Things to do in

Beijing

The ever-expanding capital is an explorer’s delight: 6 UNESCO sites and the Forbidden City are just the start.

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Our most recommended Beijing Culture & History

  • From Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Transfer with Pick-Up

    1. From Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Transfer with Pick-Up

    Explore the most well-known and preserved section of the Great Wall in Mutianyu. This section is a UNESCO heritage site has appeared in some Hollywood movies and has been climbed by former US President Barack Obama. Depart from Beijing at your hotel at around 7 AM with a shared pick-up or meet at the downtown station at around 8 AM. Head to Mutianyu with a convenient air-conditioned transfer. Arrive in Mutianyu at around 9-9:30 AM. Take amazing photos of the Mutianyu Wall from multiple angles - either down from the hill or up from the wall if you purchase the admission ticket option. Then, challenge yourself with a 5-6km hike from the bottom to the top of the highest station which was once a beacon. Or take an easier route with the cable car option so that you can ascend the later half directly. Enjoy around 3-3.5 hours to explore by yourself. Include a 10-dish authentic Chinese lunch...

    Good timing of the visit as I did want to spend the whole day, comfortable bus and good communication. Thank you.

  • From Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour

    2. From Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour

    Climb aboard a bus that departs from downtown Beijing and travel directly to the Mutianyu Great Wall, saving you time and money. On the journey, your English-speaking tour guide will give you an introduction to the history of Great Wall.  Follow your guide from the parking lot to take a shuttle to the admission gate. Arrive at the site allowing you 4–5 hours of free time to climb up to the 20th Watchtower at your own pace. Choose the option to include a round-way cable car to get to tower 14 from where you can enjoy the most beautiful views. Or select the guided hiking option if you would like a professional expert to accompany you in a small group to the cable car. In this option, your guide will explain interesting stories about the wall, and help you find the best photo spots along the route. This 40-minute guided experience will give you a deeper knowledge and appreciation for this ...

    I had a great day on Chinese Great Wall. I was lucky to have a guide whose name was Claire, she was helpful, kind and happy person. It was easy to communicate with her. Started from the meeting point in Beijing and throughout all the way everything was on high level, was well-organized. I definitely recommend to take tour of this company. Great job MUBUS team and many thanks!

  • Tiananmen, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace

    3. Tiananmen, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace

    See the main imperial sights of Beijing on a comprehensive coach tour, starting with an early morning pick-up from your city center hotel and a transfer to Tian'anmen Square. Marvel at the monuments that pay testament to China’s communist regime and the Maoist influence on the nation's modern day history. One of the largest public squares in the world, Tian’anmen Square contains the monuments to the heroes of the revolution, the National Museum of China and the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. You will not enter the Square, but your guide will show and explain all these monuments from the distance. Next, enter the Forbidden City, the largest and best-preserved of the imperial palaces. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (1420 to 1912) and the complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture. You will hav...

    We had a small group of tourists during winter so it was a good size to move quickly and explore the highlights of each places. Vik was our guide, fluent in English. The Summer Palace was my favorite and I’m glad that Vik took us to the entrance near the iconic bridge. We were given 1 hour to explore. I would’ve wished it was at least 2 hours coz the land area was so huge. Lunch was good. The coach we used while it’s on time and clean enough, it had a strong smell of cigarette smoke in it. As indicated in the itinerary, there were 2 shopping stops for this tour.

  • Beijing: Transfer to Gubei Water Town and Simatai Great Wall

    4. Beijing: Transfer to Gubei Water Town and Simatai Great Wall

    Save time and money taking this dedicated bus direct to the Gubei Water Town, where the beautiful Simatai Great Wall is adjacent to. Climb aboard the bus departing from downtown Beijing City and arrive at Gubei. Start to explore the beauty of this Chinese-styled water town by yourself. You also have the option to have the entry ticket and the cable car ticket to the Simatai Great Wall pre-booked to save you time on the day. Also, you can select the cruise tickets or a guided tour. The Simatai Great Wall is famous for only renovation for the essential parts and you can still see many parts stay its original look. This is also the only Great Wall section that you can stay at night. We recommend you to go back to the water town for a night stroll where you can see beautiful night decoration and shows. Upon exiting the Great Wall, meet your guide at the meeting point at a dedicated time a...

  • From Beijing: Great Wall & Forbidden City Full-Day Trip

    5. From Beijing: Great Wall & Forbidden City Full-Day Trip

    Your 8-hour tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel between 7:00 AM-7:30 AM, followed by a 1-hour drive to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. You will have 2 hours at the Great Wall to hike by yourself or you can choose the cable car option to get to the highest point. After your visit to the Great Wall, you’ll continue on to a restaurant near the Ming Tombs for a traditional Chinese lunch. Next, head to Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world. Marvel at its expanse before heading on to the Forbidden City, the final stop on the tour. The Royal Palace at the Forbidden City is the world’s largest royal palace. Spend around 2 hours exploring this vast site before the transfer back to your hotel. During the day, there will also be opportunities to visit jade factory shops and Chinese medicine shop with a foot massage. When the tour is finished you will be t...

    Leon, our guides, has been really kind with us. He guided us all day long, his tour has been full and detailed.

  • Beijing: Old Beijing e-Bike Adventure

    6. Beijing: Old Beijing e-Bike Adventure

    Following your e-bike safety briefing, you will set out on the adventure. Starting with a practice lap around the surrounding Hutongs, your guides will teach you about the history of the Hutongs, including some interesting facts about who lived there. Once you're a pro at riding, head to Ghost Street to see where you should come back for some food, you may even see a ghost. Jump straight back into the Hutongs where you will navigate through some narrower streets to really get a feel for the culture. As you come out of those Hutongs, you'll see the gorgeous gateways and entrance to Lama Temple before crossing over the road to see one of the most beautiful streets in Old Beijing, Guozijian. This street is where you can give Confucius a wave if you catch his statue at the Confucius Temple. Following the temple, ride all the way along Guozijia, past the old academy where students would stud...

    I experienced working with Dominic twice. Once to rent an e-bike, which was well worth it on a hot day in Beijing! It was easy to get around, it was fun and he had great recommenations of what to do and see! I spent some time tooling around to see where things were, and hung out at the Houhai lake too! I also went on a Hutong tour with him where he showed me all the great hidden food places and was patient enough to wait while I pinned them on my map. He also shared good historical information which I appreciate as a history learner.

  • Badaling Great Wall: Admission with Cable Car Return Ticket

    7. Badaling Great Wall: Admission with Cable Car Return Ticket

    Visit the most popular section of the Great Wall of China in Badaling. As the earliest open section of Great Wall, Badaling is well restored and accessible compared to other sections. Well equipped with stairs and handrails, this makes Badaling a great choice for all visitors. Explore the Great Wall to see how it was used to defend against invasion and the use of different parts, including the watchtower and the arrow holes. Challenge yourself to hike up the 4-kilometer long trails to the highest point, North Eighth Tower, and take breathtaking photos. Opt for an easier way with the cable car ticket included in this bundle, which takes you directly there. Don't forget to explore the nearby area, where you can find the Great Wall Museum and a market.

  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group Beijing City Tour

    8. Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group Beijing City Tour

    Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience. Looking for the ultimate Beijing city tour? This just might be it. Hit the icons, partake in local activities, ride the subway, and gain insight into life as a local right here on this Beijing city tour. Meet your local guide at the east gate of Temple of Heaven metro station, and start your Beijing tour with a bit of morning exercise with locals in one of the city’s most popular parks and historical sites, Temple of Heaven Park. It is full of people of all ages taking part in traditional pastimes such as tai chi, fan dancing, diablo, kite flying, water calligraphy, and more. Join in some of the activities, soaking up the park’s relaxed atmosphere. Visit the temple and ritual sites inside, where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would offer sacrifices to...

    Getting to Temple of Heaven from our hotel was a breeze, and had no trouble meeting up with our guide and other group members. Lots of walking but at a good pace that allowed for photos as well as information sharing. Travelling on the subway to Tiananmen Square was fun. The Forbidden City was fabulous and our guide was great in helping us see the best of this massive site. Lunch there was disappointing and some of the food tasted off. Continued the tour which lasted around 6-7 hours. Major problem at the end when trying to get a taxi back to our hotel and guide advised they didn't really do picks up where the tour finished and suggested getting the subway by ourselves. This felt too overwhelming so we wandered around, got harassed by rickshaw drivers and ultimately took one (at a highly inflated cost) after feeling lost and exhausted. This difficulty with transport needs to be addressed or at least advised prior to the tour as it ultimately soured what was a really good tour.

  • Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace Half-Day Tour

    9. Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace Half-Day Tour

    Visit the Temple of Heaven where the emperor, bearing the sins of his subjects, humbled himself before the heavens and performed rituals calculated to ensure a good harvest for the year. From an aerial view, the temple’s architectural style mimics the Chinese concepts of heaven and earth, the round edifice symbolizing heaven, rests upon the square base meant to symbolize earth.  The dominant feature of the entire complex is the enormous Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, an ornate and colorful structure mounted on a three-tiered marble altar. After the Temple of Heaven, your guide will take a taxi with you to the Summer Palace, which is the palace for the emperors to escape the heat of the city. The Summer Palace is one of Beijing’s most popular landmarks and one of the best examples of an imperial garden in China.  Your guide will choose a perfect route for you to enjoy the beautiful g...

  • Hutongs: Walking Tour to Shichaihai & Prince Gong's Mansion

    10. Hutongs: Walking Tour to Shichaihai & Prince Gong's Mansion

    Meet your guide at Beihai North station or take the hotel pickup option before visiting Hutongs, an old Beijing urban feature. Discover this must-visit place that has long been representing the old Beijing culture, showing the old life and history of Beijing. Before heading to the civilian hutongs and the Shiheyuan, visit the Shiheyuan for the Royal family. The first stop is Prince Gong's Mansion, which was the house of the in infamous corrupted but wealthiest official Heshen before giving to the Manchu Prince Gong. Listen to the stories your guide can share about the Qing Empire. Continue to Yinding Bridge, located on the Sichihai, where you can see the man-made lakes of Qianhai and Houhai. Learn how these lakes are used for the Forbidden City and take great photos of this area. Visit the 800 years old Yandai Byway (Smoke Pipe Street) which is the oldest commercial street in Beijing....

Frequently asked questions about Beijing

What top attractions are a must-see in Beijing?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days?

    Five days to a week should be enough to see the sights of Beijing, get a feel for the city's culture, and even take a day trip out to the Great Wall of China!

  • When to visit?

    Beijing's weather is most pleasant in early autumn (September/October), although the snowy winters do bring a charm of their own. Unless you want to see the Chinese New Year parade, avoid going during the nation's public holidays, when vast swarms of domestic tourists overwhelm even the quietest attractions!

  • Where to stay?

    Beijing's sights are spread all over the city, so if you plan to cover the lot then you should consider staying in the city center. The districts of Beijing all have their own character, but one of the best areas for a first-time visitor is Wangfujing. Its central location boasts plenty of places to shop and eat, including the famous Wangfujing Snack Street, where vendors flog a bizarre collection of snacks far from the usual Chinese staples!

Good to know

  • Language
    Mandarin
  • Currency
    Renminbi (¥)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+08:00)
  • Country Code
    +86
  • Best time to visit
    Early autumn is best to beat the crowds and avoid the summer heat.

Other Sightseeing Options in Beijing

Want to discover all there is to do in Beijing? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Beijing

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,601 reviews

I experienced working with Dominic twice. Once to rent an e-bike, which was well worth it on a hot day in Beijing! It was easy to get around, it was fun and he had great recommenations of what to do and see! I spent some time tooling around to see where things were, and hung out at the Houhai lake too! I also went on a Hutong tour with him where he showed me all the great hidden food places and was patient enough to wait while I pinned them on my map. He also shared good historical information which I appreciate as a history learner.

I had a great day on Chinese Great Wall. I was lucky to have a guide whose name was Claire, she was helpful, kind and happy person. It was easy to communicate with her. Started from the meeting point in Beijing and throughout all the way everything was on high level, was well-organized. I definitely recommend to take tour of this company. Great job MUBUS team and many thanks!

This trip was a birthday gift to myself, and what a wonderful gift. Thank you, GetYourGuide and our in person guide, Fred. Super service from start to end. I recommend you to all I know. Merry Christmas.

Great way to explore old Beijing. Fun and informative. Would recommend for first day of arrival as the journey reveals great places to explore my foot during rest of stay. Thanks much!

Leon, our guides, has been really kind with us. He guided us all day long, his tour has been full and detailed.