20 Best Things to Do in Beijing

Beijing, the vibrant and historic capital of China, is a city that never fails to amaze and captivate visitors.
With its rich history, cultural heritage, and stunning landmarks, there is no shortage of incredible things to do and explore in Beijing.
Whether you are a history buff, a food lover, or an adventure seeker, this city has something for everyone.

Things to Do in Beijing
Things to Do in Beijing

In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through the best and most unique experiences Beijing has to offer. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Beijing.

Step into History at the Forbidden City

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

No trip to Beijing is complete without a visit to the iconic Forbidden City. This sprawling palace complex, also known as the Palace Museum, was the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Step through the grand gates and marvel at the intricate architecture, stunning courtyards, and impressive halls. Explore the vast collection of artifacts that offer a glimpse into the lives of Chinese emperors and their courts.

Don’t miss the Hall of Supreme Wander through Harmony, one of the largest and most important buildings in the complex, and immerse yourself in the rich history and grandeur of imperial China.

Walk Along the Great Wall of China

Great Wall
Great Wall

A visit to Beijing would not be complete without a trip to the Great Wall of China, one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring structures in the world.
Stretching over 13,000 miles, the Great Wall is an architectural marvel that spans mountains, valleys, and deserts.

The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall near Beijing is a must-visit due to its breathtaking views and excellent preservation.
Take a leisurely walk along the ancient stone pathway, soak in the breathtaking scenery, and imagine the ancient soldiers who once guarded this magnificent structure.
Don’t forget to snap a photo to capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Witness the Flag-Lowering Ceremony at Tiananmen Square

Start your Beijing adventure with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world and an important symbol of China’s history and culture.
Be sure to witness the daily flag-lowering ceremony, a solemn and patriotic event that takes place at sunrise and sunset. As the Chinese flag is raised or lowered, the atmosphere becomes charged with a sense of national pride and unity.

Take a moment to reflect on the significance of this historic square and pay tribute to the heroes who fought for China’s independence.
Tiananmen Square is known for its significant landmarks like the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao.

Explore the Historic Hutongs on a Rickshaw Ride

For a glimpse into Beijing’s traditional way of life, hop on a rickshaw and explore the historic hutongs, narrow alleyways that are the heart and soul of the city.
These ancient neighborhoods are filled with traditional courtyard homes, local markets, and bustling streets.

Explore Beijing’s rich history and culture as you navigate its alleyways with a rickshaw driver. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere while gaining valuable insights.
Experience local culture by enjoying a traditional meal with a family or observing a skilled craftsman create exquisite handmade products.

This immersive experience will transport you back in time and give you a deeper understanding of Beijing’s rich heritage.

Get a Taste of Authentic Beijing Cuisine

No visit to Beijing is complete without indulging in the city’s diverse and mouthwatering cuisine. From Peking duck to traditional street food, Beijing offers a culinary experience like no other.
Start your gastronomic adventure with a plate of succulent Peking duck, a dish that has become synonymous with Beijing. Watch as the expert chefs skillfully carve the crispy skin and succulent meat right at your table.

Pair it with thin pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce for the perfect combination of flavors.
Don’t miss out on other local specialties such as jibing (a savory pancake filled with egg and various toppings) and lamb skewers, which can be found in street markets and night markets throughout the city.

Take a Stroll through the Temple of Heaven

Step into tranquility and spirituality at the Temple of Heaven, a magnificent complex that was once used by emperors to pray for good harvests and offer sacrifices to the gods.

This UNESCO World Heritage site showcases exquisite Chinese architecture and design, featuring breathtaking temples, pavilions, and meticulously crafted gardens.

In the park, you can see locals doing tai chi, playing traditional instruments, or playing mahjong. Don’t miss the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, an architectural marvel that stands as a symbol of Beijing’s rich cultural heritage.
Experience the serene ambiance of the Temple of Heaven and be captivated by its timeless beauty.

Embark on a Cultural Journey at the National Museum of China

For a comprehensive overview of Chinese history and culture, visit the National Museum of China, one of the largest museums in the world.
Located near Tiananmen Square, this impressive museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, artworks, and historical relics that span over 5,000 years of Chinese history.

Discover China’s cultural heritage through diverse galleries and exhibitions, featuring ancient pottery, calligraphy, contemporary art, and photography.
Explore China’s rich history at this captivating museum, where you can delve into captivating stories and legends.

Marvel at the Summer Palace’s Architectural Splendor

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the Summer Palace. Located in the Haidian District, this vast imperial garden complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a masterpiece of Chinese landscape design.

Discover the charming attractions of pavilions, temples, and bridges scattered across the landscape. Enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the serene Kunming Lake.

Don’t miss the iconic Longevity Hill, which offers panoramic views of the palace grounds and the surrounding natural scenery.
Whether you’re strolling through the intricately designed gardens or admiring the exquisite architecture, the Summer Palace is a true feast for the senses.

Escape to the Tranquil Jingshan Park

Located just north of the Forbidden City, Jingshan Park is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Beijing.
Climb to the top of Coal Hill, the central peak in the park, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the city skyline, including the majestic Forbidden City.

Enjoy the scenic gardens with vibrant flowers, ancient trees, and a tranquil ambiance. Jingshan Park is also a popular spot for locals to practice tai chi, fly kites, and engage in other traditional activities.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find tranquility in this hidden gem.

Discover the Traditional Art of Chinese Opera

Experience the captivating world of Chinese opera, a traditional art form that combines music, dance, acrobatics, and elaborate costumes.

Beijing has many theaters for Peking Opera, a renowned Chinese opera form. Marvel at the intricate makeup and costumes, the mesmerizing vocal performances, and the skillful martial arts demonstrations.

Head to the Liyuan Theater or the Huguang Guild Hall for an unforgettable evening of cultural immersion. Be sure to book your tickets in advance, as these performances are highly popular among locals and tourists alike.

Explore the Ancient Llama Temple

Llama Temple
Llama Temple

Discover the spiritual side of Beijing at the Llama Temple, one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist temples outside of Tibet.
This magnificent complex is home to stunning architectural features, intricate artwork, and sacred relics.

As you explore the halls, you’ll see statues of gods, vibrant prayer flags, and the scent of incense in the air. Take a moment to participate in traditional Buddhist rituals, such as spinning prayer wheels and lighting incense sticks.
The Llama Temple is a serene place that allows you to learn about Tibetan Buddhism. Discover Chinese Literature at the National Library of China

Discover Chinese Literature at the National Library of China

For book lovers and literature enthusiasts, a visit to the National Library of China is a must. This library near the Olympic Park is known for its extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and historical documents.

It is one of the largest libraries globally. Explore the various reading rooms and galleries, and marvel at the impressive architecture and design.

The library also hosts regular exhibitions, lectures, and cultural events that celebrate Chinese literature and intellectual heritage.
The National Library of China is a great place for book lovers and those interested in literature. It provides a unique and enriching experience.

Experience the Serenity of the Temple of Confucius

Immerse yourself in the teachings and philosophy of Confucius at the Temple of Confucius, a serene sanctuary located in the heart of Beijing.
The ancient complex honors Confucius, the renowned Chinese philosopher and educator. It is a sacred space for worship and contemplation.

Explore the beautifully preserved halls, pavilions, and gardens, and gain insight into Confucian teachings and rituals. Experience a Confucian ceremony and join a calligraphy class to enhance your knowledge of this significant figure in Chinese history.

Don’t miss this chance! The Temple of Confucius offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets of Beijing.

Experience the Thrill of Chinese Acrobatics

Prepare to be amazed by the incredible feats and jaw-dropping stunts of Chinese acrobats at one of Beijing’s renowned acrobatics theaters.
Chinese acrobatics, an ancient art form, captivates audiences with gravity-defying aerial tricks and mesmerizing contortion acts.

Experience breathtaking acrobatic performances at the Chaoyang Theatre or Beijing Acrobatics Troupe. Prepare to be amazed!

Be prepared to witness heart-stopping tricks, incredible agility, and an extraordinary display of skill and precision. Chinese acrobatics is a testament to the strength, flexibility, and artistry of the human body.

Take a Boat Ride on the Shichahai Lakes

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embark on a leisurely boat ride on the Shichahai Lakes, a picturesque area located in the heart of Beijing.

Rent a paddleboat or take a guided boat tour to enjoy a peaceful ride amidst greenery and historic structures. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the historic Drum Tower and Bell Tower. Experience the tranquility of this hidden treasure.

Don’t forget to explore the surrounding hutongs and alleyways, where you’ll find charming cafes, boutique shops, and hidden courtyards.
A boat ride on the Shichahai Lakes offers a unique perspective of Beijing in a peaceful and romantic atmosphere.

Relax and Rejuvenate with a Foot Massage

After a busy day in Beijing, unwind with a foot massage at a popular parlor. Chinese foot massage is a therapeutic practice that uses pressure points in the feet to relax, boost circulation, and reduce stress.

Indulge in a soothing foot soak, followed by a skilled massage that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Many foot massage parlors offer additional services such as head and shoulder massages, herbal treatments, and reflexology.
Sit back, relax, and let the expert hands of the masseurs work their magic.

Shop for Souvenirs at the Panjiayuan Antiques Market

If you’re in search of unique souvenirs and treasures, head to the Panjiayuan Antiques Market, a bustling market that is a treasure trove of antiques, artwork, and collectibles.

This sprawling market is a haven for antique lovers and collectors in the southeast of the city. Explore diverse stalls with a variety of goods, such as Chinese ceramics, calligraphy brushes, vintage clothing, and jewelry.

Haggle with the vendors to find the best deals and uncover hidden gems. The Panjiayuan Antiques Market is a paradise for those seeking one-of-a-kind mementos of their time in Beijing.

Unwind at the Fragrant Hills Park

Escape to Fragrant Hills Park in Beijing to reconnect with nature. This beautiful mountain retreat is perfect for a peaceful getaway.
This park is famous for its stunning fall colors and breathtaking scenery. It’s an ideal place for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Explore the lush forests, ascend Xianglu Peak for stunning views, or tour the beautiful Biyun Temple. Don’t forget to explore the numerous pavilions, pagodas, and gardens that dot the landscape.

The Fragrant Hills Park is a tranquil oasis that provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Discover the Quirky Side of Beijing at the 798 Art District

Step into a world of creativity and innovation at the 798 Art District, a thriving community of contemporary art galleries, avant-garde shops, and trendy cafes.
This former factory complex in the Chaoyang District is now a lively hub for artists, designers, and art enthusiasts.

Explore the maze-like streets and discover unique artworks, installations, and exhibitions that push the boundaries of traditional art.

Experience local art, workshops, and cultural events in a vibrant artistic enclave. Don’t miss out! The 798 Art District offers a refreshing and unconventional perspective of Beijing’s art scene.

Experience the Vibrant Nightlife of Sanlitun

For those seeking a lively and vibrant nightlife scene, Sanlitun is the place to be. In the Chaoyang District lies a bustling entertainment hub filled with bars, clubs, restaurants, and live music venues.

Whether you’re in the mood for a sophisticated cocktail, a night of dancing, or a laid-back evening of live music, Sanlitun has it all.

Explore the bustling streets, soak in the energetic atmosphere, and mingle with locals and expats alike. Sanlitun has a vibrant nightlife scene with a variety of trendy rooftop bars and underground music venues. It guarantees an entertaining experience until the early hours of the morning.


Beijing is a city that seamlessly blends ancient traditions with modern innovation, offering visitors a diverse and immersive cultural experience. From iconic landmarks and historic sites to vibrant arts and entertainment scenes, there is no shortage of unique and exciting things to do in Beijing.

Immerse yourself in the rich history, indulge in delicious cuisine, explore hidden alleyways, and witness the vibrant energy of this dynamic city. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, a food enthusiast, or an adventure seeker, Beijing has something for everyone.

So pack your bags, embark on a journey to Beijing, and prepare to be captivated by the wonders of this magnificent city.

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