Beijing is a historic city of culture, history, and beauty. Full of ancient temples and modern skyscrapers, The Chinese capital has something for everyone. It’s no wonder why it’s the most popular tourist destination in all of China! But why should you travel to Beijing? Read our local experts insights to find out.
Introduction to Beijing Sightseeing
Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history dating back more than 3,000 years. Whether it’s the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, or the hutong area, the city offers plenty of choices to keep visitors busy. From visiting the Summer Palace to exploring the Great Wall of China, there are numerous ways to experience the unique culture of Beijing. Sightseeing in this beautiful city is an unforgettable experience you won’t forget.
It is home to many iconic landmarks, such as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and Tiananmen Square. Whether you go with a tour group or explore Beijing on your own, you will have a memorable sightseeing experience. Walk the Great Wall of China and the vibrant hutongs, where there is no shortage of things to see, do, and try.
Additionally, sightseeing in Beijing is not complete without experiencing a range of cultural activities. You can watch traditional Chinese opera performances, Chinese acrobatics shows, or take part in a unique tea ceremony and find the next hidden gem that only locals know about.
1. Touring the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is an iconic landmark that spans more than 4,000 miles and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Visiting the Great Wall of China is one of the most popular things to do in Beijing, as no trip to the city is complete without seeing this incredible structure. While there, take the opportunity to explore the many watch towers and villages built along the wall in the 15th century. You can take a cable car to the top for a bird’s eye view of the impressive structure. Afterwards, take a stroll along the winding paths to get a closer look at the wall, and relax in one of the nearby tea houses while you enjoy the scenery.
2. Exploring Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City
A visit to the Forbidden City is a must for any visitor to Beijing, as it’s home to centuries of imperial Chinese history. It’s an opportunity to gain a unique insight into the local tradition and culture. The complex is full of imperial palaces and courtyards, along with various artifacts, sculptures and paintings from the time of the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are also guided tours that provide further information about the culture and customs of the Chinese people during that time. Exploring this part of Beijing is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the city and its people.
3. National Museum of China
Another must-see sight in Beijing is the National Museum of China, which comprises two buildings that are a short distance apart. The older building houses ancient Chinese art, pottery, and ceramics. The new building is dedicated to contemporary Chinese art and holds temporary exhibitions. The museum is great for learning more about modern-day China’s history, culture, and current affairs.
4. Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is a complex of religious structures located in the north of Beijing. It was an important center of religious worship for the emperors of the Qing dynasty. The complex contains various structures, pavilions, walkways, and altars that have been constructed from blocks of black granite. The focal point of the temple is the Hall of Sacrifices, which was built in 1402.
5. National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum is a short bus ride away from the Forbidden City and is well worth the trip. The museum is China’s premier historical and cultural institution. It houses an extensive collection of Chinese art and artifacts dating back to the Tang dynasty of 619–906 AD. There are more than 700 halls filled with artifacts, paintings, sculptures, pottery, coins, and much more. A visit to the museum enables visitors to gain an in-depth understanding of Chinese history and culture.
6. The Bund
The Bund is a waterfront area of northern Beijing that was established in the early 20th century as the city’s commercial heart. Impressive buildings with classic European façades line the riverfront. It provides a picturesque scene for visitors with their temples, museums, hotels, and shops. The old buildings are reminiscent of those found in Paris or London. A walking tour of the Bund is a must-see experience for all visitors to Beijing.
The iconic luminous-red Sunlight Tower is a striking feature of the Bund at night time. This modern 84-meter-tall building was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry and houses a restaurant and hotel. It’s well worth climbing to the top to enjoy the panoramic views over the city.
Sun Dragon is a famous brandy that is produced in Beijing, and one can enjoy the spirit in its birthplace by visiting the Sunlight Park on the Bund at night time.
Final Thoughts on a Trip to Beijing
Beijing offers a unique combination of ancient and modern, with centuries-old architecture and monuments alongside cutting-edge technology. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s ancient sights, such as the Forbidden City, eat delicious street food in the night markets and shop in some of the world’s best stores, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep yourself occupied. No matter what your interests are, Beijing will provide an unforgettable experience.
The city is also renowned for its delicious cuisine, with a variety of regional specialties to sample. Local dishes include the famous Peking duck, the many regional snacks and hot pot. There is also a rich local tradition of herbal remedies and traditional medicines that you can explore.
Visitors can take full advantage of Chinese culture and hospitality throughout their journey. What’s more, with a friendly attitude towards visitors from all over the world, locals will make sure that your trip to Beijing is an experience you’ll remember for years to come.