Getting to know Beijing
What you can do for free in Beijing
1. Visit the National Museum of China
This is the world’s largest museum and its informative exhibitions are completely free. It is located on the east side of the Tian’anmen Square. You need to have your ID to get a free ticket.
2. Take a walk in the Beijing Olympic Forest Park
This amazing park covers 6.8 square kilometers and it is said to be Asia’s largest urban green landscape. You can be here for a few hours and still not cover to whole area, so it’s a good way to keep yourself busy for 1 day during your trip to Beijing.
3. Take a walking tour along the Shichahai River
Feel the breeze and take in the calm, eerie atmosphere of the river bank. You can enjoy one of the most relaxing experiences available in Beijing for free!
Top Spots to Visit
1. The Great Wall
Can you really visit Beijing and not see the Great Wall of China? Grab a backpack and a camera and enjoy this wonder. Remember, it’s a lot more crowded in reality than you see in photos online
2. The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is an Unesco-listed heritage and it is the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings. It also beats the record as the largest palace complex in the world. Official tour guides are available with varying prices depending on how much ground you want to cover.
3. The Temple of Heaven Park
This is one of China’s busiest urban landscapes. The park covers 267 hectares and it is something unforgettable. It is surrounded by a long wall and has a gate at each compass point.
Hidden spots to visit
1. Caochangdi Art Village
This gem is located only a few kilometres away from the more popular 798 Art District, but it is a less crowded, equally beautiful and entertaining place for the art enthusiasts.The “Three Shadows Photography Art Centre” is located here and it is one of the best photography galleries in China.
2. The China Watermelon Museum
You’d think you heard it all when it comes to museum, but can you really pass on the opportunity to visit a watermelon museum? It is located in the Daxing District, a place known for being one of the largest watermelon producing regions in the world.
3. The Daguanlou Movie Theater
It may not be the most modern movie theatre you can visit, but it is the oldest one in China. Complete your Beijing trip with a relaxing movie night in this amazing place!
If you’re planning on a more luxurious trip, look into some of these expensive, fine-dining restaurants, with menus mostly based on Chinese and Asian food in general: King’s Joy Beijing, Choy’s Seafood Restaurant, Asia Bistro and The Horizon (Beijing Kerry Hotel)
Best local cuisine restaurants include Black Sesame Kitchen, BeiJing Haidilao Hot Pot (Wangfujing), Siji Minfu Restaurant Peking Roast Duck (Dengshikou), Din Tai Fung (APM) and Din Tai Fung (Yuyang).
Spend less money but do it for amazing food at Mr. Shi’s Dumplings, Grandma’s Home (APM), Quan Xing Ju Restaurant or Miyabi – Sheraton Grand Beijing Dongcheng Hotel.
Recommended time for visiting
The best times to visit Beijing are from March to May and from September to October. Summer in Beijing equals peak season with high hotel rates, while winter can be severely cold for many tourists.
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