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Visitors are often astonished by the contrasts that are so evident in this bustling metropolis. Beijing is the second largest city in China and offers visitors an unforgettable insight into Chinese culture and history.

First-time visitors can find this massive city overwhelming with its sprawling eight-lane highways, orderly parks and boulevards, vast concrete neighbourhoods made up of apartment blocks, not to mention the enormous Tiananmen Square and the winding alleys of the ever-diminishing hutongs.

But in the midst of must-see sights such as the Forbidden City and significant Buddhist temples, pockets of tranquility lie scattered throughout Beijing. The Ancient Observatory’s peaceful garden, is a wonderful retreat from the busy city, and the Temple of Heaven's tranquil grounds and temple are widely regarded as one of the best examples of Ming dynasty design and perfect spots for relaxing picnics and kite-flying.

Beijing's hugeness means that it can be quite a challenge to pack everything into just a short stay, but whether you are here for a week or just a few days, you should definitely not miss the Forbidden City, the self-contained city of the Ming and Qing dynasties for over six centuries, and the vast Tiananmen Square imbued with huge historical and political significance to modern Chinese society. 

If you’re looking for a more contemporary experience, stop by the 798 Art District which showcases the modern Chinese art scene in a disused factory compound from the 50’s. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, visit the Wangfujing Snack Street for some culinary escapades you will definitely write home about!

Beijing is a great shopping city. You can get cheap retail offers at the Beijing Zoo clothing market, luxury goods at The Village in Sanlitun or lovely fabric at the Silk Street market in Jianguomen. Wandering around the Liulichang antique market street makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll. 

Interesting watering holes in the Beijing nightlife start in Sanlitun where trendy bars in The Village reside side-by-side with the smaller joints in the infamous “Shit Face Ally”. After midnight many bar-hoppers will move on to the clubs located near Workers' Stadium. For a more local nightlife experience, visit the Melody KTV at Chaoyang, but remember to bring along Chinese friends for the full experience.

Food is a great part of the daily life in Beijing and because of the many migrant workers, there are cuisines from all parts of the country. Local Beijing food is more than the famous Peking duck that we all know. The jiaozi (Chinese ravioli) at Xian Lao Man is typical northern Chinese and the Beijing Hot Pot is also worth trying.

Some of the cultural experiences of Beijing will be difficult for many travellers to experience as they are conducted in Chinese, but there are a few places where common grounds can meet. The National Center for the Performing Arts is visited by some of the world’s greatest performers in classical music and opera. And Mao Live House is a great venue for a taste of the local popular music scene in Beijing. 

Tours & Holidays

Live it up in Beijing! We've put together a luxury tour of Beijing where you will sleep in 5-star luxury and eat like a king or queen while we bring you all the best of the Chinese capital!
All the prime sights in Beijing - 1st class meals and hotel
Spend ten days seeing some of China's most incredible sights. Four of those days will be spent on a luxury cruise travelling down the mighty Yangtze River. Indulge in 5-star luxury on this journey.
The Great Wall - Yangtze River - Suzhou Garden - Shanghai
A great holiday in Beijing! This special six-day offer takes you on a breathtaking journey of exploration in one of the most fascinating capitals of the world. Book now!
Lama Temple - The Forbidden City - 798 Art District - Markets
This is a journey like no other. From the subway to the bullet train, we traverse this vast land by rail and discover the easy-going comforts of train travel. Join us for an unforgettable voyage!
Train Travel - Great Wall - Railway Museums - Terracotta Army
Journey into China's imperial past on this unforgettable 12-day journey. We travel to four capitals of ancient China and explore resplendent Beijing and dazzling Shanghai.
Beijing - Great Wall - Luoyang - Shaolin - Suzhou - Shanghai
This 14-day voyage will take you on an unforgettable journey through China. From the urban sprawl of Beijing and Shanghai to the rural charm of Yangshuo and the awe-inspiring Terracotta Army. Join us!
Beijing - Terracotta Army - Yangshuo - West Lake - Shanghai
Enjoy a 7-day journey to China's imperial capitals. We start with Beijing classics, followed by unforgettable Xi'an and Terracotta Army. This remarkable voyage gives you the best of Beijing and Xi'an!
Tiananmen Sq. - Forbidden City - Terracotta Army - Great Wall
This 6-day tour is the quintessential Beijing experience. We visit Beijing highlights, explore the hutongs and climb the Great Wall of China. The perfect tour for discovering the capital of China!
Beijing - Temple of Heaven - Tiananmen Square - Great Wall
Embark on the culinary journey of a lifetime! Explore the food markets of Beijing, learn how to make authentic Chinese meals, dine at delightful off-the-beaten track establishments. Eat, cook, travel!
Cooking Class - Great Wall - Excellent Food - The Forbidden City