Beijing Is Such An Amazing Place.
Are you visiting Beijing for the first time? Or maybe just want to learn a few more tips before traveling to Beijing? Beijing is an amazing place there is so much to see, do and eat. You can easily spend weeks here, exploring the sweeping vistas and colorful streets and meeting the friendly, interesting people. If you’re planning the trip of a lifetime to China’s capital, here’s what you need to know before visiting Beijing for the first time.
1. Beijing Seems Quite Big But It Is Easy To Navigate.
Beijing is one of the best laid out with five main ring roads (the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth). Most of the other main roads run north-south or east-west, making it relatively easy to navigate through the city. Major roads and destinations are clearly marked and easy to find. If you do get lost, It’s easy to find s subway station nearby and be able to find your way home.
2. Tourist Attractions Are Very Affordable.
Tourist attractions are really cheap. You’ll be glad to know that your budget can go a long way in Beijing. Admission tickets can be purchased for a fraction of the price you might pay back at home. For Example, Forbidden City admission Fee: CNY 40 (Nov. 1 to the next Mar. 31); CNY 60 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31). Mutianyu Great Wall admission Fee: Adults (including children above 1.5M): CNY45; Children (1.2-1.5M): CNY25;
3. Go To Attractions Early In The Morning Or Afternoon.
Because Beijing is such a popular tourist destination, major attractions can get crowded at peak hours. Getting to Mutianyu Great Wall early in the morning you will enjoy the best walk, with the perfect opportunity to ride cable car or chairlift for the shortest trip up the wall. Take a walk around Forbidden City / Summer Palace after lunch you may enjoy the tranquility of the sites. Meanwhile, some places with fantastic lighting like Bird’s Nest & Water Cube are best seen at night to get the full, colorful effect.
4. Count On Extra Time If You’re Walking.
Walking is a great way to explore Beijing; you’ll see so much that you might miss from a tour bus. However, the distances can be surprising. No matter how much or how little you plan on walking in Beijing, you will be doing a lot. Wear comfortable shoes and schedule extra walking time until you get used to the distances. Although you might hate walking, Beijing by foot can be more fun than you think.
5. Facebook, Google, Instagram Are Not In China.
The Chinese government blocks access to some websites that are popular in the Western world. The list changes, but you may not be able to access many forms of social media, YouTube, Google, and Gmail.
6. Peak Hour On The Subway Is Very Busy.
The subway is the easiest, cheapest & quickest way to navigate around Beijing. It is a practical way to get to your destination while avoiding traffic. However, during peak times a lot of people squeezing onto trains to get to work, and it is not the time for a tourist. A word to the wise, avoid the subway between the hours of 7am and 9am and the hours of 6pm and 7pm during weekdays.
7. Taxis May Not Be Your Best Choice Of Transport.
Taxis are certainly convenient; they take you exactly where you want to go. However, during rush hour taxis are slow due to traffic, and they can be hard to hail in the city. Your hotel may be able to reserve a taxi for you. If you’re in a rush, traffic will make it about the same speed (or slower) than the subway. Otherwise, think about the subway, walking, or scheduled tours. Sometimes, walking is even faster.
If you have a flight to catch, Beijing Capital International Airport is about 1-1.5 hours drive from the city, so make sure to allow enough time to get there.
8. Give Yourself Plenty Of Time To Explore The Great Wall, Mentally And Physically
The Great Wall is one of the wonders of the world, and every visitor wants to take in this amazing feat of Chinese engineering. However, the distances involved can be greater than you think, depending on traffic. It can take approx. 1.5 hours from the city to Mutianyu. Make sure your schedule includes plenty of time to get there, and give yourself enough time to explore the Wall.
At Mutianyu, you do have to be prepared to walk on some fairly rough and demanding terrain for about half hour, though most part of Wall is quite flat. Having some good footwear is a good idea before you go. Using cable car/chair lift can help you avoid the initial climb up. You may want to entertain yourself by riding toboggan down. The toboggan is a favorite among kids and it’s very safe to use. Confident adventurers may consider hiking the Great Wall of China. You need to be comfortable with walking for 3 -5 hours on the Wall, depending on your level of fitness.
Visiting Beijing for the first time might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t over plan. Just pick a few key areas to focus on. Or let someone else take you around via a tour. Bear in mind these things to know for your first visit to Beijing, and you will feel more prepared for what to expect.