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
For the Chinese, calligraphy is not only a practical way of writing characters but it is also a revered art form. As art, the way the calligrapher holds the brush, how he presents and stylizes the character conveys his culture, emotional being and...
Xicheng, Beijing, China, 100006
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...
Langfang, Hebei, China
"Hey man, come get the sheep penis!" My dad swung his camera around, but the vendor had already dropped out of site, sheep penis or whatever it was sizzling in a wok in front of him. My dad picked up one of the skewers and vendor returned. "Ten...
Dongcheng, Beijing, China
“Our umbrellas are a part of our culture that is disappearing,” says Cheng Dehu, the owner of Beijing’s Ruo Shui Tang Oil Paper Umbrella Workshop. As China has modernized at a breakneck pace, most traditional oil paper umbrellas have been left...
Fengtai, China, 100036
If you want to travel from Beijing to Xi'an, I recommend riding the overnight train. Although the amenities are basic, the view is spectacular: you can sip tea while watching the scenery transform from a sprawling city to a rural landscape.
2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
If you plan a trip to Beijing, make sure to allow time to visit the “798 Art Zone,” or Dashanzi Art District, where a mix of political, cultural, and economic combustion have created an edgy contemporary art scene. You could easily...
China, Beijing Shi, Dongcheng Qu, 瓷器库胡同2 邮政编码: 100006
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...
Zizhu Bridge, Haidian, Beijing, China
A serene encounter with a delightful old painter. Beijing's parks are incredibly beautiful. Some of my best memories include afternoons like this—watching a humble painter grind his ink onto a skillet and create a masterpiece on wrinkled rice...
3 Xinbi St, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100051
When I first visited Beijing, I was pleasantly surprised by the many innovative works of architecture, such as this, the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Located just a few minutes from the Forbidden City, it is a beautiful building to see...
Hiking the Great Wall was an amazing experience. What made it even better was going to Simatai, which isn't as heavily visited as Badaling and other parts of the Wall. It's harder to get to and takes more effort to reach, but it's worth it. The...
4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
I used to be a docile tourist—get a map and brochure at the entrance, follow the prescribed route, or make a beeline for points of my interest. But one day impatience taught me the rollicking fun of ignorance and discovery. I didn’t...
Dong An Men Da Jie, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
After an aimless walk through the calm hutongs in the centre of Beijing, we suddenly came to a crowded night market. It was only one row of food stalls, but it stretched for several hundred meters! Among other things, you can find more unusual...
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