Beijing is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it’s managed to preserve some of the most stunning architecture from different dynasties and offers a friendly culture you can engage with daily. That being said, it’s a completely different experience from being in a western country, so navigating your way around and knowing the do’s and don’ts will probably help you a little (or a lot). Heres our Beijing travel guide so you don’t miss any hot spots or fun experiences to have in the capital of China.
Beijing Travel Guide: Where to Go
The Grea Wall of China
The Great Wall is known as one of the seven wonders of the world and can be seen from outer space, so being in Beijing is the best opportunity you’ll have to visit it. It’s not as easy to access as other destinations in Beijing, but most Beijing travel guides will suggest you go to the Badaling Pass, which is 55 miles away from the city. Although Badaling is the most touristy part of the wall to visit, the sights you will see and the experience of climbing the stairs soon become a distraction. If you would like to go to a different part of the Great Wall, then the Mutianyu section is also relatively close to the city and you won’t have as many tourists there either. This does also mean that it’s harder to get to via public transport and tourist companies.
The Forbidden City
Also known as the Imperial Palace and the Palace Museum, the Forbidden City was an incredible walled home for the emperors and their families for many dynasties. There is a small fee involved to get inside the Forbidden City but its size and beauty make it worthwhile. It’s an inner city location and before you enter, you can also visit Tiananmen Square, which is likely to be China's most popular free attraction. This public park shows Beijing’s culture perfectly, flying kites, street merchants and food stall give you a great experience while visiting the Forbidden City.
The Summer Palace
One of the most picturesque places in the world, the Summer palace oversees a beautiful park that has a lake to walk around. The park itself offers street entertainment with locals painting on the floor and other tricks you’ll enjoy. If you’re lucky enough to walk through on a sunny day, you’ll see the Summer Palace in its best and brightest form.
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was used as the place of worship during multiple dynasties for many different emperors. Now a cultural spot for both locals and tourists to visit, pray and appreciate, the Temple is surrounded by beautiful gardens to walk around and you will many people meditation around this area as it offers a peaceful escape from the busy city. The design that can be seen from going inside this temple is breathtaking and unlike anything, you would have ever seen.
Beijing Travel Guide: Where to Eat
The majority of Beijing offers reasonably priced food, and with the current exchange rate, you’ll find it’s much cheaper than western restaurants. The safest thing to consider when shopping for food it to buy it hot, it’s commonly advised that tourist avoid raw vegetables and water that isn’t bottled, as it can cause illness. Buying a bottle of water off a street merchant should be done with caution too, as a lot of the time the seal will be broken and it is just tap water. China is well known to offer some of the best duck from around the world, so if you’re looking for some local cuisine to try, something duck based is popular in most Beijing travel guide reviews.
Beijing Travel Guide: Public Transport
Any local will advise tourists to avoid using a taxi, the driver knows that you’re unfamiliar with the city and most will charge you too much and also want the money in advance. The Beijing subway system works in a very similar way to London’s as the fares are based on zones so this is the most popular option. Before your trip to Beijing, it’s worth checking the current prices of tours, there are options which a tour service will take you to and from the airport, and to all the different tourist spots throughout a week and you save money and numerous different travel expenses, plus they tend to use English speaking guides which will really help you around a city that doesn’t speak English fluently.