Beijing, also widely referred to as Peking, became the capital city of China during the Yuan Dynasty in the mid 1200s.
For centuries, this mysterious and intriguing city has lured travelers from all over the world and visitors will quickly discover there is an extraordinary number of activities and attractions in which they can participate to create the memories of a lifetime.
Getting to Beijing
The Beijing International Airport–BCIA is located approximately 45 minutes from the city’s downtown area; however, congested traffic patterns during rush hour often make the commute much longer.
Therefore, visitors should allow for extra time if they plan to travel during rush hour. Flights to Beijing from London, New York, Miami and India typically arrive on a daily basis.
Getting Around Beijing
Taxi service is reasonable and convenient from the airport to most tourist destinations and is available seven days a week around-the-clock. Queuing time is usually less than 10 minutes for all self-service passengers and even less for those taking full-service flights.
Airport Shuttle Bus lines are available to Xidan, Fangzhuang, Zhongguancun and Gongzhufen, and the wait is usually less than 15 minutes. The Airport Shuttle Bus line also departs for the Beijing Railway Station every 30 minutes throughout most of the year.
Where to Stay in Beijing
The Chaoyang District is home to a large number of hotels and resorts. Establishments that receive consistently high ratings among vacationers in online surveys.
Most resorts and hotels are located near the city’s various embassies, providing a peaceful environment for visitors while still being close to popular tourist sites.
Attractions and Things to Do in Beijing
Beijing boasts numerous historical sites and outstanding scenery. The Forbidden City in Tiananmen Square, a historical landmark and the largest palace in the world, is located in the center of the city and many tourists choose to begin their sightseeing excursions from this location.
A leisurely, enjoyable stroll through Beijing’s old alleys and narrow streets is also an ideal way to view authentic Chinese life and catch a glimpse of Eastern history. A 20 minute walk from Tiananmen Square will find visitors in Wangfujing, a bustling shopping district filled with various activities.
Other attractions that shoppers will enjoy include Beijing’s renowned Silk and Pearl Market. Here, visitors can purchase various merchandise, including silk apparel, handmade souvenirs and genuine pearls.
Most individuals would agree that a visit to China would not be complete without a trip to the Great Wall. Built more than nine centuries ago throughout reigns of numerous rulers, this impressive landmark stretches over 5000 miles from the mountains of Korea to the Gobi Desert.
The Great Wall is the world’s largest handmade structure. It is also Earth’s only man-made structure visible from outer space.
In September and October, Beijing is usually sunny and dry with cool evenings and clear skies. Interesting and exciting events in Beijing during this time include the Beijing Dance Festival, which lasts for six weeks beginning in mid August.
There is also the Annual Autumn Festival, the latter of which is similar to what Westerners would call a giant state fair. Also sometimes called the Moon Festival, this event is a great choice for visitors. Regardless of one’s vacation objectives, a trip to mesmerizing Beijing will almost certainly never be forgotten.