Top 10 Things To Do In Beijing

Find out what Beijing has to offer. Here are 10 exciting places and things to do while visiting the beautiful city.

Beijing is a fantastic place with awe striking history, encouraging culture, and captivating scenery that leaves your eyes longing for more.

First visit the Chinese Ethnic Cultural Museum in Beijing. China is home to over 55 minority ethnic groups. The museum serves as a large cultural base where visitors may enjoy viewing the traditional architecture, local customs, arts and crafts, and songs and dances, and sample the cuisines of the various ethnic minority peoples of China. Various activities aimed at displaying the traditions and cultures of China's ethnic groups are carried out here.

Another great attraction is the Beijing World Park. Located in the southwestern suburb of Beijing, the park is a gigantic garden displaying miniatures of well-known scenic spots throughout the world; it has 17 scenic areas mimicking Asia, Africa, Europe, America, Oceania areas, and includes more than 100 miniature world-famous buildings from nearly 50 countries. You can even get to it on the cities public transportation system.

One of the most frequented tourist spots in the world is The Great Wall of China. Construction started on the Great Wall in the seventh century B.C. After the state of Qin unified China in 221 B.C., the wall held off the invaders from the Xiongnu tribes in the north and the wall was extended to more than 10,000 li or 5,000 km. The wall is visible from space!

Lying at the center of Beijing is the Forbidden City or Gu Gong as it is called in Chinese It was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Forbidden City is nearly 600 years old and was originally planned and constructed from 1407 to 1420 an is now known as the Palace Museum. It is the world's largest palace complex with 9,999 buildings that are surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall.

Another spectacular palace is the Summer Palace located about 10 miles outside of Beijing. The Summer Palace is the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. This palace boasts 17 Great Halls, gardens and sights that are sure to take up plenty of your time. It even has a two-tiered, 36 meter long boat made entirely of marble.

In the very center of Beijing is Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen means Heavenly Peace Gate, yet, with all of the un-peaceful events that have occurred there over the centuries, you wouldn't think so. Nevertheless, Tiananmen Square is the biggest square in the world and can hold over one million people. Thousands of people visit the square everyday. Within Tiananmen Square there are a host of awesome historic sights to see.

West of the center of the square is the Great Hall of the People. This building, erected in 1959, is the site of the China National People's Congress meetings and provides an impressive site for other political and diplomatic activities. Twelve marble posts are in front of the Hall, which has three parts--the Central Hall, the Great Auditorium and a Banqueting Hall. The Great Auditorium behind the Central Hall seats 10,000.

Pay a visit to the Hutong Culture and Courtyard Culture. Hutong literally means a small street or a lane between two courtyards. There are thousands of hutongs in Beijing City. The most interesting to tour is in the Shichahai area, which is rivaled to be the best scenic spot. From there you can see Bell and Drum Towers, Prince Gong's Mansion and many other hutongs. The Courtyard culture is also a very calming atmosphere where you are sure to see many others who have chosen to visit this great land.

31 miles northwest from Beijing City lay the Ming Tombs. The tombs are the mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. The mausoleums have been perfectly preserved, as have many of the old and long gone emperors and their treasures. It was originally built as the Changling, the tomb of Emperor Zhudi and his empresses. This is the most magnificent of the tombs. The succeeding twelve emperors had their tombs built around Changling.

Stargazers will be quite taken in by one of the oldest observatories in the world. Referred to as the Ancient Observatory, this one already has over a 500-year history. It, like so many of Beijing's historic landmarks, was built in the Ming Dynasty. As a matter of fact, the name was changed not to long ago from the original name, Watching Star Platform.

It would take a lifetime to really begin to grasp all that Beijing has to offer. However, the suggestions given make for a great start.

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