Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Forbidden City

Ringed by 3.5km of scarlet citadel walls at the very heart of Běijīng, the Unesco-listed Forbidden City is China’s largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings, and the largest palace complex in the wo…
Top Choice Square in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Tiān’ānmén Square

Flanked by triumphalist 1950s Soviet-style buildings and ringed by low-rise perimeter fences, the world’s largest public square (440,000 sq metres) is an immense flatland of paved stone at the heart of Běijīng. Earl…
Top Choice Mausoleum in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

No doubt one of Běijīng's more surreal spectacles is the sight of Mao Zedong's embalmed corpse on public display within his mausoleum. The Soviet-inspired memorial hall was constructed soon after Mao died in Septemb…
Top Choice Museum in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

National Museum of China

Běijīng’s premier museum is housed in an immense 1950s Soviet-style building on the eastern side of Tiān’ānmén Sq, and claims to be the largest in the world by display space. You could easily spend a couple of hours…
Top Choice Park in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Workers Cultural Palace

Despite the prosaic name and its location at the very heart of town, this reclusive park, between Tiān’ānmén Sq and the Forbidden City, is one of Běijīng’s best-kept secrets. Few visitors divert here from their cour…
Top Choice Xinjiang in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Crescent Moon Muslim Restaurant

You can find a Chinese Muslim restaurant on almost every street in Běijīng. Most are run by Huí Muslims, who are Han Chinese, rather than ethnic-minority Uyghurs from the remote western province of Xīnjiāng. Crescen…
Top Choice Yunnan in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Lost Heaven

The Běijīng branch of the famed Shànghǎi restaurant, Lost Heaven specialises in the folk cuisine of Yúnnán province. While the spices have been toned down, the flavours remain subtle and light and are guaranteed to …
Top Choice Yunnan in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Little Yúnnán

Run by young, friendly staff and housed in a cute courtyard conversion, Little Yúnnán is one of Běijīng's more down-to-earth Yúnnán restaurants. The main room has a rustic feel, with wooden beams, flooring and furni…
Top Choice Peking Duck in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Běijīng Dàdǒng Roast Duck Restaurant

Ultramodern Dàdǒng sells itself on being the only restaurant that serves Peking duck with all the flavour of the classic imperial dish, but less fat – the leanest roast duck in the capital. For some, it’s hideously …
Top Choice Live Music in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

DDC

One of the capital's current favourite spots to catch Chinese indie, punk and metal bands, DDC is an intimate space located down a nondescript hútòng. Its courtyard bar is also a good place for a drink, with a wide …