China Underground > Essential guide to China > Travel to Beijing

Travel to Beijing

Traveling to Beijing with a China visa is an exciting prospect for many travelers. Beijing is the capital of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a rich cultural and historical heritage that dates back thousands of years. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient landmarks, sampling delicious cuisine, or shopping in trendy neighborhoods, Beijing has something to offer everyone. In this article, we’ll provide a guide to traveling to Beijing with a China visa, including information on visa requirements, transportation, accommodation, and attractions.

Visa Requirements

Most travelers will need a visa to enter China, including Beijing. The type of visa required will depend on the purpose of your visit, such as tourism, business, or study. To apply for a visa to China, you will need a valid passport, a completed visa application form, a recent passport-style photo, and any additional documents required by the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country. The visa application process can take several weeks, so it’s important to plan ahead and apply well in advance of your travel dates.

Transportation

Beijing has a well-developed transportation system, with several options for getting around the city. The subway system is the most convenient and affordable way to travel, with 23 lines that cover most of the city’s major attractions and neighborhoods. Taxis are also widely available, although they can be more expensive during rush hour or in tourist areas. If you prefer to travel on your own, you can rent a bike or a car from one of the many rental shops in the city.

Accommodation

Beijing offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels to budget hostels, there is something for everyone. Some of the most popular areas to stay in Beijing include the city center, the embassy district, and the trendy neighborhoods of Sanlitun and Wudaokou. It’s a good idea to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

Attractions

Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. Other popular attractions include the Summer Palace, the Beijing Zoo, and the National Museum of China. For a taste of local culture, be sure to visit the hutongs, or traditional alleyways, where you can sample local street food and shop for traditional handicrafts.

Food

Beijing is known for its delicious cuisine, which combines flavors and techniques from across China. Some of the must-try dishes include Peking duck, hot pot, and jianbing, a savory crepe filled with eggs, vegetables, and meat. You can find these dishes and more at local restaurants and street vendors throughout the city.

Safety

Beijing is generally a safe city for travelers, although it’s always a good idea to take precautions to ensure your safety. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, and use common sense when traveling alone or at night. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of your passport and other important documents in a safe place.

Things to do

There are many exciting things to do in Beijing, from exploring ancient landmarks to experiencing local culture and cuisine. Here are some of the top things to do in Beijing:

  • Visit the Great Wall of China: No trip to Beijing would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall, one of the most iconic landmarks in China. You can hike along the wall and explore the various watchtowers and fortifications.
  • Explore the Forbidden City: The Forbidden City is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most famous landmarks in Beijing. It was once the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties and now houses a museum of Chinese history and art.
  • Discover the Temple of Heaven: The Temple of Heaven is a Taoist temple and park that was used by emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies to pray for a good harvest. Visitors can explore the temples and gardens and watch locals practicing tai chi and other traditional exercises.
  • Wander through the hutongs: The hutongs are traditional alleyways that date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. They are filled with shops, restaurants, and traditional courtyard homes. You can explore the hutongs on foot, by bike, or by rickshaw.
  • Sample local cuisine: Beijing is known for its delicious cuisine, which combines flavors and techniques from across China. Some of the must-try dishes include Peking duck, hot pot, and jianbing, a savory crepe filled with eggs, vegetables, and meat.
  • Experience local nightlife: Beijing has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and live music venues. Some of the most popular areas for nightlife include Sanlitun, Gulou, and Houhai.
  • Visit the Summer Palace: The Summer Palace is a beautiful imperial garden and palace complex that was used by emperors of the Qing dynasty. It features a lake, pavilions, temples, and gardens, and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • See the pandas at the Beijing Zoo: The Beijing Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, including giant pandas. Visitors can watch the pandas playing, eating, and sleeping in their natural habitat.

In conclusion, traveling to Beijing with a China visa is an exciting adventure that offers a glimpse into one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating cultures. With its rich history, delicious cuisine, and diverse attractions, Beijing is a destination worth exploring. By following the tips and advice in this article, you can make the most of your travel to this vibrant and exciting city.

Featured image source: unsplash

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