Flights to Beijing (PEK)

With its breathtaking cuisine, history, and modernity, Beijing is a struggle to experience in just one visit—giving you the perfect excuse to plan another.
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Beijing, China

What to do in Beijing

Escape to the Summer Palace

If you would rather not fight through throngs of tourists at the Forbidden City, jump into a taxi and head to the Summer Palace. This was the emperor’s summer retreat and it’s easy to see why: beautiful grounds, the stunning Kunming Lake, and breathtaking architecture.

19 Xin Jian Gong Men Lu
Haidian District
100084
+86 10 6288 1144
summerpalace-china.com

See Beijing a little differently

Since Beijing is so vast and full of history, it’s almost impossible to decide what to see during your stay. Beijing Sideways remedies this by offering citywide tours in classic China Chang Jiang 750 motorcycle sidecars. The tour guides are local residents, proficient in a multitude of languages, and skilled at dodging traffic.

Xingfu Cun Zhonglu
Chao Yang District
100027
+86 139 1133 4947
beijingsideways.com

Beijing 798 Art Zone

It may come as a surprise that Beijing boasts such an expressive and outspoken art scene. The 798 District has long been home to many of China’s top artists, including Jiang Yousheng, Wang Ziwei, and Su Jinyuan. The area is full of galleries, as well as cafes and bars.

No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Road
Chaoyang District
100015
+86 10 5978 9798
798district.com

Stroll down Nanluoguxiang

A perfect introduction to Beijing’s hutongs (and some great independent shops). Visitors can snap up fantastic souvenirs from Plastered, where T-shirt designs riff on communist propaganda posters, and visit the street’s abundant cafes and restaurants. Half the fun of Nanluoguxiang is exploring its side streets, one of which leads to the Drum and Bell Towers.

Plastered T-shirts
61 South Luogu Alley
Dongcheng
100009
+86 136 8339 4452
plasteredtshirts.com

Get lost in the Forbidden City

Brave the throngs of local tourists to experience the Forbidden City. However, you can lose the crowds by ducking into one of the many throne rooms or courtyards, all of which are fascinating. The on-site Palace Museum is home to an important collection of paintings and ceramics.

4 Jing Shan Qian Jie
Dongcheng
+86 10 8500 7428
dpm.org.cn

Scale the Great Wall

A visit to Beijing isn’t complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China. Even today, there are still huge lengths that remain relatively untouched and wonderful to explore. One such section lies between Jinshanling (2 hours northeast of Beijing) and Simatai; it's a 6 km hike that affords wonderful views of the wall winding its way through the hills.

Luanping
Chengde
Hebei
+86 314 883 0222
whc.unesco.org

Where to eat in Beijing

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Okra (Japanese)

Max Levy’s restaurant serves up supreme sushi and traditional Japanese drinks in a smart, sophisticated setting. Attentive waitstaff are on hand to guide you to a table set in a partitioned booth before serving up dishes such as red tofu soup and excellent sushi and sashimi cuts.

Courtyard 4
1949–The Hidden City
Gongti Bei Lu
Chaoyang
100027
+86 10 6593 5087
okra1949.com

Din Tai Fung (Chinese)

This glimmering, modern Taiwanese restaurant chain serves some of the tastiest dim sum you’re likely to sample. Armies of staff attend to a sea of tables, and while prices are higher than at other dim sum joints, the food is consistently excellent. Try the hand-rolled xiaolongbao.

24 Xinyuan Xili Zhongjie
Chaoyang
100027
+86 10 6462 4502
dintaifung.com.cn

The Den (International)

This popular restaurant-bar off Gongti Bei Lu offers visitors a taste of expat history. The Den, one of Beijing’s oldest establishments, is always busy. Locals, visitors, and expats feast on consistently good comfort food (served 24 hours a day), while live sports play on multiple big screens.

4 Gongti Bei Lu
Chaoyang
+86 10 6592 6290
facebook.com/The-Den

Temple Restaurant Beijing (French-Asian)

Australian firm Hassell designed this television factory turned restaurant, where modern design elements mix with traditional Chinese accents to great effect. The menu is similarly sleek, thanks to the experience of owner Ignace Lecleir, whose impressive gastronomic resume spans the USA and Europe.

23 Song Zhu Shi
Shatan Beijie
Dongcheng
100009
+86 10 8400 2232
trb-cn.com

Da Dong Roast Duck (Chinese)

With four restaurants to his name, Mr. Da Dong is the undisputed authority on Beijing's specialty roast duck. Pick one of the locations and get ready to feast on succulent sweet duck, fragrant pancakes, plum sauce, and plenty of mouth-watering sides.

22 Dongsi 10th Alley
Dongcheng
100007
+86 10 5169 0329
facebook.com/pages/Beijing-DaDong-Roast-Duck

Mercante (Italian)

Hailing from the Parma region of Italy, owner Omar Maseroli runs this intimate restaurant with his Chinese girlfriend and two other Italians (one of whom is the chef). The result is an unforgettable candlelit dining experience fueled by handmade pasta and other authentic Italian dishes.

4 Fangzhuanchang Hutong
Dongcheng
100009
+86 10 8402 5098
facebook.com/Mercante.Beijing

Places to stay in Beijing

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Commune by the Great Wall

What started as an architectural project featuring 12 different self-contained villas, each designed by a prominent Asian architect, has grown into a unique resort. There are now 40 villas with 175 suites, 11 Presidential Suites, 3 restaurants, and an outdoor pool and tennis court—all a stone’s throw from the Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall
Exit 53
Shuiguan G6 Jingzang Highway
+86 10 8118 1888
communebythegreatwall.com/en

Peninsula Beijing

Located close to Tiananmen Square, the Peninsula epitomizes the luxury and opulence that the upper echelons of Chinese society have become accustomed to. You can enjoy supreme spa facilities, dine at Jing Restaurant or Cantonese eatery Huang Ting, or unwind in Yun Lounge.

8 Goldfish Lane
Wangfujing
100006
+86 10 8516 2888
beijing.peninsula.com

Opposite House

One of Beijing’s first boutique hotels, Opposite House retains its startling originality. The design concept turns traditional courtyard living on its head; every room offers a surprise. There are also four options for eating and drinking: Sureno, Mesh, Village Café, and Jing Yaa Tang.

Building 1
Taikoo Li Sanlitun Bei Lu
11 Sanlitun
Chaoyang
+86 10 6417 6688
theoppositehouse.com

St. Regis Beijing

The St. Regis is steeped in history. Richard Nixon’s famous Ping Pong Diplomacy team stayed here in the 1970s, and the hotel continues to draw the world’s power brokers. For everyone else, the St. Regis is wonderfully located; more or less all of Beijing’s attractions are just a walk away.

21 Jianguomenwai Dajie
Near Ritan Road
100020
+86 10 6460 6688
starwoodhotels.com/stregis

Aman at Summer Palace

You'll find this luxurious hotel at the East Gate of the majestic Summer Palace. This serene establishment offers guest rooms complete with courtyards, Ming Dynasty–inspired deluxe suites, and an Imperial Suite that comprises three separate pavilions.

1 Gongmenqian Street
Summer Palace
100091
+86 10 5987 9999
amanresorts.com

Red Wall Garden Hotel

With a design based on a traditional Beijing courtyard, Red Wall offers a tranquil oasis in a bustling city. Situated in the enchanting Shijia Hutong, walking distance from the Forbidden City, the hotel boasts one of the best locations in Beijing.

41 Shijia Hutong
Dongcheng
100010
+86 10 5169 2222
rwghotel.com

  Beijing