Beijing
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Top attractions in Beijing

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Best things to do in Beijing

The Chinese capital has a history that stretches back over 3 millenia, but this former center of multiple kingdoms is as renowned for its modern skyline as its ancient monuments. Here are some of the attractions Beijing is best known for. Don't miss them!

Ming Dynasty Tombs

Ming Dynasty Tombs

Also known as the "13 Tombs," most of the Ming emperors were interred within these striking mausoleums. The Ming-Gräber are on the way to the Great Wall, so factor them into your day trip!

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

The site of several major protests and displays of military might, Tiananmen Square is made one of Beijing's most famous as much by the iconic monuments that surround it.

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Tiananmen Square takes its name from the "Gate of Heavenly Peace" that seperates it from this ancient royal city. There's a lot to see in the Forbidden City, so book a guided tour and wear comfy shoes!

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

The most impressive of the surviving Chinese imperial gardens is a recreational complex of lakes, greenery, and palaces providing one of Beijing's most tranquil attractions.

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

Combining the architectural qualities of both Ming and Qing dynasties, the Temple of Heaven was finished in 1420 and has been one of China's holiest sites ever since!

Beihai Park

Beihai Park

This former imperial garden-turned-public Beihai Park is not just a site of outstanding beauty, but home to many sightseeing favorites, like the White Pagoda and the Nine-Dragon Wall!

Beijing National Stadium
Photo: David Dong @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Beijing National Stadium

Built for the 2008 Olympics, the 91,000-seat "Bird's Nest" has emerged as an icon of modern China. You can take a tour or even grab Beijing National Stadium tickets to a soccer game! Why not do both?

Planning Your Beijing 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.

Things to Do in Beijing

Top Attractions in Beijing

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What people are saying about Beijing

Emma was a great host. Mutianyu Great Wall was unforgettable

My wife and I visited Mutianyu Great Wall with Emma in late April. It was one of our most unforgettable tours of our 10-year anniversary. Mutianyu Great Wall is a great section of the wall to visit - parts of it are nicely restored, and some others are not (which makes for a fun off-path hike). The toboggan slide is incredibly fun and very much worth it. The group size was 7 + Emma + the driver, which made it very intimate and allowed us to make new friends. Emma was nice, funny, and truly engaging. She is an excellent tour guide, and can only wish her the best in the future!

Mutianyu Great Wall Small Group Tour from Beijing Reviewed by Fernando, 07/05/2019

Good tour around the most important Beijing attractions

Very good tour, you will see Tiananmen Square and spend some quality time in Forbidden City, visit Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. One shopping stop at pearl factory. Lunch is traditional Chinese tourists lunch, pretty satisfying.

Excellent day - funny guide Chang plus plenty of time on the Wall!

This is a great tour if you want plenty of time on the Wall - we spent 3hrs walking from Jinshanling to West Simatai. It is very scenic and the Wall still has its old bricks. Our tour guide Chang was very entertaining and helpful. The traditional lunch at the end was also excellent! Felt like a home cooked meal with plenty of options for vegetarians / Muslims! Highly recommend.

Very enjoyable evening, food and a show :-)

Peking Duck dinner was a great experience. Plenty of food, tasty and good environment. Kung Fu show was spectacular, good story and high energy performance. Our guide/driver was excellent.

Kung fu Show and Peking Roasted Duck Dinner Reviewed by keith, 19/04/2019

Mutianyu Great Wall tour with Fred was excellent.

Not only did Fred, our guide, do an excellent job of informing us what to expect once we reached Mutianyu, he was also very thorough at identifying unique shortcomings that might be a problem for each passenger on the bus. For example, we did not have a cable car or chairlift as part of our package, which would have meant walking quite some distance uphill just to reach the wall. We gave Fred the money and he purchased our cable car tickets at the entrance. He did similar troubleshooting for everyone on the bus. Fred reduced the confusion and chaos of Mutianyu to a simple and pleasurable experience.

From Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour Reviewed by Steven, 17/04/2019