How long should I stay in Beijing?

Beijing has a unique fizzing energy that few other cities around the world can match. The city boasts of magnificent architecture, fabulous Imperial palaces, exciting shopping Malls, attractive walkways, and mystical ancient alleys, all blending seamlessly together to complement the majestic Great Wall.

A person visiting Beijing for the first time will have a bucket-full list of attractions to enjoy. The tourist attractions in Beijing are spread out and usually large in size.  You will immediately see and experience more by going to fewer places. You feel you could use more time in Beijing, and also you feel you may never have enough time there. So just how long should your stay be to guarantee you get the most out of it.

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How long should you stay for a great experience?

The exact amount of time varies from one person to another depending on factors like the amount of time at your disposal, your interests, budget, and preferred mode of transport. Do you wish to see historic buildings, nightlife, nature, or hike the Great Wall for a day or two?  Are you keen on museums and love history? How do you propose to get around (car, subway, bus, train?) What’s your daily spending budget for a Beijing trip… What are your interests? What is your budget? Your answers to these questions will help determine the suitable number of days for staying in Beijing.

Logically, from the answers above, you will end up either staying for many days or just a few. However, avoid a one day or night stay as that will only deprive you of the joy of savoring the magical city of Beijing. Some people may be quite satisfied with a two or three day stay and others will want to stay for considerably longer. There are plenty of interesting things to see inside or outside of Beijing. From experience, You will be happy to add on at least an extra day for each major excursion or side trip you’d like to take. Some of the places you could visit in such a case include the Great Wall sections like the Jiankou, Badaling, Jinshanling and the Mutianyu from Beijing.

If you only have three days, make good use of time then you will cover and have a memorable tour of all the prominent scenic attractions. Four days, on the other hand, guarantees you a tour of the main features as well as a satisfying feel of the city. You won’t be disappointed if you decide to stay in Beijing for 3 days or much longer for some of top must-do experience in Beijing. However, if you want to visit the iconic scenic attractions, and indulge in the famed Beijing life, you can do that convincingly if you have at least five days.

If you can stay for more than five days or a week, then you have the perfect opportunity to explore the hidden treasures within and around the city. For instance, visiting the mountain areas or looking around in Silk Market, Pearl Market and hutongs worth a few days extra. If hiking is your thing, you will be happy to make the whole day’s trek to the Simatai West (East Gate) from Jinshanling. The beauty of taking the long hike is that you will get the chance to explore exciting but relatively unknown attractions.

Looking for a cheap, reliable car hire service? Check out our Great Wall car rental service page: Car hire from Beijing to Great Wall.

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Lastly, if you have at least two weeks, there is no reason not to explore all the above attractions as well as the beautiful sites outside Beijing. You can visit various parks, sample sumptuous delights in different indigenous restaurants, and shop in different markets.

Some of the beautiful attractions near Beijing include the Datong and the ancient walled town of Pingyao. During the Datong trip, you can experience the famed the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Monastery.

For first time visitors why not see all the major traditional tourist sites:

The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Hutong (ancient alleyway), and Bird’s Nest &Water Cube.

For regular visitors explore the lesser-known sights in Beijing:

Lama temple, Confucius temple, 798 art district, Houhai(Rear Lake) bar street, Beijing Zoo(Panda House), The Ming Tombs, Beihai (North Lake)Park , Jingshan (Prospect Hill) Park, Prince Gong’s Garden, Grand View Garden (Daguanyuan), Fragrant Hills, Marco Polo Bridge, The Ruins of The Garden of Perfection and Light and so on.

how long to spend in Beijing

Above are some popular themes. You could pick any part of any of them and put them together with anything else. If you want to explore more of the city and the nature outside, you can even make up a program of 10 days. But this depends on the time of year you go there, your interests and budget. Because you only have so much time, you need to solid plan your trip. Consulting with a reliable Beijing tour company is a prudent way to max in your visit.

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