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Beijing Travel Guide: Travel to Beijing for the First Time

Latest & Ultimate Beijing Travel Guide for Planning

Beijing, the capital of China, is the No.1 tourist destination renowned for its imperial palaces and parks, the Great Wall, hutongs, museums, and modern cityscape. It's a vibrant metropolis with a rich history, fascinating culture, and a modern cityscape that seamlessly blends the old with the new. With a population of over 21 million people, it's one of the most populous cities in the world and holds great significance as the political, cultural, and educational center of China.

Beijing's legacy spans over 3,000 years, with a history that includes several important dynasties, imperial palaces, and famous landmarks. Visitors can explore the city's many historical attractions, such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, and the Temple of Heaven. Beijing is also a bustling city with towering skyscrapers, modern infrastructure, and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Travelers can experience the city's modern side with its many shopping malls, restaurants, and nightlife.

Check this Ultimate Beijing Travel Guide to view the latest travel information, including best places to visit, top attractions to see, things to do, best time to visit, how to get to and around, and recommended travel itineraries for ultimate planning. Get inspired!

Beijing Travel Essentials - Travel to Beijing Before You Go

If you're planning a trip to Beijing, it's important to keep some travel essentials in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable Beijing tour. To help you prepare, we've compiled a list of useful articles related to Beijing travel that you should read before you go. These articles will provide you with valuable tips and insights on everything from transportation and best time to attractions and things to do. 
Beijing, as the capital of China, is a must-see destination and considered the top tourist destination in the country. With over 3,000 years of rich history, it offers a unique blend of ancient history, modern culture, and natural wonders. As the ancient imperial capital, Beijing...
Beijing, the capital city of China, is one of the oldest cities in the world with a history dating back 3,000 years. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. Occupied by 22 million people across 10,000 sq km, the city is home to numerous attractions that...
Are you wondering what to do in Beijing? Whether you're a first-time traveler seeking classic things to do, an adventurer looking for something new and exciting, or simply seeking ideas for a fun night out in the city, we have got you covered. Check out our latest guide to the 10...
Beijing, the capital city of China, is a city that offers a unique blend of modern and ancient culture, history, and architecture. From the Great Wall of China to the Forbidden City, Beijing has many attractions that make it a popular tourist destination. However, before planning...
Beijing, one of the most populous cities in the world, is a city with a rich history and culture. As a traveler, navigating the city can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Fortunately, there are a number of Beijing Maps available to help you find ...
Welcome to our engaging exploration of the Great Wall of China! In this blog post, we will unravel 25 facts about the Great Wall of China that traverse across various dimensions - history, engineering, protection, and its famous sections. We venture beyond the well-trodden path o...
The Mutianyu Great Wall, located 73 kilometers from downtown Beijing, is the longest, fully restored, and best-preserved section of the Great Wall. Renowned for its beautiful scenery, it is often referred to as the "most beautiful part of the Great Wall." With a total length of 5...
The Great Wall of China winds for 21,000 km across the north of the country, and is one of humanity's most renowned creations. It has been listed as one of the "new" Seven Wonders of the World, alongside the Taj Mahal and the Colosseum. Its architectural grandeur enchants visitor...
The Great Wall of China, a monumental testament to the nation's rich history and cultural heritage, captivates the world with its timeless grandeur. Among its many sections, Jinshanling is recognized as one of the most photogenic and least crowded sections of the Great Wall. Buil...
As Professor Luo Zhewen said, a renowned Great Wall expert, "The Great Wall is the best of China's architecture, and Simatai is the best section of the Great Wall." The Simatai Great Wall is famed for its rugged charm and the steepness that draws thrill-seekers from around the wo...

Explore Beijing Top Attractions on Map

Looking to explore the vibrant and historic city of Beijing? Using the following active Beijing map to plan your itinerary can be a great way to discover the city's top destinations and hidden gems. With so much to see and do, this Beijing map can help you prioritize your time and make the most of your Beijing trip. From iconic landmarks like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City to bustling markets and delicious street food, Beijing has something for everyone to enjoy.

Best Things to Do in Beijing

What are the best things to do in Beijing? Beijing is a vibrant and fascinating city that offers visitors a wealth of experiences, from exploring ancient landmarks like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, to sampling delicious street food and shopping in bustling markets. To make the most of your time, be sure to check out classic things to do, fun things to do and things to do in Beijing at night.
Beijing Central Business District
Enjoy Modern Cityscape of Beijing at Central Business District

Experience the modern and dynamic side of Beijing by exploring the Central Business District, which features stunning skyscrapers, high-end shopping, world-class dining, and exciting nightlife.
Peking Roasted Duck
Try the Famous Dish Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude

Indulge in the flavors of Beijing's culinary scene by trying the Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude, a renowned restaurant that has been serving this succulent and crispy delicacy for over 150 years.
Beijing Houhai
Relax in a Bar at Houhai or Sanlitun Bar Street at Night

Unwind and soak up the lively atmosphere of Beijing's nightlife by visiting a bar at either Houhai or Sanlitun Bar Street to experience the vibrant and dynamic energy of the city after dark.
View All Beijing Things to Do >>

Beijing Travel Itineraries 2023/2024

Take a unique Beijing tour and explore the imperial capital with best local prices! We offer a variety of carefully designed Beijing tours, including Classic Beijing Tours, Great Wall Tours, Hutong Tours, Layover Tours, and Visa-free Tours, that cater to your needs and desires. Whether you prefer a private tour with a flexible itinerary or a budget-friendly group tour without compromising on quality, Asia Odyssey Travel has a tour to suit you, ensuring that your journey to Beijing is an enjoyable vacation. If you're looking to extend your Beijing trip into a longer vacation, Asia Odyssey Travel also offers a range of inspiring ideas through our China Tours from Beijing. Our professional travel consultants are ready to help you customize a tailor-made Beijing tour at the best local price. Don't hesitate to contact us to start planning your dream trip to Beijing today!

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Beijing, the capital of China, is China’s second largest city after Shanghai, with 20 million locals, 16 massive districts and 17000 square kilometers full of modern to ancient sights. It boasts a ...
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Your trip to Beijing would not be complete without visiting its Hutongs. These narrow alleys are formed by lines of traditional courtyard houses, known as Siheyuan, and are a significant part of Bei...
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Frequently Asked Questions about Beijing Travel Guide - Travel to Beijing for the First Time
  • 1. What is Beijing best known for?+

    Beijing is best known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and iconic landmarks that have come to symbolize China's centuries-old civilization. The following are the top sites to explore:

    The Forbidden City
    The Great Wall of China
    Tiananmen Square
    Summer Palace
    The Temple of Heaven

  • 2. What is the reason for visiting Beijing?+

    Beijing is a city of stunning contrasts, where tourists can marvel at China's imperial past in perfectly preserved palaces, buildings, courts, and parks, while also discovering its vibrant modern lifestyle and dynamic energy. The city's vastness and large distances between locations can be daunting, but it is well worth the effort to explore its many fascinating neighborhoods, such as the historic hutongs that were until recently the mainstay of Beijing's urban landscape, with their narrow lanes and single-story buildings that provide a unique and authentic glimpse into the city's old way of life.

  • 3. How many days is enough in Beijing?+

    How many days to spend in Beijing for a tour? The ideal length of time to explore in Beijing depends on your interests, schedule, and budget. However, to get a good feel for the city and see the major attractions, we would recommend to spend at least 2-4 full days in Beijing.

    During this time, you can visit iconic landmarks such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven, discover historic neighborhoods like the Hutongs, sample delicious food (such as Beijing Duck & dumplings) at local eateries and markets, and experience the vibrant culture and nightlife of the city. Of course, there are many other interesting sites to explore in and around Beijing, such as the Confucius Temple (Guozijian), Lama Temple (Yonghegong), and the Olympic Park (Birds' Nest & Water Cube), among others.

    When you have 5 or more days, you can travel to another city like Xian by high speed train after touring Beijing.

  • 4. Why visit Great Wall sections in Beijing?+

    As one of the world's most iconic landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Great Wall of China stretches over 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) across northern China. It was built over several centuries by various Chinese dynasties to protect against invasions from the north. This vast and complex system of fortifications are mainly located in several Chinese provinces such as Hebei, Gansu, Shanxi, Henan, and Inner Mongolia.

    But some of the most popular and well-known sections of the wall are located near Beijing, such as the Mutianyu Great Wall, Jingshanling Great Wall, Simatai Great Wall, Jiankou Great Wall, and Badaling Great Wall.

    1. Badaling Great Wall (Most Famous One and The Most Tourists Visited):
    This section of the Great Wall is located about 47 miles (75 kilometers) north of Beijing and is the most popular and well-preserved section of the wall.

    2. Mutianyu Great Wall (Most Popular with Foreign Tourists):
    This section of the Great Wall is located about 55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of Beijing and is known for its scenic views and well-preserved fortifications.

    3. Jingshanling Great Wall (Most Popular Among Photographers):
    This section of the Great Wall is located about 81 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Beijing and is known for its rugged terrain and breathtaking views.

    4. Simatai Great Wall (The Only Great Wall that can be Visited at Night): This section of the Great Wall is located about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Beijing and is known for its steep slopes and watchtowers.

    You can also visit Juyongguan Great Wall (one of the eight scenic spots in Beijing), Jiankou Great Wall, and Huanghuacheng Water Great Wall (a holiday resort integrating the Great Wall, lakes and mountains).

    Overall, a Beijing Great Wall Tour is a must-do for many visitors to China, offering a unique and unforgettable experience of China's rich history and natural beauty. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, a Great Wall tour is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Beijing.

  • 5. How to get to Beijing? By air & By Bullet Train?+

    Beijing is a major transportation hub in China, with several options for getting there. The two most popular options are by air or by high-speed train. Here are some useful information for your reference:

    1. By Flight: If you are traveling from another country or a distant region of China, flying to Beijing is usually the most convenient option. Beijing has two major airports, Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). Both airports serve domestic and international destinations and have multiple daily flights from major cities in China and around the world. The flight time from major Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu to Beijing is usually around 2-3 hours.

    2. By bullet train: If you are traveling from nearby provinces or cities, taking a high-speed train to Beijing can be a more cost-effective and convenient option, as there are many high-speed rail lines connecting Beijing to other parts of China. Beijing has several high-speed train stations, including Beijing Railway Station, Beijing West Railway Station, and Beijing South Railway Station. High-speed trains connect Beijing with many major cities in China, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xi'an. The travel time from Shanghai to Beijing by high-speed train is around 4-6 hours, while the travel time from Guangzhou to Beijing is around 8-10 hours.

    Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences, budget, and travel plans. If you're looking for a faster travel time and don't mind the higher cost, flying may be the best option. However, if you prefer a more scenic and affordable option or want to experience China's high-speed train network, taking the train may be a better choice. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which transportation method best suits your needs.

  • 6. What food is Beijing known for?+

    Beijing is known for its delicious cuisine, which is characterized by its strong flavors, rich history, and unique cooking techniques. Some of the most famous and popular Beijing dishes include:

    1.Peking Roast Duck (Beijing Duck): A succulent and crispy dish that is considered one of Beijing's most famous and iconic foods, and is traditionally served with thin pancakes, scallions, and a sweet bean sauce.

    2.Jiaozi (Chinese Dumplings): Jiaozi are dumplings that are a staple in Beijing cuisine. A type of dumpling that is often filled with pork, vegetables, or seafood and served boiled, steamed, or fried.

    3.Mongolian Hot Pot: This is a popular dish in Beijing that originated in Inner Mongolia. A communal dish that involves cooking a variety of meats, vegetables, and noodles in a boiling broth at the table.

    4.Zhajiang Mian (Noodles with Soybean Paste): This is a noodle dish that is popular throughout China, but Beijing has its own unique version. A classic Beijing Zhajiang Mian made with thick wheat noodles, a savory bean sauce made from fermented soybeans, and a variety of vegetables and meats.

    5.Douzhi: This is a fermented drink made from mung beans that is popular in Beijing. It has a sour and slightly sweet taste and is often served with fried dough sticks.

    6.Chaogan: This is a type of snack made from pig organs, including the liver, heart, and intestines. It's served with a spicy sauce and is a popular street food in Beijing.

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