Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Having served as the capital of China for more than 800 years, Beijing is home to some of the finest remnants of China's imperial past and is aChina culture hub. Interest in visiting Beijing is largely to explore its glorious past, but also to feel its modern era prestige. Our local experts have journeyed to every corner of the city and uncovered the best things to see and do in Beijing.
Get to Know Tian'anmen Square
Tian'anmen Square is the world’s largest famous square and can accommodate a million people. Like Times Square in New York and Red Square in Moscow, Tian’anmen Square is a must-visit place for travelers to Beijing. Escorted by a knowledgeable guide, you can get to know the architecture and history of the square.
Feast on Beijing Roast Duck
A saying that is often heard is: "There are two things you must do in Beijing: eat Beijing Roast Duck and see the Great Wall." Beijing roast duck is the epitome of Beijing cuisine. The dish is mostly prized for the thin, crispy skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat.
Your Beijing trip is not complete if you have not enjoyed an authentic Beijing roast duck dinner in a time-honored brand restaurant. The famous roast duck chains of restaurants are Quanjude (全聚德) and Dadong (大董).
Discover the Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven, the royal altar where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshipped heaven, is seen as the most holy of Beijing's imperial temples. It has been described as "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design". Temple of Heaven Park is a great place to wander around and see the locals doing morning activities, including practicing tai chi, playing chess, singing, and dancing.
Appreciate Beijing Opera
Beijing opera is regarded as Chinese cultural treasure. The make-up, the face masks, the gorgeous costumes, the unique vocal style, and the demanding choreography make Beijing opera a high-class performance entertainment. The best place to enjoy Beijing opera is Li Yuan Theater.
Check Out the Souvenir Markets
Beijing's outdoor markets sell a great variety of souvenirs and old arts and crafts. They are living museums of folk artwork, old articles for daily use, and antiques (though some of them are fake).
You can go to Panjiayuan Collection Street, Xiushui Street, and Liulichang Street for local specialties such as cloisonné, ivory carvings, jade pieces, lacquer carvings, antiques, and fresh water pearls.