Places to visit in Beijing

When you travel to Beijing, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Beijing, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Beijing to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Beijing things to do can include exploring Beijing attractions and visiting the places of interest.

Also known as the Imperial city, it was built by the Ming dynasty and was the residence of emperors for almost 500 years. The Forbidden City is one of the 7 heritage sites recognised by UNESCO. It is located in the heart of Beijing and is entered through the Tiananmen gate. This city has over 9000 rooms and spans over 250 acres. Almost all of the architecture here seen here dates back to the 18th century in the Qing Dynasty. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot to walk. A Starbucks has been smartly placed inside the city in case people need to have some coffee to recharge themselves. Audio guides are also available with over 40 languages at the Meridian Gate or the Gate of Divine Prowess.

Apart from Beihai Park, there are a lot of options for the kids in Beijing. Beijing has an indoor aquarium which is the largest inland aquarium in Asia. Fundazzle is another place where the toddlers can enjoy their time. Especially on a rainy day, the kids can play for hours. If you are visiting in the summer months, a must visit is the Splash recreational Club which has both indoor and outdoor swimming activities or Le Cool which is an indoor ice-skating ring. Another place to visit is the Shijingshan Amusement park which is Beijing’s largest amusement park with faux Disney characters. 

Any trip to Beijing is incomplete without visiting its museums. There are numerous museums around the city. Located in FuxingmenwaiDajie, Beijing’s New Capital Museum is now open to the public. Catering to a maximum of 13 concurrent exhibitions, this 5 storey mansion needs your time as it takes 5 hours to scape the whole structure. The museum is based on the concept of human and cultural heritage. 

Known to be the heart of China, Beijing has a plethora of architectural treasure, museum to galleries, grand opera, cafes, clubs and snack sheds and more,  the city has become the hub of cultural cool. Beijing has an assortment of historical places as well as natural places to see around. 

Bejing is well known for its natural attraction and it is definitely worth exploring.  You must visit the Xiangshan Park which is located in the Haidian District. Also, known as the Fragrant Hills Park, this park covers an area of 395 acres and consists of a beautiful pine-cypress forest, maple trees and hills, smoke trees, persimmon trees. This park also has landscaped areas with traditional architecture along with cultural relics. The Fragrant Hills Park is most famous for the red leaves that usually cover the hillsides in autumn. The Stone Flower Cave or the Shihua Cave is also a place that you must visit. This cave is multi-stories and it consists of seven layers. The specialty of this cave is that Layers 1 to 6 are dry and therefore, they are open to the public. Layer 7 is submerged in Underground River and is closed to the public; the sight-seeing route is more than 2,500m long. The Jiufeng National Forest Park is another major attraction in Beijing. It is well known for its winding and primitive paths. There are also zigzagging ancient paths that lead to the peak and allow you to view the Xiaoshan scenic area.

If you are visiting a place cultural importance, you must visit the 798 Art Complex. Lying in the northeast corner of the city, this place is named after the 798 factory which were built in the 1950’s. The 798 Art zone covers an area of 0.6 square kilometres. This area is characterized by modern art, and it is the exhibition center of Chinese culture and art. This area attracts tourists from all over the world as it is lined with design studios, galleries, artists' studios, art exhibition spaces, fashionable shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and much more. This area even hosts international art exhibitions. Your trip to Beijing is incomplete if you do not experience the Peking Opera. You will cherish the performance, music as well as the colourful costumes for a long time. These are just a few places that you can visit and things you can do, while you are in Beijing.

There several famous landmarks in Beijing with the Badaling Great Wall being one of them. The Badaling Great Wall and it is one of the most popular places of attraction. It is also the best-preserved and also the most accessible sections of the Great Wall of China. The National Grand Theatre of China which is described as "The Egg" by local folks due to its shape is a major landmark in Beijing as well. This opera house in Beijing looks like an egg floating on water, or a water drop. This theatre is almost 12,000 sqm in size and seats 5,452 people in three halls. 

Located just to the northwest of the Forbidden City, Beihai Park was once the winter palace for emperors. The two things not to be missed here is the park and the city around it. The city has a jade vase which is said to be the only thing which left from the rulers during the rule of the Yuan Dynasty. The park is also host to a large lake, the biggest and prettiest lake in Beijing. Almost two-third of the park is the lake. Tourist can hire a boat to travel along the lake. Apart from the lake, the major attractions are the temple of Eternal Peace, the 9 Dragon Screen and the White Pagoda. For the tourist who would like to try some traditional food is the Fangshan restaurant where people can eat the food served to the Qing dynasty.

You can take part in a number of outdoor activities while your stay in Beijing. An outdoor activity in Beijing is not complete without a walk on the Great Wall of China. It offers magnificent treks that allow you to go up the ancient tracks to view the mountainous north. You can also enjoy rafting in the rivers Yongding and Chaobai. If you visit Beijing during the winter you can hit the icy slopes in the Changping district and enjoy skiing. 

For more relaxing afternoons you can try the dragon boat trip over the calm rivers and lakes. You can also visit the Jiuhua Spa and Resort. It is one of the most popular hot springs in Beijing. This spa is set in themidst of beautiful scenery with Chinese style architecture. The Tianlongyuan Hot Spring Resorts is also one of the most visited spas. It is also Bejing’s newest hot spring and the best par is that it comes with advanced facilities. This spa also owns the biggest indoor hot spring in China.

This is a must visit place for your first trip to Beijing. It serves delicious authentic food since it was founded in 1864. This is the most famous chain restaurants which serves the best roast duck.

This restaurant serves delicious Muslim food from the province of Xinjiang. The table to dancers is what makes this place special. They also have the best belly dancers performing on stage. There are many dishes to choose from and some can be quiet expensive. You can also choose the fixed meals that they offer.

This is a famous Sichuan food chain restaurant. The most famous dish is the fresh fish cooked in the boiling oil, spice’s and dried chilli. It is supremely delicious. You should not be scared of the spicy oils as they aren’t as spicy as they are said to be.

Options for vegetarian tourists are Green Tian Shi Restaurant, Lily vegetarian, Lotus in Moonlight (favourite among the Beijing vegetarians) and Pure Lotus. 

San Li Tun bar street is a must go place to enjoy the nightlife of Beijing. CD café has a nice jazz band playing. It is one of the more popular and bigger bars on the street where the localites and foreigners mingle freely. People start coming in as early as 8pm to get a good seat. People also sing along if the band is singing a famous song. Drinks are served regularly and in some bars the ladies sell cigarettes and cigars and sometimes flowers too. This is the place to be when with friends and just want to hang out with some good music.

The Hard Rock café of Beijing is nestled in the Landmark tower near the Lufthansa centre. It is worth the visit and feeling the ambience. The café, unlike any other Hard Rock in the world has a stunning ambience. Starting with the Vintage Cadillac at the entrance and the huge neon lit guitar and marble piano keys. The interior has a huge dome with the entire famous old school artist painted on it. The guitar shaped bar and the stained glass wall on the centre stage is a masterpiece.

The six storied building, located at the east of Changan Street provides everything with a restaurant at the sixth floor. From October to march, the market is open from 8.30am to 9.00pm, the rest of the year it is till 11.00pm. Weekdays are the best time to shop here and not the weekends, especially in the early morning. This market will test your bargaining skills as at times the price offered is 5-6 times to actual. You need some amount of time to bargain properly in case you’re not accustomed to the bargaining system.

Hongqiao market, as called pearl market, has quiet a misleading name. This market provides all items ranging from small knives, copy watches, sportswear etc. It looks pretty messed up at the beginning. On the first floor, electronics and basic photo equipment’s is available. On the second floor, you will get clothing and sports goods. On the third is the jewellery store and the copy watches.

Liulichang is the oldest street in Beijing, located near Hepingmen and is also known as Antique Street. It has a long history from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty. It is a 750m long street full of shops which deals mainly in Chinese cultural items. The area typically sells Chinese stuff like antique books, jade, gold calligraphy, pottery etc.

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