Beijing, one of China’s true ancient citadels, is the must-see destination for tourists visiting China. Beijing houses many famous historical sites like Forbidden City, Hutongs, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and so on. Besides the famous attraction, Beijing also collects the famous cuisines and snacks so Beijing is the heaven for foodies. So when you visit China, don’t miss Beijing. Many young tourists are eager to travel independently with a backpack on back and to discover some undiscovered places and other well-known sites. So you need to do a bit of patient exploration to tap into its historical narrative.
How to start your independent travel in Beijing? The following is the five-day itinerary in Beijing.
You travel will start with your arrival in Beijing. If you get to Beijing in the morning, you can have a rest in hotel and then roam in the area near your hotel.
On the second day, you can pay a visit to Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. You can first visit Tiananmen Square and its free sites in. After about an hour, you can take a several-minute walk across Tiananmen to the north to get to the entrance of Forbidden City. Forbidden City is China’s largest and best-preserved complex of ancient buildings. So called because it was off limits for 500 years, when it was steeped in stultifying ritual and Byzantine regal protocol, the otherworldly palace was the reclusive home to two dynasties of imperial rule until the Republic demote last Qing emperor to has-been. In the afternoon, you can take a taxi to Heaven of Temple which is about 2 kilometers from Tiananmen Square. Or as an option in the afternoon, you can choose to visit Shichahai which features the ancient Siheyuan and well combination of the ancient building with the beautiful natural view. In the evening, you can drink in the Houhai Bar Street of Shichahai.
On the third day, you can spend your entire day in climbing Badaling Great Wall. Badaling Great Wall is the most photographed and most-visited manifestation. It is about 70 kilometers northwest of Beijing. The raw scenery yields classic views of bastion snaking into the distance over undulating hills. The name of Badaling sends a shiver down spines of hard-core wall walkers.
How to get to: The easiest and most reliable way is on Bus 919 (Y12, 80 minutes, every 30 minutes from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm) from the old gate of Deshengmen, about 500m east of the Jishuitai subway stop. Ask for 919 branch line. A taxi to the wall and back is a minimum of Y400.
On the fourth day, you can choose to visit Ming Tombs or not. If you plan to visit Ming Tombs, you have to get up early in the morning to take bus You1, You5 at Qianmen or You2 at Beijing Stop, You3 at Dongdaqiao or You4 at Yongdingmen to get Ming Tombs. If you are not interested in Ming Tombs, you can alternatively visit Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven/Lama Temple (if you din’t visit on second) in the morning. In the afternoon, you can stroll along Hutong areas by rickshaw or on foot.
On the fifth day, you can shop in Wangfujing or Panjiayuan Antique Market in the morning. After lunch, head to Beijing International Airport to next destination or go home.