The Ultimate Beijing China Walking Tour: See the City on Foot & Video

The Ultimate Beijing China Walking Tour: See the City on Foot

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The Ultimate Beijing China Walking Tour: See the City on Foot

Beijing, the capital city of China, is a vibrant and historic metropolis that offers a wealth of attractions to explore. One of the best ways to experience the city’s rich culture, ancient landmarks, and bustling streets is by taking a walking tour. This comprehensive guide will take you through the ultimate Beijing walking tour, allowing you to see the city on foot and immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere.

Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

  • Tiananmen Square: Start your walking tour at Tiananmen Square, one of the largest public squares in the world. It holds immense historical and cultural significance as the site of numerous important events in Chinese history. Take a leisurely stroll around the square, marvel at the impressive monuments and statues, and soak in the grandeur of this iconic landmark.
  • The Forbidden City: Adjacent to Tiananmen Square lies the magnificent Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enter through the Meridian Gate and explore the vast complex of palaces, halls, and courtyards that once served as the imperial residence of Chinese emperors. Admire the intricate architecture, ornate decorations, and beautifully landscaped gardens as you delve into China’s imperial past.
  • Jingshan Park: Conclude your visit to the Forbidden City with a walk to Jingshan Park, located just north of the complex. Climb to the top of the park’s artificial hill, known as Coal Hill, and enjoy panoramic views of Beijing’s cityscape, including a stunning vista of the Forbidden City.

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The Great Wall of China

  • Mutianyu Great Wall: Travel to the outskirts of Beijing to visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. This well-preserved section offers breathtaking views and fewer crowds compared to other popular sections. Embark on a hike along the ancient wall, marvel at the architectural marvels, and capture stunning photos of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Watchtowers and Fortifications: As you explore the Great Wall, take note of the various watchtowers and fortifications that were strategically built along its length. These structures served as defensive positions and provided commanding views of the surrounding areas. Learn about the history and significance of these watchtowers as you traverse the wall.
  • Scenic Surroundings: The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is surrounded by picturesque natural landscapes. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the mountains, forests, and valleys that unfold before you. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings and savor the awe-inspiring experience of standing atop this ancient wonder.

The Temple of Heaven

  • Main Complex: Visit the Temple of Heaven, a masterpiece of Ming dynasty architecture. This religious complex served as a place of worship for emperors to pray for good harvests. Explore the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, and the Circular Mound Altar, each showcasing exquisite craftsmanship and cultural significance.
  • Sacred Echo Wall: Discover the fascinating acoustic phenomenon of the Echo Wall within the Temple of Heaven. The curved wall surrounding the Imperial Vault of Heaven allows whispers to be heard clearly on the opposite side, creating an intriguing acoustic experience.
  • Surrounding Park: After exploring the temple complex, take a leisurely walk through the surrounding park. Admire the beautiful gardens, peaceful pavilions, and ancient trees that form a serene backdrop to this historical site.

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Hutongs and Local Beijing Life

  • Hutongs: Immerse yourself in the traditional charm of Beijing by exploring its historic Hutongs. These narrow alleyways lined with traditional courtyard homes offer a glimpse into the city’s past. Wander through the maze-like streets, observe local residents going about their daily lives, and discover hidden gems such as local shops, tea houses, and street vendors.
  • Local Cuisine: Indulge in Beijing’s diverse culinary scene by trying some local delicacies. Sample Peking duck, a famous dish originating from the city, or explore the vibrant food markets to taste a variety of street foods. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor traditional snacks like Jianbing (savory pancake) or Douzhi (fermented mung bean milk).
  • Temple of Confucius: Visit the Temple of Confucius, dedicated to the influential Chinese philosopher. Explore the tranquil grounds, admire the beautiful architecture, and gain insights into Confucianism, an important philosophy that has shaped Chinese culture for centuries.

Summer Palace and Kunming Lake

  • Summer Palace: Experience the grandeur of the Summer Palace, a vast imperial garden complex located northwest of Beijing. Stroll through the beautiful gardens, cross the iconic Seventeen-Arch Bridge, and explore the numerous pavilions, halls, and temples that dot the landscape.
  • Kunming Lake: Take a boat ride on Kunming Lake, a serene body of water within the Summer Palace grounds. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings, soak in the natural beauty, and marvel at the harmonious integration of architecture and nature.
  • Longevity Hill: Climb the Longevity Hill within the Summer Palace for panoramic views of Kunming Lake and the surrounding scenery. Discover the intricately designed Buddhist temples and pagodas that adorn the hill, each with its own unique architectural style and cultural significance.

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Beihai Park and Houhai Lake

  • Beihai Park: Explore Beihai Park, one of the oldest and most well-preserved imperial gardens in Beijing. Wander through the park’s beautiful landscapes, visit the iconic White Dagoba, and admire the stunning views of the surrounding lake.
  • Houhai Lake: Adjacent to Beihai Park lies Houhai Lake, a popular recreational area known for its vibrant nightlife. Take a leisurely walk along the lake’s promenade, soak in the lively atmosphere, and discover a multitude of bars, restaurants, and shops that line its shores.
  • Boat Excursion: Embark on a boat excursion on Houhai Lake to fully appreciate its beauty. Relax as you glide across the calm waters, enjoy the scenic views, and take in the charming surroundings.

Art Districts and Contemporary Beijing

  • 798 Art District: Visit the renowned 798 Art District, a thriving hub of contemporary art in Beijing. Explore the converted factory spaces that now house galleries, studios, and exhibitions showcasing the works of both local and international artists.
  • Dashanzi Art District: Adjacent to the 798 Art District, Dashanzi Art District offers a similar artistic experience with a unique atmosphere. Discover hidden art studios, street art, and avant-garde installations as you wander through this vibrant neighborhood.
  • Art Galleries and Cafes: Take your time to visit various art galleries and independent cafes scattered throughout these art districts. Immerse yourself in Beijing’s modern art scene, appreciate contemporary masterpieces, and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in a trendy setting.


A walking tour of Beijing allows you to delve into the city’s rich history, experience its vibrant culture, and immerse yourself in the local way of life. From iconic landmarks like Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City to the tranquility of the Temple of Heaven and the natural beauty of the Great Wall, each step reveals a new facet of this captivating city. As you explore Beijing on foot, you will create lasting memories and gain a deeper understanding of China’s capital.