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Beijing Facts

Name: Beijing (北京Běijīng /bay-jing/)

Previous names: Peking, Beiping, Dadu, Jingcheng, and Yanjing

Beijing, China's second largest city after Shanghai, dominates the north of China, despite its proximity to the ports of Tianjin Municipality, China's third largest city.


  • The world's longest wall and biggest ancient architecture, the Great Wall
  • The world's largest palace, the Forbidden City
  • Northern terminus of China's Grand Canal

Main Attractions

the great wallThe Great Wall


Capital of 8 notable dynasties and governments:

  • 221 BC Yan State Capital, Warring States Period
  • 1271 first a national capital for the Yuan Dynasty
  • 1402 Became Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) capital
  • 1644 Qing Dynasty capital
  • 1912 Republic of China capital
  • October 1, 1949 People's Republic of China inaugurated by Mao Zedong
  • 2008: hosted the Olympic Games


  • Significance of city: capital of the People's Republic of China; political, educational and cultural center, China's No.1 tourist city, China's second largest city.
  • Nearby cities: Tianjin (120km/75mi), Shijiazhuang (230km/140mi), Qinhuangdao (270km/170mi).
  • Municipality terrain: Huabei Plain, 32% plain, 68% mountains, 180 km (110 mi) from the Bohai Sea at Tianjin.
  • Average altitude: 44 meters (144 feet)
  • Main rivers: Yongding, Chaobai and the North Canal.

Location Information

    The Forbidden City.
  • Municipality location: 39.45N to 41.06N, 115.42 to 117.26E, North China
  • Municipality Population: 19,600,000
  • Municipality Area: 16,800 sq km (6,487 sq mi)
  • Built up area: 3,200 sq km (1,200 sq mi)
  • Core districts and inner suburbs area: 1,400 sq km (540 sq mi)
  • City proper population: 11,700,000
  • City proper population density: 7,400/sq km
  • North to south distance (including suburbs): 64 km (40 mi)
  • East to west distance (including suburbs): 64 km (40 mi)
  • City center: Tian'anmen (39.9087N, 116.3974E), between Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City


    Wangfujing Walking Street.
  • Highest temperature: 42 °C (109 °F)
  • Lowest temperature: -27 °C (-17 °F)
  • Dry, annual precipitation: 570 mm (22 in)
  • Known for air pollution (improved dramatically since the 2008 Olympics) and dust storms


  • Average annual income (2008): 36,000 RMB (4,600 USD)
  • Development: rich and well-developed, behind only Shanghai and Hong Kong
  • Industry: 73% tertiary industry (especially finance), also automobile and real estate, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and materials engineering.
  • CBD: Guomao Area (39.91N, 116.46E), Chaoyang District
  • Shopping Streets: Wangfujing Street


Facts of major cities and attractions in China