A world-renowned gem, sprawling Beijing has magnificent monuments and peaceful parks. At its heart is the world’s largest square, Tiananmen, surrounded by important museums and the amazing Forbidden City. This 15th-century, walled complex of palaces neighbors Jingshan Park and Beihai Park with its imperial garden.
Across from Tiananmen Square is the ultra-modern National Center for Perfoming Arts, a beacon of the city’s culture so impressively displayed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Bird’s Nest Stadium.
To its east is the UNESCO World Heritage listed Summer Palace, a lakeside retreat of emperors, while also UNESCO listed is the grand Temple of Heaven in Chongwen district, where remnants of Ming dynasty city walls are visible. Nearby are several hutongs, narrow alleys with traditional architecture, that contrast with wider, modern roads like Beijing Financial Street, the city's business area.
The most popular Beijing shopping street is Wangfujing, and other must-see sights include the giant pandas at Beijing Zoo and the Great Wall of China, an easy day trip from Beijing.
As you would expect from the capital of the world’s most populous country, there are a good number of 5-star hotels in Beijing on Roomhopper, mainly in the Dongcheng and Chaoyang districts. There are also several hotels near Beijing Capital Airport in the northeast.