Beijing Pocket Guide

Images Of Beijing

China's economical, political and commercial centre is a big, brash, busy city. It is different to many other Asian cities in that tourism doesn't overrun its heart and soul. It is far less commercialised than its counterparts and it seems at even at the city's best-known landmarks the number of locals outweighs the tourists. It is also a city steeped in history and has been the Chinese capital since 1421.

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In The Guide

  • Cheap Eats Discover what night market sells cooked frog legs and other such niceties.
  • Don't Miss After visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City find out what else should you not miss.
  • Neighbourhood Watch A breakdown of some of the Chinese capital's most intriguing districts.
  • A Day in Beijing... Our perfect day in Beijing with the help of a bicycle so you fit in with the locals.

Beijing City Reviews

  • 90%


    Beijing is become expensive.

    Beijing is more expensive than ever these days. Still value for money, but you really notice the difference when traveling elsewhere in China. Subway fares are now distance based, but still cheaper than taxis. Some shops are just overpriced, and for convenience items it pays to look at prices in a few not just buy from the first one you get to. For cheap food eat where the Chinese do, the small, places are usually the cheapest and tastiest.

    Insider Tip:Walk up the Hutongs for cheaper food, but beware some vendors selling items for more to foreigners. Be prepared to walk somewhere else if you think this is the case.

  • 90%



    Full of culture and history, always easy to shop, relax or party, or any combination you desire. Increasingly expensive, compared to some other areas of China, but still offers value for money. Don't believe everything you hear about the pollution, good days and bad days. Definitely a city of four distinct seasons, spring and autumn probably the most comfortable to visit.

    Insider Tip:Use as much Chinese as possible, the people really appreciate it (for the most part). Venture into the unknown, and eat where the locals do to save money and eat great tasting food. Beijing street food is still arguably some of the best in China.

  • 90%



    Always lots to see and do in Beijing. For the best food eat where the locals do. Use the subway where you can, taxi's more expensive here than in other parts of China. Beware of anybody offering you anything that sounds too good to be true - it probably is. Enjoy the culture in the usual famous places and you can expect some English, go off the beaten track to practice more Chinese. Don't believe everything you hear about the pollution, some days have amazing weather and clear skies.

    Insider Tip:Talk to the locals - most love to speak with Waiguoren, and are very encouraging.

  • 90%


    Beijing hot summer!

    Beijing has much to offer every type of tourist, whether a first time traveler or a seasoned visitor. Be sure to take in all the central sights but at the same time do not be afraid to explore the more local areas. The best food can always be found in Hutongs and alleys, eating where the Chinese do. Beijing street food is probably the best I have come across in China. Use the subway for convenience and value for money, travelling around is easy this way even if you do not speak or read Chinese.

    Insider Tip:Only use official taxi's, never take a 'taxi' in a car without the correct ID displayed, and ALWAYS go on the meter. (da biao) especially if approached by taxi drivers giving you what seems like a good price -it will always be at least twice the price of a meter journey. Do not be afraid to say no to anyone or anything, there are always more options around the corner !

  • 80%


    Beijing; an absolute must

    For my first trip to China I began in Beijing for 5 nights and it just was not enough. The place is fantastic. The endless cultural treasures, fantastic food and general buzz around the city is one of the best I've experienced. Travelling there in December it was very cold but it added to the cities majestic charm. The normal 'musts' of the city will be done as standard; the Hutong's and street life shouldn't be overlooked for real fun.

    Insider Tip:Dumplings and noodles represent ridiculous value for money for a great meal. Careful of the 'scams' outside of the main tourist spot; everyone has a story to spin you. Don't be put off by language barriers just go for it, locals are generally friendly helpful people. The Subway is the best way to see the city, easy to use and at 2 Yuan per journey anywhere in the city you cannot go wrong.

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