Beihai Park (Beihai Gongyuan)

#5 in Best Things To Do in Beijing
Beihai Park (Beihai Gongyuan)
Waitforlight/Getty Images

Key Info

Beihai Nan Men, Weijin Lu, Xicheng District

Details

Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Neighborhood/Area Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

After the concrete jungles of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, head to nearby Beihai Park for a breath of fresh air. Whether you're under a tree overlooking the lake or in an ancient pagoda, you'll see why this green space has been a preserved sanctuary for over a thousand years. Over time, the park has acquired more and more monuments. "Beihai Park has so many features that you can get stuck in one place and realize you haven't seen 3/4 of the entire park!" claims one VirtualTourist user. Not-to-be-missed highlights include the Temple of Everlasting Peace, White Dagoba, and the Circular City.

To reach Beihai, you can take subway Line 4 to Ping An Li or one of the numerous bus lines (609, 107, 111, 118, and 13) that drop passengers off at the park's north gate. That said, the park is within walking distance of the Forbidden City's north gate, so pairing the two activities is smart. Admission to the grounds costs 10 CNY (about $1.50 USD) in peak season and 5 CNY (about $0.80 USD) in low season; however, many of the buildings inside require additional fares. Purchasing a "through ticket" (i.e. an all-access pass) for 20 CNY (about $3.00 USD) can save you some dough. Every day, the park opens at 6 or 6:30 a.m. and closes between 8 and 10 p.m., depending on the season. For more information, consult the park's official website.

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More Best Things To Do in Beijing

Tiananmen Square
The Great Wall of China
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 11
#1 Tiananmen Square

Up there with Times Square, Red Square, and St. Peter's Square, Tiananmen Square is among the world's most famous public spaces. Almost anyone can recognize the Gate of Heavenly Peace—emblazoned with a portrait of Chairman Mao—as a symbol of Beijing. One TripAdvisor user comments, "It feels like you already know this place when you arrive. However, as you look around, the vast size of the place starts to impress upon you." The square is the geographic, political, and tourist center of the city, which makes it unavoidable. Although Tiananmen Square looks like a field of concrete (which it is), you'll want to see it for the surrounding attractions. The Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City sit on the edges. Plus, taking a picture here is almost required to prove you've been to Beijing.

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