Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Despite the modern façade, the city's endless array of historic attractions is the real draw here. One could spend days, if not their entire Beijing hotel stay, exploring its beautiful palaces, temples and landscapes. Choose your Holiday Inn Express® hotel in Beijing wisely, and you'll get the most out of your trip to this fascinating city.
Beijing's simple grid-like layout and abundance of public transportation make it easy to navigate. However, the city is heavily congested with traffic. Your best bet is to focus on one area of Beijing at a time. Dong Cheng's central location and numerous attractions make it a great place to start. This district is home to Tiananmen Square, the National Museum of China, Temple of Confucius and the Forbidden City. This "city within a city" was the private residence of Ming and Qing emperors and their families for more than 500 years. A good portion of the city is in disrepair (and closed to the public), but the grand palaces, hallways and courtyards that remain are sure to impress. South of Tiananmen, you'll find the Temple of Heaven, where Chinese emperors used to perform religious ceremonies. Today, the temple serves as a tourist attraction and large public space, and you're more likely to see Tai Chi performed in mass on the front lawn than any ancient rituals.
Beijing's universities and the high-tech industries of ZhongGuanCun (dubbed "China's Silicon Valley") can be found north of the city in the Haidian district. Haidian is also home to the Summer Palace and its magnificent gardens. Of course, no Beijing hotel stay is complete without a trip to the Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The views from the popular Badaling section are worth the crowds and tourist kitsch.
If you prefer the hustle and bustle of modern day Beijing, don't worry. The city offers plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options too. Load up on souvenirs at the famous Panjiayuan Market, then follow the glow of red lanterns to the snack shops of Gui Jie (Ghost Street) for inexpensive Chinese dumplings and Peking duck. If you're truly daring, venture to the Wangfujing Night Market and sample local delicacies like scorpions, sea cucumbers and deep-friend grasshoppers. Beijing nightlife can accommodate just about any traveler's taste. Enjoy cocktails and twilight boat rides on Houhai Lake, trendy dance clubs in the Sanlitun district, and traditional Beijing Opera is the city's theatres and tea houses.
Book one for our hotels in Beijing today and start planning your trip to this truly unique destination.