The best things to do in Beijing
Beijing is one of the oldest capitals of the planet. It is more than 3000 years old, during which the city was totally destroyed, burned and rebuilt a lot of times. The translation of the word "Beijing" is "Northern capital." Today, this city is the main cultural, political and educational center of China. More than 20 million people live in Beijing. Thousands of tourists visit Beijing annually and discover this amazing city. Here is a list of the best things to do and top attractions to visit in Beijing.
In the center of Beijing, on the north of the largest square in the world, the Purple Forbidden City is located. It is also called Gugong. For almost 500 years, Gugong was the residence of 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The construction of the palace began at the beginning of the 15th century and was finished in 15 years. In total, more than a million people were building the Forbidden City. According to legend, the palace had 9,999 rooms. Today in Gugun there are 980 palace buildings and 8,707 rooms. The only family of the ruling emperor and their numerous servants lived in the palace. For everyone else, entry was strictly prohibited. Those who did not follow the rules were painfully executed. The Forbidden City is the largest palace complex in the world. It keeps many legends and secrets in its walls. During the Forbidden City Tour, your guide will tell you many interesting facts and myths related to the history of the palace. You will also learn a lot about China, its traditions and emperors.
Great Wall of China
One of the greatest structures in history is the Great Wall of China. The total length of the wall is more than 21,000 kilometers. The rulers of China began to build it in the 7th century, and in 1878 the Qing Dynasty finished it. The construction of the Great China Wall was originally supposed to defend the empire. However, it was rather a symbol of the power and greatness of the Chinese empire. Millions of Chinese visit the Great Wall of China every year because they believe that if you were not on the wall, then you are not a real Chinese. The Great Wall is also the Seventh Wonder of the World. Many of its parts have been restored and are now open to visitors. One of these sites is located not far from Beijing. The most popular place for visiting is Badaling, it is always crowded and noisy. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China offers an alternative Great Wall experience to the popular Badaling section.
Temple of Heaven
Tiantan Temple of Heaven is located in the south of Gugun and covers an area of 267 hectares. On the winter solstice, emperors prayed here to Heaven, asking for wind, rain, heat, and cold to grow crops. Its area of the Temple is 3 times larger than the Forbidden City. Also, this is the only rounded temple in Beijing. The main feature of the temple is the wall with which it is surrounded. Its unique design allows it to be a conductor of sounds, therefore it is also called a “talking” wall. The Temple of Heaven is a masterpiece of architecture and since 1989 it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2006, the last reconstruction of the temple was completed. About $ 6 million was spent on its restoration.
For several centuries, the Summer Palace was the second most important residence of the imperial family. At the end of the 19th century, it was almost completely destroyed by the troops of France and Britain and then rebuilt by the Dowager Empress Cixi. Until today, the Summer Palace is well preserved. It impresses with its luxury and wealth. There is furniture decorated with precious stones, the walls hung with old paintings, and in some rooms you can find a huge collection of jewelry and precious dishes. The center of the complex is the Jenshoudian Palace, in which emperors ruled the country. Most of the park is occupied by the artificial lake Kunming. It is crossed by several bridges, decorated with sculptures and reliefs. Along the shore of the lake goes the Long Corridor, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as "the longest decorated corridor in the world." Its length is 728 meters.
Taste Peking Duck
Peking duck in Beijing is one of the most popular Chinese dishes. Today it is sold at every corner in Beijing. The history of this dish began in 1330. Imperial physician and nutritionist Hu Xihui included a Peking duck dish in the palace menu, finding it useful and dietary. Hu Xihui is very famous in China for his work “The Essential Nutrition Principles”, which became the basis of Chinese medicine and cuisine. Since then, a Peking duck has become very popular not only in the imperial palace but also among all residents of China. A real Peking duck in Beijing is fried over an open fire, in a special oven on wood from cherry, peach or pear wood. This gives the dish a special fruity aroma.
Tiananmen Square is the largest city square in the world. Its territory is 440 thousand square meters. At the same time, up to one million people can be on Tiananmen Square during holidays or special events. Every morning, on the square there is the ceremony of raising the national flag of China. Many tourists come to the square at this time to attend this ceremony. You can also visit the National Museum of China and the mausoleum of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square.
The Olympic Green Park was built for the 2008 Summer Olympics and is located in Chaoyang - one of the most famous, interesting areas of the capital. The Olympic Park is a long wide avenue with many sports constructions. You can explore the park on foot, ride an open electric car, or rent a bicycle. Linglong Station Observation Tower is located next to Olimpic Green Station Subway Station. In the afternoon it is open to visitors. A beautiful view of Beijing opens from the Tower.
Food and Beer Tour
Chinese people like a lot to drink beer. In the evening after work, bars and pubs are filled with young people who order a glass of cool drink. However, beer in China is a bit special. It has a rather watery taste and is usually not stronger than 3-4 degrees. During the Food and Beer Tour, your guide will show you the best local restaurants where food is prepared according to traditional family recipes. You will walk along the streets of Beijing, where there will be no tourists but only locals. At the end of the tour, you can try local craft beer in one of the breweries.
A Chinese market is a place where you can buy traditional Chinese products and try the local food. During the Chinese Cooking Class and Market Tour your guide, a professional cooking instructor talks about the different kinds of vegetables, Chinese spices, and sauces. He will explain how to cook traditional Chinese dishes and choose the right products for them. The basis of Chinese cuisine is white rice and noodles. A lot of soy sauce, tofu and meat are also used. While exploring the local food market, you can enjoy the colors, spicy smells, and rich tastes of China.