30. Beijing  CHINA  Total Sights: 35+  |  Nickname: The Northern Capital

 

 

 

 

by Robert Barnhill  

A. Strengths and Weaknesses of Beijing

China  The most important sight in the gigantic Chinese capital Beijing is the Forbidden City, a rectangle with 961 m from north to south and 753 m from east to west, consisting of 980 buildings.

You will also find stunning contemporary architecture like the recent Olympic buildings or the National Centre of Performing Arts.

No visit to Beijing would be complete without seeing the impressive Great Wall of China, which is only about a 1-hour trip from the city.

 Beijing scores very high for sights, mainly due to its extraordinary palaces and temples but offers also first-class shopping and a vibrant nightlife.

  The Chinese Capital is not a beautiful city, dominated by heavy traffic and skyscrapers; there is a lot of pollution and smog in winter. In addition, there are only a few pedestrian zones and the Chinese are notorious for being rather unfriendly towards tourists.

Criteria 

Sights 

Location

Pedestrian Zones

Affordability

Safety 

Cleanliness

Shopping

Climate

People

Nightlife 

Transport

Size


Total Score

Score

7.90/10 [8th]

6.25/10

4.75/10

5/10

5.5/10

3.5/10

7.25/10

4.5/10

4/10

6.75/10

8/10

9.5/10 [21.7 Mio]

190.45

B. Best Things to Do in Beijing (Detailed List with Photos and Information)

These sights and attractions contribute to a sights score of 7.90/10.

FORBIDDEN CITY (Palace Museum) 8
The Forbidden City, arguably China's most significant sight, is a massive palace complex consisting of 90 (!) palaces, 980 buildings and 8,704 rooms spread over 720,000 square metres [178 acres].

Some of the most breathtaking sections of the palace include the Meridian Gate, the Gate of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the northwest corner tower and the Imperial Garden.

The complex, situated in the very heart of Beijing, was built in the early 15th century and is officially called the Palace Museum.

Palatial Buildings  (World Heritage Site since 1987)

by DrM4ng0 / CC BY-SA 4.0

SUMMER PALACE  7
Said to be the best preserved imperial garden in the world, and the largest (2.9 km2, 716 acres) of its kind the Summer Palace complex, built in the 18th Century, contains splendid royal gardens, lakes, temples, pavilions, Pagodas, bridges, and palaces.

Visit the Long Corridor, a 728m-long covered gallery famous for its rich painted decoration (more than 14,000 paintings), the 96-metres-long Stone Boat and climb the temple steps to the summit of Longevity Hill for amazing views of the entire complex and Kunming Lake.

Imperial Garden  (World Heritage Site since 1998)

by Jakub Hałun / CC BY-SA 3.0

TEMPLE OF HEAVEN  7
Dating back to the early 15th century, Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings surrounded by an extensive park (totalling 2.67 km2, 660 acres).

Among the highlights are the iconic Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, with its cylindrical blue-tiled roof and a beautifully decorated ceiling, and the Hall of the Vault of Heaven (Huangqiong Yu).

The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644 to 1912) dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.

Complex of Religious Buildings  and park  (World Heritage Site since 1998)

by Philip Larson / CC BY-SA 3.0

Tiananmen Square  7
Square

This famous rectangular area, where Mao Zedong declared the foundation of the People's Republic Republic on October 1, 1949 is the world's largest (440,500m²) public square.

Tiananmen Square is surrounded by some of Beijing’s most significant landmarks including the Forbidden City, the Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao's Mausoleum and the National Museum of China.

by Yo Hibino / CC BY-SA 2.0

Tiananmen Gate  5
Gate

by Daniel Case / CC BY-SA 3.0

National Centre of Performing Arts  5
Opera House  (completed 2007, architect Paul Andreu)

by Evilbish / CC BY-SA 3.0

Beihai Park (Beihai Gongyuan)  5
Imperial Garden  (0.69 km2 [171 acres], created 1150 [Original], 1925 [Modern Park])

Yonghe Temple (Lama Temple) (Palace of Peace and Harmony)  5
Temple and Monastery

National Museum of China  5
Museum  (Highlight of the collection: Han Dynasty jade burial suit laced with gold, created 55 BCE)

Prince Gong Mansion  5
Museum and Chinese Garden

Scoring and Icons Legend (Click here for detailed information)

10 = top-10 sight in the world
9 = world-class  
8 = outstanding
7 = excellent 
6 = impressive
5 = interesting
4 = decent
3 = mediocre
2 = bad
1 = abysmal

= World Heritage Site
= Excursion

Weather Forecast

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Tomorrow 02/25 0%
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Monday 02/26 0%
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C. Other Notable Sights and Attractions in Beijing

-Galaxy Soho (modern building by Hadid, built 2012)  5

-China World Trade Center Tower III (total 330 m, observation deck 311 m: built 2010)  5

-Wangfujing Street  5

D. Best Day Trips and Excursions from Beijing

GREAT WALL (World Heritage Site since 1987, at Badaling 56 km from Beijing, at Simatai 138 km from Beijing)  8

E. Top 10 List of the Best Things to Do in Beijing (including close-by excursions)

FORBIDDEN CITY (Palace Museum)  8
  GREAT WALL  (at Badaling 56 km from Beijing)  8
SUMMER PALACE (Garden)   7
TEMPLE OF HEAVEN 7
 Tiananmen Square  7
Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace)  5
National Centre of Performing Arts  5
Beihai Park (Beihai Gongyuan)  5
Yonghe Lama Temple  5
National Museum of China  5



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