Collected by Bryan Kinkade , AFAR Staff
Whether you have 24 hours or 24 days, Beijing offers a lifetime of twists, turns and journeys. But if you do have to squeeze it in here some of the best of the best of the great city. Enjoy!
19 Xinjiangongmen Rd, Haidian Qu, China, 100091
The present-day Summer Palace is China's largest royal park and was once called the Garden of Cultivated Harmony. It took its current name when Empress Dowager Cixi, in a controversial action, used some money earmarked for the navy and rebuilt the...
44 Jingshan W St, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100009
I felt obligated to visit the Forbidden City while in Beijing as it tops every "must see" list. I sort of wish I hadn't. Even though I went early in the morning it was already mobbed with tourists. After about thirty minutes inside the compound...
2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China
How a complex of German-built factories became one of East Asia’s hottest art destinations is also the story of modern China. When construction on a number of electronics factories began in Dashanzi in 1956, the area was farmland. Joint...
China, Beijing Shi, Dongcheng Qu, 瓷器库胡同2
Li Qun Duck Restaurant is hidden in a Qianmen hutong. (To find it, follow the ducks painted on the hutong walls!) The restaurant doesn't put on airs, and feels effortlessly authentic despite the fact that pictures of statesman and ambassadors who...
12 Yonghegong St, Dongcheng Qu, China, 100007
To understand China, it's imperative to understand the important role religion and philosophy play in the culture. Buddhism is one such influence, and this gorgeous temple tells a bit of that story. Yonghegong is in the northern part of Beijing...
3 Xinbi St, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100051
This gleaming performing arts center, sometimes called the Giant Egg, was designed by French architect Paul Andreu and inaugurated in 2007. The ellipsoid dome, made of titanium and glass and surrounded by a man-made lake, looks a bit like a...
The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100009
Beijing's number one tourist attraction is a massive former imperial palace known as the Forbidden City. Between 1416 and 1911, it was home to 24 Ming and Qing dynasty emperors and their families and staff. In 1912, after the abdication of...