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Travel Guide

Forbidden City featuring a fountain

The capital of China combines the ornate delights of traditional culture with the vibrant life of a modern global city.

Beijing has been at the heart of Chinese culture and society for many centuries, and the combination of its ancient past and the developing “New China” is sure to excite and fascinate. 20 million people live here, with a further 125 million visitors coming every single year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Begin your visit in the traditional heart of the city. The imperial gardens at Jingshan Park offer wonderful views over central Beijing, including the fantastic Forbidden City, which is a must-see attraction. After you've seen all there is to see here, head for the famous Tiananmen Square where you can enjoy two extensive repositories of culture and history, the National Museum of China and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. The Front Gate (Qianmen Gate) looms over the southern end of the square, an impressive reminder of the old fortifications which used to protect the city.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre with a visit to the opulent Summer Palace of the hugely powerful and wealthy Chinese emperors, or gaze on the stunning and historic Marco Polo Bridge. Or for a more serene, spiritual experience, the Lama Temple is hard to beat.

Beijing is also a startlingly contemporary city, full of cutting-edge architecture, chic eateries and bustling shopping centres. The 2008 Olympic Games gave the city’s development a huge boost, and you can see the centre of it all at Olympic Park.

The hip artistic scene of modern China can be experienced at 798 Space, while you can pick up some mementoes of your visit along Wangfujing Street. When you get hungry, make sure to try the authentic local Peking duck with noodles or rice. Later in the evening, head for a karaoke bar or a nightclub to experience what the capital's nightlife has to offer.

Beijing is in the northeast of China and, despite being many thousands of miles away from the capitals of the West, is served by a well-connected modern international airport. The city is very flat, so it’s a pleasure to cycle around, and the public transport system is top-notch, with plenty of signs in English to help orientate the visitor. Getting around by car can be significantly more difficult, particularly if you don’t have a good command of Mandarin, so be warned.

Where to stay in Beijing

Grand Hyatt Beijing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
5 out of 5
1 East Chang An Avenue, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$209 per night from 17 May to 17 May
Located in Dongdan, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oriental Plaza and Wangfujing Street. The Wangfujing Paleolithic Museum and National Museum ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (684 reviews)
"The service was wonderful and the staff were polite and attentive. We enjoyed the gym, room service and bar. The only complaint is that the standard king room was small; the mattress itself wasn’t a king bed. Other than that, this is a nice hotel and we would stay again (in a bigger room)."

Reviewed on 29 Dec. 2020

Grand Hyatt Beijing
Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City
Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City
5 out of 5
33 Chang An Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$209 per night from 24 May to 24 May
Located in Downtown Beijing, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tiananmen Square, Tiananmen and Wangfujing Street. Forbidden City and Temple of ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (997 reviews)
"We arrived early at the hotel because my daughter was very unwell and unable to sight-see that morning as planned. The hotel staff saw she was not well and very kindly allowed us to check in early and checked up on us periodically throughout our stay to make sure we were OK. They even sent fruit ..."

Reviewed on 24 Jan. 2020

Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City
Beijing Marriott Hotel Northeast
Beijing Marriott Hotel Northeast
5 out of 5
26A Xiao Yun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$182 per night from 21 May to 21 May
Located in Middle Chaoyang, this luxury hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Lady Street Market and within 3 miles (5 km) of Sanlitun and Workers Stadium. Yonghe Temple ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (145 reviews)
"The whole experience of stay,,pool and gym could not be faulted. we are not young so the staff looked after us as if we were their own Mum and Dad"

Reviewed on 23 Nov. 2019

Beijing Marriott Hotel Northeast
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Beijing Yue Ju Design Apartment Hotel
Beijing Yue Ju Design Apartment Hotel
3 out of 5
8A Xinguangda Center, Binhui North 1st St., Tongzhou
The price is AU$96 per night from 24 May to 24 May
Located in Beiyuan, this apartment building is within 9 miles (15 km) of Grand Canal Forest Park, China Red Sandalwood Museum and Songzhuang Art Community. Huamao ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (41 reviews)
"The hotel is 2 min walk to line 6 metro station. You can walk to major shopping areas within 5-10 minutes. The rooms are well designed. The host is really helpful and attentive."

Reviewed on 9 May 2020

Beijing Yue Ju Design Apartment Hotel
Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing
Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing
4 out of 5
No. 33, Zhou Zhuang Jiayuan Dongli, Chaoyang District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$167 per night from 22 May to 22 May
This family-friendly aparthotel is located in the city centre, within 1 mi (2 km) of Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium and Beijing Curio City. Beijing ...
4.3/5Excellent! (48 reviews)
"Nice, clean & room is pretty big. Plenty of food around the apartment. Breakfast choices are pretty the same everyday. Nearest train station is about 20 mins walk. Overall, the room is pretty comfortable."

Reviewed on 24 Nov. 2019

Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing
Golden guesthouse
Golden guesthouse
2.5 out of 5
North Gate, West 3 area, Tiantongyuan, Changping District, Beijing, Beijing
The price is AU$54 per night from 17 May to 17 May
Situated in Beijing, this apartment building is within 9 mi (15 km) of China National Convention Center, Beijing International Convention Center and Beijing ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (9 reviews)
"Owner was really helpful and really cares about your safety. Got a lot of help from him on my first day and even helped on mandarin. He is also fluently Japanese. I would totally really recommend."

Reviewed on 13 Jan. 2020

Golden guesthouse
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Beijing

Top activities in Beijing

Reviews of Beijing


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 42.20183486238532%
4 - Good
4 - Good 42.20183486238532%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 10.091743119266056%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 2.7522935779816513%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 2.7522935779816513%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Jan. 2020

Great big city, I would recommend at least 5 days so that you can do all the sights. Best if you learn some Chinese as not many people speak English well.

5/5 - Excellent


23 Nov. 2019


3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

16 Nov. 2019

Cheap taxis, very smogy. Little English spoken away from the hotel.

4/5 - Good


4 Nov. 2019

Beijing is changing - fast and for the better

4/5 - Good


3 Nov. 2019

Beijing is a fascinating city. So much to explore. But it is a big city and it takes time to get around. Try and stay close to a subway line as it will be really useful.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

2 Nov. 2019

Amazing place with great history, but in the afternoon the air pollution built up and was unpleasant.

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