What to See: If you only have a few days in Beijing, I recommend visiting:
Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City: Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are must-sees in Beijing. I recommend using a tour guide who is knowledgeable about history and can help make your experience unforgettable.
The Great Wall, of course! The day I visited the Great Wall, the weather was overcast. Even so, it was an incredible sight. It blows my mind to think it was constructed over 2500 years ago! How incredible.
Local Markets and Shopping: Exploring a local market is one of my favorite memories from Beijing. I spent the day snacking on traditional baby candy apples and had custom shoes made (does it get any better than new shoes and sweets?!)
How to Get Around: I found that the subway system and taxis are the best way to get around the city.
What to Expect: Expect lots of crowds. Lots and lots of crowds. The first time I rode the subway in Beijing, my friends and I got separated from each other because we couldn’t all squeeze off the subway we were riding before the doors closed. Beijing is super crowded. The amount of personal space I had while riding the subway is about the same as I would have in a mosh pit of a concert. Just remember to go with the flow, stay calm, and have a plan for how to meet back up if you get separated from your group.
No need to tip: The government doesn’t allow tipping and locals normally don't tip in restaurants, for cabs, etc. (Note: some tourist attractions may be an exception to this rule.)
Incredible food: Take time to explore local cuisine in Beijing. Peking duck is wonderful, of course, and my favorite restaurant was Din Tai Fung. They have the most delicious jiaozi (dumplings) I’ve ever tasted.
Never pay sticker price for clothes: With the exception of luxury brands and international brands like Forever 21, H&M, etc., you should bargain when you shop. You can lower the price of items quite a bit by bargaining at markets, subway shops and even department stores. Negotiating the price is commonplace (and really fun!)
What to Pack: Money: Most places accept credit cards but it’s a good idea to have some cash with you, especially for shopping.
A converter: Remember a converter for your electronic devices and make a plan for how to communicate without using Facebook.
As always pack light and wear comfy shoes!
Thanks for stopping by. A little about me — I have a latte each morning and drink about 7 cups of tea a day (not exaggerating.) I live in Atlanta where I'm going to law school. I like long distance running and I love my city and I love exploring our beautiful earth. I believe in following our passions & being free.
I started this blog to document and share my favorite moments while traveling. This is a place where I process my ideas, share the aches and joys of my heart, speak truth, and shine light on the beauty I see in the world.
I've realized that what I probably love most about traveling is the same thing I love about writing — the way it connects me to myself and other people. I hope as you read my words, you feel connected to our shared humanity.
Thank you for reading. :)
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