Spring, summer and autumn are beautiful in Beijing. Winter not so much. Still, there are dozens of fun activities to partake in in the warmer months that are simply closed down or not feasible when it’s cold. Take the Great Wall, for example. It’s a miserable place in winter. The surrounding trees are leafless and the views are brown and stark. There isn’t the beauty of snow to justify suffering in the cold.
The Forbidden City is another such attraction that lacks appeal in winter. Spring, when the trees and plants in the city’s gardens are in bloom, is the best time of year to visit. The Temple of Heaven, in the south of the city, is likewise a beautiful and fun place in warmer weather but quite bleak and depressing in winter. Indeed, without the trees, shrubs and plants that dot the massive area of the Temple of Heaven, it’s depressing more than impressive.
And shopping in the city is better in warm months as well. Panjiayuan, an open air art and antiques market, thrives in warm weather and wanes considerably in winter. Strolling pleasurably through the stalls is one of the simple joys of life in Beijing. And there is no more beautiful spot for strolling and shopping than Nanluoguxiang, the restored hutong alleyway that is home to famous bars, restaurants, and shops.