Things to do in Beijing

Beijing is one of the most visited cities in the world

Beijing is the capital of The Republic of China and has been the political center of the country for several decades. Beijing is home to many palaces, gardens and other historical sites and for tourist there are always things to do in Beijing. The capital is also a major hub of transport throughout the country.


Things to do in Beijing

Beijing is one of the most visited cities in the world and there is always things to see and things to do in Beijing.


The Forbidden City and the Palace Museum

In the center of the city sits the Forbidden City, a palace that was built between 1406 and 1420 and that for around five hundred years was the political and ceremonial center  of China. When visiting the Forbidden City, now under charge of the Palace Museum, one can enjoy art and antiquities from the Qing and the Ming dynasties.


Beijing Opera

For music lovers, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Beijing Opera. The opera is a great place to view traditional Chinese Peking opera.


Beijing Massage

There is a much to see in Beijing and one easily get tired of all the walking. If so, take the chance to relax in one of many Beijing massage parlors – you’ll find them everywhere.




Beijing Zoo

For those with kids, you can’t miss the chance to visit the Beijing zoo. With over fourteen thousand animals it is a must see for the animal lover.


Beijing Nightlife

By night there is a lot of things to do in Beijing. Spend an evening taking in the nightlife in the Tianqiao (Overbridge) Area, a popular location for eating, drinking and enjoying different kinds of entertainments.


Beijing Shopping

Shopping is another great way to spend a day in Beijing. Check out the various shopping spots like, Beijing Wangfujing Street, Beijing Wholesale Markets, and Silk Street.


When to go to Beijing

When spending a holiday in Beijing, note that weekends and Chinese holidays tend to draw huge crowds. Beijing has much to offer is much at other times as well with less people. The ideal time to visit Beijing depends on the region that you plan to visit. Autumn has fine weather, between September through early October. Spring is also a good time to visit although it is a bit more unpredictable.

Winter can be extremely cold especially in the northern regions of the country, but can still offer attractions like the Harbin Winter Ice Lantern Festival. Summers are hot, and offer all types of outdoor activities for tourists to enjoy.


Things to do in Beijing

Beijing Facts

Population21 150 000
CurrencyYuan Renminbi
AirportAll Airports, China (BJS)

Beijing average temperatures

1~2 °C 4 °C 11 °C 20 °C 26~27 °C 29~31 °C 30~31 °C 29~30 °C 26 °C 19 °C 9~10 °C 3 °C


Beijing Opera House

National Centre for the Performing Arts

Surrounded by an artificial lake, this beautiful modern masterpiece of a building has been the home for Chinese opera since its inauguration in 2007. Though it is most commonly referred to as looking like a giant egg, the symbol for yin and yang can be seen when the light reflects off the artificial lake, creating a stunning sight and an excellent photo opportunity. The repertoire consists of not only classical opera works from Europe but also features traditional Beijing Opera, an art form that combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics creating spectacular performances that simply must be seen. When you are in Beijing, don't miss visiting this amazing opera house.

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Water Parks in Beijing - A lot of variety at Water World

If you are looking for some exciting water parks in Beijing you won’t be disappointed, the city has a lot of them. Water World is a water park located inside China’s National Aquatics Center, the Water Cube. Due to the big variety of water slides and other attractions you will easily spend a whole day here. Happy Magic Water Cube is another one and it is actually claimed to be the biggest water park in the world! Tuanjiehu Water Park is smaller the both the previous ones and pretty low-key in comparison. But it is a very popular place during the summers anyway. So this is a good option if you’re in the mood for something simple for a day!

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites Beijing - Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang

The Forbidden City is a must-see if you are going to Beijing. It is situated right in the centre of the city, to the north of the Tiananmen Square, and although today it houses the Palace Museum, it used to be the home of emperors and the centre of government for over 500 years. If you are in Shenyang, definitely visit the Imperial Palace. It has been on the World Heritage List since 2004 because of the testimony of the development of architecture and history in China it represents, like the Forbidden City, who has been on said list since 1987. It’s recommended to visit both the Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace in Shenyang on guided tours, since it would be a pity to go around places so full of history and culture without understanding it. Your breath will be taken away when you see how detailed ceilings, roofs and any decoration filling the rooms and temples.

Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

A 40-minute drive from Beijing (42km south-west of the centre) will take you to this hominid site that witnessed the evolution of Asian human communities from around 600,000 years ago. If you are into anthropology, you’ll be fascinated by the caves, well explained by signposts, and the museum’s collection of fossils, bones and ancient tools.

Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing

The Summer Palace in Beijing is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. The site, consisting on gardens, lakes and buildings such as temples and palaces, appears on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1998. The area of 2.9km2 consists mainly on the Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, where you will find many of the main attractions such as the Long Corridor or the Buddhist Fragrance Tower. The site is easily accessed via public transport, and due to the size of it you will want to spend at least a couple of hours wandering around. Take a boat ride in the Kunming Lake, go up the Fragrance Tower for beautiful views or simply take a stroll to enjoy the picturesque scenery and breath-taking decorations.

Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing

The Temple of Heaven is a complex founded in the first half of the 15th century consisting on several cult buildings and a World Heritage Site according to UNESCO since 1998. The temple is situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. As its name states, the site symbolized the relationship between Earth and Heaven. The emperors were considered to be the interlocutors between humankind and Heaven, and every six months they would travel to the Temple of Heaven to pray for good harvests. This site is full of symbols, and knowing about the main ones will make your visit extremely interesting: an ancient Chinese belief, for instance, was that the Earth was square and Heaven was round. The southern corners of the area on which the Temple of Heaven was built are right-angled, while the northern ones are rounded. Furthermore, each of the three main constructions is circular and on a square base. Hopefully this has awakened your curiosity!

The Grand Canal

If you look at a map of China and find the two main rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, you will notice that both of them go from west to east. The Grand Canal is an artificial river starting at Beijing in the north and finishing in the Zhejiang province in the south, connecting the two main rivers. This project had the objective of facilitating trading, shipping raw materials and supplying food to the population. The oldest sections of the canal date as back as to the 5th century BC and were finally combined around the 7th century AD, still being used today. This waterway system became part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014 for being the greatest civil engineering project prior to the Industrial Revolution.

The Great Wall

Under continuous construction from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD, the 20,000km of the Great Wall of China are the only man-made structure visible from the moon. The implied knowledge of defence construction and organization in the wall has let the site into UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1987. If there is one thing all the visitors of the Great Wall agree on it is that it’s far more than just a wall, and that the experience of being on top of it will take your breath away. As you can imagine, the length of the wall makes it possible for visitors to get on it from lots of different sections. Just from Beijing, you can choose between seven popular sections depending on whether you are interested in the sights, in avoiding crowds or in an easy path. Check the area from where you plan to visit the Great Wall and choose the section that best fits your interests!

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Beijing Marathons

Beijing has two annual marathons every year. The first one, The Great Wall Marathon, is held in May. The course takes you along and on the Huangyaguan, Tianjin section of the Great Wall of China East of Beijing and is said to be a little bit tougher than a traditional marathon with its many stone steps and steep ascents and descents. But if you feel like a full marathon might be a little bit too much to take on you can choose to run a half-marathon or a 8.5K "fun run" instead. The other marathon in Beijing, The Beijing International Marathon, is held in October. This event also has something for those of you who think that a full marathon is too much to handle. There is a half-marathon, a 10k run and a mini marathon for you guys instead. The course starts at Tiananmen Square and the finish line is located at the National Olympic Sports Centre stadium.

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Beijing ski vacations - Choose freely among the many resorts

In Beijing you find the best ski resorts in the mountainous areas attached to Yanqing County, Miyung County, Changping District and Mentougou District. These are especially good for all of you who love snowboarding. To be on the safe side though we recommend you to try an easy slope at first, just to note how the trail grading area works. Badaling Ski Resort is very popular and offers you the longest cross-country ski trail in Beijing. Apart from that, you can also choose from 1 learning trail, 2 beginner trails, 1 intermediate and 1 for the experts. Another popular resort is Huaibei Ski Resort. This is the place to be if you are a beginner and looking for some development. There is one trail for the experts, but apart from that there are two trails for intermediates and all over four trails for beginners. You can also use the trail that’s made for learning and practicing. If you are a pro looking for some hardcore skiing on the other hand, Jundushan Ski Resort is the place to be. They offer ski trails with the highest degree of difficulty in China. Aside from these three resorts you can also visit other good ones like: Nanshan Ski Village, Wanlongbayi Ski Field, Lianhuashan Ski Field, Qiaobo Skiing Dome, Shijinglong Ski Field, Yuyang Ski Resort and Yunfoshan Ski Resort. All over Beijing offers you lots of different resorts to choose from. All you have to do is decide which one sounds like the perfect one for your holiday!

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Golf in Beijing

There are many courses to chose from when you are visiting Beijing. The 18 hole Beijing Honghua International Golf Club is the most centrally located public golf course. It is a parkland course which you will have a great time on no matter if you are a professional or amateur golfer. Another great public course that is centrally located is Beijing Willow Golf Club. The 18 hole course sticks out the most with its stunning water and stone bridges that are connecting the fairways with the greens. If 18 holes is not enough for you, there is the Beijing Tianzhu Golf & Country Club, a 27 hole golf course. There are also many more courses, for example Beijing Orient Tianxing Country Golf Club and Earls Golf Club. Simply put, there will be something here that will suit your golfing needs!

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Theme Parks in Beijing - Artificial beach at Crab Island

Beijing is a city where you have many amusement parks to choose from. Happy Valley is the biggest and the most popular one of them. It is known for having a big variety of thrilling rides. Shijingshan is much less crowded and doesn’t have as thrilling rides as Happy Valley. So if you’re looking for something a little more low-key this is the place. The last one is Crab Island and this park is known for its fake beach that works as a great place to pause between the rides.

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