Beijing is the second largest city in China, right after Shanghai. Once a country that closed its doors to outside foreigners, today, they embrace it and welcome visitors to explore its culture and history. For tourists, there really are endless things to do in Beijing.
From the obvious (Great Wall of China!) to the surprising (the city’s funky art district), Beijing has it all.
Here are the seven best things to do in Beijing.
The best things to do in BeijingHow do these rankings work?
You can’t come to Beijing or China, for that matter, and not visit the Great Wall of China. Extending over 4,000 miles, but only 355 miles for the Beijing portion, this Wall has a few different access points from Beijing for you to get to.
For an unbelievable view and a nice leisurely hike at your own pace, come to the Great Wall of China.
The Forbidden City is a preserved palace in Beijing and is one of the largest ancient palaces in the world. Within the Forbidden City, there is a host of things to do and see to really get an understanding of how much China was closed off to the outside world centuries ago.
Explore the Forbidden City yourself or sign up for a tour who will be able to properly guide you.
Tiananmen Square is the world’s largest public square spanning over 440,000 sq. metres. Despite being a “public square,” this area very much is controlled by the government and every morning, you can watch the flag-raising ritual and the Chinese army marching the square right after.
Come to this vast and expansive square and take in the world’s largest public space.
The 798 Art District is a creative and hip haven and is where Beijing’s main contemporary art galleries are. The galleries here that you need to check out are the 798 Art Factory and the Faurschou Foundation Beijing, both exhibit Chinese and International art.
For the best collection of art in Beijing, you need to make your way to the 798 Art District.
One of the most influential leaders in Chinese history is undoubtedly Mao Zedong. His embalmed corpse is on public display at his mausoleum for locals to pay their respects. The mausoleum lies within the large public, Tiananmen Square.
Fair warning though, there is likely to be a queue at this attraction so try to go right when they open.
The National Museum of China is Beijing’s #1 museum and houses ancient Chinese artefacts. You’ll need your passport to be able to enter this Museum, but once inside, you’ll find items dating as far back as the 15th century.
While most of the items on display here are Chinese, there also is some international art as well, including a large Salvador Dali collection.
The Temple of Heaven Park is a peaceful and tranquil place where religious buildings abound in this imperial complex. The entire complex is quite vast at close to 660 acres of land and there are four separate entrances to this park.
Come to the Temple of Heaven Park and step back into a time where Emperors of previous centuries came to pray for good fortune and harvest.