Every time my friends visit Beijing, they would ask me for some suggestions of where they should go to better understand this city. Having been there for four years, I would recommend the following attractions for the first-time travellers to Beijing.
- Forbidden City
Forbidden City is the right place for you to start your Beijing tour by unveiling its mysterious face. This large palace complex was built between 1406 and 1420, but was burnt down, rebuilt, and renovated countless times, so most of the architecture you can see today dates from the 18th century. It is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
- Tian’anmen Square
What is the symbol of Beijing? There are various answers. But Tiananmen Square is definitely on the top list. This was the site when in 1949, from a rostrum on Tiananmen, Chairman Mao proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. At sunrise and sunset the raising and lowering ceremony of the Chinese National Flag is well worth the watching. The precision of the young troops is very well performed.
- Great Wall
The Great Wall is a series of fortifications, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Most of the sections of Great Wall in Beijing are well-preserved and mainly the remains from the Ming Dynasty.
- Summer Palace
As the largest royal garden in China, Beijing’s Summer Palace is actually a parklike imperial retreat. Once a summer retreat for emperors, this park is still a retreat for the tourists, who can relax here or walk around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and huge lake.
- Bird’s Nest
Bird’s Nest was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics. The design, which originated from the study of Chinese ceramics, implemented steel beams in order to hide supports for the retractable roof; giving the stadium the appearance of a bird’s nest.