Beijing is China’s massive capital, and it has a history stretching back almost 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for its modern architecture as its ancient sites.

It is the second largest city in China after Shanghai. Like Amsterdam , which is the bicycle capital, Beijing is also  big on bikes. You can just jump on your bike and see the city at your own leisure.

So, if you are visiting Beijing for the first time and overwhelmed with the sights to visit! here is the list of best 7 sights that you just can’t miss.

1.Mutianyu Great Wall ( Great Wall of China )

“The Great Wall of China” is one of the “ Seven Wonders of the World”, It was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. This is that one destination which brings millions of tourist into the city each year. It is also the most visited tourist attraction in China.

There are various sections of the great wall of China and each has its own unique history! The best section, which you must visit is  Mutianyu. This section, located in Huairou County 70 km northeast of central Beijing. It is one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs.

It is about 40 miles (65 km) to the north of Beijing city center, it is easy to reach from the downtown area by public transport. It has been renovated, making it easier and safer to climb. Moreover, it is equipped with cableway and luge, possible for children and seniors to make a visit.

The Wall stretches over the hills as far as far as your eyes can see.  the walls built by the Ming dynasty measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi).So, also a good place to hike and enjoy the breathtaking, surrounding natural scenery.

Woods covers almost ninety-six percent of the total view area. Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring. Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruit in autumn, and especially in October, leaves turn red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it more magnificent.

Although it is suitable for a visit all year round, the best time is April, May, September, and October, when the temperature is favorable. The Great Wall of China is at the top of our list of the must-see sights in Beijing and should not be missed.

2. The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The temple was built in the 15th century for Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.

The architecture is very unique, and inscrited with scriptures. Inside the building you can see the display of the artifacts. Thera are other architectural structures around the mail temple , which had its own unique ceremonial purpose

3. Summer Palace

Summer Palace is one of the must-see sights in Beijing, you better squeeze this one, into your itinerary. It is the largest and well preserved royal park in China, Need a break from the city hustle? This is the place to be!

In the center of the park there is a lake and after climbing up the stairs through the old structures, you are rewarded with a spectacular view of the palace grounds. In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design.

The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value”.

The old summer palace is located northwest of the center of Beijing, with great details about the history of China. It was constructed in the year 1709 and now in ruins, This architectural site has a blend of Eastern as well as Western style.

4. Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is a city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen (“Gate of Heavenly Peace”) located to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City.

The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (the founder of China’s Communist government). Tiananmen Square is within the top ten largest city squares in the world.

5.The Imperial Palace and Forbidden City

This one is one of the most famous attractions in Beijing. As the Chinese imperial palace for almost 500 years, not only does the walled-off palace exude a mysterious allure from the outside, but the architecture within is magnificent. The palace museum boasts 14 million visitors annually.

In 1987 Forbidden City was listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. It’s twice the size of the Vatican; thrice the Kremlin’s size.

There is a lot of ground to cover once you enter the Forbidden City and each twist and turn has a new aspect of Chinese history and culture to offer. The 9,999 rooms in the Forbidden City are contained within 980 magnificent wooden buildings.

As you will find many of the popular attraction in Beijing quite crowded. So, to avoid the crowd and have enough time to appreciate this beautiful architecture. Try to reach as early as possible.

6. Lama Temple

The Yonghe Lamasery or popularly known as The Lama Temple is one of the oldest temples in China. During the Cultural Revolution, most of the cultural and religious sites were destroyed as they did not fit in with Communist ideas. However, this temple escaped unscathed.

The interiors of the temple are beautiful with a rich history. It has the largest sandalwood carved Buddha in the world. This is one of the most favorite worship places for the locals. Learn about their unique way of burning the nice stick. Listen to the chanting, monks offering prayers to Lord Buddha.

You can also visit The Beijing Temple of Confucius, It is at walkable distance from The Lama Temple. It is the second largest Confucian Temple in China, after the one in Confucius’ hometown of Qufu.

7. Beijing Zoo

The Beijing Zoo is a zoological park in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China.  Founded in 1906, it is one of the oldest zoos in China. The zoo is also a center of zoological research that studies and breeds rare animals from various continents.

It has one of the largest animal collections in the country. The zoo and its aquarium have over 450 species of land animals and over 500 species of marine animals; in all, it is home to 14,500 animals. It has many rare native species such as Snow leopard, south China tigers also have 13 of the world’s 15 species of cranes. Others include elephants, lions, and jaguars, all spread around grounds that closely resemble classical Chinese gardens, complete with dense woods, meadows, rivers, streams, and ponds.

There you have it –  The must-see destinations to check out when you are visiting Beijing. Most of these places are easily accessed via public transit. I hope you found this guide useful for enjoying your time in Beijing! To book a trip to Beijing visit us at http://www.goldenfishtravels.com

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