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.

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Our most recommended Beijing Walking Tours

  • Beijing: Old Beijing e-Bike Adventure

    1. Beijing: Old Beijing e-Bike Adventure

    Following your e-bike safety briefing, you will set out on the adventure. Starting with a practice lap around the surrounding Hutongs, your guides will teach you about the history of the Hutongs, including some interesting facts about who lived there. Once you're a pro at riding, head to Ghost Street to see where you should come back for some food, you may even see a ghost. Jump straight back into the Hutongs where you will navigate through some narrower streets to really get a feel for the culture. As you come out of those Hutongs, you'll see the gorgeous gateways and entrance to Lama Temple before crossing over the road to see one of the most beautiful streets in Old Beijing, Guozijian. This street is where you can give Confucius a wave if you catch his statue at the Confucius Temple. Following the temple, ride all the way along Guozijia, past the old academy where students would stud...

    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.

  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group Beijing City Tour

    2. Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group Beijing City Tour

    Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience. Looking for the ultimate Beijing city tour? This just might be it. Hit the icons, partake in local activities, ride the subway, and gain insight into life as a local right here on this Beijing city tour. Meet your local guide at the east gate of Temple of Heaven metro station, and start your Beijing tour with a bit of morning exercise with locals in one of the city’s most popular parks and historical sites, Temple of Heaven Park. It is full of people of all ages taking part in traditional pastimes such as tai chi, fan dancing, diablo, kite flying, water calligraphy, and more. Join in some of the activities, soaking up the park’s relaxed atmosphere. Visit the temple and ritual sites inside, where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would offer sacrifices to...

    Getting to Temple of Heaven from our hotel was a breeze, and had no trouble meeting up with our guide and other group members. Lots of walking but at a good pace that allowed for photos as well as information sharing. Travelling on the subway to Tiananmen Square was fun. The Forbidden City was fabulous and our guide was great in helping us see the best of this massive site. Lunch there was disappointing and some of the food tasted off. Continued the tour which lasted around 6-7 hours. Major problem at the end when trying to get a taxi back to our hotel and guide advised they didn't really do picks up where the tour finished and suggested getting the subway by ourselves. This felt too overwhelming so we wandered around, got harassed by rickshaw drivers and ultimately took one (at a highly inflated cost) after feeling lost and exhausted. This difficulty with transport needs to be addressed or at least advised prior to the tour as it ultimately soured what was a really good tour.

  • Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace Half-Day Tour

    3. Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace Half-Day Tour

    Visit the Temple of Heaven where the emperor, bearing the sins of his subjects, humbled himself before the heavens and performed rituals calculated to ensure a good harvest for the year. From an aerial view, the temple’s architectural style mimics the Chinese concepts of heaven and earth, the round edifice symbolizing heaven, rests upon the square base meant to symbolize earth.  The dominant feature of the entire complex is the enormous Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, an ornate and colorful structure mounted on a three-tiered marble altar. After the Temple of Heaven, your guide will take a taxi with you to the Summer Palace, which is the palace for the emperors to escape the heat of the city. The Summer Palace is one of Beijing’s most popular landmarks and one of the best examples of an imperial garden in China.  Your guide will choose a perfect route for you to enjoy the beautiful g...

  • Hutongs: Walking Tour to Shichaihai & Prince Gong's Mansion

    4. Hutongs: Walking Tour to Shichaihai & Prince Gong's Mansion

    Meet your guide at Beihai North station or take the hotel pickup option before visiting Hutongs, an old Beijing urban feature. Discover this must-visit place that has long been representing the old Beijing culture, showing the old life and history of Beijing. Before heading to the civilian hutongs and the Shiheyuan, visit the Shiheyuan for the Royal family. The first stop is Prince Gong's Mansion, which was the house of the in infamous corrupted but wealthiest official Heshen before giving to the Manchu Prince Gong. Listen to the stories your guide can share about the Qing Empire. Continue to Yinding Bridge, located on the Sichihai, where you can see the man-made lakes of Qianhai and Houhai. Learn how these lakes are used for the Forbidden City and take great photos of this area. Visit the 800 years old Yandai Byway (Smoke Pipe Street) which is the oldest commercial street in Beijing....

  • From Beijing: Great Wall at Mutianyu Half-Day Hiking Trip

    5. From Beijing: Great Wall at Mutianyu Half-Day Hiking Trip

    After pick-up by your guide at your hotel, make the 1.5-hour drive to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Have a rest and enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. You'll then have two options for travelling up and down the wall: round-trip cable car or chairlift, or by toboggan. Take 7 minutes to reach the top of the wall (instead of the 45 minutes it takes to go by foot up the steps!). The cable car ascends to and descends from the 14th watchtower, from where you can walk east to the 23rd watchtower, the most beautiful part of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. The cable car will take you to the 6th watch tower - recommended for those in great physical condition, as the hike to the 23rd watchtower from the 6th is more difficult. Spend the day exploring this truly extraordinary Wall that has captured the imagination of the world for centuries. After returning to the foot of the Grea...

    Just amazing and has to be done. Our guide Jin made it so much more worthwhile to hike and enjoy a wonder of the world.

  • Beijing: Great Wall Hike and Forbidden City Private Tour

    6. Beijing: Great Wall Hike and Forbidden City Private Tour

    Join a private tour to the most popular attractions in Beijing, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. All transportation is included, plus an expert local guide, so you can really get out there and explore the wonders of China's ancient capital.  No trip to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall. The majority of the wall which exists today was built by the Ming Dynasty to keep out invaders from the north. With its steep winding exterior, the Great Wall is perhaps one of the world's most iconic tourist attractions, and certainly one of China's most captivating sights. This full-day adventure will take you to see the amazing Great Wall at Juyongguan, one of the three most famous passes along the wall, from which many ancient towers and temples can be seen. You will be hiking for 1.5 hours to help you understand the sheer size and scale of the wall.  You'll also be s...

  • Beijing: Welcome Private Tour w/ a Local

    7. 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.

  • Beijing: Confucius Temple and Imperial Academy Walking tour

    8. Beijing: Confucius Temple and Imperial Academy Walking tour

    Head back to the Imperial Age in Beijing on a 3-hour guided tour of the Yonghe Lama Temple, Confucius Temple and Imperial Academy (Guozijian). Take the stress out of queueing for your entry tickets for each monument on the day with this all-inclusive walking tour. After meeting up with your expert guide, enter the Lama Temple to explore the most important religious monument from the Qing dynasty, the last Chinese Empire. Learn how a Tibetan belief was widespread in the ancient capital of China. In the temple, you'll also find the world's biggest Buddha statue made by a single piece of wood. Nearby, you’ll explore the Confucius Temple and the Imperial Academy complex, which was the highest academic institution in Imperial times. Explore how students worshipped Confucius and discover his influence over Chinese education and culture. Learn how important the ancient examination system was ...

  • Tiananmen, Forbidden City and Jingshan Park Half-Day Tour

    9. Tiananmen, Forbidden City and Jingshan Park Half-Day Tour

    On this half-day guided tour, dive into the cultural history of Beijing as you visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park with an expert guide. Start your tour at the largest square in the world in the center of Beijing city, which is surrounded by several iconic attractions like the Tiananmen Tower, the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, and Mao's Memorial Hall. From here, access the Forbidden City, an imperial palace complex built over 700 years ago. Ming and Qing rulers once lived and ruled in opulence here. Explore its maze of buildings, bridges, halls and alleys as your guide points out the most important sights and paints a picture of life for those inside hundreds of years ago. Finally, visit Jingshan Park, an artificial hill which was constructed from the soil excavated during the construction of the Forbidden City and nearby canal...

  • Forbidden City and Traditional Hutongs Half Day Tour

    10. Forbidden City and Traditional Hutongs Half Day Tour

    Take a few minutes to walk to the Forbidden City, built over 700 years ago, where Ming and Qing emperors once lived and ruled in opulence. The palace is a crazy maze of buildings, bridges, halls, and alleys. Your guide will help you to identify the most important sites and imagine how life was for those inside hundreds of years ago. After the 90-minute visit to the Forbidden City, take a taxi with the guide to the Shichahai area. Walk the old hutong alleys that hide different courtyards and are the soul of old Beijing. Discover the Houhai lakes, where you can appreciate the beautiful scenery. Across Yindin Bridge is Yandaixie street, a winding street with a lot of local shops and cafes.  Arrive in the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, two symbols of old Beijing. Learn about the history and then arrive at Nanluoguxiang street which is a hot spot for both tourists and the locals.

Frequently asked questions about Beijing

What top attractions are a must-see in Beijing?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days?

    Five days to a week should be enough to see the sights of Beijing, get a feel for the city's culture, and even take a day trip out to the Great Wall of China!

  • When to visit?

    Beijing's weather is most pleasant in early autumn (September/October), although the snowy winters do bring a charm of their own. Unless you want to see the Chinese New Year parade, avoid going during the nation's public holidays, when vast swarms of domestic tourists overwhelm even the quietest attractions!

  • Where to stay?

    Beijing's sights are spread all over the city, so if you plan to cover the lot then you should consider staying in the city center. The districts of Beijing all have their own character, but one of the best areas for a first-time visitor is Wangfujing. Its central location boasts plenty of places to shop and eat, including the famous Wangfujing Snack Street, where vendors flog a bizarre collection of snacks far from the usual Chinese staples!

Good to know

  • Language
    Mandarin
  • Currency
    Renminbi (¥)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+08:00)
  • Country Code
    +86
  • Best time to visit
    Early autumn is best to beat the crowds and avoid the summer heat.

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 4,204 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.

I had a great day on Chinese Great Wall. I was lucky to have a guide whose name was Claire, she was helpful, kind and happy person. It was easy to communicate with her. Started from the meeting point in Beijing and throughout all the way everything was on high level, was well-organized. I definitely recommend to take tour of this company. Great job MUBUS team and many thanks!

This trip was a birthday gift to myself, and what a wonderful gift. Thank you, GetYourGuide and our in person guide, Fred. Super service from start to end. I recommend you to all I know. Merry Christmas.

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!

Leon, our guides, has been really kind with us. He guided us all day long, his tour has been full and detailed.