Beijing Travel Guide & Information

Beijing, the metropolis of northern China, and the capital of the People's Republic of China has served as the political and cultural center of an area as immense as China for a long time. Beijing is rich in historical sites and important government and cultural institutions.

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Travel to Beijing, one of the most ancient cities in China, which hosted the summer 2008 Olympics. Flights to Beijing are tickets to a city renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, huge stone walls and gates. Beijing’s art treasures and universities have long made the city a renowned center of culture and art in China.

Today, modern day Beijing has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with millions of domestic and international visitors a year. The city is vibrant, with amazing attractions like the Forbidden City, the most magnificent palace in China; Ming Tombs, an imperial tomb cluster for thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty; the Great Wall, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The amazing list of sights and attractions are endless.

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Things to do in Beijing

Temples:

Beijing has numerous museums that are a “Must See” to explore the city’s historical associations.

National Museum of China: The National Museum of China is in the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The mission of the museum is to educate about the arts and history of China. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China. The National Museum of China contains over 620,385 cultural items in its permanent art collection and the museum displays many precious and rare Chinese artifacts.

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Beijing Museum of Natural History:The Beijing Museum of Natural History was founded in 1951 as the National Central Museum of Natural History. Its name changed to the Beijing Museum of Natural History in 1962. The BMNH is the first large scale natural history museum created in China. The collections include paleontology, ornithology, mammals and invertebrates, and include a major collection of dinosaur fossils and mounted skeletons.

China People's Revolution Military Museum:The museum located in Beijing displays restored military equipment from the history of the People's Liberation Army, up to and including modern-day machinery. The museum's four floors include ten halls, the largest of which, is the Hall of Weapons. The Hall's extensive holdings of antiquated weaponry showcase domestic and foreign weapons, armored personnel carriers, anti-air weaponry, jet fighters, rockets and cruise missiles.

Prominent Landmarks:

The city of Beijing has many prominent landmarks that highlight the city’s distinctive past.

Forbidden City: Lying at the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong, in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is located to the north of Tiananmen Square. Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Tiananmen Square: Tiananmen Square is the large plaza near the center of Beijing, named after the Tiananmen, which sits to the north. Tiananmen Square is one of the largest squares in the world and has been the site of many events. The most notable was in 1989, when a pro-democracy movement in China saw thousands of protesters gather there.

Temple of Heaven:The Temple of Heaven also known as the Altar of Heaven; is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies for good harvest. It is regarded as a Taoist temple.

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Where to Stay in Beijing:

Being a premier holiday destination, Beijing has numerous cheap hotels and 4 star hotels under $99 to meet all types of traveler’s accommodation requirements.

Chaoyang : Chaoyang is a massive district, roughly covering the urban area to the north and east of central Beijing. Chaoyang is home to Beijing's Central Business District. While Chaoyang district does not have that many tourist sites, most visitors to Beijing will find themselves in Chaoyang at some point, especially for visiting the art districts, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Chao Yang District offers some of Beijing's most extensive dining, shopping and entertainment, so the hotels here tend to cater to leisure and business travelers.

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Haidian : The area is home to the university and hi-tech districts with an abundance of small and modest Chinese hotels and guesthouses. With the number of students living in this area, various new entertainment facilities have made Haidian a rather hip and trendy area. Numerous cheap restaurants and bars serve delicious cuisine and beverages. The district is also famous for its natural landscape and cultural relics.

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When to visit Beijing

Visitors travel to Beijing and experience the delights of Beijing all year round. To avoid big crowds and still enjoy nice weather, consider Planning your Visit in late spring or early autumn.

Summer is especially crowded because visitor’s travel to the country's capital with their families. Those looking to avoid crowds might want to consider coming when the festivals aren’t happening, Chinese Spring Festival, International Labor Day and National Day are peak travel times for domestic and international tourists.

Planning your Visit:

High season: June to August

Low season: December to February (Exception of festive weeks)

Beijing Weather

The city's climate is characterized as a humid continental climate, hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon and generally cold, windy and dry winters.

* During the height of summer, July and August, Beijing experiences evening showers. Spring and autumn are relatively short seasons.

* Autumn is between August and October and is regarded as the best season to visit because it brings blue skies, pleasant mild temperatures and slight humidity.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

Visitors can exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and hotels always have a money exchange counter.

Languages:

* The official language of Beijing is Mandarin.

* Though you can find English speaking people in hotels and other tourist areas, knowing some Mandarin will greatly increase the pleasure of your trip to China.