Ultimate Beijing Bucket List (101 Things to Do in Beijing China)Pin

Ultimate Beijing Bucket List (101 Things to Do in Beijing China)

There is so much to see and do in Beijing that if you are visiting this city for the first time or the even the tenth time, it can feel overwhelming (and we mean that in the best of ways). The city is a constant whirl of motion, and it is in the midst of an intense period of growth.

Prepare to have your tastebuds delighted with the most delicious food you have ever tasted (don’t be afraid to try something new!). Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for amazing architecture, both old and new. And brace yourself for a cacophony of unfamiliar sounds and smells that fill this bustling, hustling city that will make you realize, happily, that you are truly halfway around the world.

101 Things to Do in Beijing China - the Ultimate Beijing Bucket List - from the touristy spots everyone has to do at least once to the spots a little more off the beaten path. // localadventurer.com

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Last Updated: Jan 16, 2019

The Ultimate Beijing Bucket List - 101 Things to do in Beijing China

Tourist Attractions + Local Attractions

  1. Bathe at Shuang Xing Tang

The last remaining traditional bath in the city.

  1. Experience a tui na massage

Rigorous massage technique with over 5,000 years of history.

  1. Beijing National Stadium

Aka the Bird’ Nest from the 2008 Summer Olympics.

  1. Watch the Beijing Tigers 

The most successful team in the Chinese Baseball League.

  1. Cuandixia Village

Historic village from the Ming dynasty about 2-3 hours outside of the city.

  1. Dance in Sanlitun

Best nightlife district in Beijing.

  1. Pick Grapes at Beijing’s Vineyard

Best time to go: September to late October.

  1. 798 Arts district

Former military factories turned into creative spaces, showcasing Chinese artists.

  1. Dongzhimen Hospital

Learn about ancient and modern Chinese medicine. You can also try acupunture here.

  1. Beijing Ocean Park

Six huge halls with various marine life and interactive exhibits.

  1. Lugou Bridge

(Marco Polo Bridge) Well liked by the Venetian traveler, Marco Polo, when he visited in the 13th century.

  1. Beijing Zoo

See rare animals such as giant pandas, milu deer, golden monkeys, and more.

  1. Ride in a tuk tuk

Cheap motorized rickshaw rides around town.

  1. Silk Market

Trendy clothes, bags, and other gifts. Be prepared to haggle!

  1. Cherry Lane Movies

Movies with English subtitles on Friday nights.

  1. Beijing Jinyufengshan Spa Resort

Beautifully landscaped, affordable hot springs.

  1. Shichahai skating rink

Rent ice bicycles.

  1. Beijing Antique City

Don’t miss the very large crystal (4600 kg).

  1. Water Cube

The National Aquatics Center at the Olympic Green. See it lit up at night.

  1. Peking University

Ranked in the top 60 in the world.

  1. Ancient Cliff House

The largest site of an ancient cliff residence community in China.

  1. SoReal VR Experience

Immersive VR games that you can play as a single player or in a group.

  1. Happy Magic Water Cube

Different than the one above! A waterpark inside the Water Cube, great for kids and families.

  1. Central Train Station

Opened in 1959, the largest train station in China at the time.

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National Parks

  1. Shihuadong National Park

Check out the water-eroded cave.

  1. Walk The Great Wall

Badaling in Shisanling National Park is the closest to Beijing.

Memorials + Museums

  1. Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

(aka Mausoleum of Mao Zedong)

  1. Beijing Dragon Land Superior Jade Gallery

Learn about how jade is carved and its place in Chinese culture.

  1. Temple of Heaven

UNESCO World Heritage Site built between 1406 and 1420.

  1. Ming Tombs

There are 13 of them.

  1. Memorial of Jiaozhuanghu Tunnel Warfare Site

Make sure you bring your passport for free admission.

  1. National Museum of China

Learn about the history of China.

  1. Zhangfang Ancient Battle Tunnel

Only known underground military facility in Beijing.

  1. Museum of West Zhou Yandu Relics

Several exhibition halls with cultural relics on display, as well as two groups of preserved Yandu graves.

  1. The Antiquarium of The Palace Museum

See antique treasures that belonged to several emperors. We loved the clocks gallery.

  1. Meridian Gate

The highest building in the Forbidden City.

  1. Treasure Hall in the Forbidden City

See gold, silver, jade, special ceremonial utensils, imperial robe, and the phoenix crown from the Qing Dynasty.

  1. Confucius Temple

See ancient stone tablets.

  1. Poly Art Museum

We loved the 3,000 yr. old bronze pieces.

  1. Tian’anmen Square

Top ten largest city squares in the world and also the site of many important events in Chinese history.

  1. The Ancient Coins Museum

Small museum. You can probably walk through the space within an hour.

  1. Summer Palace

See how exmperors lived in luxury.

  1. Museum of Chinese Medicine

Rent ice bicycles.

  1. Imperial College

(Guozijian) Check out the second largest Confucius temple in all of China.

The Ultimate Beijing Bucket List - from the popular spots everyone has to do at least once to the spots a little more off the beaten path. // localadventurer.com

Outdoors + Parks

  1. Bell and Drum Towers at the Forbidden City

Great panoramic views.

  1. Jingshan Park

To get views overlooking the Forbidden City.

  1. Beihai Park

(Guozijian) Check out Jade Flower Island in the center of the park.

  1. Hundred-Bird Garden

The only bird sanctuary in Beijing.

  1. Shichahai Park

Go for a boat ride.

  1. Hike to Silver Pagodas

Hike at Haizi village ending at Silver Pagodas.

  1. Hike The Great Wall at Jinkou

Part of the Wild Great Wall because of its location and steepness.

  1. Yuyuantan Park

One of the best places to see flowers in Beijing.

  1. Lake Houhai

Go on a weekday. It gets super crowded on the weekends.

  1. Pavilion of Gathering Fragrance

(Jingshan) Play chess at the Jifang pavilion.

  1. Yuan Dadu Park

See statues of Kublai Khan, Emperor Shizu, and more.

  1. Ride a gondola to the Great Wall

See ancient stone tablets.

  1. Prince Gong’s Mansion

Beijing’s largest and the best preserved princely mansion from the Qing Dynasty.

  1. Silver Mountain at Yinshan Pagoda Forest Scenic Area

Sort of hard to find this place, but well worth it.

  1. Yellow Sea or Inner Mongolia

Take a trip with the Beijing Hiking Club to the Yellow Sea or Inner Mongolia.

  1. Olympic Park

Visit after 5pm for good photos.

  1. Shilingxia Scenic Area

Walk on an all glass platform that hangs over 100 ft. out from the cliff with amazing scenic views.

  1. Wu Dao Ying Courtyard

Boutiques, cafes, and other shopping.

  1. Slide Down The Great Wall at Mutianyu

Less crowded than Badaling.

  1. Guo Zi Jian Street

Locals call the prettiest street in Beijing.

Large outdoor exercise gym/calisthenics park located at the Temple of Heaven Park.

  1. Yuan Dynasty City Wall Relics Park

Largest linear park in Beijing.

  1. Zhou Kou Dian

(Peking Man Site) One of the first specimens of Homo Erectus, named the Peking Man, was discovered here.

Shows + Venues

  1. Zajia Lab

Attend a live performance, theater, or audio/visual project.

  1. Beijing Opera

A cultural treasure of China.

  1. Legend of Kung Fu

You can watch their performance at the Red Theatre.

  1. Tianqiao Acrobatics Theatre

Amazing and unique acrobatics.

  1. Red Moon Bar

Listen to traditional Chinese music.

  1. China Puppet Theater

Watch a Chinese puppet play.


  1. Shengxifu Hatter Shop

One of Beijing’s most famous shops.

  1. Taikoo Li Sanlitun

(Guanyuan Shichang) Formerly Sanlitun Village, this shopping center carries several world known brands.

  1. Panjiayuan Antique Market

Flea market with gifts of all sorts.

  1. Shop in Wangfujing

Popular shopping district with streets full of trendy and modern fashion as well as local snacks.

  1. Shop on Nanluoguxiang Street

Young people love to shop here.

  1. Sanlian Taofen Bookstore

Open 24 hours.

  1. Qianmen Food Streets

Come here for popular street food. We liked the soybean cakes.

  1. Window shop on Nanluogu Lane

Historic half mile stretch of specialty shops and distinctive foods.

  1. The Place

Mega malls, tech savvy decor, trendy chain stores.

  1. The Bookworm

A coffee shop, library, and restaurant all in one place.

101 Things to Do in Beijing China - the Ultimate Beijing Bucket List - from the touristy spots everyone has to do at least once to the spots a little more off the beaten path. // localadventurer.com


  1. Quanjude

Peking Duck

  1. Mai Bar

Try Chinese whiskey.

  1. Try Bing Tang Hu Lu

You can find these candied fruit treats at various markets and street vendors.

  1. Eat a Ji Dan Bing

Popular Chinese breakfast crepe you can find at most food stalls each morning. They’re crispy, filled with egg, herbs, and a savory sauce.

  1. Qilixiang

Tourists and locals alike will line up to buy their famous chestnuts.

  1. Baoyuan Dumplings

Authentic Beijing style jiaozi/dumplings.

  1. Regain Element Brewery

2-story brewpub that’s open late.

  1. Lao She Teahouse

Quality teas for purchase, live performances, speciality tea tastings

  1. Beijing Da Dong

Famous for their duck burger.

  1. Cafe Flat White

(798 Art District) Inspired by Australian and New Zealand cafes.

  1. Panda Beer Microbrewery

Try their popular Ginger Pale Ale.

  1. Culture Exchange Center

Take a cooking class or a tea workshop.

  1. Hai Di Lao Hot Pot

Hand pulled noodles and hot pot. There’s always a wait here.

  1. Capital Spirits Baijiu Bar & Distillery

Try Baijiu, a Chinese alcoholic beverage made from grain.

  1. Liu Xian Guan

Visit here if you’re serious about your teas.

  1. Man fu Lou

Try Mongolian Hotpot.

  1. Maliandao Tea Market

Try Panda Tea, the most expensive tea in the world.

  1. Suzuki Kitchen

Try the teriyaki beef (not Chinese but still tasty!)

Did we miss anything? What would your ideal trip to Beijing include?

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The Ultimate Beijing Bucket List - from the popular spots everyone has to do at least once to the spots a little more off the beaten path. // localadventurer.comPin
The Ultimate Beijing Bucket List - from the popular spots everyone has to do at least once to the spots a little more off the beaten path. // localadventurer.comPin
101 Things to Do in Beijing China - the Ultimate Beijing Bucket List - from the touristy spots everyone has to do at least once to the spots a little more off the beaten path. // localadventurer.comPin


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Caroline + ErinPin


They are freelance web designers and photographers who love finding adventure, both big and small. The two make a daily practice of sharing vulnerabilities, truth telling, and side splitting laughter. They’ve honed the art of traveling fast and doing all of the things that an adventurer can do in a day or two. The couple lives in Asheville and loves spending their time in the mountains.

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