Visit The Great Wall
Most likely The Great Wall is on your list of do’s for China, as it’s one of the most famous monuments in the world. You won’t have time to see the whole thing, but you should aim to experience a portion of it. One of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in the world, the Great Wall is believed to have been built as early as the 7th century BC, although the majority of the existing wall was constructed during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The most popular sections to visit include Badaling, Jiayu Pass, and Shanghai Pass, but if you want to have some more excitement, the rugged and breathtaking Simatai wall is definitely the section you should see.
Explore the Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is one of the world’s great palaces, ranking right up there with the Kremlin, Buckingham Palace, and Versailles. The world’s largest palace complex, the Forbidden City stretches 180 acres and has 800 buildings. Spend a few hours on exploring some of the site’s highlights, including the Gate of Heavenly Peace, the Hall of Supreme Harmony and the Hall of Clocks and Watches. Today it is opened to anyone who wants to learn more about the Middle Kingdom’s heritage. You can see jade bracelets and other imperial possessions at the Gallery of Treasures,and the meander through the beautiful Imperial Gardens. For the best views of the Forbidden City, climb up the winding staircase at Jingshan Park across the street.
Wander around Tiananmen Square
Surrounded by Soviet-style monuments and government buildings, Tiananmen Square is the largest city square in the world. One of the world’s most famous public spaces, Tiananmen Square is an iconic symbol of Beijing. Take a walk around the square and the Gate of Heavenly Peace, then where Mao Zedong made the announcement of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Pass Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, then make sure to see the Monument to the People’s Heroes, which is a 125-foot granite obelisk dedicated to those who died for the revolutionary cause of the Chinese people.
Take a break at Yiheyuan (Summer Palace)
Yiheyuan, the royal garden, was built throughout the course of many dynasties. Its origin can be traced back to 1153CE, during the Jin dynasty, and it was finally finished in around 1764CE. Located in the Northwest suburbs, it covers over 700 acres and is known for its beautiful architecture and landscaping. After you’ve been charmed by the largest imperial garden in China, stop to admire the historic Seventeen-Arch Bridge.
Walk around Beihai Park
Situated in Northwest of the Forbidden City, Beihai Park boasts the largest and most beautiful public lake in Beijing. Enjoy the fresh air with a stroll around the lake or rent a paddle boat, then explore the Temple of Everlasting Peace, White Dagoba and Circular City. Sit back and enjoy the shade under a tree, where you can appreciate why this green space has been preserved for over a thousand years. Weekend mornings are a good time to visit, as the Chinese turn out to dance, sing karaoke or Peking opera, play badminton or perform in string quartets. It is a veritable smorgasbord of entertainment.