Beijing, China

Beijing (北京 Běijīng) is the capital of the most populous country in the world, the People’s Republic of China. it’s known as much for its modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. With a population of 21.5 million people, it is the nation’s second-largest city after Shanghai.  Beijing is the political, educational and cultural centre of the country and as such it is rich in historical sites and important government and cultural institutions.

The city is marked by its flatness and arid climate. There are only three hills to be found in the city limits (in Jingshan Park to the north of Forbidden City) and mountains surround the capital on three sides. Like the configuration of the Forbidden City, Beijing has concentric “ring roads”, which are actually rectangular, that go around the metropolis and serve as good reference points as one attempts to move about the city. Beyond the ring roads are the most-visited portions of the Great Wall of China, which witnesses visitors the world over and Beijing serves as a good headquarters for those who wish to gaze upon one of mankind’s more memorable and lasting structures. Nearby, the massive Tiananmen Square pedestrian plaza is the site of Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and the National Museum of China, displaying a vast collection of cultural relics.

District

Beijing Municipality is a large region, equal to a province or state. It includes the densely populated metropolitan area of Beijing and even greater area of suburban, semi-rural and mountainous terrain. We have articles on each of the five city districts of Beijing (see the first map) plus some articles on important areas of these districts. The eleven outer districts are grouped into five regional articles (see the second map). The Great Wall of China passes through the rugged north of Beijing Municipality.

The two districts are located within or around the Second Ring Road and make-up the old walled city of yesteryear. Xicheng means West City and Dongcheng means East City. Surrounding these districts are Chaoyang, Fengtai and Hadian. These three districts hold impressive new urban and commercial development, have a population of many millions, and generate the economic prosperity of the city:

  • Dongcheng District (东城区; Dōngchéngqū)
    covers the eastern half of the central city area approximately up to Third Ring Road to the north and Second Ring Road to the east and south. This is the most important tourist district of Beijing, including the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. Chongwen (崇文区; Chóngwénqū) is a former district covering the southern third of Dongcheng, including the Temple of Heaven. Other important areas are Wangfujing (Walking Street), Gulou (the Drum Tower and Nanlougouxiang), Yonghegong (Yonghe Lama Temple) and Dongzhimen.
  • Xicheng District (西城区; Xīchéngqū)
    covers the western half of the central city area to just beyond Second Ring Road in the west and up to Third Ring Road to the north and south. It includes Beihai Park, Shichahai/Houhai area, Xidan, Beijing Zoo and the National Centre for Performing Arts. Xuanwu (宣武区; Xuānwǔqū) is a former district covering the southern third of Xicheng.
  • Chaoyang District (朝阳区; Cháoyángqū)
    covers a large area east of the central city area stretching from Second Ring Road until slightly beyond Fifth Ring Road to the east. Includes the CBD, Sanlitun (the Village and Workers’ Stadium), Olympic Green (Birds Nest, Water Cube and other Olympic venues), 798 Art Zone, Chaoyang Park, Ritan Park and various embassy areas
  • Haidian District (海淀区; Hǎidiànqū)
    covers the northwest of the main urban area. It includes the New and Old Summer Palaces, Wudaokou, the Zhongguancun high technology industry and business cluster and Beijing’s major concentration of universities.
  • Fengtai District (丰台区; Fēngtáiqū)
    covers the area south and west of Beijing. It includes Beijing West Railway Station

The remaining eleven districts and counties are quite far from the centre. The main reason to go out is to visit the Great Wall of China, passing through Northern Rural Beijing. Each of the other districts has a number of less well-known attractions, such as the Ming Tombs, well worth exploring if time permits.

  • Shijingshan District (石景山区; Shíjǐngshānqū)
    covers the area just west of the main urban area, including parts of the Western Hills.
  • Tongzhou District (通州区; Tōngzhōuqū)
  • Northern suburbs (Changping and Shunyi Districts)
  • Western and southern suburbs (Mentougou, Fangshan, Daxing Districts)
  • Rural Beijing (Yanqing, Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu Districts)
    The Great Wall passes through this northern mountainous area.

Climate

Beijing has a monsoon-influenced continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. The best time to visit is in September and October, during the “Golden Autumn” (金秋). Spring is the season for dust storms and is otherwise warm and dry. Summer can be oppressively hot and the tourist crowds tend to be the largest as well; prevailing winds from the south trap pollutants (mountains lie to the north and west), making summer a poor season for air quality. Smog is at its worst, however, in winter, which is cold and dry with infrequent, but beautiful, snow. Temperatures can easily fall below −10 °C (14°F) in winter, and just as readily rise above 35 °C (95°F) in summer.

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Flight Deals to Beijing

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Vladivostok

11.09.2018

18.09.2018

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Taiyuan

03.07.2018

04.07.2018

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Dalian

10.07.2018

27.07.2018

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Xi'an

02.07.2018

09.07.2018

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Hong Kong

14.07.2018

21.07.2018

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Shanghai

04.07.2018

06.07.2018

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Ulan-ude

06.07.2018

13.07.2018

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Kuala Lumpur

27.08.2018

30.08.2018

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Manila

30.08.2018

02.09.2018

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Seoul

13.07.2018

15.07.2018

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Khabarovsk

21.10.2018

04.11.2018

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Changsha

07.09.2018

09.09.2018

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Irkutsk

17.10.2018

24.10.2018

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Singapore

18.07.2018

31.07.2018

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Harbin

12.07.2018

15.07.2018

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Ulaanbaatar

28.12.2018

12.01.2019

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Tashkent

03.10.2018

11.10.2018

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Zhengzhou

10.07.2018

20.07.2018

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Taipei

15.08.2018

20.08.2018

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Chengdu

02.07.2018

09.07.2018

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Guangzhou

17.07.2018

18.07.2018

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Sanya

07.07.2018

10.07.2018

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Almaty

09.08.2018

19.08.2018

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Moscow

10.10.2018

20.10.2018

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Novosibirsk

02.09.2018

09.09.2018

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Bangkok

08.07.2018

08.07.2018

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Astana

28.08.2018

02.09.2018

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Saint Petersburg

26.12.2018

08.01.2019

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Phnom Penh

22.12.2018

25.12.2018

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Ho Chi Minh City

31.08.2018

08.09.2018

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BAK

22.08.2018

25.08.2018

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Ekaterinburg

01.07.2018

08.07.2018

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Minsk

19.11.2018

26.11.2018

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Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

02.07.2018

07.07.2018

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Krasnojarsk

02.11.2018

03.12.2018

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Marseille

08.01.2019

21.01.2019

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Voronezh

07.11.2018

16.11.2018

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Heihe

01.07.2018

01.08.2018

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Chicago

09.01.2019

19.01.2019

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Penang

18.07.2018

20.07.2018

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Vancouver

23.08.2018

17.11.2018

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Rostov

15.10.2018

18.10.2018

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Tokyo

04.08.2018

26.08.2018

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Los Angeles

24.07.2018

31.08.2018

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Manzhouli

10.08.2018

24.08.2018

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Las Vegas

23.10.2018

27.11.2018

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Warsaw

05.09.2018

15.09.2018

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Manchester

25.12.2018

05.01.2019

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Phoenix

21.11.2018

04.12.2018

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Gdansk

01.06.2019

10.06.2019

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Agana

16.09.2018

23.09.2018

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Kiev

19.11.2018

25.11.2018

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New York

01.09.2018

29.09.2018

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Belgrade

17.10.2018

28.10.2018

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San Francisco

20.07.2018

23.07.2018

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Rome

30.10.2018

08.11.2018

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Stuttgart

24.11.2018

04.12.2018

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Dusseldorf

15.12.2018

28.02.2019

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Tyumen

04.07.2018

08.07.2018

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Brussels

06.04.2019

28.04.2019

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Krasnodar

15.10.2018

28.10.2018

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Philadelphia

14.10.2018

10.11.2018

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Montreal

24.09.2018

21.10.2018

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Springfield

09.11.2018

13.11.2018

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Samara

24.10.2018

01.11.2018

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Ufa

29.10.2018

31.12.2018

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Tbilisi

17.09.2018

24.09.2018

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Windsor Locks

09.03.2019

16.03.2019

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Houston

01.10.2018

30.10.2018

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Vilnius

09.07.2018

23.07.2018

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Haikou

01.01.2019

01.01.2019

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Colombo

25.07.2018

07.08.2018

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Berlin

22.12.2018

03.01.2019

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Yakutsk

19.08.2018

02.09.2018

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Atlanta

31.10.2018

20.11.2018

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Florence

08.07.2018

16.08.2018

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Sochi

02.01.2019

04.01.2019

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Thessaloniki

03.12.2018

17.12.2018

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Washington

20.09.2018

18.10.2018

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Cologne

21.12.2018

06.01.2019

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Tehran

30.07.2018

14.08.2018

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Bishkek

26.07.2018

02.08.2018

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Karachi

02.08.2018

09.08.2018

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Kherson

06.07.2018

12.07.2018

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Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

22.12.2018

04.01.2019

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Belgorod

18.07.2018

25.07.2018

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Istanbul

03.07.2018

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Male

01.07.2018

15.07.2018

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Sendai

21.07.2018

17.08.2018

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Skopje

17.02.2019

07.03.2019

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Columbus

22.11.2018

15.12.2018

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Kaluga

09.07.2018

13.07.2018

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Lahore

30.07.2018

14.08.2018

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Tomsk

04.08.2018

16.08.2018

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Vienna

06.07.2018

13.07.2018

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Algiers

12.07.2018

21.07.2018

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Vladikavkaz

02.07.2018

09.07.2018

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Bordeaux

06.07.2018

20.07.2018

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Chita

24.08.2018

27.08.2018

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Baton Rouge

19.10.2018

03.11.2018

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