What are the best unique Beijing experiences?

Don’t even think about visiting Beijing without trying Peking duck, hiking the Great Wall of China and haggling for deals at Beijing’s many markets. Here’s a quick look at must-do experiences unique to Beijing:

1. You may have dined on Peking duck before, but nowhere is it more delicious than the city in which it originated. In Beijing, perfect duck roast is ordered ahead of time, slow roasted and removed from the oven just as you arrive at the restaurant. Purists and tourists alike haunt Li Qun or Da Dong Roast Duck for a no-frills experience. Those on expense accounts visit Made in China in the Grand Hyatt Beijing for a more luxe version.

2. A hike along any one of the accessible sections of the Great Wall is simply unforgettable. You must go. You would also be wise to prepare for steep ascents and descents and the hawkers selling drinks, T-shirts and candy along the way.

3. Haggling for jade or pearls (or any kind souvenir for that matter) at one of Beijing’s markets is a lively sport not to be taken too seriously. Locals suggest offering a price that’s less than 50 perfect of what you think the item is worth and then haggling until it hurts.

  • On June 13, 2013
    Natalie Wearstler answered the question: Natalie Wearstler

    What are the best things to see in Beijing?

    Beijing is a city where ancient buildings and customs coincide with modern development and new ideas. If you find yourself in this multi-faceted Chinese city, make sure to add the following stops to your itinerary:

    The Great Wall of China is the most obvious attraction that you should see in Beijing. When I visited in 2009, I went to the Badaling section, which is popular for its proximity to the city as well as its accessibility via public transportation (keep in mind that the Great Wall spans more than 13,000 miles; there are numerous options for where to start your journey).

    The Temple of Heaven, a series of religious buildings that date back to the early 1400s, is another perfect place to learn about Chinese history while strolling through beautiful buildings. 

    Sports fans should make the trip to the Beijing Olympic Park, home of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A walking path through the National Stadium, often known as the "Bird's Nest," leads visitors through important locations within the building that were the setting for important moments in the 2008 games.

    Tian'anmen Square is the entry pont for several must-visit Beijing attractions: the Forbidden City, the National Museum of China and the Monument to People's Heroes, the largest monument in China's history.




  • On October 19, 2012
    Ming Tsai answered the question: Ming Tsai

    What are the best markets in Beijing?

    There was this huge 20-level indoor market that everyone goes to. The U.S. basketball team went there and they had five suits made for $150 a piece. Great bargains. You can get everything from jade — I got a jade necklace there — to custom suits. Everything made in China because — guess what — everything is made in China.
  • On October 19, 2012
    Ming Tsai answered the question: Ming Tsai

    What are the best places to eat in Beijing?

    Go to where there are only Chinese people; don't go to places where there are only tourists. I've heard people come back from China and say the food was no good and I’m like, "Well where did you eat?" and they say,  "Oh we ate with the tour group here, here and here." You have to break out. I know people aren't all going to eat street food, but that's some of the best food. And as a side note: if you do travel the world, take probiotics.

    A must-go restaurant in Beijing is Made in China in Grand Hyatt Beijing — really good Peking duck, good pot stickers and sizzling lamb. A second restaurant that has really known for Peking duck is Da Dong. They go through a couple hundred a day — they're known for their Peking duck.
  • Just now

    NEW FOLLOWERS

    Daniel Finch Jason Tang Robert Tatum Gwyndolyn James Natalie Wearstler
  • On November 12, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best souvenirs in Beijing?

    There’s nothing more au courant than returning home from Beijing with a photograph or piece of artwork from one of the city’s many contemporary artists. You can find such a treasure at 798 Art District, a Soviet-era electronics factory complex that has been turned into a maze of galleries, restaurants and hip coffee houses.

    China supplies the much of the world’s cultured fresh-water pearls. Bargaining for a strand (or two) is a fun challenge that makes bringing home your acquired treasure even more satisfying. Look for pearls in the stalls at the Hongqiao (Pearl) Market near the Temple of Heaven.
  • On November 12, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best nightlife in Beijing?

    If you want to see live music like you’ve never seen it before, visit Yugong Yishan, where international and local rock bands perform for a impossibly hip mix of Beijingers and expats. The sexy, swank atmosphere at the Phillipe Starck-designed LAN makes for a glitzy night out on the town. The cocktails are excellent, and so is the fusion food menu. To experience after-work happy hour like the locals do, swig an expertly made martini at the contemporary, streamlined Centro inside the Kerry Centre Hotel. Here you can enjoy nightly entertainment that includes everything from jazz bands to the ever-popular karaoke.
  • On November 11, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best things to see in Beijing?

    Even as the city evolves into a mecca of modernity, there are reminders of Beijing’s past practically everywhere you look. A visit to Beijing wouldn’t be complete without seeing these beauties:

    1. The Forbidden City. If you enter at the south side of the museum, you’ll leave the most beautiful part of the complex for last — the Imperial Garden, a gorgeous maze of pavilions, cypress trees and landscaped pathways.

    2. The Summer Palace. Empress Dowager Cixi built the Summer Palace on the shores of a beautiful lake and resided there for almost 20 years while her son ruled from the Forbidden City. It’s easy to see why she chose to stay — the area, just north of downtown Beijing, is a tranquil retreat of hills, gardens and majestic temples.

    3. The Temple of Heaven. Built in 1420, the Temple of Heaven is a sprawling complex of temples, gardens and pavilions. Today it’s frequented by the city’s many retirees who gather daily to play mahjong or exercise in the park. Visitors love to visit the Echo Wall and test its amazing acoustics, as well as marvel at the majesty of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the epicenter of the complex.

    4. The Lama Temple. The smell of incense is overwhelming at the Lama Temple, a Tibetan Buddhist structure on the north side of the city. Real monks watch over the Maitreya Buddha, an 80-foot-tall statue carved from one piece of sandalwood.
  • On November 11, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best unique Beijing experiences?

    Don’t even think about visiting Beijing without trying Peking duck, hiking the Great Wall of China and haggling for deals at Beijing’s many markets. Here’s a quick look at must-do experiences unique to Beijing:

    1. You may have dined on Peking duck before, but nowhere is it more delicious than the city in which it originated. In Beijing, perfect duck roast is ordered ahead of time, slow roasted and removed from the oven just as you arrive at the restaurant. Purists and tourists alike haunt Li Qun or Da Dong Roast Duck for a no-frills experience. Those on expense accounts visit Made in China in the Grand Hyatt Beijing for a more luxe version.

    2. A hike along any one of the accessible sections of the Great Wall is simply unforgettable. You must go. You would also be wise to prepare for steep ascents and descents and the hawkers selling drinks, T-shirts and candy along the way.

    3. Haggling for jade or pearls (or any kind souvenir for that matter) at one of Beijing’s markets is a lively sport not to be taken too seriously. Locals suggest offering a price that’s less than 50 perfect of what you think the item is worth and then haggling until it hurts.
  • On November 11, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best places to stay in Beijing?

    In Beijing you can find everything from efficient new budget hotels to over-the-top bastions of luxury. Our four favorite places all have unique qualities of their own, from vertiginous views to show-stopping, old-world opulence. Take a look at these top Four-Star hotels:

    1. The Peninsula Beijing. A prime location and seemingly flawless service make this swank hotel a favorite of international business travelers. The Peninsula Beijing was one of the first big brands to debut in China’s capitol city when it was opened to Westerners 1989. Though the guestrooms are now ready for a fresh up, the utterly accommodating staff makes up for whatever the facilities lack. Jing, the hotel’s acclaimed contemporary restaurant serves updated Asian cuisine, while Huang Ting offers traditional Cantonese dishes in a setting designed to resemble a (very upscale) Qing-era courtyard.

    2. The Grand Hyatt Beijing. This gleaming glass tower of a hotel has so many amenities you never need leave the property. The fitness center and spa include a sprawling, basement-level indoor pool that’s a simulated fantasyland of palm trees, star-studded skies and waterfalls. And the restaurant Made in China is one of the city’s top and tastiest spots for Peking duck.

    3. The St. Regis Beijing. We like to think of this gem as the grande dame of Beijing hotels. It’s classically elegant (last renovated in early 2008) and delivers impeccable white-glove service from your arrival to departure. The concierge staff is particularly adept at arranging car service or tours and can steer you to the city’s best shops and restaurants. Twice-daily butler service keeps the rooms sparkling and neat, and we appreciate the fresh flowers and fluffy, high-quality towels.

    4. The Raffles Beijing Hotel. This stunner is housed in two buildings, (one that dates back to the 1900s and one that’s a modern tower), and has one of the city’s most enviable locations just steps from Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Wangfujiang’s shopping. Rooms are swathed in romantic chintzes, oriental rugs and French furnishings, but also include contemporary touches like flat-screen TVs and DVD players on request. You can lounge in the classic Writers Bar (named for the many famous authors who have stayed here) or dine at Jaan, the acclaimed onsite French restaurant.