Beijing Travel Guide
Beijing Municipality | Population: 24,000,000
Beijing, the vast capital city of China, has a 3,000-year-old history of Imperial style and grandeur. The city boasts some of the richest collections of historical, cultural, and royal relics compared to any other city in the nation. During the transition from the times of ancient kingdoms to the modern day People’s Republic, Beijing played a vital role in making China the prosperous country that it is today.
Nearly 297 million domestic and overseas tourists visited Beijing in the year 2017, making it third most-visited city in China after Hong Kong and Shanghai. With foreign dignitaries visiting the city even during the Imperial era, there was and is a palpable aura of hospitality and friendliness in the city.
The city of Beijing was known as Peking until it was changed in 1958. The Zhoukoudian archaeological site located nearby is a world famous tourist attraction due to its anthropological significance. The remains of Homo erectus, popularly known as “Peking Man” were discovered here. These remains are believed to be 680,000 to 780,000 years old.
The iconic structure that defines Beijing is the Forbidden City. This was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties before China became a People’s Republic. Spread over 720,000 square meters, it is believed to be the largest palace in the world.
At the center of the city, Tiananmen Square has been the scene of both ancient and contemporary history, where the gigantic portrait of Mao Zedong, takes center stage. It was the scene of royal convoys during the Imperial regime as well as major political events and military parades in modern times.
Where To Stay
A majority of the upscale 4-star and 5-star hotels are located in the urban areas of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Beijing Central Business District, Chaoyang, and Haidian. These localities are within easy reach of the Forbidden City and other tourist attractions. They have state-of-the-art décor and provide classy amenities like spas, recreational centers, business centers, entertainment zones, swimming pools, concierge services, and more.
The mid-range hotels too are mostly located in Dongcheng, Xicheng, and in the suburban areas. They offer various amenities to ensure that a visitor’s stay is luxurious, comfortable, safe, and enjoyable. The tourist-friendly culture of the Chinese people is reflected in their tourism and hospitality services throughout Beijing and other parts of the nation.
The city also has its fair share of youth hostels and International youth hostels that provide suitable accommodation at bargain prices. The accommodation they provide is very basic with not many in-house amenities. But they are usually located near public transport connections, convenience stores, and fast food takeaways that serve popular local delicacies.
Beijing Donghuang Hotel
Beijing Donghuang Hotel is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests in Beijing. The hotel offers a high...
Rooms from: 117USD
Beijing Guangyao Service Apartments
Beijing Guangyao Service Apartment is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests in Beijing. The property...
Rooms from: 159USD
Winterless Hotel Beijing
Winterless Hotel Beijing is a popular choice amongst travelers in Beijing, whether exploring or just passing through....
Rooms from: 119USD
Citytel Inn is a popular choice amongst travelers in Beijing, whether exploring or just passing through. The property...
Rooms from: 77USD
Besides the Forbidden City, other ancient relics include Tiananmen Gate (Gate of the Heavenly Peace), Tiantan Park (Temple of Heaven), the Ming Tombs near Tianshou Hill, the Old Summer Palace, Yonghe (Lama Temple), Jingshan Coal Hill Park, Lugou Bridge (The Marco Polo Bridge), Beihai Park (Imperial Garden), Beijing Temple of Confucius, Fayuan Temple and Buddhist Academy, the Great Wall of China at Badaling Pass, Beijing Ancient Observatory, etc.
Today, these attractions are museums maintained by the State and are open to the public. There is an awe-inspiring collection of artifacts like Chinese paintings and items made of ceramic, bronze, precious metals, jade, etc. They showcase the regal lifestyle of the Ming and Qing Emperors of the old days.
Being a large metropolitan city, Beijing has countless markets, shopping malls, entertainment zones, amusement parks, etc. The 700-year-old Wangfujing Shopping Street is the best place to shop in Beijing. It has retail outlets selling the best branded gear as well as bargain items. There are upscale restaurants as well as small cafes serving delicious local delicacies.
Beijing has some of the best activities for families with kids and for large groups of tourists. Some of the places where one can spend a great fun-filled day are the Beijing China Science & Technology Museum, Beijing Zoo (giant pandas), Beijing Aquarium, Happy Valley, Shijingshan Amusement Park, Natural History Museum, China Aviation Museum, Beijing World Park, Beijing National Stadium, and others.
The large egg-shaped building of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, the Water Cube National Swimming Centre and Birds Nest National Stadium, 798 Art Zone (art galleries), etc. are a few modern architectural marvels that are definitely worth a visit. Not only do they look awesome but they also contain museums and entertainment zones for the benefit of visitors.
Referred to as the CCTV Tower, the CCTV Headquarters Building is located in the middle of the Central Business Distri...Read More
The Great Bell Temple
The Great Bell Temple, Beijing, China was built in the 18th century during the Ming Dynasty. Later, a large bell was ...Read More
Bailongtan Scenic Area
About 100Kms from Beijing, China is the Longtan Mountain which is the site of the spectacular Bailongtan (White Drago...Read More
About 80Kms from downtown Beijing, China is one of the most unexpected scenes you would expect. The Kangxi Grasslands...Read More
Lugou Bridge (Marco Polo Bridge)
Supported by 281 pillars, the beautiful Lugou Bridge or Marco Polo Bridge, has a span of 9 meters going across the Yo...Read More
Qinglong Gorge Holiday Resort
Over the years one of the resorts that have gained a lot of popularity is the Qinglong Gorge Holiday Resort. It lies ...Read More
Beijing World Park
The most visited tourist attraction in China is the Beijing World Park which is located about 10Kms from Tiananmen Sq...Read More
Lama Temple (Yonghe Gong)
Beijing has a lot to offer tourists, being the seat of oriental power for many decades. From royal palaces to magnifi...Read More
Jing Shan Park
On the Zhen Hill in Beijing city, China lies the magnificent Jing Shan Park, an imperial landscaped garden spread ove...Read More
Located in the northern part of downtown Beijing, China is Shichahai. This is a famous scenic area that has three lak...Read More
Dongyue Taoist Temple
Considered the largest temple of Taoism in China, the 700-year-old Dongyue Temple is located in the Chaoyang District...Read More
Prince Gong's Mansion
Originally called the Prince Kung's Mansion, the Prince Gong's Mansion is situated next to the Shichahai Lake in the ...Read More
Milu Park (Elk Park)
With an area of 11 square kilometers, the Milu Park (Elk Park or Dafeng Elk National Nature Reserve) was declared a p...Read More
The Capital Museum in Beijing is a frequently visited place by tourists as well as locals because it has some of the ...Read More
798 Art Zone
798 Art Zone is a modern artistic hub of Beijing, China. It is located in a 50-year old defence factory building and ...Read More
Poly Art Museum
For those who are in search of unusual ancient Chinese relics, the Poly Art Museum in Beijing is truly worth a visit....Read More
Beijing Bell Tower
Also called the Zhonglou, the Beijing Bell Tower stands tall just behind the Drum Tower. The Bell Tower and Drum Towe...Read More
Just 56Kms from downtown Beijing is the beautiful and ancient Cuandixia village. It is a major tourist attraction bec...Read More
Dino Dream Park
The Dino Dream Park is part of the Chaoyang Olympic Park in Beijing. It is a large dinosaur-themed Park that is one o...Read More
Great Wall of China at Shixia Guan
Being nearest to the city of Beijing, the Great Wall of China at Shixia Guan is the most popular tourist attraction a...Read More
Beijing Zoo and Aquarium
Hailed as the largest zoo in China, the place dates back to the 1900s and has much architecture and feel of that old ...Read More
With unparalleled age-old beauty, the Summer Palace is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as China’s ...Read More
The Thirteen Tombs of Ming Dynasty is the burial place of the same number of Ming emperors and their life partners. T...Read More
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), several princes lived in this area, which is why it received the name Wangfu. At...Read More
Great Wall of China at Badaling
Millions of tourists flock every year to Badaling, which is considered one of the most popular and best-preserved sec...Read More
A glimpse in to the extravagant lives of Chinese Emperors is an experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. The ...Read More
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is a brilliantly ornate construction that also holds the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ...Read More
Hailed as one of the largest town squares in the world, Tiananmen Square covers a staggering 109 acres in the center ...Read More
Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan)
Old Summer Palace was originally built in 1709 as a place where Emperors would spend their leisure time. The Palace i...Read More
Great Wall of China at Mutianyu
Mutianyu is approximately 40 miles from Beijing downtown and it is the second most popular section of the Great Wall ...Read More
Bird's Nest - Beijing National Stadium
The mammoth structure of the Beijing National Stadium was the brain-child of Swiss architectural firm, Herzog & de Me...Read More
Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong was the leader of China’s Communist Party from 1943 until 1976 when he passed away. The building of the Me...Read More
Situated just 85Kms from Beijing, the Jingdong Grand Canyon has a bonanza of natural beauty. The Canyon is surrounded...Read More
If you are traveling in Beijing with kids you must never miss the Yanqi Lake that is situated about 60Kms from the ci...Read More
Yunju Temple and Shijing Mountain
Also called the Temple of Cloud Dwelling, the Yunju Temple is about 70Kms from the center of Beijing city. The temple...Read More
The Fahai Temple in Beijing has the finest examples of mural art from the Ming Dynasty. This is unusual because when ...Read More
Beijing Drum Tower (Gulou)
The two-storied structure of the Beijing Drum Tower (Gulou) has been standing tall since the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dyn...Read More
Considered one of the four biggest mosques in Beijing, the Huashi Mosque has a history of over 500 years. The constru...Read More
The Miaofeng Shan Mountain to the west of Beijing is a place of pilgrimage as well as a picturesque trekking area and...Read More
Although the Guangji Temple in Beijing is not an impressive structure compared to other temples in the area, it happe...Read More
Mei Lanfang Memorial
Mei Lanfang was a famous opera actor in Beijing who usually played the lead female roles in the days when women were ...Read More
Youth Lake Park
With over 16,000 trees, the Youth Lake Park in Beijing, also known as the Qingnianhu Park is a scenic mix of beautifu...Read More
Shijingshan Amusement Park
One of the main features of Beijing's Shijingshan Amusement Park is a castle that resembles Disney's Cinderella Castl...Read More
Imperial Ancestral Temple
The Imperial Ancestral Temple (Taimiao) in Beijing is a historic site near the Forbidden City. Ceremonies were held i...Read More
Blue Zoo Aquarium
Also called the Gongti Richina Underwater World, the Blue Zoo Aquarium is an awesome tourist attraction and the most ...Read More
Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts
Designed by Paul Andrew, a French architect, Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is an architect...Read More
The Olympic Green is the venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic and the Paralympics Games. The Ling Long Tower is where th...Read More
Beijing Workers' Stadium
Also referred to as the Gongti or Gong Ti, the Beijing Workers' Stadium is popularly used for football although it is...Read More
Located on the East 2nd Ring Road, the Poly Theatre in Beijing is the best place to go when you would like a taste of...Read More
Wofo Si (Temple of the Recumbent Buddha)
The Wofo Si temple is one of the most visited places in Beijing because of its history, architecture, and its proximi...Read More
Beijing Art Museum
With an amazingly large collection of 100,000 artworks, the Beijing Art Museum is definitely worth a couple of visits...Read More
Green Wall of China
The Great Wall of China was built to protect the nation from invaders from the north. The Green Wall of China is slat...Read More
Great Wall of China at Huanghua
The Great Wall of China at Huanghua is not as crowded as the other parts that are closer to Beijing. Yet, those who a...Read More
Great Wall of China at Gubeikou
The Great Wall of China at Gubeikou has seen a lot of additions and reinforcements over many centuries that is why it...Read More
Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum
Covering an area of 3160 square meters, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum has two exhibition halls. One has tra...Read More
Monument to the People's Heroes
In the memory of people who lost their lives during the revolutions in the 19th and 20th centuries, a ten-storied obe...Read More
Water Cube Water Park
Considered as China's largest indoor water-themed park, the Water Cube Water Park is one of the world's best recreati...Read More
The Longqing Gorge is one of the perennial tourist gems of China, situated about 85Kms from the city of Beijing. In t...Read More
Ding Ling Ming Tomb
Just 45Kms north of downtown Beijing is the impressive Ding Ling Ming Tomb. Here, the Ming Dynasty's Emperor Wanli an...Read More
Underwater Great Wall at Panjiakou Reservoir
Imagine spending a day scuba diving under the Great Wall of China! This is possible at the Underwater Great Wall at P...Read More
With a 1,000-year history, the Beihai Park (Northern Sea Park) in Beijing, China is the biggest and best-preserved im...Read More
Fragrant Hills Park
The 12th century Fragrant Hills Park lies just 28Kms from Beijing, China. It is made up of hillocks and forests sprea...Read More
Great Wall of China at Juyong Guan (Juyong Pass)
Approximately 50Kms from Beijing, China is the Changping District where the Juyong Pass in the Great Wall of China is...Read More
Badachu Park (Eight Great Sites Park)
The Badachu Park on the outskirts of Beijing is also known as the Eight Great Sites Park because it has eight of the ...Read More
Beijing Ancient Observatory
Established in 1442 in China before telescopes were invented, the Beijing Ancient Observatory is considered to be the...Read More
Nanshan Ski Resort
The Nanshan Ski Resort or Nanshan Ski Village is the best ski resort located in Miyun County which is just 80Kms from...Read More
The town of Shidu lies in the Shidu Nature Park which is located near Beijing, China. The word “shidu” means tenth cr...Read More
Considered the best place for geological research, the Shihua Cave (Shihuadong or Shifo cave) has the perfect “karst”...Read More
Great Wall of China at Simatai
Built during the Qi and Ming Dynasties, the Great Wall of China at Simatai has two sections that are divided by a lov...Read More
Considered the oldest Buddhist temple near Beijing, China the Tanzhe Temple is just 40Kms from the city center. This ...Read More
If you are looking for exciting nightlife in Beijing, China then Sanlitun Bar Street is just the place. It is the mos...Read More
There is a superb urban recreational area in Beijing, China called the Longtan Park. It is very artistically landscap...Read More
Ming Dynasty Waxworks Palace
The Ming Dynasty Waxworks Palace located in Beijing is definitely a must-see tourist attraction while you are in Chin...Read More
Great Wall of China at Jinshanling
Situated 80Kms from Beijing City, China and constructed during the Ming Dynasty is the easiest gradient of the Great ...Read More
Water Cube - National Aquatics Center
The Water Cube Park is situated in Beijing, China within the National Aquatics Center. It is the most exciting touris...Read More
Python Mountain National Forest Park
About 40Kms from Beijing, China is the beautiful Python Mountain National Forest Park. Nearly 86% of the parkland is ...Read More
Nan Luo Gu Xiang
In ancient China, narrow commercial streets were called hutongs. The Nan Luo Gu Xiang is a hutong in Beijing, China t...Read More
In Chinese, a hutong means a narrow commercial street. The Houhai is a vast artificial lake near Beijing, China. On t...Read More
Baihe (White River)
About 85Kms from Beijing, China is the picturesque Bai River. The name means White River and it is named so because i...Read More
Huguosi Snack Street
Established during the Yuan Dynasty, the Huguosi Snack Street is 800 years old and is still a busy commercial street ...Read More
Chang Ling Ming Tomb
Having a long history, the Chang Ling Ming Tomb is a popular tourist attraction. It is just 50Kms from Beijing and is...Read More
Great Wall of China at Jiankou
The Jiankou Great Wall is considered the most treacherous and wildest sections of the Great Wall of China. Yet, it is...Read More
National Peking Opera Theater
Tourists can enjoy phenomenal artistic performances in the National Beijing Opera Theater. All the events are perform...Read More
Peking Opera Art Museum
The Peking Opera Art Museum is situated in the 2-centuries-old Huguang Guild Hall in Beijing. It is dedicated to the ...Read More
Being a perfect blend of ancient architecture and modern technology, the design of the 700-year-old Taoranting Park i...Read More
The 1000-year-old Hongluo Temple is situated just 55Kms from Beijing and is a very popular tourist attraction. Flanke...Read More
The Niujie Mosque is one of the most majestic mosques in Beijing. The architecture is a unique combination of typical...Read More
White Dagoba (Miaoying Temple)
A dagoba is a Tibetan Buddhist pagoda. The White Dagoba (Miaoying Temple) is one of the finest examples of a dagoba. ...Read More
When you are looking for a place that sells a vast variety of Chinese traditional antiques, the Panjiayuan Market in ...Read More
Metro - Beijing Subway
The Beijing Metro (Beijing Subway) is a urban rail transit system for Beijing, China, and one of the 14 members of the international subway Alliance (CoMET). Its first line was officially opened in January 15, 1971, making Beijing the first city in China to open the subway. As of December 2017, there were 22 subway lines in Beijing metro line. All of them used the subway system, covering 11 districts in Beijing, with a range of 608 kilometers, 370 stations, second mileage in China and second in the world. As of December 2017, 17 lines of Beijing Metro were built, a total of 320.8 km. By 2020, the Beijing Metro will form a rail network consisting of 30 lines with a total length of 1177 km. In 2016, the Beijing Metro had an annual passenger capacity of 3 billion 25 million passengers, with an average daily passenger flow of 8 million 247 thousand passengers, with a maximum daily passenger volume of 10 million 523 thousand and 600 passengers. From December 23, 2017 onwards, the whole rail network of Beijing rail network purchased tickets online and picked up stations. Since April 29, 2018, the Beijing rail transit network (excluding the western suburb line) has been able to carry out the two-dimensional code.
Lines:Airport Express, Batong Line, Changping Line, Daxing Line, Fangshan Line, Line 1, Line 10, Line 13, Line 14, Line 15, Line 16, Line 2, Line 4, Line 5, Line 6, Line 7, Line 8, Line 9, Line S1, Xijiao Line, Yangfang Line, Yizhuang Line
From December 28, 2014 onwards, the new price of public transport: 10 km (inclusive) of 2 yuan, 10 km or more, plus 1 yuan can take 5 km. In 2014, there were 877 lines of electric vehicles in Beijing, 64 more than the end of the year; the length of the operation line was 20347 kilometers, up 659 kilometers from the end of the year; 24083 operating vehicles, up 491 vehicles at the end of the year, and 4 billion 700 million passengers per year, down by 3% over the previous year.
In 2013, the average daily transport capacity of taxi in Beijing was 1 million 900 thousand, accounting for 6.6% of the total travel volume and the mileage utilization rate of about 68%. Since June 10, 2013, the Beijing taxi price standard has been adjusted. The new taxi price is 13 yuan within 3 kilometers, and the basic unit price is 2.3 yuan per kilometer. The fuel surcharge is 1 yuan per operation. Low speed and waiting fee charge 2 kilometre rent (excluding empty driving fee) every 5 minutes, morning and evening peak periods, and additional 1 kilometre rent (excluding empty driving fee) at other periods. The appointment service fee is 6 yuan in advance of 4 hours, and 5 yuan within 4 hours. One way passenger traffic is more than 15 km, part of which is charged by air travel fee, basic unit price plus 50%.
Beijing Railway Station
Previous Beijing's main railway station, Beijing station is located quite central, just to the south-east of the city center. These days it has largely been replaced by Beijing South and Beijing West Railway stations, although it still sends trains to North east China, as well as non-high speed trains to Shanghai. It is also the terminal for international trains to Russia and North Korea. It is served by Line 2 of the Beijing Metro system.
Beijing West Railway Station
Located to the west of the city center, Beijing West serves both high and low speed trains, and is the terminus for some important routes including Beijing to Guangzhou and Beijing to Kowloon. It can be accessed via metro lines 7 and 9.
Beijing South Railway Station
Located to the south west of the city center, Beijing South serves as the main terminus for high speed trains, although some non-high speed trains also stop here. Major train lines including the 350km/h Beijing-Shanghai line and the Tianjin-Beijing line terminate here. Both Metro lines 4 and Line 14 pass through the station.
Beijing Nanyuan Airport
The oldest in China, Beijing Nanyuan is a dual use military/ public airport having 2 terminals. Basically, a local airport, it is home to China United Airlines which serves routes all over China with top route being Dongsheng. There are four shuttle bus services that go to different areas of Beijing (cost: RMB16/ free for same day ticket holders). Local buses, Line 501 and Express Line also stop here. The cost is around RMB 24.
Beijing Capital International Airport
China’s busiest airport, Beijing Capital International Airport has three terminals dedicated to different airlines and equipped with all modern amenities. Almost all local and international carriers offer this destination to passengers. Accessibility from the city is covered by all modes including the rail link aka Airport Express (cost: RMB25) and public bus (cost: RMB30). You can also drive to the airport via the Airport Expressway, 2nd Airport Expressway, Northern Airport Line or Southern Airport Line.
See the below table for an overview of Beijing's weather:
|Average High (C)||1.8||5.0||11.6||20.3||26.0||39.2||30.9||29.7||25.8||19.1||10.1||3.7|
|Average Low (C)||-8.4||-5.6||0.4||7.9||13.6||18.8||22.0||20.8||14.8||7.9||0.0||-5.8|