Beijing Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Best Time: September to October (Autumn) Read More

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"The home of the Great Wall"

Beijing Tourism

Beijing is one of China's most historic cities. It has been the capital of various emperors over centuries and continues to be the capital of China today. It is a major tourist attraction due to the heritage of all the dynasties that have resided here, their culture, their monuments and their palaces, and not to mention the Great Wall of China.

Beijing is the cultural, economic and political hub of China. Although many of the financial centres are in Shanghai, everything is controlled from Beijing. It is a major hub for travellers from all over the world. It's magnificent structures from the imperial Chinese times are absolutely stunning, and a major reason for the hordes of tourists it attracts. Entire complexes to serve the royal families such as the Forbidden City, the official home of the emperor since 1420, the Temple of Heaven, the Tiananmen Square. Brilliant and picturesque places built just for leisure and recreation, such as the Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace, the Jingshan Park, the Shichahai area and of course, the scenic Beihai Park. You can never talk about a visit to Beijing without the Great Wall of China, it's many popular parts and tracks, and fortifications. Not just the attractions, Beijing is also home to a wide variety of recreational activities. Streets lined with shops and stores, loads of bars and nightclubs, and of course, the world famous Chinese food which you can have at the very place where it all began. Beijing makes for a wonderful week of travel, discovering the history and the culture of one of the oldest and historically most important Chinese cities.

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Currency in Beijing

Renminbi is the only currency which is accepted in Beijing. Major cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express are widely accepted here, except for usage in small restaurants and shops which only take cash payments.

Shopping in Beijing

The city has a wide array of shopping options, from handicrafts and souvenirs to big brands, you name it. One great thing about Beijing is that it has adopted the tax refund policy, meaning there are stores throughout the city where you can get a 9% tax refund on your expenditure. Xidan Commercial Street is one place where you'll find tons of shopping options, with a wide variety of shopping malls and markets. Other places to shop include the Panjiayuan Flea Market for antiques, and Qianment Street for it's various shops.

Nightlife in Beijing

Beijing is a global city and as such has a pretty good nightlife. Houhai neighbourhood within Shichahai has many pubs and is a very lively place to be at night. There are plenty clubs to choose from all over Beijing otherwise as well, such as Tang Club, Babyface, Dada Beijing, and Vics Club among a ton of others!

History of Beijing

Beijing has a long and vast history. The region has been inhabited since early ancient period. The city served as a major battle frontier for most of the kingdoms during the early imperial period, and also as a secondary capital. It became the capital for the first time under the Yuan's, more specifically the region just north of modern Beijing today. The first time the city was fully given the status of the capital was under the Ming Dynasty's Yonghle Emperor, when the Forbidden City was completed in 1420. Once the Mings were removed, the Qing declared Beijing as the sole capital of China and heavily developed the city. This order changed after the second Opium War, when the British and French invaded the city, and although they didn't gain direct control, they were able to found a permanent presence in the country. Then with the onset of the 20th century, a successful revolution saw the Qing Dynasty fall, and the Republic of China was established. Nanjing was again made capital after the President, Yuan Shikai, died. 20 years later during the Sino-Japanese war, Beijing was conquered by Japan, and a puppet government ruled the city for the next 12 years. The Chinese Civil War ended in 1949, with the People's Liberation Army taking back control of the city and the country. People's Republic of China was founded on 1st October of the same year. The major change came in the fortune of the city when the Chinese government created special economic zones, which were opened for international trade, and named Beijing one of these in 1978. Since then, Beijing and China have grown exponentially, becoming the globally influential powers which we see today.

Beijing Customs

The Chinese culture developed a bit differently from the west. You might feel at first that Chinese people are rude but that is not so. That is just their tone and way of talking. When you're meeting someone for the first time, a light handshake shall suffice. If you're invited to someone's house, it is considered polite to bring a gift. However, do not gift clocks or pears, since they are related to death and separation. 4 is considered to be an unlucky number, and 8 is the opposite. Don't worry about pushing and shoving, it is every day for them. Tipping is not considered important in China. In some situations you might be asked for a tip by taxi drivers, this again is up to you. Keep such tips to a small amount. For porters and housekeep simple tips of RMB 5 - 10 are more than enough.

Religion of Beijing

Buddhism is the largest religion in Beijing, along with the non-organised and traditional Taoism and Confucianism.

Daily Budget for Beijing

Daily expenses in Beijing are not excessively expensive. On a low budget, you can even cover the city in around RMB 150 - 200. A mid range budget will lie in the region of RMB 300 - 800. While a high-end budget with expenses at fancy places can be expected to go anywhere higher than RMB 1000.

Exchanging Money in Beijing

Currency exchange is not problematic in Beijing. You can change money at banks, using traveller cheques, or even at hotels. This can be done immediately at the airport as soon as you land as well.

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Beijing, China

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FAQs on Beijing

What are the top hotels in Beijing?

There are 1111 in Beijing which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Beijing are 7Days Inn Beijing South Fengtai Road Subway Station Branch, Home Inn Beijing Qinghe Yongtaizhuang Metro Station, Home Inn Beijing Happy Valley Xizhi River Kanghua Bridge, Feisuo Hotel Apartment, Happy Stay, CYTS Shanshui Trends Hotel Beijing Temple of Heaven. You can see all the hotels in Beijing here

What are the places near Beijing?

The top places near to Beijing are Macau which is 1987 km from Beijing, Shanghai which is located 1067 km from Beijing, Xian which is located 905 km from Beijing, Shenzhen which is located 1943 km from Beijing, Guangzhou which is located 1889 km from Beijing

What are the things to do in Beijing?

The top things to do in Beijing are Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Beihai Park, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace. You can see all the places to visit in Beijing here

What is the local food in Beijing?

In Beijing you will find cuisines from all over the world, given the international standards of the city. Tons and tons of fast food joints, including all major food joints, plenty of restaurants of various global cuisines ranging from Italian to continental, and of course, traditional Chinese food. In the local cuisine, duck dishes are fairly popular, such as the roast duck. Also, try the local favourite Mongolian hotpot. And it goes without saying, definitely give the local variations of dumplings a try.
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What is the best time to visit Beijing?

Beijing in autumn is delightful. The temperatures become pleasant after a hot summer and it's much easier to roam about the city during this time. There is plenty of sunshine during this time as well, and the red leaves around the city and itês many gardens become quite a sight.
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