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It is not hard to see how China's history has endured over six centuries when strolling through Beijing. With palaces dedicated to emperors, white marble temples and other historical sites such Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China, history can literally be traced simply by tirelessly touring these ancient places over the course of a couple weeks.

The capital of China, however, is also rapidly expanding and modernizing in its appeal. With the approaching 2008 Olympics, Beijing is eager to show the world its expanded wealth. Gourmet wonderful restaurants of every ethnic kind have since opened in many beautiful and unique settings. The world’s most famous and luxurious retailers have already arrived, often residing in the finest hotels so that guests merely take the elevator to browse. Even once seedy massage parlors have transformed themselves into chic day spas. The Summer Palace and the Forbidden City have always been important enough reasons to visit, but Beijing is redefining itself for the new generation of sophisticated travelers.

Activities Dining Shopping Resources Nightlife  

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Beijing has many historical attractions, suggests the following places:

Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven is China’s largest temple complex, and possibly most beautiful site. With roofs of blue glazed tiles surrounding an exquisite white marble terrace, the emperor used to come to Temple of Heaven to pray for good harvests. Be sure to check out the Echo Wall that picks up the slightest sound.

Forbidden City
Constructed in 1420, the Forbidden City was home to the many emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and, now, considered the most marvelous architectural wonder of ancient China. The City includes extravagant palace gardens, the Throne Room, and several great halls. The Forbidden City is a must visit for tourist to Beijing. For wintertime tourists, try ice-skating in the moat.

Fragrant Hills
Twelve miles northwest of Beijing, one can explore the old hunting grounds of the Chinese emperors. With temples and pavilions among the thickly wooded pine forest, this is the perfect escape from the bustling city.

The Summer Palace
The palace lies northwest of Beijing and was used for more than 800 years as a summer retreat for Chinese royalty. There are many sites and activities here at the Summer Palace including replicas of ancient teahouses, imperial gardens, the Seventeen Arch Bridge, the Long Gallery, and Suzhou Market Street.

Inside Fifth Ring Road, Dashanzi is the place to find out what hip Beijing artists are doing today. This world-famous "art district" is home to Factory 798, a renowned cultural center which used to house a military electronics plant.

The Guy and Myriam Ullens Foundation
798 Art District, No.4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, P.O. Box 8503, Chaoyang 
Tel: +86 (0) 10 8459 9269
Fax: +86 (0) 10 8459 9717
Beijing's first nonprofit contemporary art center. One can only assume that because of the huge population of China that there are artists whose work has gone undiscovered or unnoticed by many.  Now you can see for yourself the works of no fewer then 50 Chinese artists. This is the best of the best so a visit here is a must for any art enthusiast. 

The CourtYard
95 Donghuamen Rd.
Tel. +86 (0) 10.6526.8883
The CourtYard is not your typical Chinese restaurant. The ambiance is  an old white house with large windows facing the entrance to the Forbidden City. Try to get a window table while dining this fusion of pan-Asian and Western cooking.

1/F, Trio Building (Jiangrai Xi Lu)
Tel. +86 10.6437.8457
Beijing hot spot and especially for lunch.  Be sure to have the ceviche!

Family Li Cuisine
11 Yang Fang Hutong
Tel. +86 (0) 10.6618.0107
Feast on recipes saved by the food taster for the Empress Dowager of China’s last dynasty. Savor sweet and sour pork ribs, stewed prawns and lemon fried pork. Or make reservations in advance for a set menu.

Aria (Aliya)
Jianguo Men Wai Dajie (inside the China World Hotel), Chaoyang East
Tel. +86 (0) 10.6505.2266
A choice Asian-European cuisine restaurant offering one of the most palatable menus in Beijing, Aria is a must. The wood alcoves and green velvet curtains help give Aria a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for those feasting on seared yellow fin tuna with Sichuan spices, braised pork and truffle polenta with Turkish fig jam and sherry vinegar.

Le Quai
On the grounds of Workers’ Stadium, Southside
Tel. +86 (0) 10.6551.1636
A stylish crowd meets at this 200-year-old home to sit beneath timber beams on a terrace beside a canal. Bring your appetite for seafood.

Mei Mansion
24 Xiangfeng Alley
Tel. +86 (0) 10.6612.6845
Name after Mei Lannfang, a famous Peking opera singer, the Mei Mansion is an all-inclusive culinary wonder near Houhai Lake. Crayfish, chopped quail, pork ribs and more fill a menu in which the customer is asked to set the price. Many of the recipes came from Lannfang.

The Red Phoenix
Sanlitun Bei Road
Building 30, First floor
Tel. 10.6416.4423
Designer Gui Lin attracts movie stars and others with sexy, modern silk skirts and blouses, embroidered jackets and beaded shawls.

Oriental Plaza
Oriental Plaza offers a variety of souvenir shops, fashion and novelty stores. Close to Tiananmen Square, this mall stretches over a few city blocks.

Silk Alley
Xiushui Street
To get a chance to haggle with the locals, come to Silk Alley. Frequented by resident foreigners, this outdoor market place offers everything ranging from handicrafts to sweaters to silk scarves.

Liulichang Culture Street
A traditional cultural market, Liulichang Culture Street is an antique lover’s paradise. Selling jewelry, ancient calligraphies and paintings and furniture, come here to find olden wares. The famous Rong Bao Zhai is located on this street and still sells its authentic paintings and calligraphies.
Please note items that are over a hundred years old will be marked with a red seal and require a signed export license in order to take them home.

Golden Resources Shopping Mall
YuanDa Road
The world’s second largest shopping mall, expanding over 6-million square feet, opened in 2004. With tennis courts, ice-skating, cinema and fitness club, customers can take a break from the heavy shopping at such stores at Gucci, Fendi and DKNY.

NEW ! Tickets to shows, sporting events and more!

Now offers its members the convenience of booking their theater, sports, tours and other events with us -- directly online.  Book tickets here!

Beijing Official Website International
Get nice, detailed descriptions of Beijing area attractions on the "Travel in Beijing" link.

Beijing Limo
Tel. +86 (10)6546.1588

Beijing Limo offers customers superior limousine service during their stay in Beijing.

Beijing Tourist Administration
Tel. +86 (10)6513.0828
Open 24 hours a day, Beijing Tourist Administration offers tours for groups, individuals and business travelers.

Languages Abroad
While in Beijing take a Chinese language course or train in Tai Chi. Languages Aboard offers an immersion courses that range in length from two to four weeks.

Universal Bicycle Rental Outlet
Tel. 1330 1195 288 (info)
Visitors are amazed at the amount of bicycle traffic that exists in Beijing, often riding along side the cars. Universal Bicycle Rental Outlet is an established source for tourists who would like to rent a bicycle for their stay. However, make sure to get a lock as bicycle theft is a common occurrence in Beijing.

Hit the bars and experience Beijing nightlife on Sanlitun Street, northeast of the city center. Sanlitun is lined with live music clubs, bars, and dance clubs, often showcasing some big name DJs from around the world. Feel free to mingle and drink outside if the weather is nice, especially near the Hidden Tree terrace.

Block 8
8 Chanyang Gongyuan Xi Lu
Late coctails with a very international crowd!

Face Bar
26 Dongcaoyuan, Gonti Nan Lu
Tel. +86.10.6551.6788
The bar is a converted school but that cocktails being created have nothing to do with that. 

B108, the Place
9 Guanguuan Lu
Tel. +86.10.6587.1311
Sleek curvy banquettes, "nu-jazz" and house music by the resident DJ.

4/F, LG Twin Towers B-12
Jianguomenwai Dajie
Tel. +86.10.5109.6012
Gilt framed paintings hanging face down from the ceiling, chandelier-strung Mongolian yurts and black eagle thrones.  What a place!  A French DJ keeps this place going til the dawn.

Jianguo Men Wai Dajie 22
Tel. +86 (0) 10.6528.3636
One of Beijing’s most endearing and popular discos, Banana has a 1990’s Miami Beach feel with its fake palm tree decor. Come here to dance the night away with the trendy, affluent locals and the loud electronica music.

rbt (Xianzonglin)
Dongdan Dajie 69, Just north of the Oriental Plaza
Tel. +86 (0) 10.6527.7896
A great source of zhenzhu naichan (pearl milk bubble tea), rbt is a popular spot for those looking for this Taiwanese import. With its fake eccentric decor, come to rbt to try one of the many flavors of the popular bubble tea available.