Beijing in a Day: Local Sightseeing and Culinary Delights Tour

Beijing, China

1 days

Beijing opera
Panoramic view
Night cityscape with bilding and road
Temple of Heaven, hall of Prayer for Good Harvest
Temple complex Yonghegong - Lama temple, Tibetan Buddhist monastery

About Beijing, China

Experience the rich history and vibrant culture of Beijing, China's capital city. Marvel at iconic landmarks like the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Great Wall of China, one of the world's most famous wonders. Explore the ancient hutongs (alleyways) on a rickshaw, taste authentic Peking duck and visit the bustling markets for unique souvenirs. Enjoy the serene beauty of the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. Witness the fusion of ancient traditions and modern lifestyle in this dynamic city. Beijing offers a unique blend of old and new, making it a must-visit destination for every traveler.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Beijing's UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Culinary Delights


Start your day with a visit to the iconic Forbidden City. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a massive palace complex that was home to Chinese emperors for over 500 years. Explore the grand halls, courtyards, and gardens, and marvel at the intricate architecture and artifacts.


Enjoy a traditional Beijing lunch featuring local specialties such as Peking Duck and Zhajiangmian (noodles with soybean paste). There are numerous restaurants in the area offering these dishes.


After lunch, head to the Summer Palace, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This beautiful royal park is known for its stunning landscapes, temples, and pavilions. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake and enjoy the serene atmosphere.


For dinner, try some local street food in one of Beijing's bustling food streets. Sample a variety of snacks and dishes, from dumplings and baozi (steamed buns) to stinky tofu and spicy hotpot.


End your day with a traditional Chinese Opera or Acrobatic Show. These performances are a great way to experience Chinese culture and arts. There are several theaters in the city that offer these shows.

Attractions in Itinerary (6)

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a vast complex of palaces and administrative buildings that served as the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty.

Cultural Experiences
Peking Duck

Peking Duck

Peking Duck is a famous duck dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era. The meat is characterized by its thin, crisp skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook.

Food and Drink


Zhajiangmian is a Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with a mixture of ground pork stir-fried with zhajiang (fermented soybean paste). A Beijing variant has been listed as part of the city's intangible cultural heritage.

Food and Drink
Summer Palace

Summer Palace

A vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing. It was an imperial garden in the Qing Dynasty.

Cultural Experiences
Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera

A popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back to the early periods in China.

Cultural Experiences
Acrobatic Show

Acrobatic Show

Acrobatic Show is a popular form of entertainment in Beijing. The city is known for its high-quality acrobatic performances, featuring a variety of acts such as juggling, contortion, and high-flying trapeze. Shows are often accompanied by traditional Chinese music.


Local Food and Drinks (12)

Peking Duck

Peking Duck

A famous dish from Beijing, where it has been prepared since the imperial era. The meat is characterized by its thin, crisp skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook.



Traditional Chinese dumplings, often eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve. They are a symbol of wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture and are a staple food in Northern China, including Beijing.



A popular noodle dish in Beijing, it consists of thick wheat noodles topped with a mixture of fried ground pork and zhajiang, a salty fermented soybean paste.

Mongolian Hotpot

A communal dish that's popular in Beijing, especially during the cold winter months. Diners cook their own meat, tofu, vegetables, and noodles in a simmering pot of soup.

Beijing Yogurt

A traditional Beijing drink served in a ceramic jar. It's a sweet and slightly sour yogurt, often consumed as a drink rather than a dessert.

Jing Jiang Rousi

A popular Beijing dish consisting of shredded pork in sweet bean sauce, served with leek and tofu wrappers.

Tudou Si

A traditional Beijing dish made from shredded potatoes stir-fried with peppers and vinegar. It's a common home-cooked dish in Beijing.

Lu Zhu Huo Shao

A traditional Beijing breakfast dish. It's a mutton stew served with baked wheaten cakes.

Beijing Roast Chestnuts

A popular street food in Beijing, especially in winter. The chestnuts are roasted in a large barrel-shaped roaster and have a sweet and smoky flavor.

Ma Doufu

A traditional Beijing dish made from fermented mung beans and tofu. It has a unique sour and spicy flavor.

Beijing Bao Du

A traditional Beijing dish made from boiled lamb offal. It's often served with a dipping sauce made from sesame paste, vinegar, and chili oil.

Beijing Mung Bean Milk

A traditional Beijing drink made from mung beans. It's often consumed for breakfast and has a slightly sour taste.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Beijing, China is during the spring (April - June) and autumn (September - October) seasons. During these periods, the weather is most pleasant and suitable for outdoor activities. Spring offers beautiful blossoms and green landscapes, while autumn showcases the city's stunning fall foliage. These seasons also avoid the extreme temperatures of Beijing's hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. Additionally, these periods are outside of the peak domestic travel seasons, providing a more relaxed tourism experience.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

February 9


Spring Festival Eve

February 10


Lunar New Year

February 11


Spring Festival Golden Week holiday

February 12


Spring Festival Golden Week holiday

February 13


Spring Festival Golden Week holiday

February 14


Spring Festival Golden Week holiday

February 15


Spring Festival Golden Week holiday

March 8


International Women's Day

April 4


Qing Ming Jie

May 1


Labour Day

May 4


Youth Day

June 10


Dragon Boat Festival

September 17


Mid-Autumn Festival

October 1


National Day

October 2


National Day Golden Week holiday

October 3


National Day Golden Week holiday

October 4


National Day Golden Week holiday

October 5


National Day Golden Week holiday

October 6


National Day Golden Week holiday

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Beijing's subway system is extensive, efficient, and affordable. It covers most of the city's main attractions, business districts, and the airport. English signs and announcements are available.

Public buses in Beijing are a cheap way to get around, but they can be crowded during rush hours. They cover almost every corner of the city. The downside is that most bus signs and announcements are in Chinese.

Taxis are readily available throughout Beijing. They are metered and relatively affordable. Drivers may not speak English, so it's advisable to have your destination written in Chinese.

Ridesharing services like Didi Chuxing (similar to Uber) are popular in Beijing. The app is available in English and fares are usually cheaper than taxis. However, you'll need a Chinese phone number and payment method to use the service.

Beijing is a bike-friendly city with dedicated bike lanes. There are several bike-sharing companies like Ofo and Mobike. You can rent a bike using their app and drop it off at any public bike parking area.

Many of Beijing's attractions are located close to each other, making walking a viable option. The city is generally pedestrian-friendly with ample sidewalks and pedestrian zones.

Private car hire services are available, often with an English-speaking driver. This can be a convenient option for day trips or if you prefer a more comfortable and private mode of transport.

The Airport Express train links Beijing Capital International Airport with the city center. It's a fast and convenient way to travel between the airport and the city.

Rickshaws offer a unique way to explore Beijing, especially the narrow alleyways of the Hutongs. However, agree on a price before the ride to avoid overcharging.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency RMB

Time zoneUTC+8

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 120; Fire: 119; Police: 110, 122 (traffic accident)

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type CPower socket type I

Voltage220 V

Things to know about Beijing, China as a first time visitor


Beijing is the capital city of China and is one of the most populous cities in the world.


The official language is Mandarin, also known as Putonghua. English is not widely spoken, so it's a good idea to learn a few basic phrases.


The currency used in Beijing is the Renminbi (RMB), with the basic unit being the Yuan.


Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops. However, it's always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments or street vendors.


Beijing operates on China Standard Time, which is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +8).


The city has a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate. Summers (June to August) can be hot with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C). Winters (December to February) are cold and dry with temperatures ranging from 14°F to 36°F (-10°C to 2°C).


Beijing is a safe city with a low crime rate. However, like any major city, it's wise to be cautious of your belongings and avoid less crowded areas at night.


Tipping is not customary in Beijing, and it's often not accepted in many places.


Public transportation is extensive and affordable. It includes the subway, buses, and taxis. However, during peak hours, these can be very crowded.


Beijing is known for its heavy air pollution. If you have respiratory problems, it's advisable to check the air quality index (AQI) before your trip.


Internet censorship is strict in China. Many Western websites and apps, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, are blocked. Consider using a VPN if you need access to these sites.


Beijing's tap water is not safe to drink. Always drink bottled water.


Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture are widely available and can be an interesting cultural experience.


Beijing cuisine is characterized by its variety and flavor. Don't miss out on trying Peking Duck, a local specialty.


Beijing is a mix of modern and traditional architecture. Respect local customs and traditions when visiting traditional sites.


Public restrooms in Beijing often do not provide toilet paper. It's a good idea to carry some with you.


Shopping in Beijing can be a fun experience. Remember to bargain in markets to get a good deal.


Beijing is a city that never sleeps. There are plenty of night markets, bars, and clubs for night owls.


Beijing's healthcare system is good, with many hospitals and clinics. However, not all staff may speak English.


If you're planning to visit other cities in China, Beijing has excellent rail and air connections.

Basic Mandarin Chinese to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it



Ni hao

Greeting someone



Zai jian

Leaving or saying goodbye

Thank you


Xie xie

Showing appreciation



Making a request



Affirming or agreeing



Bu shi

Disagreeing or denying



Dui bu qi


Excuse me


Da rao yi xia

Getting attention or apologizing

Do you speak English?


Ni hui shuo ying yu ma?

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand


Wo bu dong

Not understanding what was said

Where is the bathroom?


Xi shou jian zai na li?

Looking for the bathroom

How much does this cost?


Zhe ge duo shao qian?

Asking for the price of something

I would like to order


Wo xiang dian cai

Ordering food in a restaurant



Asking for water



Bang zhu

In need of assistance



Chu zu che

Looking for a taxi



Jiu dian

Looking for a hotel



Ji chang

Looking for the airport

Train station


Huo che zhan

Looking for the train station

Can you help me?


Ni neng bang wo ma?

Asking for help

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Sweater or jacket (depending on the season)

  • Rain jacket or umbrella

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush

  • Deodorant

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Travel-sized body wash or soap

  • Razor

  • Sunscreen

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Face mask

  • Travel-sized first aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Visa (if required)

  • Driver's license or other form of ID

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (Chinese Yuan)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and transportation reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contacts and addresses in Beijing

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Power bank

  • Universal travel adapter

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Headphones

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Travel guidebook for Beijing

  • Map of Beijing

  • Phrasebook or translation app

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Reusable shopping bag

Weather Conditions

Beijing, China, experiences a temperate monsoon climate with four distinct seasons, so it's crucial to plan your visit accordingly. Spring (April to June) is generally mild and dry, with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 75°F (10°C to 24°C). It's a great time to visit the Great Wall and the city's parks, but be prepared for occasional sandstorms. Summer (July to August) is hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 86°F (30°C). It's also the rainy season, so don't forget your umbrella. Despite the heat, it's a popular time to visit due to the many festivals, such as the Dragon Boat Festival. Autumn (September to October) is arguably the best time to visit Beijing. The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C), and the city is adorned with beautiful fall colors. It's the perfect time for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Winter (November to March) is cold and dry, with temperatures often dropping below freezing, sometimes as low as 14°F (-10°C). It's the off-peak season, so you'll find fewer tourists and lower prices. If you don't mind the cold, you can enjoy activities like ice skating and the spectacular Chinese New Year celebrations. Regardless of when you visit, remember to check the weather forecast regularly, as conditions can change rapidly. Also, be aware of the air quality index, as Beijing can sometimes experience high pollution levels. Lastly, dress in layers to accommodate fluctuating temperatures and always carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. Enjoy your trip to Beijing!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


2° / -9°

January is the coldest month in Beijing, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. It's a quiet time for tourism, so you'll have many attractions to yourself.


4° / -7°

February is still quite cold, but temperatures are slowly starting to rise. The Chinese New Year often falls in February, making it a vibrant time to visit.


12° / 0°

March sees a significant rise in temperature, but it can still be chilly. The city starts to come alive with the onset of spring.


21° / 7°

April is a comfortable month to visit Beijing, with mild temperatures and a relatively low chance of rain. The city's parks and gardens are in full bloom.


28° / 12°

May is a warm month with plenty of sunshine, perfect for outdoor activities. The city is bustling with tourists and locals alike.


32° / 18°

June marks the beginning of summer in Beijing, with high temperatures and occasional rainstorms. It's a great time to visit the Great Wall and other outdoor attractions.


34° / 22°

July is the hottest month in Beijing, with high humidity levels. It's a great time to visit if you don't mind the heat, but be prepared for occasional thunderstorms.


33° / 21°

August is still quite hot, but temperatures start to drop towards the end of the month. It's a popular time for tourism, so expect crowds at major attractions.


27° / 15°

September is a pleasant month to visit Beijing, with mild temperatures and less rainfall. The city's parks are particularly beautiful as the leaves start to change color.


20° / 8°

October is a comfortable month to visit Beijing, with clear skies and cool temperatures. The autumn foliage is in full swing, making it a great time for photography.


10° / 0°

November sees a significant drop in temperature, but it's still a good time to visit if you don't mind the cold. The city is less crowded, and you can enjoy the last of the autumn colors.


2° / -6°

December is a cold and dry month in Beijing, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. It's a quiet time for tourism, but you can enjoy winter activities like ice skating.

Did you know?

Did you know that Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, along with Nanjing, Luoyang, and Chang'an (Xi'an)?

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