Destination – Beijing, China
Beijing, also known as Peking, is the capital and cultural center of China. It has a long and rich history dating back to the 11th century BC, when it was the capital of the ancient state of Yan. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Beijing served as the imperial capital of China and many famous landmarks, such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, were built during this time. In 1949, Beijing officially became the capital of the People's Republic of China.
A fact about Beijing is that it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with human settlements dating back over 3,000 years.
Do & See
There are many things to do and must-see places in Beijing, China. Some popular tourist attractions include:
The Forbidden City: This is a large palace complex that was the home of the Chinese emperors for over 500 years. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination.
The Great Wall of China: This iconic structure is one of the most famous landmarks in China and is a must-see for anyone visiting Beijing. Visitors can hike along the wall and take in the stunning views.
The Summer Palace: This is a large imperial garden and palace located in the northwestern part of Beijing. It was a popular retreat for the emperors during the hot summer months and is now a popular tourist destination.
The Temple of Heaven: This is a complex of religious buildings that was used by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to offer sacrifices to the gods and pray for good harvests.
The Hutong: This is a type of traditional alley or lane that is found in the older parts of Beijing. Visitors can take a rickshaw tour through the hutongs to experience the traditional Beijing lifestyle.
Tiananmen Square: This is the largest public square in the world, located at the center of Beijing. It's a significant site for political rallies and events and is also the location of the National Museum of China and the Monument to the People's Heroes.
Wangfujing Street: This is a famous shopping street in Beijing, which offers a wide range of goods and local snack street.
These are just a few examples of the many things to do and must-see places in Beijing, China. The city is full of history, culture, and modern entertainment, visitors may need more than a week to fully explore the city.
There are several ways to explore Beijing, China depending on what you're interested in and how much time you have. Here are a few options:
Walking tours: One of the best ways to explore Beijing is on foot. You can walk around the city's many streets and alleys, taking in the sights and sounds of daily life. Some popular walking tours include the hutongs, which are traditional alleyways where you can see traditional Beijing architecture and culture, and the 798 Art District, which is a trendy area with many galleries and art studios.
Biking tours: Biking is another great way to explore Beijing and see the city's sights. There are many bike rental shops around the city where you can rent a bike for a day or half day.
Bus and subway tours: Beijing has an extensive public transportation system, and many visitors find that using the bus and subway is an easy and convenient way to get around the city.
Rickshaw tours: Rickshaws are a fun and unique way to explore Beijing. You can take a rickshaw tour through the city's hutongs, which will give you a glimpse of traditional Beijing culture and lifestyle.
Food tours: Beijing is famous for its street food and local snacks, and many visitors enjoy taking a food tour to sample the local specialties.
Private tours: If you want a more personalized experience, you can hire a private tour guide who will take you to the most interesting places in Beijing and provide you with valuable information about the city's history and culture.
It's important to plan ahead and book tickets for the popular tourist attractions in advance, as well as to take into account the weather conditions, especially during the summer, when it can get very hot.
Dining in Beijing, China is an exciting experience, as the city offers a wide range of culinary options. From traditional Chinese dishes to international cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Peking duck: This is a must-try dish in Beijing, it's a traditional dish where the duck meat is served with thin pancakes, scallions, and sweet bean sauce. Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant and Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant are two of the most famous restaurants in Beijing that specialize in Peking duck.
Hot Pot: This is a popular Chinese dish where a simmering pot of broth is placed in the center of the table and ingredients are cooked in the broth. It's a perfect option for cold winter days, and there are many hotpot restaurants in Beijing that offer a wide range of ingredients to choose from.
Noodles: Beijing is also famous for its noodles, which can be found in many different variations, such as zhajiangmian, hand-pulled noodles, and dao xiao mian. You can find traditional noodle shops all over the city, where you can enjoy a bowl of fresh, homemade noodles.
Street food: Beijing is also famous for its street food, which can be found in many night markets and street vendors around the city. Some popular street food items include jianbing (Chinese-style crepe), roujiamo (Chinese-style sandwich), and baozi (steamed buns).
International cuisine: Beijing offers a wide range of international cuisine options, from Italian to French and from Japanese to Korean. Many of the high-end hotels and restaurants in Beijing offer international cuisine options, such as Capital M, Temple Restaurant, and Made in Kitchen.
Overall, Beijing is a food lover's paradise, and there's a wide range of options available to suit all tastes and budgets.
Beijing has a vibrant cafe culture, and there are many excellent cafes to choose from in the city. Some of the top cafes in Beijing include:
The Bookworm: This is a popular cafe and bookstore located in the Sanlitun area. It's a great place to grab a coffee and relax with a book or newspaper. They also have a wide range of events, such as book clubs and poetry readings.
Blue Stream: This is a cozy cafe located in the trendy 798 Art District. It's known for its delicious coffee and homemade cakes, as well as its beautiful outdoor terrace.
The Stone Boat: This is a traditional Chinese-style cafe located in the Beihai Park. It's a great place to grab a coffee and relax while enjoying the beautiful views of the park and the nearby lake.
The Opposite House: This is a luxury hotel with a stylish cafe located in the Sanlitun area. The café serves a wide range of drinks and light meals, and it's a great place to people-watch and relax.
Blue Mountain Coffee: This is a small, cozy cafe located in the Wudaokou area. It's a great place to grab a coffee and relax with a book or to catch up with friends. They serve a wide range of coffee and tea, and their homemade cakes are also delicious.
The Cafe at Capital M: This is a stylish and elegant cafe located on the top floor of the Capital M, with great views over Tiananmen Square. It serves a wide range of coffee, tea, and light meals, and it's a great place to relax and enjoy the views.
These are just a few examples of the many excellent cafes in Beijing, China. The city is full of unique and interesting cafes, and visitors can find the perfect spot to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and take in the local culture.
Bars and Nightlife
Beijing has a vibrant nightlife scene, and there are many excellent bars and lounges to choose from in the city. Some popular areas for nightlife include Sanlitun, Houhai, and the 798 Art District. Here are a few top must-try bars and lounges in Beijing:
The Bar at Capital M: This is a stylish and elegant bar located on the top floor of the Capital M, with great views over Tiananmen Square. It serves a wide range of cocktails and spirits, and it's a great place to relax and enjoy the views.
The Bookworm: This is a popular bar and bookstore located in the Sanlitun area. It's a great place to grab a drink and relax with a book or newspaper. They also have a wide range of events, such as book clubs and poetry readings.
The Bank: This is a popular bar located in the Sanlitun area. It has a stylish and elegant decor, and it serves a wide range of cocktails and spirits.
Janes and Hooch: This is a popular bar located in the Sanlitun area. It has a casual and laid-back atmosphere, and it serves a wide range of cocktails and spirits.
Lantern: This is a stylish and elegant bar located in the 798 Art District. It has a great rooftop terrace, and it serves a wide range of cocktails and spirits.
The Opposite House: This is a luxury hotel with a stylish bar located in the Sanlitun area. The bar serves a wide range of drinks and light meals, and it's a great place to people-watch and relax.
These are just a few examples of the many excellent bars and lounges in Beijing, China. The city has a wide range of options for nightlife, from casual bars to upscale lounges, and visitors can find the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a drink or two with friends or to dance the night away.
Beijing is a shopper's paradise, offering a wide range of options for both luxury and budget-friendly shopping. Some of the best budget-friendly places to shop in Beijing include:
Wangfujing Street: This is a famous shopping street in Beijing, which offers a wide range of goods and local snack street. It's a great place to find souvenirs, clothes, and accessories at reasonable prices.
Panjiayuan Flea Market: Also known as the "dirt market," this is a popular place to find antiques, curios, and traditional Chinese crafts at budget-friendly prices. It's open on the weekends only.
Yashow Market: This is a popular market located in the Sanlitun area. It's a great place to find clothes, accessories, and souvenirs at budget-friendly prices.
Silk Street Market: This is a popular market located in the Dongcheng district. It's a great place to find clothes, accessories, and souvenirs at budget-friendly prices.
Hongqiao Pearl Market: This market is located in the west of Beijing and it's a great place to find pearls, jade, and other traditional Chinese crafts at budget-friendly prices.
The markets in the hutongs: Beijing's traditional alleyways, the hutongs, are home to many small markets, where you can find traditional Chinese goods, souvenirs, and local snacks.
Shopping in Beijing can be a great way to experience the local culture and to find unique and interesting items. It's always a good idea to negotiate the prices, especially in the markets and street vendors, and to be aware of the quality of the products you're buying.