Beijing Attractions

Beijing is China's cultural and artistic capital and filled to the brim with history, spirituality and stunning beauty. Start your trip off with a tour of traditional Beijing.

The Forbidden City is arguably the grandest structure of Beijing, and is truly a symbol of imperial power at the height of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Known as the "Former Palace" in Chinese, this was the imperial seat of Chinese emperors for a span of over 500 years. Over this time, the palace was ransacked a number of times, so most of the structure you see today was built during the Qing dynasty. The original structure was said to contain 9,999 rooms, but there are now 980, only half of which are open to the public. Make sure you get there early (gates open at 8:30) to wander peacefully without the afternoon crowds.

The world's largest square, and Beijing's most unavoidable tourist attraction is Tienanmen Square. Although infamous due to the 1989 student rally incident, this square continues to attract hordes of tourists, due to its sheer size and cultural centers. In the center of the square is the Monument to the People's Heroes, which was erected in 1958 by Chairman Mao as a symbol of the Communist Revolution. To the north of the Square lies the Forbidden City, and to the east are the museums of Chinese History and Chinese Revolution.

There are many points of entry for the Great Wall of China, which stretches over 5000 meters. The least touristy access point is Jiankou. The hike from here takes about five hours, and is quite a trek that is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for those afraid of heights.

The Temple of Heaven, located in the Chongwen District, was originally built as an altar to Heaven. This was the site for important rituals carried out by the Ming and Qing emperors, who came here during the winter months to pray for the health of the empire.

The Summer Palace was where the Emperor and his court retreated in the hot summer months to keep cool by the lake, and is well worth a visit. Likewise, Hou Hai Lake, in the center of the city, is a glorious place for a stroll year round, and especially at night.

There are plenty of shopping opportunities in China, where you can get traditional silks, jade, and antiques. The most famous area is the antique market of Panjiayuan. You can also find boutique shopping on Nanluoguxiang Alley, and some of the best shopping for souvenirs on Qianmen Market Street.

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Forbidden City (Gu Gong)

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North of Tiananmen Square
Dong Cheng District

China's greatest imperial palace complex... read more

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Tiananmen Square

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Chang An Avenue
Dong Cheng District

Geographical and symbolic center of Beijing...
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Great Wall (The)

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North of Beijing city

World's longest wall... read more

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Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan)

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Tian Tan North Road

Beautiful historic temple complex and park...
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Panjiayuan

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Panjiayuan Lu
Just inside Dongsanhuan Nanlu

Top for arts, crafts and antiques... read more

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Nanluoguxiang

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Runs north to south between Jiugulou Dajie and Dianmen Dajie, respectively
Southern entrance a few blocks east of Houhai

Hutong chic, for shopping, cafes and adorable bars... read more

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Hou Hai Lake

Yan Dai Xie Jie

A beautiful and romantic lake circled in classy bars and restaurants... read more

Summer Palace (The)

Beiqing Road

Historic Imperial Residence in Park Setting...
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qianmen market street

Qianmen Dajie

A recreation of an ancient shopping street...
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Bell Tower

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Di'anmen Dajie

Enormous Bell... read more

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Stroll on Chang An Avenue

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Chang An Avenue

A tourist must... read more

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Pearl Market

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16 Hongqiao Lu
On the northeast corner of the Temple of Heaven

All styles, all prices... read more

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Dragonfly Retreat

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6 Baijiazhuang Lu
1F Eastern Inn

An incredibly serene experience... read more

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Bodhi

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17 Gonti Beilu
Across from Workers Stadium, near Minsheng Bank

Unwind with a luxurious body or foot massage...
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Great Wall at Mu Tian Yu

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San Du He Village
Huai Rou County

Second most popular stretch of the Wall... read more

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Summer Palace (Yi He Yuan)

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Hai Dian

Breathtaking Gardens & Ancient Art... read more

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Xiushui Silk Market

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East Jianguomenwai Dajie
Directly above Yong'an Li subway stop

The best place for souvenirs and fakes... read more

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Great Wall at Simatai

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Gubeikou Town
Miyun County

Breathtaking stretch of the Great Wall... read more

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Ming Tombs

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Jundushan
Chang Ping District

The resting place of emperors... read more

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Zhong Shan Park

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East side of Tian'anmen tower
Dong Cheng District

Park within the Forbidden City's Outer Walls...
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