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City Guides / Guides

Must see places in Beijing

By Discover China

April 14

Here is a list of top-rated attractions in Beijing.

Here is a list of top-rated attractions in Beijing.

1. Tian’anmen Square 天安门

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Beijing is the heart of China, and Tian’anmen Square is the heart of Beijing. With a huge portrait of Chairman Mao hanging at the Tian’anmen Gate, the most revered events are held here, like the flag raising ceremony at dawn, and the flag lowering ceremony at dusk.  Countless major historical and political events took place here — the square bears witnesses to the decline and the rise of China. Every year on Oct 1, The National Day, the square is crowded with people and  decorated with flowers. Large-scale commemorations also take place every on five-year and ten-year anniversaries.

2. National Museum of China 国家博物馆

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On the opposite side of Tiananmen Gate is the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, the final resting place of Mao Zedong, which shares many similarities  with Lenin’s Tomb in Red Square. On its west side is the Great Hall of the People, and on the east side is the National Museum of China—the world’s third biggest museum and China’s largest. It houses a collection of over 1,000,000 items and 48 exhibition halls, attracting tourists to stay for hours.

3. Wangfujing Street & Chang’an Avenue 王府井步行街

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Wangfujing is Beijing’s most famous shopping street. Even on weekdays, the street is packed with people looking for snacks, movie theatres, and bookstores, surrounded by continuous rows of shops.

Chang’an Avenue, named after China’s ancient capital during the Tang Dynasty roughly translates to “long peace” street and is the site of military parades. When night approaches and lights are lit, lovers often go for walks along the avenue holding hands, while street-side stores display superb collections of luxury goods and artwork.

4. The Summer Palace 颐和园

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The former imperial garden during the Qing Dynasty, the Summer Palace is now the largest well-preserved royal park in China. It is located in the western suburb of Beijing and neighbors the Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan).

Sites include Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (Renshoudian), the Palace Theatre (Daxilou), and  17-Arch Bridge, among others.  All of them together offer visitors a great deal of cultural history to absorb.

5. Peking University & Tsinghua University 北京大学&清华大学

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[Image Credit:]
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Peking and Tsinghua universities are China’s most renowned and leading institutes of higher education, and have beautiful campuses. At Peking University, the pretty Boya Pagoda reflects on the Weiming Lake while at Tsinghua, one can feel the breath of history from every ancient building.

6. The Great Wall 长城

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The construction of the Great Wall first began during the Era of Emperor Qin Shihuang, and the Ming Dynasty was the last time the wall was constructed. The Great Wall’s total length is over 20,000 kilometers, crossing the northern part of China.

While in Beijing, remember to pay a visit to the Badaling, Mutianyu, or Simatai sections of the Great Wall to experience the steepness of the ancient fortification. As the saying goes “a man who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man”, this scenic spot tests the courage of its visitors.

7. Fragrant Hills 香山

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Located in the northwest of the capital, Fragrant Hills Park is a famous imperial garden. It is called Fragrant Hills because the highest peak’s name is XiangluFeng, or “incense-Burner Peak”, and the garden is filled with flowers and trees. Flowers shine along the hills in spring, wind blows refreshingly in the summer, red leaves fall down softly in the autumn, and the mountains are covered in snow in winter. Throughout the year each season offers visitors unique scenery.

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