What to do in Beijing
The capital of China welcomes 285 million visitors each year, which is testament to the variety of attractions nestled within Beijing. The pull of the constantly growing city only increases year on year, but its lustre is still relatively unknown to people outside of China. Be one of the first to experience this wondrous city - grab your tickets before everyone else and come see what Beijing has to offer!
Visit the Forbidden City
The biggest attraction in Beijing is the Forbidden City, located in the district of Dongcheng. This UNESCO World Heritage Site once served as the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and is now famous for being the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures on Earth. The groundbreaking architectural prowess of the Chinese is still relevant today, with strategically angular wall shapes and color schemes that continue to enthrall historians and travellers alike. For a complete daytrip, do stop by Tiananmen Square, located just north of the palace grounds.
Witness the Beijings of Old and New
Beijing has a long history, and its wide range of museums proudly represent various facets of this longstanding heritage. Be sure to check out popular museums such as the Palace Museum, the National Art Museum of China, the Capital Museum and the Beijing Art Museum. Don't miss the crowning glory of these cultural repositories, the National Museum of China - it showcases a wide range of artefacts, arranged chronologically from the ancient era through to modern art. Its range was only possible due to a merger between two museums that occupied the two wings of the same building: the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the National Museum of Chinese History. Barring everything else, getting to see two museums at one go is a great deal! Want to see more? Temporary exhibitions pop up across the seasons here as well, keeping the museum's oferings fresh on every visit.
Retail Therapy at Beijing
If you're looking to shop, check out Xizhimen in the Xicheng District, Silk Street in the Chaoyang District, Nanluoguoxiang in the Dongcheng District and Tea Street in the Xuanwu District. For something a little edgier that's popular amongst the expats, pop by Taikoo Li Sanlitun, an open district consisting of 19 low-density contemporary buildings. Expect both luxury offerings for the higher echelons, as well as high-street and trend-branded specialty stores that constantly push the boundaries of fashion and design. Once you'd have your fill of shopping, end off the day with a relaxing night out at the nearby Sanlitun Bar Street.
Beijing's Streets of Food and Gold
Beijing is home to an expansive demographic, and their food options reflect this diversity. Home to top-notch fine dining and street food options, you'll be spoilt for choice no matter your budget! Some popular and inexpensive Beijing foods include savory pancakes, lamb kebabs, and mutton hotpot. Be sure to cap everything off with some aiwowo, a traditional Halal snack - steamed glutinous rice balls with sugar, nuts, green plums and osmanthus flowers, covered in flour and decorated with a red dot. For those with a bit more cash to splash, one must-try in Beijing is their world-famous Peking duck! Pop by the popular Da Dong or Quanjude roast duck chains, or veer on the edge of fine dining with Jing Yaa Tang, whose ducks must be ordered three days in advance for adequate preparation time.