Beijing featured

Top 10 Places to Visit in Beijing for First-Timers

China’s capital, Beijing, is brimming with world-class tourist attractions and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including historic temples, beautiful royal gardens, impressive palaces, vibrant markets, and areas with contemporary art.

Here are my top ten recommendations for things to do and see in Beijing for first-time visitors, perfect for history buffs, photographers, and you Instagram lovers and content creators.

1. The Great Wall

The Great Wall of China is the most well-known landmark and offers breathtaking views in addition to a rich past. There are multiple sections to choose from that are close to Beijing. Check out my post to see which one you should visit: Which Section of the Great Wall Is Best To Visit?

2. The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is an antique royal palace that is now home to a collection of historical artifacts. Located in the heart of Beijing, it’s perfect for cultural and history lovers.

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3. Tiananmen Square

Right across the road from the Forbidden City is Tiananmen Square, which is the fourth-largest city square in the world. 

4. Jingshan Park

Right across from the northern exit gate of the Forbidden City, there is a stunning imperial garden called Jingshan Park. It is a well-liked location among both locals and tourists because it provides breathtaking panoramic views of the Forbidden City. I always recommend this to Beijing first-timers!

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5. The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is a complex of religious buildings located in southeast Beijing. It was built in the early 15th century and was used by emperors to offer sacrifices to heaven for good harvests.

6. The Summer Palace

Set in a tranquil environment, this lovely imperial garden combines natural elements with man-made structures. 

7. The Hutongs

Beijing hutongs are narrow alleyways lined with traditional courtyard houses that offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture. Some of the most popular hutongs to visit include Nanluoguxiang, Qianmen, and Wudaoying Hutong. You’ll find many shops, cafes, and restaurants scattered within these hutongs.


8. Lama Temple

The Lama Temple, also known as the Yonghe Temple, is a Buddhist temple here in Beijing. It is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world outside of Tibet. This temple is right across the street from Wudaoying Hutong, so it’s great to combine with a day in the hutongs.

8. National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) and Water Cube

China’s National Stadium, also referred to as the Bird’s Nest, is a well-known landmark. It was constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics and is now a well-liked tourist destination. The Water Cube, another recognizable building from the same Olympics, is nearby and is now a public water park.


9. The 798 Art District

Beijing’s 798 Art District is a thriving cultural hub located in the northeastern part of the city. It was once a complex of abandoned factories that have now been transformed into art galleries, studios, and trendy cafes.

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10. Beihai Park

A tranquil royal garden with a sizable lake and interesting pavilions. 

Plan A Trip To Beijing

Beijing is home to many world-famous tourist destinations, including historical, cultural, scenic, and modern attractions. Some of the nation’s most well-known tourist destinations, including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven, are located in the nation’s capital. It’s time to check off these bucket list destinations and plan a trip here!

Check out my other posts about Beijing:


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