Beijing-1Beijing-2
Discover Beijing
The city of unique architecture, exotic food, tea ceremonies, and extraordinary culture
Loud and densely populated, multifaced, and fascinating, modern and atmospheric - there is a reason why Beijing is called one of the most legendary cities on the planet

Districts of Beijing

According to the administrative division, Beijing consists of 16 districts. Fourteen of them are urban districts and two counties. Thus, six areas form the city itself, another six regions are considered to be suburbs, and the remaining four are located far from the center.

You should go by the aim of your trip while choosing a district to stay in. Every part of Beijing offers its benefits. But in general, the situation with the communities is the following:

  • Dongcheng is one of the two central districts in Beijing. It's located inside the Second Ring Road. Wealthy merchants and government servants used to live here. The most famous city attractions can be found here. Things are always humming here. This district will fit those tourists who plan to walk a lot, visit iconic places of Beijing, are nor planning to save on accommodation, and are ready to endure noise and fuss even at nights.
  • Xicheng is the second neighborhood that is considered to be part of the historical center of Beijing. Lots of renowned attractions, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls are situated here. Despite the crowds of tourists, the atmosphere here is calmer. You can head to the zoo or one of the local parks.
  • Chaoyang is another famous tourist district in Beijing. Here, historic quarters and contemporary business centers perfectly stand side by side. Russian-speaking travelers often choose this area as the famous Russiantown can be found here. Chaoyang offers the most expensive bars and restaurants and venues for organizing events and festivals.
  • Haidian is a unique district, as the best universities in the city are located here. Moreover, here, you shall come across offices of international companies and large shopping centers. It is known for its several attractions. The Summer Palace, with its picturesque territory and thousands of historical buildings, definitely deserve your attention.

Wangfujing and Sanlitun are two other popular tourist neighborhoods worth being noticed. Both of them are situated in the historical center of Beijing and not far from the main sights. Wangfujing is a long shopping street with a diversity of hotels, high prices, developed transport communication, crowds of tourists at every turn. Sanlitun is a contemporary and dynamic area without any historical attractions. However, it offers a wide range of amusements: shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Map Beijing

Populations

The number of citizens in Beijing growth annually. Only 50% of the population have official local residence. The rest of the people live in the city with a temporary permit. In addition to that, around ten million people compile a group of so-called labor immigrants.

As far as the ethnic composition is concerned, the Han Chinese or the Han People constitute the overwhelming majority of the population (95%). The ethnic minorities are thinly represented in the capital of China:

  • the Manchu people – 1,8%;
  • the Hui people – 1,7%;
  • the Mongols – 0,3%.

It is also worth mentioning that, in general, representatives of 56 nationalities live on the territory of Beijing.

History of the city

The first settlement of the territory of modern Beijing dates back to the first century before Christ. That's where the City of Ji, the capital of Qin state, was located. After its decay, the area was a part of various regions in Han and Jin. When the Tang Empire was in bloom, the city became the headquarters of a general. In 938, during the epoch of the Liao dynasty, it was renamed into Nanjing and received the status of the second capital of the country. The town was again renamed in 1125 to Zhongdu and became the principal capital within the Jin Empire.

From 1215, the city changed not only its name but the image as well. It was entirely destroyed and rebuilt several times. It was ruined for the first time in 1215. In 1267, the city again appeared on the map, but it was situated a bit to the north and bore the name of Dadu.

The settlement was destroyed for the second time in 1368. The Ming Empire took care of its reconstruction. The city regained the status of the capital in 1368 and was finally renamed to Beijing. These events happened during the reign of the third Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Historians believe that Beijing obtained its current image and landscapes in that period.

In periods from 1425 to 1650 and from 1710 to 1825, Beijing had been considered to be one of the largest cities in the world. He had to undergo another change of power when the Manchu people invaded China and founded the Qing Empire. Unfortunately, the tragic event in the history of the capital did not stop here. The city survived an occupation in 1860, and in 1900 it was exposed to a siege and an invasion of the army of the western countries.

The Empire of China was founded in 1915. Beijing was again renamed in 1928 to Beiping and lost the status of a capital.

As a result of the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937, the city was under the rule of Japan and regained its common name again. Japan capitulated in 1945 and turned to Beiping once more. And in 1949, it gave in without a struggle to the Reds.

With a regime change, the People's Republic of China was created. Beijing returned its name and status once for all.

Trip budget

Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:

The best time to visit Beijing

As the main Beijing attractions are located in the open air, good weather is the primary condition for a comfortable trip to the capital of China. April and May are considered to be the best time to visit Beijing. The air warms up to +20 °С, and there are not more than five of six rainy days per month. The heat hits the city in June. In combination with polluted air, it makes the walking tours unbearable.

July and August are the rainiest months. Therefore, this period is not the best option. September and October, however, offer the same weather conditions as spring does. Winters in Beijing are relatively mild (from -9 °С to +4 °С) but at the same time humid and quite windy.

Do you want to see Beijing during holidays and festivals? Then, you should come in February (New Year, Spring Festival), May (Labor's Day), and in October (Mid-Autumn Festival). However, don't forget that the prices are higher during these months and the crowds of tourists are growing.

Useful notes

What should a tourist do in Beijing?

The capital of China gives travelers so many fascinating places that one should come here for at least one week. The chances are high that you won't be able to see all the attractions of the city within this time limit. However, you can get most of Beijing if you manage to accomplish this plan.

  • Attend the Forbidden City. Perhaps, it's the most iconic place in the city, and it never has empty streets. But it's worth seeing it despite the crowds of tourists. The unbelievable Royal Palace, magnificent architecture, several gardens with fascinating halls - it's not surprising that the Forbidden City is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List.
  • Explore Tiananmen Square. It's the biggest one in the world. It's hard to imagine that up to one million people gather here on some holidays. Tiananmen Square unites several sights and landmarks. Mainly, it's the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Besides, every morning, when the sun goes up, tourists come here to watch the ceremony of the national flag raising.
  • Conquer the Great Wall of China. Visiting Beijing and not seeing one of the most grandiose world attractions sounds like a crime. Over 70 thousand tourists come here daily in high season. The unique history of the building process and mind-blowing views from almost every part of the wall won't disappoint you. It's a definite must-see in Beijing!
  • Visit the Temple of Heaven. A vast architectural complex and a beautiful park deserve the tourists' attention. You can see not only the Temple of Heaven on the territory of the complex. There are also several other, not less incredible religious constructions. So, what you must do during your visit? Take a picture of a blue tile, meet the masters of calligraphy, experiment with the Heaven's Heart Stone, and check the Echo Wall. We promise that you won't get bored!
  • Take a tour of hutongs. These are ancient Chinese quarters with plenty of lanes and small one-story buildings with backyards. You can either enjoy a walk or use the services of a rickshaw. Besides, these quarters offer lots of cheap hotels. It's an excellent opportunity for the tourists who want to save some money and spend aa night in an exotic atmosphere.
  • Meet a giant panda. The largest zoo in China is built in the form of classical Chinese gardens. Over seven thousand animals live on the park's territory. A giant panda can be proudly called the most popular "citizen" of the Beijing zoo. However, there are many other residents worth your attention. You can devote one day to visiting this place.
  • Try exotic dishes of the local cuisine. Peking duck is an iconic pride of the city. Every tourist must taste it! Moreover, Beijing offers a wide range of street food options. There's hardly any other place where you can find such diversity and exotic dishes.
  • Check out the product assortment of tea shops. A tea ceremony is one of the characteristic features of China. Tourists in Beijing have a chance to participate in this ritual and treat yourself to real tea in one of the designated shops. The range is mind-blowing! So, don't expect that you will cope with this task in several minutes.
  • Devote some time to shopping. The selection of goods in Beijing is impressive: from branded clothes to cheap items and extraordinary souvenirs. A U-Town shopping mall is a perfect place for people interested in Bershka, Zara, GAP, H&M, and other worldwide known brands. The complex of towers called "The Place" the "Charterhouse" bookstore should also be added on the list. The Silk Market is an ideal option for people looking for copies of famous brands and love to bargain. You can drop the initial price by 10! There no better place for purchasing exotic and original souvenirs for your family and friends than Nanluoguxiang Lane.

Hotels in Beijing

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