Beijing, China - Firebird City Guides

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Beijing, China
Once the capital of four dynasties and the capital of China today, Beijing is one of the world's truly imposing cities with over 3,000 years of history and a population of around 11 million. Covering 16,808 square kilometers, it is the nation's political, economic, cultural and educational center.

Beijing preserves a large number of imperial palaces & gardens, temples and ancient tombs. Among the main highlights of the city are the Forbidden City - a former Imperial Palace, and Tiananmen Square - the majestic symbol of authority in modern China. Attracting millions of tourists every year the square is the geographical center of Beijing and the largest city square in the world. It occupies an area of 440,000 m2 and is able to accommodate up to 1,000,000 people simultaneously. The square's main landmark is the ancient Tiananmen tower built in 1417 and a 124 feet high monument to the People’s Heroes.

Another must see in Beijing is the UNESCO listed World Heritage - Temple of Heaven (Tiantan). The medieval complex of religious buildings was originally constructed in 1420 as a worship place for the emperor to pray to the God of Heaven. In the 16th century the Jiajing Emperor decided to build separate altars for heaven, earth, sun and moon, symbolizing harmony. Today it is a monumental park displaying Chinese cultural legacy.

The Beijing Hutongs are a vivid illustration of the authentic life of Beijing’s local people. “Hutong” in Chinese, means a lane or an alley, formed by rows of houses around a courtyard. Since the mid-20th century, the number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically as they were demolished to make way for new roads and buildings. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history.

The Summer Palace, also known as Yihe Yuan - Garden of Restful Peace, is one of the biggest remaining royal gardens and another World Heritage Site worth visiting when in Beijing. Firstly built in 1750, it later became the main residence of Chinese royalty at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today this ‘Museum of Royal Gardens’ harmoniously radiates natural beauty and the grandeur of royal gardens, and is an excellent example of Chinese gardening arts.

Another gem of Beijing is the Yonghe Lama Temple - the largest and most well-preserved lamasery in present day China. Initially built in 1694 the building was the residence of Emperor Yongzheng and later in 1744 became the center of the Lama administration. As a result the temple reflects the symmetrical ancient Chinese architecture combining various architectural styles of the Han, the Manchu, the Mongolian and the Tibetan making the Yonghe Lama Temple the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet.

The massive, inimitable and compelling capital of China - Beijing is a traditional oriental metropolis with the pulse of buzzing modern city and the country's precious jewel.

See it on following tours

Group Rail Tour  |  Nearest Date:
Apr 16, 2019

21 days

4 cities

3 countries

Moscow | Samarkand | Tashkent | Beijing

Unique Silk Road adventure from Moscow to Beijing through the exotic Central Asian countries on board two luxurious trains. Begin your Trans-Siberian adventure with a guided city tour of Moscow, then board a top-quality train and discover a new city gem of Eurasia at every stop you make, end your trip with visiting the Great Wall of China. 

Small group rail tour  |  Nearest Date:
May 04, 2019

16 days

8 cities

3 countries

Moscow | Kazan | Ekaterinburg | Novosibirsk | Irkutsk | Ulan-Ude | Ulan Bator | Beijing

The Tsar's Gold Trans-Siberian rail-tour focuses on your experience and comfort, providing every opportunity for enjoying your journey of a lifetime. Explore Russian towns to get an insight of real Russia, experience genuine Mongolia and finally discover the best of Chinese heritage in and around Beijing.

Private tour  |  Nearest Date:

9 days

3 cities

1 country

Beijing | Xian | Shanghai

One of the most ancient civilizations covered with mystery and legends, China welcomes you to discover its treasures. You will finally be able to cross off the Great Wall of China and other stunning landmarks of your bucket list!
E.g., Sep 25 2018