things to do in beijing

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 – planning a 3 day trip to Beijing just got easier!

Of course we are biased but even a fellow blogger agreed, you must take a day trip to Tianjin whilst you are in the City! If you are visiting Beijing in the Winter, make sure you jump on a high-speed train or flight over to Harbin and see the Ice and Snow Festival and more!

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.

#greatwallofchina 😎

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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.

6) Hutongs

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

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  1. What an amazing list! Thanks for writing/compiling this, will be very handy when we visit China

    Will pin this as well for future reference

  2. Such an amazing list, so intrigued (and dying to go) to Peking Duck!

    Char xo

  3. Wow ! Few places on earth can match the extraordinary historical panorama on display in Běijīng 🙂 I read that there are six Unesco World Heritage Sites in this city alone… it’s just amazing as it is just one less than the whole of Egypt 😉

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