We have all been there – confused in front of the second largest city, the political and cultural center of China for centuries, Beijing. Tianjin, which is close to but draws less attention than Beijing, is also a vast city to explore. So where should we go? What are the essences of these cities? Where can we get to the tastiest food and snacks?
So, here is a list of the most essential places, food, snacks and activities for you to explore in your six day trip in Beijing and Tianjin.
Flag-raising Ceremony: There is flag-raising ceremony in Tian'anmen Square. You can see this solemn ceremony carried out by soldiers every morning.
The Forbidden City: It was the palace for the emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is the largest and most well-preserved wood structure from this ancient architecture group. The entrance fee for the Imperial Palace is 60 yuan.
Shi Cha Hai: Shi Cha Hai preserves the most typical Beijing style buildings, gardens and other non-material culture heritages.
Hu Guo Temple Snack Shop
This is a snack shop which provides special Beijing snacks. Yellow pea cake, rolling donkey (fried chop rice cake), fried cream cake, sweet ears (fried sugar cake), etc. are some special flavored snacks you may want to try.
Qianmen Food Court
A number of time-honored restaurants converge at Qianmen Food Court, for example, Quan Ju De Roasted Duck, Du Yi Chu Siu Mai, Lao Zheng Xing Restaurant, etc. These restaurants all have a history of over one hundred years.
Dong Lai Shun Wang Fu Jing Restaurant
If you want to try Shuan Yang Rou, instant-boiled mutton in Beijing, you can do it at this restaurant. Dong Lai Shun Wang Fu Jing Restaurant has a history of one hundred years. The instant-boiled mutton in this restaurant is highlighted for its freshness and tenderness.
Hutongren Creative Culture Hotel
A quadrangle house, or quadrangle courtyard, is a kind of Beijing style residence. Hutongren Creative Culture Hotel was built in the style of a quadrangle house. If you want to live in a typical Beijing dwelling, check in to Hutongren Creative Culture Hotel where you can appreciate the beautiful yard and feel the antiqueness of the quadrangle house.
There is a Home Inn in Da Zha Land Cultural Commercial District. It is close to Tiananmen Square, the Palace Museum and the snack court.
Peninsula Beijing Hotel is located in the downtown area. This first class hotel is in quite a convenient location to conduct your visits to many places.
The public transportation in Beijing is very convenient. It covers almost all of the scenic spots in Beijing.
Badaling Great Wall is located in Yan Qing County in Beijing. Being one of the nine most important fortifications, Badaling Great Wall is the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall.
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There are no restaurants at the Badaling Great Wall, only some eateries. You can have Old Beijing Bean Sauce Noodles if you love noodles. Otherwise, you can bring some bread and water with you.
The convenient and economical way to go to the Badaling Great Wall is by bus 877, which you can take from the square north of De Sheng Men (De Sheng Gate). The bus will set out when it is filled up with people and normally it will take one hour to get to the Badaling Great Wall.
The Bird's Nest and Water Cube in Beijing became must-go places after the 2008 Olympic Games; Yong He Palace was the mansion of Emperor Yong Zhengwhen he was a prince; South Luo Gu Alley is a good place to experience Beijing Hutong culture.
Asian Games Village is located besides the Bird's Nest and Water Cube. After you finish visiting these two spots, you can have your lunch there. There is a wide range of food in Asian Games Village Food Street.
Taking some Beijing local products and souvenirs home for your family and friends is a very good choice. Here are some products you may want to get.
Beijing Zoo – Beijing Planetarium – Zoo Wholesale Market
Beijing Zoo is the largest urban zoo in China. There is a Panda Pavilion, Penguin Pavilion, Rhino Pavilion and a Hippo Pavilion in the zoo. Tickets for Beijing Zoo are 15 yuan in the busy season and 10 yuan in the slack season.
Beijing Planetarium is the earliest planetarium in Beijing.
There are restaurants near the Lion and Tiger Pavilion, Penguin Pavilion, Rhino Pavilion, Hippo Pavilion, Amphibian Pavilion and Aquarium in Beijing Zoo. If you do not want to eat inside the zoo, there are many restaurants offering Beijing specialties outside the zoo.
The Zoo Wholesale Market is a distributing center of clothing in China. You can get almost all of the clothes you need there.
Confucius Temple (Wen Miao) – Ancient Culture Street – Queen of Heaven Palace (Tian Hou Palace) - Food Street in Southern City – the Five Avenues
Food Street in Southern City is the largest food market in China. It has a collection of many special snacks from different regions.
There is a "Hotel Street" in Tianjin. About 30 to 40 hotels of different styles and fair prices are located in this street. Hotel Street is next to Food Street. It is very convenient.
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Tianjin Radio and TV Tower – Xi Kai Church – Eye of Tianjin – Quan Ye Market.
Tianjin Radio and TV Tower ranks number six in the world's highest buildings and number four in Asia's highest buildings. It is the perfect place to see the whole of Tianjin city.
Xi Kai Church is a French style building built under the order of a French priest. Xi Kai Church is closed at 6.00 pm. Make sure that you are there before this time if you want to visit the church.
The Eye of Tianjin is a Ferris wheel built over the Yong Le Bridge on Hai River. It is the first and only Ferris wheel built on a bridge.
There is a food street on Liaoning Road near Quan Ye Market. You can get some local snacks such as sweet soup balls, bean ice cream, pear cakes, etc. in this street.
See Tianjin dining.
Tang Gu Foreign Goods Market: you can tell from the name that this street sells imported goods. The prices of goods in the street are not high.
Xiao Bai Lou Commercial District: this is a high-end shopping and entertaining center.
See Tianjin shopping