Attractions and Excursions

In addition to the must-see tourist destinations of the Forbidden Palace, The Temple of Heaven, The Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square to mention just a few, there are many other popular attractions in and around Beijing that visitors will enjoy.

Beijing Zoo (Beijing Dongwuyuan), west of the Beijing Exhibition Center, is located on the site of an imperial palace and pleasure garden. Amongst the gardens it has a collection of animals indigenous to China at the zoo including: a giant panda, red-crowned cranes and Pere David's deer, as well as hundred of other types of animals and birds.

Beijing Aquarium (Beijing Haiyang Guan) north of the Beijing Zoo is the “world’s largest inland aquarium” and features exhibits of fresh and saltwater fish, daily dolphin shows as well as a shark tank. Visitors can take a lovely boat ride from the aquarium to the Summer Palace.

(Chinese Panda at Beijing Zoo.) Chinese Panda at Beijing Zoo.

The Blue Zoo, at the south gate of the Workers’ Stadium in Chaoyang District, has a moving walkway underneath the main aquarium which provides wonderful views of the sharks and other marine creatures. SinoScuba offers scuba diving at the zoo, even for those with no scuba experience.

The Beijing Wildlife Park, 35 miles from the center of Beijing in Da Xing District, is a popular destination for families with over 10,000 birds and animals in a 240 hectare area. Some of the most popular creatures at the safari park are the rare golden monkeys and pandas, but visitors can also see elephants, tigers, bears and many other exotic creatures, including a large collection of parrots and other tropical birds.

Happy Valley Amusement Park (Beijing Huanle Gu) on the East Fourth Ring Road is a western-style theme park with rides, roller-coasters and entertainments such as Shangri-La Land, Greek Town and a Mayan Aztec Village. To avoid long line ups, visitors should arrive early and choose week days.

Most attractions in Beijing charge different rates in the summer and winter season, with the high season going from April 1 to October 31 and the low season running from November 1 to March 31.

In the hills around Beijing are many magnificent and memorable destinations which are well worth an excursion.

(Great Wall of China) Great Wall of China.

A wonderful day trip would include a stop at the Ming Tombs on the slopes of Mount Taishou, 30 miles northwest of Beijing, to see the Changling and Dingling tombs and the resting place of 13 Ming dynasty emperors and their empresses. Then on to visit the Great Wall at Badaling and Juyong Guan.

Those interested in seeing magnificent examples of ancient temples could combine a side trip to Tanzhe Si with a visit to Jietai Si. Tanzhe is the magnificent 1,600 year old Buddhist temple in the Western Hills near Beijing which is famous for its association with Princess Miaoyan, the daughter of Kubla Khan. The temple of Jietai Si is only 5 miles away and is reknowned for its peaceful courtyards and ancient trees, including the Chinese Scholar Tree which is thought to be over 1,000 years old.

A different side trip could combine a visit to the well preserved traditional village of Chuan Di Xia with its quaint courtyard houses dating from the Ming dynasty. This “living museum” is 56 miles from Beijing. On the way, visitors can stop at the cemetery for eunuchs at Tian Yi Mu.