My favourite Beijing

I have just returned from a week tour leading in Beijing – a week with lots of sightseeing, a snow storm and later beautiful fall weather, eating and a tiny bit shopping. Never boring in Beijing! Here are some of my favorite things to do in China’s capital.


Beijing duck
Roasted Beijing duck

So much food, not enough days! Preferably, when in China, one should always try to eat at least once Yunnan, Xinjiang and Sichuan cuisine, hotpot, Beijing duck, preferably homemade jiaozi (dumplings), Beijing street food like qianbing pancakes and lamb kebab, and the great Japanese, Korean and Western food available.

Take a trip out of town, to the Great Wall

Great Wall Mutianyu
Fall colors at Mutianyu Great Wall

Take a bus, the train, a private car or a taxi and get yourself out of town. Bring food and a bottle of champagne to make the day even more memorable.

Drive around at night

Qianmen at night
Qianmen at night

The whole city is full of bright lights. Drive along the ring roads to see the office buildings with all their flashing lights, or along Chang’an to see the historical buildings lit up.

Get some morning exercise in a park

Exercise in Tiantan
Human quoits!

All of Beijing’s parks will be filled with people jogging, dancing, singing, kicking stuff, doing taiji or whatever they fancy. They’ll love it if you join in!


Chinese Christmas decorations
Chinese Christmas decorations

Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in China. I promise.

What do you want to experience in China?

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Christine Surlien

Christine has studied Chinese culture and language extensively. She has spent two years at The People’s University of China in Beijing, done five years of Chinese studies at the University of Oslo, and has her masters degree from Hong Kong University. She has been associated with KinaReiser, Norway’s leading agency for travel to the The Far East, for a decade. She was also employed at the administration of the Norwegian Embassy to China for two years, before relocating to Washington DC with her diplomat husband and their two children.

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  1. I so agree! One should always inlcude a local market!

  2. I would add to my personal “best of”: going to the market – especially the Sanyuanli market – for the pleasure of seeing fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, and rubbing elbows with the locals.

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