As the second largest city in the most populous country in the world, you can expect great things from Beijing. The nations political and cultural centre, this is where the wonders of ancient China meet the modern marvels of this great nation. From the Great Wall to the Forbidden City, Beijing is a must see for any visitor to China.
Tours and activities in Beijing
Opting for a guided tour for a day or two of your holiday will ensure you get the very best from your visit to Beijing. Some trips are just easier when you’ve got an expert guiding your experience, and others are near on impossible without someone to help.
Beijing’s monuments, museums, palaces and temples are all notoriously difficult for western visitors to understand. A complex history, the intricate symbolism in many of the works together with the lack of explanatory signage can leave even the most intrepid traveller scratching their head. Take a look at our selection of short, simple tours to many of the city’s major attractions, designed to make your visit even more amazing.
If you want to attend an event, see a cultural show or experience a bespoke activity in Beijing, we can help with that too. From concerts to theatre performances, sporting activities to spa days, we can help you book the very best activities in Beijing to enrich your experience of this amazing city.
Best time to visit
Autumn and late spring are the best times to plan a visit to Beijing. These times of year tend to bring clear blue skies and pleasant temperatures for sightseeing.
Top Attractions in Beijing
Getting here and getting around
Served by Beijing Capital International Airport, a transport hub of epic proportions, visitors will have no problem getting in and away from Beijing from pretty much anywhere in the world. The airport is the second busiest in the world, with over 70 airlines connecting the city to all major airports around the world. Chances are you’ll start your China adventure here in Beijing, and if you’re planning to fly home or to another city in China when you’re done, you couldn’t be better catered for.
The airport is around 26km away from the city centre, so you’ll need to plan how to get into the city when you arrive. A taxi should cost around ¥70-120, or you can take the Airport Express train, which takes 20 minutes and costs ¥25 one way. There is also an airport shuttle bus, which costs ¥16 and runs every 10 – 30 minutes, day and night.
Getting around the city is simple too, as Beijing boasts an extensive subway network, with stops marked in English to make it easy to navigate. Trips are from ¥3 – 9, making this a great alternative to taxis for the budget conscious traveller. There are busses too, but unless you understand some Mandarin you are likely to struggle, as most bus drivers speak no English at all.
Eating and drinking
Here in Beijing, you’ll find food from all over China, so if you want to take a culinary journey, this is the place to do it! Sanlitun has the widest selection of restaurants in the city, or for more traditional Beijing fayre, head to Ghost Street in Dongzhimen. If you’re just craving some Western food, Wudaokou district houses many cafes and bars that serve dishes which you’ll find a bit more familiar.
Don’t miss the Peking roast duck, one of the city’s signature dishes. For cheap eats, don’t be scared to try some of Beijing’s street food. The savoury pancakes are easily the most popular street food snack, but you’ll also find delicious lamb kebabs, generous portions of rice noodles and even such delicacies as scorpion on a stick.
If you’re looking for liquid refreshment, Sanlitun is a hotspot for the city’s bars and clubs, and is popular with tourists and expats alike. If you’d like a more authentic experience, Nanluoguxiang has a good number of pubs and bars, right in the heart of one of the city’s most popular hutongs. For top quality surroundings, Houhai has a spattering of high class bars and nightclubs nestled around the lake, but check the prices before you order as some of these can be extortionately expensive.
Getting a good night's sleep
There are plenty of hotels to suit all needs and budget in the central city area. There are some near the airport too, and out towards the Great Wall you can find unique, country-club style hotels designed for luxury.
In the city itself, the most expensive hotels are found in the Dongcheng District, although they are still affordable by Western standards. Go for the Hotel Eclat or the NUO Hotel if its luxury you’re after, or consider the Double Happiness or the Red Wall Garden hotels for mid-range comfort. You’ll find all the familiar hotel chains present in the city too, including Marriott, Fairmont, Hilton, Four Season, Crowne Plaza and more. You can view a selection of the available accommodations here.