The cultural and political capital of China, Beijing is also one of the most adventurous, delicious and rewarding cities to visit in Asia. You’ll need a good few days to complete it, but below is our ultimate list of the top 30 things to eat, see and do in Beijing. From eating donkey meat and Peking duck to playing ping pong in the park with the locals. Let’s do it!
EAT & DRINK
1. Grab breakfast on the street in the form of Jianbing, a deliciously tasty egg-filled crepe.
2. Wash it down with the local Beijing yoghurt – a small glass jar filled with milk, sugar, nuts, and raisins.
3. Kick things off with some of the most affordable Peking duck in the city at Jingzun.
4. Chunbing is like Peking duck, but you can wrap anything you like in the pancake.
5. Try the infamous donkey burger – braised donkey meat stuffed inside a flakey pastry.
7. For something stronger, drop into Capital Spirits which specialises in the local Chinese liquor, baiju.
8. For a feed in the middle of the night, head over to Guijie street for Sichuan-style crayfish served all night long.
9. If you’re serious about coffee, drop into Soloist Coffee Co for one of the best cups in the city.
10. For a local duck experience inside a Hutong, try out Liqun, where they specialise in fried duck bones.
11. If you’re feeling brave, try a scorpion skewer on Wangfujing street!
12. Enjoy made-to-order dumplings at Mr Shi’s.
13. One of the most famous street snacks in Beijing is yang rou chuan, barbecued lamb skewers covered in cumin and chilli.
14. Discover Mao Mao Chong for original cocktails with tongue-in-cheek names.
15. Visit a former brothel (to get your caffeine fix) at Berry Beans Café.
16. Splash out on the winning combo of black caviar and crispy duck skin at the famous Peking Duck restaurant, Da Dong.
17. Try the cocktails at Mai bar for a more intimate bar setting. For more of Beijing’s best Hutong bars.
18. Jingshanling is one of the best places in China to see both preserved and wild sections of the Great Wall.
19. For the best view of The Forbidden City, head to Jingshan Park.
20. See live jazz in a converted Hutong at Jianghu Bar.
21. It’s a bit out of the way, but you shouldn’t miss the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Summer Palace.
23. Walk the hutong streets for some of the best photo spots in Beijing for your holiday album.
25. Beat the tourists to Beijing’s most famous site, The Forbidden City, first thing in the morning.
26. Check out Houhai Lake and challenge the locals to ping pong at one of the nearby public tables.
27. Offer incense to Buddha at Lama Temple.
28. Visit any local park in the early morning to join in on Chinese hacky sack or Tai Chi with the friendly locals.
29. Drop into MAO Livehouse to experience Beijing’s live rock scene.
30. If dancing (and shots) are more your thing, head over to the party district of Sanlitun.
If you’re traveling to Beijing for the first time make sure you check out our travel guide to Beijing essentials. Have a great time exploring Beijing and be sure to tag us in any of your pictures – @anydoko and #ExploreAnywhere!
Writer: Dean Vowles