One of the most visited cities in all of Asia, Beijing can offer tourists an entire vacation of things to do and see. Because of how many things the capital city of China holds for its visitors, be sure to allot an appropriate amount of time to see everything you’re interested in. The following article comprises the most popular things to do in Beijing based on a number of visitor and local reports.
The Formidable Forbidden City
Highly recommended as the number one sight to see, the Imperial Palace, or Forbidden City, offers tourists a full day of sightseeing, if not more! To be built in 1406 by the Ming Dynasty’s emperor, over 200,000 workers were needed for about 15 years! The massive structure contains more than 8,500 rooms all ornately decorated and preserved. Unfortunately, the building currently sustains different restoration projects after a fire in the 1980s.
The Imposing Imperial Palace
Tourists have visited the 600-year-old Imperial Palace for over 80 years and continue to be surprised by its ancient security measures. Surrounded by a moat and a 35-foot wall, the Palace successfully safeguarded the royal family for centuries. Once in the city, the Imperial Flower Garden attracts tourists for its abundance of bright colored local vegetation. The three Halls of Harmony include the Hall of Supreme Harmon, the Hall of Middle Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony all used for different purposes including entertaining banquets and preparation for ceremonies. The Nine Dragon Screen attracts tourists independently of the Imperial Palace. This scene has become one of China’s most famous depictions. Enjoy the many halls, treasures, traditional architecture and history within the Imperial Palace while visiting Beijing. For the best pictures of the Imperial Palace, visit the Jing Shan or Coal Hill with panoramas directly above the grounds.
The Square that Arose from the Ruins
Tiananmen Square comes a close second to the Imperial Palace as most popular sight in Beijing. The square mimics European open-spaces, but significantly surpasses them in size. Tiananmen Square fits into tourists’ itinerary easily because of the monuments that surround it: Imperial Palace, Chinese History Museum, the Mausoleum of Mao and the Great Hall of the People. Also close by, the Sun Yatsen Park offers a relaxing environment for a picnic lunch or quiet stroll. Named after the leader of an early 1900 revolution, the park is peaceful and wonderful to see on a nice day.
Confusian Temples and the Northern Lake
The Temple of Confucius and the Capital Museum hold thousands of intricate objects and pieces of history that have shaped numerous Chinese customs. While the Temple of Confucius displays such history, the Lama Temple attracts more visitors each year. The largest temple in Beijing, the Lama Temple houses an enormous statue of the founder of the Buddhist Sect ‘Yellow Hat.’
The Northern Lake Area entertains visitors all year round. With boat rentals in summer and ice-skating in winter, tourists and locals alike can find something fun here. Also available for tourism, the island houses temples and halls.
If this comprehensive list hasn’t satisfied you, the list continues with more attractions, entertainment, and tourism in Beijing! See “More to do in Beijing”