One could spend a month in Beijing and still only scratch the surface. With a large array of big-name attractions, it is easy to be overwhelmed. However since a visit to the Chinese capital is an once-in-a-lifetime experience, you must see some of the capital’s attractions that are unmissable.
Beijing is home to several ancient structures and monuments that bear testimony to China's long history, including the Great Wall the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. The city also brims with modern sites such as the National Stadium and Aquatics Center.
Visitors who travel to Beijing set off for the mysterious Forbidden City, hailed as the world’s largest palace complex. Off limits to the public for some five centuries, this UNESCO World Heritage Site, built during the Ming Dynasty, is the most visited attraction in China. Popularly called Gu Gong in Chinese, the palace features crimson buildings and pavilions. Throughout the period, the palace has been ransacked several times and is said to have 9,999 rooms. The largest of the buildings is Taihe Dian that contains 55 rooms.
The Great Wall
Synonymous with China, the Great Wall is one of the best-loved monuments for people traveling to Beijing thanks to its the proximity to the city. The wall was built to halt the invasion of the Mongolian soldiers.
The lakeside Summer Palace is another popular tourist stop. Located on the shores of large Kunming Lake, the enormous palace will take a whole day to explore. It was destroyed by British and French soldiers during the Opium War II and later restored.
A visit to Temple of Heaven, another Unesco Heritage Site, must be on your itinerary when visiting Beijing. The Chinese emperors used to pray in the Hall of Prayers in the Temple of Heaven for good harvests.
Visit Mao’s mausoleum
Located to the south of Tiananmen Square the mausoleum of Mao Zedong serves as his resting place. His embalmed body has been on public display there since after his death in 1976.
Tour of Beijing’s waterways
One of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful views of Beijing’s skyline is from the manmade waterways.
Try the local cuisines
As you head back after a day of exploring Beijing, feast at any of the innumerable good, hygienic eating places where one can stop by and grab a bite. Beijing is culinary haven where authentic, easy on pocket local cuisines can be found in several corners of the city.A local dish “jianbing” is a favourite dish for breakfast.
Beijing is an enticing destination that pulls in shoppers from across the world. The reason is not far to seek. All the world’s major brands don’t want to lag behind in tapping the Chinese market. The Yashow Market, adjacent to Sanlitun, is a shopper’s paradise where you can find brilliantly colored silks, high-tech gadgets and or tailor-made clothes.
If you have fascination for pearls visit the Hongqiao Market, outside the East Gate of the Temple of Heaven. Join the shopping enthusiasts at Wangfujing, one of Beijing’s upmarket shopping streets.