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Beijing Walking Tour Maps

Beijing Walking Tour Maps - It's hard to outline the geography of Beijing such is the capital's current rapid change. There are today not one, but several centres. Six ring roads surround the city and constitute so many landmarks for Beijingers. Hiking might be a interesting and memorable experience . Here we have simply chosen to divide it up around the most important historic monuments and the liveliest quarters, which is useful for your Beijing tour. We have grouped together tourist sites, museums, temples and other places of interest around 6 "walking tours" (to the Summer Palace and the Great Wall).

Warning: in Beijing to get around you have to orientate yourself in relation to the North-South and East-West axes. These form the shape of the city and lend the streets their names. Handy tip, bring a compass with you; you'll find it very useful. Or you can take a Beijing tour package including walking tours to Hutong area, qianmen culture street, etc.

Walking Tour 1: The Forbidden City and Wangfujing

Geographical, political and historic centre of Beijing. Around Tian'anmen Square are arranged the National People's Congress, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City Museum; at thecentre stands the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Monument to the People's Heroes. There are shopping streets of Dashilan (or Dashilan in the local dialect) and Liulichang openning out. Here is also the old Beijing railway station and the very interesting, but less well-known, Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall. Large building works have been ongoing in the Qianmen area since 2006. The restored (or even rebuilt) quarter was openned up on August 7, 2008.

To the north of the Forbidden City are the imperial parks of Coal Hill (jingshan) and Beihai, as well as the China Art Gallery. Along the City, leaving from Tian'anmen Square, greenspaces of Changpuhe have been created as well as Nanchizi Dajie, destined to become a chic residential quarter with a traditional appearance. To the east you can find Donghuamen night market, the shopping street of Wangfujing, Dongsi Dajie which you can follow to where it
meets Dongdan to reach the wide Chang'an jie.

Walking Tour 2: Around Deshengmen

This area, consisting of a historic centre, has become a simply unavoidable part of the night-life scene, by reason of its attraction in bringing together the three Imperial Lakes, with the traditional architecture in harmony with the numerous bars and restaurants. Early in the morning (around 6am to 7am in summer), Beijingers go for a walk, do physical exercises, sing, go fishing here... At midday the passers-by nonchalantly saunter by. In the evening, a completely different atmosphere rules the water's edge: neon-lit bars, deafening music...

Walking Tour 3: Sanlitun and Chaoyang District

Chaoyang district is very lively, here are restaurants offering all types of food from all over the world and "Bar Street", the bustling centre of night life. It's also a commercial quarter, with Yaxiu Market andnumerous fashion stores. Not far away, around the Workers' Stadium, the tendency is for extravagantly decorated restaurants and night clubs. It's the part of the city where it's all happening with Spas, massage centres and other sophisticated leisure places.

Walking Tour 4: Around Dongzhimen

This is a developing quarter where breathtakingly designed skyscrapers soar out of sight. It's a residential and business quarter; there are major hotels, luxury apartments, commercial centres and restaurants. In the eastern half of this quarter, "Ghost Street" is a favourite place to get refined and cheap food at the restaurants along the road.

Walking Tour 5: South of Qianmen

This quarter features a lot of Beijing's grand historical buildings, such as the Temple of Heaven and the Source of Law Temple. The popular hutong close to Qianmen, are gradually being replaced by wide avenues and new renovating quarters.

Walking Tour 6: West Beijing

Try to escape the tourist gaze. Nevertheless, if you have time, some sights merit attention: the Millennium Museum, the Military Museum, Xidan shopping centre. The National Opera House built by Paul Andreu has opened. To the southwest stretches out a working-class quarter where several secondary temples, but nevertheless worthy of interest, exist in the midst of the dwellings. To the northwest you have Yuanmingyuan and Summer Palace, as well as the university quarter.

Walking Tour 7: Around Beijing

Yuanmingyuan and Summer Palace and the Fragrant Hills Park can be found 15 kilometres or so west of Beijing. These three sites, despite destruction, ruin and the ravage of time, have perfectly preserved their imperial majesty. This is an excellent chance to find calm and tranquillity when the bustle of the capital becomes too much.

Walking Tour 8: The Great Wall and the Imperial Tombs

Finally, it would be a shame to not spare a day, or even half a day visiting the Great Wall. On the way back you could also discover the Ming andQing Tombs, sophisticated and spectacular constructions above and below ground.

Beijing is a city on the move where each day sees change. We have tried to choose those places that have stood the test of time, but the city changes with such speed that some of the sites mentioned may no longer exist at the time of your visit. Several English language magazines, like That's Beijing, City Weekend, Beijing Talk, or even Time Out Beijing, are available free in bars and hotels. They will give you the chance to discover the up-to-date places as well as cultural events.

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