Couples visit Beijing for the city’s deep heritage and leave with a new understanding of Chinese culture. Renowned as one of the largest cities in the world, Beijing provides its visitors with a uniquely rich cultural experience. As the “last of the four great ancient capitals of China,” Beijing is home to some of the most majestic palaces, walls, temples, and gardens in the world. The seemingly unlimited array of sites, food, and live music, allow visitors of Beijing to discover the infinite beauty of the city through a full-sensory honeymoon experience.
Since hosting the 2008 Olympic games, the metropolis has experienced a great cultural shift that has introduced new art forms, technology, and other modern innovations to the ancient city. Beijing is now also the center of China’s rock and pop scenes.
With recreation that includes everything from conquering the Great Wall to experiencing classic Chinese theater, nothing is off limits in this great metropolis. A honeymoon in Beijing will surely be a rejuvenating experience that enraptures newlyweds in the history and romance that lies within the cities’ walls.
FORBIDDEN CITY: Lying in the heart of Beijing, Forbidden City (also known as the Palace Museum) was home to emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was considered forbidden because only those requested by the emperor were permitted on the premises. UNESCO deemed Forbidden City a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987 and today the once-exclusive grounds are open to the public for daily tours. The rectangular palace grounds are the largest in the world.
TEMPLE OF HEAVEN: View the place where emperors once held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. Even larger than the Forbidden City, it is one of China’s most encompassing sacrificial buildings and can be defined as an architectural masterpiece.
THE NATIONAL STADIUM: Also known as The Bird’s Nest because of its exposed steel structure, the National Stadium was created to house the 2008 Olympics. It is now the center for international and domestics sports competitions and activities.
NATIONAL THEATER OF PERFORMING ARTS: This theater contains three performing venues: the Opera House, the Concert Hall and the Theater. There are also underwater corridors, an underground garage, an artificial lake and the green space. Its oval exterior makes for eye-catching scenery. Symphonies, dance shows, ballets, dramas, operas and other kinds of performances are frequently held there.
TIANANMEN SQUARE: Located just outside of the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square hosts top tourist sites like the Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. Tourists can view the national flag raising ceremony in the Square.
DASHNAZI ART DISTRICT (798 DISTRICT): In 2002, the Dashanzi Art District experienced a surge in politics, culture and economics out of which emerged an art scene. Old factories in the area have been converted into art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.
GREAT WALL AT MUTIANYU: Known as one of the Great Wonders of the World, the Great Wall of China spans all of east and Western China and is a must-see. This part of the Great Wall experiences less tourist traffic than other spots.
JINGSHAN (COAL HILL) PARK: Located just behind the Forbidden City is Jingshan Park, an oasis of flowers and trees that boasts a breathtaking view of the Palace. Each morning people gather to sing songs, play traditional instruments like the two-stringed erhu or practice the slow, graceful movements of tai chi.
- SUMMER PALACE: This beautiful collection of gardens, lakes and palaces has been favored by Chinese emperors and empresses for centuries, and it's easy to see why. Climb Longevity Hill, passing ornate pavilions and rich Chinese architecture on one side and peaceful natural beauty on the other. Take a stroll along tranquil Kunming lake, marveling at the many wonders of this UNESCO world heritage site.
Tips and Advice
- GETTING THERE: Nonstop flights are about 13.5 hours from New York City to Beijing or around 12 hours from L.A.
- GETTING AROUND: While taxis are readily available in Beijing, they are the most expensive way to travel through the city. The subway is a great alternative for travelers on a budget. The bus system is also cheaper, but can be complicated for non-mandarin speakers. Walkers take caution! Pedestrians in China do not have the right of way.
- WHEN TO VISIT: Beijing's climate is defined as "continental monsoon." The temperature is mildest during autumn, making it prime for vacation time.
- LANGUAGE: Mandarin Chinese is the official language in Beijing. At big hotels catering to international travelers, English is generally spoken but always check ahead.
- CURRENCY: Chinese Yuan (also known as Renminbi, RMB for short) is the official and legal currency in circulation. Use of foreign currencies is generally not allowed. Travelers can exchange their money at Beijing Capital International Airport, as well Bank of China branches and most high-end hotels.
- ELECTRICITY: 220v, 50HZ and AC.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- HYGEINE: Be sure to carry toilet paper and hand sanitizer with you as you travel through the city. Most public restrooms lack tissue and soap.
- MAKE A DEAL: When exploring markets and stands, it is okay to bargain your way to a lower price. Most sellers will expect to negotiate.
- EXPLORE MORE: For the road less traveled, check out hutongs, (old villages of Beijing) which offer an authenticity that cannot be found in some of the more well-known tourist spots of the city.