The Most Exciting Things to Do in Beijing

Beijing forbidden city

Beijing, which has served as China’s capital for more than 800 years, is best recognised for housing some of the most important remnants of the country’s imperial past and for being a cultural centre for the country.

The most significant idea to do in Beijing is to see the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and other well-known attractions. However, there are a variety of other activities that are well worth your time in Beijing.

moshe safdie crystal china

Plenty of eco activities, like the Skywalk

Every nook and cranny of the city has been explored by the Cathay Pacific team of local specialists, who have unearthed the most exciting and scientific breakthrough things to do in Beijing. We’ve put together a list of the best things to do when fly into Beijing, which includes a diverse range of experiences to remember for a lifetime, with something for everyone.

Learn about Beijing’s traditional way of life.

The Beijing Hutongs are a tangle of small lanes that connect historic single-story traditional courtyard dwellings from one end of the city to the other. Beijing’s hutongs provide a fascinating window into a bygone era of the Chinese capital.

With Cathay Pacific, you can go your own route to find more of the intriguing things to do in the Hutongs that interest you. The Hutong experience can be authentic and tailored to your specific requirements.

Your children can learn about Chinese children living in hutongs by observing how they study and play, as well as by tasting the snacks that they enjoy. Study the art of Chinese calligraphy for a while. Make some simple characters using a brush and see how well they turn out. In the courtyard, you can have fun with a Chinese yo-yo made of wood or bamboo.

Tour the Hutongs by rickshaw and stop by a Hutong family who lives in a traditional quadrangle dwelling to learn more about their way of life. A genuine way to learn about traditional Beijing life, this is a must-do.

Alternatively, you can use the Cathay Pacific Hutong walking paths to find the most interesting hutong pathways in Hong Kong and Macau.

Moshe Safdie Architects, china, Raffles City, The Crystal Skywalk

Cycling in China

Become a Foodie Hunter in Beijing’s Old City 

If you’re a foodie, a Beijing food hunt is one of the best ways to experience the city. Foods like fried dough rings and doornail pasties, as well as sugarcoated haws and “rolling donkeys,” are popular in Beijing.

Ghost Street, Nanluoguxiang, and Wangfujing Snack Street are the best places to sample these Beijing delicacies. The Hutongs are a treasure trove of authentic food.

Rather than a night market or a snack market full of visitors, we chose modest eateries liked by residents and restaurants with long-standing reputations, where you can admire traditional cooking talents.

Feast your eyes on a delicious Peking Duck

To eat the best food in Beijing, you must have the roast duck in Beijing. The dish’s thin, crispy skin is its primary selling point, and authentic versions serve minimal meat in favour of the skin. 

If you haven’t had a real Beijing roast duck meal at a well-known restaurant, your Beijing trip isn’t complete. Quanjude and Dadong are two well-known roast duck restaurant franchises.

Like an Emperor, explore the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is a must-see when in Beijing. The Forbidden City should be at the top of your Beijing itinerary. If you want to see China’s best-preserved royal palace, look no farther than the Forbidden City.

Take advantage of a knowledgeable Cathay Pacific tour guide to avoid the throng and discover the palace’s hidden secrets. Learn about the emperors’ personal life, imperial examinations, and heaven-worshipping rituals.

As compared to group tours, Cathay Pacific guide about fly into Beijing will assist you in visiting 12 carefully selected locations in the Forbidden City.

Tickets are only available for purchase online. The Palace Museum’s official website allows visitors to purchase tickets, but only in Chinese. It is recommended that you use a travel agency like Cathay Pacific to make your arrangements. 

Bird’s Nest and Water Cube in Beijing Olympic Park 

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing Olympic Park, also known as the Olympic Green. A non-linear steel structure, the Bird’s Nest, has been dubbed the world’s largest and most complex stadium ever built.

The design of the Water Cube was inspired by the way soap bubbles form into a 12- or 14-sided cell structure.

At night, the Bird Nest and Water Cube in Beijing are best viewed. The ideal time to visit is at night, when the scenery is most dramatic. April to May and September to November are the best months to visit. 

Take a stroll through the Restored Summer Palace 

Yiheyuan, or Summer Palace, is one of the best-preserved imperial gardens in the world, as well as one of the largest of its kind in modern China.

The summer palace’s ‘long hallway’, a 728-meter (796-yard) ornamental pathway with 548 columns, is the most eye-catching feature. Each beam in the corridor is decorated with more than 14,000 vivid murals, which are both vibrant and awe-inspiring.

It is possible to go down the lengthy corridor and listen to stories depicted in the paintings while with us. On Kunming Lake, you can continue your tour by taking a boat ride. April to October is the best season to visit.

Explore the Old Summer Palace.

The Qing dynasty rulers would retreat to the Old Summer Palace, which was built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. When it was demolished in 1860, it was the most magnificent imperial garden in the world. When you visit the Old Summer Palace, you’ll enjoy a unique experience.

Most of the old palaces were constructed of wood. There are presently just European-style stone structures left after these were destroyed by fire.

Three kilometres separate Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace. Both can be done in a single day. Both gardens are unique in their own ways, but they’re both well worth your time. April to October is the best season to visit. 

Attend a Tiananmen Square Flag Raising Ceremony

More than a million people can gather at Tian’anmen Square, the world’s most famous square. There are few places in the world as iconic as New York City’s Times Square or the Soviet-era Moscow Red Square.

We recommend visiting the Tian’anmen Square flag-raising ritual, which takes place every morning at dawn. Soldiers serving as the guard of honour make their way out in a dignified procession.

When the Chinese national anthem begins to play, everyone begins to sing along. The short yet moving ceremony provides a glimpse into the culture and people of the country.

Beijing’s sunrise and sunset times are used to establish the flag-raising timing. Astronomers use their expertise to determine the precise time. You’ll want to know exactly when the flag is going to rise in order to get there on time.

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