What are the best attractions in Beijing? As one of the most famous and attractive tourist destinations of China, Beijing possesses various scenic sites and is rich in historical and cultural relics. With ChinaTravelogue, you will have chance to visit the well-known world heritage sites, to tour the elegant imperial gardens or wander in hutongs and valleys to get closer to local folks’ lives, etc. Here we go.
What is the most representative place in Beijing? The answers are various. But Tiananmen Square is unarguably on the top list. Lying in the heart of Beijing City, it is the place for massive parades and gathering. It boasts of the largest square of such kind in the world. This was the place when in 1949, from a rostrum on Tiananmen (the Gate of Heavenly Tiananmen Square Peace), Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Tiananmen Square is circled by Tiananmen (Gate of Heaven Peace) on its north; the Great Hall of the People on its west; on the east of Tiananmen Square lies the National Museum of China,; there are Monument to the People’s Heroes and Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum on the south.
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is considered the most holy of Beijing’s imperial temples. It has been described as “a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design”. The Temple of Heaven has also been listed as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The Temple of Heaven was built in the Ming Dynasty (AD 1420) by the emperor Zhu Di in the royal garden. Once a year, at winter solstice, the emperors came here to worship Heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest.
Since his rule was legitimized by a perceived mandate from Heaven, a bad harvest could be interpreted as his fall from Heaven’s favor and threaten the stability of his reign. So, it was not without a measure of self-interest that the emperor fervently prayed for a very good crop.
Badaling Great Wall
Badaling Great Wall
Badaling Great WallThe star attraction of Beijing is the Great Wall, which was inscribed into the list of the World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Badaling and Mutianyu Sections are the most famous ones.
In the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, Badaling Great Wall, one of the best-preserved and most accessible sections, is lying on the steep mountains. It was first constructed some 500 years ago during the Ming Dynasty with large and solid square rocks. With its strategic position, Badaling Section took tremendous labor and materials.
Beijing is an old capital city developing at a fast pace. The Forbidden City is the ideal place for you to begin your exploration of Beijing by opening its mysterious face. With over 9,000 rooms and over 250 acres, this large palace building was built between 1406 and 1420. It Forbidden Cityburned down and was rebuilt, sacked and renovated for times, so most of the architecture you can see today dates back to the 18th century in the Qing Dynasty. It is quite helpful to have a guide escort you and tell the stories behind the palace.
Summer PalaceLocated in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, built in 1750, Summer Palace is the existing largest and best-preserved imperial garden, and a fine example of imperial gardening art. The Summer Palace mainly comprises Wanshou Hill that means longevity in Chinese, and Kunming Lake.
It well absorbed the creative design ideas of private gardens in southern China, Summer Palace concentrates the beauty and essence of Chinese garden architecture and boasts a large collection of valuable cultural relics. It earned a place in the World Heritage List in 1998.
Beijing HutongA leisure stroll in winding Beijing hutongs will give you an insight into the lives of ordinary Chinese people and reveal their social culture in today’s Beijing City. Hutong means a lane or alley, is in fact the passage formed by lines of Siheyuan (a compound with houses around a courtyard) where old Beijing residents live. The gray-tiled houses and deep alleys crossing with each other in identical appearance like a maze, you will find it much fun to walk through but be care not to lost yourself.
A visit to hutongs plus a drama by the Beijing People’s Art Theatre, such as “Teahouse” or “SmallHutong” in the evening, will help you appreciate the fundamental part of Beijing’s life.