Beijing boasts profound cultural essence and historical heritage. There are six world cultural heritages in Beijing: the Great Wall, Forbidden City (Palace Museum), Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs and Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. More than 7000 cultural relics spread all over the city. The grandiose and artistic architectures, romantic history and beautiful sceneries are altogether exhibiting Beijing's resplendence to the public.
Beijing's most elegant park is built around the beihai (north lake). Once exclusively restricted to the emperor and his court, Beihai Park's charms include pavilions, gardens and a stunning Tibetan-style pagoda. Every morning, Beihai is a hive of fascinating human activity.
The abode of 24 Ming and Qing emperors of the Celestial Empire, the Forbidden City (also known as the palace museum) is a fittingly awe-inspiring sight. Besides its massive scale and historical significance, the Forbidden City strikes the imagination by its design. If you want an even better view, cross Jingshan Qian Jie and climb to the top of Coal Hill.
The Great Wall snakes its way across northern China, from the Yellow Sea and past the Gobi Desert for some 6,000 km. While it's not visible from the moon as has been claimed, it's still a remarkable piece of engineering and is the most famous symbol of China.
Alleyways and courtyard homes have been the signature features of Beijing's urban landscape since the Ming dynasty. These homes traditionally comprised buildings built around an enclosed courtyard, but many have been subdivided in modern times.
The tombs of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors and their consorts are scattered in a gorgeous valley 45 km northwest of Beijing. All but three of the Ming emperors are buried here. The site for the Ming Tombs was carefully chosen as the imperial cemetery by masters after careful examination of the surrounding area.
National Aquatics Center
The National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, is located in the southern part of the central area of the Olympic Green in Beijing, west of the Bird's Nest. The Water Cube was built in accordance with a water-saving design concept to be a gigantic green architectural wonder.
Beijing National Stadium, widely known as Bird’s Nest for its appearance of a network of steel girders, was the mean venue for the 29th Summer Olympics. The National Stadioum opened to the public in October 2008. Ticket costs 50 Yuan.
With its handsome buildings, pretty scenery and tumultuous history, the Summer Palace is a wonderful place to explore. The most pleasurable way to escape the crowds is to take a leisurely stroll on the willow-shaded paths and arched bridges that encircle the Kunming lake.
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven served Ming and Qing Dynasty emperors as a vast sacred space to perform ceremonial rites on behalf of the Chinese nation. Prior to the winter solstice, the emperor would lead a solemn procession, from the Forbidden City to the Temple of Heaven.