24 Hours in Beijing?
June 20, 2018 3:51 AM   Subscribe

This August I will find myself with 24 hours in Beijing. I will go to the Great Wall on a hiking trip the days after that. Any must-see do-not-miss sights? What food would you not want to miss? I tend to like food and culture and neighborhoods where I can freely wander and take pictures.
posted by frumiousb to Travel & Transportation around Beijing, China (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Beijing is great, I was there for a couple of days over Christmas. One day I hiked a wild section of the great Wall then the other I walked around the city. No set route but did a big circuit through hutong in dongcheng, jingshan Park, forbidden city, tiananmen Square, tian tan Park, and back up through financial district. There were lots of touristy bits but they seemed aimed at Chinese not western tourists - I saw very few other white people. I ate lots of small things from interesting bakeries on the way. I liked the small alleys and neighbourhoods where people lived - all very different to what I'm used to. The main roads had a lot of pollution but avoid them and was ok. It felt very safe though I didn't loiter for too long in any one place and I try to not be too blatant taking photos. I had great peking duck for Xmas Dinner!
posted by JonB at 6:04 AM on June 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

When there, I had a rule to buy something from at least one in every three people selling food on the street (or out of their windows) - even if it was just a bite to taste it as I wasn't really hungry. It's cheap and you get to sample unusual food aimed at the locals, not tourists.
posted by humuhumu at 6:21 AM on June 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Culinary Backstreets does a Beijing food tour that a friend just did, and totally raved about. We have done their tours in other cities and have nothing but great things to say about the company and their tours!
posted by something_witty at 7:14 AM on June 20, 2018

I loved the Temple of Heaven, both for the temple complex itself and for the many, many activities going on in the huge park around it. You can people-watch for hours in Chinese parks.

On the other hand, I absolutely hated the Forbidden City. I have never sworn so hard at an audioguide in my life.
posted by kelper at 7:57 AM on June 20, 2018

I would suggest spending your day in the Hutong, Bai Hai or Hou Hai park and if you feel like it, the Forbidden City. They're all near each other. It is really easy to get around the city by metro.

Have a fantastic trip, hiking the Great Wall is truly wondrous!
posted by jennstra at 9:08 AM on June 20, 2018

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