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Beijing is China's most visited city for good reason. It contains more world-class attractions than any other Chinese city. Begin at the Forbidden City (a city within a city of imperial palaces) and cross back to Tiananmen Square (with Mao's Mausoleum worth a wait in line). Beihai Park on the lake is a romantic spot for a traditional lunch and the nearby hutongs (alleys) for a stroll through old Beijing's vanishing neighborhoods. Outside the city are two superb sights: the vast Summer Palace with its imperial halls and arcades and the Great Wall, best explored at Simatai rather than the very crowded Badaling. Shop for antiques along the ...

Beijing is China's most visited city for good reason. It contains more world-class attractions than any other Chinese city. Begin at the Forbidden City (a city within a city of imperial palaces) and cross back to Tiananmen Square (with Mao's Mausoleum worth a wait in line). Beihai Park on the lake is a romantic spot for a traditional lunch and the nearby hutongs (alleys) for a stroll through old Beijing's vanishing neighborhoods. Outside the city are two superb sights: the vast Summer Palace with its imperial halls and arcades and the Great Wall, best explored at Simatai rather than the very crowded Badaling. Shop for antiques along the old-fashioned pedestrian-only lanes of Liulichang, for curios at the ghost market of Panjiayuan, for international wares on Wangfujing, and for designer-label goods at the new Silk Market. The top religious site is the Lama Temple, but the Confucius Temple and the Daoist White Cloud Temple are equally fascinating. Save room for Beijing specialties, particularly Peking duck and the Peking Opera. Beijing is stuffed with all things Chinese.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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J.D. Brown for Triporati

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Now Happening in Beijing

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Once called Peking, Beijing today is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is at the northern tip of the North China Plain, which opens to the south and east of the city. It is the nation's hub and political, cultural and educational center.
  • Language: Chinese
  • Currency: Chinese Yuan
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring and Fall (March-April and October-November)