary attraction from a different perspective.

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Jinshanling Great Wall Group Tour from Beijing

6. Jinshanling Great Wall Group Tour from Beijing

Benefit from early morning pickup at your hotel in Beijing city center, and then relax in air-conditioned comfort on the 2.5-hour journey to the Jinshanling Great Wall.  Located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of the imperial capital, the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China connects to the Simatai and Gubeikou sections to the east and west, and is acclaimed for its brick-built watchtowers and dragon-like form as it snakes across the mountains. Get 3.5 hours to explore the wall and go for a peaceful walk without the usual tourist crowds to enjoy the amazing views. Break for a typical lunch at a local restaurant before the drive back to Beijing, where you will get dropped off at a subway station for your convenience. 

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Beijing: Jinshanling Great Wall Group Tour with Lunch

7. Beijing: Jinshanling Great Wall Group Tour with Lunch

Depart from your hotel in downtown Beijing at approximately 6:00 am. Enjoy a simple breakfast before starting the trip to the Jinshanling Great Wall. Start your 3-hour hike on the eastern section of the wall at 10 am with plenty of photo opportunities of the surrounding foliage, architecture, and towers along the way. Be surrounded by ancient architecture to marvel at the along this 6 km hike. Take time to enjoy the breathtaking sights along the parapets on this relatively less crowded section of the wall with room to stop and admire the views. This section of the Great Wall offers a look at each unique tower along the way, ensuring there is always something new to discover. After the included lunch, your adventure will conclude and you will be transferred back to the city. Hotel pick up is only available from select hotels located within the second ring road in central Beijing.

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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Small Group Hike

8. Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Small Group Hike

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Beijing, and then travel in comfort to the Great Wall of China at Jiankou. Embark on a 10-kilometer hike along one of the wildest sections of the Great Wall of China, and get stunning views of the surrounding mountains and untouched scenery. Climb the steps to the Zhengbei Watch Tower to start your walk along the untouched ramparts as far as Mutianyu. Constructed in 1368 during the Ming Dynasty, the Jiankou Great Wall is made of large light colored rocks and has never been restored, with some sections falling into disrepair. Face the challenge of an approximate 5-hour hike with spectacular views of jagged cliffs and scenic lookouts. Arrive at the reconstructed Mutianyu Great Wall and re-energize with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before the return drive to Beijing. 

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Beijing: Peking Opera Night Tour w/ Transfer

9. Beijing: Peking Opera Night Tour w/ Transfer

In the evening, your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel from 18:30 to 19:00 and transfer you to the amazing Peking Opera at Liyuan Theater.  Peking Opera is the most world-known, representative and influential Chinese opera with a long history of more than 200 years. As a national cultural treasure in China, Peking Opera is also one of the three main theatrical systems in the world. It is a combination of singing, dancing, dialogue, mime, acrobatics and presenter's feelings, which can vividly express the special traits of a character. As the best place to appreciate Peking Opera, Liyuan Theater will give you an amazing night. You will really enjoy yourself and have a better understanding of Peking Opera after the show. When the show starts, your tour guide and driver will leave. After the show, you will need to get back to your hotel on your own.

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Ancient Beijing & New Olympic Area Group Day Tour

10. Ancient Beijing & New Olympic Area Group Day Tour

For this coach tour, your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel at between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM. Drive to Hutong and take a rickshaw to visit the ancient Beijing hutong alleyway area including Drum tower, a local family and Shicha Lake. The real culture of Beijing is the culture of the hutong and courtyards, which attract more tourists from home and abroad than the high-rise buildings and large mansions. Continue to visit the Lama Temple, Yonghe Lamasery which is considered the largest and most perfectly preserved lamasery in present day China before heading out to see the lovely giant pandas in Beijing Zoo. The site is comprised of 16 different exhibition areas and halls, but one of the most popular of these is the Panda Hall. Then go to the Olympic Green and take pictures outside the Water Cube and Bird's Nest. During the trip, you have the chance to visit the Silk Arts and Pearl Shop. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

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Frequently asked questions about Beijing

What top attractions are a must-see in Beijing?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days?

    Five days to a week should be enough to see the sights of Beijing, get a feel for the city's culture, and even take a day trip out to the Great Wall of China!

  • When to visit?

    Beijing's weather is most pleasant in early autumn (September/October), although the snowy winters do bring a charm of their own. Unless you want to see the Chinese New Year parade, avoid going during the nation's public holidays, when vast swarms of domestic tourists overwhelm even the quietest attractions!

  • Where to stay?

    Beijing's sights are spread all over the city, so if you plan to cover the lot then you should consider staying in the city center. The districts of Beijing all have their own character, but one of the best areas for a first-time visitor is Wangfujing. Its central location boasts plenty of places to shop and eat, including the famous Wangfujing Snack Street, where vendors flog a bizarre collection of snacks far from the usual Chinese staples!

Good to know

  • Language
    Mandarin
  • Currency
    Renminbi (¥)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+08:00)
  • Country Code
    +86
  • Best time to visit
    Early autumn is best to beat the crowds and avoid the summer heat.

Other Sightseeing Options in Beijing

Want to discover all there is to do in Beijing? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Beijing

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 4,209 reviews

I experienced working with Dominic twice. Once to rent an e-bike, which was well worth it on a hot day in Beijing! It was easy to get around, it was fun and he had great recommenations of what to do and see! I spent some time tooling around to see where things were, and hung out at the Houhai lake too! I also went on a Hutong tour with him where he showed me all the great hidden food places and was patient enough to wait while I pinned them on my map. He also shared good historical information which I appreciate as a history learner.

Roy was an excellent guide and very good at managing a large crowd of tourists. His instructions were clear as he’s fluent in English. I really enjoyed the tour as he briefly explained the history of the wall and materials used to glue them together. Buffet was sumptuous, lots of veggies. No shopping stops which I appreciated so the whole time was dedicated in exploring the walls and other attractions like cable car and toboggan. This tour is highly recommended.

I had a great day on Chinese Great Wall. I was lucky to have a guide whose name was Claire, she was helpful, kind and happy person. It was easy to communicate with her. Started from the meeting point in Beijing and throughout all the way everything was on high level, was well-organized. I definitely recommend to take tour of this company. Great job MUBUS team and many thanks!

This trip was a birthday gift to myself, and what a wonderful gift. Thank you, GetYourGuide and our in person guide, Fred. Super service from start to end. I recommend you to all I know. Merry Christmas.

Great way to explore old Beijing. Fun and informative. Would recommend for first day of arrival as the journey reveals great places to explore my foot during rest of stay. Thanks much!