Experience traditional Chinese entertainment by heading to the National Centre for the Performing Arts or Liyuan Theatre. Here you can catch a Peking opera show, a traditional performance that combines music, mime, acrobatics, and dance with some fabulous costumes and sets. Often inspired by Chinese history, Peking opera is a great way to immerse yourself in Chinese culture.
This astonishing palace complex is one of Beijing’s top attractions. Constructed in the early 15th-century, the Forbidden City is home to almost 1,000 buildings representing architectural styles ranging from the Ming to Qing dynasties. High walls and a moat protect the Forbidden City. Walk through the magnificent rooms and gardens to learn the history of China’s most significant imperial dynasties.
A visit to this vast complex in Chaoyang District provides the opportunity to explore Beijing’s modern art scene. Housed in disused factory buildings, the art galleries of the 798 Art Zone frequently host exhibitions from internationally renowned artists like Ai Weiwei. Galleries aside, the complex itself is a work of art, complete with outdoor sculptures, murals, and fascinating architectural details.
This world-famous UNESCO recognised collection of fortified walls in Northeastern China stretches out across thousands of miles of land, but some of the best sections are just north of central Beijing. Travel into the district of Huairou, around two hours north, and you can visit a particularly rugged and scenic stretch at Jiankou.
Excellent retail therapy is available across Beijing, but Chaoyang has the highest concentration of shops, department stores, and markets. For high-end designer boutiques head to Shin Kong Place, while Sanlitun Street boasts global chains and international restaurants. Scitech Premium Outlet Mall is also worth checking out as it has tons of designer and high-end stores.