Here’s a movie about Beijing. This movie will give you a quick impression of the destination. The movie is not made by our own IFLY crew members. A special IFLYtheworld movie is in production and will be online soon.
Great wall of China (1 day)
One of the things you absolutely have to see when visiting Beijing is a part of the Great Wall. Most of the sections of Great Wall in Beijing are well preserved, mainly the remains from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) - an era of huge construction.
Five sections are officially open to the public. In our opinion the best spot is Mutianyu, about 1-½ hours drive from Beijing. You can book a tour, but it’s better to go there yourself. Just take a taxi. From Beijing this will cost about 500 Yuan for a return including waiting time.
There are two cable cars that will take you to the top of the wall. This will cost you 35 Yuan. From there you can walk on this amazing structure to the point where the renovation has stopped. From there you’ll have spectacular views on the wall and the beautiful surroundings.
The wall is open 365 days a year from 8 am to 6 pm. The park entry is 40 Yuan. This trip will take you approximately one whole day.
Biking in Beijing (2 hrs - 7 days)
In China you see a lot of bicycles and it is a wonderful experience to go on a bike yourself. A good operator to do this guided tour is Cycle China. They have several tours in Beijing and the trips vary from 2 hours to several days. And if you don’t dare to bike yourself, there’s even a rickshaw tour. Prices start at 150 Yuan for a tour.
A really good tour is the ‘Beijing By Bicycle Tour’. It’s the best way to explore the heart of Beijing. You’ll see the Forbidden City, Temple of heaven and the hundred years old small alley-Hutong and the traditional courtyard houses. This will give you a live demonstration of the real old Beijing.
This bicycle tours will take you to places tourists hardly can get to, small backstreets, concession, old brothel, tea house, markets, temples and even the ordinary Beijing family. This gives a true picture of daily life for a lot of people in the city.
Start and end of most tours is at the Cycle China office, No. 12 Jingshan East Street (Opposite of the east gate of Jingshan Park). For more information about the tours, click here.
Hongqiao Market (2 hrs)
One of the best places to go shopping in Beijing is Hongqiao market or often called Pearl market. You will find nearly anything here; electronics, copy stuff, clothing, wonderful fabrics, silk, bags, souvenirs, handicraft and paintings. There are thousands of stalls.
And don’t forget to have a look upstairs. There you will find jewellery and the famous pearl market. At the fourth floor are the most exclusive pearl shops. This is the best place to buy pearls in Beijing. In the building next door you will find a huge toy market. And the best advice for every shop is: bargain a lot. They will start asking you sky high prices, so start very low yourself.
The address is 16 Hongqiao Lu, but every taxi driver will know where it is. And a taxi is the most convenient way to go there, especially for the way back, when your hands are full of bags. Don’t forget to bring a note with the name of your hotel in Chinese characters for the taxi driver.
Acrobatics at Chaoyang Theatre (1 hr)
In China you have go to an acrobatics show and the Chaoyang Theatre is the best place in Beijing to see this wonderful show. The highly skilled and highly trained acrobats here will astound you as they leap through hoops, twirl through the air suspended on ribbons of silk, spin plates and cups on rods suspended from their foreheads, and perform other amazing tests of physical skill.
The shows start every evening at 7.15. The show lasts one hour. Prices for a ticket are between 180 to 680 Yuan depending on the row in the theatre. If you like to have a great experience, buy a first row ticket. To make a reservation for tickets call the theatre at (+86) 135 5252 7373 or send them an e-mail.
The theatre is located at No. 36 North Dongsanhuan, Chaoyang District. Go there by taxi or take Beijing Subway line 10 and get off at Hujialou station exit C.
Yonghe Temple (2 hrs)
There are many temples in Beijing, but a really beautiful one is the Yonghe Temple, or locally known as Lama Temple. It is a Tibetan Buddhism temple located in the northeastern part of Beijing. It is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. The building and the artworks of the temple combine Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.
The Yonghe Temple is located at 12 Yonghegong Dajie in Dongcheng district near the northeastern corner of the Second Ring Road. Lines 2 and 5 of the Beijing Subway both stop at Yonghegong. The temple is open from 9 am to 4.30 pm.
Behind the temple complex are the hutongs, the old heart of Beijing. It’s wonderful to walk around in these streets and see the real life.
Summer palace (4 hrs - ½ day)
The Summer Palace just outside Beijing is a Unesco world heritage site. It is a palace from the emperors in the Qing dynasty. It is wonderful to see the beautiful buildings, the lovely gardens and lakes with the marble boat.
A ticket that gives you entrance to all buildings, which are open to public cost 60 Yuan. The opening hours in summer is from 6.30 am to 6 pm. In winter it is from 7 am to 5 pm.
The Summer Palace is only 15 kilometres outside Beijing. Best way to go there is by taxi. A visit to the summer palace could be done in combination with a visit to the Great Wall.
Forbidden City (3 hrs)
Before going to Beijing it would be great to watch the movie The Last Emperor from director Bernardo Bertolucci. After you’ve seen that movie it is absolutely great to visit the Forbidden City.
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. It is located in the middle of the city. Nowadays it houses the Palace Museum. For almost five centuries, it served as the home of the Chinese Emperor and his household, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.
It is a huge complex of over 720.000 square metres. A visit will take you about three hours. The admission fee is 60 Yuan in summer. You don’t need to take a guided tour, you can easily walk around yourself. The Palace is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm.
Enter from the Tiananmen Square. You can go there by taxi or by subway line 1 (Tiananmen East Station) or line 2 (Qianmen Sation).
Beihai Park (1 - 3 hrs)
Beihai Park is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved ancient imperial gardens in China located in the center of Beijing. It is nearby the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
This ancient garden, with over 1,000 years history, is not only a classic combination of the grandiosity of the northern gardens and the refinement of the southern gardens in China, but also a perfect integration of magnificent imperial palaces and solemn religious constructions.
It’s wonderful to walk in this peaceful park. Sometimes there are Chinese musicians and dancers performing. The entrance fee is 10 Yuan and in summer the park is open from 6 am to 10 pm.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Beijing.