Travel Planning
Travel Planning

Beijing at a Glance

Big Beijing is filled to bursting with ancient architecture, fabulous restaurants and burgeoning modern construction. 

Beijing residents love their restaurants. Friends, families, lovers and business partners can be seen catching up over steaming bowls during lunch and dinner. As China's capital, Beijing attracts new-comers from all over the country. Sample their diverse cuisine in neighborhood corner restaurants or at upscale dining options in the heart of the city. 

China's Forbidden City forms the heart of Beijing and this vast, colorful palace sees thousands of visitors daily. It was in this opulent city-within-a-city that China's emperors ruled their country. Outside the city's walls, ordinary residents lived in neighborhoods of alleys, homes and courtyards called houtongs. As Beijing modernizes, these historic areas are being razed, but visitors can still travel into the heart of traditional city-life through a tour of the remaining areas. 


What to Expect
High Season
May - October
Low Season
November - April
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Language: Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport Beijing Capital International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      Visitors to China need a passport with at least six months of validity remaining and a visa appropriate to the type of visit they are making. Travelers will need to visit the website of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to learn their exact requirements and to prepare the appropriate documents. The process is a bit complicated and the requirements must be met in full in order to enter and exit the country successfully. Once in China, all visitors must register with the state.  American citizens can find out more about the process through the U.S State Department's website. 

      Getting Around
      Public Transportation
      • Bus Bawangfen Long-Distance Bus Station
      • Bus Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station
      • Railroad Beijing Train Station
      • Railroad Beijing West Train Station
      Need to Know

      Severe Weather and Seismic ActivityChina has earthquakes so be aware of earthquake safety when traveling. Summer in China can be blisteringly hot. The southern coast experiences typhoons during the summer as well. During intense heat, stay cool and drink enough water to reduce the risk of heat related illness. 

      Safety ConcernsPetty criminals and pickpockets target foreigners. Keep your money and valuables out of sight while on the street and consider putting little used valuables in a safe at your hotel, or in a money belt. Beijing is also home to a fair number of scammers trying to separate you from your money, so use caution when meeting new people or making purchases. 

      Health ConcernsSmog is a concern in China and many residents wear face masks when out in the streets. Check air-quality ratings before you go out and plan accordingly. Visitors to China should drink bottled water or boil or purify the local water. Only eat fruits and vegetables that can be peeled and be sure to wash food using the purified water.