798 Art District, tourist attractions in Beijing

Top 10 best tourist places to visit in Beijing

As the capital of one of the largest and powerful countries on earth, Beijing is always on the hot list of tourists. Over the centuries, China has developed a very influential culture and art that is very distinctive and priceless in nature. Chinese civilization is the contender of some of the early important discoveries and their love for art has always been phenomenal.

It is a matter of sorrow that although unlike Greek, many of its arts have survived but we know almost nothing about the maestro behind all these magnificent arts. While you are being captivated by the ancient Chinese art and heritage, the modern Chinese skyscraper will set you on bewilderment. It is very hard to comprehend how fast the economy is growing in this country and what a mesmerizing impact it is exerting on its capital.

It was a dream place for anyone in ancient time and its appeal is no less in this present time. Here is an overview of top 10 best tourist places to visit in Beijing.

What to see in Beijing:

10. Gulou and Zhonglou

Gulou and Zhonglou, tourist places to visit in Beijing
Gulou and Zhonglou | image credit – Flickr/Roman Boed

Gulou and Zhonglou is a prominent architecture of Yuan and Ming dynasties. Although built for musical reason, it was served as the city’s official time-keeper and it is now one of the major tourist’s places to visit in Beijing. It is familial as the Drum and Bell towers to the western countries.

When it was built, it was the center of the city. Before the modern era, it was one of the highest buildings in the city. Built in 1272 during the reign of Kublai Khan, it had been served its purpose until 1924. As one of the former highest structure of the city, it provides a panoramic view over central Beijing. Its architectural style is very unique and impressive. There is no doubt why it is one of the major tourist places to visit in Beijing.

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9. 798 Art District

798 Art District, tourist attractions in Beijing
798 Art District | image credit – Flickr/Khalid Albaih

If you don’t have a lot of interest in art, you may not want to skip this one of the major tourist attractions in Beijing. This art galleries are spread upon a vast area of disused factories built by the East Germans. It is the center point of Chinese modern art. It is located in the Dashanzi area, to the northeast of central Beijing. The art galleries are kind of offbeat and may be help you to redefine you about the Chinese art.

This art is more freestyle, giving importance to the expression rather than the perfection. In a word, it is nothing like ancient Chinese art but unique and glorious in its own way. Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts chose this place for its cheap rate but the artists who has been creating many modern arts are priceless. It is one of the top tourist places to visit in Beijing.

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8. Nanluoguxiang

Nanluoguxiang, things to do in Beijing China
Nanluoguxiang | image credit – Pixabay/ShuaiGuo

Nanluoguxiang is a place for young people. This narrow alley is a conjunction of traditional architecture both new and old. It is getting popular among the tourists after the complete refurbishment of the district in time for the 2008 Olympic Games. Nanluoguxiang was built in the Yuan Dynasty and around 1750, it got its current name during the Qing Dynasty.

It is about 800-meter long. There are many remarkable restaurants, coffee shops, bars, fast food and souvenir shops and live music houses. It has also some siheyuan associated with literary figures and historic figures. Although it is quite in day time but you will get a different picture at night. It is one of the remarkable tourist places to visit in Beijing.

7. Lama Temple

Lama Temple, what to see in Beijing
Lama Temple | image credit – Wikimedia/Jorge Láscar

Lama Temple is without a doubt one of the tourist places to visit in Beijing. Its original name is Yonghe Temple or “Palace of Peace and Harmony”. The architecture and artwork of the Lama temple is a combination of Tibetan and Han Chinese style. Built in 1694 during the Qing dynasty, It originally served as an official residence for court eunuchs. It was the Qianlong Emperor, who gave the temple royal status by its turquoise tiles replaced with yellow tiles.

Visiting this temple is one of the things to do in Beijing China. Its artwork is wonderful. It was declared as a national monument after the end of Chinese civil war. At present about 70 lamas live on this temple. The temple contains a 26 meter (85 foot) tall statue of Maitreya Buddha. It is really one of the tourist places to visit in Beijing.

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6. Beihai Park

Beihai Park, Beijing tourist attractions
Beihai Park | image credit – Pixabay/wendypanzju

Beihai Park is one of the most recognizable tourist places to visit in Beijing. It is one of the largest, oldest and best preserved royal garden in China. It is a great combination of solemn religious constructions and magnificent imperial palaces. Built in the 11th century, the park has an area of more than 69 hectares with a superb lake that covers more than half of the total park.

Visiting this park is one of the best things to do in Beijing China as it contains numerous historically important architectures, palaces, and temples. The most fascinating thing about the garden is that it was built to copy many famous scenic spots and architecture from various regions of China. It is one of the top tourist places to visit in Beijing.

5. Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square, tourist attractions in Beijing
Tiananmen Square | image credit – Flickr/Kentaro IEMOTO

It is without a doubt one of the notable Beijing tourist attractions.  The square is famous and important for many reasons. It is the largest city square in the world. It contains some of the major monuments of China like the Great Hall of the People, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, the National Museum of China and the Monument to the People’s Heroes.

It has also a great cultural significance as it was the venue of many cultural events. But it may the most well-known for the Tiananmen Square Massacre, an infamous armed clampdown of a pro-democracy movement in June 1989. This movement also regrettably set the limit the limits on political expression in China. There is no doubt that it is one of the top tourist places to visit in Beijing.

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4. Summer Palace

summer palace, tourist attractions in Beijing
summer palace | image credit – Wikimedia/Jakub Hałun

Summer Palace is one of the top tourist attractions in Beijing and recreational park for all. It is the largest and most well maintained imperial park of this country. Its famous natural views attract millions of people over the world. It not only serves as a recreational park but also a great asset for Chinese horticulture.

It is included to World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1998 and was declared as “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design.” For its extensive resource, it is also called ‘The Museum of Royal Gardens’. There is no wonder why it is one of the tourist places to visit in Beijing. It has many artificial features alongside with its vast natural beauty. It is one of the major Beijing tourist attractions.

3. Temple of Heaven

temple of heaven, things to do in Beijing China
temple of heaven | image credit – Wikimedia/Maros M r a z

There is no way to deny the elegance of Temple of Heaven. It is one of the best tourist places to visit in Beijing. It is the largest and most awe inspiring masterpiece among ancient sacrificial buildings of China. The temple was constructed during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. It was occupied during the infamous Second Opium War by Anglo-French Alliance.

Although Chinese heaven worship predates Taoism, it has been regarded as a Taoist temple. For its incredible beauty and uniqueness, it has been included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. The temple reflects the ancient Chinese thought. Visiting this temple is one of the best things to do in Beijing.

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2. Badaling

badaling, what to see in Beijing
badaling | image credit – Wikimedia/Haluk Comertel

There is no way to finish a trip in Beijing without visiting the Great Wall of China. As all the tourists have the same thought, Badaling is most of the tourist’s number one target.  It is one of the major tourist locations to visit in Beijing. The reason why the Badaling is so crowded is because it is the easiest site to access the Great Wall from Beijing. It was built in the Ming Dynasty to engage in a strategic and commanding position for sheltering the Juyongguan Pass.

It had undergone a lot of restoration and opened for the tourists in 1957. President Richard Nixon and his wife visited this place during their historic China tour. It is one of the major tourist places to visit in Beijing.

1. Forbidden City

Forbidden City, Beijing tourist attractions
Forbidden City | image credit – Flickr/Dimitry B.

The Forbidden City is without a question on the top of the list of tourist attractions in Beijing. It is not only a pride for China but also one of the most recognizable places in the world. It is the best preserved largest collections of ancient wooden structures in the world.

In 1987, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. With its 14.6 million annual visitors, it is the most visited places in the world. It signifies the depth of Chinese art and architectures. But you might get a little disturbed while visiting this place for the crowd and there seems no way to avoid it. It should be always on top of the list of tourist places to visit in Beijing.

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