Beijing is the capital of China and serves as a historical and cultural counterbalance to Shanghai’s raging modernism. The story of Beijing dates back over 3,000 years so, not surprisingly, Beijing tourism revolves around discovering grandest monuments, temples, and dynasties of this ancient city.
Beijing Capital International Airport is where most travelers will arrive (though there are also trains from Shanghai) and there is a high-speed train from Terminals 2 and 3 that can shuttle you into one of two stations in downtown so you can quickly begin to visit Beijing. As mentioned, a Beijing trip is an excellent chance to learn about the country’s rich history, and the best place to start is at the Forbidden City, the ancient residence of the ruling dynasties and a truly monumental site. Don’t forget to see Tiananmen Square and the bucolic Summer Palace while you’re there!
Aside from its historical value, many visitors travel to Beijing to visit the Great Wall, one of the true wonders of the world. We must admit, no Beijing holiday would be complete without it! If you want a greener and less-crowded stretch of the wall, opt for visiting it at Mutianyu which you can reach on an early-morning bus from Dongzhimen station. Enjoying the expansive views and curious history of this man-made wonder will no doubt be one of the highlights of your Beijing holidays.
Get a deeper understanding of Chinese life by visiting Beijing's markets, specifically the Silk Market and the Pearl Market. The newly-established silk market offers everything from discount designer good to ancient calligraphy while the Pearl (Hongqiao) Market deals in seafood, watches, and, or course pearls. Finally, a holiday in Beijing is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to try real authentic Chinese food, miles away from what’s found in the West. Luckily, the alleyways of the historic areas and the more touristy Donghuamen Night Market serve up some truly unbelievable eats.