Beijing, known as Peking in the past, is one of the most popular cities throughout the world. If you are planning a trip to Beijing, then you’ve come to the right place.
This page will methodically give you some travel information and ideas on what you can do in Beijing, in order to help you make the most of this three-thousand-year old city.
What to Do in Beijing?
As an ancient capital, Beijing has many stories hidden in the thousands of years of history, waiting for you to explore. Here are some of the highlights:
- Discover the deep secrets of the 24 emperors in the Forbidden City.
- Enjoy the lit-up views on the Simatai Great Wall at night.
- Take a leisurely boat tour on Kunming Lake of the Summer Palace.
- Learn about everyday culture of Beijing neighborhood while visiting the Hutongs.
- Experience a kung fu show and Peking opera with our Beijing Tours.
Allow 4 Days in Beijing
The Forbidden City at Night
If you are going to visit Beijing for the first time and only want to see the essence of Beijing, planning a 4-day trip is quite reasonable:
- Day 1: Check in and adjust to the different time-zone; Quanjude Peking Duck for dinner.
- Day 2: Explore Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Hutongs.
- Day 3: Watch local people doing morning exercises at the Temple of Heaven and climb up Mutianyu Great Wall in the afternoon.
- Day 4: Visit the Summer Palace and end your Beijing tour.
See our Beijing Essence and In-depth Tour for detailed descriptions.
Choose the Best Time to Visit Beijing
Typically, the best periods to visit Beijing are spring and autumn, with very comfortable weather and pleasant scenery. If you prefer a certain kind of season, however, you should read the Best Time to Visit Beijing to be more prepared.
Get to Beijing by Flight or Bullet Train?
The fastest way to get to Beijing is by air or high-speed train- depending on which city you come from. There are direct flights to Beijing from China’s major cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong and Xi’an. Bullet train is the best option if you travel between Beijing and Tianjin:
Where to Stay in Beijing?
The Wangfujing area is one of the best choices for accommodation because it is located near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Other smart choices are the hutongs area in Houhai, where you can easily get access to bars and food stalls. And Sanlitun area is one of the best places to go shopping.
Recommended Hotels: Peninsula Hotel Beijing (5-star), Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star), Hotel Eclat Beijing (boutique), Novotel Peace Hotel Beijing (4-star).
Try Some Famous Local Foods
Aside from its profound culture and history, Beijing, being the capital of China, has various kinds of food from all over the country, as well as from almost every part of the world. Peking Duck is one of the authentic Beijing specialty dishes that you should not miss.
Recommended restaurants and food streets: Quanjude Roast Duck, Dadong Roast Duck, Ghost Street (Gui Jie), Nanluoguxiang, HUguosi Snack Street. Or, check the Top 10 Restaurants in Beijing for more.
Visa-Needed or Visa-Free
Usually, foreigners need a Chinese visa when traveling or establishing a business in China. But if you meet the qualifying criteria for China’s 144-hour visa-free transit policy, you can have a trip in and around Beijing without a Chinese visa.
More Useful Tips for Planning Your Beijing Tours
1. Try to avoid the peak season when traveling to Beijing, including Labor Day (May 1st, 3-day bank holiday), National Day (October 1st, 7-day bank holiday), and school holidays (summer vacation, from the end of June to beginning of September, and winter vacation from January to February).
2. Make sure, prior to departing, that your credit card can be used in China, and bring some Chinese currency (Yuan) as well.
3. Learn some background information about the history and culture of Beijing before you come.
4. It is very easy to get stuck in traffic jams in downtown Beijing, so try to take the subway whenever possible.
5. Get some souvenirs to bring home: cloisonné items, indigenous Chinese teas, Neiliansheng cloth shoes, Ruifuxiang traditional Chinese gowns.
Start Your Beijing Tour with Us
Please see our popular trips for exploring ancient Beijing:
Besides, China Travel has developed some special activities in Beijing, for you to experience traditional Chinese art forms, like paper-cutting. Feel free to contact us if you want to add these activities to your itinerary.