Escape The Crowds In Downtown Beijing, These are 5 Best Places You Will Find Peace and Quiet
You adore the buzz of Beijing. Few places offer such an enticing blend of history and modern living, or such an upfront mix of cultures. It’s exciting to see so many people from all around the world going about their day.
Unfortunately, the smells and sounds of such a busy city can sometimes be tiring. After several days of big city life, you’re desperate for a little peace and quiet. If you need to get away from it all for a few hours, you’re in luck: Beijing is home to several hidden gems, where you can take in the city’s unique culture without battling crowds. Enjoy a calm day at one of these peaceful attractions:
1. Lama Temple
The Lama Temple may be situated in a busy area, but you’d never know it based on its peaceful atmosphere. Once the home of Emperor Yong Zheng, the temple became a lamasery in 1744. Although often frequented by tourists, this site remains an important place of worship. Its harmonious setting will quickly restore your inner balance.
2. Temple of Confucius
During the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, area residents paid homage to Confucius at this remarkable temple. This structure is not to be confused with the Qufu Temple of Confucius, which is larger.
Because the temple’s purpose remains honoring a great philosopher, it tends to be quieter than other attractions. Depending on when you arrive, you may find yourself surrounded by fellow visitors — but they’ll invariably be quiet and thoughtful, allowing you to appreciate the temple without distraction.
3. The Imperial College
Often referred to as Beijing Guozijian, this academy was established in 1306. It was the highest seat of learning during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Today, it’s the last remaining imperial academy in all of China.
Museum exhibits offer intriguing insights into the history of scholarship. You’ll leave with a greater appreciation of education in China — both past and present.
4. Ditan Park — Temple of Earth
Known as the Temple of Earth or the Altar of Earth, Ditan was once the designated site for annual summer solstice sacrifices. The temple was first opened as a public park in 1925. Following multiple wars, it was reopened in 1957.
While the park can be crowded during festivals and special events, it’s typically peaceful — especially in the morning. Depending on when you visit, you may see seniors exercising or playing croquet.
5. Olympic Forest Park
Olympic Forest Park may have been rowdy during the 2008 Summer Olympics, but today, it’s positively serene. Designed by the talented Hu Jie, the man-made nature park boasts a lake with multiple islands linked by bridges. It’s also home to a mountain that provides a spectacular view of the city. Set aside an afternoon to stroll leisurely along one of the park’s many trails or to explore it via tandem bike.
Whether your idea of the perfect day includes a peaceful temple visit or a relaxed walk around the lake, you’ll find plenty of serene spots for reflection in the heart of Beijing. Set aside a few hours for quiet, and you’ll be ready to dive back into the hum of urban life.