8 unique experiences in Beijing

Beijing is a city full of treasures, from Imperial palaces to ancient tombs and traditional teahouses. Then of course there's some of China's star attractions such as The Great Wall, and Tiananmen Square. Read on for our round up of eight unique experiences that are not to be missed...
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China. Photo: Shutterstock

There's plenty to do in Beijing, including the chance to take in some of China's most popular sights. Read on to find on what to do when visiting this dynamic capital.


1. Conquer the Great Wall

Take in one of the true wonders of the world, the awe-inspiring Great Wall of China. Climb it at Mutianyu, Simatai or Huanghuacheng. You can visit the Great Wall in our Best of China trip.

2. Tour Tiananmen Square

A gigantic open space in the heart of the city, Tiananmen Square commemorates the Communist revolution with statues and Mao’s Mausoleum. A flag-raising and lowering ceremony is performed daily at sunrise and sunset. Take a stroll around Tiananmen Square at your leisure on our trip China and Tibet - an Unforgettable Adventure.

Temple of HeavenTemple of Heaven, Beijing. Photo: Shutterstock

3. Visit Beijing’s Temple of Heaven

Built in the early 15th century, the remarkable Temple of Heaven served as a place of ritual and divine inspiration for the serving Ming and Qing emperors. Plan to arrive by 7am to catch the early morning exercise rituals. Compliment your trip to Beijing with Explore Beijing, a unique Insight guide that details the best routes around the city as well as insider recommendations.

4. Sample the city’s namesake

Peking duck, Beijing duck or kaoya; whatever you like to call it, this crispy roasted duck is the city’s namesake dish and served with as much ceremony as tea.

5. Experience imperial grandeur

Follow the trail of emperors and royalty through the palaces of the Forbidden City, and soak up the aura and romance of this well-preserved site of classical Chinese architecture. You can visit the Forbidden City on a private tour in our Best of China trip.

An aerial view of the Forbidden CityAn aerial view of the Forbidden City. Photo: Shutterstock

6. Hutongs

Courtyard houses nestled in the hutong (alleyways) of Beijing date back centuries. Cycle or take a pedicab tour to see this architectural style before it completely disappears.

7. Stroll in the Royal Gardens

Once the exclusive pleasure grounds of the royals, the imperial gardens, from Beihai Park to the lush Summer Palace, as well as the Fragrant Hills Park are open for everyone’s exploration. You can visit the royal gardens in our Best of China trip.

8. 798 Art District and Caochangdi

Two of the hottest areas of contemporary art in the world, 798 Art District and Caochangdi are located in the capital. Admire cutting-edge works of Chinese contemporary artists and bring home a piece of art or two.


Don't speak Chinese? Take along a helping hand and buy a copy of Insight Guides Manadarin Chinese Phrasebook & Dictionary with a free app to help you pronounce words correctly and communicate with ease.


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