20 Beijing Spots To Add To Your Travel Checklist

If, when you close your eyes and picture Beijing, China, you're conjuring images of bustling, impossible-to-navigate city streets and an overwhelming metropolis devoid of relaxation, think again. Not only does this deeply historic city offer unparalleled sites and attractions, it's also got shopping, food, and spa experiences that rival the best in the world. Luckily, you can get there easily (and in style) with Korean Air's convenient schedule of flights from the U.S. to Beijing via Seoul. This edition of 60 Second Cities provides a close-up look at one of the top, must-see destinations in the world — from the back alley, hutong watering holes to, well, the Great Wall of China.
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Daytime Adventures

Temple of Heaven
A 600-year-old temple complex with prayer halls and a beautiful park to boot, the Temple of Heaven is a busy yet relaxing attraction you can spend hours exploring.
Chaoyang Park
The green space isn't the only draw of this bustling local park. Go for a stroll and find yourself engrossed in some good old fashioned table tennis.
Photographed by Jack Pearce.
The Opposite House
The Opposite House is a thing of beauty in and of itself: It's literally a jewel box located in the center of the city constructed of sparkling glass and wood. The inside of each guest room (which comes complete with a soaking tub) is a minimalist's dream, while outside, the architects somehow managed to find enough space for a speakeasy bar, a pool, a gym, and a seriously delicious peking duck and dim sum restaurant.
The Great Wall
A few hours drive from the city center, The Great Wall of China lives up to the hype. Pro tip: Venture past the crowds to explore the quieter parts of the expansive Jinshanling section and get even better views (and a damn good workout).
Jingshan Park
This park is a true labyrinth of Chinese culture, with a small exercise section, space to play games, gardens, and impromptu ribbon-dancing performances. The best part? A climb up Jingshan Hill offers a stellar view down into Beijing's iconic Forbidden City.

Shops

Panjiayuan Antique Market
If you're an antique-lover, you'd be mistaken not to leave hours and hours to wander around this market mecca. Here, you can find treasures from the Ming and Qing dynasties and beautiful old books, all while learning a little more about the country along the way.
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Jing Fan Shop
This stunning hand-painted fan shop in Houhai is just one reason to walk around this lovely stretch of tourist-friendly hutongs and canals.
798 Art District
The 798 Art District is another neighborhood you can easily spend hours exploring. Public sculptures and private galleries dot the streets alongside boutiques filled with hidden gems.
Photographed by Jack Pearce.
Zizaiyishang
Chinese silk creates some of the softest, most touchable garments under the sun (this hasn't been tested, but trust us). In modern hutong shops like this, you can find dresses with old-school nods that still feel totally current.
Dengliyuan Qipao
A dress shop with a tea ceremony perfect for sipping and shopping all at once.

Food

Dadong Peking Duck
Hands down: You can't leave Beijing without trying peking duck and this restaurant. Although a bit touristy, it's incredibly tasty. Feel free to indulge, booking a small dining room for a large group and feasting until you're too full to move.
UnTour Breakfast Tour
We're not usually "tour" people, but this casual walking excursion is the total opposite of basic. Jaunting around the city, you'll learn about different types of breakfast dishes and, of course, get to try them, too.
Photographed by Jack Pearce.
Dali Courtyard
No, we haven't dined at every restaurant in the city, but we're claiming this one as the perfect spot for a spectacular date-night meal. Everything on the prefix menu is delicious, especially when washed down with some local Beijing liquor.
Dumpling Class at The Orchid Hotel
If you've been in China for even a day, chances are you've had at least one serving of some banging dumplings. Now's your chance to learn how to make the classic dish while drinking wine with an amazing teacher. Next step: Dazzle dinner guests back home with your new hidden talent.
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Xi'an Noodle Restaurant (South Alley Branch)
This is the spot for Chinese food that locals love (and you won't be able to get back home). Go for the noodles, burgers, and eggplant, and then go back again for seconds.

Pampering

Dragonfly Foot Massage
There are plenty of places to indulge in Beijing, but this spot is truly unique, quiet, and serene. Pro tip: Pop upstairs in the mall for lunch after an hour-long foot massage.
Photographed by Jack Pearce.
Jingjianguangyuan Biotech
If you're going to book time at this health and wellness center (which is complete with a drawing room), make sure to call ahead. Here, clients are offered herbal and medical consultations, cupping, and, if you're lucky, a delicious meal from the descendent of the emperor's doctor served on literally the biggest lazy Susan we've ever seen.

Nightlife

Ya'erdukou
While there are countless bars in Houhai, this gem is ideal for an impromptu night out with friends — you get buckets of beers and a live rock show.
Dada Bar
This cozy club (yes, you read that right) is a great mix for every type of partier. There's a foosball table and places to sit right alongside a lively dance floor where clubgoers rave to amazing DJs every night of the week.
Mai Bar
Mai Bar is a comfortable Hutong speakeasy with a seriously good old fashioned — aka a great date-night spot and place where you can feel like a local halfway across the world.
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