Sunday, 6 May 2018

26 things to do in Beijing

Constantly reimagining itself as it races towards the future, yet inextricably linked to its glorious, notorious past, Beijing is as compelling as it is complex.

Beijing city guide

Check out Lonely Planet's 26 top things to do in Beijing.

1. Marvel at the might and splendour of the Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace complex and the place 24 consecutive emperors of China called home

2. Place yourself at the symbolic heart of the Chinese universe with a visit to Tiān’ānmén Square

3. Lose yourself in the maze-like network of historic hútòng

4. Stroll the incense-filled halls and courtyards of Lama Temple, Beijing’s largest and most impressive Buddhist temple

5. Listen to a drumming performance inside the magnificent ancient Drum Tower, before climbing its equally impressive neighbouring Bell Tower

6. Tour the stunning collection of halls and altars of Temple of Heaven Park, where China’s emperors came to seek divine guidance

7. Feast on Běijīng’s signature dish, Peking Duck, at the restaurants where it originated

8. Step back in time to imperial China by strolling the last remaining stretch of the walls that once surrounded the capital

9. Explore Běihǎi Park, once reserved for emperors only and one of the capital’s most striking imperial parks

10. Escape the city sprawl at Hòuhǎi Lakes, sedate during the day and raucous at night

11. Spend a morning at the impressive Capital Museum to understand the evolution of this great city

12. Peruse the historic shopping street of Dashilar, home to some of the oldest and most prestigious emporiums in the city

13. Wind your way through the fascinating hútòng west of Meishi Jie, which retain a local neighbourhood character in the face of rapid-fire development

14. Check out the capital’s largest Muslim neighbourhood around Niújiē Mosque.

15. Discover China’s vibrant contemporary art scene at the 798 Art District

16. Hunt for arts, crafts and antique treasures at the wonderfully chaotic Pānjiāyuán Market

17. Drink some seriously good craft beer at Sānlǐtún’s many tap houses

18. Enjoy a taste of imperial high life at the Summer Palace, the glorious former summer retreat of emperors

19. Commune with nature and see the maple-leaf-covered hillsides of Fragrant Hills Park

20. Spend a night exploring the buzzing restaurants and clubs of Wǔdàokǒu, Běijīng’s student heartland

21. Join the crowds at Bādálǐng, the most famous and picturesque stretch of the Wall

22. Hike unrestored stretches of the Wall from the ancient fortified village of Gǔběikǒu

23. Toboggan down restored sections of Wall around Mùtiányù

24. Explore the Ming Tombs, the Unesco-protected burial site for 13 of China’s emperors

25. Gorgeous, well-preserved Ming-dynasty village of Chuāndǐxià, nestled in a remote valley

26. Picnic and play by the Jùmǎ River in the picturesque valley of Shídù

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