China, Asia

  • Beijing View 1

    Where an imperial past meets a hi-tech future

  • Beijing View 2

    Where an imperial past meets a hi-tech future

How to enjoy Beijing

According to Katie Melua there are 9 million bicycles in Beijing. There are actually more cars, but still, the song’s sentiment captures the romance of the city where 1,000 year old walls nestle comfortably amid 21st century architecture and traffic

  • Put the pagoda on top of the hill in Jingshan Park on your must-see list, it affords picture perfect views over the Forbidden City
  • Pay your respects to the embalmed remains of Chairman Mao at the Mao Mausoleum south of Tiananmen Square
  • Wudaoying Hutong has something for everyone. It brings together the best from the East and the West - from coffee shops and fast food to the VA Bar, which features up-and-coming music artists and local bands as well as its own open mic night on Wednesdays.

For an exclusive insight into Beijing, discover the places just off the main tourist trail. Chonghua Palace (Palace of Double Glory), for example. It is one of the 980 buildings that comprise the Unesco World Heritage Site, The Forbidden City, and is usually off limits in order to protect its gold brick floor. Special visits can be arranged, though: speak to your concierge.

It is easy to find a crowd-free trip to the Great Wall. The edifice is huge. You just need to pick a less popular spot for this stunning attraction, such as Mutianyu or hike to Jiankou. It’s also possible to get a unique take on many other Beijing treasures. The Seventeen Arch Bridge over Kunming Lake at the Summer Palace at sundown is spectacular and the hutongs give a flavor of the city when the bike was still king.

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    When to visit Beijing

    Fall is a lovely time to visit Beijing, when the summer heat has cooled and the skies are a crisp blue. It’s also best to avoid local holidays when attractions can get very crowded.

Hotels we adore in Beijing

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