Top 12 Beijing Attractions You Can’t Miss

Beyond the Great Wall: Top 12 Attractions That Showcase Beijing's Diversity

Beijing’s vacation points of interest are second to none in China, having historical, scenic, cultural, and current sights. Several of the country’s most well-known tourist sites are located in the capital, including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven.

According to our first-hand experience and consumer evaluations, we provide the 12 finest must-see sites in Beijing to help you better organize your trip.

Top 12 sight-seeing in Beijing of China

Beijing is a blend of modern cuisine and traditional Chinese heritage. As a 3,000-year-old city, it retains many historical attractions, such as the world-famous Great Wall and magnificent imperial palaces and gardens. Here, we listed the most famous attractions of Beijing.

  1. The Forbidden City
  2. The Great Wall of China
  3. The Temple of Heaven
  4. The Summer Palace
  5. The Hutongs
  6. Lama Temple
  7. Gubei Water Town
  8. Tian’anmen Square
  9. The Ming Tombs
  10. Jingshan Park
  11. Beijing Olympic Park
  12. 798 Art Zone

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City served as China’s magnificent heart for over five centuries. It was built in 1420 and is China’s best-preserved imperial palace as well as the world’s biggest ancient royal edifice. It is also a spectacular treasure house, housing over a million rare and precious items of art. Ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, bronzes, watches, jade artifacts, antique texts, and historical documents are among the items in the collection.

The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City

You may see the great architecture within the city walls, learn about China’s royal culture, and admire the royal court’s valuable artifacts.

The most typical approach is to visit halls along the centre axis from The Meridian Gate to the Gate of Divine Power. This axis contains some of the most notable buildings, including the Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony, Hall of Sustaining Harmony, and Palace of Heavenly Purity.

  • Hours Opening:
    1. 8:30 am–5:00 pm for Apr.–Oct.
    2. 8:30 am–4:30 pm for Nov.–Mar.
    3. closed on Mondays.
  • Price of the Entry: US$9

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is one of the world’s most impressive structures. Its tortuous course across the tough territory and high mountains, over 6,000 km (4,000 miles), takes in some spectacular vistas.

The most popular portions of the Great Wall are in the highlands north of Beijing:

    • The Mutianyu Great Wall portion (2 hours from Beijing): With reduced crowds and child-friendly amenities, it is the most popular stretch with international visitors. You may take the cable cars up and down, and the “toboggan” trip down is tremendous fun for adults and children alike.
    • The Jinshanling Great Wall portion (3 hours from Beijing) is recognized as the most attractive and magnificent stretch of The Wall, with numerous unique features. It is popular among photographers. It is less crowded since it is further from Beijing.
    • Jinshanling is also the most popular Great Wall trekking segment. This section’s walking difficulty is rated as moderate.
    • The Jiankou Great Wall section (2 hours from Beijing) is an unrepaired Great Wall stretch built on tall peaks with cliffs on each side! This is also the most difficult portion. Only experienced and sure-footed mountain trekkers should attempt it.
    • The Huanghuacheng Great Wall portion (2 hours from the heart of Beijing) is separated by a lake, and some sections are practically submerged in it. It is the only “Great Wall in Water” in the world. Throughout the summer, this stretch of the Great Wall is covered in yellow wildflowers (thus the name ‘Yellow Flower Wall’).

Because there is no cable car, hikers choose this less-congested part of the Great Wall. Hikers have difficulties since the routes are steep and in disrepair.

  • Hours Opening: all day 8:30 am–5:00 pm
  • Price of Entry: Prices vary for different Great Wall parts.

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial worship location where Ming and Qing emperors held yearly ceremonies to pray for a successful crop the following year. The emperors’ most significant religious and political activity was the yearly sacrificial rites at the Temple of Heaven.

The Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven

The must-see features include the Circular Mound Altar and The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, where you may learn about the culture of heaven worship, architectural geomancy, and medieval Chinese sacrifice customs.

If you speak calmly to him/her at one end of the wall, they should hear you even if they are 100-150 meters away.

The Temple of Heaven is now located in a bustling public park. Several local senior people gather there in the morning to sing, exercise, and practice tai chi. The park is located south of Central Beijing, about 15 minutes by automobile south of the Forbidden City.

  • Hours Opening:
    1. 6:00 am–5:30 pm for Apr.–Oct.
    2. 6:30 am–5:00 pm for Nov.–Mar.
  • Prices of Entry: US$5

The Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is located 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the centre of Beijing. It served as a summer getaway for the Qing Dynasty’s royal family (1644–1912). China’s largest and best-preserved imperial park also offers remarkable landscaped vistas and cultural attractions. The Summer Palace has significantly impacted Chinese horticulture and landscape gardening.

The Long Corridor in the Summer Palace Gardens is the most noteworthy sight, with every beam covered with brilliant paintings – over 14,000 in total. You may walk around it and listen to the paintings tell stories.

  • Hours Opening: 6:30 am–6:00 pm for Apr.–Oct.; 8:30 am–5:00 pm for Nov.–Mar.
  • Prices of Entry: US$5

The Hutongs

The hutongs, which have a history of over 700 years, constitute an important stage in the growth and evolution of Beijing’s history and culture. They depict the typical daily lives of regular Beijingers and provide a glimpse of historic Beijing as it was.

The Hutongs
The Hutongs

Tobacco Pouch Street and Nanlougu Hutong are two of Beijing’s most famous and unique hutongs, standing out from the crowd. Both streets retain the spirit of a Beijing commoners’ street while highlighting some of the city’s ancient rituals.

At the hutongs, you may ride a rickshaw through the small lanes, see the well-preserved courtyard dwellings and their lengthy histories, enjoy wonderful street cuisine, learn about local handicrafts, and take a cooking class.

  • Hours Opening: all-day
  • Prices of Entry: free

Lama Temple

Lama Temple, also known as Yonghegong (‘Harmony Temple’) in Mandarin, is one of the most well-known Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries outside of Tibet. It is now not just a Tibetan Buddhism Museum but also a working temple where people may pray. This shrine was created by converting a royal residence.

Its architecture is a mix of royal Qing and Tibetan styles. You will not only gain a basic grasp of Tibetan Buddhism while there, but you will also be able to enjoy exquisite architecture and a variety of Buddhist sculptures, particularly the 18-meter (59-foot) high Maitreya Buddha in Wanfu Pavilion. It was carved from a single piece of rare white sandalwood from Nepal.

  • Hours Opening:
    1. 9:00 am–4:30 pm for Apr.–Oct.
    2. 9:00 am–4:00 pm for Nov.–Mar.
  • Prices of Entry: US$4

Gubei Water Town

Gubei Water Village is a big traditional Chinese-style resort and town located beneath the Simatai Great Wall section. Its structures are designed in the classic Beijing courtyard style. It has mountain vistas, picturesque canals, and a historic village atmosphere.

Gubei Water Town
Gubei Water Town

An overnight stay in the water town is strongly advised, as it will let you see the beautiful night views of the Simatai part of the Great Wall, which is elegantly lighted and accessible by cable car.

There are 5-star hotels/resorts and hundreds of inexpensive inns to suit a variety of tastes and interests. Don’t miss out on the natural mineral hot spring experience. Most hotels will provide you with complimentary coupons for one of the springs in Gubei Water Town when you check in.

  • Hours Opening: all-day
  • Prices of Entry: US$23

Tian’anmen Square

Tiananmen Square is the most famous square in the city. It is located in central Beijing, south of the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square holds special significance to Chinese people as it is the site of many major events in Chinese history, including the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

It is still the most important square in China, and the main squares are celebrated here. And the National Day Memorial Parade was staged.

The flag-raising ritual is done each morning at sunrise and is usually available to the public. Many Chinese people will spend the night before Chinese National Day around the square simply to see the flag being raised the next morning. Join us in Beijing to witness this sombre occasion.

Several majestic structures surround Tian’anmen Square, including the ‘Heavenly Peace Gate’ (Tian’anmen — the gateway to the Forbidden City), prominent museums, government offices, and Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum.

  • Hours Opening: all-day
  • Prices of Entry: free

The Ming Tombs

The Ming Tombs is where the thirteen of the Ming Dynasty (16 emperors) were buried (along with 23 empresses and several concubines, princes, and princesses). As a result, it’s also known as the ‘Thirteen Tombs’. It is the best-preserved Chinese imperial burial complex and has been designated as World Cultural Property by UNESCO.

The Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs

Currently, only Changling, Dingling and Zhaoling are open to the outside world. The sacred path to the tomb offers a respectful and entertaining walk among the animal and human statues. In Changling, you can see amazing architecture and learn about Chinese Feng Shui theory. The highlight of Dingling is the underground stone palace. Zhaoling is famous for its above-ground buildings.

The Ming Tombs are 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Beijing. Due to the short distance of the Badaling section of the Great Wall, it is common to visit the tombs as part of a Great Wall Day trip.

  • Hours Opening: 8:00 am–5:30 pm Apr.–Oct.; 8:30 am–4:30 pm Nov.–Mar.
  • Prices of Entry: US$17, including Dingling, the Sacred Way and Changing.

Jingshan Park

Jingshan Park was once part of the Forbidden City. Its main entrance faces the North Gate of the Forbidden City.

Park Hill is the highest point in the city of Beijing (except for the modern tower), which is dug for the moat. The climb to the Forbidden City and the panoramic views of Beijing is worth it on a clear day. The top trail is steep and may not be suitable for older people or those who have difficulty taking hundreds of steps.

The park is also a place to experience the local culture, as many locals go there daily to play interesting traditional musical instruments. Play.

  • Hours Opening:
    1. 6:00 am–9:00 pm for Apr.–Oct.
    2. 6:30 am–8:00 pm for Nov.–Mar.
  • Prices of Entry: US$1.5

Beijing Olympic Park

The Beijing Olympic Park is a roomy park built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It contains the main venues used during the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics. The Bird’s Nest and Water Cube are the highlights of this park and have become iconic buildings of Beijing.

Beijing Olympic Park
Beijing Olympic Park

Bird’s Nest Stadium: Its shell is the largest steel structure in the world and is part of the most complex Olympic stadium ever built. The opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be held here.

  • Hours Opening: 6:00 am–9:00 pm
  • Prices of Entry: free

798 Art Zone

A converted factory, this area is now synonymous with art and originality. Here you will find a variety of contemporary art galleries, trendy boutiques, creatively designed buildings and cafes.

798 Regularly hosts top art exhibitions and fashion shows, with over 500 art studios from around the world.

  • Hours Opening: 10:00 am–6:00 pm
  • Prices of Entry: free

Best luxury hotels in Beijing, China

  • Mumian Beijing Daxing International Airport
  • Stey 798 Art Zone Hotel
  • Livefortuna Hotel
  • The PuXuan Hotel and Spa
  • Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing
  • Hyatt Regency Beijing Wangjing
  • Holiday Inn Express Shangdi Beijing, an IHG Hotel
  • Yi Stack Hotel Beijing
  • Ascott Raffles City Beijing
  • China World Hotel, Beijing

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