Beijing City Guide

Beijing, China’s capital is the second most populous city next to Shanghai. The city showcases the evolution of the rich Chinese culture throughout the years as seen through various attractions including great infrastructures and home to various temples among other interesting historical sites that you can visit.

Great Wall of China

A trip to Beijing will not be complete without visiting the Great Wall of China, UNESCO World Heritage. Built to protect the Chinese empire against nomadic group intruders and military incursions, the construction started as early as 7th century B.C. The Great Wall is divided into eight sections, occupying almost five provinces near the city of Beijing.

The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly demarcates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The Beijing stretch of the wall is divided into eight sections. Most of the wall’s sections are well preserved. Upon your visit, you can see some preserved relics from the Ming Dynasty.

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes and leave your valuables behind for easier hike.

If the Great Wall is the first stop of your trip, you can easily reach it from the Beijing Capital International Airport within an hour via a taxi, but prepare to be charged anywhere between RMB 250-260 for a one-way trip during daytime and RMB 210-220 at nighttime.

Forbidden City (the Imperial Palace)

Intrigued by the mysterious name of the Forbidden City? Feed your curiosity as you discover the history of the city of Beijing by visiting one of its 9000 rooms! You can also take a look at the Gate of Divine Prowess afterwards and enjoy the overlooking panorama of the Forbidden City.

This is the perfect place to start your Beijing discovery. Built between 1406 and 1420 (Ming-Qing Dynasty), this colossal piece of architecture lay on over 250 acres of land and have over 9,000 rooms.

For almost 500 years, the palace served as the home of emperors and their families, as well as ceremonial and political center of the country. Although the place burned down and was rebuilt and renovated several times, you will still be able to see architectural pieces that dates back from the 18th century.

If you go early, it’ll take you more or less half a day to tour the whole area. It’s best to get a tour guide if you’re in a group to avoid getting lost, as the palaces tend to look the same.

Exciting enough? Then grab a taxi ride from the Beijing Capital International Airport and tell the driver to bring you to Forbidden City. The trip may last for an hour and a half and may cost you RMB 100 for a day trip and RMB 90 on a night trip.

Note that rates indicated here are based from Beijing Capital International Airport to your choice of destination. Taxi rates may vary if you come from your hotel, depending on the location and traffic situation.

Multi lingual recorded guide can also be rented at the Meridian Gate (Southern gate of Forbidden city) or the Gate of Divine Prowess (Northern gate of Forbidden City) for small group of tourists.

Open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Ticket Office Hours: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Tiananmen Square

The third largest city square in the world, Tiananmen Square played a significant role in shaping what China is today. Named after the Tiananmen gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace), the square is best known as a venue to important political events in China such as May Fourth Movement in 1919, Mao Zedong’s proclamation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, the 1976 Tiananmen Square protests after the death of premier Zhou Enlai, and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, which resulted in military suppression and the deaths of multiple protestors.

The square is open the whole day and is free of charge.

Summer Palace

Considered the largest imperial garden in China, Beijing’s Summer Palace was once the refuge of emperors during hot summer days. It’s natural beauty and masterly design and gorgeous architecture has earned it the title of “Royal Garden Museum”.

Summer Palace is a representation of the Chinese landscape garden design, thus making it one of UNESCO’s World Heritage list.