Things to do in Beijing

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About Beijing

Beijing's not-to-be-missed attractions include the Great Wall of China for its historical grandeur, the Forbidden City for a glimpse into imperial splendor, and the Temple of Heaven for cultural and architectural magnificence. Additionally, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace are crucial sites that showcase China's rich past and beautiful royal gardens.
Top kid-friendly activities in Beijing include marveling at the giant pandas at Beijing Zoo, exploring scientific wonders at the Beijing Planetarium, and experiencing the thrills at Happy Valley Amusement Park. These places offer a rich mix of educational and fun experiences suitable for young explorers.
Beijing's best outdoor activities encompass hiking or cable car rides on the majestic Great Wall, leisurely boating in Beihai Park, and kite flying in the expansive Olympic Forest Park. The city's myriad of parks provides a pleasant respite from urban life, with beautiful natural scenery and historical landmarks.
For indoor pursuits, explore the treasure-filled National Museum of China, enjoy the artistic exhibits at the National Art Museum, or experience a performance at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Antique lovers and bargain hunters can scour Panjiayuan Market for unique finds.
The best tours in Beijing include self-guided audio walks through the historic hutongs, immersive experiences at the Forbidden City, and enlightening tours along the Great Wall. Each tour offers a distinct perspective on the city's celebrated landmarks and local life.
The most acclaimed museums in Beijing are the National Museum of China for its expansive historic collections, the Palace Museum for its imperial artifacts within the Forbidden City, and the National Museum of Natural History for its interactive displays.
On rainy days, indoor audio tours of the National Museum of China, the Palace Museum, and art gallery hops in the 798 Art Zone provide culturally rich alternatives that keep visitors dry while delving into art and history.
For brief explorations, choose between a quick audio tour of Tiananmen Square, a concise discovery of the Lama Temple, or a short stroll through the idyllic confines of Jingshan Park, offering one of the best panoramic views of Beijing.

Best Things to Do In Beijing

Dive into the cultural heart of China with an array of unforgettable things to see and do in Beijing, enriched by its history and modern vibrancy.

Beijing: Tiananmen Square

What is it?
One of the largest public squares in the world, known for its historical significance and cultural monuments.
Why you should go?
Steeped in history, Tiananmen Square is the pulsing heart of Beijing, surrounded by iconic structures such as the Great Hall of the People and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Our audio guide illuminates the events that have shaped China, from imperial parades to modern-day ceremonies, making it a compelling addition to your itinerary of what to do in Beijing. A visit here provides context for China's contemporary narrative and its pursuit of modernity, affirming it as a must-see destination for travelers.

Beijing: National Museum of China

What is it?
A treasure trove of Chinese art and history, holding thousands of years of cultural artifacts.
Why you should go?
The National Museum of China offers an unparalleled journey through China's vast historical landscape, from ancient pottery to modern art. With our informative audio tour, visitors can appreciate the intricacies of Chinese civilization and its enduring legacy. Highlighting essential exhibits and hidden gems, the museum stands out among the places to visit in Beijing for history enthusiasts and culture vultures alike, providing a profound understanding of the nation's heritage.

Beijing: Olympic Park

What is it?
The epicenter of the 2008 Olympic Games, featuring iconic contemporary architecture like the Bird's Nest Stadium.
Why you should go?
For sports fans and architecture buffs, the Olympic Park serves as a memento of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Our self-guided audio tour delves into the stories behind spectacular venues like the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube. Travelers can experience the park's vibrant atmosphere and learn about its transformation into a recreational hub, solidifying its status among the fun things to do in Beijing. The park's design and legacy narrated in our audio guide make it an exciting stop for a modern twist on Beijing activities.

Beijing: Wangfujing Street

What is it?
A bustling shopping street offering a blend of modern retail, traditional shops, and exotic street foods.
Why you should go?
Wangfujing Street is a shopper's paradise where history and commerce converge in a dynamic retail experience. Our audio guide leads visitors through a myriad of stores, from upscale boutiques to age-old pen shops. Food adventurers can indulge in local snacks at the famous Wangfujing Snack Street, making it one of the best things to do in Beijing for those looking to taste the city's flavors. It's an exhilarating opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves in Beijing's consumer culture.

Beijing: Jingshan Park

What is it?
An imperial garden offering the best panoramic view of the Forbidden City and central Beijing.
Why you should go?
Jingshan Park is a haven of tranquility and provides a striking contrast to the urban sprawl. Ascending the park's central hill leads to an unparalleled vista of the Forbidden City, best described in our vivid audio guide, which details the park's imperial past and present-day significance as a public space. Among the things to see in Beijing, Jingshan Park is a favorite for both locals and tourists, offering a moment of reflection along with a bird's eye perspective of the sprawling metropolis.

Beijing: The Great Wall of China

What is it?
An ancient fortification awash with history, spanning thousands of miles across northern China.
Why you should go?
Visiting the Great Wall is a must-do for anyone in Beijing. Offering panoramic views and a tangible connection to the past, this magnificent structure symbolizes the ingenuity and endurance of Chinese civilization. Hike along its storied pathways, take in the breathtaking scenery, and embrace the compelling narration provided by our audio guide, which enriches your experience with historic tales and fascinating facts, making it one of the best Beijing excursions.

Beijing: The Forbidden City

What is it?
The largest palatial complex in the world, once home to emperors and their households.
Why you should go?
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of imperial China with our Forbidden City audio tour. As one of the quintessential places to visit in Beijing, the sprawling complex captivates with its majestic architecture and storied halls. Learn about the lives of emperors, the intricate political intrigues, and the cultural significance behind each gate and garden, all explained in vivid detail through your personal audio guide, making it one of the best Beijing tours available.

Beijing: The Temple of Heaven

What is it?
An iconic example of Ming Dynasty architecture and design, symbolizing the relationship between earth and heaven.
Why you should go?
Step into the spiritual world of ancient China at the Temple of Heaven, a serene escape from the bustle of the city. Our audio tour guides you through its circular altars and tranquil parks, where emperors would pray for good harvests. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a testament to the spiritual and cosmological significance in Chinese culture, offering visitors a peaceful and enriching Beijing activity.

Beijing: The Summer Palace

What is it?
A breathtaking ensemble of lakes, gardens, and palaces, this is China's best-preserved imperial garden.
Why you should go?
Wander through the Summer Palace and let our audio tour reveal the opulence of Qing Dynasty’s royalty. This sprawling oasis blends natural landscapes with artificial features, creating a harmonious garden of immense aesthetic beauty. The Summer Palace not only stands as a pinnacle of Chinese garden design but also serves as a cultural treasure that provides insight into the luxurious lives of the Qing imperial family, making it one of the most enjoyable things to do in Beijing.

Beijing: Hutong Alleyways

What is it?
A network of narrow streets and traditional courtyard homes, offering a glimpse into Beijing’s historic way of life.
Why you should go?
Navigate the labyrinthine Hutong alleyways with our audio narrative guiding you through these historic quarters. Experience the beating heart of old Beijing, where community life thrives amidst a backdrop of tightly knit lanes and traditional siheyuan houses. The Hutong tour encapsulates the essence of the city's social fabric, treating visitors to stories of local customs, centuries-old shops and an authentic representation of daily life in Beijing, adding a unique flavor to the things to see in Beijing.

TOP-5 Tours in Beijing for First-Time Visitors

  • Embark on the Great Wall Adventure, an immersive audio journey that narrates the millennia-old history and architecture of this iconic landmark, unarguably one of the best things to do in Beijing.
  • Explore the Forbidden City Audio Expedition, a guide through the opulent palaces and ancient relics of the Ming and Qing dynasties, revealing what to see in Beijing's storied imperial past.
  • Discover the Temple of Heaven: Echoes of the Past audio tour, detailing the spiritual and architectural grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site, a serene addition to your list of things to do in Beijing.
  • Stroll through the Summer Palace Soundscape, where the audio tour offers insights into imperial gardens, featuring lakes and pavilions, accentuating the fun things to do in Beijing.
  • Delve into the Hutong Alleys audio narrative, capturing the essence of local life and traditional residences, making for an intimate look into authentic Beijing activities.

Fun things to do in Beijing with kids

Beijing, a city where ancient history meets modern playgrounds, offers a plethora of engaging attractions for travelers with kids. At the top of the list is the Beijing Zoo, a wonderful place for children to encounter China's cherished giant pandas and a variety of other wildlife in well-crafted habitats. The educational experience continues with an audio guide detailing the stories and conservation efforts behind these amazing creatures. Next, the Beijing Aquarium, nestled within the zoo's grounds, boasts mesmerizing underwater exhibits, including a captivating shark tunnel and lively sea lion shows, all narrated through our interactive audio tour that ensures the young ones are both entertained and informed. For a more active adventure, head to Happy Valley Beijing, an amusement park brimming with themed rides, colorful parades, and entertainment suited for all ages. Your family can indulge in the thrills and excitement while learning about the park's attractions via our engaging and family-friendly audio guide, making these stops essential for those seeking fun things to do in Beijing with kids.

Things to do in Beijing with family

Families venturing to Beijing will find an abundance of activities that fuse cultural immersion with fun. The iconic Beijing Planetarium offers a cosmic journey through the stars with interactive exhibits and captivating shows detailing the mysteries of the universe—ideal for curious minds and budding astronomers. Another must-visit attraction, the National Museum of China enriches young intellects, with an audio tour leading families through ancient artifacts and historical treasures in a narrative that's as educational as it is fascinating. For an outdoor experience, the expansive Beihai Park presents a stunning setting for a family day out. Enjoy paddle-boating on the serene lake, explore ancient temples, and listen to the audio guide recounting the park's imperial history and its present-day role as a communal hub. These top attractions exemplify the variety of things to do in Beijing with family, offering shared learning and delightful experiences for all ages.

Free things to do in Beijing

Discovering Beijing doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. Visitors can explore a variety of free attractions that offer a deep dive into the city's rich tapestry of history and culture. Wander the ancient corridors of the Temple of Confucius, where reverent tranquility and educational exhibits create an atmosphere that brings the teachings of the great philosopher to life. Equally enriching is a leisurely stroll through the 798 Art District, where Beijing's contemporary art scene pulses with life amidst a cluster of repurposed factory buildings showcasing thought-provoking galleries and installations. For those seeking serenity amid the urban bustle, the verdant expanse of Olympic Forest Park provides the perfect escape. Here, families, joggers, and nature-lovers alike converge on picturesque trails and peaceful gardens. Each of these venues embodies the diverse offerings of Beijing activities, providing enriching experiences that require nothing but your curiosity and a sense of adventure.

Cheap things to do in Beijing

Beijing offers a multitude of affordable experiences that enrich the travel itinerary without draining the wallet. One of the highlights includes visiting the historic Yonghe Temple, also known as the Lama Temple, where for a nominal entry fee, visitors can marvel at the intricate architecture and immerse in the spiritual ambiance. With a minimal cost, the audio guide available enhances the experience by providing in-depth commentary on the temple's history and its significance in the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the expansive parks surrounding the city, like Ritan Park, offering scenic walks, cultural performances, and a peaceful refuge from the city’s hustle and bustle for just a small entrance fee. Additionally, navigating the bustling aisles of Panjiayuan Market presents a treasure trove for bargain hunters and culture seekers alike. This vast flea market invites guests to haggle over antiques, handicrafts, and curios. Engaging with local vendors adds to the genuine experience, marking it as one of the best Beijing activities for those on a budget.

Things to do in Beijing for couples

Couples seeking romantic activities in Beijing will find a myriad of enchanting experiences. A tranquil boat ride on Houhai Lake sets the stage for romance, with willow-lined shores and historic hutong backdrops creating an idyllic setting, especially at sunset. The quiet whispers of history await at the charming Prince Gong Mansion, where strolling through traditional gardens and ornate pavilions allows partners to step into a tale of royal intrigue and timeless love with an informative narrative enriching the walk via audio guide. For an evening to remember, the observation deck of the iconic CCTV Tower offers a breathtaking panorama of the city's glittering skyline, perfect for admiring the view and toasting to love high above the urban tapestry. Each of these locales provides a unique opportunity to connect and create cherished memories, cementing their status as some of the best things to do in Beijing for couples.

Things to do in Beijing at night

Beijing transforms as the sun sets, offering nocturnal delights that capture the essence of the city's vibrant night scene. For a start, the illuminated National Centre for the Performing Arts, often referred to as "The Giant Egg," presents a stunning architectural spectacle alongside world-class theatrical performances. A stroll or rickshaw ride through the bustling night markets of Wangfujing introduces couples and families to an array of tantalizing street food, unique souvenirs, and the lively atmosphere of night-time commerce. Additionally, the famous Sanlitun Bar Street appeals to those looking to experience Beijing’s modern nightlife. The area is an exciting hub for stylish bars, nightclubs, and lounges with our audio tours offering insights into the best spots and hidden gems. Whether seeking cultural experiences, culinary adventures, or social nightlife, Beijing after dark presents myriad activities to suit all preferences, ensuring that exploring the city by night is as rewarding as it is by day.