Beijing top tourist attractions city travel maps
Map of top 10 attractions in Beijing
The typical top ten attractions are listed below. You can find the detailed locations of these places on the maps above.
- Forbidden City - The universally accepted symbol for the length and grandeur of Chinese civilization is undoubtedly the Great Wall, but the Forbidden City (aka Imperial Palace Museum) is more immediately impressive. A 720,000-sq.m. (7,750,015-sq.ft.) complex of red-walled buildings and pavilions topped by a sea of glazed vermilion tile, it dwarfs nearby Tianan Men Square and is by far the largest and most intricate imperial palace in China.
- Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Gong Yuan) - At the same time that the Yongle emperor built the Forbidden City, he also oversaw construction of this enormous park and altar to Heaven directly to the south.
- Summer Palace - This expanse of elaborate Qing-style pavilions, bridges, walkways, and gardens, scattered along the shores of immense Kunming Lake, is the grandest imperial playground in China.
- Great Wall - A trip to the wall is a must for any visitor to Beijing. Hiking along the Great Wall at Jiankou is an unforgettable experience. The 5-hour hike meanders along a vertigo-inducing stretch of wall that isn't for the faint of heart. Other parts of the wall worth visiting include: Badaling, Juyongguan, Mutianyu, Gubeikou, Jinshanling, and Simatai.
- Tian'an Men Square (Tian'an Men Guangchang, The Gate of Heavenly Peace) - This is the world's largest public square, the size of 90 American football fields (40 hectares/99 acres), with standing room for 300,000 people. It is surrounded by the Forbidden City in the north, the Great Hall of the People in the west, and the museums of Chinese History and Chinese Revolution in the east.
- Chairman Mao's Mausoleum (Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Mao Zhuxi Jinian Guan) - This is one of the eeriest experiences in Beijing. The decision to preserve Mao's body was made hours after his death in 1976. Panicked and inexperienced, his doctors reportedly pumped him so full of formaldehyde his face and body swelled almost beyond recognition. They drained the corpse and managed to get it back into acceptable shape, but they also created a wax model of the Great Helmsman just in case.
- Jingshan Park - The Forbidden City is an enormous palace, but once you are in it is very hard to get any perspective of its sheer scale. Go for a short climb at Jingshan Hill. At 45.7 meters high, it is the best place in downtown Beijing to have a panoramic view of Beijing and the Forbidden City.
- Hutongs - At first glance, Beijing seems a thoroughly modern city, but a stroll through the city's alleyways (hutongs) reveals the charm of old Beijing. These hutongs – weaving across much of central Beijing – are where many Beijing residents (Beijingren) still live. Typically running east to west, hutongs are created by the walls of courtyard houses (siheyuan). The hutongs are very easy to find, explore the alleyways between the main streets south of Qian Men, or around Hou Hai and Qian Hai.
- Beijing Zoo (Beijing Dongwuyuan) - West of the Beijing Exhibition Hall, Beijing Zoo is a relic of a bygone era, with outdated concrete and glass cages. The Panda House Hall is one of its better enclosures, and the bears are at their liveliest in the mornings. The real reason for visiting is the huge Aquarium, with coral reefs, an Amazon rainforest, and an impressive shark pool. An array of aquatic mammals, including whales and dolphins, completes the collection.
- Ming Tombs - The resting place for 13 of the 16 Ming dynasty emperors, the Ming Tombs (Shisan Ling) are China's finest example of imperial tomb architecture. Part of the 4-mile (7-km) approach to the tombs, the Spirit Way is lined with 36 stone statues of officials, soldiers, animals, and mythical beasts.
- Other interesting sights include Beijing Opera, Panjiayuan Antique Market (aka Dirt Market), Beihai Park, Yuanmingyuan Park, Lama Temple (Yonghe Gong), Olympic Park, Bird's Nest National Stadium, Aquatics Center, Prince Gong's Mansion, Donghuamen Night Market, Houhai (Back Lake), Silk Market, Pearl Market, Dongjiao market, Yashow Market, Botanical Garden, Ghost Street, Haidian District, Joy City, Lotus Lane, National Theatre, Capital Museum, Niujie Mosque
What are some interesting facts about Beijing?
Beijing Metro opened in 1969 but it consisted of only two lines (line 1, 2) until 2002. After 2002 the metro has grown very rapidly to 17 lines, including line 3, line 4, line 5, line 6, line 7, line 8, line 9, line 10, line 13, line 14, line 15, Batong Line, changping Line, Daxing Line, Fengshan Line, Yizhuang Line, Airport Express. There are plans for line 11, line 12, line 17.
It's no secret that the Chinese love their bicycles, which is why once you get to Beijing, you will see thousands of cyclists on the roads.
The literal meaning of the term Beijing is 'Northern Capital'.
McDonald's is the city's most popular fast food joint.
For entertainment, people can visit the world famous Peking Opera. The Opera is great combination of songs, dialogs, acrobatics, fighting, music and much more.
The Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world and the busiest in Asia.
The most famous delicacy of Beijing is the 'Peking Roast Duck'. It's one of China's national foods and has been consumed since Imperial Times.
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