1. Lama temple
Lama temple, also known as The Yonghe Temple, is a temple and monastery. The architecture of the temples is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles. This temple is one of the most beautiful one in Beijing and it is must see monument! Temple surprised us with his variety of coulors and large courtyards. Entrance fee is 25 yuan.
2. Confucius temple
This temple is located at the same district as Lama temple. This temple consists of four courtyards and it is second largest temple that was constructed for Confucius. Confucius was the greatest thinker and educationalist in ancient China. You can find there also museum of Confucius and read some interesting facts about his live. Entrance fee for Confucius temple is 30 yuan.
3. Drum a Bell Towers
Drum tower was originally built for musical reason and then used to announce the time. Bell tower is located close to Drum tower and both offer nice view over Beijing.
4. Beijing hutongs
Hutong is a type of narrow line or small street associated especially with Beijing. The best known is Hutong Nanluoguxiang (South Gong and Drum Lane) that is located close to Towers. We would reccommend you just walking around and enjoying the architecture or trying to find also hidden ones. There is no entrance fee.
5. Jingshan Park
We think that this is one the most beautiful parks in Beijing because it offers amazing view of Modern part of the city and also the old part including Forbidden city. Entrance fee is only 2 yuan! We also appreciated that there were not so many tourists.
6. Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven is s an imperial complex of religious building. You have to go there during the morning because you will see Chinese people doing taichi, yoga, playing badminton or playing other games. There incredible and quiet atmosphere! But the Prayer of Good Harvest, which is the largest wooden temple in China, is another story. We came there during its opening hours and it was already very ovecrowded. Entrance fee is 50 yuan (they also accept student discounts).
7. Tian´anmen square
It is square in the center of Beijing best known for protests and student-led demonstrations in 1989 against communist regime. I think that alsmost everybody knows the famous photo of student and tanks…We didn’t manage to visit this square because of the queue of people waiting for security check (we have no idea if it is normal and if it is because of celebration of 70 years from China creation).
8. Forbidden city
This is must see place if you are in Beijing! It is palace complex where is located also Palace Museum – former Chinese imperial palace. Forbidden city was home of emperors and it was also the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years.
Areal is usually full of tourists during the day, but if you want a photo only of yourself, wait until closing time (17:00). We did so and we do not regret it because empty The Forbidden City has a completely different atmosphere! But be careful because you have enter area at least one hours before closing time (4 pm). Entrance fee is 60 yuan.
9. Beihai park
Beautiful garden in the middle of the city with lakes, temples, rocks or different kinds of trees. It is royal garden with a history of nearly 1000 years. Entrance fee is 10 yuan.
Best places for shopping in Beijing
Pearl market is perfect place if you want to buy some souvenir, branded sunglasses, handbags, shoes or traditional chinese dresses. First prices are very high so do not forget to bargain! Tomas bargained cool sunglasses from 398 yuan to 100 yuan! 😀 All you have to do is to tell saleswomen that the price is still hign and leave, then she will call you back and sell you the thing for ridiculous price.
Xidan commercial street
This street is full of malls and branded stores. If you are not looking for souvernirs but some clothes or shoes this is your area!
Where to stay in Beijing
Beijing offers many kinds of hotels, hostel or guesthouses. We found the cheapest accommodation (double room) via Airbnb that works very good in Beijing.
Getting around Beijing
We traveled around Beijing by subway, which is modern and easy to navigate because the stops are also written in English. It is possible to buy and charge a returnable IC card on the subway, but we eventually always bought a individual one-trip card because the IC card itself does not bring any discounts or benefits. Beijing subway is very crowded during peak hours, so when you plan something, be sure to add time reserve 🙂
Best place to eat in Beijing
1. Zhang Mama restaurant
This restaurant is located close to Lama temple and offers delicious food for reasonable price (we paid for 2 noodles, chicken and vegetablen 68 yuan). Although they don’t have menu in English or with pictures, we managed somehow to order. We got very huge portion of meal that was amazing! But even it should be non-spicy, it was wery spicy so be careful :D.
2. Places where eat local people
We wanted to tried Beijing duck because it is in Beijing almost obligatory because it was quite expensive. But we found small restaurant where ate lot of local people and they also served duck so we didn’t hesitate and went inside…and it was really worthy! Duck tasted really good, was served with some peanut sauce, salted thin pancakes and pieces of vegetable. Our theory is that local people would certainly not eat in bad and overpriced restaurants!