Beijing's famous Tiananmen Square is big enough to hold one million people, while the historic Forbidden City is home to thousands of imperial rooms – and Beijing is still growing. The capital has witnessed the emergence ever-higher rising towers, new restaurants and see-and-be-seen nightclubs. But at the same time, the city has managed to retain its very individual charm. The small tea houses in the backyards, the traditional fabric shops, the old temples and the noisy street restaurants make this city special.
Chinese Yuan (CNY)
1 Chinese Yuan ~ US$0,25
Beijing This Month
Businesses are generally open from Monday to Friday, 09.00 until 18.00.
Many shops are also open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Beijing Tourist Information Center
22. Beijing Railway Station Service Station
+86 6528 8448
16 Laoqianju Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Aquarium Service Station
+86 6217 6655-6778
18 Gaoliangqiao Xiejie, Haidian District
Beihai Service Station
+86 6403 2726
1 Wenjing Street, Xicheng District (south gate of Beihai Park)
Chongwen Service Station
12-10 St.guangming Chongwen District
Chaoyang Service Station
+86 6417 6627
11-2 Gongti North Road, Chaoyang District
Beijing: Nowhere else can you find so many historic sites so close to each other. The famous Forbidden City and nearby Tiananmen Square mark the centre of Beijing.
North lies the popular Qianhai Lake, where locals cool down in the hot summer months. The Chongwen district to the south of the Forbidden City houses the Temple of Heaven, while the Chaoyang district in the east is well-known for its trendy restaurants and bars.
Preparing the Chinese capital for the 2008 Olympic Games saw many old buildings get refurbished and new skyscrapers erected. New restaurants, clubs and bars have also sprouted up and made the city more vibrant. Yet, Beijing is still managing to retain its traditional charm. A stroll alongside the city’s old shopping streets with its many silk, antique and tea shops give visitors a unique insight into Chinese culture. And of course, Beijing is also a culinary capital. From traditional Chinese dumplings to the original Beijing Duck, Beijing’s hundreds of restaurant and food stalls are sure to stimulate your taste buds.
Beijing is heaven for sightseeing fans. The city boasts well-known historic sites as well as many temples that attract thousands of visitors every year. The nearby Great Wall of China is clearly a must-see. Below is a list of some of the city’s major tourist attractions.
The Forbidden City
Temple of Heaven
Yonghegong Lamasery (Lama Temple)
798 Art Zone
The Great Wall of China
Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show
Happy Valley Beijing
National Museum of China
Beijing Aquarium (Beijing Haiyangguan)
Back Lakes (Houhai)
Beijing Capital Museum
Chinese cuisine is no doubt one of the most popular across the globe - and it is not surprising that you’ll find the best Chinese food in China! A visit to Beijing is not complete without having sampled the local speciality, the crispy Beijing Duck, which is served with pancakes, spring onions and fermented bean paste. However, Beijing also has a lot of fabulous international restaurants - from Brazilian to Japanese cuisine plus American-style fast food.
Old Dock Restaurant
Gonin Byakusho Japanese Restaurant
Xi He Ya Ju Restaurant
Gong De Lin Vegetarian Restaurant
Black Sesame Kitchen
TRB - Temple Restaurant Beijing
The Taj Pavilion
The Cut Steakhouse
Haidilao Hot Pot
Annie's Cafe (Guomao)
Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu
Whether you are looking for a cup of freshly-brewed coffee or exotic Chinese tea, the variety of coffee shops and tea houses in Beijing is almost endless. Many cafes serve fresh bread and cakes as well.
Yuan Tea House
Fancy a bottle of China’s Tsingtao Beer, a cup of Japanese sake rice wine, or a pint of Guinness? Beijing has a large selection of bars catering to locals and international visitors—and it’s growing. Make sure you pay a visit to Sanlitun Street with its many pubs.
No Name Bar
Modo Ultra Club
Nuo Yan Rice Wine House
Panda Brew Pub
Beijing has long been a centre of trade. Today, it boasts over 13,000 stores spread across the city, offering anything from original Chinese handicrafts to international designer fashion items. Wangfujing Street is among the most popular shopping miles in town. It is home to new, shiny shopping malls and department stores selling trendy, expensive brand-name goods. Top Beijing souvenirs are Beijing Crisp Candy (Su Tang), Liubiju sauce, Daoxiangcun pastry, Chinese jasmine tea, and Peking roast duck.
Beijing Oriental Plaza
China World Mall
Ten Fu’s Tea
Hongqiao Market - Pearl Market
Xiushui Street - Silk market
Taikoo Li Sanlitun
Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park
Beijing Antique City
Beijing Capital International Airport
The Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK/ZBAA) is located around 27 kilometres north of Beijing´s city centre. At present, the airport consists of three terminals.
The cheapest way to into town is to take CAAC's comfortable airport shuttle bus. There are 18 shuttle routes. The ride takes between 40-90 minutes, depending on traffic and origin/destination. Tickets are available at the "Intracity & Inter - Provincial Shuttle Bus Ticket Vending Desk" for each terminal. The shuttles leave the airport from the 1st floor of each terminal. Buses depart every 15-30 minutes.
There is also an airport express train called ABC or Airport to Beijing City. The airport express covers the 27.3 km distance between the airport and the city in 18 minutes, connecting Terminals 2 and 3, to Sanyuanxiao subway station in Line 10 and Dongzhimen subway station in Line 2.
Taxi stops are located:
T1: Outside Gate 1 on F1
T2: Outside Gate 5 to 9 on F1
T3: Please refer to the signs inside the terminal building
Address: Shunyi, Beijing
Phone: Airport Hotline: +86 10 96158 / Airport Shuttle Bus: +86 10 6457 3891
The subway is the best way to move around the city and avoid traffic jams in Beijing. Currently, there are 17 lines in operation, including the newly-opened ABC, or Airport to Beijing City airport line. Line 1 and Line 2 run through the centre of Beijing and cover most of the attractions. The subway runs from 05:00 to midnight daily. Subway stations are marked by navy blue signs with a "D" (for Ditie or subway) in a circle. Route signs are bilingual.
Bus service is another option to travel around the city. With more than 900 routes, the buses take you through both the downtown and suburbs. Buses generally run from 05:00 to 23:00. You can pay with cash, coins and notes by putting the exact amount into the fare box on the bus, or pay with a transportation card. For the card, you need to tap both on and off on the bus.
The transportation card in Beijing is called "Yikatong", it offers travel discounts. At the service centre in the subway stations, you can purchase and top up a Yikatong card. At major stations, you can refund the card. Keep the purchase receipt if you wish to refund later after your stay. You can also top up the card using the machines at stations.
More Information: Bus: www.bjbus.com/home/index.php (Chinese only)
Taxis are the default mode of transportation for most foreigners in Beijing. Have your destination written down in Chinese and hail a taxi down. Make sure there is a taximeter and it starts at its initial point.
Beijing taxi drivers may speak only little English, but they are generally honest and friendly. Expect to get your change; tipping is discouraged. Taxi from the airport to the city centre takes approximately around 50 minutes, depending on the traffic. Ask for your receipt by saying "Fa-piao."
The Beijing Bureau of Communications takes complaints concerning taxis, minibus or other vehicles. No operator, but an English recording that gives instructions for faxing your complaint—which of course will mitigate your anger right away. Tel No. +86 10 6835 1150.
China Post boxes are green and found throughout.
Jianguomen Post Office:
Address: 50 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing
Phone: +86 10 6512 8114
More Information: Jianguomenwai Dajie, Yabao Lu, Beijing
Pharmacies are easy to locate but do mind that staff often will not speak English, so it is recommended that you bring along someone who can interpret for you, or have the name of the needed medicine written down in Chinese characters.
One pharmacy staffed with English speakers is Vista Clinic, located at Kerry Centre Shopping Mall:
24hr Medical Hotline：+86（010）8529 6618
Address: 1 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Phone: +86 10 8529 6618
More Information: Level 3 Kerry Centre Shopping Mall
220 Volt, flat 3-pin "V" plugs
Country code: +86
Area code: (0)10