Beijing is full of attractions. There’s lots to see and do here, no matter what you’re interested in. Everybody knows the big three, I think:
- The Great Wall. This is probably China’s most famous tourist attraction, and most people visit it by taking a day trip there from Beijing.
- The Forbidden City. Located right in the very center of the city, the Forbidden City is easy to get to, and you certainly won’t want to miss it.
- Tiananmen Square. Basically just a big open space to the south of the Forbidden City. Still, you’re going to walk around it if this is your first visit to Beijing. Mao’s Tomb is here, also, and you can wait in line to see him if you wish.
There’s another big sight to visit, though it’s probably less well known:
- The Summer Palace. Located to the Northwest of the city center, this vast park is full of interesting buildings and art. It’s a beautiful place and worth visiting in the summer.
These are all places you’ll want to go, if this is your first visit to Beijing. But there are some other places you might enjoy, including:
- The Temple of Heaven. A famous temple, south of the Tiananmen Square area. It’s located in a very nice park, and is a fun place to visit in the morning or evening, when you can watch people dance and do tai chi.
- Ritan Park. This charming park is my favorite spot in Beijing. It’s nice to walk around here on a nice day, and there are several restaurants and cafes to enjoy, including a German beer garden and the Stone Boat cafe, which is right next to a pretty pond.
- Beihai Park. A great place to go after you visit the Forbidden City, because it’s just West of the exit. There’s a large lake, lined with willow trees, and the park grounds have several temples and pagodas, including the big, White Dagoba, a pagoda which overlooks the lake. Come here to relax and get some fresh air. If you walk to the North entrance, you can cross the street and explore the area around Houhai.