Adventures in Beijing China: Outdoor Activities for Everyone & Video

Adventures in Beijing China: Outdoor Activities for Everyone

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Beijing, the capital of China, is a city rich in history, culture, and outdoor adventures. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie, a nature lover, or simply looking to explore the great outdoors, Beijing has something for everyone. From hiking along the Great Wall to cycling through ancient hutongs, here are some outdoor activities in Beijing that you shouldn’t miss.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and a must-visit when in Beijing. Stretching over 13,000 miles, this ancient fortification offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into China’s history. Hiking along the Great Wall allows you to appreciate its architectural marvels while enjoying the scenic beauty of the surrounding countryside. Some popular sections to explore include Badaling, Mutianyu, and Jinshanling.

  • Badaling: Located just 43 miles northwest of Beijing, Badaling is one of the most well-preserved and accessible sections of the Great Wall. Its steep inclines and magnificent watchtowers offer a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience.
  • Mutianyu: Situated 45 miles northeast of Beijing, Mutianyu is known for its stunning views and less crowded atmosphere. The section features both restored and unrestored portions, allowing visitors to experience the wall in different states of preservation.
  • Jinshanling: For those seeking a more adventurous hike, Jinshanling is the perfect choice. Located 87 miles northeast of Beijing, this section offers a challenging trek along rugged terrain, with breathtaking vistas at every turn.

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Summer Palace

The Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a magnificent imperial garden and palace complex located in the northwest suburbs of Beijing. It is a perfect destination for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. The vast park area encompasses a serene lake, lush gardens, and architectural wonders such as the Long Corridor and the Marble Boat.

  • Kunming Lake: The centerpiece of the Summer Palace, Kunming Lake offers opportunities for boating and scenic walks along its shores. Rent a paddleboat or take a leisurely stroll to enjoy the picturesque landscapes.
  • Longevity Hill: Rising above Kunming Lake, Longevity Hill is home to many temples, pavilions, and halls. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the Summer Palace and the surrounding area.
  • Suzhou Street: Explore the traditional Chinese market street, Suzhou Street, which is lined with shops and restaurants offering local delicacies and souvenirs.

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Beihai Park

Located in the heart of Beijing, Beihai Park is a historic imperial garden that offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. With its beautiful lakes, pavilions, and gardens, Beihai Park is an ideal place for a leisurely stroll or a boat ride.

  • White Pagoda: Standing on Qionghua Island in the middle of Beihai Lake, the White Pagoda is a stunning architectural gem. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the park and the surrounding city.
  • Round City: Explore the ancient Round City, also known as the Forbidden City during the Yuan Dynasty. It is a circular island in the middle of the park, surrounded by a moat and adorned with beautiful trees and flowers.
  • Boat Ride: Rent a paddleboat or take a boat tour to explore the tranquil waters of Beihai Lake. Enjoy the scenic views and the serenity of the surroundings.

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Temple of Heaven Park

The Temple of Heaven Park is a masterpiece of Ming Dynasty architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a sacred place where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would pray for good harvests. The park offers a serene atmosphere and beautiful scenery.

  • Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests: The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is the main architectural highlight of the Temple of Heaven. Its unique circular design and intricate details make it a must-see attraction.
  • Imperial Vault of Heaven: Located south of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven is a smaller circular building with stunning blue tiles. It houses the Echo Wall, where whispers can be heard on the opposite side.
  • Circular Mound Altar: The Circular Mound Altar is a raised platform with three tiers, symbolizing heaven, earth, and humanity. It is a peaceful spot for meditation and reflection.

Beijing Olympic Park

The Beijing Olympic Park is a modern architectural marvel that hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. It is now a popular recreational area with vast green spaces, iconic stadiums, and impressive structures.

  • Bird’s Nest Stadium: The Bird’s Nest Stadium, officially known as the National Stadium, is an architectural masterpiece. Take a walk around the stadium or catch a live sports event to experience the Olympic spirit.
  • Water Cube: The Water Cube, officially known as the National Aquatics Center, is an eye-catching building with its unique bubble-like design. It now houses a water park where you can enjoy various water activities.
  • Lake Area: Explore the serene lake area within the Olympic Park, perfect for a leisurely walk or a picnic. Admire the beautiful landscapes and relax amidst the modern structures.

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is one of the largest public squares in the world and a symbol of China’s political and historical significance. Located in the heart of Beijing, it is surrounded by important landmarks and offers a glimpse into the country’s past and present.

  • Monument to the People’s Heroes: The Monument to the People’s Heroes is a towering structure in the center of Tiananmen Square, commemorating the revolutionary martyrs of China. It is a significant symbol of national pride.
  • The Great Hall of the People: Located on the western side of Tiananmen Square, the Great Hall of the People is where important political events and national congresses are held. Its grand architecture is worth admiring.
  • National Museum of China: The National Museum of China is located on the eastern side of Tiananmen Square and houses a vast collection of Chinese historical artifacts. Explore the exhibits to learn more about China’s rich cultural heritage.

798 Art District

The 798 Art District is a thriving artistic community housed in a former factory complex. It is a hub for contemporary art, galleries, studios, and creative spaces. Stroll through the district to discover unique artworks and immerse yourself in Beijing’s vibrant art scene.

  • Galleries: The 798 Art District is home to numerous galleries showcasing a wide range of contemporary art. Explore the diverse exhibitions and discover emerging artists from China and around the world.
  • Street Art: The district features vibrant street art and murals that add to its artistic ambiance. Take a walk along the streets to admire the colorful and thought-provoking artworks.
  • Cafes and Restaurants: Indulge in the artistic atmosphere of the 798 Art District by visiting its trendy cafes and restaurants. Enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal while surrounded by creative energy.

Beijing Botanical Garden

The Beijing Botanical Garden is a peaceful oasis in the city, offering a vast collection of plants, flowers, and landscapes. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking a break from the urban hustle and bustle.

  • Rose Garden: The Beijing Botanical Garden is famous for its beautiful rose garden, featuring a wide variety of rose species and vibrant colors. Visit during the blooming season to enjoy the captivating fragrance and stunning displays.
  • Bonsai Garden: Explore the Bonsai Garden, where you can admire miniature trees meticulously crafted by skilled artisans. Appreciate the artistry and tranquility of these miniature landscapes.
  • Lake Area: Take a leisurely stroll around the lake area, surrounded by lush greenery and serene water. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance and the harmonious coexistence of nature and architecture.


Beijing offers a wide range of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. From exploring the ancient wonders of the Great Wall to immersing yourself in the artistic ambiance of the 798 Art District, Beijing’s outdoor attractions are sure to captivate and inspire. Whether you are a history enthusiast, nature lover, or adventure seeker, Beijing has something to offer. So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and embark on a memorable adventure in the vibrant capital city of China.