Top attractions in Beijing
Best things to do in Beijing
The Chinese capital has a history that stretches back over 3 millenia, but this former center of multiple kingdoms is as renowned for its modern skyline as its ancient monuments. Here are some of the attractions Beijing is best known for. Don't miss them!
1. Ming Dynasty Tombs
Also known as the "13 Tombs," most of the Ming emperors were interred within these striking mausoleums. The Ming-Gräber are on the way to the Great Wall, so factor them into your day trip!
2. Tiananmen Square
The site of several major protests and displays of military might, Tiananmen Square is made one of Beijing's most famous as much by the iconic monuments that surround it.
3. Forbidden City
Tiananmen Square takes its name from the "Gate of Heavenly Peace" that seperates it from this ancient royal city. There's a lot to see in the Forbidden City, so book a guided tour and wear comfy shoes!
4. Summer Palace
The most impressive of the surviving Chinese imperial gardens is a recreational complex of lakes, greenery, and palaces providing one of Beijing's most tranquil attractions.
5. Temple of Heaven
Combining the architectural qualities of both Ming and Qing dynasties, the Temple of Heaven was finished in 1420 and has been one of China's holiest sites ever since!
6. Beihai Park
This former imperial garden-turned-public Beihai Park is not just a site of outstanding beauty, but home to many sightseeing favorites, like the White Pagoda and the Nine-Dragon Wall!
7. Beijing National Stadium
Built for the 2008 Olympics, the 91,000-seat "Bird's Nest" has emerged as an icon of modern China. You can take a tour or even grab Beijing National Stadium tickets to a soccer game! Why not do both?
Planning Your Visit
How many days?
Five days to a week should be enough to see the sights of Beijing, get a feel for the city's culture, and even take a day trip out to the Great Wall of China!
When to visit?
Beijing's weather is most pleasant in early autumn (September/October), although the snowy winters do bring a charm of their own. Unless you want to see the Chinese New Year parade, avoid going during the nation's public holidays, when vast swarms of domestic tourists overwhelm even the quietest attractions!
Where to stay?
Beijing's sights are spread all over the city, so if you plan to cover the lot then you should consider staying in the city center. The districts of Beijing all have their own character, but one of the best areas for a first-time visitor is Wangfujing. Its central location boasts plenty of places to shop and eat, including the famous Wangfujing Snack Street, where vendors flog a bizarre collection of snacks far from the usual Chinese staples!
Good to know
- Renminbi (¥)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+08:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Early autumn is best to beat the crowds and avoid the summer heat.
Other Sightseeing Options in Beijing
Want to discover all there is to do in Beijing? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Beijing
What an amazing day! We had wonderfully blue skies and very little wind on our hike from Simatai to Jinshanling. Tau was a fantastic guide. He provided great insight to the wall, region, history, and peoples. He made sure everyone was comfortable with the pace and had plenty of time for photos whenever we liked. Mind you, there are a lot of stairs to climb on this 15 tower trek, but they are doable and so worth it. ADDED BONUS: I didn’t expect too much from the included lunch after reading previous reviews, but it was one of our favorite meals during our stay in China! Highly recommended!
We had a small group of tourists during winter so it was a good size to move quickly and explore the highlights of each places. Vik was our guide, fluent in English. The Summer Palace was my favorite and I’m glad that Vik took us to the entrance near the iconic bridge. We were given 1 hour to explore. I would’ve wished it was at least 2 hours coz the land area was so huge. Lunch was good. The coach we used while it’s on time and clean enough, it had a strong smell of cigarette smoke in it. As indicated in the itinerary, there were 2 shopping stops for this tour.
Roy was an excellent guide and very good at managing a large crowd of tourists. His instructions were clear as he’s fluent in English. I really enjoyed the tour as he briefly explained the history of the wall and materials used to glue them together. Buffet was sumptuous, lots of veggies. No shopping stops which I appreciated so the whole time was dedicated in exploring the walls and other attractions like cable car and toboggan. This tour is highly recommended.
Super Cheap trip included with a delicious lunch. Able to see most of the big highlights in Beijing. Though, the tempo is high without much of explantion of the tour guide. Great if youre on a short time notice. Perhaps pick another tour if you want to spend more time at the locations and know more about the background.
This trip was a birthday gift to myself, and what a wonderful gift. Thank you, GetYourGuide and our in person guide, Fred. Super service from start to end. I recommend you to all I know. Merry Christmas.