Cultural must see attractions in Beijing

photo by CC user Saperaud~commonswiki on wikimedia commons

Looking for some must see attractions in Beijing that show off its culture? Below, we go over 4 points of interest that will accomplish this goal…

1) The Forbidden City

Serving as the Chinese imperial headquarters for 500 years from the 15th to the 20th century, the Forbidden City is no longer off limits to outsiders or commoners, allowing you to see how the Chinese royals of yesteryear lived.

Covering 180 acres and consisting of just under 1,000 structures, the name of this massive historical site is an apt one, so be prepared to spend all day walking around to its various points of interest – don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!

If you are in a hurry, spend your time in the Palace Museum, as its collection of vases and other priceless artifacts will give you much of the value that a longer visit here would net you.

2) The Temple of Heaven

Created during the medieval era, the Temple of Heaven is a Taoist Temple that Ming and Qing era emperors visited to offer up prayers for a successful and bountiful harvest that year.

The smallest mistakes were rumored to be bad omen for the coming year, cementing this structure’s ceremonial significance in the hearts and minds of the Chinese people.

The architectural design of the Temple of Heaven is also thought to have influenced the design of other buildings in the Far East in the time following its construction, which was another factor that led to it being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

3) The Summer Palace

Created in the 12th century as a place of leisure for the imperial family, the Summer Palace has served the people of Beijing in the 20th century as a treasured public park.

Composed of a series of pavilions, halls, and gardens atop a hill overlooking several natural and artificially created lakes, it is a stunning sight that begs to be seen by those that have never seen it before.

On a clear day, there is no better place to be in the Chinese capital, so be sure to take it in if the weather is cooperating.

4) The Great Wall of China

While this wonder of the world is not located within Beijing city limits, major sections of it are located within an easy day trip from its downtown core, thereby making it easy to knock off your list of things to see in China right from the start of your trip.

The portions close to the city were built in the Ming Dynasty (about 400 years ago), which means that they are generally in great condition compared to older parts of the walls further away from Beijing.

Combine this fact with a visit outside of high season, and you’ll experience this world famous attraction in a manner you won’t soon forget!

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