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Maria Asaad
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Occupied by over 22 million people, China’s capital city is filled with an array of amazing experiences and unforgettable places to visit. This mega-city has so many top attractions that help really capture the unique essence of this incredible Asian wonderland. Here are some of the best things to do in the ancient yet contemporary place.


Go galivanting at the Great Wall

One of the top things to do in Beijing is to pay a visit to the majestic Great Wall of China. Spread across 4000 miles, it is a structural masterpiece that has fascinated thousands of visitors for several centuries. Built during the reign of the Qing dynasty, the mighty trail was made to protect the region from Mongol rebels.

There are so many amazing spots around Beijing to soak in the incredible architecture, however, one of the best spots is Mutianya due to the fewer crowds. It is also considered the best-kept section of the entire wall.

For a bit more adventure and excitement, visit the Jiankou section for the best camping and hiking spots. Some other great sections to explore are Jinshanling, Simatai and Gubeikou. The Great Wall is easily accessible via the Dongzhimen tourist line bus, with regular coaches throughout the day. 


Find your way through the Forbidden City

If you would like to learn more about the wealthy empires that once ruled China, then you must pay a visit to the breath-taking Forbidden City. It is a symbol of China’s imperial power and a massive part of Beijing’s heritage.

This UNESCO World Heritage site was once occupied by 24 Chinese emperors from the Qing and Ming dynasties. Up until 1925, this site was occupied by the emperor and his subjects. Since the fall of the last emperor, it turned into a museum and is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

Visitors will get a real sense of authentic Chinese culture whilst marveling at the majestic halls and walls of this fascinating site. Give yourself at least 2 hours to fully explore and appreciate this unmissable attraction. 


Boat around Beihai Park

Beihai is Beijing’s largest park, offering an array of fun outdoor activities. This former imperial garden is filled with authentic-looking spots that really capture the essence of the city. One of the best things to do at Beihai Park is the hour-long boat tour on Houhai Lake.

Sit back and relax as a boatman whisks you around the park in a Chinese carriage, taking you through the Qianhai district, the Yinding bridge, the Houhai area and Lotus Market.

This is a great way to get a closer look at locals in the area and their lifestyles whilst enjoying local folk performances. Once the boat ride is over, you can explore more of the park and visit the Buddhist temples dotted around the greenery. 


Stroll around the Summer Palace

Beijing’s Summer Palace is known as a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design for visitors to enjoy and admire. There is so much aesthetic natural beauty to marvel at, including the 728 meters decorative walkway that grabs your attention from the moment you enter.

The palace is decked out with over 14,000 vibrant and colourful paintings all around the walls, narrating fascinating past tales to familiarise you with China’s rich and interesting history.

Kunming Lake sits right outside the palace, adding to its grandeur and splendour upon arrival. Longevity Hill sits alongside the lake, perfectly finishing off the stunning landscape of the Summer Palace Gardens for visitors to leisurely stroll around and enjoy.


Tread carefully at the Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is a must-see place in Beijing, consisting of many religious buildings, it is considered a sacred place that should be visited with the upmost respect. In the past, it is believed that emperors would perform the duties of God in this very place. Hence why it is considered one of the holiest imperial places in Beijing.

Most of the sacrifices were performed in the Circular Mound Altar, which is considered the most important and reverend part of the palace. Other key spots inside the palace are the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Palace of Abstinence and Divine Music Administration.

It is also a wonderful place to visit if you would like to get a glimpse of some locals going about their morning rituals with a spot of Tai Chi or Chinese yo-yo.