Beijing is the capital of China and will be the center of attention for millions of Chinese families this coming Friday. The country will celebrate Chinese New Year and will welcome the Year of the Dog. Beijing is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing capitals in the world, with so much history and culture to absorb. First time visitors might find it overwhelming, but the key to making the most of your stay in the capital is to stagger the top 3 must see attractions in Beijing over several days. Take the time to explore these cultural and historical icons.
Top 3 Must See Attractions in Beijing
The Forbidden City
Its history goes back eight centuries. It was home to 24 Ming and Qing emperors and was the ceremonial and political seat of power for almost 500 years. The Forbidden City is a massive historical complex that sits right at the heart of Beijing. Several structures are worth a closer look including Meridian Gate, the Turret, the Antiquarium, and the Imperial Garden. Ticket prices start at 60 CNY (about $9.50 USD).
The Great Wall of China
Though not exactly within the city proper, the Great Wall of China lands a spot on this top 3 must see attractions in Beijing because of its accessibility from the capital. In just an hour’s drive, visitors are able to access two sections of the wall. The first is Badaling, located northwest of Beijing. This is perhaps, the most popular section of the Wall but on the upside, has the most amenities. If you prefer lesser crowds, head northeast instead towards Mutianyu section. Here, you’ll find a more rugged and more picturesque view.
It is one of the most famous public squares in the world and therefore impossible to miss during your visit to Beijing. Tiananmen Square gained the world’s attention in 1989 when student protesters were killed by Communist armed forces as they blocked the advancement of troops and tanks into the square. Take the time to explore a number of its attractions including Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum (there is a small fee for bag and electronic storage) and the National Museum of China (free admission) or simply be in awe of its vast scale.
NOTE: It is important to remain respectful when visiting this spot since remnants of recent past continue to reverberate among the local population. Avoid wearing any clothing or accessories that contain politically charged messages and use common sense when it comes to photography.