No other metropolis can beat Beijing when it comes to blending contrasts.
Modern shopping malls and trendy bars spring up alongside millennia-old temples. Cook shops vie for attention along the streets, offering a cheap meal for every taste. Go one street further and you'll find restaurants for the in-crowds, like the Green T. House and its trendy clientele.
Even as the city strives for change, modernisation and economic growth, it observes and preserves its three thousand year old history and traditions. Historically and now, Beijing is the political, economic and cultural centre of China. The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China are the most historical sights and as impressive to visitors as the modern National Stadium, nicknamed the Bird's Nest due to its architecture.
Beijing, a city of contradictions that clash yet blend and create a rich variety that every visitor enjoys and that makes every visit an unforgettable experience. Beijing may not be the most beautiful city, but when the sun is shining and the sky is blue – and the smog doesn't spoil the effect – it can be great fun to simply see where your time takes you there.
Capital of the People's Republic of China.
About 20 million
About 16,807 km²
- Public transport
Comprehensive network of buses and subways
Continental climate with very hot summers and very cold winters.
- Best time to visit
In spring and autumn months when the temperatures are most comfortable.
- Good to know
At the moment, about 2 million people live underground in Beijing, in flats that run as small as two square metres.
- Nice to know
Beijing is Mandarin for "Capital of the North"
Beijing International Airport, about 29 km north-east of the city centre.
Bus lines 1 to 9 travel to different parts of Beijing.
The express train runs from the terminals to Sanyuanqiao and Dongzhimen, where passengers can change to the subway. The ride to Dongzhimen takes about 20 minutes.
The ride to the city centre takes about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic.