Beijing travel guide
The Beijing Travel Guide from The Great Hotels Organisation is free for all Beijing travellers.
View our Beijing collection
Beijing Travel Highlights
- Beijing Landmarks & attractions
- The city is renowned for its constant regeneration and offers an unsurpassed wealth of attractions, both old and new.
Visit the ancient Forbidden City, the vast Tiananmen Square, the
elegant Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) and the iconic Summer Palace, where
you can relax in its picturesque gardens and parks.
Landmarks & attractions in Beijing:
- Great Wall at Simatai
- Great Wall at Badaling (Badaling Chancheng)
- Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
- Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
- Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
- Beijing Culture
- Beijing is a hive of activity. From the hustle of the Hutongs in the old city, to the rapidly growing modern constructions in the central financial district of Beijing and the rich creative centre of Dashanzi Art District - history, ritual, art and commerce all play an integral part of daily life.
To experience a more exclusive side to Beijing – visit one of the many tea houses in the Qianman area, and quietly observe a traditional tea ceremony. Experience the Peking Opera, which is thought of as the pinnacle of Chinese culture. The opera is performed through a combination of song, spoken dialogue, acrobatics, dance and fighting movements and is a fantastic eye-opener.
There is an abundance of attractions in Beijing; visitors need to allow themselves plenty of time to do both the popular tourist attractions and the less well known places of interest for a more complete experience.
- Where to shop
- Beijing boasts an impressive array of exclusive shopping areas, unique markets, gourmet eateries and lavish department stores.
all of its historical changes, Beijing has become a melting pot of
different influences. Consequently you will find yourself spoilt for
choice when it comes to looking for luxury goods and crafts to purchase.
you look you will find Beijing brimming with shops, stalls and large
outlet stores. The most famous street for shopping is Wangfujing Dajie,
at over 700-years old, measuring nearly a kilometer long and 40 meters
wide it offers a large variety of shops and boutiques crammed with
exclusive products and world-famous brands.
If you are looking for more traditional commodities then there are a number of time-honored stores to be discovered. Xidan Commercial Street and Dongi Some are other popular shopping streets worth a peruse. Department stores, such as Parkson, Beijing Friendship Store, Shin Kong Place and Grand Pacific,
are big in Beijing and incorporate the vividness of the Beijing
sensibility with all the up-to-date and high quality clothing,
cosmetics, jewellery and designer brands.
- Where to eat and drink
- Beijing offers a wealth of excellent restaurants and plenty of unique tasting experiences.
Those looking for an authentic Chinese experience should sample the famous Beijing roast duck and lamb hotpot - visit Gui jie (Ghost Street) which runs east-west along Dongzhimen Nei Dajie, with its red lanterns, traditional courtyards and hundreds of restaurants.
For a true Chinese cuisine experience, take a look at the selected gourmet restaurants below:
Found at 95 Donghuamen Dajie, beside the East Gate of the Forbidden City this restaurant offers spectacular views and world class contemporary cuisine with Asian overtones.
Red Capital Club
Dressed in the romanticized décor of Mao’s 1950’s idealism, this restaurant is a visual experience as much as a culinary one. Expect quality traditional communist fare.
Located in the Chaoyang District, this exceptional Italian restaurant boasts an extensive selection of Italian wines in an elegant and sophisticated setting.
Taking inspiration from Beijing’s traditional noble courtyards and houses this restaurant is a little time machine taking diners back to the Quing Dynasty. It also boasts the finest Cantonese cuisine to be found in the city.
- Annual Events
New Year's Day - many locals choose to observe the official start of the western calendar's New Year.
Chinese New Year - the date of this festival varies each year according to the Lunar calendar. This is the most important festival in China and lasts for 15 days. See houses decorated with all things red, while inside parcels containing money are exchanged during reunion dinners.
Lantern Festival - this festival marks the end of Chinese New Year and is held in the 15th day of the New Year festivities. Watch children at night carrying lanterns - which is a symbol of good luck and hope - and parades marching through various locations around the city.
Oingming Festival - held on the 104th day after winter solstice, this festival marks the arrival of spring. Tombs are cleared and offerings are made to honour ancestors.
Dragon Boat Festival - The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival has a long history and is a growing spectator event since international teams were allowed to take part. The day’s celebration pits boats carved into dragons against each other. Competing teams row their boats race to a drumbeat to reach the finish first.
Qi Xi Festival - Chinese Valentine's Day, this festival is celebrated in the seventh lunar month. Young girls practice traditional arts and wish for a good husband, while love stories are relayed and offerings are made to the mythical Niulang and Zhinu, characters from the cowherd and weaver girl Chinese love tale.
Ghost Festival - during the seventh lunar months, ghosts are thought to return to the land of the liv,ing to visit each other. Ritual offerings are made and paper money is burned to appease the spirits.
Moon Festival - the Mid-Autumn Festival occurs on the full moon in the eighth lunar month and sees the Chinese giving thanks for the summer harvest. Taste the traditional Moon cake and enjoy colourful dragon dances.
Double Ninth Festival - this day is traditionally thought to have too much 'yang' and is therefore potentially dangerous. To protect against danger, join the Chinese who traditionally climb mountains or hills and drink Chrysanthemum tea, which is believed to have a cleansing quality.
National Day - marking the establishment of the Central People's Government in 1949, National Day is a public holiday, celebrated through government organised events, fireworks and concerts. Tiananmen Square is the perfect place to see events unfold.
Beijing International Music Festival - A varied program of musical events and concerts goes on throughout the city’s many music venues. It's a chance for some of the world's best orchestras and conductors to perform in Beijing.
Beijing Fashion Week - Beijing Fashion Week is an opportunity for China to showcase its fashion credentials. Across 30 catwalk shows, the best Chinese designers and models, compete for over five contests
- Iconic Beijing
- Beijing is an iconic city - known for its famous landmarks and impressive developments, from the imperious Forbidden City to the Great Wall and the many picturesque gardens and tea houses, Beijing is a place of beauty and tranquillity. Enjoy the culture of this capital city, and indulge in its luxuries, for there is no place quite like it.
Useful links for Beijing
Beijing Tourist Travel Guide
- Hotels for Beijing Travellers
Browsing travel guides
Please select from one or more of the following
FIND A TRAVEL GUIDE
Use this map of Beijing to help plan your trip.
view a larger map
Key to Weather Chart
Hover for average rainfall (mm)
These weather conditions are supplied to help you match temperature and rainfall possibilities around Beijing against your chosen travel dates. Please remember that this chart is based on averages.