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Beijing
Travel Guide

Forbidden City featuring a fountain

Beijing is the beating heart of China’s political, cultural and historical heritage, surviving invasion and revolution to shine once more on the world stage.

Beijing is a hub of power and influence on the Chinese mainland, whose busy streets are home to 20 million residents. Getting around is easy, with a good subway system and public buses as well as a plentiful supply of city taxis. If you’re feeling brave, rent a bike and head out to explore China’s capital on two wheels.

The history of this expansive city can be seen in the extraordinary mix of architecture lining the pavements: spectacular imperial palaces sit next to utilitarian warehouses reminiscent of the early Communist era and daring modern designs symbolising the nation’s leap into the twenty-first century.

For a taste of ancient China, retrace the steps of the emperors from Tiananmen Square through the Front Gate (Qianmen Gate) to the immense palace buildings of the Forbidden City. Visit manicured pleasure gardens such as Jingshan Park and the Summer Palace where royalty used to relax in the shade of cypress trees. Further opportunities for refuge from the packed urban centre can be found in the spiritual quiet of Lama Temple and Temple of Heaven, or the peaceful surroundings of the Old Summer Palace and Beihai Park.

The city also served as the theatre of much twentieth-century conflict. Marco Polo Bridge to the southwest of central Beijing saw the first gunfire of the Sino-Japanese War. The National Museum of China in the city centre will lead you through the more recent history of the Chinese Communist party, which came to power in the 1950s, while you can come face to face with the dinosaurs that roamed this land at the Natural History Museum. In 2008, Beijing returned to the international stage with a bang as it played host to the world’s greatest sporting event in the ultra-modern Olympic Park.

Nowadays the city is gaining a reputation as a cultural centre, with the arts district around 798 Space at the vanguard of modern art and music. As well as galleries, the area has numerous restaurants and cafés serving the local delicacy Peking duck. Shopping lovers should head to Wangfujing Street – a commercial street with great shops and traditional tearooms.

Where to stay in Beijing

The Peninsula Beijing
The Peninsula Beijing
5 out of 5
8 Jinyu Hutong, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing, Beijing
The price is NZ$399 per night from 9 May to 10 May
Located in Dongdan, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Oriental Plaza, Wangfujing Street and Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square and The Palace Museum ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (276 reviews)
"Wonderful staff who were patient enough to handle a few of my special requests while staying. Excellent room and facilities after refurbishing."

Reviewed on 9 Jan. 2020

The Peninsula Beijing
Holiday Inn Beijing Chang An West, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Beijing Chang An West, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
66 Yong Ding Rd, Haidian Dist., Beijing, Beijing
The price is NZ$121 per night from 2 May to 3 May
Located in the business district, this family-friendly hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Tiananmen Square, Tiananmen and Forbidden City. Wangfujing Street and ...
4.2/5Very Good! (118 reviews)
"It is very clean. The staff are very friendly. Help to get taxis really is great."

Reviewed on 4 Nov. 2019

Holiday Inn Beijing Chang An West, an IHG Hotel
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
5 out of 5
1 East Chang An Avenue, Beijing, Beijing
The price is NZ$224 per night from 18 Apr. to 19 Apr.
Located in Dongdan, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oriental Plaza and Wangfujing Street. The Wangfujing Paleolithic Museum and National Museum ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (684 reviews)
Enjoyed
"The service was wonderful and the staff were polite and attentive. We enjoyed the gym, room service and bar. The only complaint is that the standard king room was small; the mattress itself wasn’t a king bed. Other than that, this is a nice hotel and we would stay again (in a bigger room)."

Reviewed on 29 Dec. 2020

Grand Hyatt Beijing
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing
Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing
4 out of 5
No. 33, Zhou Zhuang Jiayuan Dongli, Chaoyang District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is NZ$178 per night from 24 Apr. to 25 Apr.
This family-friendly aparthotel is located in the city centre, within 1 mi (2 km) of Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium and Beijing Curio City. Beijing ...
4.3/5Excellent! (48 reviews)
"Nice, clean & room is pretty big. Plenty of food around the apartment. Breakfast choices are pretty the same everyday. Nearest train station is about 20 mins walk. Overall, the room is pretty comfortable."

Reviewed on 24 Nov. 2019

Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing
Ascott Raffles City Beijing
Ascott Raffles City Beijing
4.5 out of 5
No.1-2 Dongzhimen South Street, Dongchen Beijing, Beijing, Beijing
The price is NZ$214 per night from 17 Apr. to 18 Apr.
Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury aparthotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Gui Street, Workers Stadium and Yonghe Temple. Wangfujing Street and Sanlitun ...
4.4/5Excellent! (55 reviews)
great stay
"Nice and large one bedroom apartment. Has a washing machine/dryer which is nice when travelling. Bathroom is large. Room is very quiet. Mattress was a little firm for my liking and breakfast not at the same standard as a 5 Star hotel, but for the price I would expect it to be a better breakfast."

Reviewed on 6 Dec. 2019

Ascott Raffles City Beijing
Lee Garden Service Apartment Wangfujing
Lee Garden Service Apartment Wangfujing
5 out of 5
No.18 Jinyu Hutong, Wangfujing, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is NZ$250 per night from 6 May to 7 May
Located in Dongdan, this luxury aparthotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Oriental Plaza, Wangfujing Street and Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square and The Palace Museum ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (718 reviews)
"Very roomy 2 bedroom apartment and great professional staff"

Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2020

Lee Garden Service Apartment Wangfujing
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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