Beijing is a city of contrasts in constant evolution where it is very common to find large skyscrapers next to traditional houses.
The first sight when you arrive in the city is that of an extremely overpopulated city, with its more than 21 million. But we can assure you that there are so many incredible places.
Places like the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, making an excursion to the Great Wall of China or visiting the ancient Hutongs, makes it worthwhile to stay several days in the city.
There are many things to see and do in Beijing, which we can say, was fascinating. Let’s begin.
Famous Scenic Spots
1. Visit The Forbidden City first thing in the morning, one of the wonders of Beijing. We recommend booking this ticket in advance to save you the long queues to learn about its interesting history.
2. Climb the Drum Tower to have Beijing at your feet and see the huge bronze bell, one of the best things to see in Beijing.
3. Cross the 17-arch bridge over Lake Kunming, which links the island of Nanhu with land at the Summer Palace.
4. Take the subway to visit Beijing’s Olympic Village with its amazing bird’s nest shaped National Stadium and the National Aquatic Center at night.
5. Make the trip to the Great Wall, one of the places to visit in China essential. We recommend the sector of Simatai and Jinshanling or Mutianyu, less restored and with much less people than the area of Badaling.
6. Visit the Temple of Confucius, near the Temple of the Lamas, a temple dedicated to the Chinese thinker and his teachings.
7. Visit the Temple of Heaven, our favorite place in the city and one of the best things to see and do in Beijing.
8. Watch the film of The Last Emperor by Bernardo Bertolucci, before visiting The Forbidden City.
Experience Beijing’s Lifestyle
9. Haggle the price to a rickshaw driver and tour the hutongs or alleys with the traditional Chinese means of transport.
10. Walk along Qianmen Street, full of shops, bars and restaurants, one of the best things to do in Beijing.
11. A good place to stay is in some Hutong area. Here we will have peace and if we have a subway exit nearby it will be easy to move around the city.
12. See a Kung Fu show at the Red Theatre in Beijing.
13. Free entrance to the Chinese National Museum, passport required. It is huge with good rooms to know the history and development of China.
14. Relax in the Beihai Park next to the Coal Hill, with a large lake and temples that will help you disconnect from the noise and stress of the city.
15. Walk around the Art District 798, full of art galleries, fashion shops, restaurants, bookstores… This is what is considered the bohemian area of Beijing.
16. Take a boat ride on Lake Houhai in the Shichahai area.
17. Taking a bike tour through the chaotic traffic of the city.
18. Watching an acrobatic show at the Chaoyang Theatre, there are few better than the Chinese in this discipline.
19. Climb the TV Tower for the best panoramic views of Beijing.
20. Make a hole between the stalls of the Wangfujing market to try the skewers of scorpions, snakes.
21. Have a nice lacquered duck dinner at the Siji Minfu restaurant.
22. Have a good traditional tea at the Laoshe Teahouse in Qianmen.
23. Eat the best dim sum in Beijing, at Din Tai Fung.
24. Taste the flavors of local food at Little Yunnan Restaurant.
25. Eat a good Hot Pot: a set of meals cooked in a hot broth that is placed in the center of a table, in the BeiJing Haidilao restaurant.
26. Eat delicious boiled and fried dumplings at Mr. Shi’s Dumplings restaurant.
27. Take the subway to Nanluogu Xiang Street, a colorful shopping street full of original clothing stores, street food and great atmosphere.
28. Non-stop bargaining at the Silk Market, full of counterfeit clothing brands, watches, bags.
29. Buy some souvenirs in Liulichang, the antique street of Beijing, full of souvenir shops.
30. Go on a Saturday or Sunday to the market of Panjiayuan, there you can find all kinds of crafts, antiques, Chinese paintings, calligraphy, vases.
If you do not want to miss any of the most important city tours, you can take a guided tour in English to the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven or this private tour in Beijing.
One of the best tips to travel to China if we are going to take a taxi or other transport, is to ask the hotel to write the address in Chinese because very few speak English.