A visit to Beijing, even a short one, should include the following top ten tourist sites. We’ll walk you through what to see and how to see it in 5-7 days.
- Great Wall of China. This is the most obvious tourist spot in all of China. Only the Terracotta Warriors even comes close to meeting the fame of the wall. Beware, however, of tours going there as you could catch a local bus for $5, or else join a tour for the ease but do research on which part of the wall you want to see.
- Forbidden City. The city is massive and you could easily spend an entire day here. To shorten the visit somewhat, stick to a straight-line through the city, exiting on the northern end. You’ll see most of the highlights and still have time to see more that day.
- Qian’men Shopping Area. Located near Tiananmen Square, you’ll adore this back alley of tea and souvenir shops. Plan to spend a few hours walking around looking at fake silks, cliché ‘China’ items and fake antiques.
- Tiananmen Square. You have to see the square if you are visiting Beijing. Located in the center of town this square has been an important part of Chinese history for an extremely long time. It also looks cool.
- Drum and Bell Towers. While these are not normal highlights on a Beijing visit, the area around the towers is delightful and the best place to catch a rickshaw ride through the hutongs or else to enjoy a beer in the afternoon.
- Sanlitun Bar Street. If you are in Beijing for only a short while, you should still make time to see the bar street. Sanlitun road is an amazingly large compellation of Chinese and western bars where prices are not always firmly set. Have fun!
- Peking Duck. A visit to a Peking duck restaurant is in order. There are many options, but a duck should be between 200-250RMB. Anything over that is just a waste as you only end up with enough for about 2-3 people per duck.
- Temple of Heaven. This is a lovely place for a stroll or a late afternoon casual tour. It doesn’t take much time to see and yet your pictures from the Temple of Heaven are beautiful and lasting.
- Summer Palace. This is a long activity but worth the trip north to see. This was once the summer retreat of bygone emperors. Enjoy the beauty of the parks and trees and adore the hand painted buildings around the palace.
- Silk Market. A mass of people all yelling in your ear at once doesn’t sound like a fun holiday activity, but it is distinctly Beijing. Enjoy a brief visit and if you must buy, bargain hard!
View the Top Ten Tourist Sites in Shanghai, to compare your options as a tourist visiting China!