Essential Places To Visit In Beijing, China
Here are the essential places to visit in Beijing, China. The selection is made using the FavRiver scoring system which takes into account the most relevant metrics and expert reviews.
Last update : Jun 27, 2019
1Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China (Chinese: 萬里長城; pinyin: Wànlǐ Chángchéng) is the collective name of a series of fortification systems generally built across the historical northern borders of China to protect and consolidate territories of Chinese states and empires against various nomadic groups of the steppe and their polities. Several walls were being built from as early as the 7th century BC by ancient Chinese states; selective stretches were later joined together by Qin Shi Huang (220–206 BC), the first Emperor of China. Little of the Qin wall remains. Later on, many successive dynasties have built and maintained multiple stretches of border walls. The most currently well-known of the walls were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).
Apart from defense, other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.
The frontier walls built by different dynasties have multiple courses. Collectively, they stretch from Liaodong in the east to Lop Lake in the west, from present-day Sino–Russian border in the north to Taohe River in the south; along an arc that roughly delineates the edge of Mongolian steppe. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the walls built by the Ming dynasty measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi). This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measures out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi). Today, the defensive system of Great Wall is generally recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history.
Great Wall of China
2Forbidden City
The Forbidden City (Chinese: 故宫; pinyin: Gùgōng) is a palace complex in central Beijing, China. It houses the Palace Museum, and was the former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (the years 1420 to 1912). The Forbidden City served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years.
Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 hectares (over 180 acres). The palace exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum's former collection is now in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War. Since 2012, the Forbidden City has seen an average of 15 million visitors annually, and received more than 16 million visitors in 2016 and 2017.
Forbidden City
3Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square or Tian'anmen Square (天安門, Pinyin: Tiān'ānmén; Wade–Giles: Tʻien1-an1-mên2) is a city square in the centre of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen ('Gate of Heavenly Peace') located to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China in the square on October 1, 1949; the anniversary of this event is still observed there. Tiananmen Square is within the top ten largest city squares in the world (440,500 m2 – 880×500 m or 109 acres – 960×550 yd). It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Outside China, the square is best known for the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, otherwise known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre or June Fourth Massacre.
Tiananmen Square
4Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University (abbreviated THU; Chinese: 清华大学; also romanized as Qinghua) is a major research university in Beijing, and a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities. Since its establishment in 1911, it has graduated numerous Chinese leaders in politics, business, academia, and culture.
Reflecting its motto of Self-Discipline and Social Commitment, Tsinghua University is dedicated to academic excellence, advancing the well-being of Chinese society, and global development. Tsinghua is perennially ranked as one of the top academic institutions in China, Asia, and worldwide, and was recognized as the 14th best university in the 2017 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings. Since 2015, Tsinghua has been ranked as the best engineering and computer science school in the world based on factors including total research output and performance. Tsinghua is a Class A institution in the Double First Class University Plan.
Tsinghua University
5Beijing National Stadium
Beijing National Stadium, officially the National Stadium (Chinese: 国家体育场; pinyin: Guójiā Tǐyùchǎng; literally: 'National Stadium'), also known as the Bird's Nest (鸟巢; Niǎocháo), is a stadium in Beijing. The stadium was jointly designed by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Herzog & de Meuron, project architect Stefan Marbach, artist Ai Weiwei, and CADG, which was led by chief architect Li Xinggang. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and will be used again in the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The Bird's Nest sometimes has some extra temporary large screens installed at the stands of the stadium. It was designed by the Basel-based architecture team Herzog & de Meuron.
Beijing National Stadium
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