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Beijing's famous Tiananmen Square is big enough to hold one million people, while the historic Forbidden City is home to thousands of imperial rooms – and Beijing is still growing. The capital has witnessed the emergence ever-higher rising towers, new restaurants and see-and-be-seen nightclubs. But at the same time, the city has managed to retain its very individual charm. The small tea houses in the backyards, the traditional fabric shops, the old temples and the noisy street restaurants make this city special.

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Tiananmen Square

The 400,000 square metres large area is the key historic centre of Beijing. It was here that the former Communist Party leader, Mao Zedong, declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October 1949. Today, thousands of visitors come here every year to see Mao’s remains in the mausoleum. Visit the Great Hall of the People that houses the country’s National People’s Congress and admire the 15th century Qianmen City Gate, which once divided Beijing’s ancient inner city and the suburban areas.

Dongcheng, Beijing
The Forbidden City

Built by Emperor Yongle in the early 15th century, the 720,000 square metres of Forbidden City was home to the imperial household. It was opened to the public in 1949. The well-preserved area boasts more than 800 buildings and 9,999 rooms. The Hall of Supreme Harmony, beautifully decorated with thousands of Dragons, was used to celebrate the Chinese emperor’s birthday. The Palace of Heavenly Purity served as the emperors’ living area and features several bedrooms.

Tiananmen Dong, Beijing
Fangshan Restaurant

Set up more than 90 years ago by royal chefs, the Fangshan serves Chinese dishes such as Beijing Duck and other specialities of the Chinese Imperial cuisine. It is based inside a grand mansion in a beautiful location next to Lake Beihai. The traditional royal style of decoration features a bright yellow theme and exquisite pieces of china.

1 Wenjing Jie, Beijing
China Grill

China Grill serves international cuisine with the best meat, fish and seafood. Here you will find Beijing-style breakfast dishes including lunch and dinner as well as a great wine selection and 360 degree views of Beijing. The restaurant is located inside the hotel Park Hyatt Beijing.

2 Jianguomenwai Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Beijing Oriental Plaza

Beijing’s top shopping centre boasts 120,000 square metres of shops and a modern ambience. It consist of shopping areas with different themes and the biggest music fountain in the city centre. It is home to well-known Western and Asian brands, and houses a Sony Science Museum and a cinema.

1 East Chang An Ave., Dong Cheng District, Beijing
China World Mall

This is a premier choice for the city’s well-off, with all the famous designer brands from Christian Dior to Gucci represented. With an excellent array of choice in both luxury and affordable brand departments, as well as appliance boutiques and home decor shops, this is where you can fulfil all your (higher-end) shopping needs.

1 Jian Guo Men Wai Avenue, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Beijing Capital International Airport

The Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK/ZBAA) is located around 27 kilometres north of Beijing´s city centre. At present, the airport consists of three terminals. The cheapest way to into town is to take CAAC's comfortable airport shuttle bus. There are 18 shuttle routes. The ride takes between 40-90 minutes, depending on traffic and origin/destination. Tickets are available at the "Intracity & Inter - Provincial Shuttle Bus Ticket Vending Desk" for each terminal. The shuttles leave the airport from the 1st floor of each terminal. Buses depart every 15-30 minutes. There is also an airport express train called ABC or Airport to Beijing City. The airport express covers the 27.3 km distance between the airport and the city in 18 minutes, connecting Terminals 2 and 3, to Sanyuanxiao subway station in Line 10 and Dongzhimen subway station in Line 2. Taxi stops are located: T1: Outside Gate 1 on F1 T2: Outside Gate 5 to 9 on F1 T3: Please refer to the signs inside the terminal building

Shunyi, Beijing

Public Transport

The subway is the best way to move around the city and avoid traffic jams in Beijing. Currently, there are 17 lines in operation, including the newly-opened ABC, or Airport to Beijing City airport line. Line 1 and Line 2 run through the centre of Beijing and cover most of the attractions. The subway runs from 05:00 to midnight daily. Subway stations are marked by navy blue signs with a "D" (for Ditie or subway) in a circle. Route signs are bilingual. Bus service is another option to travel around the city. With more than 900 routes, the buses take you through both the downtown and suburbs. Buses generally run from 05:00 to 23:00. You can pay with cash, coins and notes by putting the exact amount into the fare box on the bus, or pay with a transportation card. For the card, you need to tap both on and off on the bus. The transportation card in Beijing is called "Yikatong", it offers travel discounts. At the service centre in the subway stations, you can purchase and top up a Yikatong card. At major stations, you can refund the card. Keep the purchase receipt if you wish to refund later after your stay. You can also top up the card using the machines at stations.