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19 best things to do in Beijing

Apart from Shanghai and Guangzhou, Beijing also has much to offer! Here are 19 exciting activities to consider.

The Forbidden City in Beijing was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (1420-1912) and ordinary people were not allowed in without permission. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of the Chinese government for almost 500 years. (Photo: Gettyimages)

If you’re thinking of visiting China (again) now that the 15-day visa-free entry has resumed, apart from going to Shanghai or Guangzhou, the capital Beijing is, of course, a must-visit as well.

With a history spanning over 3,000 years, Beijing has been the centre of political, cultural, and economic activities in China for centuries. Today, it is a modern metropolis that beautifully blends its rich past with its rapidly evolving present.

Beijing’s unique blend of history, culture, and modernity makes it a fascinating destination for travellers and a dynamic city for residents. Whether you're interested in exploring its ancient heritage, experiencing its vibrant arts scene, or witnessing its rapid urban transformation, Beijing offers a diverse range of experiences.

Here are some things you can do in Beijing.

1. Visit the Forbidden City

Explore the imperial palace complex that housed Chinese emperors for centuries. The grandeur and intricate architecture of the Forbidden City are awe-inspiring.

Beijing Palace Museum Ticket (The Forbidden City)

From S$15.75 (was S$18.49)

Beijing Palace Museum Ticket (The Forbidden City). (Photo: Klook SG)
Beijing Palace Museum Ticket (The Forbidden City). (Photo: Klook SG)

2. Walk the Great Wall

Take a trip to the Great Wall of China, one of the most iconic structures in the world. Mutianyu and Badaling are popular sections of the Wall to visit.

Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from Beijing (With Pick Up)

From S$22.05

Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from Beijing (With Pick Up). (Photo: Klook SG)
Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from Beijing (With Pick Up). (Photo: Klook SG)

Juyongguan Great Wall & The Ming Tombs Day Tour from Beijing

From S$132.55

Juyongguan Great Wall & The Ming Tombs Day Tour from Beijing. (Photo: Klook SG)
Juyongguan Great Wall & The Ming Tombs Day Tour from Beijing. (Photo: Klook SG)

3. Admire the Temple of Heaven

This ancient religious complex is renowned for its unique architecture and serene surroundings. It was where emperors conducted rituals to pray for good harvests.

Beijing Classic Attractions Tour & Quanjude Duck Tasting

From S$147.49

Beijing Classic Attractions Tour & Quanjude Duck Tasting. (Photo: Klook SG)
Beijing Classic Attractions Tour & Quanjude Duck Tasting. (Photo: Klook SG)

Iconic Beijing Private Tour

From S$108.29

Iconic Beijing Private Tour. (Photo: Klook SG)
Iconic Beijing Private Tour. (Photo: Klook SG)

4. Stroll through the Summer Palace

Enjoy the beautiful gardens, pavilions, and lake at the Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) Admission Ticket in Beijing

From S$8.65 (was S$9.15)

Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) Admission Ticket in Beijing. (Photo: Klook SG)
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) Admission Ticket in Beijing. (Photo: Klook SG)

5. Wander around the 798 Art District

Immerse yourself in contemporary art and culture in this vibrant district filled with galleries, studios, and avant-garde installations.

798 Art District in Beijing is a district characterised by modern art and exhibition of Chinese culture and art. (Photo: Gettyimages)
798 Art District in Beijing is a district characterised by modern art and exhibition of Chinese culture and art. (Photo: Gettyimages)

6. Sample Peking Duck

Indulge in the city's most famous culinary delight, Peking Roast Duck, at a traditional restaurant.

Beijing Classic Attractions Tour & Quanjude Duck Tasting

From S$147.49

Beijing Classic Attractions Tour & Quanjude Duck Tasting. (Photo: Klook SG)
Beijing Classic Attractions Tour & Quanjude Duck Tasting. (Photo: Klook SG)

7. Explore the hutongs

Experience traditional Beijing life by exploring the historic hutongs, narrow alleys lined with courtyard houses. You can take a rickshaw tour to learn more about their history.

Hutong Breakfast Tour in Beijing

S$58.80 (was S$64.59)

Hutong Breakfast Tour in Beijing. (Photo: Klook SG)
Hutong Breakfast Tour in Beijing. (Photo: Klook SG)

Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk

S$96.50 (was S$99.89)

Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk. (Photo: Klook SG)
Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk. (Photo: Klook SG)

Old Beijing Hutong Rickshaw Tour

From S$67.20

Old Beijing Hutong Rickshaw Tour. (Photo: Klook SG)
Old Beijing Hutong Rickshaw Tour. (Photo: Klook SG)

8. Visit Tiananmen Square

Witness the immense historical and political significance of this iconic square, where the 1989 protests and massacre, also known as the June Fourth Incident, took place.

Beijing Classic Attractions Tour & Quanjude Duck Tasting

From S$147.49

Tiananmen Square is located at the south end of the Forbidden City. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Tiananmen Square is located at the south end of the Forbidden City. (Photo: Gettyimages)

9. Check out the National Museum of China

Immerse yourself in Chinese history and culture through the extensive collections of art, artefacts, and historical exhibitions.

National Museum of China. (Photo: Gettyimages)
National Museum of China. (Photo: Gettyimages)

10. Feel the vibes at Beihai Park

Enjoy the serene surroundings of this former imperial garden and explore the picturesque lake, pagodas, and other historic structures.

View of Jade Island with White Pagoda in Beihai Park. (Photo: Gettyimages)
View of Jade Island with White Pagoda in Beihai Park. (Photo: Gettyimages)

11. Learn about Tibetan Buddhism at Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple)

Discover the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Beijing, known for its magnificent architecture and impressive Buddha statues.

Lama Temple is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Lama Temple is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. (Photo: Gettyimages)

12. Explore the Panjiayuan Antique Market

Hunt for unique antiques, traditional crafts, and vintage items at this lively market.

Panjiayuan Antique Market. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Panjiayuan Antique Market. (Photo: Gettyimages)

13. Check in at the Olympic Park

See the iconic Bird's Nest stadium and Water Cube aquatic centre, which were built for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Beijing Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and Olympic Park Day Tour

From S$104.55

Beijing Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and Olympic Park Day Tour. (Photo: Klook SG)
Beijing Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and Olympic Park Day Tour. (Photo: Klook SG)

14. Shop at Silk Street Market

Shop for clothing, accessories, electronics, and more at this bustling market known for having the best bargains.

15. Catch a Peking Opera show

Experience traditional Chinese performing arts by attending a Peking Opera performance, characterised by vibrant costumes, intricate makeup, and symbolic gestures.

Woman performing a Beijing opera near Great Wall of China. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Woman performing a Beijing opera near Great Wall of China. (Photo: Gettyimages)

16. Spend time with animals at Beijing Zoo and Beijing Wildlife Park

Bring your friends and family to get up close with animals from around the world.

Beijing Wildlife Park

From S$15.89 (was S$16.80)

Beijing Wildlife Park. (Photo: Klook SG)
Beijing Wildlife Park. (Photo: Klook SG)

17. Educate yourself at Science and Technology Museums

Visit museums like the China Science and Technology Museum or the Beijing Planetarium for interactive and educational exhibits.

Aerial view of the China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing, China. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Aerial view of the China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing, China. (Photo: Gettyimages)

18. Enjoy the night markets

Explore the vibrant night markets such as Wangfujing Snack Street or Donghuamen Night Market, where you can try local street food and snacks.

Wangfujing Snack Street in Beijing. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Wangfujing Snack Street in Beijing. (Photo: Gettyimages)

19. Take thrilling rides at Universal Studios Beijing

Enjoy an immersive entertainment experience featuring thrilling rides, iconic movie-themed attractions, live shows, and interactive zones that bring beloved films to life in an exciting way.

【Cool Summer】Universal Beijing Resort Admission

From S$102.19 (was S$106.45)

【Cool Summer】Universal Beijing Resort Admission. (Photo: Klook SG)
【Cool Summer】Universal Beijing Resort Admission. (Photo: Klook SG)

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