Top Things to do in Beijing
Beijing, China is an amazing place to visit but where do you start? This hub is all about the top places to visit to make the most out of your trip to Beijing!
The Great Wall of China
The most obvious place to visit in Beijing would have to be the Great Wall of China and there is no better viewing place than Badaling! It is approximately 80km from Beijing but allow extra time for traffic as there is a lot of traffic at varying times in Beijing. At Badaling there are 2 routes, I personally recommend the route on the left, it is the harder of the two but you get an amazing view. After you climb be sure to take a picture with the stone with the quote from Mao Tse Tung. For more info on Badaling check out: http://www.badalinggreatwall.com/
Temple Of Heaven
Another amazing attraction to visit is the Temple of Heaven. Here the Emperor would come twice a year (Winter and Summer Solstice) to hope for good weather and harvests for the year to come. There was no religion in the temple and the blue tiles on the roof represent the heavens. While here look out for the number 9 as this number represents the emperor, you will find a lot of steps in multiples of 9. The temples are amazing and they allow you to look into them. It shows you the magnificent buildings of this ancient time. I also recommend you go on a Sunday as the locals all go here to sing, dance and have fun and it is great to observe or join in in this custom.
Tian'an Men Square
Tian'an Men Square is the next must see! It is the 3rd largest square in the world and named after the Tian'an Men city gate. Most people know it as the location of the 1989 student protests. It is crawling with police and undercover police - so don't mention the protests! It's kind of a taboo. Loads of events are held here throughout the year. Don't forget to get your picture taken infront of the entrance to the Forbidden City and the portrait of Mao Tse Tung.
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is called so because back in the day it was off limits to civilians. It was the Chinese Palace from the Ming to the Qing Dynasty. For almost 500 years it served as a palace for the emperors. It is a huge palace with a lot to see so bring your walking shoes! It is a World Heritage Site since 1987 as it is the worlds largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
The "Birds Nest" or the Beijing Olympic Stadium was designed for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and the Paralympics. It was designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. It has the appearance of a birds nest and is made out of steel beams.
What better way to spend an afternoon then in the local Houtong District on a Rickshaw ride. These are my new favourite mode of transport and are really cheap. However the drivers do expect a tip of about 10 yuan which isn't much and well worth it!
Beijing Zoo is one of the oldest and largest zoos in China. It has over 500 species and covers 220 acres of land. It is full of beautiful animals which are well worth a look at. However due to all of the pollution in Beijing the animals aren't the healthiest and their enclosures are rather small. This may be upsetting to some people as it definitely was to me. My advice is go straight to the Pandas and then leave afterwards. Expect large crowds around the Pandas as they are the most popular exhibit.
Whats a holiday without the markets and China this is no exception. They have amazingly good prices but you cannot be afraid to bargain until they kick you out of their store! I wouldn't pay over 100 yuan for anything (about €12) as it just isn't worth it! I got such a thrill from the bartering and buying of merchandise, it really is a must do in Beijing.
What is your favourite thing to do in Beijing?
Wherever you go in Beijing enjoy yourself and don't forget to give this a thumbs up! :D xx