5 Reasons You Should Stay in Downtown Beijing For Your First Visit

If You’re Visiting Beijing, You Should Stay Downtown

stay in downtown Beijing


If you’re visiting Beijing–for fun, travel or business–be sure to book downtown accommodations.  Whether you stay at one of the top hotels in downtown Beijing or the cheapest places to stay (That Are Still Safe) or at an Airbnb, there are numerous advantages to a downtown location. Below are the top five reasons that downtown Beijing is a first-time visitor’s paradise:

Reason #1. It’s Easy (and Cheap) to Get To and From the Beijing Airport

Following a long flight, the last thing you want to worry about is navigating Beijing’s transit system or worse, dealing with the city’s persistent traffic. Save yourself the hassle by booking a hotel in a central location with easy access to a subway station.

If you’re flying into Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), it’s incredibly easy (and cheap) to get from the airport to Downtown Beijing: multiple express trains take you directly from the airport to downtown–tickets are 25RMB per person, saving you both time and money over a taxi or limo service.

You can also take advantage of the Beijing Airport Shuttle bus for 20RMB to 30RMB per person, which stops at many key downtown locations.

Reason #2. Sightseeing Is Easy And Typically, Car-Free

Why deal with the stress of traffic when you can enjoy Beijing’s magnificent sights by foot or on train? Experts rank Beijing’s traffic as the second worst in China — just behind the notoriously traffic-heavy coastal city of Jinan.

Depending on where you stay, you could just as easily experience the beauty and culture of Beijing on foot (or bike). Explore the Tiananmen SquareForbidden CityBeihai Park, or the Temple of Heaven. With so many awe-inspiring sites within walking distance, you can focus less on navigation and more on cultural appreciation.

If you want to see more of the city, take subway line 4 to both the Summer Palace (get off at Beigongmen Station) and Old Summer Palace (get off at Yuanmingyuan Station).

You can also use public transit to easily reach Badaling Great Wall outside the downtown core.

stay in downtown Beijing first time


Reason #3. Downtown Beijing Provides the Best Nightlife

You haven’t experienced nightlife until you’ve partied in Beijing. With central locations, you can hit up the city’s best bars. Begin your night out at one of the city’s famed hutong bars. Typically hidden in narrow alleys, these laid-back venues serve a variety of craft brews.

Move on to the vibrant nightclub scene in Sanlutun, where you’ll find underground hip hop and electronica artists, not to mention strong drinks. Don’t worry about finding a taxi or a designated driver; your central location allows you to stumble home after a night out on the town.

Reason #4. Downtown Restaurants Are Among the Best in Beijing

No matter where you stay in Beijing, you’re guaranteed to eat well. That being said, downtown restaurants are a class of their own, and they’re likely in walking distance.

From fast food to fine dining, culinary adventures await around every corner. Head down the block for mouthwatering Peking duck or Shaanxi noodles. Once you’ve eaten your fill, you can proceed to your next cultural attraction — or head to your room for a much-needed nap.

Reason #5. Never-Ending Shopping Opportunities

Whether you favor bustling markets or high-end boutiques, you’ll never tire of Downtown Beijing’s shopping destinations. Set aside at least one day for exploring the area’s finest stores. An absolute must-visit: Wanfujing Street. As Beijing’s busiest commercial street, this prosperous shopping district boasts a full mile of stores and attractions. You’ll encounter a dazzling blend of modern fashion and traditional commodities.

Nearby, the Hongqiao Market boasts China’s largest pearl distribution, along with an excellent selection of silk clothing and digital products. Your central location allows you to beat the crowds and hit up the best stores bright and early.

5 Reasons You Should Stay in Downtown Beijing For Your First Visitor


Your location can make or break your trip to Beijing. When in doubt, choose downtown accommodations with easy access to transit, dining, and shopping — you won’t regret it!

Most Popular Posts

Which part of the Great Wall is the best to visit

When is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China

Mutianyu Great Wall travel guide

Where is the best location to stay in Beijing

How long should I stay in Beijing

7 Amazing Water Parks in Beijing That You Will Love This Summer

Spend a Day Cooling Off at Tone of the City’s Amazing Water Parks

best water park of Beijing


Beat the heat with amazing water parks in Beijing to enjoy your share of lazy rivers, exciting raft rides and more thrilling stuff like water luges and twisty-turny slides. Here are seven parks where you can enjoy some fun in the sun.

1. Water World in the Water Cube

China’s largest and most sophisticated water park will make you feel like you’ve entered an underwater dreamland. You’ll get a thrill when you zoom into the deep water tornado, an incredible water slide that spins you into a funnel before dropping you into a refreshing pool.

Water World is located at Olympic Park, Beisihuan Middle Road, Chaoyang District and is opened from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. year round. The entry fee is 200 yuan for adults and 160 yuan for kids. Kids shorter than 1.2 meters are free.

2. Hi-Space

With a retractable roof, glass walls and the capacity for 3,000 people, Hi-Space is an exceedingly popular recreation spot in Beijing. The park also has wave pools, outdoor hot springs and a paddling pool for children.

Hi-Space is located in Zhenggezhuang Village, Beiqijia Zhen, Changping District. It’s opened from 9 a.m.-10 ap.m. year round. Admission prices are168 yuan for adults and 100 yuan for children between 1.2 and 1.4 meters.

3. Happy Magic Water Cube

The largest outdoor water park in Beijing, Happy Magic Water Cube is filled with fun. Don’t miss the Plummet Bodyslide, an open-pipe chute that gives thrill-seekers a near-vertical drop. If you’re not as adventurous, check out the man-made beach and wave pool.

Happy Magic Water Cube is opened from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. from June 16-30 and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. from July 1 until August 31. Admission is 200 yuan for adults and 160 yuan for kids shorter than 1.5 meters. The park is located at 11 Xiaotun Road in the Fengtai District.

Best water parks in Beijing


4. Water World in Qingnianhu Park

One of the city’s older water parks, Water World is famous throughout China for 11 slides, a few of which are six stories tall. Two huge outdoor pools are lit after the sun goes down so swimmers can enjoy a nighttime dip.

Water World is located in Andingmen, Dongcheng District. It is opened from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. between June 1 and September 1. Admission prices are 30 yuan for adults and 20 yuan for children under 1.3 meters.

5. City Seaview at Xiedao Resort

The biggest artificial beach in China, City Seaview provides a tropical setting, complete with coconut trees and a wave pool. It’s a good choice to escape the urban summer heat and enjoy the sea view within reach.

City Seaview is located at 1 Xiedao Lu, Chaoyang District and is opened between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. from May 27 to September 4. Admission is  60 yuan per person with extra charges for bungee jumping, rock climbing or the hot spring massage pool.

Best Water Park in Beijing


6. Tuanjiehu Water Park

As a huge amusement park – about 10,000sqm of water – Tuanjiehu Water Park has many options for anyone looking simply to cool off in the water or for the casual swimmer wanting a bit of exercise. You can relax and enjoy the water or a rousing game of beach volleyball on the man-made sand beach, or do some laps in one of the five lanes.

Tuanjiehu is located at 6 Tuanjiehu Nanlilu, Chaoyang District. It is opened from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily between May 28 and Aug. 31. Entry fees are 40 yuan per person on Monday-Friday and 50 yuan per person on weekends

7. Chaoyang Water Park

Chaoyong Water Park is a delight for the senses. Bumper boats, swimming lanes and remote controlled boats round-out the parks exciting offerings.

The park is located at 1 Nongzhanguan South Road, Chaoyang District. It is opened from mid-June through the end of August from 9 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. daily. Admission is 120 RMB per person.

Map of 7 Amazing Water Parks in Beijing That You Will Love This Summer

Most Popular Posts

Which part of the Great Wall is the best to visit

When is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China

Mutianyu Great Wall travel guide

Where is the best location to stay in Beijing

How long should I stay in Beijing

8 Tips For Your First Time Jiankou to Mutianyu Day Hike

Use These Tips to Make Your First Jiankou & Mutianyu Hike Successful

8 Tips For Your First Time Jiankou to Mutianyu Day Hike guide


You don’t have to be a seasoned adventurer to hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall. But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s easy. If you’re thinking about hiking it for the first time, consider these tips before you go.

1. Dress Appropriately.

You can climb to reach Zhengbeilou Tower in a sturdy pair of sneakers, but it’s best to opt for something with ankle support. The trail is steep and mostly dirt.

You probably don’t need hiking poles, but it’s a good idea to bring along a sunhat and sunglasses in Summer and Fall. If possible, avoid wearing cotton – it traps moisture in summer. Wool or microfiber clothing is best.

2. Pack Light.

Packing only the essentials can help you hike Jiankou & Mutianyu successfully. Avoid bringing unnecessary items that will only make your backpack heavy and bulky.

Just bring only what you need like water, snacks, hat etc. for a day hike. You’ll fell more comfortable on your journey with a lighter pack.

3. Eat A Big Breakfast Before Your Hike.

Eating a lot of food will boost your metabolism, which will generate body heat, and keep you going all the way to the top.

4. Postpone Your Hike If the Weather Is Bad.

The weather in Jiankou Great Wall is unpredictable, and it change unexpectedly. Before you start your walk check Jiankou & Mutianyu Weather Forecast – if high winds, heavy rain/snow or low cloud is predicted, it is better to save your walk for a clearer day.

8 Tips For Your First Time Jiankou to Mutianyu Day Hike travel guide


5. Get Ready For A Workout.

Jiankou &  Mutianyu is a moderate hike. It’s suitable for all age groups with average fitness. However, the first hour of hike towards Zhengbeilou tower is a little bit challenging. If you haven’t exercised in a while, take it slow.

On a hot summer day, weather conditions can make the hike a lot tougher than what you have expected. Go too fast and you risk losing the energy (mental and physical) to make it to the top, better take it slow.

6. Save Lunch For Zhengbeilou Tower.

If you packed food, try and save it until you get to the top–Zhengbeilou tower. You will be rewarded with spectacular panorama of Jiankou at Zhengbeilou. Even on a cloudy day, you get sweeping views of the West part of Jiankou, which makes your meal taste much better.

7. Take It Slow Coming Down.

You might think coming down Mutianyu is the easiest part of the hike, but it is also very hard on your legs. The section between tower 19 and 20 in Mutianyu is 70 to 80 degrees in height with more than 440 vertical steps.

Your legs muscles are probably tired when you finished Jiankou part, and it’s easy to let your mind wander and lose focus on the steps. You’re more likely to slip and fall coming down than going up. It’s advisable to take it slow coming down.

8 Tips For Your First Time Jiankou to Mutianyu Day Hike


8. Have Fun.

Sometimes, hiking can feel like torture. If you find yourself cursing the trail, – just stop, take a few breaths, and take in your surroundings. You will be inspired and amazed at how people built such an unbelievable structure hundred of years ago. Listen to the silence of the mountains, take time to sit on the edge of the wall. You’ll get many rewards along the way.

Most Popular Posts

Which part of the Great Wall is the best to visit

When is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China

Mutianyu Great Wall travel guide

Where is the best location to stay in Beijing

How long should I stay in Beijing

You Will Be Amazed By These Free Things To Do In Beijing

Explore Beijing Without Breaking the Bank – Visit Plenty of Places in Beijing for Free.

free things to do in Beijing


Beijing for free — is it even possible? Although I can’t help you with free accommodations, I can help you in the attractions department. You see, there are plenty of free things to do in Beijing that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Museums, activities, attractions, churches, and parks are numerous in this city and although many cost a pretty penny, many do not. Here are several things you can do in Beijing without spending a dime.

Be a Tourist in Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is arguably the world’s largest public square which has the Forbidden City to the north, the Zhangyangmen archery tower to the south, and the Chinese National Museum and the Great Hall of the People (China’s parliament) flanking the east and west, respectively.

See the Body of Mao Zedong in Chairman Memorial Hall

There are usually long lines to see Mao Zedong in the mausoleum, and be aware that certain items are not allowed when you enter the mausoleum.

Because cameras and bags aren’t allowed inside the hall, you need to store your possessions in lockers east of the mausoleum, which does cost a small fee, depending on the locker rented. Do not pay “helpers” to store your possessions as they will overcharge.

Cool off around Houhai Lake

Houhai Lake literally means “Back Lakes.” You’ll be impressed by the older neighborhoods, lovingly preserved. There are boutiques, restaurants, shops, and street vendors here. A popular place to hang out at night.

You Will Be Amazed By These Free Things To Do In Beijing


Lose Yourself in the 798 Art District

Once a factory compound, 798 art district has been revitalized and converted to house galleries, cafes, and bookshops. You’ll be impressed by the contemporary Chinese art.

Explore Nanluoguxiang

The Nanluoguxiang neighborhood takes its name from a narrow alley that still exists even though it was built during the Yuan Dynasty. It is part of the older sections of the Beijing’s city center. It is a popular place for tourists as it has bars, restaurants, live music houses, fast food, coffee shops, and souvenir shops.

Shop with the Locals on Wangfujing Street

If you’re looking for a place to shop, check out Wangfujing Street, which has had commerce as far back as the Ming Dynasty. There are 280 Beijing brands within the stores, which makes it popular with residents as well as tourists.  The restaurants and food vendor stalls are often packed.

Look for Treasure in the Panjiayuan Flea Market

Also known as the Beijing Antique Market or the Dirt Market, this is the largest market of its kind taking up 48,500 square meters. The market is so big that it is subdivided into several parts.

The main market, known as the Middle Area, is only open on weekends, but you’ll see a lot even if you go on  a weekday. There are 4000 shops and 10,000 dealers there.

Visit One of the Many Museums

Most museums in Beijing are free, but you’ll want a guide to show you around. The fees, however, are small. Museums include the Beijing Museum of Natural History, Capital Museum, Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution, and the National Museum of China.

The National Museum of China has large-scale exhibitions which covers everything from currency to painted porcelain. Visitors also enjoy the Beijing Museum of Natural History and the Beijing Theater Museum.



Most Popular Posts

Which part of the Great Wall is the best to visit

When is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China

Mutianyu Great Wall travel guide

Where is the best location to stay in Beijing

How long should I stay in Beijing

8 Safety Tips on The Great Wall of China Hike With Kids

Top Advice on Great Wall of China Hiking Safety with Children

Great Wall of China hiking safety


Hiking the Great Wall of China with kids can be challenging, especially for children 3-5 years old. Many parents fear about safety on the trail. But the good news is, families can minimize many risks by following some simple guidelines when hiking with kids. And you’ll be sure to have a fun and safe journey along the Wall. Here are eight tips for safety on the Great Wall hiking adventures with kids.

1. Set Realistic Hiking Goals.

There are a wide range of Great Wall hikes available, from one day hikes to multi day hikes. But when you’re starting out, pick one that isn’t especially long or strenuous. This is especially important when you have small children. You can easily see some of the best features of the wall in 3-5 hours of hiking (approx. 7-8 km) with generous breaks worked in.

An easy or moderate day hike is suitable for beginners and children.

2. Stick Together.

The Great Wall is a vast structure and many sections are available for adventurous hikers. In  Jinshanlng, the trail is well formed and easy to follow but there are some places where you must walk on vertical steps, rugged terrain or through broken towers. It’s a good safety precaution teach your kids to stay in sight at all times, and keep your kids in your line of sight.

If your kid is the slow one, try to make sure you can still see him / her. If your kid is the fast one, try to look over your shoulder every so often to make sure he / she is in sight.

3. Choose Trail Forks Together.

When you get to a junction or place where the trail divides, make sure the whole family is on the same page about where you’re going next.

In Jiankou, the trail up to the Wall is not as simple as you might think, the hardest thing could be finding the right trail up to the start point on the wall.  It’s a a good idea to stop at all trail junctions to wait for the rest of the family, and to stay on the trail.

4. Stay On Marked Trails.

Many sections of the Wall are unrestored and in rural areas. These places are well worth visiting, but it can be easy to get turned around here. Gubeikou is one of the most well-known strategic pass, and the hilly trail is hard to follow as part of Gubeikou is officially closed. Stick closely to marked trails as other trails lead to nothing, and only confuse you.

Great Wall of China hike safety tips


5. Think About First Aid.

Accidents can happen and it’s always good to be prepared, especially when you’re hiking. You might find yourself a few kilometers away from medical services, so it’s well worth bringing a first aid kit with you. Make sure you know how to use all of the components.

6. Save ‘Hide and Seek’ For Your Hotel Room.

Because the Great Wall is so large and in some places incompletely restored, it can be easy for children to get briefly lost. Warn them not to play ‘hide and seek’ here.

7. Dress For Success.

What clothing should you bring? Lots of layers! Depending on when you visit, the weather can be blisteringly hot, quite chilly, windy, or have rain showers that seem to come from nowhere.

Prepare for anything; layers like windbreakers can be really helpful. Finally, when you’re hiking for kilometers on hard stone, it’s vital that everyone has properly fitted and comfortable shoes. These could range from sandals to boots, depending on where you’re going.

8. Plan Frequent Stops.

Hiking takes a lot of energy, especially for small children. To prevent exhaustion and meltdowns, take frequent breaks. Bring snacks and drinks along with you. Each child should have a small backpack. A small first aid kit, some snacks and water is a good start.

Most Popular Posts

Best time to visit Beijing

Which part of the Great Wall is the best to visit

When is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China

Mutianyu Great Wall travel guide

Where is the best location to stay in Beijing

How long should I stay in Beijing