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As the capital of the world’s most populated country, a trip to Beijing will present a mind-blowing mix of unfathomably old and sci-fi new. Inhabitants from Beijing are famous for being friendly and still partake in the traditional Chinese passion for all-things-food. For a visit to Beijing, be prepared to loosen your waistband a notch or two as you sample delicacies from the far corners of China and further afield. Don’t worry, a tour of the Great Wall or a trip to Beijing’s Forbidden City is bound to help you work off some of those dumplings.
- The largest palace compound in the world, the Forbidden City is a maze on UNESCO buildings that the dynasties of China once called home.
- For a more contemporary view of Beijing, head to 798 Art District.
- The Summer Palace is an oasis away from the city. Once catering to the Emperors of China, it is now one of the most peaceful and popular must-see sights in Beijing.
- Lama Temple is the most magnificent Buddhist temple outside of Tibet.
- Pānjiāyuán market is the place to go for souvenir shopping. Visit on weekends for the best selection of arts and crafts.
- The National Museum of China is a humongous space filled with treasures. There’s no better place to scrub up on your knowledge of Ancient China.
- No trip to Beijing is complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China.
- Beijing is huge, so allow for travel time between sight-seeing spots and be realistic with your to-do list.
- Be aware of the often-low air quality in Beijing and plan accordingly. Smoggy days are best spent in the museums.
- Avoid placing your chopsticks upright in a bowl of food, as this may cause offence.
- September and October are the best months weather wise, but spring and winter are also lovely seasons to visit.
- Dress appropriately for visits to religious sites to avoid being turned away.