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Things to do in Beijing

The ever-expanding capital is an explorer’s delight: 6 UNESCO sites and the Forbidden City are just the start.

Our most recommended things to do in Beijing

Beijing: Welcome Private Tour w/ a Local

1. Beijing: Welcome Private Tour w/ a Local

Explore the city with a friendly local who is passionate about his/her city and eager to share all the tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your trip. Meet where you're staying to get familiar with the neighborhood, find out about the best places to eat and buy groceries, the easiest ways to get around and the top things to see and do. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable in navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most of your stay. During the walking tour, you will have the option of taking public transportation or taxi to get around the city. Please contact the local tour operator if you’d like a private car included in the tour.

From Beijing: Badaling Great Wall & Ming Tomb Full-Day Tour

2. From Beijing: Badaling Great Wall & Ming Tomb Full-Day Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel, located within the second ring road of Beijing, between 6:30 and 7:00 AM. On your way to the Great Wall, travel to the Ming Tombs 55 miles away from downtown requiring about an hour of driving. The thirteen Ming Tombs are the best-preserved Chinese imperial tombs with a 600-year history. The tour of the Ming Tombs takes about an hour and finishes up at 10:45. Before lunch at 11:30, you will have 45 minutes for a short visit to the Jade Gallery. Jade carving is an important and famous blend of the excellent skills in carving and Chinese traditional cultures. Have a traditional Chinese lunch at the restaurant inside the Jade Gallery. After lunch, travel to the entrance at Juyonguan of the Badaling Great Wall. There you will have 1.5-hours to hike and take in the appeal of this ancient location which is also where the first emperor of Beijing, Emperor Yongle, and his Empress Xu are buried. On the way back to your hotel, experience the Chinese tea ceremony and culture at a tea house and then transfer back to your hotel within Second Ring Road of Beijing.

Great Wall Hiking: Small Group

3. Great Wall Hiking: Small Group

your guide will meet you at 8am and then drive to Simatai West. You will start the hiking around 10:30am, and it will take about 3 hours to complete. A lunch at a local farmer’s restaurant will be organized after the hiking before returning to the city. This section offers arguably the finest hiking anywhere on the Great Wall. It is extremely photogenic, with over 15 watch-towers, and steep gradients that give constantly changing perspectives and wide, open views. There is fascinating variety in the watch-towers here. Some have two storeys, others three. Some have flat roofs, others rounded and others again are pitched with upturned eaves. This section of the wall is wild, ruined, preserved and original. On a clear day, it is difficult to fail to take good photographs here. 

Beijing: Peking Opera Night Tour w/ Transfer

4. Beijing: Peking Opera Night Tour w/ Transfer

In the evening, your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel from 18:30 to 19:00 and transfer you to the amazing Peking Opera at Liyuan Theater.  Peking Opera is the most world-known, representative and influential Chinese opera with a long history of more than 200 years. As a national cultural treasure in China, Peking Opera is also one of the three main theatrical systems in the world. It is a combination of singing, dancing, dialogue, mime, acrobatics and presenter's feelings, which can vividly express the special traits of a character. As the best place to appreciate Peking Opera, Liyuan Theater will give you an amazing night. You will really enjoy yourself and have a better understanding of Peking Opera after the show. When the show starts, your tour guide and driver will leave. After the show, you will need to get back to your hotel on your own.

China (with VPN), Hong Kong and Macau: eSIM Data Plan

5. China (with VPN), Hong Kong and Macau: eSIM Data Plan

Enjoy a high-speed data pack to stay connected with your friends and family on WhatsApp and seamlessly check up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter throughout your trip to China. Access all these Apps and websites without being restricted by the Chinese firewall or using a VPN, providing you with connectivity if you are going to China, Hong Kong, or Macau. This data plan comes with an eSIM and you don’t have to switch SIM Cards between your devices anymore. Simply scan the eSIM profile then follow the simple steps of installation and you can get connected to the Internet once you arrive. The eSIM data service is only supported on eSIM enabled devices. Please check if your devices have eSIM functions before you place the orders. All iPhone model launched beyond iPhone XS can support eSIM. For Android, if you are unsure, please check with the guideline photo for eligibility. If you can not connect to the internet after install this eSIM, please follow the Self Help Troubleshooting Guide in your GYG voucher. APN (Access Point Name): ctm-mobile Local operator info: China - China Unicom Hong Kong: csl Macau: CTM

the hutongs eBike tour

6. the hutongs eBike tour

All of our tours & local experiences are created with a baseline to follow to truly experience Beijing. However they're also very flexible and every one will be different depending on you. We love the awesomeness we've discovered in Beijing and we will share this genuine experience with you for you to enjoy Beijing as much as we do. You will explore so much more of the hutongs while riding our eBikes and you'll discover the this incredible ancient community in the center of this busy capital with thousands of years of history. The fascinating and welcoming culture within these alleys is what encouraged us to open these unique one of a kind tours for you to experience life for yourself. You will not only learn about the history, you will learn about the present and how our favourite area of Beijing has developed to accommodate the development of Beijing.

Mutianyu Great Wall Bus Transfer with Options

7. Mutianyu Great Wall Bus Transfer with Options

Save time and money taking this dedicated bus direct to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, one of the most famous sites in the world. Climb aboard the bus departing from downtown Beijing City and arrive at Mutianyu. Follow your guide from the parking lot to take a shuttle to the admission gate. Have the option to buy the ticket combination for the wall and cable car and save time when you arrive. Enjoy 4–5 hours of free time to climb up to the 20th Watchtower to take in the scenic view. Marvel at this amazing structure you have seen in so many pictures. If you choose, take the scenic cable car and see one for the most famous attractions in the world from another point of view. Upon exiting the Great Wall, take the shuttle back to the parking lot. From there a bus will take you back to Beijing City.

Beijing: Tiananmen Square Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

8. Beijing: Tiananmen Square Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

This mesmerising tour of Tiananmen Square, the heart of Beijing, and a world famous cultural landmark, features many of the most famous sights in the city. See the mausoleum where the body of Mao Zedong lies, and other great works of Communist architecture such as the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Great Hall of the People, the distinctive National Performing Centre for the Arts, the National Museum of China, the highly unusual China Numismatic Museum, the Zhengyamen Gate, the Tiananmen Gates, Chang'an Avenue, and the Forbidden City, the fascinating home of generations of Chinese royalty, with thousands of rooms. A wonderful overview of the sights of Tiananmen Square, this tour is both interesting and informative. A visit to Tiananmen Square is essential for any visitor to Beijing. Your tour. Your way.

Beijing: Jinshanling Great Wall Group Tour with Lunch

9. Beijing: Jinshanling Great Wall Group Tour with Lunch

Depart from your hotel in downtown Beijing at approximately 6:00 am. Enjoy a simple breakfast before starting the trip to the Jinshanling Great Wall. Start your 3-hour hike on the eastern section of the wall at 10 am with plenty of photo opportunities of the surrounding foliage, architecture, and towers along the way. Be surrounded by ancient architecture to marvel at the along this 6 km hike. Take time to enjoy the breathtaking sights along the parapets on this relatively less crowded section of the wall with room to stop and admire the views. This section of the Great Wall offers a look at each unique tower along the way, ensuring there is always something new to discover. After the included lunch, your adventure will conclude and you will be transferred back to the city. Hotel pick up is only available from select hotels located within the second ring road in central Beijing.

Ancient Beijing & New Olympic Area Group Day Tour

10. Ancient Beijing & New Olympic Area Group Day Tour

For this coach tour, your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel at between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM. Drive to Hutong and take a rickshaw to visit the ancient Beijing hutong alleyway area including Drum tower, a local family and Shicha Lake. The real culture of Beijing is the culture of the hutong and courtyards, which attract more tourists from home and abroad than the high-rise buildings and large mansions. Continue to visit the Lama Temple, Yonghe Lamasery which is considered the largest and most perfectly preserved lamasery in present day China before heading out to see the lovely giant pandas in Beijing Zoo. The site is comprised of 16 different exhibition areas and halls, but one of the most popular of these is the Panda Hall. Then go to the Olympic Green and take pictures outside the Water Cube and Bird's Nest. During the trip, you have the chance to visit the Silk Arts and Pearl Shop. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Available activities

  • Great Wall of China tours
  • Forbidden City, palaces, & more
  • Buddhist temples & palaces
  • Kung Fu, acrobats, & more
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Other Sightseeing Options in Beijing

Want to discover all there is to do in Beijing? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Beijing

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 4,212 reviews

I experienced working with Dominic twice. Once to rent an e-bike, which was well worth it on a hot day in Beijing! It was easy to get around, it was fun and he had great recommenations of what to do and see! I spent some time tooling around to see where things were, and hung out at the Houhai lake too! I also went on a Hutong tour with him where he showed me all the great hidden food places and was patient enough to wait while I pinned them on my map. He also shared good historical information which I appreciate as a history learner.

The transport and meeting location was easy and convenient. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. The one difficulty was that our tour bus guide did not speak English and gave the group a long introduction to the history of the Great Wall in Chinese before we arrived. In the end, we made it to the wall, really enjoyed the hike and had a wonderful day.

Great way to explore old Beijing. Fun and informative. Would recommend for first day of arrival as the journey reveals great places to explore my foot during rest of stay. Thanks much!

The e-bike tour was very interesting. It was fun riding the e-bike through the narrow streets, stopping here and there to learn about history and culture.

It was a fantastic experience! Our tour guide, Leo from Mubus was excellent.