Beijing is more than just a capital city. Culturally, politically and emotionally, it represents China’s beating heart, where ancient history fuses with fast-paced modernism. Beijing welcomes a year-round mix of Chinese and international travellers to its signature sites, including the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square. These blend with newer attractions such as the National Museum, National Centre for the Performing Arts and “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium, built for the 2008 Olympics. A walk through a timeless hutung neighbourhood is evocative of a slower-paced era, and a couple of hours’ drive north is the spectacular Great Wall of China. Back in the city, Beijing fashionistas relax at The Village shopping and entertainment district in Sanlitun, while families take leisurely strolls around the lakes of Houhai and art connoisseurs peruse the contemporary works displayed in the hip galleries of 798 district. After dark, restaurants serve up excellent regional cuisines from across China, plus the beloved roast Peking duck. To finish the evening, Beijing’s lively nightlife scene offers live music venues, downtown bars and sleek rooftop lounges with views across the capital.
48 Liang Ma Qiao Road
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A tour of two of the city's hutongs ends with a full stomach.