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Beijing see + do

Beijing's historical attractions, such as the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall, justifiably sit atop most travelers' itineraries. But as China's capital re-creates itself as an international city, several notable new buildings imbued with tourism appeal are springing up. The dramatic Olympic stadiums are obvious choices, but other photogenic buildings include OMA's astonishing CCTV HQ and Paul Andreu's domed and moated National Theater for the Performing Arts.

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Tiananmen Square, Beijing

Named for the Gate of Heavenly Peace, an entrance to the Forbidden City that stands at the north end of the square, this vast concrete expanse (it covers more...more

Editors' Pick
Temples, Beijing

Beijing has dozens of ancient temples, some chaotic complexes, others quiet jewels. There are far too many to visit in one trip—but Beijing's three most...more

Editors' Pick
Summer Palace, Beijing

Once a warm-weather retreat for the Qing dynasty's imperial court, the Summer Palace (just ten miles outside the city, but about a 40-minute taxi ride in...more

Editors' Pick
Olympic Park, Beijing

Beijing's giant Olympic Park features two of the most eye-catching sports venues in history. Herzog & de Meuron's circular 91,000-seat "Bird's Nest" National...more

Editors' Pick
National Museum of China, Beijing

Reopened to great fanfare in March 2011 after a four-year renovation, the world's largest museum flanks the east side of Tiananmen Square. Inside its cavernous...more

Editors' Pick
Huguang Guild Hall, Beijing

Peking opera is performed nightly at this intimate (300-seat) 19th-century guild hall; you can enjoy the high notes and crashing gongs while sipping tea...more

Editors' Pick
Great Wall

Stretching almost 4,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall of China was a 1,800-year construction project designed to keep out invading Mongolian...more

Editors' Pick
Forbidden City, Beijing

Built during the Ming dynasty by 200,000 laborers and completed in 1422, this grandiose palace sits at the heart of the modern-day capital city. The complex is...more

Editors' Pick
Drum & Bell Tower, Beijing

Separated by a rectangular courtyard filled with trees, small cafés, and rickshaws, these two majestic towers are often overlooked by visitors. Don't make...more

Editors' Pick
798 Dashanzi Gallery District, Beijing

Beijing's burgeoning modern art scene buzzes around this Bauhaus-inspired neighborhood. Once a factory district that produced electronics for the military,...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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