The Forbidden City gets top billing in Beijing
, and that's good news for visitors to Jingshan Park. The 23-hectare (57-acre) park is just north of the Forbidden City, separated by a moat. A former imperial park dating to the 11th century, this was where the emperor and his family, living in the Forbidden City, would come to stroll. The big draw here is the hill (shan
means mountain) with five summits, each of which has a mid-16th-century pavilion that once housed copper Buddha statues, destroyed at the beginning of the 20th century. Stake out a spot on Wanchun (Ten Thousand Spring) Pavilion from where, on a clear day, you have a stunning view of the entire Forbidden City, the Bell and Drum towers, Miaoying Temple, and Beihai Park.