Beijing Travel Guide

Explore Beijing

Traditional yet vibrant, Beijing is a city that encapsulates the spirit of China perfectly with a slew of ancient palaces, temples and hutong districts. The Chinese capital city is a hodgepodge of historical sights and attractions, making it a great introduction to the Middle Kingdom.

Despite being a modern 21st century city, Beijing has an impressive collection of traditional enclaves and pockets of interesting culture to uncover perfect for those seeking to learn Chinese history.

Top Things to Do

Tiananmen Square

Beijing’s most prominent square is one of the biggest in the world, and has witnessed several important events in Chinese history. Today, the square is home to the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

Forbidden City

Take a crash course in Chinese history at the biggest and most important imperial palace in China. This UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 14th century is made up of 980 buildings; you’ll need at least an entire day to see it.

Jingshan Park

Climb the short hill for fantastic 360-degree views across the Forbidden City and Beihai Park and see locals doing tai chi as the sun sets

Niujie District

Home to the largest concentration of Muslims in Beijing, this area is packed with Islamic restaurants, shops, schools and a Muslim-oriented hospital. The Niujie Mosque is the biggest and oldest one in Beijing, dating back to 996, spotting a mixture of Islamic and Chinese architectural style.

Nanluogu Xiang

One of the city’s oldest hutongs (historical living quarters) is chocked full of Qing Dynasty courtyard homes, boutiques and hipster cafes. Take a tour of the neighbourhood on board a pedalled trishaw

Great Wall of China

Take a day trip to one of the greatest wonders of the world. Badaling is the closest bit of the wall to Beijing and bustles with visitors, but get there early and you might have the whole place to yourself

Where to Eat and Drink

Beijng is the food capital of Asia, packed with outstanding street foods and top-notch restaurants to satisfy even the most hardened foodie. All your preconceived notions of Chinese cuisine will be defied here in Beijing as the city reveals the layers within its culinary culture. With more than 10,000 Muslims (mostly from the Xinjiang province) living in Beijing, the array of Halal food and restaurants here is bigger than you’d imagine.


Wangfujing Street

This vibrant pedestrianised shopping street is stocked full of interesting fashion stalls and casual food stands that offer exotic fare from scorpions to grilled star fish.

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Xinjiang Fanzhuang

One of the most revered Halal restaurants in Beijing, this Uighur diner serves traditional Xinjiang dishes like naan bread, hand-pulled noodles, lamb kebabs and homemade yogurt.

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Quad Ju De Roast Duck Restaurant

You can’t come to Beijing and not try the world-famous Peking Duck. This legendary restaurant chain is lauded for serving the best in town. To ensure you don’t miss an opportunity to dine here, make a reservation beforehand.

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Zhuang Zhuang de Men Mian

This simple diner specialises in men mian, noodles cooked in a covered ceramic pot atop gas burners. Its menu and decorations are done in a cute doodle style that draws in casual diners

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Recommended Places to Stay

Four Seasons Beijing

One of the city’s most opulent hotels, Four Seasons is set in Beijing’s Liangma Central Business District, close to the hippest dining and entertainment establishments in town.


The Peninsula Beijing

Elegant and swanky 5-star accommodation in the heart of Wangfujing district, with spectacular city views and top-notch dining


The Opposite House

A chic, stylish boutique hotel featuring minimalistic designs and an all white-and-beige interior. Located in the hip Sanlitun Village, the hotel is surrounded by gourmet restaurants, hip bars and boutique shops.


Shichahai Sandalwood Boutique

The former home of an administrator from the Qing Dynasty has been transformed into a stunning heritage hotel with classic old-world flair.


Hotel Kapok

Just 200m from the Forbidden City, this modern budget hotel features simple, slick furnishing at close proximity to all the attractions in town.


Best Time to Go

Spring (April – May) and autumn (Sept – Oct) are the best times to visit when temperatures are pleasant and comfortable, ranging from 12 to 22°C. Summers can be extremely hot and long in Beijing, with temperatures climbing up to 40°C. Winters are very chilly, with temperatures dipping to -20°C. If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to come prepared with layers and quality clothing.

Chinese New Year is the biggest festival of the year and a great time to visit if you want to witness the festivities. Each year it falls on a different date (depending on the Lunar Calendar) between January and February.

Getting There

Many airlines fly from Saudi Arabia to Beijing, including Emirates, EgyptAir, Etihad Airways, and Turkish Airlines. Currently, there are no direct flights. Most flights include one or two stops, and take a total travel time of at least 12 hours.

Getting from Airport to City
  • By Train

    The subway’s Airport Express Line connects the Beijing Capital International Airport with Dongzhimen and Sanyuanqiao in the city centre. The journey takes twenty minutes and a single fare costs CNY 25.

  • By public bus

    A number of shuttle bus routes connect the airport with Beijing city centre and they are the cheapest way to get downtown. They leave from all three terminals in the airport. A single fare costs CNY 16.

  • By taxi

    Taxis are available at the taxi stands for all three terminals. A ride to the city takes between 45 to 60 minutes and costs around CNY 120.

Extra tips
  • The Chinese dialect of Mandarin (also sometimes called Pekingese) is most commonly spoken in Beijing.

  • The currency of China is the Chinese yuan (CNY). The current exchange rate is 1 SAR to 1.78 CNY.

  • The voltage in China is supplied at 220V, 50HZ.

  • The outlet in China is a three-pin flat plug.