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Leisure Time in Beijing

Everything your heart desires is in Beijing!

Leisure activities in Beijing
Beijing combines modern and traditional China like no other city in the Middle Kingdom. This offers the opportunity to experience many different things in and around Beijing and to gain unique experiences. Beijing is a very sprawling metropolis, so you should treat yourself and try to “get lost” there as at every turn a different story may be waiting for you.

Early morning
For early risers, a visit to Jingshan Park should be on the program. Parks hill offers you a fantastic view of the Forbidden City and Beihai Park to enjoy. From here, it is particularly convenient to visit the “Forbidden City”, for which you will have to reserve at least three hours. It is important to note that the number of visitors allowed into the Forbidden City is limited each day, so it is worth buying the tickets early in the morning.

Tiananmen Square and other attractions
Just outside the Forbidden City is the Tiananmen Square. This place is the largest square in the world and can hold up to a million people. The Great Hall of the People and the National Museum of China were built on the western and eastern sides of the square. A year after Mao’s death, a mausoleum was erected on the north-south axis of the square near the former Chinese Gate. In the context of this project, space was further enlarged; making the square entirely rectangular.

Beihai Park
Beihai Park is undoubtedly the best place for a relaxing walk in the center. This park is located in the heart of the city and was built a thousand years ago. In this beautiful garden, which surrounds a lake, the emperors used to seek their peace. Today, you can still see beautiful governmental buildings, old trees, and flower beds in the park. Opera lovers should also visit the local theater, where the performances are utterly unforgettable.

Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is a Chinese temple complex with religious buildings in the south-eastern part of Beijing. Here the Chinese emperors used to pray for a good harvest. This huge Confucian-style facility is truly worth a visit, if only for the impressive size. In the northwest of the city, you can find the new and old Summer Palace, miraculously reflecting the Chinese soul and imperial times with gardens, bridges, temples, palaces, and pavilions.

Art district
For art lovers, the 798 Art District should be at the top of the list. This is the meeting place of Chinese and international artists in China. It is named after the 798 factories built here in the 1950s – in the northeast corner of Beijing. This bohemian district is also called Dashanzi Art District (DAD) as it is located in Dashanzi. The 798 Art District covers an area of 60 hectares, with Jiuxianqiao Road to the west, Beijing Baotou Railway to the east, Jiangtai Road to the south, and Jiuxianqiao Road to the north. Especially for modern art styles, the 798 Art District became an exhibition center of Chinese culture and art movement, which gained worldwide fame. With various street cafes and restaurants, the time flies by.

Hutong
People say that the real culture of Beijing can only be found in the Hutongs. Hutong is a Mongolian word for water fountain and today, the name of streets or lanes that emerged during the Yuan Dynasty. In the Yuan Dynasty, the Mongols attached great importance to the water supply, so that many residential complexes in the city were built around a well that provided the daily water for the locals. Due to the many intersections of the alleys, all the houses are connected. They create a network of these “mini” neighborhoods. Of the more than 1,000 lanes, 6 Hutongs are particularly famous because of their higher number of historical buildings and traditional time-honored workshops:

  • South Gong and Drum Lane (Nanluogu Xiang)
  • “Lean tobacco bag street” (Yandai Xiejie)
  • Dongjiaomin Lane (Dongjiaomin Xiang)
  • Xijiaomin Lane (Xijiaomin Xiang)
  • Ju’er Hutong
  • Bada Hutong
  • Tea Ceremony

China is a country with a strong tea culture. Today, there are about 170 great tea houses in Beijing, which can be divided into three types:

  • Traditional tea house (a great combination of tea and Chinese folk culture)
  • Modern tea house (marked by oolong tea)
  • Tea house with unique features (with a unique style and decoration elements)

The traditional tea house is the preference of the visitors who are particularly interested in local culture. Tea tasting has a cultural significance in China. The tea, the tea set, and the interior of the tea house should be coordinated and designed accordingly. All this reflects the ultimate goal of the Chinese culture: harmonious unity of humans with nature.

Chinese massage
Massage, “An Mo” or “Tui Na” in Chinese, is a widely popular type of physiotherapy in China. It is not only good for relaxation but also very beneficial for your health. Many Chinese doctors believe that a network “Jing Luo” in the human body connects the vital energy with the organs, joints, and limbs. Targeted massage should be able to regulate this energy and improve the organ functions while maintaining good health. Nowadays, the blind massage is very popular in China attributable to the high quality of service and the work opportunity it provides for the blind.

Beijing duck
According to a Chinese proverb, no visit to this city is complete if you have not seen the Great Wall and have not eaten Beijing duck. It is a culinary spectacle that should not be missed! The bright red duck is presented by the chef at the table and craved directly. The duck is characterized by a wonderful crispy skin and very tender flesh. The crispy skin is the starter, then comes the juicy meat – you take one of the small thin pancakes and spread a little bit of plum sauce on, followed by small slices of spring onions/cucumbers and finally some duck pieces. The pancake is then rolled up and ready to eat. You are more than welcome to use your fingers!

Beijing nightlife
Not only does Beijing make sure you have a busy and exciting day, but it will also provide you with a colorful nightlife selection. Traditional performances like the Peking Opera and acrobatic shows are very popular. For the visitors who want to get to know the city, we recommend a walk along Chang’an Street to Tiananmen Square. Sanlitun Bar Street and the surrounding embassy district in Chaoyang is a must-see for many. In the various bars and clubs, there is something for everyone; rock-and-roll, hip-hop, jazz and much more. These places attract expats, tourists and Chinese alike. Every city in China has its night market, and Beijing is no exception. Dongdan Street, Xidan Street, Donghuamen Gate and Longfusi Temple are home to the city’s most important and delicious night markets.