Beijing

Beijing, China

Currency: Renminbi

Language: Chinese

Tax Refund: The standard rate of VAT is 17% in China. Refund is possible for tourists who are visiting less than 183 days. The min purchase amount is 500 CNY.

From Airport to Downtown

The best way is probably taking a cab from Beijing Capital Airport to the city. The ride takes around 1 hour depending on traffic and cost around 100 RMB which is very affordable.

Another way to get to the city will be using the Airport Express, then changing to the subway. The Airport Express runs from T3 to T2 and then to Sanyuanqiao and Dongzhimen, where you can change to the respective subway line. The Airport Express cost 25 CNY. It takes around 30 mins, then you have to cater time for the subway also. Subway fares cost around 3 to 9 CNY.

Attractions:

Forbidden City

Nearest Subway: Tian’anmen East & Tian’anmen West(Line 1)

Definitely the most famous attraction in the city. It is a museum by itself and definitely one of the largest one in the world. It used to be the imperial china palace of the past and definitely a must visit. It is closed on Mon. From 1 Apr-31 Oct it is open from 08:30-17:00 where tickets cost ¥60 and from 1 Nov-31 Mar 08:30-16:30 costing ¥40. Go early, before then open at 8.30am to experience the place in quaint.

Tiananmen Square

Nearest Subway: Tian’anmen East & Tian’anmen West(Line 1)

Definitely the most important landmark in the city. It is one of the largest square in the world. Definitely build to impress. There is a flag raising and lowering ceremony at dawn and dusk at the north end of the square. There are four marble lions in front of the Tian’anmen gate, the southwest one has a bullet hole on its stomach from the 1989 Tian’anmen Square massacre. There are compulsory security checks prior to entrance.

Tian’anmen Gate

Tian’anmen Gate, and its large portrait of Chairman Mao, dominates the northern end of the square. Pass beneath the gate to head north toward the Forbidden City. It costs nothing to pass through, but on the far side there is a ticket booth where you can pay admission to visit the Gate. Visiting the Gate allows a good view over Tian’anmen Square. Tickets cost 15 CNY

Temple of Heaven

Nearest Subway: Tiantan East Gate(Line 5)

South of the Forbidden Palace and the Tiananmen, The temple of Heaven and the park surrounding it is a nice place for some strolls. The vast public park popular with local residents practicing tai chi, dancing, and so on in the mornings and on weekends. The temple itself was the site where the emperor prayed every year for good harvests and fair weather. It cost around 35 CNY to enter.

ZhongShan / Jingshan Park

This two park are located near the Forbidden Palace, there are pretty quaint and nice to walk around. It is beautifully landscaped park with lots of trees and bamboo.

Summer Palace

Nearest Subway: Beigongmen Station(Line 4)

Open in the summer from 06.30am to 6pm, this is the gardens and the ruins of palaces constructed by the Qing emperors. In 1860, foreign soldiers damaged much of what was then known as the “Garden of Clear Ripples” Tickets cost 30 CNY. The Old Summer Palace is nearby.

Old Summer Palace

Nearest Subway: Yuanmingyuan Station(Line 4)

Built in the 18th and early 19th centuries, these gardens were home to the emperors and Qing court. After their 1860 destruction by British and French troops the gardens was not restored, and the ruins that can be seen today still serve as a reminder of the costs of imperialism. The park feature colourful gardens & ruins dating from 1707 & burned during Second Opium War of 1860. Tickets cost 10 CNY.

Ghost Street

Nearest Subway: Beixinqiao Station (Line 5)

The most famous street for food in Beijing is probably Guijie, sometimes called Ghost Street, which runs east-west along Dongzhimen Nei Dajie from Jiaodaokou Dong Dajie to Dongzhimen Lijiaomen Bridge on the Second Ring Road. The traditional courtyards dot the scene and hundreds of restaurants remain along the street.

Nanluoguxiang

Nearest Subway: Nanluguxiang Station (Line 8 )

A direct translation would means South Luoho Alley. It is the best restored hutong alleys in Beijing. Lined with boutiques and small shops. It is an experienced to come here and take a walk.

National Stadium

Nearest Subway: Olympic Green Stn (Line 8)

Also known as the Bird’s Nest this place is the icon for the 2008 Summer Olympics. It is now more of an icon and attractions. The place is also quite nice at night with the lights and stuff. Tours are possible between 9am to 6pm and tickets cost 50 CNY.

Houhai District

Nearest Subway: Jishuitan Station (Line 2) & Shichahai Station (Line8)

Located north of the Forbidden City, this area is vibrant in the night, it has many bars and restaurants. Located by a lake, the environment is amazing. It is also located near the clock tower.

Great Wall of China @ Mu Tian Yu

The other counterpart of the Great Wall to Badaling. It is said to be more rustic and less crowded. However it might be harder to get there in comparison. It requires a change of buses. To get there you can take the 916 Express from Dongzhimen and change to another bus, H23 or H24. All in all it takes around 2.5hour. Another option is to rent a driver for the day that cost around 600 CNY. The entrance fee to Mu Tian Yu cost 45 CNY or 25 CNY for students. There are also cable cars, slides that takes you up to the tower, they requires an additional fee.

Shopping:

Wang Fu Jing

Nearest Subway: Wangfujing Station (Line 1)

Beijing’s most famous shopping street, nowadays with mostly the same international brands and modern malls you will find anywhere else in the world. The street is pedestrianised for several blocks, making it more pleasant than many parts of Beijing to walk around. Several large malls in the area such as Oriental Plaza and Sun Dong An plaza. Wangfujing snack street is just located to the east has vendors selling souvenirs and crafts.

Restaurants:

Poetry Café

No. 15 Nanchizi St, Dongcheng District (南池子大街15号故宫东华门旁 Nearest Subway: Tian’anmen E Stn (Line 1) Exit B

Opened from 10am to 10pm it is a nice place to rest your feet. It is operated by a lovely young lady, who enjoy travel and photography thus, customers can get tonnes of information about travel and photography. Its location is where customers are allowed enjoy the scene of Forbidden City, while having a perfectly brewed coffee.

Oriental Dumpling King

朝阳门内南小街14号楼1层14 Chaoyangmen Nanxiaojie

Cheap and delicious Dongbei style dumplings. This is a chain, one of several around town. A few dozen different kinds of dumplings can be boiled or fried. As with many dumpling places, order by weight: An order is usually two liang (èr liǎng) which is 100g, about 10-12 dumplings.

Jin Ding Xuan

China, Beijing Shi, Dongcheng Qu, DongDan, Xiagongfu St, 王府井新燕莎金街购物广场6层 邮政编码: 100006

Jin Ding Xuan may not turn out the capital’s most refined version, but it’s certainly nothing to sneer at. At over 75 items, the menu is gigantic, the quality is high, and nearly everything’s under 20RMB. It is open from 10am to 10pm.

Siji Minfu

32 Dengshikou W St, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006

北京市东城区东单灯市口西街32号 邮政编码: 100006

四季民福 is one of a popular local restaurant serving up the Peking duck and other popular Beijing dishes. The restaurant is open from10.30am to 10.30pm. Expect a crowd to form. It is also located near Wangfujing.

Hai Di Lao

China, Beijing Shi, Dongcheng Qu, DongDan, Wangfujing St, 88号8层 邮政编码: 100006

北京市东城区东单王府井大街88号8层 邮政编码: 100006

Nothing much need to be said about HDL. Popular among the locals, this hotpot restaurant is open for 22 hours a day from 9am to 7am. It is also possible to book a table online. Do note that it may get crowded. Prices are much affordable than in Singapore.