We’ve compiled the best of the best in Beijing - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. 798 Art District

    Chaoyang | Arts/Performance Venue

    Chinese contemporary art has exploded in the past decade, and to see some of the finest examples of the scene look no further than 798 Art District...Read More

  • 2. Confucius Temple

    Dongcheng District | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This tranquil temple to China's great sage has endured close to eight centuries of additions and restorations. The Hall of Great Accomplishment...Read More

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  • 3. Jingshan Park

    Xicheng District | Park (National/State/Provincial)

    This park, also known as Coal Hill Park, was built around a small peak formed from earth excavated for the Forbidden City's moats. Ming rulers...Read More

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  • 4. Old Summer Palace

    Haidian District | Ruins

    About the size of New York's Central Park, this ruin was once a grand collection of palaces—the emperor's summer retreat from the 15th century...Read More

  • 5. Qingdongling


    The most elaborate of the Qing tombs was built for the infamous Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908). Known for her failure to halt Western-imperialist...Read More

  • 6. Summer Palace

    Haidian District | Castle/Palace

    Emperor Qianlong commissioned this giant royal retreat in 1750. Anglo–French forces plundered, then burned, many of the palaces in 1860, and...Read More

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  • 7. Temple of Heaven

    Xuanwu District | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    A prime example of Chinese religious architecture, this is where emperors once performed important rites. It was a site for imperial sacrifices...Read More

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  • 8. The Forbidden City

    Dongcheng District | Castle/Palace

    Undeniably sumptuous, the Forbidden City, once home to a long line of emperors, is Beijing's most enduring emblem. Magnificent halls, winding...Read More

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  • 9. Tian Yi Mu

    Shijingshan District | Museum/Gallery

    Eunuchs have played a vital role throughout Chinese history, frequently holding great sway over the affairs of state. Their importance, often...Read More

  • 10. Tiananmen Square

    Dongcheng District | Plaza/Square

    The world's largest public square, and the very heart of modern China, Tiananmen Square owes little to grand imperial designs and everything...Read More

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  • 11. Yuling


    Of the nine tombs open to the public, Yuling is not to be missed. This is the resting place of the Qing Dynasty's most powerful sovereign, Emperor...Read More

  • 12. Ancient Observatory

    Chaoyang | Observatory

    This squat tower of primitive stargazing equipment peeks out next to the elevated highways of the Second Ring Road. It dates to the time of...Read More

  • 13. Beidaihe


    Chairman Mao and the party's favorite spot for sand, sun, and seafood, Beidaihe, (250 km [170 miles] northeast of Beijing) is one of China's...Read More

  • 14. Beihai Park

    Xicheng District | Ruins

    A white stupa is perched on a small island just north of the south gate of this park. Also at the south entrance is Round City, which contains...Read More

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  • 15. Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum

    Xicheng District | Museum/Gallery

    This little-known museum, located inside a Ming Dynasty temple, exhibits photos, objects, and elaborate models of ancient Chinese architecture...Read More

  • 16. Beijing Botanical Garden

    Haidian District | Garden

    Sitting at the feet of the Western Hills in Beijing's northwestern suburbs, the Beijing Botanical Garden, opened in 1955, hosts China's largest...Read More

  • 17. Beijing Zoo

    Xicheng District | Zoo/Aquarium

    Though visitors usually go straight to see the giant pandas, don't miss the other interesting animals, like tigers from the northeast, yaks...Read More

  • 18. Big Bell Temple

    Haidian District | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This 18th-century temple shields China's biggest bell and more than 400 smaller bells and gongs from the Ming, Song, and Yuan dynasties. The...Read More

  • 19. Capital Museum

    Xicheng District | Museum/Gallery

    Moved to an architecturally striking new home west of Tiananmen Square in 2005, this is one of China's' finest cultural museums. Artifacts are...Read More

  • 20. Central Business District (CBD)

    Chaoyang | Neighborhood/Street

    The fast-rising CBD encompasses the China World Trade Center (the third tower, completed in 2010, is the tallest building in Beijing) and...Read More

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