Beijing is unarguably one of the most visited places in the world. It is a sleepless city, so you can easily find something for you at any time for whatever you like. With no shortage of wonderful sightseeing opportunities and home to some of the country's best-known tourist attractions, including a section of the famous Great Wall of China.
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1.THE IMPERIAL PALACE AND THE FORBITTEN CITY
Also known as the Forbidden City and China’s most significant building with its origins back to the Yuan Dynasty of the 13th century. The palace was home to 24 Ming and Qing Emperors. The palace it surrounded by a 10-meter-high wall with towers in the four corners and a 50-meter-wide moat. Highlights include the Meridian Gate, the Golden River Bridges, the 35-meter-high Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Preserving Harmony and the Hall of Military Courage, a permanent residence and private audience hall for the emperors.
2.THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
North of Beijing you will find one of the worlds most famous monuments, the Great Wall of China. At the Badaling section a you will find a souvenir market as well as a gondola to whisk visitors up and down the wall. Northeast of Beijing at the Mutianya section you'll find majestic mountainous vistas, a cable car for quick-and-easy access and a fun sled ride down. The Juyongguan, Simatai, Jinshanling, Huanghuacheng, Jiankou, and Gubeikou sections offer adventurous travelers more challenging hikes and unique landscapes.
3.THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN
The temple was built in customary Chinese fashion of wood and entirely without nails dates back to 1420 and incorporates a group of some of Beijing's most sacred buildings. The old temples and shrines surrounded by lush vegetation together symbolizes heaven and earth. Highlights is the three-tier marble terrace with balustrades and a roof covered with 50,000 fine blue glazed tiles and the Hall of the Vault of Heaven erected in 1530 and boasting a blue-tiled conical roof. Also visit the Echo Wall, which echoes to even the quietest of voices, an effect exaggerated by three unusual echoing stones.
4.THE LAMA TEMPLE
Completed in 1745 and one of Beijing's most attractive and best-preserved temples and equipped with many valuable works of art. Highlights is the Hall of the Kings of Heaven with its statue of Buddha and the statue of Weituo, the protector of Buddhism, holding an iron staff. Other important buildings include the Pavilion of the Four-tongued Stele, the Hall of the Buddhist Wheel and the largest building the Pavilion of Four Thousand Fortunes with its enormous 18-meter-high sandalwood statue.
5.BEIJING CAPITAL MUSEUM
Open in 1981 and one of the country’s leading museum, the museum boasts a vast collection of artifacts including ancient items of porcelain and bronze, traditional calligraphy and artwork, along with many fine statues from Chinese and other Asian cultures. The museum has more than 200,000 important cultural artifacts - many originating from in and around Beijing in its vast collection.
6.BEIJING ANCIENT OBSERVATORY
The fortress-like observatory was completed in 1442 and was continuously in use right up until 1929. Highlights a is fascinating old pre-telescopic instruments with a celestial globe dating from 1673 and an 18th-century armillary globe depicting the planets along with a number of large bronze instruments. The tall brick tower offering a glimpse into the surprising amount of knowledge of the stars and planets that existed at the time.
The zoo was established in 1906 making it one of the oldest zoos in China. Home to 15,000 animals from 1,000 species - includes many rare native species such as South China tigers, snow leopards, golden snub-nosed monkeys, and pandas, along with some not so rare such as the red-crowned crane and Pere David's deer. Species from across the world include elephants, lions, and jaguars, all spread around grounds that closely resemble classical Chinese gardens, complete with dense woods, meadows, rivers, streams, and ponds, along with a number of pleasant gazebos and terraces.
8.THE BEIJING TEMPLE OF CONFUCIUS
The temple was built in 1302 and dedicated to the great philosopher and teacher, Confucius, whose teachings dominated public and private life for centuries. Highlights is the 198 steles with inscriptions naming all 51,624 Confucian scholars who, after 1416, successfully passed the highest examinations of the state until abolished in 1904, the Hall of Great Achievements, and many old musical instruments and other ritual items used in celebrations.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
The best way to get around Beijing is by Subway, bus, taxi, sanlunche, pedicabs, car, bike, scooter or walk.Beijing is suitable for travel all year round.
The best time to visit Beijin is from Steptember to November (autumn).