Your quest to see all that there is to see in China’s capital city is a hopeless one, but you’ll have a lot of fun trying. The invigorating mix of China’s modern splendor contrasts starkly with the ancient history that lingers about the city. During your visit, be sure to try fitting a visit to at least a few of these incredible sites.
Things to See/Do in Beijing
The enormous imperial palace is the center of the city and is a stop on most Beijing tours. The Forbidden City consists of the massive complex of buildings and courtyards that was home to the emperor for 500 years. Previously closed to all but a select few families and their servants, the city is now one of the largest museums in the world, displaying historical Chinese architecture, gardens and artifacts.
National Museum of China
Sitting on the east side of Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest museum hosts art shows and galleries of historical artifacts. You could easily spend several days studying the exhibits. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 – 5 pm.
Huangang Guild Hall
For a little bit of high culture, take in a show at the Peking opera which performs nightly at this 19th century guild hall. The setting is intimate (only 300 seats) and is a perfect opportunity to experience the pageantry and music of Chinese opera. If you have a free night on your in Beijing, this isn’t a bad place to spend it.
This is one of the most iconic and popular destinations in China. The Badaling section of the Wall is an hour’s drive northwest of the city. Go early in the day to beat the crowds, and be prepared for a good walk along the wall to the roller coaster that takes you down the other side.
Beijing Travel Tips
Walk or rent your own bike to get around the city. The city traffic is notorious, and you’ll spend a fortune on a cab to get anywhere. Try to center your days in a single area of Beijing and plan on eating and possibly booking a room in the area.
You can find many attractions and things to do for reasonable prices. Be sure to plan out the details and specifics before you go so that you know where to stay, where to eat, and how to get around. These amazing sites will be memories that stay with you for a very long time and will be constantly urging you to return.
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