Be sure to sample the local specialty of Peking duck at Siji Minfu Restaurant, next to the Forbidden City. The restaurant has a fantastic atmosphere, complete with views of the palace moat. For light bites, check out 1901 Café, which is housed in an early-20th-century church. With its quaint décor and old-world vibe, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Unwind with a tipple or two at China Bar. Located on the 65th floor of Park Hyatt Beijing, it offers bird’s-eye views of the central business district. If you’re looking to hit the dance floor, head to Club Sir Teen. It’s the hottest club in the city with a roster of top international DJs and numerous celebrities in attendance.
I’d highly recommend taking a 20-minute hike to the highest pagoda in Jingshan Park, where you can drink in panoramic views of the city – just like the emperors of ancient China did hundreds of years ago. Then, do as the locals do and cycle around the hutongs (alleys) and lakes in the Houhai neighbourhood. Mobikes can be found almost anywhere in the city – download the mobile app and scan the QR code on the bicycle to get going. If you’re a fan of live performances, head to the National Centre for the Performing Arts – an architectural marvel in its own right – to see what’s showing.
While away an afternoon at Wangfujing Street, one of Beijing’s main shopping thoroughfares. Here, you’ll find traditional stores and teahouses alongside new and modern malls. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of vintage curios, Panjiayuan Antique Market is the place to be. Rummage for everything from jewellery and pottery to furniture, and don’t forget to haggle.
Plan your daily tours well by splitting things up into different areas as the city is huge and there are lots of things to explore. Also, be aware of traffic and register a WeChat account – it supports over 20 languages and will help you with everything you need.
SEE ALSO: 5 hidden finds in Beijing’s hutongs
This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine