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Travel to Beijing - Top 10 Must-visit Attractions

Categories: Travel in China   Time: 2012-01-12by: CUCAS

Forbidden City

Located in the center of urban Beijing, the Forbidden City served as the residence of the Ming and Qing Emperors. It is the largest and best preserved extant group of ancient architecture in the world. Built in 1420 in the Ming Dynasty, it was the center of feudal rule in China until the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. The complex has been designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Tiananmen Square

At the very heart of Beijing, sits Tian'anmen Square, the largest urban square in the world. This vast space, measuring 40 hectares, has a historical significance to rival its size. Enlarged in the 1960s, Tian'anmen Square now measures 880 meters from north to south, 500 meters from east to west and can accommodate up to one million people. Classical Beijing planning however, didn't permit public squares.

The Great Wall


The construction of the Great Wall started during the Warring States Period in the 7th century B.C, it has a history of more than 2,500 years. Many dukedoms built walls in Central China to protect themselves and their northern territories.

Summer Palace

Located in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, this is China's best preserved imperial garden, famous for its scenery and cultural relics. It consists mainly of Wanshou (Longevity) Hill and Kunming Lake. The garden was burned by the allied British-French troops in 1860. From 1885 to 1895, Empress Dowager Ci'xi (1835-1908) of the Qing Dynasty had it restored with funds intended for naval development.

Temple of Heaven

Located in the Southern part of urban Beijing, this was where the Ming and Qing emperors went to worship Heaven and pray for a better harvest. With an area of 270 hectares, the Temple of Heaven counts as the world's largest extant group of temple buildings. Its distinct architectural design and pattern represents the ancient Chinese belief in a round heaven, square earth, and the supreme imperial power.

Ming Tombs

Situated at the foot of Tianshou Mountain in Changping County, to the northwest of urban Beijing, this is the best preserved group of imperial tombs buried with the most emperors. Occupying an area of 40 sq km, it is home to a beautiful stone archway leading to a path flanked by 18 pairs of vivid stone human and animals statues.

Beijing Hutongs

A hutong is an ancient city alley or lane typical of old Beijing, where there were once several thousand of them. Surrounding the Forbidden City, many were built during the Yuan (1206-1341), Ming (1368-1628) and Qing (1644-1908) dynasties. In the prime of these dynasties the emperors, in order to establish supreme power for themselves, planned the city and arranged the residential areas according to the etiquette systems of the Zhou Dynasty. Hutongs are still inhabited by long-time Beijing residents, and taking a stroll through the peaceful narrow streets is one of the city's most charming attractions.

Lama Temple

Lama Temple is located in the northeastern part of the old city of Beijing, the Lama Temple was a palatial residence constructed in 1694 by the Qing Emperor Kangxi for his fourth son, Prince Yongzheng, who later succeeded to the throne. The magnificent temple consists of five main buildings lying on the north-south axis,with annex halls standing on both sides. Lama Temple is Beijing's most visited religious site, which is home to the Yellow Sect of Buddhism. It is very active, with many faithfuls burning armloads of incense. The temple has an important relic: the largest Buddha statue carved from a single tree. The statue is huge: 3 stories up and about 9 feet across.

798 Art Zone

Located in Dashanzi Art District (original 798 Factory), the heart of a growing art and culture community in Beijing, 798 Space is the center and the biggest space providing cultural, artistic and commercial activities in the area. It was designed by East German architects in the Bauhaus style in the early 1950's. Through reconstruction and redesigning with contemporary aesthetics, the space combines the past, present, and future of the "New China".

National Centre for the Performing Arts

The National Centre for the Performing Arts is a dynamic new icon to the arts in the heart of old Beijing. The Centre's ultra-modern architecture is in sharp contrast to its neighbours, the Great Hall of the People, Tian'anmen Square and the ancient Forbidden City. The National Centre for the Performing Arts is far more than a spectacular and futuristic building; it hosts world-class events and performances throughout the year.

Olympic Stadiums

The National Stadium, known as the "Bird's Nest", served as the main venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It is located in the Olympic Green and occupies 21.4 hectares. It stretches 333 meters from north to south and 298 meters from east to west, covering an area of 258,000 square meters. The National Stadium is 68 meters high and holds 91,000 seats, including 11,000 temporary seats. The construction of the National Stadium began in December, 2003.


Tag: Beijing,Tian'an Men Square,Forbidden City,the Great Wall,Summer Palace,Temple of Heaven,Ming Tombs,Beijing Hutongs,Lama Temple,798 Art Zone,Olympic Stadiums

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