Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my latest adventure in the captivating city of Beijing. As one of the world’s most populous and historically rich cities, it’s no wonder that there are countless experiences to be had. But fear not, my fellow wanderers, for I have narrowed down the must-see attractions and activities to bring you the ultimate guide: the top 10 things to do in Beijing.
From ancient wonders to modern marvels, this bustling metropolis has something for everyone. So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking to immerse yourself in a new culture, my top 10 things to do in Beijing list has got you covered. So, strap on your walking shoes, grab your camera, and join me as we embark on this unforgettable journey through the top 10 things to do in Beijing. Let’s dive in!
Exploring the Great Wall of China
If you’re visiting Beijing, exploring the Great Wall of China is a must-do activity. It’s one of the top 10 things to do in Beijing and for good reason. The Great Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic landmarks in China. Here are some tips to make the most of your visit:
1. Choose the Right Section
The Great Wall stretches over 13,000 miles, so it’s important to choose the right section to visit. Some of the most popular sections include Badaling, Mutianyu, and Jinshanling. Badaling is the most crowded, while Jinshanling is the most remote. Mutianyu is a good compromise, offering stunning views and fewer crowds.
2. Plan Your Visit
It’s important to plan your visit to the Great Wall in advance. Decide which section you want to visit and how you’ll get there. You can take a bus, hire a taxi, or join a tour group. Keep in mind that some sections of the Great Wall require a lot of walking and climbing, so wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.
3. Learn About the History
The Great Wall of China has a rich history that dates back over 2,000 years. Take some time to learn about the history of the wall before you visit. You can read books, watch documentaries, or hire a guide to give you a tour. Understanding the history of the Great Wall will make your visit even more meaningful.
4. Take Your Time
Don’t rush your visit to the Great Wall. Take your time and enjoy the stunning views. The Great Wall is a massive structure that’s best appreciated when you take the time to explore it. Stop and take photos, sit and enjoy the scenery, and soak up the history.
5. Visit at the Right Time
The Great Wall can be crowded, especially during peak tourist season. To avoid the crowds, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. You’ll have a better chance of enjoying the wall without the crowds.
Exploring the Great Wall of China is one of the top 10 things to do in Beijing. Follow these tips to make the most of your visit and create unforgettable memories.
Delving into the Forbidden City
If you’re looking for a glimpse into China’s imperial past, the Forbidden City is a must-visit destination on your list of top 10 things to do in Beijing. This ancient palace complex was once home to emperors and their families for over 500 years.
Exploring the Palace Complex
The Forbidden City is a vast complex of over 980 buildings, so it’s best to plan your visit in advance. You can easily spend a whole day exploring the palace complex, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.
As you wander through the palace, you’ll see intricate carvings, beautiful gardens, and stunning architecture. Don’t miss the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the largest and most important building in the palace complex.
Learning about Chinese History
The Forbidden City is not just a beautiful palace complex, but also a treasure trove of Chinese history. You can learn about the lives of the emperors and their families, as well as the customs and traditions of ancient China.
Make sure to visit the Palace Museum, which houses over 1.8 million artifacts from the Ming and Qing dynasties. You can also take a guided tour to learn more about the history and significance of the Forbidden City.
Tips for Visiting
To make the most of your visit to the Forbidden City, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Buy your tickets in advance to avoid long lines
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water
- Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowds
- Hire a guide to learn more about the history and significance of the palace complex
In conclusion, the Forbidden City is a must-visit destination on your list of top 10 things to do in Beijing. It’s a beautiful palace complex that offers a glimpse into China’s imperial past and a treasure trove of Chinese history.
Strolling through the Summer Palace
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Beijing, the Summer Palace is a must-visit destination on your list of top 10 things to do in Beijing. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a stunning example of Chinese architecture and landscape design.
Exploring the Palace Grounds
The Summer Palace is a vast complex of gardens, lakes, and palaces that covers over 700 acres. You could easily spend a whole day strolling through the grounds, admiring the beautiful scenery and learning about the history of the palace.
Highlights of the Palace
Some of the highlights of the Summer Palace include the Long Corridor, a covered walkway that stretches for over 700 meters and is decorated with over 14,000 paintings. The Marble Boat, a pavilion built entirely of marble, is another popular attraction. And don’t miss the Tower of Buddhist Incense, a three-story pagoda that offers stunning views of the surrounding gardens and lakes.
Tips for Visiting
To make the most of your visit to the Summer Palace, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. The palace can get crowded, especially during peak tourist season, so try to visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.
Strolling through the Summer Palace is a peaceful and relaxing way to spend a day in Beijing. With its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the top 10 things to do in Beijing. So be sure to add it to your itinerary and experience the beauty of this historic palace for yourself.
Experiencing the Temple of Heaven
If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience in Beijing, the Temple of Heaven should be at the top of your list of “top 10 things to do Beijing”. This ancient temple complex was built in the early 15th century and was used by emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies to pray for good harvests.
The Temple of Heaven is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Beijing. The complex is made up of several buildings and gardens, including the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, and the Circular Mound Altar.
One of the highlights of visiting the Temple of Heaven is watching the locals practice tai chi and other traditional exercises in the park surrounding the temple. You can also join in on a game of Chinese chess or watch a group of musicians playing traditional instruments.
Make sure to visit the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, which is the most iconic building in the complex. The hall is a stunning example of Chinese architecture, with its triple-eaved roof and intricate carvings.
Another must-see attraction in the Temple of Heaven is the Echo Wall. This circular wall surrounds the Imperial Vault of Heaven and has the unique ability to reflect sound waves. If you stand at one end of the wall and whisper, someone standing at the opposite end can hear you perfectly.
Overall, the Temple of Heaven is a fascinating cultural experience that should not be missed when visiting Beijing. Don’t forget to add it to your list of “top 10 things to do Beijing”.
Navigating the Hutong Neighborhoods
If you’re looking for an authentic Beijing experience, exploring the city’s historic hutongs is a must. These narrow alleyways are lined with traditional courtyard homes, local shops, and street food vendors. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Beijing’s hutongs:
Take a rickshaw tour: Hop on a rickshaw and let a local guide take you through the winding hutongs. You’ll get a glimpse of daily life in Beijing and learn about the history of these neighborhoods.
Visit the Drum and Bell Towers: These two ancient towers are located in the heart of the hutongs and offer stunning views of the city. Be sure to catch the drum performance at the Drum Tower.
Explore Nanluoguxiang: This trendy hutong is filled with boutique shops, cafes, and bars. It’s a great place to grab a drink and people-watch.
Try street food: The hutongs are known for their delicious street food. Be sure to try local favorites like jianbing (a savory crepe) and roujiamo (a Chinese-style sandwich).
Visit a local market: The hutongs are home to many local markets where you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
Take a cooking class: Learn how to make traditional Chinese dishes with a cooking class in a local hutong home.
Visit a temple: The hutongs are home to many historic temples, including the Lama Temple and the Confucius Temple.
Take a calligraphy class: Learn the art of Chinese calligraphy with a class in a local hutong studio.
Visit a courtyard home: Many of the hutongs are home to traditional courtyard homes, some of which have been converted into museums or guesthouses.
Attend a traditional performance: Catch a traditional Beijing opera or acrobatics show in one of the hutongs’ historic theaters.
Navigating the hutongs can be overwhelming, but with these top 10 things to do in Beijing’s hutongs, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to bring your camera and comfortable walking shoes!
Savoring Beijing’s Culinary Delights
When it comes to food, Beijing is a culinary paradise. From street food to fine dining, the city offers a wide range of flavors and dishes that will satisfy any foodie’s cravings. Here are some of the top 10 things to do Beijing for food lovers:
1. Try Peking Duck
No visit to Beijing is complete without trying the city’s most famous dish – Peking Duck. This crispy, succulent duck is roasted to perfection and served with thin pancakes, scallions, and sweet bean sauce. Head to Quanjude or Da Dong for the best Peking Duck in town.
2. Explore the Night Markets
Beijing’s night markets are a food lover’s paradise. From grilled skewers to dumplings, you’ll find a wide variety of street food to sample. Head to Wangfujing Snack Street or Donghuamen Night Market for a taste of the city’s best street food.
3. Visit a Local Market
For a more authentic food experience, head to one of Beijing’s local markets. Here, you’ll find fresh produce, meat, and seafood, as well as a variety of street food vendors. Try the famous jianbing (a savory crepe) or baozi (steamed buns) for a quick snack.
4. Sample Traditional Beijing Snacks
Beijing is known for its traditional snacks, such as zhajiangmian (noodles with soybean paste), douzhi (fermented mung bean milk), and roujiamo (a type of sandwich). Head to Guijie Street or Qianmen Street for a taste of these local specialties.
5. Enjoy Hot Pot
Hot pot is a popular Chinese dish that involves cooking raw ingredients in a simmering pot of broth. Beijing is home to some of the best hot pot restaurants in China, such as Haidilao and Xiaolongkan. Choose your ingredients and dip them in a variety of sauces for a delicious meal.
6. Visit a Tea House
Tea is an important part of Chinese culture, and Beijing has a long history of tea drinking. Visit a traditional tea house, such as Maliandao Tea Street or Lao She Teahouse, to sample a variety of teas and learn about the art of tea making.
7. Try Beijing Noodles
Beijing is famous for its noodles, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Try zhajiangmian (noodles with soybean paste), niuroumian (beef noodle soup), or daoxiaomian (knife-cut noodles) for a taste of the city’s noodle culture.
8. Indulge in Dim Sum
Dim sum is a Cantonese cuisine that has become popular throughout China. Beijing has some of the best dim sum restaurants in the country, such as Jin Ding Xuan and Lei Garden. Try the steamed dumplings, baozi, and other small dishes for a delicious meal.
9. Visit a Brewery
Craft beer has become increasingly popular in Beijing, and the city is home to a number of breweries and taprooms. Head to Great Leap Brewing or Slow Boat Brewery for a taste of the city’s best craft beer.
10. Learn to Cook Chinese Cuisine
If you’re a foodie who loves to cook, why not learn to make some Chinese dishes? Take a cooking class at The Hutong or Black Sesame Kitchen to learn how to make dumplings, stir-fry dishes, and other Chinese specialties.
In conclusion, Beijing is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of flavors and dishes to explore. Whether you’re a fan of street food or fine dining, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do Beijing for a culinary adventure you won’t forget!
And there you have it, fellow travelers! Our whirlwind adventure through the top 10 things to do in Beijing has come to an end. From the awe-inspiring Great Wall to the bustling streets of Wangfujing, we’ve explored the best that this incredible city has to offer. As Journeying Jack, I can confidently say that these top 10 things to do in Beijing are sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
As we close our Suitcase Stories chapter on the top 10 things to do in Beijing, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture that this city has to offer. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, the top 10 things to do in Beijing are sure to satisfy your wanderlust.
So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the top 10 things to do in Beijing. And remember, fellow adventurers, the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. Until our next Suitcase Stories adventure, happy travels!
Yours truly, Journeying Jack