Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, you’ll always have a variety of fun things to do in Beijing. With the wonderful experience that this destination can offer, you are sure to have an amazing trip.
Beijing is a good place to experience a different culture and try quality food. The locals warmly welcome all visitors. If this is the first time you are planning to visit Beijing, there is no need to worry. Just keep reading this article to get an idea of what you can do to enjoy a vacation in Beijing. Below are the top 5 things to do in Beijing.
Things to Do in Beijing
Explore the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square
No visit to Beijing can be complete without taking a look at its top attractions. Tiananmen Square, the vast expanse south of the Forbidden City in Beijing’s heart, is full of history.
The first is the Forbidden City. This is one of the magnificent palaces in the city now known as the Palace Museum. It is huge, and its architecture is wonderful. The palace is easily accessible to tourists and visitors.
Visitors interested in the complete history of Beijing should visit the site of the 1989 protests. There is not an actual memorial of this event in the market, but it is still worth a visit.
On the north side is a huge Forbidden City wall, a huge complex where you can easily spend a few days. The surrounding gardens are just as beautiful and quiet, and the city itself is worth a visit.
Visit the Great Wall of China
The most popular tourist attraction is the Great Wall of China, about 80 km north of the Forbidden City. It is the largest structure in the world. Its length is over 13,000 miles. There is a part of it in the north of Beijing.
The wall was built over several periods of time. It was built to protect China’s northern border from invading nomadic tribes. However, its importance as a defensive structure varied throughout the dynasties.
You can climb this wall in Badaling and Juyongguan. You can do the same with Mutianyu Simatai and even Jinshanling. There are other sections you can skip. In 1987, it was classified as a cultural heritage site by UNESCO. If you want to walk, you must have good footwear.
Enjoy Shopping in Malls and Markets
Beijing has lots of malls and markets for you to shop at. One of the most popular ones can be found on Wangfujing Street, which is only a short walk from Tian’anmen Square. More shopping opportunities can be found on Qianmen Street, Xidan Shopping Street, and Zhongguancun Square.
You can find great items like jade, electronics, antiques, watches, and jewelry in any of these markets or malls. The main commercial markets include Xiu Shui Square, Hong Qiao Square, and Liulichang. Beijing Tea Street is an interesting place where you can find not only the best teas but also beautiful plates and tea tables.
Shopping areas such as the Seidengassen market are known for handicrafts, luggage, footwear, precious stones, toys, traditional Chinese jewelry, clothing, as well as lingerie, and cashmere sweaters. Visitors can also buy beautiful Chinese pearls, artifacts, silk, and more in this imperial city.
Bizarre Snacks at Donghuamen Night Market
Donghuamen Street Night, located on a long street east of the Forbidden City and west of Wangfujing Pedestrian Street, is a must-see for any adventurous visitor. Starting early in the evening every day of the week, dozens of stalls along the street—lit by a beautiful string of paper and neon lights from countless local restaurants—offer amazing snacks from all over China.
You might even try scorpion. That’s right! Like many food items we may consider unusual, scorpions are fried before serving, and their crunchy, salty taste is amazingly delicious.
Cycling the Streets and Hutongs
Beijing’s main roadways are all detached, allowing millions of cyclists to drive at a slow pace from cars and buses stuck on the street. The bikes can be hired in most hotels and guesthouses. They can be rented during the day.
This is a wonderful thing—a way to see the city. Many taxi drivers do not speak English fluently, it makes a lot of sense to cycle around the city, and the slower speed allows you to cross major roads in front of one of the most beautiful narrow streets and quiet hutongs that fills the city.
Discover Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Keep in mind that much of the food you eat in Beijing is Chinese, but the western version is not. Discover authentic Chinese cuisine on streets such as Donghuamen Night Market, Guanganmen Snack Street, or Gui Street to taste the real taste of China.
Here are some suggestions of authentic food to try, including the ever-popular Peking duck. You can try Sichuan smoked duck, hot lamb pot, and meatballs from Beijing. Although it is a shame to visit Beijing without trying the famous fried duck in Beijing, you should try other dishes from the long menu of Chinese restaurants.
If you don’t know the restaurants, remember that Quanjude is for the Beijing duck, Donglaishun is for the hot lamb pots, and the smoked duck from Sichuan is at the Prince Gong Palace in Houhai District.
You can also try some of the popular Chinese street snacks: hearty pancakes, lamb kebabs, different types of noodle dishes, candied berries, and other snacks. You can try grilled scorpions and silkworms spit on a stick. Are you ready for this? While in Beijing, make sure you enjoy the famous Chinese tea. You can even attend tea ceremonies in tea houses, get a free cup of tea and order a private room or a quiet meal for two.
There are so many things to do in Beijing, so start planning your memorable holiday now. Cathay Pacific Airlines offers convenient flights to Beijing, which you can easily book in advance. You can view and book various hotels online, as well as find organized hotel tours or professional tour operators to help you enjoy the beauty of this magnificent city.