After living in Tianjin for nearly a year, we have enjoyed exploring more of our own city as well as Beijing – just 30 minutes away. These are our favourite things to do in Beijing, keep an eye out for part two!
1. The Great wall of China
There are several spots around Beijing that offer different perspectives of the Great Wall. From the fully restored Mutianyu to the wild and challenging Jiankou, check out the different options for those wanted to experience the Great Wall of China. We wrote a post about the best way to visit the great wall >> Everything you need to know about visiting the Great Wall of China.
2) Forbidden City
Open 8.30am – 5pm, with the last ticket sale at 3pm. Entrance fee RMB 60. Take subway line 1 to Tiananmen Square.
This palace complex is China’s largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings. Once home to two generations of Dynasties, the Forbidden City is now a popular spot for tourists and Chinese alike. You can pay a guide to talk you through the palace or get an audio tour for RMB 40.
3) Summer Palace
Open 6.30am – 8.30pm, entrance fee RMB 40 (low season), RMB 50 (peak season). Take Subway Line 4 to Beigongmen Station for the North Palace gate or Xiyuan station (exit C2) for the East Palace Gate.
This Royal Park is the gem of Beijing and perfect during the summer months. The Summer Palace is expansive and can take 2-3 hours to walk around. Take a camera and capture the rich landscapes and cultural heritage.
4) Tiananmen Square
Home to Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum (Free), the National Museum of China (RMB 15) and the The Great Hall of People (RMB 15). Take subway line 1 to Tiananmen Square.
After touring the Forbidden City, check out the rest of Tiananmen Square. Historic for its bloody history and a focus point of the communists reign, the square can not be missed. Just don’t discuss its history in ear shot of any officials!
5) Temple of heaven
Open 6.30am – 9pm : entrance free RMB 35. Get Subway line 5 to Tianan Dongmen Station.
Divided by two encircling walls, this magnificently detailed building will take your breath away. Head to the temple early to catch Kung Fu and Taiji practised along the lines of trees. Check out the interiors marble work and the echo stoned courtyard.
The two best sites to explore in Hutong is the Shichahai Area (north of Beihai Park) and Dazhalan Area (south of Tiananmen Square).
Visit old city lanes and courtyards, known at Hutongs – that can be found throughout China. In fact, some of the best courtyard guesthouses can be found on these narrow, twisting streets among the markets, family restaurants and traditional homes.
7) Ming Tombs
Open 8.30am – 6pm, Changling Tomb RMB 30 and Dingling RMB 40.
Escape to the countryside and visit the burial site of 13 out of the 17 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. The Dingling and Changling tombs have been excavated and opened to the public, but be aware that Dingling tomb has a steep climb down to the burial chamber itself.
8) Olympic sights
Open 9.00am – 6pm, Birds nest entrance fee RMB 50, Water Cube RMB 30.
Tour the sights of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and marvel at the ultra modern architecture nicknamed the ‘Bird’s Nest’.
9) Peking Duck
Found in restaurants across the city, Peking duck is a must whilst your in Beijing. You can find some amazing authentic restaurants that aren’t too pricey and offer some of the best duck you will ever have.
10) Donghuamen Night Market
Open 4pm – 10pm, snack prices range between RMB 5 -15, take the subway to Wangfujing.
This bustling night market is the perfect place to try some of the delicious and unusual Chinese food, from meat skewers to strawberry kebabs, quail eggs to chicken hearts.
We have loved living in China and our city Tianjin isn’t too far from Beijing. We can’t wait to explore more of the capital and share it with you!
Where would you like to visit in China? Let us know in the comments below