Courtyard with grey stone and two red temples with yellow roofs.
The Forbidden City is the largest ancient palace complex in the world.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

6 Unforgettable Ways to Enjoy Your Trip to Beijing

Explore Ancient Complexes and Modern Marvels

China’s sprawling capital city has a long history spanning more than 3 millennia. The city is modern on the surface but ancient sites are still found throughout the city. When it comes to what to do in Beijing, we have all the best mix of modern and ancient for you to explore.

Forbidden City Complex

A trip to Beijing wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the iconic Forbidden City complex. This massive complex is the largest ancient palace complex in the entire world.

It is also the most well-preserved imperial palace in the country. It is the heart of the city both literally and figuratively as it is centrally located and represents the most significant cultural icon in Beijing.

The palace was home to 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties, spanning several centuries. It occupies 74 hectares, has nearly 9,000 rooms, and is surrounded by a moat and 10-meter-high walls.

The palace was once closed to anyone who didn’t have special permission from the emperor to enter, but today it is open to tourists and sees many visitors each year who come to experience this royal architectural treasure.

Foggy morning with orange sky. Tower monument in front of stately building. People milling about out front.Spend an afternoon in Tiananmen Square and have easy access to plenty of popular attractions.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is a name known all around the world for the Tiananmen Square protests and subsequent massacre in 1989 when student protests were forcibly suppressed by the military. The square is a popular tourist destination for many reasons beyond this sobering historic event.

The square is located right in the center of the capital, adjacent to the Forbidden City. It is massive, with a lot of open space and flanked with popular attractions on every side. Popular Tiananmen Square attractions include The Gate of Heavenly Peace, the Monument to the People’s Heroes, and possibly the most popular attraction, the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong.

Come early for the daily flag raising ceremony at the crack of dawn. It is a truly interesting cultural experience.

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Brick wall extending along the ridge of a mountain covered in greenery.One of the most popular tourist attractions in all of China, a number of famous sections of the wall are located near Beijing.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Great Wall of China

Beijing is the jumping-off point for many foreign visitors who come to see the Great Wall, undoubtedly China’s most famous tourist attraction. A number of the most famous sections of the wall are near Beijing.

Mutianyu, Badaling, Simatai and Jinshanling are all located in Beijing’s suburbs and are accessible by the city’s public transport network. These sections near the capital are relatively well-preserved and visiting the wall is a must-do on any trip to China.

Add it to your itinerary and take a glimpse into ancient history.

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