Beijing , the capital city of China, is one of the oldest cities in the world (3,000 years old history) and also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Occupied by 22 million people across 10,000 sq km, the city is home to numerous attractions that cater to a wide variety of interests. It is a city that seamlessly combines ancient traditions with rapid modernization, making it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. From iconic landmarks to bustling street markets, here are the top 15 amazing tourist attractions in Beijing that you should not miss.
Whether you’re keen on Chinese history, traditional Chinese architecture, modern architecture, the magnificence of Chinese culture, memories of old Beijing with Hutongs, luxurious imperial palaces, the natural beauty of Beijing’s parks, historic temples, or delicious Beijing duck, Beijing has the perfect blend of ancient and contemporary avenues to explore. But what are the best places to visit in Beijing?
1. Great Wall of China
Even though it is located an hour away from the city, this is one of the main tourist attractions in Beijing you need to make time for. The wall gates however are accessible from Beijing. I am still in awe of the 6th-century Mutianyu Great Wall and the view from up there.
Don’t miss the cable car ride that takes you up on the wall. The gigantic size of the wall is what makes it all the more mesmerizing.
Address: Huairou District, China, 101406
Opening Hours: 9 am–4:30 pm
2. The Summer Palace
How about a man-made lake that dates back 700 years? The Summer Palace is one of the Royal Palaces in Beijing that will take you by surprise. Traveling for 30 minutes from the centre to reach this gorgeous 12th-century regal home is one of a kind. I grabbed some wonderful little trinkets from Suzhou Market Street that you must also check out. Above all, if you are an admirer of theatre, its Great Theater with traditional Chinese plays is an absolute delight to experience and remember Beijing by.
Address: 19 Xinjiangongmen Rd, Haidian District, China, 100091
1) April to October: 06:30 am – 6:00 pm
2) November to March: 07:00 am – 5:00 pm
3. The Palace Museum
This is one of those Beijing tourist attractions that will blow your mind just by its sheer unbelievable dimensions. Dating back to the 13th-century, this globally celebrated Palace is spread over a whopping 720,000 sq meters. The Palace of Heavenly Purity, white marble bridges, and a lot of history make it one of the must-visit attractions in Beijing.
Address: 4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China, 100009
1) April to October: 8:30am – 5pm
2) November to March: 8:30am – 4:30pm
4. Tiananmen Square
This 15-century marvel happens to be the largest square inside a city. Made with a surprising 17000 pieces of granite make Monument to the People’s Heroes here is a tourist attraction worth marvelling at. The Museum of the Chinese Revolution and Mausoleum of Mao Zedong gives a lot of notable historic features and stories away. Overall, it was one of the most stunning tourist highlights in Beijing.
Address: Dongcheng, Beijing, China 100051
Opening Hours: 05:00 am to 10:00 pm
5. Beihai Park
Beihai Park is one of the best tourist attractions in Beijing highly recommended for many reasons. What fascinated me the most is the skilfully made gorgeous white Buddha structure carved from a single block of jade.
With the magnificent 10th-century Buddha, the park is renowned to be one of the oldest imperial gardens in Beijing. Don’t forget to get a picture taken before the green backdrop with the sparkling Beihai Lake.
Address: 1 Wenjin St, Xicheng District, China, 100034
Opening Hours: 06:30 am – 08:00 pm
6. Beijing National Stadium
Whether you are a sports fan or just an admirer of architectural brilliance, this stadium will be an absolute delight. Lovingly famous as ‘The Bird’s Nest’, it is recognized across the world for its unbeatable role in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The only thing that I missed because of my summer visit, and surely want you to try, is to experience how it converts into a man-made ski slope. It boasts of being the largest indoor ski slope which makes it all the more exciting!
Address: 1 Guojiatiyuchang S Rd, Chaoyang, China, 100101
Opening Hours: 09:00 am – 07:00 pm
7. Beijing Zoo
The largest zoo in the country and one of the oldest, this fantastic zoo is full of friendly animal species (over 1,000). This is a fantastic pick for families visiting Beijing. Pandas, Snow Leopards, and South China Tigers are some of the species that make the zoo even more special.
With over 15,000 animals lovingly inhabiting the zoo, the wonderful aquarium and Chinese gardens are a few most attractive features.
Address: 137 Xizhimen Outer St, Dong Wu Yuan, Xicheng District, Beijing, China 100044
Opening hours: 07:30 am – 6:00 pm
Also Read: Beijing Zoo (Panda Zoo) in Beijing, China
8. Beijing World Park
Simply put, this iconic Beijing tourist attraction replicates the layout of some of the most renowned cities and landmarks of the world. Miniatures of over 100 monuments and attractions from across the seas can be seen installed in all glory here. Boarding monorails or miniature speed boats are quite fun.
Address:158 China, Beijing, Fengtai, Huaxiang Road Fengbaolu
1) April to October: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
2) November to March: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Also Read: Beijing World Park: Beijing Travel guide
9. National Museum of China
What if I tell you that this is the 2nd most visited museum in Beijing across the globe? Yes, you read that right. Royally occupying a part of Tiananmen Square, the huge museum is home to over 48 exhibit halls.
The museum single-handedly highly contributes to the preservation and recognition of Chinese culture and history. You will be thoroughly impressed by the rare gold collections, installations like the heaviest bronzeware from ancient China, and over a million artifacts.
Address: 16 East Chang’an Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100006, P. R. China
Opening hours: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
10. Beijing Capital Museum & National Center for the Performing Arts
Popularly known as the ‘Giant Egg’, this Arts Center is one such attraction without which the entire experience of Beijing would be incomplete. If you have enough time, book yourself a ticket to an opera performance in one of Asia’s finest opera houses.
As far as the museum is concerned, with over 200,000 artifacts to allow you a peek of the ancient Chinese culture and history, it is an absolute gem to spend a day in and get visually closer to China and its artistic legacy.
Address: 19 Xinjiangongmen Rd, Haidian District, China, 100091
Opening Hours: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm
11. Beijing Ancient Observatory
If history and periodic transitions excite you, this museum in Beijing takes you way back in time. The most fascinating part is to see how thorough was the knowledge of planets and stars back then and how far has the country and its traditional measures come.
The observatory was built in 1442 which is a big deal in itself. While the museum is way ahead of its time, the ancient instruments that were used before telescopes are quite a hit!
Address: 2 Dongbiaobei Hutong, Jian Wai Da Jie, Dongcheng, China
Opening Hours: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm
12. The Temple of Heaven
If you are a traveler who prefers to always be on the lookout for religious sites, this is the most sacred attraction in Beijing to visit. While it dates back to the early 15th century, its outlook still looks so fresh, colourful, yet regal.
The 50,000 blue glazed tiles making up the elaborate roof particularly stand out. I was highly impressed by the dragon and phoenix pattern adorning the floor and the unique Echo Wall within.
Address: 1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng, China, 100061
Opening Hours: 6:00nam – 8:00npm
13. The Lama Temple
A similar religious experience is offered at this well-preserved 18th-century Chinese temple which is physically one of the most attractive and historically significant. The 18-meter high Wangfu Ge statue made in sandalwood is prime sightseeing in Beijing.
While it is a great site to be in Beijing, it is highly recommended to read about the role that the temple played in getting Lamaism its present recognition.
Address: 12 Yonghegong St, Dongcheng, China, 100007
Opening Hours: 9:00nam – 5:00npm
14. The Fayuan Temple
My personal favorite when it comes to temples in Beijing. Also known as the ‘Source of the Law’, this temple has the most impressive timeline to blow you away. It dates back to AD 645 and engravings and stone inscriptions can still be found there.
Its significance as a part of Chinese history revolves around how Emperor Huizong was imprisoned here in the 12th-century. As of the present, it boasts of being home to the celebrated educational establishment of the country, the Buddhist Academy.
Address: 7 Fayuansi Front St, Xicheng District, Beijing, China
Opening Hours: 08:30 am – 04:00 pm
15. 798 Art Zone
If you are an art lover, being in Beijing and not visiting this artistic neighbourhood would be wrong on so many levels. Come and get a taste of the endless studios and exhibitions conducted here amidst the old warehouses and factories.
The book stores, graffiti, cafe’s, and lots of shopping spots make it one of the ideal tourist attractions in Beijing
Address: 2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing, China, 100102
Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 06:00 pm
In conclusion, Beijing has a wealth of amazing tourist attractions that offer a perfect blend of ancient traditions and modern developments. From historical sites to modern entertainment hubs, there is something for everyone in this dynamic and diverse city. So, plan your trip to Beijing and get ready to be awed by these top 15 amazing tourist attractions.