The Top 5 Must-See Attractions in Beijing

The Top 5 Must-See Attractions in Beijing

Beijing’s attractions are second to none in China, with famous tourist spots of various types: historical, cultural, scenic, and modern. The capital is home to some of the country’s best-known tourist attractions, such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven.

Here we introduce the 12 best must-see attractions in Beijing to help you better plan your trip, according to our first-hand experience and customers’ ratings.

1. The Forbidden City

Open: 8:30am–5:00pm Apr.–Oct.; 8:30am–4:30pm Nov.–Mar.; closed on Mondays

Recommended visit: 2 hours

Entry: CN¥60 (US$9)

The Forbidden City was for almost five centuries the palatial heart of China. Constructed in 1420, it is China’s best-preserved imperial palace, and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world. It is also a magnificent treasure trove, which holds more than a million rare and valuable works of art. The collection includes ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, bronzes, timepieces, jade pieces, ancient books, and historical documents.

2. The Great Wall of China

Open: 8:30am–5:00pm

Recommended visit: 2 hours for sightseeing, half a day for hiking

Entry: Prices vary for different Great Wall sections.

The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest sights in the world. Over 6,000 km (4,000 miles) long, its winding path over rugged country and steep mountains takes in some great scenery.

3. The Temple of Heaven

Open: 6:00am–5:30pm Apr.–Oct.; 6:30am–5:00pm Nov.–Mar.

Recommended visit: 2 hours

Entry: CN¥34 (US$5)

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial worship site where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties took part in annual ceremonies to pray for a good harvest for the next year. The annual sacrificial ceremonies at the Temple of Heaven were the emperors’ most important religious and political activities.

The Circular Mound Altar and The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests are the must-see highlights, you can learn about the culture of heaven worship, architectural geomancy, and the medieval China’s sacrificial rites.

4. The Summer Palace

pen: 6:30am–6:00pm Apr.–Oct.; 8:30am–5:00pm Nov.–Mar.

Recommended visit: 1½ hours

Entry: CN¥30 (US$5)

The Summer Palace is 15 kilometers (9 miles) from downtown Beijing. It was a summer retreat for the royal family of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912). It is also the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China, with famous landscaped views and cultural points of interest. The Summer Palace has greatly influenced Chinese horticulture and landscape gardening.

The Long Corridor in the Summer Palace gardens is the most notable sight, with every on beam decorated with colorful paintings — more than 14,000 in total. You can stroll around it and listen to tales described by the paintings.

5. The Hutongs

Open: open all-day

Recommended visit: 2 hours

Entry: free

With over 700 years of history, the hutongs represent an important stage in the development and evolution of Beijing’s history and culture. They showcase the traditional daily life of ordinary people in Beijing and give a glimpse of old Beijing as it was.

Of all the hundreds of hutongs in Beijing, Tobacco Pouch Street (烟袋斜街) and Nanlougu Hutong (南锣鼓巷) are two of the most famous and interesting hutongs that stand out from the rest. Both streets preserve the character of a commoners’ street in Beijing and highlight some of the city’s traditional customs.

Taken from: