Beijing Travel Guide
As one of the world's great ancient capitals Beijing is a must-see. It is home to some of the finest remnants of China's imperial past.
Standing side-by-side with old Beijing's crimson palace complexes are the city's impressive skylines. Beijing is a superb example of the great transformation China has undergone as it burst into the 21st century. Beijing's travel industry has forged forward after China's economic reforms in 1978, and the city is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Want to see Beijing without a Visa? See our guide to 72-Hour Visa Free Travel to Beijing.
The Christmas season has arrived in Beijing. See our guide to Chistmas in Beijing.
Some of the places of architectural and scenic beauty include:
- The Forbidden City, the largest and best preserved ancient architectural complex in the world;
- Temple of Heaven, where Ming and Qing emperors performed solemn rituals for bountiful harvests;
- Summer Palace, the emperors' magnificent garden retreat;
- Ming Tombs, the majestic mausoleums of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors; and of course
- The Great Wall of China, especially the world-renowned Badaling section.
Beijing's invaluable cultural heritage of imperial relics has drawn millions of visitors every year, but traveling around Beijing, one is also struck by the city's modern buildings, and the super-modern Olympic Village, with the Bird's Nest Stadium and Water Cube.
Beijing became the focus of world attention in 2008 when it hosted the Olympics. The games were a symbol of both China's progress and China's traditions, with high-class eye-catching facilities and spectacular ceremonies.
The green areas in and around the city are epitomized by Xiangshan (Fragrant Hills) Park. China Highlights provides a range of Beijing tours to explore China's capital city. Follow the link for the Beijing's Top 10 Tour Packages.
Beijing Hiking and Biking
Although the city of Beijing is not a good place for hiking and biking due to its busy traffic, there are a many quiet routes in the areas around it for outdoor-lovers to explore.
The most popular hiking routes are the Great Wall and Badachu to Fragrant Hill routes. Beijing's Hutongs are good place for a cycling tour, and a must for most travelers to Beijing, as it offers a great opportunity to explore the old Beijing. See Beijing Biking Guide.
Beijing is approximately at the same latitude as Philadelphia in the U.S. (but drier in winter and much wetter in summer) and Madrid in Spain (though colder in winter). See Beijing Weather.
Beijing's air pollution and traffic congestion are being tackled with improved public transport, restrictions on the use of vehicles, and the relocation of factories. Daily and localized variations in airborne particle levels are great, with some days below the WHO's strictest targets. Breathing Beijing's air for six average days is the equivalent of smoking just one cigarette, which is not bad for a large developing world city.
Beijing's air quality, apart from pollutants, is greatly affected by occasional dust storms in the spring, and humidity contributes greatly to the haze in summer, which is the worst time of the year for visibility and air quality. Shutterbugs will probably find an autumn trip best for photography.
Generally Beijing's pollution is not harmful, no more than an unpleasant smell or a mild throat irritant for healthy people. If you are sensitive to pollution you could buy pick up a 3M n95 mask in Beijing for 18 yuan.
- Four-Day Tour of Guilin and Yangshuo Discovery from Hong Kong
- Eight-Day Tour of Shanghai and Her Amazing Neighbors.
A guide's accompany will make your trip easier and more interesting with explanation, How many people are there in your group? I could offer you a quotation for your reference.
December is the middle of winter in Beijing. It is very chilly, with temperature just rising above freezing during the day, and the air is very dry. In the city, dress for dry winter conditions. If you visit the Great Wall you need to dress like an Eskimo as it is freezing due to the elevation and exposureRuby Zhao Replied on 2013-10-18
Hi Jhonel, it could be a little boring. You can take a short tour to the summer palace.Whitney Liao Replied on 2013-03-19
Hi Shine, for shopping, Wangfujing Street in Beijing and Nanjing Road in Shanghai are suggested.Whitney Liao Replied on 2013-03-07
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