Visiting Beijing for the First Time

visiting beijing the first time

Image by Beijing Library

Beijing conjures up thoughts of the mystical orient, a land of history, and culture, dating back thousands of years. The world has opened up so much in the last 30 years that it is now very easy for the average traveller to visit faraway lands. Beijing is a vibrant city which is also one of the most populated in the world, with around 21 million people calling this city home. It is a mixture of old and new, slums and skyscrapers, which give this city its own unique vibe. There are many package China tours available, or you can travel independently at your own pace and leisure.

The Great Wall

No visit to China is complete without visiting this wondrous site. The most popular part of the wall to visit from Beijing is Badaling. This is very popular with both tourists, and locals, going up to walk along the wall, and of course there are many souvenirs and choices of food on offer. However, if you travel a little further out of Beijing, you may wish to think about going to Mutianyu instead. This part of the wall has been fully restored, with the addition of handrails, so you can really get a feel for the magnificent splendour of this remarkable accomplishment, and get the feel of how it would have felt to walk the walls 2000 years ago, when it was first built.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is another must see, when visiting Beijing. Entry is made at the Southern gate, and you are best off avoiding going on weekends and public holidays, and keep in mind that it is closed on Mondays. You can wander around the city yourself, wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot to see, or you can hire an official guide who can give you a tour in English.

Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show

The Chinese have been famous for the acrobatics for a very long time, and a visit to this theatre is definitely worthwhile. You will marvel at acrobats and gymnasts showing perfect synchronisation, as well as balance and skill. From tumbling to feats of strength, this is a show which the entire family will enjoy.

Niaochao National Stadium

This shows off the modern architecture of the Chinese, and it a wonderfully aesthetically pleasing build8ng to look at. Built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the stadium is also affectionately known as the Birds Nest, due to its design. A good time to visit, is at night when the stadium and surrounding areas are lit up, making them very photogenic.

The List Goes On

There really is so much to see and do in Beijing that you will need to plan your time well when visiting. At certain times of the year, and at certain attractions, you should be prepared for queues and lots of people. There are many package tours available, which can plan your trip for you, taking in various sights, or you can plan your own trip and travel at your own pace, which gives you much more flexibility. You will find fantastic restaurants, great shopping, lots of entertainment, as well as so much to see, you will need to make a few trips back to Beijing, just so that you can see and do everything that you want to!