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Top 5 Things to Do In Beijing
Oct 19 , 2011
There's so much to see and do in Beijing, it can be tough for first time travelers to pick out activities and attractions. To give you a head start, here are the top 5 things to do in Beijing. Everything from the Great Wall of China to the Forbidden city is included.
As one of the largest and most populous nations in the world, it should come as no surprise that China offers visitors a staggering number of things to do on their trip. Beijing, as its capital city, is no different, and this highly developed epicenters provides guests with a wide array of activities. For the uninitiated or unfamiliar, Beijing can be overwhelming, and choosing what to do can be tough. While you will certainly have your own list of can't-miss attractions and activities, here are the top 5 things to do in Beijing to pick and choose from to make your stay extraordinary.
Hike the Great Wall
The Great Wall is one of China's most iconic attractions, stretching for more than 5,500 miles. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Sight, and hiking along it is one of the top 5 things to do in Beijing. In particular, the Jiankou Great Wall in Beijing is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque locales along its impressive length. It actually resides about 30 miles outside the city amidst steep mountain ridges and lush scenery, and can be accessed by car or bus. You'll find fantastic photo opportunities along several of the Great Wall's towers here, and you'll get a great work out as you hike and climb along the wall. You can go by yourself for free, or reserve a spot on one of the Jiankou guided tours. Either way, this Great Wall hike is one of the top 5 things to do in Beijing.
Explore the Forbidden City
The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, is undoubtedly one of the top 5 things to do and see in Beijing. It is the world's largest palace structure, with 9,999 rooms protected by a 10-meter wall and 6-feet deep moat. Like the Great Wall, you may choose to explore it by yourself or with a group, and a tour of the Forbidden City will take you back centuries in time, letting you examine magnificent decorations, architecture, and historic relics.
Wander around Tianenmen Square
Tianenmen Square is a true symbol of Beijing, and it cannot be missed. The site of Beijing's huge parades and gatherings, it is also an historic icon, and it should not be missed on any trip. It is a place of Chinese pride, and you'll find the Gate of Heaven to the north of it, and the National Museum of China to the east. Come to watch the people, if for nothing else, as you'll see soldiers, other tourists, and locals comingling in this famous gathering place. Traveler tip: arrive before sunrise or sunset to bear witness to the raising and lowering of the Chinese national flag.
Visit the Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is the largest royal garden in the country, and its beauty earns it a spot amongst the top 5 things to do in Beijing. It sits on 290 acres, and its many temples, bridges, and pavilions offer much to explore. In warm weather, it's very relaxing to rest by the Palace's beautiful lake.
Check out the Ming Tombs
Although actually located around 30 miles outside of the city, the Ming Tombs still make the list of top 5 things to do in Beijing because it encourages travelers to head a short distance outside the city and see what the immediate area looks like. People would be remiss to pass on the chance to explore other sides of China. And the Ming Tombs are absolutely worth the drive. They're near the Great Wall, making them an excellent choice for a combined day trip. You'll find the burial site of 13 emperors from the Ming Dynasty, with two open to the public. Such a unique piece of history should not be missed, and like the other top 5 things to do in Beijing, the Ming Tombs offer important insight into Chinese history and culture.
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