China’s sprawling capital of Beijing is jam-packed with attractions such as historical temples, royal gardens and bustling food markets. In this megacity, visitors can discover a way of life that is ancient and modern, peaceful and spirited.
Beijing’s history is celebrated through a huge collection of monuments – many of which listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There’s the Forbidden City, a palace that dates back to 1406 and presides over Tiananmen Square. Here, you can admire the striking traditional Chinese architecture outside and browse historical artworks at the Palace Museum inside. There’s also the Temple of Heaven, a captivating religious complex known for its symbolic layout and design. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, annual ceremonies were held wherein Emperors would pray to the gods for a good harvest.
Out of all Beijing’s stunning sceneries, none of them are more breathtaking than the Summer Palace. This vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces offers a truly indescribable serenity. While work began on this peaceful retreat in about 1153, it wasn’t completed until 600 years later. The dedication shows, and nowadays, visitors are able to see a perfectly preserved oasis from a bygone era.
A visit to Beijing isn't complete without exploring its exciting narrow hutong alleyways, most of which are filled with delicious foods. Check out Wangfujing Snack Street for a variety of local and exotic street foods and deserts. Afterwards, walk towards Wangfujing Pedestrian Street to discover a range of retail and souvenir stores.