The Forbidden City, Beijing, China


In Beijing, think big. Which basically means, a few days in this city isn’t going to cut it. Though, let’s face it, two week holidays to Beijing will also leave you wishing you could have tacked another fortnight on to your stay. One more hoisin-slicked Peking duck pancake, a little longer to muse over the symbolism in the Forbidden City or just a few days to take in the historic significance of a city that’s seen dynasties come and go. With the fires of FOMO fully stoked in your nomadic soul, you’ll be wondering what else Beijing has to offer. In short – everything. In this city, there’s little you can’t see, hear, eat, drink and do. From days exploring ancient temples to gravity-defying futuristic architecture, the landscape sets the scene for the daily delights that play out on Beijing’s cosmopolitan streets. Expect to chance upon clusters of Tai Chi practitioners, yangko dancers and queues at the best noodle bars. But it all sits alongside more familiar city experiences. Bottomless brunches in this city are decadent – to say the least. But you can grab bellinis and eggs benny for brekkie almost anywhere. Swap those for the irresistible, spice-fuelled folds of jianbing for a real taste of Beijing.

riding ice bikes in beijing

Top 10 things to do in Beijing

Some of the things to do in Beijing barely need mentioning. Seeing Tiananmen Square, hopping on a bullet train, roaming the Summer Palaces and squeezing in a spot of Tai Chi before walking the Great Wall. And then there’s the things to do in Beijing that take a bit of snuffling out. Finding the best place to try jianbing, learning to ride an ice bike and sliding down the Great Wall might not be on the top of your list, but perhaps they should be?

chapel of sound beijing

A guide to Beijing’s most famous buildings and architecture

Beijing’s famous buildings sit at polar opposites of the time and design spectrum. From ancient temples to modern marvels, a stroll through this city is an architect’s dream. The Temple of Heaven is Beijing’s historic showstopper, with the classic Chinese gables that symbolises the country’s ancient architecture. Though, since the Olympics, the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube have had the all-important airtime to become Beijing’s new iconic beauties.

beijing stadium during 2022 olympics

Everything you need to know about the Beijing Olympics

The Beijing Winter Olympics showcased China’s stadiums, slopes and skating rinks. But when the competitors hang up their skis and snow boots, what happens to the impressive collection of facilities left behind? We’ve plunged into Beijing’s sports scene to find out what you can expect to see on a holiday to the city. Beijing’s Olympic Stadium is just the beginning. From snow parks and slalom runs to science museums and sightseeing towers, there’s much to explore – and possibly skate on, long after the Olympics are over.

luxury restaurant beijing

Breakfast, lunch & dinner in Beijing

To say Beijing restaurants push the ingredient boundaries is a massive understatement. Initially, the sight of goose feet, fish heads and loofah on the menu will be arresting, but will quickly pale into the norm as more and more exotic temptations take their place. In fact, menus in this city flout the food rules at every sitting. Expect to eat steaks for breakfast, cook your own lunches and queue for the simplest – but best, noodle dish you’ll ever experience. Beijing food adventures aside, pleasingly, there’s always somewhere you can grab a simple plate of avo toast.

china watermelon museum in beijing

8 facts about Beijing that’ll blow your mind 

You might think that a run-down of some Beijing facts and figures could include some Great Wall stats and possibly a tally up of the famous hutongs that are oh-so-explorable. But we’re not here to talk about those kind of numbers. We’re more interested in the real eye-openers this city can deliver, with a little pop-culture based fact checking along the way. Read on for the intel on ice bikes, excruciating foot massages and what you can really expect from a stay in a 7 star suite.