20 Amazing Things to do in Beijing, China

Beijing, the capital of China, is a fascinating city with a rich history and culture, dating back over 3,000 years.

There are many things to see and do in Beijing, from exploring the ancient Forbidden City to climbing the Great Wall.

Today, Beijing is a modern metropolis with a thriving economy and a vibrant cultural scene.

The bustling city also has urban attractions such as the modern sky scrappers of the CBD and sprawling shopping malls.

This combination of ancient and modern makes Beijing an exciting place to visit.

Beijing is also home to many parks and green spaces, perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnicking on a sunny day.

And of course, no visit to Beijing would be complete without trying some of the delicious local cuisine.

Whether you’re looking for historic sights, delicious food, or just a chance to relax, Beijing has something for everyone.

Also Read: 25 Best Things to do in China

Best Things to do in Beijing, China

There are many things to see and do in Beijing.

The city is home to numerous historical sites, such as the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.

Visitors can also explore Beijing’s numerous parks and green spaces or take a stroll through one of the city’s ancient hutongs (alleyways).

In addition, Beijing is home to a number of museums and art galleries too.

Here are our favorite things to do in Beijing on your next trip.

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Beijing.

Built in the 15th century, it served as the home of the Chinese emperor for nearly 500 years.

As the former imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it is a magnificent example of traditional Chinese architecture.

Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest museums in the world.

Visitors can explore the vast complex of palaces, temples, and gardens on a visit.

History lovers can take a stroll along its many courtyards and halls of the palace museum.

Here you can find an incredible array of historic art and artifacts.

The Forbidden City is also a great place to learn about Chinese history and culture and listen to many fascinating stories associated with this historic site.

Although the Forbidden City is now open to the public, it still retains an aura of mystery and majesty.

With its soaring roofs and intricate details, the Forbidden City is truly a sight to behold.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is an iconic symbol of China’s ancient history and culture.

It winds its way across deserts, mountains and plateaus.

Built over 2,000 years ago, the wall is over 13,000 miles long. 

China’s dynasties built the wall to protect the Chinese Empire from invaders.

Today, it is a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from all over the globe.

The Great Wall of China is an impressive feat of engineering.

Surrounded by beautiful scenery, it looks prettiest in the fall.

The mountains and forests provide a stunning backdrop for photos, and there are numerous hiking trails that wind their way along the wall.

Visitors to Beijing can see a section of the Great Wall at Badaling, which is just 80 kilometers from the city center.

The wall here was built during the Ming Dynasty.

It stands over seven meters high in places.

Visitors can explore the well-preserved fortifications and watchtower, and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Another popular section is the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall.

Visitors can easily see it on a day trip from the Beijing airport if in the city on a layover.

The Great Wall is one of China’s most famous landmarks, and a visit here is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Beijing.

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is one of the most famous squares in the world.

It is located in the heart of Beijing near Forbidden City.

Tiananmen Square has a long and complex history, dating back to the Ming dynasty.

It has been the site of many important events, including National Day celebrations, May Fourth Movement, the Tiananmen Square protests and other pro-democracy protests.

The square is enormous, and can accommodate up to a million people.

Visitors can see the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, and the Mao Zedong Mausoleum.

They can also watch the changing of the guard at Tiananmen Gate.

The square is a great place to people-watch, and there is always something happening.

Whether you’re interested in history or just want to see a slice of everyday life, Tiananmen Square is worth a visit.

Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is a magnificent complex of religious buildings located in Beijing, China.

Built in the early 15th century during the Ming Dynasty, the temple was used by the emperor to offer sacrifices to heaven.

The temple is famous for its grand architecture and beautiful setting, and it is now a popular tourist destination.

On a visit, you can learn about the traditional Chinese ceremonies that were once held here.

The main hall of the temple, known as the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, is a three-tiered structure with a blue-tiled roof.

Surrounded by a spacious courtyard and willowy trees, the hall has intricate carvings on the pillars including dragon motifs.

In the winter, shimmering snow covers these trees and the Temple of Heaven looks breathtakingly beautiful.

The Temple of Heaven is an awe-inspiring place, and its beauty is sure to leave visitors with lasting memories.

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is a sprawling complex of lakes, gardens and palaces located outside the city center of Beijing.

It is one of the most popular Beijing attractions.

It was an imperial garden and a summer residence for the emperors of the Qing dynasty.

First built in 1750, it was enlarged several times afterwards.

By the end of the 19th century, it had become the largest and most well-known classical gardens in China.

The Summer Palace is a great place to visit for its beauty and history.

The buildings and gardens reflect traditional Chinese architecture and design, and the overall layout is based on the philosophy of feng shui.

The palace grounds are also home to many ancient trees, some of which are hundreds of years old.

The highlight of any visit is a stroll along the kilometer-long Kunming Lake, which offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and pavilions.

Other highlights include the Temple of Buddha’s Wisdom, the Hall of Jade Ripples, and the Tower of Buddhist Incense. 

The Lama Temple

The Lama Temple, located in Beijing, is a beautifully preserved example of Tibetan Buddhism architecture.

Built in 1694, the temple was originally intended to be the residence of the Yongzheng Emperor.

However, after his death, it was converted into a lamasery, or monastery.

Today, the temple is open to the public, and visitors can explore the exquisite architecture and fascinating history of this unique place.

The temple is actually a complex of several buildings, each with its own unique features.

The main hall of the temple is home to a 26-foot-tall statue of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

The statue is surrounded by smaller statues of disciples and bodhisattvas.

Other highlights include the Bell Tower, which houses a large bell that is rung to mark the start of religious ceremonies, and the Drum Tower, which has a beautiful carved drum that is used to summon monks to prayer.

The temple also contains a series of beautifully painted murals depicting scenes from Tibetan history and mythology.

Visitors can also explore the nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery, which is home to a significant collection of religious artifacts. 

The Lama Temple is a must-see for anyone interested in Tibetan culture or Buddhist architecture.

Beijing Zoo

The Beijing Zoo is a large zoo located in the Chinese capital.

It is one of the oldest zoos in China, and it is home to a wide variety of animals, including pandas, tigers, lions, and bears.

The zoo also has a botanical garden, which contains a wide variety of plants and flowers.

The National Museum of China

The National Museum of China in Beijing is one of the largest museums in the world.

Its vast collection spans Chinese history from the earliest dynasties to the present day.

With over 200,000 artifacts on display, it is an essential stop for anyone interested in Chinese history and culture.

The museum is divided into two main sections: the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History.

Visitors can explore the exhibits at their own pace, or take part in one of the guided tours that are offered daily.

Highlights of the museum include the Terra-cotta Warriors, a life-size replica of the imperial palace, and an extensive collection of porcelain.

With so much to see, the National Museum of China is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about Chinese culture and history.

Beijing Olympic Park

Beijing Olympic Park, also known as the Birds Nest Stadium, is a must-see for any visitor to the Chinese capital.

The massive Beijing National Stadium, which was built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, is an architectural marvel, with its interlocking steel beams resembling a giant bird’s nest.

Today, the stadium is used for a variety of events, including soccer matches, concerts, and even acrobatic shows.

The park surrounding the stadium is also worth exploring, with its many gardens, playgrounds, and sculptures.

Whether you’re a sports fan or simply appreciate great architecture, Beijing Olympic Park is sure to impress.

Peking Roast Duck

Peking Roast Duck is one of Beijing’s most famous dishes and a must-try for any visitor to the city.

The duck is marinated in a special sauce, then roasted until the skin is crispy and golden brown.

The meat is juicy and flavorful, and the dish is often served with dipping sauces and steamed buns.

Peking Roast Duck is a popular dish among visitors to China, and it is sure to please even the most picky of eaters.

Hutongs

Beijing’s hutongs are an essential part of the city’s character.

These narrow alleyways, lined with traditional courtyard homes, offer a glimpse into the city’s centuries-old past.

Hutongs were first built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and today they provide an important link to Beijing’s rich history.

Visitors to Beijing often enjoy taking a stroll through these historic neighborhoods, which offer a glimpse into traditional Chinese life.

Hutongs can be found throughout the city, but the most well-known are located in the area around the Forbidden City.

Whether you’re looking for traditional architecture or fascinating insights into everyday life, a visit to Beijing’s hutongs is sure to be a memorable experience.

Beihai Park

Beihai Park is a large park located in the center of Beijing.

The park, which was first built in the 11th century, is home to a number of historic landmarks, including the White Pagoda and the Jade Flower Island.

Beihai Park is also known for its beautiful gardens, which feature a variety of flowers and trees.

The park is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, and it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the fresh air.

National Centre for the Performing Arts

The National Centre for the Performing Arts is one of Beijing’s most iconic landmarks.

The massive, egg-shaped building is home to three theaters, which host a variety of performances throughout the year.

The centre is also home to an art gallery, a library, and a music school.

Whether you’re interested in seeing a play or simply want to admire the architecture, the National Centre for the Performing Arts is worth a visit.

Beijing Capital Museum

The Beijing Capital Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in Chinese art and history.

The museum, which is located in the Financial Street district of Beijing, houses a collection of more than 200,000 artifacts.

The exhibits range from ancient pottery to modern paintings, and there is something to suit every taste.

Beijing Temple of Confucius

The Beijing Temple of Confucius is a significant temple in China that was built to honor the great philosopher and educator, Confucius.

The temple was first built in 1302 during the Yuan Dynasty and has been rebuilt several times throughout history.

Today, the temple is a popular tourist destination and cultural landmark.

Visitors to the temple can learn about the life and teachings of Confucius, see traditional Chinese architecture, and explore the surrounding gardens.

The Beijing Temple of Confucius is a beautiful and serene place that provides a glimpse into China’s rich culture and history.

Beijing Ancient Observatory

The Beijing Ancient Observatory is a fascinating window into China’s long history of astronomical discovery.

Built in 1420, Chinese astronomers used the structure for centuries to map the stars and planets.

 The main instruments of the observatory are still standing, and visitors can get a glimpse of how ancient astronomers worked.

Today, it houses a collection of ancient astronomical instruments, including a huge armillary sphere that was used to chart the movements of the heavenly bodies.

The observatory also has a museum with ancient astronomical instruments on display.

Visitors interested in astronomy as well as history and science should definitely visit the Beijing Ancient Observatory.

Old Summer Palace, Yuanmingyuan Park

The Old Summer Palace in Yuanmingyuan Park was a vast imperial garden located northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

As one of the largest and also the most lavish imperial estates in Chinese history, it served as a summer retreat for numerous emperors and their families.

Unfortunately, the British and French troops destroyed the palace during the Second Opium War in 1860.

Today, the ruins of the Old Summer Palace provide a fascinating glimpse into China’s imperial past.

Despite its destruction, the Old Summer Palace ruins still retain many of the original features.

The vast scale of the complex is still evident, as are the extensive gardens, ponds, and pavilions.

Despite its tragic history, the Old Summer Palace is still a beautiful and serene place, and it is well worth a visit when in Beijing.

Fayuan Temple

Built in 645 AD, Fayuan Temple is one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Beijing.

The temple is home to many valuable historical artifacts, including a set of rare scriptures.

In addition, the temple is well-known for its beautiful architecture, and its expansive grounds are popular with tourists and locals alike.

Coal Hill Park

Coal Hill Park is a small, but popular park located in the heart of Beijing.

The park is famous for its expansive views of the city. It is also a popular spot for photography and picnics.

The park also features a variety of plant life, including many rare and exotic species.

Coal Hill Park is a great place to experience the best of Beijing’s nature.

Dashanzi Art District or 798 Art Zone

Situated in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, the Dashanzi Art District is a thriving center for contemporary art.

Also known as 798 Art Zone, it is home to a wide range of galleries, exhibition spaces, and also artist studios.

The district has played an important role in the development of Chinese contemporary art, and its unique atmosphere has attracted artists from all over the world.

Visitors to the district can enjoy a range of art forms, from painting and sculpture to installations as well as performance art.

With its lively creative scene, the Dashanzi Art District is a must-see for any art lover.

From its famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites to its engineering marvels, Beijing is an amazing place to visit.

The city has something to offer everyone, from history buffs to art lovers.

Be sure to add these Beijing attractions to your must-see list!

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