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. 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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  • 2. 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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  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Cultural Palace of Nationalities

    Xicheng District | Museum/Gallery

    Dedicated to the 56 official ethnic groups that make up China's modern population, this museum houses traditional clothing and artifacts from...Read More

  • 7. Drum Tower

    Xicheng District | Notable Building

    Until the late 1920s, the 24 drums once housed in this tower were Beijing's timepiece. Sadly, all but one of these huge drums have been destroyed...Read More

  • 8. Great Hall of the People

    Xicheng District | Government Building

    This solid edifice owes its Stalinist weight to the last years of the Sino-Soviet pact. Its gargantuan dimensions (205,712 square yards of floor...Read More

  • 9. Liulichang

    Xuanwu District | Historic District/Site

    This quaint old street is best known for its antiques, books, and paintings. The street has been completely restored and a multitude of small...Read More

  • 10. Niujie (Ox Street) Mosque

    Xuanwu District | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Originally built during the Liao Dynasty in 996, Niujie is Beijing's oldest and largest mosque. It sits at the center of the Muslim quarter...Read More

  • 11. Prince Gong's Palace

    Xicheng District | Castle/Palace

    This grand compound sits in a neighborhood once reserved for imperial relatives. Built in 1777 during the Qing Dynasty, it fell to Prince Gong...Read More

  • 12. Qianhai and Houhai

    Xicheng District | Body Of Water/Waterfall

    Most people come to these lakes, along with Xihai to the northwest, to stroll and enjoy the shoreside bars and restaurants. In summer you can...Read More

  • 13. Qianmen (Front Gate)

    Dongcheng District | Notable Building

    From its top, looking south, you can see that Qianmen (Front Gate) is actually two gates: the Sun-Facing Gate (Zhengyangmen) and the Arrow Tower...Read More

  • 14. Ruifuxiang Silk Shop

    Xuanwu District | Store/Mall

    Established in 1893, this shop has thick bolts of silk, cotton, cashmere, and wool piled high, in more colors than you'll find in a box of crayons...Read More

  • 15. Soong Ching-ling's Former Residence

    Xicheng District | Historic Home

    Soong Ching-ling (1893–1981) was the youngest daughter of Charles Soong, a wealthy, American-educated bible publisher. At the age of 18, disregarding...Read More

  • 16. Source of Law Temple

    Xuanwu District | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This quiet temple is also a school for monks—the Chinese Buddhist Theoretical Institute houses and trains them here. Of course, the temple functions...Read More

  • 17. Temple of the White Pagoda

    Xicheng District | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This 13th-century Tibetan stupa, the largest of its kind in China, dates from Kublai Khan's reign and owes its beauty to an unnamed Nepalese...Read More

  • 18. White Clouds Taoist Temple

    Xicheng District | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This lively Taoist temple founded in the 8th century serves as a center for China's only indigenous religion. Monks wearing blue-cotton coats...Read More

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