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Beijing – The capital of China

Bejing

Beijing (北京) is the capital of the most populous country in the world, the People’s Republic of China. it’s known as much for its modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. With a population of 21.5 million people, it is the nation’s second-largest city after Shanghai.

Bejing, China, Cheap flights

The city is marked by its flatness and arid climate. There are only three hills to be found in the city limits (in Jingshan Park to the north of Forbidden City) and mountains surround the capital on three sides. Like the configuration of the Forbidden City, Beijing has concentric “ring roads”, which are actually rectangular, that go around the metropolis and serve as good reference points as one attempts to move about the city. Beyond the ring roads are the most-visited portions of the Great Wall of China, which witnesses visitors the world over and Beijing serves as a good headquarters for those who wish to gaze upon one of mankind’s more memorable and lasting structures. Nearby, the massive Tiananmen Square pedestrian plaza is the site of Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and the National Museum of China, displaying a vast collection of cultural relics.
Beijing is the political, educational and cultural centre of the country and as such it is rich in historical sites and important government and cultural institutions.

District

Beijing Municipality is a large region, equal to a province or state. It includes the densely populated metropolitan area of Beijing and even greater area of suburban, semi-rural and mountainous terrain. We have articles on each of the five city districts of Beijing (see the first map) plus some articles on important areas of these districts. The eleven outer districts are grouped into five regional articles (see the second map). The Great Wall of China passes through the rugged north of Beijing Municipality.

The two districts are located within or around the Second Ring Road and make-up the old walled city of yesteryear. Xicheng means West City and Dongcheng means East City. Surrounding these districts are Chaoyang, Fengtai and Hadian. These three districts hold impressive new urban and commercial development, have a population of many millions, and generate the economic prosperity of the city:

  • Dongcheng District (东城区; Dōngchéngqū)
    covers the eastern half of the central city area approximately up to Third Ring Road to the north and Second Ring Road to the east and south. This is the most important tourist district of Beijing, including the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. Chongwen (崇文区; Chóngwénqū) is a former district covering the southern third of Dongcheng, including the Temple of Heaven. Other important areas are Wangfujing (Walking Street), Gulou (the Drum Tower and Nanlougouxiang), Yonghegong (Yonghe Lama Temple) and Dongzhimen.
  • Xicheng District (西城区; Xīchéngqū)
    covers the western half of the central city area to just beyond Second Ring Road in the west and up to Third Ring Road to the north and south. It includes Beihai Park, Shichahai/Houhai area, Xidan, Beijing Zoo and the National Centre for Performing Arts. Xuanwu (宣武区; Xuānwǔqū) is a former district covering the southern third of Xicheng.
  • Chaoyang District (朝阳区; Cháoyángqū)
    covers a large area east of the central city area stretching from Second Ring Road until slightly beyond Fifth Ring Road to the east. Includes the CBD, Sanlitun (the Village and Workers’ Stadium), Olympic Green (Birds Nest, Water Cube and other Olympic venues), 798 Art Zone, Chaoyang Park, Ritan Park and various embassy areas
  • Haidian District (海淀区; Hǎidiànqū)
    covers the northwest of the main urban area. It includes the New and Old Summer Palaces, Wudaokou, the Zhongguancun high technology industry and business cluster and Beijing’s major concentration of universities.
  • Fengtai District (丰台区; Fēngtáiqū)
    covers the area south and west of Beijing. It includes Beijing West Railway Station

The remaining eleven districts and counties are quite far from the centre. The main reason to go out is to visit the Great Wall of China, passing through Northern Rural Beijing. Each of the other districts has a number of less well-known attractions, such as the Ming Tombs, well worth exploring if time permits.

  • Shijingshan District (石景山区; Shíjǐngshānqū)
    covers the area just west of the main urban area, including parts of the Western Hills.
  • Tongzhou District (通州区; Tōngzhōuqū)
  • Northern suburbs (Changping and Shunyi Districts)
  • Western and southern suburbs (Mentougou, Fangshan, Daxing Districts)
  • Rural Beijing (Yanqing, Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu Districts)
    The Great Wall passes through this northern mountainous area.

Get ready for a mix of ancient history and modern marvels.
Here’s a quick guide on what to do in Beijing:

Must-See Attractions

  • The Great Wall: An iconic symbol of China. Make sure you visit the Mutianyu section for fewer crowds.
  • The Forbidden City: Dive into Chinese imperial history at this massive palace complex right in the heart of Beijing.
  • Tiananmen Square: The world’s largest public square, it’s a place loaded with historical significance.
  • Temple of Heaven: A beautiful park where emperors used to pray for good harvests. Perfect for a morning stroll.

Cafes and Dining Spots

  • Siji Minfu Roast Duck Restaurant: You can’t leave Beijing without trying Peking duck!
  • Café Zarah: A trendy spot perfect for brunch or just chilling with some coffee.
  • Dali Courtyard: For an authentic Yunnan dining experience set in a charming courtyard environment.

Insider Tips

  • Parks & Rec: Head to Beihai Park early in the morning to watch locals doing tai chi and calligraphy on the pavements with water brushes. It’s sheer zen!
  • Nanluoguxiang Hutong:: Wander through these narrow alleyways filled with quirky shops, bars, and street food vendors.
  • The Summer Palace at Sunset: : Visit during golden hour for stunning views over Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill.

Bizarre Bonus

For those who dare – try scorpions or other unusual snacks at Wangfujing Snack Street! They’re more crunchy than creepy… promise! Have any other questions about your trip? Or maybe interested in booking something fancy like business class flights?

 

Climate

Beijing has a monsoon-influenced continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. The best time to visit is in September and October, during the “Golden Autumn” (金秋). Spring is the season for dust storms and is otherwise warm and dry. Summer can be oppressively hot and the tourist crowds tend to be the largest as well; prevailing winds from the south trap pollutants (mountains lie to the north and west), making summer a poor season for air quality. Smog is at its worst, however, in winter, which is cold and dry with infrequent, but beautiful, snow. Temperatures can easily fall below −10 °C (14°F) in winter, and just as readily rise above 35 °C (95°F) in summer.

Map and Hotels in Beijing:

Beijing Hotel Deals:

Cheap Flights to Beijing

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