Beijing is one of China’s real treasures. As the capital of the world’s most populous country it has a lot to live up to, but as Beijing proved at the 2008 Olympics, it has no problem in rising to the occasion.
It was the Olympics, in fact, that added a far more modern and up-to-date feel around much of the city; it had previously been more of a show of China’s glorious past than a vision of its sophisticated future.
The city is still arguably the best place in China to visit if you’re looking for the typical cultural attractions of the country. Of course there is the famous Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square that ubiquitously draw in the tourists, and its proximity to the Great Wall makes it easy for day trips too.
But it’s the incidental sights that are generally far more interesting – the hubbub of the hutongs and the endless stream of tiny restaurants serving unique and delicious dishes.
Beijing is undoubtedly China’s cultural hub – a fact that it likes to revel in with a flourish around celebrations like the Chinese New Year and the Dragon Boat Festival. There are numerous museums and art galleries showcasing China’s impressive history, and a huge range of temples and traditional architecture to enjoy.
Why visit Beijing?
Visit China’s iconic cultural sites including the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square
The cuisine of the capital brings together all the regional varieties and combines them into a style food that is both mouth-wateringly familiar and refreshingly different
Venture down the cramped back streets (known as hutongs) and discover hidden boutique shops and the traditional lifestyle of the capital
Check out the huge range of art galleries and museums – the National Museum and the Military Museum are two must-sees
There are a huge number of palaces and temples including the Summer Palace and the unforgettable Forbidden City