top of page button
James Coleman/Unsplash.com

 Beijing's famous Tiananmen Square is big enough to hold one million people, while the historic Forbidden City is home to thousands of imperial rooms – and Beijing is still growing. The capital has witnessed the emergence of ever-higher rising towers, new restaurants and see-and-be-seen nightclubs. But at the same time, the city has managed to retain its very individual charm. The small tea houses in the backyards, the traditional fabric shops, the old temples and the noisy street restaurants make this city special.

currency

Chinese Yuan (CNY)

phone

Ambulance: 120
Fire: 119
Police: 110

newspaper

Beijing This Month
City Weekend
Beijing Review
China Daily

hours

Businesses are generally open from Monday to Friday, 09.00 until 18.00. Shops are also open on weekend.

population

21.54 million (2018)

info

Beijing Tourist Information Center

22. Beijing Railway Station Service Station
+86 6528 8448
16 Laoqianju Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Aquarium Service Station
+86 6217 6655
18 Gaoliangqiao Xiejie, Haidian District

Beihai Service Station
+86 6403 2726
1 Wenjing Street, Xicheng District (south gate of Beihai Park)

Chaoyang Service Station
+86 6417 6627
11-2 Gongti North Road, Chaoyang District

website

english.visitbeijing.com.cn

Beijing, China cityscape at the CBD. ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

The City

Beijing: Nowhere else can you find so many historic sites so close to each other. The famous Forbidden City and nearby Tiananmen Square mark the centre of Beijing.

North lies the popular Qianhai Lake, where locals cool down in the hot summer months. The Chongwen district to the south of the Forbidden City houses the Temple of Heaven, while the Chaoyang district in the east is well-known for its trendy restaurants and bars.

Preparing the Chinese capital for the 2008 Olympic Games saw many old buildings get refurbished and new skyscrapers erected. New restaurants, clubs and bars have also sprouted up and made the city more vibrant. Yet, Beijing is still managing to retain its traditional charm. A stroll alongside the city’s old shopping streets with its many silk, antique and tea shops give visitors a unique insight into Chinese culture. And of course, Beijing is also a culinary capital. From traditional Chinese dumplings to the original Beijing Duck, Beijing’s hundreds of restaurant and food stalls are sure to stimulate your taste buds.

Asian girl on Wangfujing food street during Asia summer vacation Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

Beijing is heaven for sightseeing fans. The city boasts well-known historic sites as well as many temples that attract thousands of visitors every year. The nearby Great Wall of China is clearly a must-see. Below is a list of some of the city’s major tourist attractions.

zhang kan / Shutterstock.com

Tian'anmen Square / 天安门广场

Zhao jian kang/Shutterstock.com

The Forbidden City / 故宫

Lukiyanova Natalia frenta/Shutterstock.com

The Summer Palace / 颐和园

Perkus / Shutterstock.com

Temple of Heaven / 天坛

Brian Kinney/Shutterstock.com

Yonghe Temple / 雍和宫

RYUSHI/Shutterstock.com

798 Art Zone

claudio zaccherini/Shutterstock.com

Liulichang / 琉璃厂

zhu difeng/Shutterstock.com

The Great Wall of China / 长城

yongyuth limpasute/Shutterstock.com

Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show / 朝阳剧场

claudio zaccherinI/Shutterstock.com

Beihai Park / 北海公园

Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

Happy Valley Beijing / 北京欢乐谷

Taras Vyshnya / Shutterstock.com

National Museum of China / 中国国家博物馆

Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock.com

Beijing Aquarium / 北京海洋馆

HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock.com

Shi Cha Hai / 什刹海

Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock.com

Beijing Capital Museum / 北京首都博物馆

HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock.com

Yuan Ming Yuan Park / 圆明园

HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock.com

Nan Luogu Xiang / 南锣鼓巷

Nyx Ning / commons.wikimedia.org

The Olympic Park / 奥林匹克公园

rongyiquan / Shutterstock.com

Dashilan / 大栅栏

Peking Duck vsl/Shutterstock.com

Dining

Chinese cuisine is no doubt one of the most popular across the globe - and it is not surprising that you’ll find the best Chinese food in China! A visit to Beijing is not complete without having sampled the local speciality, the crispy Beijing Duck, which is served with pancakes, spring onions and fermented bean paste. However, Beijing also has a lot of fabulous international restaurants - from Brazilian to Japanese cuisine plus American-style fast food.

vsl/Shutterstock.com

Fangshan Restaurant / 仿膳饭庄

Kzenon/Shutterstock.com

China Grill / 亮

SnvvSnvvSnvv/Shutterstock.com

Nobu

Wasant/Shutterstock.com

Old Dock Restaurant / 老船坞

PeteForeverPhotographer/Shutterstock.com

Gonin Byakusho Japanese Restaurant / 五人百姓日本料理

Chubykin Arkady/Shutterstock.com

Xi He Ya Ju / 羲和雅居

Slawomir Fajer/Shutterstock.com

Yong He / 永和大王

Shaiith/Shutterstock.com

Gong De Lin Vegetarian Restaurant / 功德林素菜饭庄

Kumpol Chuansakul/Shutterstock.com

Yu Restaurant / 玉餐厅

Kzenon/Shutterstock.com

Black Sesame Kitchen

Evgeny Litvinov/Shutterstock.com

TRB Hutong

hlphoto/Shutterstock.com

The Cut Steakhouse / 刃扒房

54613/Shutterstock.com

Haidilao Hot Pot / 海底捞

ARENA Creative/Shutterstock.com

Huang Ting / 凰庭

Eight Photo/Shutterstock.com

Annie's / 安妮意大利餐厅

szefei/Shutterstock.com

Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu / 宝源饺子屋

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Mosto / 南美牛扒屋

City youth in Cafe HelloRF Zcool/Shutterstock.com

Cafes

Whether you are looking for a cup of freshly-brewed coffee or exotic Chinese tea, the variety of coffee shops and tea houses in Beijing is almost endless. Many cafes serve fresh bread and cakes as well.

Oleg Krugliak / Shutterstock.com

The Bookworm / 老书虫

imtmphoto/Shutterstock.com

Cafe Zarah

Magdanatka/Shutterstock.com

Village Café

Odua Images / Shutterstock.com

Wagas / 沃歌斯

Tomasz Jasiewicz / Shutterstock.com

Fu San / 福叁

Douglas Pfeiffer / Shutterstock.com

SUZUKI CAFE / 铃木食堂

Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock.com

1901 café

zarzamora / Shutterstock.com

Two Cities Coffee Bar / 双城咖啡酒吧

rongyiquan / Shutterstock.com

Beiping Café / 北平咖啡

NgHong / Shutterstock.com

Laoshe Tea House /老舍茶馆

beijing after sunset-night scene of CBD zhu difeng/Shutterstock.com

Bars & Nightlife

Fancy a bottle of China’s Tsingtao Beer, a cup of Japanese sake rice wine, or a pint of Guinness? Beijing has a large selection of bars catering to locals and international visitors—and it’s growing. Make sure you pay a visit to Sanlitun Street with its many pubs.

Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

Mix Club / 密克斯酒吧

HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock.com

Shi Cha Hai / 什刹海

Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

Modo Ultra Club

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Sirena Bar / 海妖餐吧

Torsten Dettlaff/Shutterstock.com

Nuoyan Wine House / 糯言酒馆

bondvit/Shutterstock.com

Panda Brew Pub / 熊猫精酿

Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock.com

Aurora Club

Maksim Fesenko/Shutterstock.com

Red Dog

g-stockstudio/Shutterstock.com

Club SIR.TEEN

HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock.com

Nan Luogu Xiang / 南锣鼓巷

zarzamora / Shutterstock.com

Two Cities Coffee Bar / 双城咖啡酒吧

Woman tourist walking in chinatown on china travel. Asian girl on Wangfujing food street during Asia summer vacation. Traditional Beijing snacks being sold at chinese chinatown outdoor market. Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Shopping

Beijing has long been a centre of trade. Today, it boasts over 13,000 stores spread across the city, offering anything from original Chinese handicrafts to international designer fashion items. Wangfujing Street is among the most popular shopping miles in town. It is home to new, shiny shopping malls and department stores selling trendy, expensive brand-name goods. Top Beijing souvenirs are Beijing Crisp Candy (Su Tang), Liubiju sauce, Daoxiangcun pastry, Chinese jasmine tea, and Peking roast duck.

WaitForLight/Shutterstock.com

Beijing Oriental Plaza / 东方新天地

Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

China World Mall / 中国国际贸易中心

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Ten Fu’s Tea / 天福茗茶

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Hongqiao Pearl Market / 红桥珍珠市场

Nattee Chalermtiragool / Shutterstock.com

Qianmen Street / 前门

claudio zaccherini/Shutterstock.com

Liulichang Street / 琉璃厂

Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Wangfujing / 王府井

fizkes/Shutterstock.com

Joy City / 大悦城

FernandoZi / Shutterstock.com

Taikoo Li Sanlitun / 太古里

rodho/Shutterstock.com

Yandaixie Street / 烟袋斜街

TonyV3112/Shutterstock.com

Beijing Antique City / 北京古玩城

rongyiquan / Shutterstock.com

Dashilan / 大栅栏

Bike in Beijing N K/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Beijing Capital International Airport / 北京首都国际机场

The Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK/ZBAA) is located around 27 kilometres north of Beijing´s city centre. At present, the airport consists of three terminals.

The cheapest way to into town is to take CAAC's airport shuttle bus. There are 18 shuttle routes. The ride takes between 40-90 minutes, depending on traffic and origin/destination. Tickets are available at the "Intracity & Inter - Provincial Shuttle Bus Ticket Vending Desk" for each terminal. The shuttles leave the airport from the 1st floor of each terminal. Buses depart every 15-30 minutes.

There is also an airport express train called ABC or Airport to Beijing City. The airport express covers the 27.3 km distance between the airport and the city in 18 minutes, connecting Terminals 2 and 3, to Sanyuanxiao subway station in Line 10 and Dongzhimen subway station in Line 2.

Taxi stops are located:
T1: Outside Gate 1 on F1
T2: Outside Gate 5 to 9 on F1
T3: Please refer to the signs inside the terminal building

Address: Shunyi, Beijing

Email:

Phone: Airport Hotline: +86 10 96158 / Airport Shuttle Bus: +86 10 6457 3891

Website:

More Information:

Best Time To Visit

Most of the attractions sites in Beijing consist of timeless architectures and intangible cultural heritage, so the change of seasons has little impact. However given the weather, it is recommended to visit in spring or autumn, for winter might get too cold and summer too hot for comfort.
Try to avoid Chinese public holidays such as between October 1st and 7th, during which the city could be flooded by local tourists.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Passport/Visa

For citizens of the following countries, the visa is not requested for short term stays:
- 90 days: Bosnia and Herzegovina, San Marino
- 60 days: Mauritius
- 30 days: Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Tonga, United Arab Emirates.
- 15 days: Brunei, Japan, Singapore.

Holders of passports issued by the following 49 countries do not require a visa for a 144-hour stay if they are transiting through Beijing International Airport. However, passengers need to provide ticket showing their first destination, which should be outside China, nor could it be in the same country as the inbound flight.
- All European Union citizens, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Japan, Macedonia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine, United States.
- Passengers who enter China via Beijing International Airport under transition condition cannot leave the area of Beijing.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Internet Access and VPN in China

Due to the Internet policy of China, certain websites and applications are not accessible from the mainland, which includes those very commonly used in the west (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Skype and more). Some travellers have been able to gain access to those via a VPN service (installed prior to arrival in China).

Make sure you comply with local laws and regulations when deciding on whether or not to employ a VPN, and which one to choose (if you do, only use those explicitly allowed by the Chinese government, and only use them for authorised purposes to avoid any trouble). There have been reports of foreigners in China getting their cell service cut off in response to unauthorised use of VPN being detected; restoring cell service required a trip to the local police station where contents of the device were investigated and certain apps removed.

Giving that Google is banned in China, Google Maps might not be the most accurate and reliable source of information. Some local apps such as Baidu Maps and AutoNavi tend to work better than Google Maps.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Public Transport

The subway is the best way to move around the city and avoid traffic jams in Beijing. Currently, there are 22 lines in operation, including the newly-opened ABC, or Airport to Beijing City airport line. Line 1 and Line 2 run through the centre of Beijing and cover most of the attractions. The subway runs from 05:00 to midnight daily. Subway stations are marked by navy blue signs with a "D" (for Ditie or subway) in a circle. Route signs are bilingual.

Bus service is another option to travel around the city. With more than 900 routes, the buses take you through both the downtown and suburbs. Buses generally run from 05:00 to 23:00. You can pay with cash, coins and notes by putting the exact amount into the fare box on the bus, or pay with a transportation card or applications. For the card, you need to tap both on and off on the bus.

The transportation card in Beijing is called "Yikatong", it offers travel discounts. At the service centre in the subway stations, you can purchase and top up a Yikatong card. At major stations, you can refund the card. Keep the purchase receipt if you wish to refund later after your stay. You can also top up the card using the machines at stations.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website: www.ebeijing.gov.cn/feature_2/BeijingSubway/

More Information:

Taxi

Taxis are the default mode of transportation for most foreigners in Beijing. Have your destination written down in Chinese and hail a taxi down. Make sure there is a taximeter and it starts at its initial point.

Beijing taxi drivers may speak only a little English, but they are generally honest and friendly. Expect to get your change; tipping is discouraged. Taxi from the airport to the city centre takes approximately around 50 minutes, depending on the traffic. Ask for your receipt by saying "Fa-piao / 发票"

The Beijing Bureau of Communications takes complaints concerning taxis, minibus or other vehicles. No operator, but an English recording that gives instructions for faxing your complaint—which of course will mitigate your anger right away.

Address:

Email:

Phone: +86 10 6835 1150.

Website:

More Information:

Post Office

China Post boxes are green and can be found throughout.

Jianguomen Post Office / 建国门邮政支局

Address: 50 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing

Email:

Phone: +86 10 6506 4288

Website:

More Information: Next to the Postal Saving Bank of China

Pharmacy

Pharmacies are easy to locate but do mind that staff often will not speak English, so it is recommended that you bring along someone who can interpret for you, or have the name of the needed medicine written down in Chinese characters.

One pharmacy staffed with English speakers is Vista Clinic, located at Kerry Centre Shopping Mall:
24hr Medical Hotline:+86(010)8529 6618

Address: 1 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Email:

Phone: +86 10 8529 6618

Website: www.vista-china.net/en/

More Information: 3F Kerry Centre Shopping Mall

Electricity

220 Volt, flat 3-pin "V" plugs
Adapter needed

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Telephone

Country code: +86

Area code: (0)10

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information: