Beijing is the capital of China. The history behind this city stretched back over 3 millennia. The city holds sites such as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the most famous of all an hour North stands the Great wall of China.



How to get to Beijing

We flew from Shanghai to Beijing with China Southern approximately 1hour 40 minutes.

There are several ways to get to the city from Beijing international airport.

  • Bus – There are 18 bus lines going to Beijing, depending on where you stay will depend on the time and price. There are a few ticket offices on the floor 1 of each terminal building. Click here for up to date bus information.

  • Train – Trains are available from terminals 2 and 3, but you have to change onto the metro lines to get into the city.

  • Taxi - There are official taxi stands in each terminal for the airport. Ensure you only take a licensed tax.

  • Hotel transfer - This option will always be the most expensive but at the same time, the most convenient as there will be someone waiting for you at the airport holding a sign with your name.

  • Uber – Uber allows you to pay via your Uber account so you don’t have to worry about getting your money out. Uber also gives you an estimate on the fare and it’s pretty accurate.

  • Car Rental – There a rental car companies in the arrivals terminal. Be sure to check if you can drive here prior to booking. You can also reserve a car online via Rentalcars


Where to Stay in Beijing

Beijing, like Shanghai, is so well connected via their subway network making navigating across the city not only easy but cheap!

Areas to stay:

  • Central Beijing – Also known as the Imperial Area, the home to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square. Very good area to stay, contains high end hotels to very good hostels.

  • North Beijing – Best area to stay if you are on a budget, but as it’s connected via subway it’s easy to move around. North Beijing also contains many of the 2008 Olympic sites.

  • South Beijing – Mainly a residential area and not as developed as the other parts. Accommodation here will be cheaper than the other areas.

  • West Beijing – Business and financial district, will be easy to find accommodation here for either short or long term.

  • East Beijing – Home to a lot of a skyscrapers, there are many hotels here from high end to hostels.


We stayed in Saga Youth hostel £27 p/n (private en-suite double room). We don’t usually write about hostels we’ve stayed in (most are reviewed with pictures online), however Saga Youth Hostel was exceptional. The facilities are basic but the onsite bar is well stocked, the food is delicious, the hostel offer free dumpling making classes and the staff are wonderful!!


Things to do in Beijing with children

  • Wangfujing Street ‘walking street’ –No trip to Beijing is complete without visiting Wangfujing Street and its neighbouring areas. The 810 meter waking street is home to several large shopping centres such as Beijing Department Store, Sun Dong and Plaza and Orienta Plaza, catering from the unique independent to high brand stores.

  • Temple of Heaven - The Temple of Heaven Park is located in the Chongwen District.. Originally, a place of worship (Heaven worship ceremony) for the emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). It is the largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China's ancient sacrificial buildings.

  • The Forbidden City - Ringed by a 52m-wide moat at the very heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City is China’s largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings, not to mention the largest palace complex in the world.

    • Tickets - Tickets sold out for the day before our intended visit – tickets can be booked online in advance and is well worth doing to avoid disappointment.

  • The Great Wall – Undoubtedly one of China’s most famed attractions and well worth the hike! The views here on a clear day are simply out of this world, the walk itself can be a little tiresome but push on and you’ll be rewarded!

    • We booked this trip via our hostel for RMB 280 each. This included breakfast, lunch, transport and entry. Leaving Beijing at 7.30 am we drove approx. 1.5 hours to the Wall entrance, where we bought cable car tickets (100 RMB up and down / 80 RMB one way) to take us to the 14th tower. We then hiked up to the 21st tower and boy it was tough at times!

  • Summer Palace – Has a lot of lakes, gardens and palaces. It serves as a popular tourist destination and recreational park.

  • Tiananmen Square – Centrally located, Tiananmen Square separates the Forbidden City from the north of Beijing.  Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People.

  • Jingshan Park – A recreational park where you can walk up and get an incredible view of the Forbidden City.

  • The Great Wall of China – Excellent for an escape out of the city – there is a chairlift up to the tower 14 so easy for the little ones. If youre feeing adventurous, you can then walk the length of the restored wall, all the way up to the 21st watch tower.

  • Forbidden City – Get lost in the ancient walled city. Or pose for photos in traditional dress. The Forbidden City is a maze of intricate cobbled walkways, leading to what once were lavish ornate palace buildings. You can easily spend half a day weaving your way around these ancient grounds.

  • Beijing World Park – A theme park filled with landmarks from around the world

  • Hutongs –Traditional neighbourhoods, walk the streets and see how traditional life in China is lived.

  • Beijing ocean Park & pacific underwater world – Both of these places hold an extensive range of sea life. Perfect for a rainy or hot summers day.

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