Things to Do in Beijing

Activities to Do in Beijing

Climb to Great Wall Of China, Visit the Forbidden City, Admire the beauty of the Temple of Heaven, Experience a Rickshaw Ride Through the Hutongs, Explore Summer Palace, Explore the 798 Art District and many more.

Home to seven UNESCO world heritage sites, things to do in Beijing city never runs out. Beijing offers you an experience that is catered to your preferences; be it adventurous, relaxing, or entertaining. From quaint gardens and aesthetic conventional hutongs to authentic food tours and contemporary art, there are a plethora of activities to do in Beijing city for every tourist that visits. Go on an adventurous journey on the Great Wall of China with your friends or bask in the calmness of the beautiful Temple of Heaven.

What to do in Beijing city is perhaps best acknowledged through all the manifold of adventures and experiences it offers to its tourists. Witness the rich cultural heritage of this city by visiting all its historically important sites like the Summer Palace and Forbidden City while tasting the authentic cuisines of China.
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The Great Wall Of China
China is surrounded by a series of age-old fortifications that were built to protect its borders. These were used as protections by the Imperial Chinese states to safeguard themselves from several nomadic groups that were primarily based in Eurasian Steppe. Historically speaking, these walls were built in the 7th century and are top among the tourist places in Beijing.

Location: Huairou District, China
Forbidden City
If we’re talking about visiting Forbidden City, we cannot leave without mentioning just how wonderful the whole of Forbidden City truly is! Top among the places to visit in Beijing - it is the heart of Beijing - the lifeline of the local folks who have been inhabiting the destination for centuries. This was during the reign of Hongwu Emperor and his son, Zhu Di. When Zhu Di ascended to take the throne over, he moved the Chinese capital from Nanjing to Beijing and thus, the construction of the Forbidden City began.
Tiananmen Square
This one is hard to miss because it is Beijing’s very own square. The city center of China, this is where the city life is. The Business District is located next to Tiananmen Square and it in itself has a lot of places for you to visit including the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong and the list doesn’t stop of places in Beijing.  
Beihai Park
Also known as the Winter Palace, the Beihai Park is a public form which used to serve as among the gardens for the Imperial dynasty. It is located in the north-western region of the city and was constructed during the 11th century. It tops the list when it comes to comparing the size of gardens around China.

Timing: 6.30 am to 8 pm.

Location: 1 Wenjin St, Xicheng District, China, 100034
The Temple Of Heaven
Talking about tourist places in Beijing is another Imperial treasure, this structure holds religious resemblance and can be found in the central part of Beijing. These complexes were constructed during the times of Emperors Ming and Qing. History suggests that they were apparently constructed for them to offer their prayer to Heaven for a good harvest time.

Location: 1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng, China, 100061

Timing: 8 am to 5 pm.

Entry Fee: 100 Yuan.
Beijing National Stadium
Beijing National Stadium should also be top among the list of places to visit in Beijing. Officially known as the National Stadium, people also refer to it as the ‘Bird’s Nest.’ It has a 91-000-people capacity and was designed by world-famous architects or rather artists, jacque Herxog and Pierre de Meuron. This is the same place where the 2008 Summer Olympics were hosted as well as the Paralympics followed by the same year.

Timing: 9 am to 5 pm.

Location: 1 National Stadium S Rd, Chaoyang, China
The Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is a kind of place that will require at least half a day of your time because it has a plethora of expansive lakes, green-luscious gardens and sweet Imperial palaces located. As history suggests, these were the gardens for the Qing dynasty. Looking at just how beautiful the location truly is, it was even declared the World Heritage site a couple of years back among the places in Beijing.

Location: 19 Xinjiang Dongmen Rd, Haidian District, China, 100091

Timing: 8 am to 5 pm. 
The Lama Temple
This place is known by many names. Some call it the Yonghe Temple, others refer to it as the Yonghe Lamasery or even the Lama Temple. Situated in 12 Yonghegong Street, the buildings around this location are a piece of true artwork. One is really able to see a mix of Han Chinese and Tibetan authentic culture through these works. There are many such tourist attractions in Beijing, however none matches the religious spirit of the Lama Temple.

Location: 12 Yonghegong St, Dongcheng, China, 100007

Timing: 8 am to 5 pm.
Beijing Capital Museum And The National Centre For The Performing Arts
The Beijing Capital Museum and the National Centre for the Performing Arts is an excellent venue that houses classical concerts, ballets and opera shows that will truly blow your mind away. This place is filled with artists from all round the world and you will be happy to meet many art enthusiasts as well. Tick it off your list of places to visit in Beijing.

Location: 16 Fuxingmen Outer St, Xicheng District, China, 100035

Timing: 9.00 am to 5 pm.
Beijing Ancient Observatory
Technological advancements in China took place for a very long time and it can easily be represented through Beijing’s Ancient Observatory. A pre-telescopic observatory, the place was built in 1442. It was constructed during the Ming dynasty and expanded way beyond the years. It also happens to be one of the oldest observatories to ever exist in the whole world.

Location: 2 Dongbiaobei Hutong, Jian Wai Da Jie, Dongcheng, China

Timing: 9.00 am to 5 pm.

Entry Fee: 20 Yuan.
The Fayuan Temple
Another one of the places to visit in Beijing is the Fayuan Temple. Initially named the Minzhong Temple, it later was known as the Fayuan Temple. This is one of the oldest structures in the whole of China and expands over 6,700 square meters wide. There are numerous cultural relics, ancient sculptures and precious metals that are presented and can be checked out to explore the history furthermore.

Location: 7 Fayuansi Front St, Xicheng District, Beijing, China

Timing: 8 am to 5pm.

Entry Fee: 5 Yuan.
Coal Hill Park
An imperial park that expands over 23 hectares of large land used to be known as the Coal Hill Park, is the focal point of the Forbidden City. It is known as the Jingshan Park, it forms the private garden for the Imperial royals and serves their pleasure times. The park was formally established in 1949 and is listed as the Key State Park for the Zicheng dynasty. Due to its relevance, Coal Hill Park is considered to hold significant presence among the other tourist attractions in Beijing.

Location: 44 Jingshan W St, Xicheng District, Beijing, China, 100009

Timing: 8 am to 5 pm. 
The Beijing Temple Of Confucius
The second-largest Confucian garden-temple in China, the Beijing Temple of Confucius was built in 1302 and was used by Imperial officials to pay their respects to their Confucius legends. The structure was in use until 1911, following which it served as a collection of Art for the Capital Museum, which is another one of the greatest places to visit in Beijing.

Location: 15 Guozijian St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China

Timing: 8 am to 5pm.
Ming Tombs
Another collective beauty represented through mausoleums by the Imperial dynasty of China, this also happens to be the place where emperor Ming’s tomb was found to be located. He was the same one who insisted his capital be Nanjing. Many might not be aware of this but it is actually known as the Thirteen Tombs of the Ming dynasty. It is considered to be one of the most sacred tourist attractions of Beijing and thus, is visited by thousands of tourists all year round.

Location: 212 Provincial Rd, Changping District, China

Timing: 8 am to 5pm. 
798 Art Zone
Also known as Dashanzi, the 798 Art Zone should be top in your list of places to visit in Beijing. It is a cluster of what used to be military factories for the Imperial dynasty. However, it is now being used as a creative space for big art organisations like the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. This is where the work of established Chinese artists is showcased.

Timing: 10 am to 6 pm.

Location: 2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing, China
National Museum Of China
Located in the Eastern section of the TIananmen Square is the National Museum of China. The main purpose of the museum is to proudly showcase and promote the knowledge and history of the wonderful art that has been carried out through the Chinese dynasties for centuries. The Ministry of Culture takes care of the place.

Location: 16 E Chang'an Ave, Dongcheng, China

Timing: 9 am to 5 pm.
Imperial Palace
Another set of Imperial Palaces that once belonged to the Ming and Qing dynasties, it would serve as the supreme power structure for the whole generation. The building in itself consists of over 10,000 rooms and contains furniture and artwork worth millions of dollars. Now a historical site, this place is the jewel of Beijing and top among the tourist places in Beijing.

Location: 4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China, 100009

Timing: 8 am to 5 pm.
Great Wall Of Badaling
As we mentioned the Great Wall of China, we were sure to make a mention of the site’s most-visited structure - the Great Wall of Badaling. It is the main wall that runs right through the site and this is where Ming dynasty’s military outpost was located. The main building is what kept Beijing protected from outsiders.

Location: Yanqing District, China
The Palace Museum
The world rejoiced when China announced that permit in the Forbidden City was applicable. There is a jewel to be discovered in the Forbidden City and it starts with the Palace Museum, the national museum house to China’s last Emperor. The Palace was constructed between 1406 and 1420, it took over 15 years for this structure to be formed. It consists of over 980 buildings over a stretch of 72 hectares - there’s a lot to be discovered and is primary among the places in Beijing.

Location: 4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China, 100009

Timing: 9 am to 5 pm.

Entry Fee: 30 Yuan
Beijing Zoo
Another one of the places to visit in Beijing is definitely the Beijing Zoo. A zoological park of its own, this place was founded as long back in 1906. Believe it or not - the Qing dynasty were the ones who helped establish this structure. The place breeds rare animals from numerous continents around the world and is a true pleasure to walk through and visit at least once during your visit.

Location: 137 Xizhimen Outer St, Dong Wu Yuan, Xicheng District, Beijing, China

Timing: 9 am to 5pm. 

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Beijing Things To Do FAQs

Which are the best things to do in Beijing City?

1. Climb to Great Wall Of China: You can choose from many sections of the Great Wall of China in Beijing and climb it. If you want an easy walk while enjoying the sights, you can go for the section of the Great Wall located in Mutianyu. However, for a more challenging and adventurous climb, you can hike on the walls of Jiankou or even Jinshanling. Try to plan the climb at the end of the day to witness the breathtaking view from the Great Wall at night. For the difficult climbs, visit at early hours to beat the harsh afternoon sun. You can also opt for tour guides who can show you the important places in the Great Wall of China but keep in mind that they can be a bit costly.

Location: Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Simatai and Jiankou
Price: 20 yuan

2. Visit the Forbidden City: If you were contemplating on What to Do in Beijing City, an easy answer would be to visit the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Beijing city. It is essentially a palace complex located right at the centre of the Imperial City of Beijing. The place is surrounded by numerous imperial gardens, parks, and temples, including the famous sacrificial Imperial Ancestral Temple.

Before the Forbidden City's declaration as a world heritage site, it served as a home to the Chinese emperors and was the political hub of the government for over 500 years. The cost to visit this location depends on the time you see it. The tickets can cost anything between 40 Yuan to 60 Yuan.

Location: Dongcheng District
Price: 40 yuan to 60 yuan

3. Admire the beauty of the Temple of Heaven: Situated in the southeastern part of Beijing city, visiting this Temple of Heaven is another one of the most popular things to do in Beijing city. The temple is an imperial complex of several religious buildings where the emperors of the Ming dynasty and the Qing dynasty used to visit. The emperors used to attend annual ceremonies and pray to heaven for a good harvest, hence the name, Temple of Heaven.

Location: Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng
Price: 28 yuan to 34 yuan

4. Experience a Rickshaw Ride Through the Hutongs: The hutongs are traditional courtyard homes and alleyways that once was how most people in Beijing lived earlier. With the rapid expansion of modern architecture in this city, only a few of these Hutongs have survived.

Taking a rickshaw ride through the hutongs in places like Shichahai and Dashilar is another of the most entertaining Activities to Do in Beijing City. It will give you a glimpse of the authentic local life of the people of Beijing. You can buy some souvenirs and try some authentic Chinese food in these hutongs.

Location: Shichahai and Dashilar (has most number of hutongs)

5. Explore Summer Palace: If you were wondering what to Do in Beijing City, which gives you a sense of serenity and aesthetic pleasure, you could explore Beijing's Summer Palace. The Summer Palace, located in the Haidian District, is a massive conglomeration of gardens, lakes, and palaces.

Relax by the calming Kunming Lake full of pristine blue water and explore the quiet natural beauty of the location's back hill. This Summer Palace has been declared as one of the greatest masterpieces of Chinese landscape garden design.

Location: Haidian District
Price: 20 yuan to 30 yuan

6. Explore the 798 Art District: If you are a budding artist and hope to get some more artistic inspiration from the picturesque city of Beijing, be sure to include the 798 Art District in your list of What to Do in Beijing City. From contemporary art galleries, space gallery to stretches of street art pieces and popular restaurants and pubs, this Art District is one of the most incredible places you can spend a calming afternoon in. You can get your hands on some of the most unique and inventive souvenirs one can find in all of China.

Location: Chaoyang

7. Visit the Lama Temple: A magnificent instance of Chinese architecture is the Lama Temple, located in the Dongcheng District of Beijing. This monastery is home to three Guinness World Record items: the giant wooden Buddha, the 500-Arhat-Hill, and the bronze Buddhas of past, present, and future.

Apart from these, you can also check out the Chinese sacrificial activities and praise the beautiful Tibetan architecture. You can see all the essential things in this temple and complete your visit in about an hour or two. Afterwards, you can enjoy hutong tours nearby as they are abundant in this area and relish authentic Chinese cuisines.

Location: Yonghegong St, Dongcheng
Price: Free for children, 25 yuan for adults

8. Explore the Old Summer Palace: The Old Summer Palace was a complex of gardens and palaces located in the Haidian District of Beijing. Explore the ruins and remnants of the grand park in the Old Summer Palace, which was destroyed in a devastating fire that lasted for several days. This is one of the best things to do in Beijing City if you happen to be a history enthusiast or appreciate ancient architectural styles. The entry fee of this place is just 10 Yuan, much lesser than the adjacent Summer Palace.

Location: Haidian District
Price: 10 yuan

9. Visit the Ming Tombs: The Ming tombs are located 50 kilometres northwest of Beijing City. There are a total of 13 tombs for all the 13 emperors of the Ming dynasty. The mausoleums for each of these tombs have different sizes and vary in the overall structure's complexity. Although there are thirteen of these tombs, only the Changling Tomb, Dingling Tomb, Zhaoling Tomb and the Sacred Way is open for the public to come and visit.

Location: Changping District
Price: 20 yuan to 60 yuan

10. Beijing Food Tour: Last but for sure, one of the most entertaining activities to Do in Beijing City is to book any Beijing Food Tours and enjoy the city's authentic cuisines for a full day. This is especially fun for all the food bloggers and enthusiasts looking to try and know more about the Chinese cuisines prevalent in Beijing.

You can find a food tour in any famous tourist places and choose one that seems the most interesting to you. These tours can cost you anywhere between 60 dollars to 100 dollars.

What are the most popular things to do in Beijing with kids?

1. Visit the Beijing Chaoyang Theater Acrobats: Visit the Chaoyang Theater and get a glimpse of the gut-wrenching acrobatics show. You kids will love the flashy costumes and impressive stunts performed by the acrobats there. It is one of the most entertaining Activities to Do in Beijing City with your kids.

2. Have fun at the Chaoyang Park: You can come to this park with your family at any season of the year. You can fly kites and rent boats in the summer and ski during the winters. The park also has a small amusement park within it.

3. Taste the Street Food of Beijing in Snack Streets: You can find several snack streets in Beijing full of unique and not quite normal bites of food. Visiting one of these snack streets with your kids is an ideal thing to do and should be a part of your itinerary.

4. Get a glimpse of Ling Ling (the Giant Panda) at the Beijing Zoo: If you go out of things to do in the city and need someplace where you can find peace, visit the Beijing zoo with your kids and observe the beautiful animals kept there, including the famous giant panda or the Ling Ling. If you plan to visit the zoo, make sure that you head there first as it can get a bit busy at times.

What are the best things to do in Beijing at Night?

1. Check out the stunning colours at Chang’An Avenue & Tiananmen Square: At night, Chang'An Avenue & Tiananmen Square buildings will be lit up into beautiful colours and present to you a wondrous sight. Do not miss this sight if you visit Beijing.

2. Click pictures in front of the Qianmen Street: Another street that lights up in fabulous colours is Qianmen Street. You can click some very Instagram worthy pictures here and get a glimpse of the beautifully lit up entrance gates.

3. Visit the Luxurious Mall: The Place: The Place in Beijing is just another shopping mall in the city, but the visuals of this mall's building is spectacular. Its main attraction is the colossal screen attached in the middle of two luxury buildings. The screen lights up with unique colours giving a perfect background for some fantastic pictures.

4. Eat authentic Chinese food at the Ghost Food Street: Another exciting place that you can visit at night to eat authentic cuisines is Ghost Food Street, where almost all the restaurants have a red decor style and thus, the whole street glows a stunning red colour.

What is the best time to visit Beijing?

March to May and September to October are the best months to visit Beijing as this is when the climate is most favourable, and the sights are colourful.

How to reach Beijing from India?

To reach Beijing from India, you have to catch a flight from any international airports from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, or Kolkata via flight carriers such as Air India, Etihad Airways and Malaysia Airlines and then fly to the Beijing Capital International Airport. The flight takes roughly around 13 to 14 hours from India to Beijing.

How many days are enough to visit Beijing?

It is recommended to stay at least a week in the city to experience complete authenticity. However, to see the popular tourist attractions and enjoy with your family, three to four days are rough to cover the entire city.

What are the requirements for getting a visa to Beijing?

To apply for a tourist visa to Beijing, you need to fill out a Visa Application Form. You also need to send your passport with at least one empty page. The key should be valid for six months beyond the dates of the trip. It would help if you also had a two by 2-inch photograph of yourself.

How many days do you need in Beijing?

If you visit Beijing for the first time, it is recommended that you stay there for at least three days. This gives you enough time to go through all things to do in Beijing city and see all the famous landmarks of the city while experiencing the town's local life as well.

What is Beijing known for?

Beijing is known for many things, including its rich heritage of Chinese Architecture, the world-famous roasted Peking Duck, its Copper craftwork or Cloisonne, and Huong. It is also famous for the most extensive and best-preserved ancient architectural complex globally, which is the Forbidden City.

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