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Beijing

A city of 21 million people, Beijing is a city of complexity and intrigue. Anchored by its infamous history, Beijing can be a challenging place to visit for first-time travellers. But scratch the surface and you’ll discover a city of great tradition, pride, colour and dumplings. Use our Beijing travel guide to navigate China’s capital city. 

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Places to stay

There’s plenty of accommodation to suit every traveller in Beijing but stay close to Wangfujing, in central Beijing. Here you’ll find all the major hotels such as the Peninsula Beijing and the Hilton Beijing Wangfujing which are both walking distance away from Beijing’s major attractions including the Palace Museum, Tiananmen Square and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. If you’re after more of a luxe getaway, stay at the Sofitel Wanda Beijing. There’s a bunch of sparkly crystal in the lobby and the bedrooms are large and comfortable.

Things to do

The best way to see Beijing is on foot. Around every corner, you’ll find alleyways lined with market stalls, restaurants, colourful temples and squeaky-clean malls. At the centre of the city lies the Forbidden city or as it is known today, the Palace Museum. Home of the Ming and Qing dynasty emperors for 500 years, this mega palace is the largest on earth and worth a visit. Circled by steep scarlet walls, the city contains over 900 buildings. Walk through at your pace and admire this ancient, UNESCO-listed structure.

If you’re after a more traditional experience head to Gulou Street and stroll through one of Beijing’s last remaining Hutongs. Described as the as the neighbourhood that never sleeps, Gulou is home to the city’s best 24 hour venues. Think Live music, bars and small shoebox styled restaurants.

No trip is complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China. To avoid the crowds consider travelling to the lesser known entry points Jinshanling and Simatai. For a truly unforgettable experience, camp out on the Great Wall of China.

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Where to go

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Chaoyang District

To see the future of Beijing, head straight for the Chaoyang District, which borders the Second Ring Road, the boundary of the old walled Imperial City. Don't expect ancient buildings though, the district symbolises the rapidly modernising city at its peak. You'll find immaculately dressed Chinese women browsing boutiques and the city's tallest towers  including trh CCTV building.

In the Dongzhimen area, Raffles City is the place to shop with all your favourite name-brand retailers in one place.

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Food and drink

There’s no shortage of restaurants in Beijing, with over 60,000 restaurants scattered around the city, there’s literally food everywhere. Whether you’re after fluffy white steamed buns, noodles, Peking duck or dainty dumplings, Beijing has got you covered. 

Stroll down Wangfujing Snack Street and sample one of their delicacies such as snake or silkworm. If you’re after something a bit glitzier visit Fucheng Road in the Haidian district to sample some of the best seafood in the country including lobster. 

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Getting around

From the airport: The easiest way to get to or from the airport to the city centre is via the Airport Express line. You'll find stations at Terminal 2 and 3 and the journey takes about 15-20 minutes. You can also organise a private transfer to the city centre or your hotel.

In and around the city: Getting around in Beijing is easy thanks to its cheap subway system. Stops are announced in Mandarin and English which makes it easy for tourists to navigate the city. We suggest avoiding taxis as traffic is often gridlocked.

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