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BeijingChina

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

Dongcheng - Wangfujing

Dongcheng

4.5/5Wonderful!(124 area reviews)

Enjoy the popular shops in Dongcheng. Wangfujing Street is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at Zhangzizhonglu Station or Dongsi Station to see more of Beijing.

Dongcheng
Fengtai featuring landscape views and a city

Fengtai

1/5(1 area review)

The mountain views and museums are just a few things visitors like about Fengtai. Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War Museum and Marco Polo Bridge are worthwhile spots to check out, and you can hop on the metro at Fengtainanlu Station or Keyilu Station to get around the larger area.

Fengtai
South Chaoyang

South Chaoyang

4/5Very Good!(4 area reviews)

The museums and theme parks are just a few things visitors like about South Chaoyang. Happy Valley Amusement Park and Beijing Yansha Outlets are worthwhile spots to check out, and you can hop on the metro at Jinsong Station or Shuangjing Station to get around the larger area.

South Chaoyang

Top hotels in Beijing

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
5 out of 5
8 Wangfujing East Street, Dongcheng, Beijing, Beijing
The price is NZ$215 per night

This family-friendly Beijing hotel is located in the business district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Wangfujing Street, Forbidden City and The Palace Museum. Tiananmen ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (746 reviews)

"The location is excellent, convenient to shopping area, and many famous view points within walking distance"…"

Reviewed on 4 Jan. 2020

Hilton Beijing Wangfujing
Cordis, Beijing Capital Airport by Langham Hospitality Group
Cordis, Beijing Capital Airport by Langham Hospitality Group
5 out of 5
No. 1 Yi Jing Road Terminal 3, Capital International Airport, Beijing, Beijing
The price is NZ$215 per night

This family-friendly Beijing hotel is located near the airport, 4 mi (6.4 km) from New China International Exhibition Center, and within 12 mi (20 km) of 798 ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (965 reviews)
Would recommend it

"My flight got delayed and I had to stay in Beijing for one night. I booked it 10 mins before arriving the hotel. It’s a really nice hotel and convenient location. They have shuttle picking up from the hotel to the airport and vise versa. It’s right outside of T3 gate five. Would stay again in the ..."…"

Reviewed on 4 Feb. 2020

Cordis, Beijing Capital Airport by Langham Hospitality Group
Sofitel Beijing Central
Sofitel Beijing Central
5 out of 5
2 Jianguomennan Avenue, Beijing
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$217 per night

Located in Beijing Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Wangfujing Street, Tiananmen Square and Tiananmen. Forbidden City and ...

4.3/5Excellent! (104 reviews)
Modern

"This hotel is very funky. Do not think about traditional Sofitel. It is very modern no far from metro station and shopping street."…"

Reviewed on 29 Dec. 2019

Sofitel Beijing Central

Popular places to visit in Beijing

Forbidden City
Image for Forbidden City

Forbidden City

4.5/5(42 reviews)

An ancient political centre which is now a protected heritage site, this former palace retains an air of romance and mystery.

Wangfujing Street
Image for Wangfujing Street

Wangfujing Street

4/5(35 reviews)

Head down to this well-known shopping district in central Beijing for tailored clothing, accessories and sumptuous snacks.

Great Wall of China
Image for Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

5/5(2 reviews)

See terracotta warriors, ancient temples and Ming Dynasty architecture at the Juyongguan section of one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in the world.

Tiananmen Square
Image for Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

4/5(44 reviews)

The best-known landmark in the People’s Republic of China serves as a final resting place for its most famous leader.

Temple of Heaven
Image for Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

4.5/5(31 reviews)

This place of worship has long been central to Chinese spirituality, visited by emperors for over 500 years to guarantee good harvests.

Summer Palace
Image for Summer Palace

Summer Palace

4.5/5(23 reviews)

Overlooking the serene waters of Kunming Lake, this palace served as a tranquil retreat for the Qing Emperors and still provides a peaceful haven for visitors.

Top activities in Beijing

Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Great Wall Bus Tour
Image for Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Great Wall Bus Tour

Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Great Wall Bus Tour

NZ$78
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Best of Beijing & Great Wall of China Tour
Image for Best of Beijing & Great Wall of China Tour

Best of Beijing & Great Wall of China Tour

NZ$134
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Summer Palace, Lama Temple & Giant Panda Encounter Day Tour
Image for Summer Palace, Lama Temple & Giant Panda Encounter Day Tour

Summer Palace, Lama Temple & Giant Panda Encounter Day Tour

NZ$86
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Underground Palace of Ming Tombs & Badaling Great Wall
Image for Underground Palace of Ming Tombs & Badaling Great Wall

Underground Palace of Ming Tombs & Badaling Great Wall

NZ$75
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Beijing Forbidden City & Mutianyu Great Wall Group Tour
Image for Beijing Forbidden City & Mutianyu Great Wall Group Tour

Beijing Forbidden City & Mutianyu Great Wall Group Tour

NZ$96
Per adult
Private Transfer to Mutianyu Great Wall with professional driver
Image for Private Transfer to Mutianyu Great Wall with professional driver

Private Transfer to Mutianyu Great Wall with professional driver

NZ$77
Per adult

Reviews of Beijing

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
46
5 - Excellent 42.20183486238532%
4 - Good
46
4 - Good 42.20183486238532%
3 - Okay
11
3 - Okay 10.091743119266056%
2 - Disappointing
3
2 - Disappointing 2.7522935779816513%
1 - Terrible
3
1 - Terrible 2.7522935779816513%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Jan. 2020

Great big city, I would recommend at least 5 days so that you can do all the sights. Best if you learn some Chinese as not many people speak English well.

5/5 - Excellent

Dan

23 Nov. 2019

Amazing

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

16 Nov. 2019

Cheap taxis, very smogy. Little English spoken away from the hotel.

4/5 - Good

Frequent

4 Nov. 2019

Beijing is changing - fast and for the better

4/5 - Good

Nat

3 Nov. 2019

Beijing is a fascinating city. So much to explore. But it is a big city and it takes time to get around. Try and stay close to a subway line as it will be really useful.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

2 Nov. 2019

Amazing place with great history, but in the afternoon the air pollution built up and was unpleasant.

Cities near Beijing

Tianjin featuring street scenes

Tianjin

Jinshanling Great Wall

Miyun

Great Wall of China which includes a monument and heritage elements

Yanqing

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