Any trip to China is not complete without a Beijing tour. Beijing is definitely one of the most visited cities around the world, and the perfect place to see China's incredible ancient past and exciting present.
However, Beijing offers so much for your appreciation, and it takes times to tour the ancient cultural and fast developed metropolis. Here, we list the most popular and the top 10 must-to-see attractions and things to do in Beijing, so as to economize your time and budget your tour.
In that way, even if you can stay in Beijing only for one day or just the weekend, you can also experience the Beijing highlights.
Tiananmen Square is the largest typical red tourism spot of worldwide, and the symbol of China. Tiananmen Square, in the very heart of Beijing, is the largest city squares in the world, and can hold one million people for public celebration or gatherings.
Tiananmen Square is the site of numerous parades and other celebrations, which great cultural significance because it was on the rostrum of Tiananmen Gate that Mao ZeDong declared the People's Republic of China on October 1st 1949. It is the national typical red tourism spot and rank top of the sixteen tourist spots in Beijing.
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The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty for almost five centuries. Located in the very heart of Beijing, China, it is now most commonly known in Chinese as Gugongng (Palace Museum).
You can appreciate the magnificent traditional palace architecture, enjoy the treasures kept in the palace; learn of the legends and anecdotes about the imperial family and the court; and enjoy a visual feast of 5,000 years of traditional Chinese art.
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The Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods, situated in southeastern urban Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.
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The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built, rebuilt, expanded and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the empire against northern invaders during various successive dynasties. As the world's largest military structure, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, just like a gigantic dragon, stretching about 8,851 kilometers from east to west of China. Most of the Great Wall we see today was built in the Ming Dynasty.
Beijing is definitely the best place to see the Great Wall of China. Famous sections of the Great Wall in Beijing include Badaling, Juyongguan, Mutianyu, Simatai, Jinshanling and Jiankou.
The Ming Tombs is the largest mausoleum group in the world located some 50 kilometers north of urban Beijing at a specially selected site. 13 of the 16 Ming Dynasty Emperors along with their empresses and concubines are buried in this area. Constructed from 1409 to 1644 AD, the Ming Tombs is the place to explore China's dynastic history and imperial culture. The most famous sites at the Ming Tombs are the Sacred Road - the main road leading into the tomb complexes - and the Dingling Tomb – the only tomb whose underground palace has ever been excavated.
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Beijing's Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) was the summer retreat of the China's emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This 290-hectare complex, three quarters of which is water, is located northwest of Beijing's center with 3,000 structures. Originally built in 1750, the Summer Palace once served as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Cixi, who embezzled Navy funds to reconstruct the Summer Palace for her own benefit.
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Beijing National Stadium, known as "Bird's Nest “for its unique design, is the very place that held the 2008 Summer Olympics and its opening and closing ceremonies. To mention the Bird's Net, the spectacular scene of the impressive opening ceremony will come up to mind. It is a grand and unprecedented success.
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Want to experience real Beijing? Take a pedicab to tour Beijing Hutongs. Hutong & Courtyards are typical lanes and ancient residences where the locals still live. As symbols of Beijing city, the culture of Hutong & Courtyards is said to be the real culture of Beijing. Like an old man having suffered a lot, provide you much food for thought. Thus, they attract more tourists from home and abroad than the high-rise buildings and large mansions.
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Lama Temple (Yonghe Lamasery) is the largest and most perfetly preserved lamasery in present day China, located in the northcorner of Beijing City. Initially built in 1694 as the residence of Yongzheng Emperor when he was a prince, the lamasery is endowed with the style of an imperial palace, making it distinctive from others. It covers an area of 66,400 square meters and is the national centre of Lama Administration.
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No tasting Beijing Roast Duck when visiting Beijing is like not eating roast turkey when having the Charismas Day. As a famous and delicious food with very long history, Beijing Roast Duck is an excellent choice if you want to understand more about Chinese cuisine, culture and customs.
Roast Duck is the very famous Beijing local food, and no visit to Beijing is complete if you do not dine on Roast Duck.