Best Places to Visit in Beijing

As one of the most famous and attractive tourist destinations of China, Beijing possesses various scenic sites and is rich in historical and cultural relics. What are the best attractions in Beijing? Best Places to visit in Beijing is aiming to guide you the way to explore the very core of this grand city. Travel with TopChinaTravel, you will have chance to visit the well-known world heritage sites, to tour the elegant imperial gardens or wander in hutongs and valleys to get closer to local folks’ lives, etc.

Badaling Great Wall

The star attraction of Beijing is the Great Wall, which was inscribed into the list of the World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Badaling and Mutianyu Sections are the most famous ones for visitors to explore.

In the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, Badaling Great Wall, one of the best-preserved and most accessible sections, is lying on the steep mountains. It was first constructed some 500 years ago during the Ming Dynasty with large and solid square rocks. With its strategic position, Badaling Section took tremendous labor and materials.

With well-equipped tourist facilities, it is the first section that opened to tourists. It was a vital protective screen of Beijing city and the important military pass of Ming Dynasty in ancient times. Winding along the ridge of the mountain, Badaling Section of the Great Wall is vividly dragon like.

If you are an incredible powerhouse, you can hike up to the top of the Great Wall. But if you do not have  physical powers, you can take a cable car to go up the Great Wall to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the wall and mountains around.

Badaling Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall

Situated in Miyun County, northwestern suburbs of Beijing, Mutianyu Great Wall, which was first built in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi, has the largest construction scale and best quality among all sections of Great Wall. Rebuilt in the late 15th century, this 2,250-meter-long, at 7-8 meters high and 4-5 meters wide with 22 watchtowers section, it was served as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs.

Compared with other sections of Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall possesses unique characteristics in its construction.

• Watchtowers are densely placed along this section of the Great Wall.
• Both the outer and inner parapets are crenelated with merlons.
• The Mutianyu Pass consists of 3 watchtowers, one big in the center and two smaller on both sides.

Muitanyu Great Wall is also worth visiting. Compared with Badaling Great Wall, Mutianyu is less crowded. So you do not have to stand mobs of pushy people. Cable car is also available in Mutianyu Great Wall.

Mutianyu Great Wall

Forbidden City

Located in the very heart of Beijing, magnificent Forbidden City, also known as Imperial Palace Museum, is the symbol of imperial power. Built in Yongle Period, Ming Dynasty (1406 A.D. - 1420 A.D.), it is the largest and well-preserved wooden building complex of the world. These were laid out very precisely in accordance with a feudal code of architectural hierarchy which designated specific features for reflecting the paramount authority and status of the emperor. 

Forbidden City can be taken as a sample of the traditional Chinese palatial architecture. In 1987, it became a World Heritage Site. Besides, it is also listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

Forbidden City

Temple of Heaven

First constructed in 1420 of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Temple of Heaven was the venue for the Ming and Qing emperors to offer sacrifices to the Heaven and pray for harvest. Located at Chongwen District, it covers and area of 2.7 million square meters, is the existing largest sacrificing temple in China. Its main structure comprises Circular Vault of Heaven, Circular Mound Alter, Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest and Palace of Fast. 

Renowned for its precise outlay, unique architectural structures and decorations, this building was recorded as one World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1998.

Temple of Heaven

Summer Palace

Located in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, built in 1750, Summer Palace is the existing largest and best-preserved imperial garden, and a fine example of imperial gardening art. The Summer Palace mainly comprises Wanshou Hill that means longevity in Chinese, and Kunming Lake. 

It well absorbed the creative design ideas of private gardens in southern China, Summer Palace concentrates the beauty and essence of Chinese garden architecture and boasts a large collection of valuable cultural relics. 

It earned a place in the World Heritage List in 1998.

Summer Palace

Hutong

A leisure stroll in winding Beijing hutongs will give you an insight into the lives of ordinary Chinese people and reveal their social culture in today's Beijing City. Hutong means a lane or alley, is in fact the passage formed by lines of Siheyuan (a compound with houses around a courtyard) where old Beijing residents live. The gray-tiled houses and deep alleys crossing with each other in identical appearance like a maze, you will find it much fun to walk through but be care not to lost yourself.

A visit to hutongs plus a drama by the Beijing People's Art Theatre, such as “Teahouse" or "SmallHutong" in the evening, will help you appreciate the fundamental part of Beijing's life. When urban construction threatens the existence of these hutongs, some Beijingers become worried.

You can also choose a rickshaw riding way to explore the winding hutongs in Beijing.

Beijing Hutong

Tian’anmen Square

Covered an area of 44,000 square meters, Tian’anmen Square is the largest urban central square in the world. With a capacity of 1 million people, it is the venue for important ceremonies. In the north of the square is Tian'an Gate, the Gate of the Heavenly Peace. The Monument to the People's Hero stands at the center of the square, facing the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao Zedong in the south, the China National Museum in the east, and the Great Hall of the People in the west.

Solemn national flag raising and lowering ceremonies are held on the square at dawn and dark every day. When look at vivid five-star red flag in rosy down, there is heat and excitement in the heart. During in the night, the square will become more attractive with the lighting.

The above sites are "can't miss" best places to visit in Beijing. You should put them on the itinerary list while planning Beijing tour. Usually, it takes about 2 days to cover the those places.

Tian’anmen Square
 

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