24 hours in Beijing
Beijing is one of the most visited cities on the planet and is an awe-inspiring mix of ancient and modern. These are the highlights.
1. See the Temple of Heaven
This beautiful temple, built in the 15th Century, is particularly famous for its historic Chinese architecture. Located in the south-eastern part of Beijing, it is best to visit in the morning when it is less busy. Remember to wear comfortable footwear as there are lots of stairs to climb.
2. Stroll through Beihai park
The Beihai park, located in the heart of Beijing, is a perfect place for a stroll or to rent a boat and enjoy the pretty scenery. Whatever the season there is plenty to enjoy, with skating in the winter and pretty blossom in the spring. At the weekends, watch the local people dancing, singing and playing sports in the park.
3. Visit the Forbidden City
Located close to Beihai park, the Forbidden City is is one of the greatest palaces on the planet, it is a vast complex and covers 180 acres. It was the home of emperors for nearly 500 years and was also the political centre for China. As one of the must-see attractions in the city, it is incredibly crowded but this shouldn't deter you.
4. Walk the Great Wall of China
How can you go to China and not visit this unique wonder? Badaling is the closest place to Beijing where you can walk on the wall and take in the breathtaking views on the longest man-made structure on the planet (at 5,500 miles).
5. Try the local cuisine
Peking duck is a specialty that you must try in Beijing - considered a staple dish here, it consists of duck and crispy skin served with hoisin sauce. This dish is usually served by a skilled chef, who cuts and serves the duck in front of your dinner table.
6. Go crazy at Donghuamen Night Market
If you want to see a different side of Beijing, the Donghuamen Night Market, at the northern end of Wangfujing Street, is a fantastic and fun way to spend an evening. There are many food stalls from fish, to vegetables and noodles and also plenty of bizarre foods to try if you feel daring, including snake, silk worm and beetles on offer.
7. Buy, buy, buy
If you want to shop, the silk market is the place to go, where you are able to purchase many products ranging from technology and electronics to souvenirs. This market is the place where you are able to bag a bargain by haggling for the best price.