Beijing is a fascinating city break destination. The modern commercial districts, communist buildings and opulent, ancient palaces provide an exciting landscape and history.
Both direct and indirect flights to Beijing are available from a selection of UK airports.
A Beijing city break offers a wonderful mixture of the modern and the traditional. In Beijing you can find smart new shops, restaurants and cafes but the city also boasts rustic, old streets with traditional tea shops and atmospheric markets. The city offers excellent Chinese cuisine and because regional specialities are readily available, a taste of each corner of the country.
The impressive Forbidden City is a well-known attraction of Beijing, located in the city centre itself. It can require a full day of your Beijing city break to explore the 600-year-old imperial palace, grounds and museum. Alongside the Forbidden City is the expansive and symbolically significant Tiananmen Square. The Square has been a key site of several political events and protests. The famous Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) separates it from the Forbidden City.
The Summer Palace of the Qing Dynasty is a beautiful sight to visit on your city break to Beijing and in its grounds also has attractions such as Empress Dowager Cixi’s marble boat and a beautiful lake for boating, swimming and skating. Another great sight to visit on a city break to Beijing is the impressive Temple of Heaven, where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would preside over annual, sacrificial ceremonies to the gods in the hope of a good harvest.
An attraction that appeals greatly to all ages is the large Beijing Zoo, opened in 1906. The famous Panda house draws many visitors as do other rare animals endemic to China such as golden monkeys, South China Tigers and a couple of varieties of deer. The zoo has a collection of animals from around the world that includes sea turtles, kangaroos and polar bears.
Many people would say that, time permitting, a Beijing city break is incomplete without a trips to the incredible Great Wall of China. However, within the city itself, the sights of the 2008 Summer Olympics are now also visited by a great many tourists.
If you are wondering what accommodation to book for your Beijing city break, the 5* Swissotel is a popular choice. Very well located in the city centre, close to many diplomatic and commercial buildings this hotel also has direct access to the city's underground transport network. Nearby attractions include Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Museum of Chinese History, the Temple of Heaven, the Opera and shopping centres. Rooms are stylish and very spacious and the hotel boasts a diverse collection of bars and restaurants.
Located in central Beijing's Wanggujing commercial district, the 4* Novotel Peace is close to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, as well as shops and restaurants. The hotel itself offers a wide range of food (standard Chinese, Cantonese, Korean and western dishes). The guest rooms are well decorated with good facilities. This hotel is well located and good value for money.