In China, one of the most famous and popular destinations among travelers worldwide,
This country is on the bucket list of many travelers and it is visited annually by more than 10 million people.
There are so many things to see, do and eat in China’s historic capital, Beijing, that it can be hard to know where to start. With five thousand years of history and over 20 million inhabitants, you’d be forgiven for feeling rather overwhelmed.
Let’s start with The Great Wall of china
The Great Wall is a fortification built for defense purposes along Northern China that is worth the hype surrounding it and it is a must-visit attraction when in the country. It is considered to be one of the oldest existing man-made structures and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Beijing Olympic Park
In the years surrounding the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing changed rapidly as entire city blocks were cleared to make way for new hotels, modern buildings, and sports centers. Almost every corner of the city was affected by the games in some regard, but to see two architectural icons from the games that are still standing, head to Beijing Olympic Park. Here you can see the Herzog & de Meuron designed National Stadium, better known as the Bird’s Nest, which features an exterior crafted from 42,000 tons of steel. Nearby, look for the National Aquatics Center, better known as the Water Cube, where Michael Phelps set his world records. During the day you can go inside both venues; you can pay to ride a Segway around the Bird’s Nest track for 20 minutes or go to a water park constructed inside the Water Cube after the games concluded. If you only care about seeing the structures from the outside, it’s best to visit the park at night, when both are illuminated
Explore the Forbidden City
At the center of this vast metropolis sits its most enduring icon: the Forbidden City. Formerly home to a long line of emperors, this is the world’s largest palace complex, at 180 acres; with 800 buildings (and supposedly 9,999 rooms) on the site, you could spend days exploring here, but a few hours will suffice. Highlights include the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen), where you can ascend to the top (where Mao Zedong himself stood) for an awe-inspiring view of Tiananmen Square; the Hall of Supreme Harmony, where coronations, weddings, and royal birthdays were celebrated; the Hall of Clocks and Watches, which displays ornate timepieces; the Gallery of Treasures, where you can see jade bracelets, tea sets, and other imperial possessions; and finally, the Imperial Gardens, the loveliest part of the Forbidden City. If you have any energy left, exit and cross the street to Jingshan Park, where a climb up a winding staircase to Wanchun Pavilion affords excellent views of the Forbidden City and surrounding neighborhoods on a clear day.