Beijing is packed with sights, ancient and modern. The many treasures of the city itself - its temples, imperial palaces, ancient houses, museums, parks and etc. Beijing attractions are described in this section, with a special focus on Beijing's Top Attractions: The Great Wall , Forbidden City , Tiananmen Square , the Temple of Heaven , Hutong and Tiananmen Square.
Top Beijing Attractions
The Great Wall The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest attractions in the world. The longest wall in the world, it is an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture. Its winding path over rugged country and steep mountains takes in some great scenery. There are 8 sections of the Great Wall in Beijing city. Some of the Great Wall sections (Badaling, Mutianyu) have been restored and opened to tourists while some are now still in ruins (Jiankou, Simatai), partially open to public.
Forbidden City The Forbidden City is the best preserved imperial palace in China and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world. It is recognized as one of the most important five palaces in the world. The splendid architecture of the Forbidden City represents the essence and culmination of traditional Chinese architectural accomplishment.
The Temple of Heaven The Temple of Heaven is seen as the most holy of Beijing's imperial temples. It has been described as "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design". The Temple of Heaven was where the emperor came every winter solstice to worship Heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest.
Beijing Hutong Hutong has a very special and important position in the rich history and culture of Beijing. The alleys give a wonderful glimpse into the world of yesterday in Beijing. While visiting the Hutongs, you can appreciate the dramatic changes that the rest of Beijing has undergone. You can see evidence of the history of Beijing, experience the old way of life and experience traditional Beijing culture. The most famous hutongs are: Nanluoguxiang and Yandaixiejie (Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street).
Tiananmen Square The Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, is said to be the biggest square in the world. It is 880 meters from north to south, and 500 meters from east to west, with total area of 440,000 square. Tiananmen Square is surrounded by many imposing buildings including the Great Hall of the People, Monument to the People's Heroes and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.
Beijing Attractions by Category
Beijing’s imperial garden culture and horticulture figure prominently in Beijing's attractions. Beijing's imperial gardens are outstanding examples of classical Chinese garden culture. They are also part of the precious world cultural heritage. Some of the imperial gardens are in downtown Beijing while some are in the western suburbs. An essence of Beijing sightseeing tour holds forth the fascination of old Beijing Imperial Garden culture.
- Summer Palace
- Ming Tombs
- Beihai Park
- Jingshan Park
- Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace)
- Eastern Qing Tombs
- The Temple of Earth
- 1 Day Beijing Summer Palace Tour From US$ 78 p/p
- 4-Day Essence of Beijing Tour with Summer Palace From US$ 272 p/p
Beijing was the capital of four dynasties in history and has a wealth of historical sites which could date back to more than 5000 years ranging from royal palaces and private mansions to simple Hutong lanes and courtyards. The historical relics are the mark of historical Beijing and are a special feature of Beijing culture. Travelling to Beijing, you are stepping in history – following the historical trails to experience the charm of old Beijing.
- The Drum Tower and the Bell Tower
- Underground City
- Marco Polo Bridge(Lugou Bridge)
- Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site
- Yuan Dynasty City Wall Relics Park
- 1 Day Beijing Hutong Tour with Guozijian, the Bell Tower and the Drum TowerFrom US$ 56 p/p
- 4-Day Beijing Tour Packages including hutong tour From US$ 270 p/p
It has a long history of Beijing’s religious culture while temples, mosques and churches which could be found all around the city are one kind of its important religious relics. The Temple of Heaven, the most famous Taoist Temples in Beijing, was the place visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. Other Buddhist Temples, Taoist Temples, Islam Mosques, Catholicism Churches and Christianity churches are well preserved in Beijing. Some of the famous ones included:
- The Temple of Heaven
- Lama Temple
- Tanzhe Temple
- The White Cloud Taoist Temple
- The Niujie Mosque
- Confucian Mansion
- Lingguang Temple
- Dongsi Mosque
- Jietai Temple
- Dajue Temple
- Fayuan Temple
- White Dagoba Temple
- Fahai Temple
With the development of modernization and the mushrooming of a cluster of high-rise buildings, are changing the look of old Beijing. There are many new architecture in Beijing which are completely foreign, such as the egg-shaped National Grand Theatre designed by Paul Andreu, the geometric interlocking buildings of the CCTV (China Central Television) Headquarters by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren and the Beijing National Stadium (aka the Bird's Nest) by Herzog & de Meuron.
- National Stadium (Bird's Nest)
- National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)
- 798 Art Zone
- National Center for the Performing Arts
- CCTV Tower
- 1 Day Beijing Olympic Stadium Tour From US$ 44 p/p
- 5-Day Beijing Highlights Tour with Olympic Glory From US$ 293 p/p
Beijing has shopping stops of different kinds including famous mega-malls, shopping centers, boutiques and markets. Although malls and shopping centers are becoming more popular, the markets are still a distinctive feature of Beijing which is tremendously interesting. There are a variety of goods you will find in the markets: silk, cashmere, clothes, leather goods, garment, shoes, carpet, jewelry, and souvenirs. Bargaining is essential and payment is in cash. There are many worth browsing.
- 1 Day Beijing Shopping Tour to Xiushui, Hongqiao and Yaxiu Market From US$ 40 p/p
- 6-Day Beijing Shopping Tour to Wangfujing Street and Panjiayuan MarketFrom US$ 574 p/p
Beijing is an ancient capital with tremendous creative capacity. Its museums ranging from history, national treasures to arts and literatures, are a treasure trove of eastern civilization and historical heritages. If you are able to place yourself in their midst, you can glimpse the accomplishments of the forebears and you will get an in-depth insight to Beijing culture.
- The Palace Museum
- Beijing Capital Museum
- National Art Museum of China
- Beijing Planetarium
- National Museum of China
- Geological Museum of China
- Museum of Chinese Science and Technology
- China Aviation Museum
- Beijing Museum of Natural History
Beijing has plenty of parks to afford rest and relaxation to Beijingers. Most parks are quite beautiful with gates, pavilions, ponds and altars to take the breath away. In ancient times, the parks were only used by royal families, for sacrifices to gods or for indulging in their leisure activities. Nowadays, these parks are open to public. The parks are always a great place to relax, take the kids to play or people watch the locals flying kites or practicing their morning exercise. It is a great tunnel to witness the fascinating culture of Beijing life.
- Beijing Zoo
- Fragrant Hill Park
- Grand View Garden
- Yuyuantan Park
- Beijing Botanical Garden
- Beijing Aquarium
- 1 Day Beijing Zoo & Fragrant Hill Park Tour From US$ 42 p/p
- 5-Day Beijing Tour for families with kids From US$ 371 p/p