Traveling in Beijing can be both intriguing and frustrating. Many travelers can be frustrated when trying to find the best sightseeing, eating and sleeping arrangements. Read on to find some Beijing travel tips to help you get the most out of your Beijing experience.
Beijing has numerous sights that should be seen if visiting the city. It is possible to see the absolute highlights in a day, but allow a week to see it thoroughly. A one or two day visit requires very careful selection when choosing which sights to see. If you are in a hurry, we recommend the following attractions: The Great Wall, the outstanding feature of China's ancient heritage; The Forbidden City, the best preserved and largest imperial place in the world; and The Hutong, which epitomizes old Beijing.
Transport, hotels and attractions are extremely busy during the Chinese New Year (usually in January or February) and the week-long holidays of International Labor Day (May 1) and National Day (Oct 1). If you expect to visit Beijing during these periods, it is suggested that you place your booking at least one month in advance.
We at China Highlights provide various Beijing tours ranging from one day to a week or ever longer to cater for our customers personal needs. Most importantly, we are pleased to offer tailor-made services to visitors who want to make a tour fit their own circumstances and interests.
Be warned, although it's definitely not hard to book a Beijing tour, please be cautious when selecting the company you use. Some travel agencies who offer seductively cheap prices are only doing so in an attempt to rip travelers off, by taking them to less attractive sights, or by taking them to endless tourist shops or factories. We at China Highlights guarantee the quality of our tours.
Beijing's weather differs greatly between seasons and travelers are advised to check the weather before departure. Autumn is probably the best season to visit Beijing. During national holidays prices are higher and everywhere is more crowded. The main national holidays are Spring Festival, which affects transport for 2 weeks or so every year between late January and early March, Labor Day Golden Week (May 1-7) and National Day Golden Week (October 1-7).
Beijing has direct air connections with most of the major cities in the world and serves as one of the main entry cities to China. (See USA to Beijing Flights.) As the nation's capital, Beijing has air and rail links with every part of the country.
Beijing's city transportation struggles under pressure from new car owners and congestion is a problem. Public transport such as buses and the metro can be packed with commuters. The most time-saving and hassle-free way of getting around is to take a taxi, or to book a private tour through a reliable travel company that includes private transport.
Nighttime entertainment is considered by many travelers to be one of the highlights of their travels. Beijing won't disappoint in this area. The city has a flourishing entertainment industry. As the veil of night descends, bars, karaoke joints and night clubs all open their doors. Some special shows featuring authentic local culture, such as Beijing Opera and Chinese acrobatics are increasingly popular among foreigners.
Chinese cuisine, with its complexity and variety in taste, is definitely one of the finest pleasures that a visitor can experience in China. Beijing is a gastronomical paradise, where hybrid cuisines from throughout the country are served. Everybody should try not to miss the chance to eat Peking Duck. Many restaurants serve this dish, but the best one is Quanjude Restaurant. You may also opt to try other dishes, such as imperial era food, noodles and hot pots. Wangfujing Street is filled with stalls serving a great variety of snacks at night. Wangfujing is the main pedestrian street in Beijing. You can't miss it.
Beijing has many good hotels to cater for those looking for a luxurious stay. The budget hotels cluster at the city outskirts, while the hotels in the city center are often relatively expensive. Travelers are strongly advised to book a hotel through a reliable travel company, whose good relationship with hotel owners often guarantees a preferential price.
Most travelers want to take home some bargains or souvenirs. The best things to buy in Beijing are Cloisonné and fresh water pearls.
There are offices around street corners in Beijing, so it would be quite convenient for to tourists to post mails and packages.
Beijing Tiananmen Post Office Address: East of Tiananmen Square
Beijing Yong'an Lu Post Office Address: 173, Yongan Lu, Xuanwu District
Beijing Fangzhuang Post Office Address: 22, Pufang Lu, Fengtai District
Beijing Hua Shi Post Office Address: 67, Hua Shi Jie, Chongwen District
In Beijing, Great Britain Pound, Euro, U.S. Dollar, Swiss Franc, Singapore Dollar, Swedish Crown, Danish Crown, Norwegian Crown, Japanese Yen, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Philippine Peso, Thai Baht are all exchangeable at the bank of China, and other authorized banks offer foreign exchange service, some hotels, restaurants and shops will also accept foreign exchange business in order to provide convenience for foreign tourists.
Beijing Xindongan Emporium Branch of Bank of China Address: No.130, Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District
Beijing Wangfujing Branch of Bank of China Address: No.1, Chang'an Street, Dongcheng District
Beijing Xidan Branch of Bank of China Address: No.130, Xidan Street (north), Xicheng District
Beijing Dongzhimen Branch of Bank of China Address: No.35, Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District
It is very convenient for tourists to use credit cards in star hotels and the large department stores of Beijing. Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, JCB and American Express are accepted. Credit cards usually cannot be used in small restaurants or small convenience stores.
Surfing the internet is not an adventure any more, for internet cafes' can be easily found along the streets of Beijing, and lots of hotels have internet access. If you want to do business via the internet, chat with family or friends, there are plenty of venues for you to choose.
Phone booths can be easily found along the roads, you just need to buy a calling card. Moreover, many hotels are equipped with telephone, it is usually free of charge to make phone calls within China, yet the price may be expensive for making international calls.
Xidan Books Building
Address: No.C17, Chang'an Street (west), Beijing
Wangfujing Xinhua Book Store
Address: NO.235, Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
In Beijing, there are 29 advanced-level hospitals having special foreign clinics which have a high reputation among local foreigners.
My husband and I have booked a trip to bejing, xian, tibetand river cruise. unfortunately we arrive on Oct 1, 2014. I am concerned about the crowds and our ability to enjoy the sites in the city and tombs. At the time of booking Viking cruises did not tell us that this is a major holiday and extremely busy. We will be visiting from the US and this was to be a trip of lifetime. Do you recommend that we reschedule our trip for a later date despite the extra costs for making these airline and tour company changes?
Dear Sandra Terwillegar，
In fact，there are lots of tourist in the scenic spots, because from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 it is Chinese National Holiday. You could spend long time to join the queue for tickets. It also might affect you to take some good photos. If you could, I suggest you change your travel time. Lussie Lu replied on 2014-07-21
Larry Brooks 2014-07-11
Am traveling to Beijing next week for business. Many of the meals will be provided, but I will be on my own for breakfasts and some meals, including "snacks." I am from the U.S. -- how much US money should I bring, and exchange for China currency at the airport (sightseeing provided by my hosts)? Or do you recommend exchanging before arrival? Thank you!
Dear Larry Brooks,
Here are some information for reference as below, I hope it is useful for you.
Exchanging Money: Changing Money can be done in a number of ways. Most hotels will have a foreign exchange service and will exchange cash and travelers' checks. As with hotels everywhere, the exchange rate will not be the official bank rate. Most large banks will exchange money and travelers' checks. It is a requirement that you present your passport to complete the transaction. Banks will only accept foreign bank notes that are undamaged. Notes that are even slightly torn will be rejected. Travelers' Checks can be a secure solution if traveling for a longer time.
Cash withdrawals from Visa and MasterCard:
Credit/debit card can not be used everywhere in China, so it's wise to carry CNY800-1000 cash with you everyday. It would be quite enough for you to cover the cost that’s not included in the tour. Credit/debit card are possible at the main branches of the Bank of China in each city. A small fee is charged by the Bank and charges are also applied by the bank/credit card provider.
Bank of China ATM machines, which are widely used in China, are compatible with Cirrus and Pulse so cash withdrawals are easy to complete using these machines. Only use ATM's that display the Visa and MasterCard symbols. An English menu will appear when you insert your card. The exchange rate that is applicable through ATM's is good and this can be a very convenient way to organize your money. Locations for ATM's are available from your card issuer. Limits for withdrawals on each transaction differ but US$250 per transaction is common.
Lussie Lu replied on 2014-07-13
Annette Overton 2014-06-11
Thinking of going to China March 2015 next year just wondering about the weather for that part of the year was told that it snows at that time and makes it hard to get around. What is the likelihood of snow at that time of year and what temperatures
I am not sure which city did you mention? In most of cities in China, it becomes warm in March. In Beijing, the average temperature ranges from 5℃-15℃, it could not be snowy. Actually it is high season for travelling from March, many persons come to China for visiting. You could realize the weather in China on our website, please click: http://www.chinahighlights.com/weather/ Lussie Lu replied on 2014-06-11
mrs a 2014-05-31
Hi I am travelling from Uk in 7 days to Beijiing for family emergency. I will be staying with a relative who works out there. should I bring Euros or US dollars and should I exchange then at the airport when I arrive?
Yes, you can bring Euros or US dollars and exchange CNY when you arriv at the airport.
Nancy Deng replied on 2014-06-01
Lisa Rossi 2013-03-12
I am travelling from USA to Shanghai and then over to Beijing for two weeks. Will it be necessary to get a visa? If so, where can I get one and how soon should I get it?
You need to apply for a China visa in advance. I suggest you contact Chinese Embassy in your country directly for the details. Here is their official website and you could get their information.
Please click: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/ Lussie Lu replied on 2013-03-12